AirPods Pro 2 Impressions

I picked up a pair of the second generation AirPods Pro recently and wanted to share my thoughts on them so far. For reference, I picked up the original AirPods Pro in December of 2019 and have used them almost every day since. Before that I used the regular AirPods daily.

So why did I upgrade from the original AirPods Pro? My originals still worked great. I love the noise cancelling, transparency mode, and how well they work when you are in the Apple ecosystem. There was really only one major reason I upgraded and that was battery life. As I mentioned in my intro, I have worn my original AirPods Pro pretty much every day since I got them and boy does the battery life on them bear this out. They are constantly needing to be recharged, both the AirPods themselves as well as the charging case that they go in. It is truly unfortunate as other than the battery life, they are perfectly functional. I wish there was a way to replace the batteries in them but as far as I know, there isn’t.

Truthfully, I have been putting up with the bad battery life for months now as I definitely didn’t want to buy another pair of the originals at full price. So I was thrilled when Apple announced the second generation model. I picked them up about a week ago and have been putting them through the paces.

So what is different about the second generation Pros? Let’s start with the case that they charge in. While it looks almost identical and has the same dimensions as the original case, it has gained quite a few new features. It now supports the Find My network and has a new speaker on the bottom to help you find them if you misplace them. While I haven’t had any trouble keeping track of my Pros, I’m sure this is a welcome addition to the millions of people who have misplaced theirs. The case also supports adding a lanyard to the side. I know many people bought cases for their original AirPod Pro just to do this so it was a smart move for Apple to build it in to the case. Also, the new case supports charging via MagSafe as well as with an Apple Watch charger, both features my originals lacked and both welcome additions.

As for the AirPods themselves, they have gained both improved transparency and improved noice cancellation modes. The transparency mode, which was already great on the originals, is outstanding now. It is so good that it is sounds like you don’t even have the AirPods in your ears anymore. It’s that good. Likewise the noice cancellation mode is also greatly improved. Apple claims up to 2x better noise cancellation which I can’t exactly prove but I did immediately notice a big difference upon trying them. Certain sounds that the original Pros did not fully block out are now fully cancelled out with the new Pros. Other than those improvements, you can now control the volume from the AirPods themselves by swiping up or down on the stems. This has worked great for me without any false positives in my testing. Lastly and most important of all to me is the improved battery life. Apple says that the second gen Pros will get up to 6 hrs. on a charge now which is an improvement of 1 hour compared to the first gen Pros. But for me with my nearly 3 years old first gen pros, I’m getting closer to double the battery life than I am used to. It is so nice not having to constantly recharge them and is by far my favorite thing about this new pair.

In conclusion, while I truly hope that Apple can figure out a way to keep older AirPods from being wasted with some kind of battery replacement program, I never really hesitated on buying a new pair. For me, my AirPods Pro are at or near the top of my most used tech items. I use them all day at work, at home when putting the kids to bed, on walks, and so many other situations. They are truly a magical device and I am very happy to have my new pair. Thanks for reading!

The Nintendo Switch OLED

I was scrolling through my list of blog post ideas and realized that I never posted my review of the Nintendo Switch OLED model. It has been out since October 8th of 2021 so this review will only be a year late haha!

My history with Nintendo & the Nintendo Switch

I am a huge Nintendo fan. I was born in the same year that the NES was widely released in America and I have owned every Nintendo system released in the US to date (yes, even the Virtual Boy & Wii U). When Nintendo unveiled the Switch, the company was not doing great. The Wii U was pretty much a disaster right out of the gate and the 3DS, while doing much better than the Wii U, was really showing its age.

Enter the Nintendo Switch. Ever since it was revealed, I was super hyped for it. One of my buddies and I planned a trip to PAX South (R.I.P.) to play the system before it was released. We fell in love with it once we had some hands on time with it and we found ourselves at the midnight launch for the system at our local Best Buy. Fast forward three and a half years and the Switch is a runaway success. Nintendo has completely turned their fortunes around with the Switch. The have not only sold a ton of hardware, but they have also sold a ton of software too. So when Nintendo announced the next model in the lineup, The Switch OLED, you can bet that I preordered it and received it on launch day.

