Even though it doesn't look like it outside, it is definitely the Christmas season! I know, to be politically correct I should say "holiday" season, but I'm not going to be politically correct. And hopefully, we'll see some winter weather and snow here in Colorado sometime soon. I can't believe we are into December, and even today up in the mountains, we hit 60 degrees... wrong.. just wrong. Anyway, I am certainly in a giving mood, so I'm excited to offer another few reviews, and a giveaway.
So, today I'm reviewing some fuel and hydration options, namely the Hydrapak GelBot, and a selection of products from Honey Stinger. As my running distances continue to extend, I've been learning more about hydration and fueling techniques, as well as the myriad of products and gear out there to support it. As with many things running, it comes down to finding what works best for you. Hang on while I give you a brief summary of my impressions of both of these companies and their products, and at the end you'll have an opportunity to win a GelBot with a sample selection of Organic Gels from Honeystinger!
So, the cool folks at Honey Stinger sent me an assortment of their products to try out. I had heard some good things about them, but had not tried anything yet. I've tried and reviewed products from both GU and Clif (reviews here and here), but am always looking for other options. Oh, and before I forget, I did ask them about the Lance Armstrong packaging. Yes, its being changed (for obvious and disappointing reasons), but stock will be out there for a bit until they shift over to new packaging.
So, first off, one of the things I liked about Honey Stinger is their focus on natural (and organic) ingredients. Granted, I know that there are arguments that when you get down to sugars (as in a gel), they are basically the same chemically, but I feel better about seeing an ingredient list with organic ingredients, and a short ingredient list to boot. So, bonus points to Honey Stinger for working a little harder to keep folks like me happier about what they use to fuel up.
First, the chews were great, but not particularly better or worse than Clif Shot Bloks, or GU Chomps... other than being organic/natural. I did enjoy the caffeinated limeade ones the best. But, I still find chews a bit difficult to take in while running... still worry about inhaling a chunk!
The energy bar and protein bars were pretty tasty, and I ended up using them as a pre-run snack/breakfast... they worked well for that. But the waffles? I REALLY enjoyed those... what a great treat about 8 or 10 miles into a run.. I enjoyed both flavors... kind like a cookie, but not. Easy to eat... and was easy on my stomach.
The Honey Stinger product I liked the best however was their organic energy gels. I tried the Fruit Smoothie, Acai Pomegranate, and Vanilla (missing from the pic because I used it before taking it!). The flavors were great (with Vanilla as #1 for me), terrific organic ingredients, but most of all was the consistency. Honey Stinger gels are probably the thinnest that I have tried, and that works much better for me. I have a harder time with thicker gels, especially when its well below freezing outside. AND, the thinner gel works awesomely with the GelBot from Hydrapak, which is up next!
Inside the bottle is a 3.2 oz capacity chamber that attaches to the nozzle/lid. Just the right size to hold two gel packs (depending on the size). At the bottom of the chamber is a sliding plunger. Once filled, you attach it to the nozzle, slide it into the bottle and tighten it down.
Now, with the nozzle pushed down (closed) all you have to do is squeeze to deliver gel out of the center of the nozzle. The pressure simply slides the plunger up to dispense gel. Now, keep in mind, a really thick gel, and sub freezing temperatures means you may have to squeeze like crazy, and simultaneously try and suck it out like on a straw in the worlds thickest milkshake... but it will work. If you aren't crazy about an additional workout while running, I would recommend a thin gel... like the Honey Stingers! Anyway, if you want water, simple pull the nozzle up, like most bottles, and squeeze to dispense the water (or your fluid of choice).
I really like the ability to dispense gel in the amounts I want while on the go. Fumbling with a gel pack, and then having to down the whole thing at once is not my preference, as I'd rather spread that fueling out if I can. Granted, this only holds two, but for this same reason, I could carry more gels using a gel flask, also available at Hydrapak.
Finally, this bottle really works well in my Nathan Elite handheld sleeve (see picture way at the top). If you want one, the 20 oz runs about $12-$14, so I think its a great value!
So, once again, thanks for hanging on through another wordy review. I mean, you did read it right? Or did you just jump straight here to the end for the giveaway?? :-) No matter, lets get to the giving away! One selected winner will win a 20oz GelBot from Hydrapak, and another winner, box of assorted organic gels from Honeystinger!
Follow the instructions on each option below to earn entries. Contest will close on Monday, December 10th, at 10PM MST. Winners will be selected at random from all entries using random.org. Contest limited to residents of the U.S. and Canada only. Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks, good luck.. and Happy trails!!