Cyber Monday suggestions from the Vail Daily |

Cyber Monday suggestions from the Vail Daily

The Hydaway water bottle combines your functional need to hide away your water bottle with your even more functional need to stay hydrated.
John LaConte |

Ahh, Cyber Monday. The workday continuation of Black Friday and its logical lead-up, Black Friday Eve, formally known as Thanksgiving.

While consumer events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become holidays unto themselves in the rabid gift market of the United States, Cyber Monday will never achieve bank holiday status, as it relies so heavily on bankers and other office workers being on the job, in front of their computers, nervously wondering what they missed out on during Black Friday Eve.

Are you among the suits who finds yourself shopping online for deals this Cyber Monday, Nov. 26?

Here’s a few suggestions from overly online outdoors enthusiasts John LaConte and Ross Leonhart.


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I grew up in a family of four, and each family member had their own cup that they used for water, juice or brandy Manhattans.

Water bottles, back then, were not even close to the mainstream item that they are today. I now have my own family of four, and everyone in the family has their own water bottle.

My wife’s is made of glass and was given to her by the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District.

My daughter has an aluminum thermos-style bottle with a flip top and straw. It also has a Wonder Woman logo; there’s no separating her from this bottle.

My son uses a Paw Patrol-themed hard plastic bottle, which he seems pretty ambivalent about, so I am now in the process of converting him to my water bottle of choice, the Hydaway.

Made of silicone, the bottle holds 21 ounces of water, yet is able to be collapsed down into a 1 x 3 inch disc that easily fits in your pocket when you’re done.

It has a wide mouth lid that fits large ice cubes, and has a flip-up squirt tip that works perfectly with the malleable silicone material.

My wife, a glass-only elitist, said she can never get used to the taste of water out of silicone, even if it is BPA-free, odor-free and dishwasher safe.

Before she spreads this narrative to my son I will be equipping his bottle with one of Hydaway’s custom filter lids, just so there’s no chance of him detecting any taste other than what he’s used to.

The Hydaway kids bottle is 12-ounces, and available in cool colors such as very berry, cool breeze and hot lava. is offering 20 percent off family bundles on Cyber Monday, and if you use code “HYDAWAYHOLIDAYS” at checkout on Cyber Monday, you’ll get a free three-pack of filter lids.

— John LaConte


All summer long, I wore a pair of tactical pants from a company called Virtus.

I did everything in these pants — downhill longboarding on pavement, hiking through the national forest and tending to my chocolate-smeared children.

The pants wash really well and are virtually indestructible, and they’re waterproof so they’re good in all conditions.


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After a whole summer of use, I finally ripped open the pants after crashing at a high rate of speed on my Leafboard e-skate. The rip, however, actually occurred on the cargo pocket of the pants (the Virtus “Phantom” comes with cargo pockets,) and in thinking about what happened, I’ve come to blame the nature of cargo pockets more for the tear in these pants than the Phantom’s four-way stretch fabric. I was carrying my Storus Smart Money Clip and my Keyport in the cargo pocket, and in performing a standard roll to disperse the impact of hitting the pavement, the metal edge of either the money clip or the Keyport must have cut through the fabric. The pants have four hip pockets (two hidden behind the normal hip pocket) in addition to the cargo pockets; in retrospect I should have been carrying the money clip and Keyport in one of the hip pockets.

I was surprised to see the pants rip open, because this fabric is incredible. It’s strong and waterproof, yet it breathes and is stretchy. In an odd paradox, they somehow keep you both cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The pants were created by combat veteran, marine sergeant and extreme outdoor sports enthusiast David Wood, who realized the gear they needed to withstand a six to nine month deployment in extreme conditions and be quick-washed in a stream just didn’t exist.

I will say the marketing is a little heavy on the “combat” function of these pants. The tactical pants are actually pitched to be “for the operator,” on their website, but I’m pretty sure they’ll still sell them to us sub special forces folks.

Also on the website, you’ll see phrases such as “Now you can wear the only pants engineered for being for becoming the hardest hitter on your team,” and “You’ll be rockin’ your Phantom pants through hundreds of jumps, climbs and assaults.”

I have yet to try the tactical pants out in an assault situation, but I would highly recommend them nonetheless.

On Cyber Monday Virtus is featuring 50 percent off everything in its online store at

— John LaConte

Rumpl Puffy Poncho

It’s hard to shop on Rumpl’s website for gifts and stocking stuffers without seeing something for yourself. That really is the hardest part. There’s 25 percent off, different sections for men and women as well as a support direct messaging system with a real human.

Started in February of 2013, the brand has modernized the everyday blanket and created “blankets for everywhere.”

In addition to packable blankets perfect for the lawns of Vail’s Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater on a concert night or Nottingham Park in Avon, Rumpl also offers Puffy Ponchos — a sleeping bag you can wear.

The ponchos come in different designs and are made of the same stuff as sleeping bags, include a waterproof shell on the hood and shoulders, a kangaroo pouch with two secure zip pockets — plus a secret zipper pocket to hold a beverage hands-free. They pack down into the front pocket to double as a pillow if needed and unbuttons conveniently into a blanket.

Being machine washable makes for a must-have for any time of the year in the Rocky Mountains, where layers and blankets are of the essence.

The new snow camo-style poncho is available for $134 online, and Rumpl offers a one-year warranty for any manufacturing defects.

For under $100, Rumpl has some nifty sunglass cases (made of sleeping bag material) for $10.50; the original puffy blanket for $72.25; a blanket for your beer (koozie) starting at $6; and more.

For more information, visit

— Ross Leonhart

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