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Aurorae “Synergy” Yoga Mat

Aurorae
“Synergy” Yoga Mat-Towel Combination
auroraeyoga.com
As a newcomer to yoga over the last few months, there’s one consistent thing that I notice about my own practice more so than anybody else’s: I fucking sweat A LOT. My first mat was of standard, rubbery fare, and when my hands met my perspiration, it was a slippery time. The Aurorae mat, however, consists of a towel-like fabric that prevents slippage—in fact, the instructions for the mat suggest that you wet the areas where your palms and and feet will be in your downward-facing dog position. This, in turn, affords friction at those points to ensure zero slip-slopping around, which allows my body and mind to stay present in what I’m doing. The one oversight that their creators seem to have had on this particular front, though, is the learning-curve factor: Someone new to yoga will likely need a lot of adjustments from their instructor, and the points at which I thought my hands and feet would be for my downward-facing dog and plank are always moving, and so the places where I’ve applied non-sweat moisture were wasted at times. This is just a minor tic that I’m being able to foresee more, now, and for me, it’s helping me hone my positioning nonetheless. Also, the eco-friendly 5mm PER mat is really comfy, so when you’re going through the motions of Shavasana, it’s like you’re wrapped in a warm towel. Lying in fabric that has sucked in your sweat is definitely preferable to lying in puddles of it—trust me. These puppies are on sale on Amazon for just $59.95, so stop sliding and stay grounded. –Alexander Ortega

Plantronics
BackBeat GO Wireless Earbuds
plantronics.com
In theory, these “wireless” headphones are cool. Everything else is wireless, so why shouldn’t your headphones be? I had a great time with these the first time I wore them while I was sitting perfectly still at a desk typing away. The second I tried to use them while I was moving, they turned into something beyond annoying. The wire that runs from earbud to earbud rests on your neck. While walking or attempting to look around, the wire moves and about 90% of the time, catches your collar and rips from your ear. It was one thing to deal with while walking, but the second or third time it happened while riding a bike, I wanted to leave them in the road. While sound quality is leagues ahead of any earbud Skullcandy makes, nothing makes up for the annoying self-removal feature. Not everything nowadays has to be plugged in and charged, but I draw the line at headphones. Whatever happened to plug and play? –Jemie Sprankle

Point6
The Compression Sock
point6.com
These Point6 socks are the bee’s knees. The compression sock is perfect for everyone. Whether you’re riding six hours a day, six days a week or standing on your feet eight hours a day slaving away for the Man, these socks will rejuvenate those tired old calves. These compression socks are everything that they should be: They fit tight and are comfortable to wear—not often easy when it comes to compression. Compression socks are there to push the tired, oxygen-deprived blood from the calves and circulate new oxygen-rich blood to the area for faster and more effective recovery. At just under 40 bucks a pair, these are undeniable. They won’t make you run or ride faster, but they will help you recover faster from running and riding harder. Remember, kids: Recovery is half the battle. When I looked online to buy a couple pairs for myself, they were all sold out. That, there, speaks for itself. –Jemie Sprankle

PowerA
Star Wars R2D2 iPhone Collector Case
powera.com
Much to the chagrin of geeks across the globe, Star Wars is everywhere and on everything to the point of embarrassment, which probably won’t let up with Disney now owning the franchise. But one of the last Lucas-controlled ventures included working with gaming product designer PowerA to create a series of six iPhone hardshell cases for the Apple-savvy fan. Built for the 4/4S series, the options available include two film-poster designs from Episode IV and VI, and four character creations including C-3PO, Chewbacca, Darth Vader and the bravest little droid in the galaxy, R2D2. While we’d love to tell you it has the high standards of other PowerA creations … it doesn’t. Product-wise, it’s like any other $10 hardshell case you can buy at a mall kiosk with the same risks for popping and breaking. But let’s be honest, you’re not purchasing this case for phone protection––you’re buying it because you’re a Star Wars fan and you want R2D2 in your pocket! That’s exactly what this was created for and nothing else. The box it comes in even says “Collector Case,” and in no way tries to say it will protect your iPhone. If you prefer style over substance, this case is for you. If you want your phone to survive beyond a couple months, look for gel or silicone. –Gavin Sheehan

RAMP
Bamboo RAMP Ski Poles
rampsports.com
Utah’s RAMP Sports teamed up with another locally owned company, Soul Poles, to release the Bamboo RAMP Pole. Like RAMP’s skis, these poles are handmade in Park City and boast a retro style, durable design and both companies’ commitment to provide sustainable consumer products. I was anxious to give these poles a good test on the mountain and took them with me on my first day up to Brighton. I’m 5’7” and was a little nervous about rocking the 48-inch poles, thinking they might be a little tall for me. However, once I planted those pole baskets in the fresh pow, I instantly knew the 48-inch-ers were the perfect size for my lanky arms. These bamboo poles are a little heavier than the carbon ones I usually use, but adapting was not a problem. The only drawback to these bamboo beauties is that the lacquer does seem to slowly wear off. No worries—I’ll keep sporting these RAMP Bamboo Poles even if they aren’t shiny and polished. –AHB

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