It's 2015, a fresh new year with fresh new opportunities. Undoubtedly one of the most common resolutions is to be healthier and to be more active, and what better way to do so than going outside and pounding the pavement, picking up a sport, or hitting the gym and pumping some iron? While you're busy pushing your body outside its comfort zone, your gear should be right there with you, lighting the way, and keeping you informed, hydrated and protected. The Everyday Carry team proudly presents Flex, our guide to the best gear that will let you hit the new year running.
Any old gym bag can carry your gear, but not every old gym bag is outfitted with hardware this rugged. In addition to its spacious capacity, the Growler's exterior is made of abrasion-resistant, lightweight ballistic nylon, interior lined with Teflon fabric protector, and comes with high-quality YKK zippers, UTX-Duraflex nylon buckles, and reinforced straps made of nylon webbing. When it isn't lugging around your gym essentials, a bag this rugged can handle go-bag or travel duties in a pinch, too.
Other Options: For a slick duffel bag/backpack hybrid, check out the Duffel Pack ($149 @ aersf.com), and for another nice modern tactical alternative that you can take from the gym to the office, check out the Gym/Work Bag ($184 @ DSPTCH).
The Charge takes the functionality and tracking capabilities of its popular siblings the Flex and the One, and adds a screen onto its wrist-mounted form factor, making it a perfect way to track fitness statistics (like steps taken) at a glance.
There's a reason the Hydro Flask is one of the most popular water bottles on the market. It's hard to argue against 18/8 food-grade stainless steel, vacuum insulation that prevents "sweating" and keeps drinks cold for 24 hours (or hot for 12), and even offers a lifetime warranty. Its powder-coated exterior provides an excellent grip and a feel in hand reminiscent of the rest of your durable EDC gear. With a variety of colors, lid styles, sizes, you're sure to find a bottle that suits your hydration needs.
High-performance polarized sunglasses shouldn't have to cost an arm and a leg. BTB Sport Optics are lightweight, inexpensive, and able to stop shotgun shot, which make them an excellent alternative to more expensive ballistic lenses.
With today's extra large flagship phones, the usual svelte running belts just don't cut it anymore. Running Buddy have upgraded their popular attachable, magnetic, water-resistant essentials pouch to accommodate today's popular large phones like the iPhone 6 Plus and Nexus 6.
GPS tracking is a great way to monitor your travel distance and progress, and Garmin needs no introduction as a leader in the wearable tracker race. The Forerunner 220 has many features at a great price, which include a color display, accurate GPS tracking, statistics recording with its built-in accelerometer and connectivity to its own smartphone app, and waterproofing up to 50 meters, making it ideal for any athletic condition.
The gym is no place for your expensive IEMs and full-size headphones. You want good sound, but you also don't want the elements getting in the way of your music. The MEElectronics M6 are noise-isolating (careful when crossing roads!), secure fit, headphones that feature IPX-5 sweat- and water-resistance and a cable with minimal noise and tangle resistance, all packed into a carrying case with six sets of tips for maximum versatility and portability.
The Sansa Clip+ is arguably the best digital audio player you can buy for your money, with a rich set of features that make for a great portable device. In addition to its tiny size and light weight that make it a "clip-it-and-forget-it" device, the Clip+ packs an expandable 8GB of memory, high-visibility OLED display, digital FM tuner, and built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 15 hours. Audiophiles also benefit from the Clip+'s fantastic sound quality and Rockbox-ready capability. If you need music on the go but want to leave your phone at home, this is the DAP for you.
The Dragonfly 2 is one of the most ideal EDC knives due to its build quality, ergonomics, and size, and utilizing the rustproof H-1 steel for its blade upgrades its utility even further. With its lightweight build and weatherproof steel, it's a good companion to keep handy when you're out training, rain or shine.
The Atom AL is already a good EDC flashlight on its own, pushing 110lm for 3.5 hours, but its unique features combined with a headlamp kit make it a strong contender for an outdoor light as well. Its glow-in-the-dark reflector makes it ideal for locating in the dark, and its magnetic tail can attach to nearby ferrous surfaces to for hands-free work. The headlamp kit is also able to make use of the Atom AL's floody beam pattern and light weight for POV use in low-light outdoor environments.
In the spirit of being prepared, sometimes you need to pack some aspirin or supplements on the go without wanting to lug around an unwieldy plastic bottle. A stainless steel keychain pill fob is durable, lightweight, and attaches right into your keychain, and this offering by Cielo has room for up to 10 aspirin-sized pills in its airtight, waterproof 1.75" chamber.
We know having high performance gear can't transform your body and improve your health on its own. Hopefully our recommendations in this guide, combined with your hard work, discipline, and consistency, can help take your training to the next level and let you crush those goals.
How do you plan on staying healthy, and what gear helps you do it? Let us know — leave a comment below and tell us about your favorite ways to stay active and what essentials you'd recommend to others looking to improve their health!