The Hardware

The Switch OLED, while not the Switch Pro that everyone wanted it to be, is a substantial update to the original Switch. I want to hit on all of the improvements in this section.

  • The Display: The main selling point of the Switch OLED is obviously the new screen. Gone is the original 6.2″ LCD and it has been replaced with an absolutely gorgeous 7″ OLED panel. This is a massive upgrade for the system. Nintendo makes some of the most colorful games in the industry (Mario, Pokemon, Smash Bros., Splatoon) and the colors are just stunning on the OLED display. The panel can get super bright and I also really appreciate the bigger screen size. It is very noticeable. Even nearly a year later, every time I play my Switch in handheld mode, I am blown away by the screen.
  • The Kickstand: The original Switch came with a kickstand, which is a great idea. The problem was that it was a horrible kickstand! It was extremely flimsy and I got to where I didn’t even trust it enough to use it. Nintendo completely overhauled the kick stand on the OLED model and it is so much better than the original one. The kickstand now runs across the whole rear of the system & it is super adjustable. I would compare it to the Microsoft Surface Pro kickstands if you have ever used one of those.
  • Built In Storage: While the original Switch came with 32gb of internal storage, the OLED model doubles it to 64gb. While serious players will still need to expand their storage with a microSD card, it is a nice addition nonetheless.
  • Sound: The sound quality of the built in speakers on the OLED is considerably better then the built in speakers on the original model. Again, some may use headphones most of the time they are on their Switch but it is a nice upgrade.
  • The Dock: The Dock that comes with each system has been redesigned as well. It has two benefits over the old dock. First is that the dock now includes a LAN port for wired internet. The old dock does not and requires you to purchase an adapter for wired internet. The second is that, at least to me, the dock is more aesthetically pleasing. As something that sirts on top of my entertainment center, I like the look and shape of the new dock more.
  • Color Options: While the Switch OLED model is still available with the same red and blue joy-cons as the original system, it also come in a new white colorway, complete with a white dock. This is the color that I opted for. I am very into white electronics so this was just perfect for me. I love the clean look of the dock and joy-cons!

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Switch OLED is in my opinion, the version of the Switch to buy if you are in the market for a Switch. It is also a decent upgrade if you are coming from an original model. It is by no means a necessary upgrade and it runs all of the games the exact same as the original Switch and the Switch lite. But if you are really into the Switch and would appreciate all of the little upgrades over the original model, I see no reason not to go for it! Thanks for reading.

Splatoon 3: First Impressions

Splatoon 3 released a few days ago and I wanted to give my first impressions on my time with it so far. For reference, I played the first Splatoon on the Wii U a little and then played Splatoon 2 on the Switch a lot (200+ hours). Splatoon 2 is up there with Breath of the Wild as my favorite games on the Switch. I had so much fun with that game, but it was not without it’s annoyances. Enter Splatoon 3.

Refined to Perfection

Splatoon 3 does not drastically change the formula from previous games in the series. It consists of almost entirely the same modes as Splatoon 2. You still have your single player campaign, Turf War, ranked modes, and Salmon Run. Where Splatoon 3 moves the needle is how much it gets right in all of the details. These details, while small, contributed to a lot of annoyances in the Splatoon community. Splatoon 3 comes really close to fixing them all. A few of my favorite changes:

  • You can skip the intro and hop right into the world. This is huuuuge!
  • You can party up with your friends in Turf War battles and always be on the same team now. This was easily my biggest gripe with Splatoon 2 and it has been fixed!
  • The new lobby is great. Instead of just staring at the players names waiting for your next match, you can now goof off in the lobby while you wait. Try out your weapons, play leapfrog with your teammates, or see how much area you can paint before the next battle starts. Just having something to do makes the wait seem so much shorter.
My current gear

New & Fresh

Of course, there is also a lot of new things in Splatoon 3 as well. I love the new battle pass catalog feature they have added. Basically once you hit level 4 you are gifted a catalog. Each catalog runs for a few months and you rank it up alongside your player rank. Each new level rewards you with some new item. It could be a new sticker for your locker, a new emote, new clothing items, or any number of other things. This is a great addition and will keep the community more engaged with the game. Also, unlike other games, the catalog feature is free and included with the base game.

