Stuff Fatty Loves: Water (Specifically, really good, clean water)

04.10.2014 | 10:31 am

People email me all the time, asking me if I want stuff. Even more often — lately — they email me asking if I’ll write a post about their Kickstarter campaign. Which is kind of nuts, when you think about it: expecting someone to promote something that they not only haven’t tried, but which doesn’t even actually exist yet. And may in fact never exist.

(I of course reserve the right to reverse my philosophy on promoting Kickstarter campaigns when I inevitably start one of my own.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, getting stuff. Companies send me stuff, pretty often. And there was a time that when they asked me if I wanted their stuff, I’d say, “YES PLEASE SEND ME WHATEVER YOU’VE GOT.” And then I’d get it and discover I didn’t care enough about it one way or another to write about it.

And then I’d get a pang of guilt every time they followed up, asking, “When are you going to talk about this thing we’ve sent you?” because I knew that the answer was, “Never,” but I’m way too non-confrontational to come out and say that, and so would just mark their email address as spam.

(I’m pretty sure I just ensured, by writing that, that nobody will ever send me anything again.)


Now, unless I’m absolutely positively sure that I really really really want something, I let companies know that they can send me stuff, but I won’t write about it unless I actually love it. Not just like. Love. 

And I’ve got a few of those things — stuff that’s stopped merely being a new thing to try out and has become a really good part of my life — to talk about in the near future. Like, for the next three or so posts, I’m going to talk about stuff I’ve recently fallen in love with. 

Stuff I would — and do — recommend to anyone.

The Camelbak Relay

[Disclosure: Camelbak sent me a Camelbak Relay at no charge.]

I’m pretty sure Martha Stewart would back me on this: water is a good thing. Good water is even better. 

And the Camelbak Relay — an ingenious water pitcher / filter —does in fact make water better. 

Like, a lot better.

IMG 8367

Basically you pour regular ol’ tap water into the top, at which point it gets filtered once. 

Then, as you pour water out, it gets filtered a second time. The result is awesome, for a couple of reasons.

  1. It filters fast. As you fill the pitcher, it filters as fast as your tap (or at least my tap) can go. And when you pour water out of it, it pours nearly as fast as a free-flowing pitcher does. 
  2. It filters great. I’m not putting the water that comes out of the Relay under a microscope, but I don’t really need to; the municipal water I have is just fine, microbe- and bacteria- and other-tiny-critters-wise (at least, as far as I know, and if it isn’t…well, I’m not sure I want to know). But I can taste the difference. And everyone else in the family can too. 

And you know what? When you have fast, hassle-free, great-tasting water, you…drink more water. 

What’s more, if you’re a cyclist, it’s really nice to be able to fill your bottles — this easily fills four bottles, so The Hammer and I are taken care of even for long training rides — really fast with cold, good-tasting water. 

And — as long as people obey the rule of filling the pitcher when it gets close to empty — even with seven people living in our house (The Hammer and me, my four kids, one of The Hammer’s kids), this holds enough for everyone when we eat at dinnertime, too.

We’ve stopped using the filtered water dispenser built into the fridge; this pours faster and tastes better. 

Basically, in the very short time we’ve had the Relay, it’s become a taken-for-granted part of our lives.

For cyclists — or for anyone — I can’t recommend the Camelbak Relay highly enough. If you like water, you should get one. And if you don’t currently like water…you should definitely get one.


  1. Comment by MicroTim (in IN) | 04.10.2014 | 11:11 am

    Trust me Fatty.. as a microbiologist you do not want to know what is in your water! Nothing harmful mind you, just lots o’ stuff… I really like the idea of the double filter, and the rapid rate of filtering. I’ll have to check one of these out. It takes two of my current filter-pitchers to fill up the 3L camlebak, and it filters suuuupppeeerr slow.

  2. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 04.10.2014 | 11:21 am

    How much do replacement filters cost and how often do you have to replace them?

