ROUNDUP: Our Favorite Worthy Goods of 2012
Looking for last-minute holiday ideas? Check out our favorite products of the year.
Get Down (December 2012)
Perfect for pulling on over yoga tights or for snow play, these Scandinavian down skirts from Skhoop take care of the cold-rear problem in style. $159–$169. Find vendors at www.skhoop.us.
The Right Cord (November 2012)
The “survival strap” is a stylish, unisex
bracelet designed for one-time emergency use. Pop the clasp and the bracelet unravels to produce up to 16 feet of sturdy paracord, which wearers have reported using for everything from improvisational dog leashes to the rescue of drowning river rafters. $25–$35 at www.survivalstraps.com.
Liquid Weight (November 2012)
Because of the shifting contents, a sandbag provides excellent strength and balance training. Challenge yourself even further by using these inserts to fill your sandbag shells with water. You get a power workout that’s also completely portable. $55–$95 per insert at www.ultimatesandbagtrainingstore.com.
Go Dutch (October 2012)
Fall is the time for warming one-pot meals, and a quality Dutch oven and some good vegetables are all you need. This porcelain-lined cast-iron pot from Lodge travels safely from stovetop to oven to refrigerator, making for easy cooking and easier cleanup. Another comforting feature: It’s a lot more affordable than its French counterparts. $75–$100 from www.lodgemfg.com.
Locker to Go (October 2012)
There’s no need for your gym clothes and sweaty shoes to mingle. The utterly organized Glo backpack hangs neatly with three shelves: Bottom is for shoes, the middle has a wet sack for damp swimsuits, and a well- ventilated top section keeps clothes and towels safely isolated. $99. www.theglobag.com
Love Your Brain (September 2012)
Some style-conscious cyclists avoid helmets, even though it means risking their heads. Solid and stylish Nutcase helmets invite these individuals to use and protect their brains at the same time — without sacrificing aesthetics. Available in a huge range of sassy colors and patterns. $60 at www.nutcasehelmets.com.
Get a Grip (July/August 2012)
If slippery palms compromise your yoga practice, try this handwoven cotton mat from Yogasana; it’s actually easier to grip when wet. Great for outdoor practice or heated studios. $119 from www.yogasanamats.com. ($10 for indoor grip pad.)
Refreshment on Tap (June 2012)
Here’s a smart summer ritual we learned from our friends down South: Start each morning by making a container of iced tea or citrus water and sip it all day long. This elegant beverage container from Pottery Barn is just the tool for the job.
The urn is glass and the sturdy metal spigot turns smoothly. 1.9 gallon size is $59; 3 gallon is $79. (Stand not included.) In Pottery Barn stores or at www.potterybarn.com.
Hang Out (June 2012)
It’s hard to stay tense for long when seated in an elegant, breezy hanging chair like this one. Crazy-comfortable, the CEE chair is handmade in Wisconsin with sturdy, soft yacht-braid ropes and ultra-durable Chilewich seat fabric (available in a huge range of colors and patterns). Consider adding one (or better yet, a pair) to your home for a daily enticement to relax, renew, let go. Contact artisan producers Tom and Jan Buckman directly to begin designing your own. Prices start at $375. www.ceechair.com
Raw Power (May 2012)
When a few boxes of these raw kale chips arrived in the EL offices, a free-for-all ensued and our table manners were temporarily forgotten. Brad’s Raw Chips seasons its crunchy kale chips with full flavors from cashews, garlic and cayenne, which means they taste just as supercharged as they make you feel. About $7 at natural markets, or order by the case (we already have) from www.bradsrawchips.com.
Ride Like the Wind (May 2012)
Functional and fun, these lovely long-sleeve jerseys from YMX are made from lightweight wicking fabric with SPF 50, have three convenient back pockets for stashing stuff and come in a range of eye-catching prints. $119 from www.ymxbyyellowman.com.
Strong Words (March 2012)
Fitness enthusiast Marsha Christiansen designed this logo as a potent reminder of the best reasons to go to the gym — and to go hard once you get there! Her line of shirts celebrates strength in a variety of styles, short and long sleeved, at www.stronglola.com. Prices start at $18.
Tremendous Tote (Jan/Feb 2012)
The Live 360 Core gym bag is like a luxury car: sleek, sturdy and surprisingly spacious. With a separate compartment for footwear and a lined pouch for
jewelry and smartphone, this quality gym bag doubles as a travel carry-on, and is built to last for years. $187 at www.livewell360.com.