The Catalog

Splatoon has always been about self expression and customizing your look and they have added some great options along these lines in Splatoon 3. Now, each player has a SplashTag that identifies them in multiplayer. You can now customize the background, add badges to it, and also give yourself a title, similar to the title feature in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. All of these changes are great. On top of that, each player is assigned a locker in the multiplayer lobby that they can fill with any items they have collected in the game. There is a lot of customization here and it is fun to look at everyone’s lockers to see all of the creativity on display.

Example of the new SplashTags

The multiplayer co-op mode Salmon Run has also received some new additions. It is now always available to play as opposed to how it was in Splatoon 2 when you could only play the mode during scheduled times of the day. Also, you can now throw eggs as opposed to only being able to drop them which makes a huge difference in strategy this time. You also have a chance to face a gigantic boss at the end of your runs, which is great fun. I have faced him twice so far and defeated him once.

Final Thoughts

Nintendo has done an outstanding job with Splatoon 3. While not a groundbreaking entry in the series, they have cleaned up so many areas from the previous games while adding enough new stuff to keep the fanbase engaged. They have also promised plenty of post launch support, both free and paid, so this game should remain fresh for many years. If you have thought about dipping your toes into Splatoon, now is a great time to jump in. Thanks for reading.

Arcadia: A Great Apple Watch App

I was recently browsing the games tab in the iOS App Store and came across a game called Arcadia – Arcade Watch Games that piqued my interest. I had tried several Apple Watch games years ago when I first bought an Apple Watch but none of them had ever stuck with me. This game, or collection of games, had excellent reviews though. I ended up researching it a bit and decided to buy it for $1.99.

Arcadia is a collection of 21 arcade style games for the Apple Watch. I believe the games are also playable on the iPhone, iPad, & Apple TV, but they are designed to be played on the watch. Each one has clean and simple graphics & pretty intuitive controls for what they had to work with on the watch. These are the perfect style of games for the watch as well: simple, bite-sized experiences when you just need to kill a minute or two. Each game I have tried so far also has leaderboards so that you can try to beat your previous high score.

Some of the games I have tried and really liked were FastRun, an OutRun inspired arcade racer, RainBowling, CandyBall, a fun little pinball game, & Galaxy Invaders, a Galaga inspired shooter.

If you have ever had the desire to try playing games on your Apple Watch, I encourage you to give Arcadia a try. It is the best Apple Watch game that I have found so far. I have no relationship with the developer nor did I receive a code for this game. I bought it with my own money and just wanted to spread the word. If you have any Apple Watch games that you like, feel free to drop a comment below. Thanks for reading!

In The Bag: The Fjallraven High Coast Pocket

For the next installment of my In The Bag series, I want to look at one of the smallest bags in my collection: The Fjallraven High Coast Pocket. I picked up this bag on a recent trip to New York City with my wife. We love New York City and I was delighted to see that there were three separate Fjallraven stores there. Fjallraven has become one of my favorite brands over the last 5 years. I have very little access to the brand in my smaller hometown, so it was a real treat to get to visit these stores. While browsing one of their New York locations, I came across this small little bag. I instantly fell in love with it and purchased it right then.

The High Coast Pocket is a very small bag at only .8L. It is designed to carry just the essentials, which is exactly what I was looking for. I’m one of those people who dislikes carrying a bunch of things in my pockets. This little pouch allows me to empty out my pockets and store all of my everyday necessities in here instead. The bag itself is very simple. It has 2 compartments, one larger main zippered compartment as well as a small front zippered compartment. The larger compartment has an inside mesh compartment inside as well for additional organization. The smaller compartment contains a key attachment as well. It has a shoulder strap that be attached to any combination of the 4 loops on the back of the bag, which allows you to wear it either over the shoulder or as a crossbody. Also on the back is a loop that you can use to attach it to a belt if desired. The bag has a fairly thin shoulder strap but it works fine as it is such a small bag. Lastly the bag is made of water resistant material but is not fully waterproof. As for how it does in the real world, It held up well when we were in some rain during our trip but I wouldn’t fully submerge it.

