This model has a battery that lasts between 10-14 days.
It takes up to two hours to fully recharge it.
If you charge it once per week, you will be set.
It comes with the charging cable as well as what you need to set it up and sync it.
The Fitbit One comes in black or burgundy.
The actual Fitbit device/tracker is black or burgundy as well as the case/clip to wear it and protect it.
When you buy the Fitbit One, it comes with both the device and the case/clip.
You can also buy a Fitbit One case in pink or orange.
We have read reviews that the clips break, however, after daily use for over six months, this has not happened to us.
If it does, you can easily get a replacement case for a nominal charge.
While you are waiting to get your new case, you can still use your Fitbit by simply putting the tracker itself in your pocket.
Fitbit One tracker measures:
Flights of stairs climbed
Sleep – how long you slept and how many times you were awakened; it comes with a sleep wristband so you don’t have to wear it on your waist
Number of active minutes (If you walked continuously for 30 minutes, it would show that you had 30 active minutes.)
Ability to enter your food and water consumption
Fitbit One offers:
See the time on the display
See your daily steps, calories burned and distance traveled on the display
Integration with social accounts
Access to an online site
The Fitbit One weighs 8 grams; dimensions: length: 1.89”; width: .76”; thickness: .38”
It works with all of the major operating systems across both PC and mobile devices.
We looked at the reviews written across five big sites and on average the Fitbit Zip scored 4.2 out of 5.
We love ours and give it a 5/5 as it exceeds all of our needs and does an excellent job of counting steps.
The Fitbit Zip does an excellent job counting steps which is what we wanted it to do.
Is offers less features than the Fitbit One but it can be half the price.
Again, depending on the features you are looking for, this may or may not be the better buy.
My two sons each own this model and are very happy with them.
This tracker runs on a battery, the flat coin type.
Typically, the battery lasts for 6 months of continuous use.
The fact that this comes with a battery that lasts for 6 months is a very positive advantage over other Fitbit models, like the Fitbit One where you have to charge it weekly.
It helps to buy an extra battery for the FitBit Zip (See them here) in advance so that you have it when the original wears out.
(There are other Fitbit models like the Fitbit Flex that you have to charge every couple of days.
This doesn’t sound like a big deal and it really isn’t except that once you start tracking your daily steps, it is disappointing if you forget to charge your Fitbit overnight and then have to charge your Fitbit during the day and not count your steps while it is charging.
Fitbit One vs Fitbit Zip on colors:
If you opt for the Fitbit Zip, there are more choices for colors than offered for the Fitbit One.
You can buy it in black, lime, midnight blue or magenta.
The device/tracker is that color as is the case/clip to wear it and protect it.
The Fitbit Zip comes with both the device and case/clip, as well as what you need to register it and sync it.
The bright colors make it more appealing for children as well and will be easier to keep track of.
You don’t want to find it at the bottom of the washing machine!
But my kids each have the black ones and haven’t lost them yet.
Fitbit Zip tracker measures:
Ability to enter your food and water consumption
Fitbit Zip offers:
See the time on the display
See your daily steps, calories burned and distance traveled on the display
Access to an online site
The Fitbit Zip weighs 8 grams; dimensions: length: 1.4″; width: 1.1″; thickness: .38″ It works with all of the major operating systems across both PC and mobile devices.
We looked at the reviews written across five big sites and on average the Fitbit Zip scored 3.8 out of 5.
For my sons and our purposes — counting steps and having Fitbit challenges with each other — we give it a 5/5.
It has definitely become so much more fun for them to be more active.
Main differences between Fitbit One vs Zip
Features: Fitbit One offers more features, including being able to track sleep and tracks the flights of stairs climbed each day.
Battery: Both have a battery but the Fitbit One offers a rechargeable one lasting 10-14 days.
The Fitbit Zip offers one that cannot be recharged and that needs to be replaced every six months.
This has been nice for my kids.
Price: The Fitbit One is almost twice the price of the Fitbit Zip.
