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!

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.