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.
[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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.