Fitbit Zip great for kids
After my sons kept borrowing my Fitbit Flex, we decided to buy one for my son’s birthday.
He loved it.
My other son loved his brother’s Fitbit Zip so much that we offered to buy it for him as an early present but he chose to use his own money for it.
The Fitbit Zip is affordable enough that if it is lost, it will not be terrible.
Like when we broke the screen on the two month old iPad mini.
My boys own black Fitbit Zips and like that they can discreetly look at them in school without getting in trouble for being distracting.
Additionally, this is fun for them and gets them moving more.
It is an electronic in the true sense, but to be successful — i.e. get a lot of steps — they have to remove themselves from the electronics and get moving.
It has been very positive with increasing both of my boys’ activity levels on a daily basis, and they were quite active to begin with!
I must emphasis the point that owning the Fitbit Zip has been incredibly motivating for my sons.
My younger son especially, who we bought the Zip for his 8th birthday, has been particularly loving it.
When I pick him up from school, the first thing he does is tell me how many steps he got that day.
In the past, he would come home, sit on the couch with his snack and want to play games on the iPad.
Now, more often than not, he has a little snack and then goes to jump on our trampoline or shoots baskets just to get more steps.
Sometimes he even takes laps around the house — inside or outside — all in the quest to acquire more steps.
He is trying to do his own best, and while he enjoys doing better than the rest of us by having more steps than us, he is really happy to reach his own goal.
This has been a fun motivator for him.
My other son enjoys it too and always tries to reach his 10,000 steps and to get more steps than his parents.
Overall, owning our Fitbits have been a positive thing.
I seriously cannot think of anything negative about them.
More to like about Fitbit One vs Fitbit Zip
Also with both of these models Fitbit will send congratulatory emails you when you reach certain milestone “badges” such as High Tops: 20,000 steps in one day; Urban Boot: 15,000 steps in a day; Sneakers: 10,000 Steps in a day; and more.
They also send congratulations for miles logged, including London Underground: 250 lifetime miles; Penguin March: 70 lifetime miles; and Marathon: 26 lifetime miles.
There will be more badges the more steps and miles you accumulate.
It is very motivating and rewarding.
Fitbit Zip versus Fitbit One both offer fun competitions
Another bonus is that from your tablet, computer, smartphone, etc., you can find family and friends who also own Fitbits and connect with them.
It is very motivating when you see how many steps everyone else is taking, and oftentimes you will find yourself marching in place or taking a walk around the block just to up your step count.
Fitbit 7 Day Steps
After your family and friends become your Fitbit friends, you can see everyone’s steps for the last seven days.
There is a way to opt out of this if you don’t want anyone to see your steps.
With your Fitbit friends, you can compete in fun challenges as well.
There are four challenges in total: Daily Showdown, where you see who can get the most steps in a day; Workweek Hustle, to see who can get the most steps Monday – Friday; Weekend Warrior to see who can get the most steps Saturday and Sunday; and Goal Day, where everyone tries to reach their own personal goal, usually 10K steps that day.
You can easily invite the Fitbit friends you want to compete with whenever you choose.
Or if someone invites you to one of the challenges, you can easily accept or choose to ignore it.
A side note: We take a lot of bike rides in my family so I like that these clip models track bike riding — each pedal counts as a step — whereas the Fitbits worn on the wrist, like the Fitbit Flex, are not able to track the pedaling though you can enter in the extra activity.
In general, you will find yourself wanting to increase your steps and will be more apt to walk rather than drive.
A side benefit is that you will be more environmentally friendly as well.
Fitbit One vs Fitbit Zip ~ We love them both!
Both of these devices work great and serve the purpose of counting steps.
Both have got my family walking and moving around more than ever before.
I would buy both of them again and recommend them both.
I like that they both come with batteries, even though the Fitbit One has to be charged weekly.
They are both affordable and both would make great gifts.
The only downside with these Fitbit clip type models is that they can easily be forgotten when changing clothes and tossed in the washing machine.
That is the only downside!