    They last 4 months. A 3-pack of replacement filters is $28.50 on the Camelbak site. – FC

  3. Comment by The Hammer/Lisa | 04.10.2014 | 12:15 pm

    Love the cold, fresh tasting water from the Camelbak pitcher, my Coke Zero consumption has dropped drastically! Which I think is a good thing! :)

  4. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 04.10.2014 | 2:08 pm

    I’d like to pack it in my suitcase when we travel. Our water is cold and pure, straight from our own well, so we’re good here, but on the road – awful (and unknown) water.

  5. Comment by PNP | 04.10.2014 | 2:53 pm

    Ordered the blue one! I’ve used a Brita pitcher for many years, but this seems like a much better option. For one thing, very little waiting for the water, and I love the idea of the locking lid. Thanks! I’m looking forward to seeing what else you have to tell us about…though I’m not sure about the impact to my credit cards!

  6. Comment by Joe | 04.10.2014 | 2:58 pm

    MicroTim (in IN), this particular filtration system is only designed to remove chlorine and its associated taste and odor. It will not remove anything else from your water.

    It’s a great option if you have safe water that you just want to taste better without having to wait on a slower filter system. If you’re genuinely concerned about filtering out possible contaminants you’ll have to look into a PUR filter or something along those lines.

  7. Comment by bikemike | 04.10.2014 | 3:20 pm

    Wonder if some microscope manufacturer will want to send you one of their
    top notch microbe finders to see exactly what you’re drinking?

    I’m betting before it’s all said and done, you’ll be asked to Cern for some consultation work.

  8. Comment by The Cyclist | 04.10.2014 | 3:33 pm

    Better than Evian?

  9. Comment by Demonic1 | 04.10.2014 | 4:56 pm

    Know what’s better than ONE pitcher of cold filtered water in your fridge? TWO pitcher of cold filtered water!

    I have a deep fridge so I keep one container behind the other. When the front one is empty, I fill it then put it BEHIND the cold one in the back- which moves the one from the back to the front!
    Easy cold water all the time and you never have to worry about only getting a partial glass of cold water because that second pitcher is always waiting. :)

  10. Comment by VA Biker | 04.10.2014 | 8:11 pm

    Ha! About the non-confrontational bit and marking e-mails as spam, I don’t do that, but I am, and I sure could! My sense of obligation for reply is too great but if I never actually read the mail, well, I should consider that!

  11. Comment by rolis | 04.10.2014 | 8:57 pm

    What happened to just drinking water from the tap? In most places it’s good, delicious and FREE!

  12. Comment by Clydesteve | 04.10.2014 | 9:55 pm

    since it is called the Relay – does that mean you are about to relay it on – to me?

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  14. Comment by Heidi | 04.11.2014 | 10:18 am

    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

    The comment above mine is priceless! Well said. I think.

  15. Comment by Kristina | 04.11.2014 | 11:57 am

    Wait, what?

  16. Comment by David C. | 04.11.2014 | 10:36 pm

    Any thoughts on how something like this differs from a refrigerator water filter? I have an LG fridge and change the filter every 6 months and we get our water from there. Taste seems fine and I assume the filtration of an already acceptable public water source is adequate. I often see these ads for pitchers like this etc. but wonder… are these just for folks who don’t have a water line hooked up fridge, or is there some other advantage? Thanks…

  17. Comment by William | 04.12.2014 | 3:38 am

    This is a good clean water.

  18. Comment by Libby | 04.12.2014 | 8:07 pm

    Interesting…we had a Brita & now have a water cooler that freezes the water … looking for something new…maybe just maybe…

    Lisa/Hammer: we bought a SodaStream carbinator and that gives us fizzy water…we rarely drink pop now. We don’t use their flavourings (they leave a bad aftertaste) though sometimes I put lemon in mine.

  19. Comment by Geo | 04.14.2014 | 11:25 am

    Fatty, I can’t thank you enough for posting this endorsement of water.

    As my riding is increasing with the warmer weather so is my sweat production. I spend way too much time before each ride trying to decide if I should fill my bottle with sports drink, soda, milk, or a skim-double-shot latte with a splash of vanilla.

    I’ll start trying water since you think so highly of it. I may even try filtering it first. Maybe.

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