As for what I use this bag for and what I pack inside, this bag is perfect for when you need to carry your essentials and either don’t have the pocket space or if you are like me, prefer not to stuff your pockets with your items. My typical carry includes the following items:

  • Wallet
  • iPhone
  • MagSafe Battery Pack
  • Sunglasses
  • Keys
  • AirPods Pro
  • Lip Balm

The High Cost Pocket handles carrying this stuff with ease. I appreciate how light the bag is even when packed fully and that everything is secure due to each compartment being zippered. This bag came in clutch when we were in New York and doing a lot of walking throughout the city. I also use it when walking to the park with my family, when out shopping, and when going to the gym with workout clothes that have very shallow pockets. If you are on the lookout for a small, functional, and stylish bag, consider taking a look at the Fjallraven High Coast Pocket. Thanks for reading!

In The Bag: The Tom Bihn Medium Cafe

Welcome to a new series of mine I’m calling In The Bag. I am a long time lover of bags of all types. I’ve always been fascinated with the bags people carry and what they keep in them. Over the years, I have amassed a collection of backpacks, messenger style bags, slings, totes, & fanny packs. I also am constantly watching YouTube videos of bag reviews as well as browsing the onebag, manybaggers, & whatsinthebag subreddits. Suffice to say, I love bags & I have a lot to say about them. I’m starting this series to highlight some of my favorite bags and to tell you why I love them. I want to begin this series with a new bag in my collection, the Tom Bihn Medium Cafe.

The Tom Bihn Medium Cafe is a messenger style bag made by Tom Bihn. Several things drew me to choosing Tom Bihn to buy my next bag from. First, they are known for their quality. They make high quality bags and they stand behind their products. Second, the bags are made right here in the USA, Seattle to be exact. Lastly, they have a ton of accessories and customization options for their bags. They are available in various materials & colors and they have all kinds of different accessories both tailor made for specific bags, as well as accessories that you can use from one bag to another.

I ended up with the Medium Cafe bag due to its size and looks. The Medium Cafe is an 8 liter bag, so much smaller than my current backpack, but also larger than my sling bags. I also found a color that I really liked, Tom Bihn calls it logic blue with the cloud interior. As I said before, I typically alternate between my large backpack or one of my smaller slings when I leave the house. Often when I bring my backpack, I wish I had brought a smaller bag while when I bring a sling, I wish for a bigger bag so that certain items of mine could fit. This bag is a perfect middle ground for me. I can take all of the gear I typically need on a daily basis without any wasted space or bulk.

Interior look with everything packed inside

As far as the features of the bag, here is a brief overview. The bag has a seat belt like shoulder strap as well as a handle on the back for hanging on a hook. The strap is very comfortable and I appreciate the hook which I use to hang by my desk when not in use. The bag has three compartments: one large opened-top main compartment, a smaller zippered compartment in the front, and a slanted open-top pocket at the back of the bag. Starting at the front, the small zippered compartment is great for smaller items that you don’t want bouncing around in the main open-top compartment. The main compartment is very roomy, with four organization pockets on the inside front. Two of these pockets are perfect for pens or pencils. The other two are roomier, for reference I keep my MagSafe battery pack and external battery in one pocket & my sunglasses in the other one. Other than that, the main compartment is just an empty bucket to put your larger items. I keep my iPad Pro 12.9″ in it’s Magic Keyboard case, Nintendo Switch, Kindle Paperwhite, & a small pouch with my various charging cables, lip balm, microfiber cloth, & allergy meds inside. The main compartment also has three O-rings in it. Tom Bihn includes an 8″ key strap on one of them which I use to clip my AirPods Pro to. Tom Bihn also sells all sorts of different organizer pouches and accessories that you can attach to the other O-rings. I’m excited to eventually purchase some of these accessories at a later date when the bag fund is replenished. Lastly, the back compartment is not super useful, but works for holding documents or maybe a magazine in a pinch.