You will enjoy seeing how many steps you log when you are travelling.
Know that when you consider the Fitbit One vs Fitbit Zip that you will be making a great choice either way.
Checkout our article on Fitbit vs Jawbone and our Fitbit adventure on our trip to Nebraska and Wyoming.
Fitbit vs Jawbone ~ Which is Best for Your Needs?
There are now dozens of fitness trackers and trainers available.
Many firms have entered the market, and now there is a lot of competition.
Companies have to continually work to maintain their edge over their competition and continue to invent better products and features.
This is great for consumers because it means that there are many choices available.
Here we have taken the guesswork and done the research to help you determine the differences between Fitbit vs Jawbone.
In our series of fitness tracker comparison articles, like Fitbit One vs Fitbit Zip, we are working to cut through some of that noise and help you to make a decision faster.
Here we are going to compare the latest FitBit and Jawbone (See them here) offerings.
Fitbit vs Jawbone
Both of these firms offer cutting-edge technology products.
Fitbit has worked its way into the mainstream with their branding; however, both companies are big players in the fitness tracking market.
Both companies offer easy, step-by-step instructions, even for the novice tech person, to set up their accounts initially.
Once that is done, you simply have to sync your device and check your progress.
Sometimes you can do that right on the device, as with the Fitbit One and Fitbit Charge.
Sometimes you have to check it on the device you sync to, like your smartphone, as is the case if you own a FitBit Flex (See them here) which does not have a screen to view your steps, calories, distance travelled, etc.
Depending on the product you buy from either company, both Fitbit and Jawbone’s products offer long battery life in between charging them.
And the Fitbit Zip and Jawbone Upmove devices offer a one-time battery option that lasts 6 months and doesn’t need to be charged.
Both companies offer different sizes of wristbands so you can get the best fit.
Both Fitbit’s and Jawbone’s products offer the ability to wirelessly sync across a wide-range of platforms and devices.
Each company offers both wrist options as well as a clip model.
One of the less expensive models could be a perfect fit for them.
Jawbone has fewer products available but what they do have offers similar functionality as the Fitbit.
Some of their fitness tracking products are:
Fitbit vs Jawbone: which is best?
There is no way you can say that one company is better than the other.
They both make fantastic fitness trackers, which attract largely good customer reviews.
Each company takes a slightly different approach to how data is collected and presented, but neither has a reputation for providing more accurate information than the other.
With fitness trackers, which is best depends very much on what you are trying to achieve.
Some people only want to measure the number of steps taken.
Others want to use their fitness device as a virtual coach.
Still others want to monitor their general health as well as their activity levels.
That is why the latest model trackers include heartbeat monitors and sleep tracking.
To help you to narrow down the options we have broken down the rest of the article into a few popular user types then looked at both the Jawbone and Fitbit ranges to find the one that suits each user best.
Naturally, this is very much my opinion, so we try to explain the rationale behind my choice to give you as much information as possible.
General fitness monitoring
For this category, Fitbit Charge HR just has the edge over the Jawbone UP2.
The fact it comes in three different wrist sizes means that you can find one to fit.
Because the Fitbit Charge HR continuously monitors your heart rate, it is good at calculating how many calories you have actually burned.
Fitbit Charge HR monitors the following:
Sleep time and quality with a built in alarm
Heart rate during workouts and while resting
It also doubles as a watch and has a nifty caller ID feature.
This is very handy, especially when you are in a meeting or talking with someone.
You have the ability to casually glance at your wrist to see who is calling instead of obviously reaching for your cell phone.
If you want a simple tracker, the Jawbone UP2 is a great option.
It is perfect for someone who is not a tech fan, for example, an elderly relative that wants to get fitter.
Jawbone UP2 does the following:
Monitors steps taken
Calculates calories burned
Tracks sleep with a built in smart alarm
It does everything automatically, including detecting when you are asleep.
There are no buttons to press and no screen just a simple system of three lights that alert you when you have completed your steps for the day.
