OSMO Active Hydration: Blackberry Review

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OSMO Nutrition has successfully engineered an active hydration supplement based entirely on how the body absorbs nutrients and fluids.  Their studies show that electrolyte and nutrient absorption is optimized by using natural and organic ingredients in their active hydration mixes.  Simply stated:  The hydration mix is designed to make sure you don’t get thirsty.

I took several packs of single serve OSMO Active Hydration: Blackberry on a recent group ride.  I figured the only way to really test this stuff was to make sure I was pushing myself to an optimal level of performance.  The ride was three hours long across 70 miles and approximately 6,000 feet of climbing.  It began at Exit 2 on Route 9W, went to Bear Mountain, and back.  I packed some OSMO, my favorite gel blocks, a power bar, and some bananas.

As a skeptic at first, I wondered: “What can this really do for me?”  I was happy to see the product actually delivers.  Needless to say, my body felt great during and after the ride.  I did not experience any bonking or cramping, and with each sip from my water bottle, I felt my quench for thirst relieved.  I immediately became a believer.

The single serving packets I had been given were extremely convenient and easy to use with a 16oz water bottle (rip the packet, pour it in, shake it up).  I later purchased the 14.1oz  container and have been using it on every ride since.  Each 16oz water bottle only requires two scoops of the mix. I was astonished that the mix was also cost-effective.  Furthermore, it was very easy on the stomach and had a great taste.  My legs hurt from the miles of climbing, however, I did not once experience any cramping or fatigue.  The supplemental hydration mix certainly helps ensure a positive riding experience.

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“Established Science”

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Shimano Unzen 6L with 2L Hydration Pack Review

Shimano Unzen

Shimano is not to be taken lightly when they say they have designed the ultimate hydration pack for cycling.  The brand new Shimano Unzen 6L with 2L bladder is packed with many innovative features that any level of rider can surely put to use.  In fact, Shimano has partnered with the well-known manufacturer Hydrapak to ensure ease of use and durability, without burning a hole in your pocket.

X-Harness

One of the most innovative features is the introduction of the X-Harness strapping system.  When adjusted properly, the X-Harness feels secure AND comfortable.  Shimano also incorporated their Accu3D technology as seen throughout their clothing line.  The elastic used in the stretchable fabric allows the pack to expand and follow the contours of your body.  Combined with Shimano’s new X-Harness, you truly feel like the pack is a part of your body, and not a part on your body.

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Some basic features you may overlook when shopping for a hydration pack are loop zipper pulls for easy usage, a felt lined “valuables” pocket (cell phone, GPS device, etc.), and an elastic waist pocket for food, gels, money, or whatever else you may need.  The waist pocket is only really accessible while the pack is on, however, they are in the perfect location to grab on the go. The bladder itself is reversible, durable, and easy to clean. The shoulder straps have a dual hydration port and holds your tube conveniently on the buckle of the X-Harness. There is also an extra strap for carrying body armor or a helmet, and the pack is lined with reflective strips that shine in the dark.  And finally, the weight of the unit is an astonishing 678 grams unloaded.

Valuables Pocket

Overall, the Shimano Unzen 2L hydration pack is extremely comfortable and designed with the avid cycling in mind. It may be the most aerodynamic and well thought out hydration pack we have tried to date. It has tons of storage that is easily accessible, and when loaded, it fell balanced and secure. This pack offers a freedom of movement unlike any other popular brand currently on the market. Likewise, there are no annoying or excess straps to contend with. This pack is great for the aggressive, off-road, cyclist but can definitely be used just cruising around town on a nice day.

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Some riders were worried that because the pack almost became a part of your body, there was sure to be a sweaty ride ahead. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was anatomically ventilated to allow for the release of any moisture build up. We will surely put this feature to the test on our follow-up ride and review in the forthcoming weeks. Keep an eye out for what’s to come!