Thursday, 19 March 2015

REVIEW: My water bottle!

Spot the water bottle and then spot us!
I know it is only a water bottle, BUT for those that have known me for a while would know I ALWAYS have a water bottle with me. My water bottle often gets referred to as the ‘stupid’ water bottle as it always turns up in photos. Sorry. J
From hardly ever drinking water a few years ago I started drinking water and always carry a water bottle with me.
On my recent trip to South African I lost one of my 2 water bottles and the 2nd one got destroyed by my mom’s beloved/spoiled bull mastiff.
So I’ve been without my famous waterbottle for a while. My sister did give me a water bottle with a screw top for Christmas, but I find it hard work to screw off, sip, screw back on.
In February I received a voucher from Sweatshop and they had running water bottles on sale and as we were about to run Bath Half Marathon I thought it would be great to purchase one of those for myself and 3 friends. Oh well what a disappointment. The water hardly comes out as the nozzle slips back before you can take a decent sip. Seriously what a waste of money.
On Saturday I went out for a ride with a women’s only bike shop in Surbiton, Bella Velo 

They are a dedicated women’s only bike shop. Anybody is welcome to pop in, all of their stock is smart, well presented and you literally just want to get your credit card out and buy new kit. They stock women’s specific Specialized Bikes and also have Liv Giant bikes in store. Liv is the women’s specific brand of Giant. Men if you would like to get your girlfriend or wife into cycling this is the shop to go to. They will understand her needs better than you do. Ultimately that will be to your benefit as we as women have different needs. For instance we need to be comfortable on our saddles and we also like to feel pretty even if we don’t look pretty.
Back to the water bottle. I was using Julie’s bottle on the ride and it was hard to get it in & out of the bottle cage whilst we were riding as it was a tall bottle so I decided to buy one of the Bella Velo bottles they had on offer. 
I am delighted with this water bottle. It is not just ANY waterbottle. They are made by Purist and the nozzle design is as if it is inside out in comparison with the old water bottle designs and it has a valve on the inside. If you squirt the bottle a stream of joyous water pours into your mouth and your thirst is instantly quenched, unlike other water bottles where you have to suck on the nozzle till your cheeks go blue or those that when you open & close them catch your lip which could be rather painful. This bottle is exactly what I would expect from a water bottle! Thank you for the treat Bella Velo! I am happy to fly the flag Belinda! ;-)
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Sunday, 8 March 2015

REVIEW: Vaude Splash 2012 (20 + 5 litre)

I bought a Vaude bag in 2009 and used it for commuting on my bike, walking to work or even as my weekend bag when I went travelling. On numerous occasions I cycled with about 7km of meat in my backpack home from work. Needless to say when the zip kept on stripping as I was about to leave the house, it was time for me to say goodbye to my good old faithful backpack. If an item ever went into negative depreciation then that was my blue backpack! 

Backpacks don't come cheap, but when you use it for 6 years it is worth buying one that will last you a decent amount of time.

As my previous bag got a bit heavy at times I was looking to go a bit smaller, but eventually bought the same size as I was just not willing to sacrifice on the side pockets! I usually put my water bottle in on the one side and my coffee Keep Cup in the other. 

The newer version of the Splash that I previously owned are brilliantly designed. Instead of having a bigger space for luggage at the bottom of the bag, they have created this space at the top which means the weight distribution doesn't all sit on your lower back! 

They have used better material for the side pockets. 

The air flow gap that they create with a wire frame between your back and the bag is great for keeping you cool and keeping the bag in place. 

Extendable straps to keep the contents of you bag in tacked is well placed and very useful when you use the expandable area. 

The outside pockets are much better organised and leans it self to a whole new level of organisation within the bag. 

The front lower pocket works great for toiletries. Side top front bag is wonderful for personal valuables as it is hidden underneath the helmet holder. The top front bag is great for all other miscellaneous items like earrings and make-up when you commute into work.

This bag also features a pocket containing a rain cover, high visibility, a hook for you to attach a light. On the inside it also has a compartment for a water reservoir or you could use this as a place to put your laptop if you needed to travel it with you. 

The only feature I don't really use is the pocket on the waist band, others might find it useful. Personally I don't have something suitable to put in it yet 

Normally I would be the first person to say that two backpacks are excessive, but both my backpacks has a purpose and it saves me not to have to transfer all my belongings from one bag to the other.

I truly love this bag for it's practicality and not just it's colour.   

I was so  impressed with this bag that I bought my friend a blue one. His requirements were, I need to be able to fit my laptop and my Bible in. I think he got a little more than what he asked for. :-) 
His & Hers

Julie & I bike packing with both my bags!