Best small clip fitness tracker
If you want a discreet fitness tracker, the Fitbit One is a great option.
It is so small you can easily clip it to a bra; put it in your pocket; or clip it to your waistband.
There is no doubt that fitness trackers will evolve and become even more invaluable to those wanting to monitor their fitness levels.
But the products that are available now, be it Fitbit or a Jawbone, are excellent.
You will increase your daily activity and burn more calories mostly because you will be more mindful of your activities, trying to set goals within your health and fitness range.
Maybe owning one of these products will inspire you to travel greener (Legoland California trip) by encouraging you to walk instead of drive.
While Fitbit vs Jawbone continue to come out with more products, whatever you buy now will be just fine for what you want, as it is already expert technology that you will find helpful, informative, and motivating.
That is good from a wear and tear point of view, but it is not always a good thing from a comfort point of view because there is no elastic element to the fabric.
However, these pants are well made and cut well, so they are actually comfortable to wear for travelling, sightseeing and walking, but you would not want to use them for an activity like rock climbing.
They are coated in Teflon so they stay clean in virtually any circumstance.
They are stain and water resistant.
The material is dot matrix printed, so does not look nylon.
It is much softer and the raised bumps created by this production technique ensure the slacks are comfortable and keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
We also love they are wrinkle-resistant and are made from quick-drying fabric for when you do laundry on your trip.
They even offer UPF 40+ sun protection.
There are five pockets. The pockets on the thigh and the right back are both zipped.
For additional security, there is a hook and loop closure system on one of the front pockets.
I admit that I didn’t know much about Gore-Tex until recently and even what I did know was limited to “it’s bad for the environment.”
After doing a little more research I’ve learned that Gore-Tex is essentially the same material as Teflon®, a perfluorochemical, PFC.
If you don’t know much about Teflon you should know this:
Cooking with Teflon pans can kill birds and it’s chemical compounds have been found even in polar bears in the Arctic.
The never-ending green traveler’s dilemma
If you want to know more about Gore-Tex I’ve listed some additional resources below.
But the key thing is this: the chemicals in Gore-Tex are bad for my personal health and they are bad for the environment.
But, wouldn’t it be nice to have breathable, waterproof shoes?
Concerns with your green values
I want to buy “made in America” products. I really do.
The problem is, I often can’t find them.
Sometimes when I do find them, I can’t really justify affording them.
It is an ongoing situation… especially when my children were younger and were growing out of their clothes quickly.
If I buy second-hand, not-made-in-America, is that better than buying local products new?
We are all doing the best we can, and even by being mindful of our choices we are already ahead of most.
So, I’m stuck with this green traveler’s dilemma:
Will choosing Gore-Tex hiking boots/shoes that will be convenient and practical for me (short term) or do I find something else that will, in the end, be better for my health and the environment (long term)?
Everyone in our family has his or her own (in different colors so we can tell them apart) and we bring them on camping trips and backpacking treks, as well as road trips.
We use them in place of plastic, disposable silverware in fast food restaurants, and in hotel rooms for in-room dining.
Bed Buddy Neck Pillow
This neck pillow is great for relieving tension year-round.
Just stick it in the microwave to heat it up and wrap it around your shoulders and neck.
It’s made of natural materials and has lavender and chamomile for aromatherapy.
Any environmentalist is sure to love this relaxing gift.
Nothing Nasty lip balm
This lip balm by Nothing Nasty is made of all natural, organic ingredients is good for the environment and good for your lips.
And it’s easy to add to a holiday stocking!
I love the honey and vanilla flavor.
Nothing Nasty also has a full line of baby and toddler products for your little one’s stocking.
What will you be gifting as green stocking stuffers for environmentalists this holiday season?
Share your stocking stuffer ideas in the comments!
Best Christmas Gifts for Travelers Concerned About Environment
Best Christmas Gifts for Travelers – Whether you’re a traveler looking for ideas for your Christmas wish list or a shopper in search of holiday gift ideas for your favorite traveler, you’ve come to the right place.
