Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Road Trail Run 2023 Holiday Gift Guide for Runners Part 5: Packs, Race Vests, Hydration, Filtration, Nutrition, Non Alcoholic Beer

Articles by Dominique and Sam Winebaum, Sally Reiley, Jeff Valliere, Jeremy Marie, Ben David, Mike Postaski, Renee Krusemark, Marcel Krebs, & Markus Zinkl

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners Part 5: 

Packs, Race Vests, Hydration, Filtration, Nutrition, Non Alcoholic Beer

The RTR team went to town this holiday season to bring you this holiday gifts guide. The ideas kept on coming as we pondered great ideas for runners, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts, most tested over many miles in all conditions during 2023.

We ended up with well over 60 gift ideas (with mini reviews) across 12 categories for the runners in your life! 

Products in the guide are identified as review samples (RS) or personal purchases (PP)

Purchases at links in the article to our affiliate partners and on our site help support RoadTrailRun and are much appreciated. Happy Holidays!

DripDrop Hydration Powder (32 count one time purchase $35.99, subscription $26.99)

Powerful & Easy to Carry Electrolyte Boost

Sam: DripDrop was invented by a doctor who during humanitarian missions saw dehydration as a key cause of deaths and rapid rehydration as key.  DripDrop has donated 4 million servings to humanitarian efforts and comes in many flavors including in variety packs..

DripDrop powder has 2-3 x the electrolytes (of the usual sport drinks) some glucose to allow the drink to be absorbed into the bloodstream 2-4% faster with the powder also having fewer particles for speedier absorption.  And it had to taste good or at least decent.

I used DripDrop extensively after hot humid runs this summer and it indeed tastes good and kept me from having to excessively drink lots of water as I usually do. 

Put one 10g stick in 8 oz /250ml of water, although I usually diluted it a bit more. I keep a packet or two in my backpack during hikes just in case. 

Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten, Soy, and Dairy Free DripDrop comes in many flavors as well as variety packs.

Watermelon and Lemon were my favorite tastes.

Shop for Drip Drop HERE

Helos Muesli 

Delicious Breakfast Stocking Stuffer

Sam: The ideal gift for runners on the go. Morning run done off for the day so why not start with a delicious and easy to prepare breakfast. This deluxe take on Swiss Muesli from Quebec is made with all  certified organic ingredients. Each packet has 20g of plant proteins, 13 vitamins and minerals, and 1 billion CFU probiotics.  

Easy to prepare: just empty the packet into the included glass jar, fill with milk to the line, cap and leave overnight in the refrigerator. Come morning it’s ready to enjoy or carry off to work, 

Each of the flavors in my sample box was spectacular and not overly sweet. There are 8 flavors with my favorite, the Maple Almond. I suggest gifting a 12 pack six flavors box ($65). Also available by subscription 

Renee: ​​I tried Holos Overnight Muesli (maple + almond) for the first time this year when it arrived in one of my RunnerBoxes (personal purchase). Unlike some quick-mix, high nutritional fuels, the Holos tasted good to me, and it’s a super convenient way to get in good calories before the day (or a long run). 

The price is steep though (starting at $4.42 per meal), which is why I recommend it as a gift. I consider Holos one of those items that I would use, but don’t want to pay for because I’m cheap like that. 

If you have a runner, or have any active person in your life, you can’t go wrong with Holos as a stocking stuffer. I think the servings are filling, so I can use one serving/packet for two days instead of one, which does make the cost more reasonable. 


Non Alcoholic Beer

Athletic Brewing Co.

Sally :  Runners love beer and beer is part of the post run running “culture.” But many runners now realize that alcohol is NOT a performance enhancing drug and does not have a place in their training diet. I vividly recall runner Alexis Pappas saying that one night of a few drinks costs you two weeks of training. I love beer, but not the effects of the alcohol, so I was thrilled to discover Athletic Brewing Co and their NA beers that actually taste good, like true craft beers. My favorite is Upside Dawn, a gluten-free lager, but I also love the Athletic Lite. Other popular ones are the IPA Run Wild and the Hazy IPA Free Wave. Athletic Brewing Co beers are everywhere these days! You can find them at Whole Foods and Trader Joes, as well as at your local liquor store, and now on tap at many restaurants. You won’t regret it!   PP

Mike P: I second this! I’ve mostly transitioned to NA beer over the past couple years, especially after starting to use a sleep tracker. The effects of alcohol on training are just too obvious to ignore, especially when you have the numbers in front of you. In Boise I can get Run Wild 6 packs for $8.99 so keep an eye out for that deal.

