Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hydrapak GelBot and Honeystinger Review & Giveaway!

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!

I was first introduced to Hydrapak when I reviewed their Woolly Mammoth insulated bottle back in September here.   Hydrapak is just a great company with great products.  The GelBot certainly meets those standards as well.  Not only is the GelBot a great water bottle, it includes an additional feature that is a stroke of pure genius.

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   Contest limited to residents of  the U.S. and Canada only. Thanks!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks, good luck.. and Happy trails!!



  1. i am fascinated by this gelbot! i even watched the vid to check it out!! would be worth trying. Might be better in warmer temps than our freeeezing winter, but still cool concept!

  2. The Gelbot looks awesome, it is something I want to try out.

  3. I am like Tina, it is a fascinating product... It is a really interesting concept!

  4. I am a huge Honey Stinger fan - yummy! I think I may have actually entered correctly this time around :). I'm not on Twitter though (well, I am, but I have no idea what my name is cuz I set that up over a year ago and never even logged in. Every now and then I get a notice that someone is following me on Twitter...I bet they think I'm pretty exciting ;)).

  5. Cool looking bottle and I love Honey Stingers

  6. Wow, I'm not a big fan of gels. In fact, the only ones that have ever worked for me are Honey Stingers. No one every reviews and gives them away. You are a hero! And that bottle is fascinating. I wouldn't have to litter the ground, I'd have gel and water in the same place. Really cool!

  7. Hey Jeff, really good reviews!

    I don't use gels because I am a brand spankin' new runner and really don't go that far yet! I do, however, really enjoy learning more about running, including longer distances, hydration, nutrition, energy, etc. Clearly gels are a big part of staying energized through longer runs.

    Looking forward to getting to that stage one day.

    Also interested in learning more about hydrating while running, that's something I am looking into and it's great to see the products out there.



  8. great review, Jeff. Don't use gels, but love the concept of the Gebot, may change my you mentioned they are pretty messy on the run. This helps take care of that problem! Lorraine.

  9. I use Hammer gels primarily. Occasionally GU if it's available at an aid station.

  10. yay for the honey stinger waffles!

    though I'm not putting myself in the drawing, as a previous winner. i do love your reviews, and will check out this inventive way to get gels into my belly!!

  11. Yes, you finally talked about the Honey Stinger products. I never even see their gels in King Soopers but their waffles are. I love their waffles. I have learned they are not ideal for when you are racing, but are amazing on long runs when I slow down. They worked better on my body and stomach than the gel and made something with substance in my gut. Keep up the hard work.

  12. I'm always look to try other products to fuel my running.

  13. Looks interesting. I'd like to try them.

  14. I've used some gels before. I think they were Cliff. Haven't tried these.

  15. I use gels on long runs and am partial to Clif, never tried Honey Stinger before.

  16. Fav gel so far is hammer gel. Tasted really good.

  17. I just started training for a half marathon and have not used gels before...would love to give these a try.

    danielleaknapp at gmail dot com

  18. I love everything Honey Stinger makes. Haven't tried the lemon waffles yet, but I can vouch for everything else. All good stuff! (Have to be in just the right mood for chocolate waffles though) ;-)

  19. I pop those Honey Stingers like tic tacs. I love all that stuff. :)


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