From luggage and clothing to gadgets and water bottles, this list of the best Christmas gifts for travelers is full of excellent picks.
We even have ideas for kids who like to travel.
Read on and get your holiday shopping finished early!
Small Travel Backpack
I’m an advocate of packing light and a good backpack can make that easy.
I traveled in Argentina for 6 months with only a small travel backpack and an even smaller school backpack.
Opt for a front-loading backpack because top-loading ones make organization difficult.
Look for a backpack that’s comfortable, compact, attractive, and has lots of pockets.
A mug will come in handy for those quick camping outs and hiking trips, as it gives the traveler a reusable container for water or coffee.
Because it’s stainless steel a traveler can reuse it again and again, eliminating the need for paper or plastic cups.
While these mugs are often used for short trips, they’ll also come in handy for school or office.
With a stainless steel mug, they can pack up more quickly and get going.
Best Gifts for Travelers Water Bottles
There are few things an eco-friendly traveler needs more than a water bottle.
Different types of water bottles are available, but regardless what you buy make sure that it’s BPA free and it’s stainless steel as it will make the bottle last longer.
There’s a lot to be said about stainless steel water bottles, but their biggest benefit is they’re versatile enough to be used at home or on the road.
Since water bottles are so cheap, you can buy several of these.
Nothing beats a nice pair of eco-friendly shoes, and there are plenty of these available today.
Just go online and you’re going to find an array of green footwear made from recycled materials and using environment friendly processes.
Note that some of these shoes are for casual wear, so if you expect your recipient to wear it while traveling, get a pair of heavy duty travel shoes that can withstand rugged terrain.
This isn’t as hard as you might think as green footwear has become more commonplace.
No traveler will be complete without a travel book, it’s a fact.
Yes there are travel apps available, but what if he / she goes somewhere where there is no reliable Internet connection?
With a good travel book, a traveler will never be lost.
A good travel book will provide information about the country as well as photos, so it’s going to be an invaluable aid.
If your friend likes to travel to foreign countries, consider getting him / her a dictionary or a book with commonly used phrases and expressions, and it will also help if you get them an etiquette book, very handy to prevent misunderstandings and culture shock.
Ask any frequent traveler and he / she will tell you that a compost bin is a must-have, so why not give one as a gift?
They’re very practical, portable and eliminate the odor that would otherwise emanate from the thrash.
Many are sold in 1 gallon sizes although other options are available, and if you’re going to buy one, look for those with a charcoal liner as that helps eliminate odors.
A green traveler will appreciate this because it means they don’t have to rely on whatever the hotel is providing them.
And if they’re staying in simple lodgings chances are they’re not going to get any towels at all.
Towels for home use are large, warm and soft but usually not fit for travel, so it is better if you buy one that’s made of microfiber because it dries quickly, can absorb a lot of water and folds tightly and easily.
A molcajete (mortar and pestle) may not seem like a necessity, but if the traveler enjoys cooking then this will be something they’ll appreciate.
If you’re not familiar with it, a molcajete is the Mexican version of the pestle and mortar, and it’s especially useful for grinding and crushing herbs, spices and foods.
For hikers and campers who like to prepare their own food, this will be indispensable.
Anyone who travels frequently will need a backpack, but for eco-friendly travelers the recycled ones are going to be most appreciated.
Don’t let the term recycle mislead you, because these are as comfortable and dependable as any other backpack.
from the green factor, there are a lot of other factors to consider when buying a backpack, such as the size, capacity, and type and so on.
This all depends on what type of traveler your gift recipient is, so take that into consideration.
However, buying won’t be as difficult as it used to be since there are a lot of options available sold today.
Does your friend have a sweet tooth?
Then a gelato maker will be most welcome.
This might not seem to have anything to do with being green, but it does actually: having their own gelato maker means they won’t to deal with the urge to buy candies and consequently, not worry about where to throw away the wrappers.
Is there a better way to capture the beauty of nature than with a digital camera?
