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Holiday Gift Guide 2013 from Athletic-Minded Traveler

It's that time of year again, and we've rounded up gifts for everyone on the list. Athletic-Minded Travelers can go big, small or somewhere in between!

For the "Heavy" Traveler: Sometimes, you just have to check the bag. And boy oh boy if you exceed the airline's weight limit, you'll pay up! Enter the Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale ($20) that attaches to the handle of your suitcase! Know before you go!

For the Music Lover:  How do you get pumped up for a big day at the office or a life-changing meeting? You listen to music while you get ready, right?  If you're a smartphone junkie, there's probably a plastic bag that accompanies you into the shower for some muffled music and the chance of ruining the one item that gets you through your busy day. Why not slap a speaker on the wall and use Bluetooth to jam out? Fresh eTech ($20 on has a waterproof shower radio that links with your phone to play music in the shower, in the kitchen, by the pool, or wherever else you take it.

For the Coffee Drinker: Oh so many products just for you!! First, one of our editors raves about the Bialetti Mukka Express  ($80-$100), which produces a cup of cappuccino in less than 3 minutes on the stove top. Italian families have been using Bialetti products for so long that ovens in Italy come with a burner shaped exclusively for these single-serve machines. You can make one every morning, have it rinsed, dry and ready to go for tomorrow in less than 10 minutes. 

Next up for java Joes, the Mizudashi Cold Brew Carafe ($20) from Japanese glassware manufacturer Hario is perfect for cold brewing coffee. Iced coffee is the goal and this one does it right. It's one liter and will fit in the refrigerator. You can also buy it from Ritual Coffee for $25.


This one will please ANY Hot Beverage Drinker: Coffee Joulies ($60 for 5 pack) will cool down your hot treat and keep it at the perfect temperature. And let us tell you, drinking too hot beverages is a major health risk. (Read our post.) Each Joulie shell is filled with an advanced phase change material that melts at 140°F. Put them in your coffee and they absorb heat when it is too hot; and then when your coffee reaches the perfect temperature this stored heat is released to keep it there longer. Wow! 

For the Decor Conscious Cyclist: These pillows, blankets, placemats and cutting boards are fun, artsy, and showcase the bicycle. The Christen Treat "Bicycle" series can be found on a very cool site called Kess InHouse. Prices range from $10-$100


For The Traveling Kid at Heart: Kickboard USA makes fabulous scooters and the Micro Luggage ($299) has an integrated 3-wheel kickboard so flyers can zip through airports with a little footwork. And don't worry, the kickboard folds right up into a conventional size luggage piece.  Why not have a little fun while carting your belongings to the gate? Bummer that the fun costs so much! If you buy via Hammacher, you get their lifetime guarantee.

For the "Connected" Road Warrior: If you and your care are nearly inseparable, you need this ergonomically designed Dual-USB Y Car Charger from TYLT ($30).  The design ensures that you can either share the charging wealth or have 2 devices charging at the same time. The neon color will help you quickly locate it!


For the Avid Backpacker: The SnowMiner Headlamp from Snow Peak ($50) is a 2 for 1 deal. It offers a high quality headlamp that easily converts to a hanging lantern. Go from focused light to ambient light in a single push of a button. For those who want to minimize the weight of their pack, it's a great option.

For the Techie &/or Home Security Buff: The indoor Quirky Spotter Sensor ($50) tracks temperature, humidity, light and senses motion. You can connect via Wi-Fi and control it from anywhere via a smartphone app. Basically you can monitor your home when you are not there. ** This is a very NEW product and likely later versions will be better. See CNET review.


For Anyone: Swiftwick Compression Socks: Our avid, and very sock-particular, cyclist tested the "Sustain" ($12-$17) line in varying conditions. His take: the sock is thin but thick enough to provide cushion and impressive moisture/sweat control.  He gave a thumbs up to the in-between height above the ankle. Swiftwick socks are made in the U.S. using the latest in performance compression and moisture-wicking technology. The Sustain is made from post-industrial recycled nylon

For Shavers: Do you like a clean shave, but loathe the annoyance of a nick? Pick up a travel friendly sized set of "Styptic Matchbooks". They stop the bleed. $4


For Anyone: Energy Bars & Snacks: We love trying new foods, and so will your family and friends. So give your favorites. Here’s what we’re passing along: Bonk Bites, NuGo Free Dark Chocolate Crunch, & Perky Jerky Turkey. The Jerky is our cure for the salt/chip craving.


For the Runners & Walkers:  The SPIbelt ($20) is a super small personal item belt that comes in a wide array of colors. It's just big enough for the smartphone, keys, & cash. There’s a kids’ version too.

WAIT!!!!! You want MORE MORE MORE??? This is our SIXTH annual gift guide. So that means there are FIVE MORE lists. Take a look!!  


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I'm a professional mountain

I'm a professional mountain biker and I choose Swiftwick socks for training and racing. In fact, I have become so accustomed to the amazing feel and fit that I now wear them in my daily life as a personal trainer and endurance coach. Whether for performance, recovery, or just plain great comfort, Swiftwick is my sock of choice - hands down!

I wear my swiftwick recovery

I wear my swiftwick recovery socks to work with a suit and tie after big races. They are the most comfortable socks I've ever owned. The wool versions are also killer. I'm an avid cyclist and can't imagine wearing anything else. Kudos Swiftwick, I'm hooked!

I travel for my collegiate

I travel for my collegiate races, and our coach won't let us fly without the ASPIRE 12's from Swiftwick. They come up over the calf and provide comfortable and beneficial compression. I freakin love these socks.

I am a professional

I am a professional triathlete. I use Swiftwick socks everyday for both running and cycling. I can honestly say I have never worn a better sock. I now exclusively wear these socks for every race and training day. Not only is it a great product, but Swiftwick is a great company.

I LOVE Swiftwick socks. I run

I LOVE Swiftwick socks. I run ultramarathons and it is important to have comfortable moisture wicking socks to ensure that I have a great race. My favorite Swiftwick model is the Vibe Zero. I also love the Aspire Zero. The Vibe Zero is plush and so comfortable. I train hard to do my best at racing, wearing Swiftwick means I never have to worry about my feet blistering during an Ultra. I highly recommend Swiftwick to everyone. I wear Swiftwick for running, mountain biking, spin classes and working out at the gym. Best socks on the Planet!!!!

I have found swiftwick socks

I have found swiftwick socks to be one of the best gifts as a runner.I use them with 2 purposes: 1) to prevent blisters because they are very thin and absorb moisture very well unlike any socks I have worn before. 2) for recovery: theyre great for when traveling on long flights or after a long day of sitting in the office. My lower legs feel less stiff because of better blood circulation. I highly recommend getting the socks..they have many different types for every season.

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