What I am carrying in my bag.

Overall, I am very happy with the Medium Cafe bag. It fits a gap I had with my other bags, I can tell it is a quality bag that will last me years and years, and I got it in a color I absolutely love. What’s more, I can now start researching all of the various accessories and other bags Tom Bihn sells and plot my next purchase!

Thanks for reading!

Rekindling My Love Of Reading

Over the last few months, I have rediscovered my love for reading, specifically with my Kindle Paperwhite. As a child I always loved to read. I have fond memories of reading Encyclopedia Brown, The Hardy Boys, & Archie Comics. As an adult I continued to read more & more but what I was reading really changed. With the internet coming into my life more & more, I spent less time reading books and more time reading web articles, forum posts, & social media posts. There is so much to read online that I unwittingly stopped reading books almost entirely. in 2022 I set out to change that. While I love reading things online, I don’t want that to be my sole category of things I read.

The first thing I realized, is that for me, trying to read books on my iPhone or iPad is not ideal. There are too many distractions with those devices that keep me from getting fully engrossed in my book. While I love reading magazines & comics on my iPad, I didn’t enjoy reading books on it. I also am not interested in owning all of my books physically. I know that to some people, this is the only way to read but I have enough collections of physical items as it is. I needed something digital. The answer of course, was in my desk drawer, covered in dust and in need of a charge. It was my old Kindle Paperwhite.

The Kindle Paperwhite was the perfect solution for me. It is cheap, compact, has great battery life, and has the perfect screen for reading. The e-ink technology used for the screen is unmatched for reading books, especially outdoors. So I charged it up, updated the software, downloaded a couple of books that seemed interesting, and away I went! I can’t overstate how great of an experience it is to read on this device. It is proof that there is still room in the market for a great single purpose device. I have been trying to make reading more of a habit this year and I must say, my life has been better off for it. While I have been reading a ton of short form content, it has been really nice to read more longform content this year. I would like to end this post by giving a brief summary of the last few books I have read.

NBA Jam by Reyan Ali: I loved this book covering the making of the classic arcade game NBA Jam. It was a fascinating look into how games were made in the early 90’s and I was enthralled the whole way through.

The History of the Future by Blake J. Harris: This was a fun read as well, It covers the origins of modern day VR, specifically Oculus, all the way through the Facebook acquisition.

This is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick: This was a great book about finding ways to love wherever it is that you call home. This book inspired me to get to know my town better and to find all of the good in it.

The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman: An awesome time capsule of a read for anyone who like me, grew up in the Nineties. I couldn’t put this one down. It was a great nostalgic trip.

Disrupting the Game by Reggie Fils-Aime: The most recent book I finished. As a huge Nintendo fan, I couldn’t help but read this book written by the Regginator himself! It was a short read but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Currently I am reading through Ready Player One again as I have been wanting to read the sequel. This book is pure fan service for nerds like myself and I won’t pretend it is anything else. However, I love it! I think it is perfectly fine to balance your more serious reading with something fun every now and then. What about you? Do you enjoy reading? Have any recommendations for me? Feel free to drop a comment down below. Thanks for reading!

My Favorite Things of 2021

It’s been another year & I am back with another favorite things list. I hope everyone who reads this had a great 2021! On to the list.

686 Everywhere Pant (Slim)

On last year’s list I posted about my love for the Denali Travel Pant. I still love and wear these pants to this day. However, for my birthday this year, my wife bought me 2 pairs of the 686 Everywhere pants. While considerably more expensive than the travel pants I had worn up until this point, the Everywhere pants are a massive upgrade in every way. These are the most comfortable pants I have ever worn. I have been wearing them very regularly since getting them and even purchased a 3rd pair later in the year. I cannot recommend these pants enough.