There are a lot of gadgets you can buy, but no question, a camera is what the green traveler will appreciate the most as it allows them to capture the most amazing moments of their trips.
Digital cameras are no longer as expensive as they used to be so finding one won’t be too difficult.
It’s true that smartphones and tablets have a built-in camera, but the quality a real camera provides is superior.
If your friend is picky about pictures, then only a “real” camera will do.
So there you have it, the best gifts for travelers, and whether your recipient has been traveling for a long time or just new to it, there’s no question that they will be grateful and will benefit from any of these gifts.
The Magniflex pillow contains no materials that are toxic or non-biodegradable, but it’s made in Italy so there is an environmental impact from that aspect.
According to Magniflex’s website, the company “strongly believe[s] that environmental safety, both for our employees and customers, and safeguarding the earth’s natural resources must play an integral part in our manufacturing process.”
If you love traditional memory foam but don’t like the negative impact it has on the environment, I would highly recommend checking out these two pillows.
As with all pillows, I think perfection lies in the preference of the sleeper.
I think these pillows are both great and I would recommend testing them out before choosing the one that’s best for you.
Learn what’s in some of your everyday use products, like pillows, your carpeting and your couches and other hidden toxins in homes.
It is generally a good idea to replace your pillows every few years.
If you have not spent a lot of money on them, this is a fairly easy thing to do.
There are other many factors to consider regarding how frequently you should replace your pillows.
Consider if you have children; how often you change out the pillow case; do you have a zippered pillow cover on it as well as the pillow case; and are there people in your home with allergies.
Also consider if someone has been very sick and using the pillow.
When you buy a more expensive memory foam pillow, keeping it encased with a zippered cover will help you in the long run from wear and tear as well as keeping it cleaner and more hygienic.
Investing in dust mite encasement is also a wise idea and will increase the life of your pillow.
It will also help those people in your home who may have dust mite allergies, as dust mites live and thrive in pillows, mattresses, blankets and bedding.
One word of caution: Do your homework and beware of green washing.
Some memory foam pillow brands claim to be eco-friendly, when in reality their products are made with 10% eco-friendly materials and 90% polyurethane.
You will most likely enjoy having a memory foam pillow, just be sure you know what you are buying, and be sure to take care of it so it stays clean for better health for its user.
Useful Eco Gadgets for the Green Traveler
Eco gadgets for the Green Traveler are most definitely a growth market now.
Sure there are lots of gadgets that are a waste of time and money, but there are also some gadgets that are genuinely useful.
In this article, Dan talks about 10 of his favorite eco-friendly gadgets that are designed with the green traveler in mind.
Wind up Torch
If we’re going camping or anywhere else where there’s likely to be a lack of lighting when night falls, then we need a torch. Conventional torches eat through lots of batteries, so something rechargeable would be great.
Rather than use standard rechargable batteries, why not have a wind up torch?
I have two of these torches myself, and they’re fantastic!
Just a minute or so of winding up and you get around 30 minutes of torch light.
In practice, the light dims after a few minutes, so you just top it up again.
You never need to worry about finding some batteries ever again!
Wind Up Walkie Talkies
On the theme of wind up gadgets, there’s a great way to keep in touch with your party, or kids, or anyone really, and that’s with a walkie talkie.
However, we hit the same issues with batteries, so how about some wind up walkie talkies?
For a minute of winding, you get 2 minutes of talking time and 10 minutes of standby time.
Perfect for emergencies, and you don’t need to worry about mobile phone reception either.
This is 60% larger than the other containers and wouldn’t fit in my kids’ lunch bags which have the insulated section on the bottom.
It does fit in her kids’ rectangular lunch bag (the one without a separate zippered section).
It measures 8″ x 6″ x 1.75″.
Because of the cost, she just bought one to start to see how her kids would like it.
They both love it and want to use it so they take turns until she purchases a second.
The only downside is it is not leakproof (as she knew) and once their blueberries smashed and ran into the other foods.