Thrive Beer (Europe-€14,90 EUR)

Jeremy: I’ve stumbled upon this on Jan Frodeno’s IG, and decided to give it a go. I was in search for good alcohol-free beer, as it seems usual ones don’t go well with my stomach  anymore.  There is 10g of protein in each can, which is more useful than ethanol after a race as far as physical recovery is concerned.

It turns out that they’re quite good. They taste a bit like a light white beer, very fruity, not sweet at all. I can’t really judge the benefits of the protein in them but it’s usually admitted and proven that taking proteins after a workout or a race is good for recovery. 


Hydrapak 42mm & 28mm Filter Caps ($35, $40)

Sam:  Hydrapak makes most of the soft flasks and reservoirs used by run brands. They also have their own branded line. What is neat is that all of their 42mm run flasks and collapsible bottles (compatible models) , and with the 28mm to  many different size reservoirs (compatible models) can be outfitted with a high performance filter. 

The filters remove 99.99% of E Coli & Parasitic cysts as well as Giardia Lamblia (99.9%) . Filters  last approximately 1,500 liters of fresh water at a rate of >1 L per minute.

I have two Sky Flask 500ml leaving one with the filter attached. Hiking or traveling, screw the correct sized filter to a 1 liter soft bottle or even up to a 4L Seeker bottle or using  the (28mm) connect to many reservoirs from run suitable up to 10L group reservoirs

The siping proved easy and smooth. No over pull to get water going. Keep a filter in your run, hike, and travel kit with your Hydrapak flask, bottle or reservoir and it will always be ready to give you clean filtered water.


Water-To-Go Bottles 

Bio Plastic 18.5 oz / 55cl ($56) and Active Water Filter Bottle (25oz/75cl) $56

Bike bottle cage compatible

More about non run uses, these classic water bottles extensively filter for all kinds of bad stuff including viruses. They use a heavy duty filter is good for the equivalent of 400 single use plastic bottles. Testing at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine showed the “Water-to-go Ltd bottle removed more than 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and Cryptosporidium oocsyst from contaminated water. There was also a significant or total reduction in free chlorine by the filter.”

The smaller 55cl bottle shown below is made of sustainable sugarcane bioplastic with its filter identical.

Water-to-Go bottles make an ideal gift for the far flung traveler, commuter, and cyclist or if you just want filtered water on the go and always at hand.RS

Water-to-Go Bottles SHOP HERE

Packs, Vests, Poles

Camelbak Octane 22 ($170)

Jeff V: The Octane 22 bridges the gap between running vest and day pack, with a nice array of pockets on the front of the shoulder straps, hip belt and great volume and organization of the rear pockets.  The versatility of the Octane is excellent, great for full days of hiking with some jogging mixed in, or for travel, and also ready for adventure once you get there.  Hydration capacity is excellent, with flask carry pockets on the front (flasks not included) as well as an included Fusion 2L Reservoir.

Sam: I totally agree with Jeff. My Octane 25 has been my pretty much exclusive travel and day hike pack for the last 2 years. Its front pocketing system dramatically increases the access to whatever you need on the go over conventional backpacks. And if you need to carry a big load it for sure is an excellent run pack as well. RS. Review

Camelbak Octane 22


Salomon S/Lab Pulsar 3 Running Vest ($160/160€)

Marcel: Very light and breathable it is the perfect choice for shorter races and training runs up to three hours (depending on temperatures, of course). 

It is also very comfortable around the neck area. 

Holds two small 0,25l soft flasks at the front (supplied) a large 0,5l flask at the back as well as a jacket. It is $160 and available in 5 sizes. (Full Review) RS

Pulsar 3 Vest 


Thanks for checking out RoadTrailRun's 2023 Gift Guides (more below) & for considering shopping for your gifts at our many partners

Happy Holidays!

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners Part 6: Poles, Lighting, Sunglasses HERE

Road Trail Run 2023 Holiday Gift Guide for Runners Part 5: 

Packs, Race Vests, Hydration, Filtration, Nutrition, Non Alcoholic Beer HERE

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners Part 4: Run Jackets, Vests and Pants HERE

Gift Guide 3: Books/Podcasts/Subscriptions, Recovery and Form Tools, Recovery Shoes, Insoles HERE

Gift Guide 2: Run Socks, Hats and Gloves HERE

Gift Guide 1: GPS Smartwatches & Music, Run Tops and Shorts-17 Gift Ideas HERE

Some samples were provided at no charge for review purposes, others were personal purchases. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!

RoadTrailRun Official Store Custom Fractel Caps and Bucket Hats
Limited Release! SHOP HERE
$5 off now through Dec. 3 with code: RTRHolidays23
                       Cap:$39                                                                     Bucket:$49
Limited Release! SHOP HERE
$5 off now through Dec. 3 with code: RTRHolidays23


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