Nike SB Zoom Blazer Low Pro GT Skate

I picked up my first pair of Blazers this year and I couldn’t be more happy with them. I have never been into the Air Force 1s or Dunks but the Blazers has always been appealing to me. I love how these look and also how they feel on foot. I have some similar shoes in the Vans Old Skools as well as the Adidas Sambas that are not close to these in comfort. Very happy with this pair of shoes.

Blundstone #585 in Rustic Brown

I purchased my first pair of boots in over 10 years this year. I picked up some Blundstones on a trip to Austin this year and have been very happy with them. These boots are tough, comfortable, and I love the way they look. I plan on having these around for the next 10 years.

Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Hip Pack

I purchased this fanny pack back in April and it has proven to be a very handy bag to take with me on the go. First off, it packs into it’s own front pocket and becomes very small, so you can easily bring it anywhere. It’s also made of a very durable ripstop material and is extremely lightweight. I hate carrying a bunch of items in my pocket when I am walking around the city and this little bag is perfect to put all of my small items in. I can carry my iPhone, wallet, keys, chapstick, sunglasses, and a spare battery pack all in this little pack. You can wear it around your waist like it’s the 80s again or, you can wear it crossbody which is what I prefer.

iPad mini 6

I have already wrote an entire post about my love for this little tablet. I still love it and use it everyday. It is extremely portable and is a pleasure to use. Long live the mini!

Nintendo Switch OLED Model

I am a huge fan of the Nintendo Switch and was very happy to upgrade to the new OLED model when it was released this fall. It is a very nice upgrade over the regular switch in several key ways. Obviously the new OLED screen is the star of the show, being both larger in size as well as much more vibrant. Throw in a massively improved kickstand, better speakers, and those sweet, sweet white Joy-Cons and you have yourself a pretty solid upgrade.

Apple Fitness +

I love Apple Fitness + but of course I would right? It seems like it was made for people just like me. I am very fitness oriented and, as a huge Apple fan, I have all of the required gear already. While not for everybody, I love that I can do classes from my iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV wherever I am and the Apple Watch integration is so, so good. I love working out outside more than anything but when the weather is not cooperating, I am pumped to open up Apple Fitness and close my rings for the day!

Pikmin Bloom

I have been playing Pikmin Bloom for a little over a week and a half now and wanted to give my thoughts. Pikmin Bloom is a new game on both Google Play & iOS from Niantic, the creators of Pokémon GO.

For those unaware, I will do my best to explain what Pikmin Bloom essentially is. The goal of the game is to walk around outside and find seedlings scattered about. You grow the seedlings by walking a certain amount of steps until they are ready to be plucked. They will then follow you on the map and help you find other items and additional seedlings.

You can feed your Pikmin nectar found from fruit that the Pikmin gather to have them sprout flowers on their heads. You collect the petals from their flowers and plant them as you walk to grow flowers everywhere you walk. Along the way, you may encounter giant flowers that require you to plant smaller flowers all around them for them to bloom. Once the giant flowers bloom you can collect valuable items each time you walk past them. After you reach a certain level, you may also encounter mushrooms, which you can tackle alone or with up to four other people. Upon taking down the mushrooms you will gain various items as well.

This trailer gives a brief overview as to what the game is all about:

As someone who really enjoyed Pokémon GO for a time, I was curious to try out Pikmin Bloom. I don’t play very many phone games, (I much prefer playing the Nintendo Switch for portable games) so I figured I would try it out for a day or two and then be done with it. I did not expect at all to fall in love with it but that is exactly what happened! Below are some of my favorite things about Pikmin Bloom so far:

  • I love that like Pokémon Go before it, Pikmin Bloom encourages you to get out and walk. In fact, with less things to stop for in Pikmin Bloom versus Pokémon GO, I find myself walking more and stopping less to interact with the game. As someone who loves walking anyway, this game is perfect for me and I find that it pushes me to walk even further than I typically would.
  • Another thing that really incentivizes me to get out and walk is that the app lets you look at any players on your friend list’s total lifetime step count. This has been a huge motivator for me to get out and walk more!
  • I also love how simple the game is right now. You can get in and out in just a couple of minutes. It respects my time which is definitely what I am looking for in a phone game.
  • I like how there are special Pikmin, called Decor Pikmin, that wear special costumes tied to where you found their seedlings originally. This feature encourages you to walk around places you may not typically think of to try and get all of the various forms of Decor Pikmin.
  • I also like the social aspects of Pikmin Bloom. Not only can you send postcards that your Pikmin find to your friends, but if you are with your friends irl, you can walk and plant flowers together, as well as tackle some of the harder expeditions together. It’s a lot of fun to play with a friend or friends!
  • The last feature I wanted to highlight is the daily log feature. Every night, you will get a notification to go into the app and look at how you did for the day. It will show you how many steps you had that day as well as show on the map all of the flowers you planted for the day. It will then ask you how your day was and prompt you to post a picture or pictures from your phone that were taken that day as a memory. I initially did not think I would like this feature but it turns out to be a lot of fun! I am looking forward to looking back at my daily log in a few months and being reminded of all of the things I did on various days through the pictures that I uploaded.

If all of this sounds like something you want to check out, I highly encourage you to download it and try it out for yourself. Now is a great time to jump in as Niantic is holding the first Pikmin Bloom Community Day this Saturday on November 13th. You can download it on iOS here and on Google Play here.

The Hydro Flask Trail Series

I wanted to write about my experience with the Hydro Flask Trail Series water bottles. I have purchased two of these and have been using them for a few months now.

First off, you should know that I drink a lot of water. I was addicted to soda for most of my life and rarely drank water at all. A little over two years ago I stopped, completely. I now exclusively drink two drinks: water, & sparkling water. That’s it, that’s the whole list. I also should tell you, I hate drinking any drink that is not ice cold. I cannot stand hot drinks or even cool drinks. I need what I’m drinking to be as cold as possible. So I feel qualified to recommend the Hydro Flask Trail Series water bottles if you are similarly fussy about the temperature of your water.

I bought my first Hydro Flask several years ago at this point, a 20oz black bottle. I fell in love with this water bottle and used it all of the time. It was my entry point into the Hydro Flask world. I have tried water bottles from other companies: S’well, RTIC, Yeti, & Klean Kanteen to name a few, but I have always preferred the look & functionality of the Hydro Flask.

As time went on, the one Hydro Flask grew to many more of all shapes and sizes. I had an addiction and it could only be satisfied by more Hydro Flasks. At some point, it started to get a bit out of hand so I had to stop. I had every possible variation one could ever want, right? That is, until I heard about Hydro Flask’s new Trail Series of bottles.

As I previously said, I love the regular Hydro Flask bottles. They are tough, keep your drinks ice cold all day, & are available in so many different colors. If I had one complaint, it would be that they are a bit heavy, especially as you get into the bigger sized bottles like the 32oz & 40oz. This is where the Trail Series comes in.

The Trail Series bottles are available in 3 sizes (21oz, 24oz, & 32oz.) and in 3 colors (Obsidian, Slate, & Topaz). The finish on the bottles is different too, with a more brushed aluminum look that I am very into. The key features of these bottles are their weight. Each bottle is 25% lighter than the same size regular Hydro Flask. This makes for a very noticeable difference in the hand, especially for the 32oz. model, which is the one I originally picked up.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I have had my bottles for a few months now and they have held up extremely well and seem to keep my water just as cold and for just as long as my regular Hydro Flasks. They fixed the one gripe I had with the regular bottles without any compromises that I can tell. That is a win-win. I picked up the 32oz bottle in the obsidian color first, and then a few weeks later, I picked up the 24oz bottle in the slate color.

These two water bottles are without a doubt my favorite water bottles ever. If you are in the market for a water bottle and especially if you are looking at buying a Hydro Flask, I highly recommend you look at the Trail Series. They are well worth the extra premium in my opinion.