If my kids would eat yogurt, soups, chili, or stews, I would definitely purchase the 8 oz. Rounds containers as well.
Less clutter in kitchen
Because these containers are expensive, I only have used them for my kids’ lunches at school.
We don’t take them anywhere else.
They won’t get lost or misplaced this way so I was able to justify the investment in these safe, durable, and convenient containers.
They have saved me the hassle of looking for the perfect sized container.
Because we only use these containers, I recycled and donated all of our other plastic containers.
Also, because we use them every day, we pretty much pack them, wash and dry them, and refill them.
Great stainless steel lunch containers
I procrastinated and then panicked as I realized lunch making season was upon me in two days: school was starting.
My grammar-school-aged kids had never once, ever, bought a school lunch (or even a milk).
This is a first world “problem” for sure, but I really despised making their lunches every day.
This was mostly because I didn’t have a system that worked, until now.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to find these products.
After buying and using LunchBots, it has been so much easier for me to make lunches.
I no longer worry about plastic touching my kids’ food.
I’m no longer feeling guilty using and wasting all of those plastic bags on a daily basis.
Why I didn’t want plastic containers
I already had lots of plastic containers.
They worked for some things, especially when I wanted to pack one thing, like pretzels for a car ride.
But there were too many impractical sizes for the foods my kids took for lunch.
And somehow, we were always misplacing the lids.
It was hard to clean them well.
I didn’t want to put them in the dishwasher because the heat could break down the plastic which could release harmful chemicals into the food.
Best stainless steel lunch containers are eco-friendly
The benefits of these stainless steel containers is that I could put them in the dishwasher to sanitize them after every use.
I took them out and refilled them the next morning and repeated the process each day.
I only needed one day-to-day container and lid per child which eliminated all of the different-sized containers I was always searching for before.
And think of all of those plastic bags I was saving from the landfills.
After a (school) year of using the LunchBots, I don’t think I used a little plastic bag more than one or two days, and that was because my kids needed to pack a disposable lunch for their field trips.
The LunchBots I purchased were the ones with stainless steel lids.
They sell the Quad, Trio, Duo, and Uno with plastic lids also but I highly recommend the “All Stainless” series, which includes the stainless steel lids as well.
I wanted to be 100% stainless steel and be able to safely put everything in the dishwasher without worrying about the plastic breaking down over time.
The items I purchased with plastic lids were the leak proof ones. It is the only way to ensure there won’t be leaks.
Now it’s easy to pack lunches
All of this was easy when my kids were in preschool, and I sent them with a plastic bag full of Goldfish and another one with grapes or apple slices.
I was just packing snack time fare for them to reinforce table manners, to sit still, and to learn how to socialize with their peers.
Now that they are in elementary school, I need to provide them with actual sustenance.
Best stainless steel lunch containers for kids!
As a recap, we own five different sized containers.
I wanted to buy what I considered to be universally useful for the types of foods I usually pack for my kids so I bought the Quad All Stainless and the Trio All Stainless.
I also wanted a small container for ketchup and salsa.
They offered a three-pack of 1.5 ounce circle containers (Bots) which I bought.
The last two items (Clicks) came in a two pack and are the leak proof containers.
They were the ones I was debating on.
I’m glad I bought them because we use them a lot.
I wanted them because I liked the sizes.
I thought they would still easily fit in my kids’ lunch boxes and be useful for the types of foods my kids eat.
And unique to these containers is that they have leak-proof lids that snap shut.
The downside is the lids are made from plastic.
All of these containers have been user-friendly for my kids.
Goodbye plastic containers
Something to note: I don’t use any of my other plastic containers any more.
I donated them if they were decent and recycled the rest.
This act alone reduced the amount of clutter in my kitchen from having over 20 plastic containers and lids to now owning a nice stackable set of four rectangular containers and three small circular ones.
I keep them in their own section on a shelf and for most of the year, they are in the dishwasher or in my kids’ lunch bags.
We only use these for school lunches.
I don’t take them for snacks in the car or on outings because I do not want to lose them.
If I use an occasional plastic bag or paper cup for them to eat Goldfish from sometime in the car, so be it.
I am trying to simplify and be healthier for the 180 days my kids bring lunch to school.
I really am happy to have lessened the clutter in my kitchen cabinets.
And remember, you need to have food options.
This should go without saying but it is so true that after almost every trip to the grocery store I think to myself, “It is so much easier to feed my kids when I actually have food in the house!”
Yes, this should be obvious. But we have all been in this situation: trying to scrounge up healthy choices for a meal when you don’t have a “main food” and some produce.
I find if I have a meat or some type of protein to work around — even a jar of peanut or sun butter — then I can populate the rest of the meal with handfuls of this and that: some carrots and ranch dressing; some apple slices and raisins; some spinach and blueberries.
Something filling and healthy.
My point is that it really helps to have something around, even a box of pasta and a jar of sauce.
Learn more about stainless steel lunch containers at LunchBots Quad Stainless Steel Bento Box and Best Bento Box Lunch Boxes and eliminating 9 Hidden Toxins in Homes.
Make mornings easier with the right stainless steel lunch container
Most of us have seen the cute lunches on Pinterest.
It is hard enough for me to wake up in the mornings and pack my kids’ lunches much less create art out of them.
And I always knew I could make them healthier.
When I first saw those cute bento lunch kits and lunch boxes I thought it was for the trendy and or the people who buy whatever is new.
It didn’t occur to me how eco-friendly they were.
I have used plastic bags and even those snack size plastic bags to try to save on plastic.
I felt wasteful using the zip-lock plastic bags, especially because I was learning more and more about how toxins in plastics can leach into our food.
These LunchBots stainless steel lunch containers are convenient, are safe for food, and they get the job done keeping each food separate and also allowing the foods to be portable, just like the plastic bags.
I plan on my kids using these every school day for years.
Best Lunch Containers Review: Here’s What to Get and Why
Those of us who pack our kids’ lunches know it’s a pain.
Yes, yes, we know: We should have our kids pack them.
Well, in our house, I’m still packing them and plan to for some time.
I just don’t need another battle right now.
Packing school lunches
My kids are very picky eaters.
One also has several allergies, which is an additional challenge.
For lunch, they eat practically the same foods every single day, so packing their lunches shouldn’t be a pain. But it still is.
This school year, I thought if I had better reusable lunch containers, maybe I could get my kids to eat better at school.
I didn’t want more plastic containers.
One of the ways we try to live green at home is to not use wasteful plastic bags.
I try to use reusable lunch containers whenever possible.
We’ve tried so many, some with more success than others.
This year, instead of giving my kids the same foods every day, I wanted more variety and more protein.
My older son brings a slice of pizza every day (always a pain to be sure to have it ready and not the healthiest food) and my younger son brings four slices of regular bacon or turkey bacon (also a hassle to make every day and also not healthy).
I also wanted to be able to pack different types of foods for them, including leftovers.
After researching online, I ordered two stainless steel Thinksport insulated food containers.
We’ve found these to be the best lunch containers for kids.
They’re made from stainless steel and fit in my kids’ lunch bags well.
They aren’t bulky.
My kids have enjoyed using them at school each day.
I’ve been feeling better about giving them some different foods and being able to pack protein-rich foods they will actually eat.
Best Bento Box Lunch Boxes for School and Work
If you pack a lunch every day for work or your kids’ school lunches, you know how much waste can be involved when using harmful plastic baggies and pre-packaged foods.
Make the change this year to a bento box lunch system and eliminate the need for packaging.
You will feel better about packing food; it will be healthier; and you will be helping the earth when you use one of these best bento box lunch boxes.
What is a bento box lunch system?
Inspired by Japanese bento boxes, America bento box systems make it easy to pack non-packaged foods such as salads, left-overs, fruits, sandwiches, and snacks.
And depending on the container, there are those that can handle liquids such as yogurts and soups as well.
Eco-friendly bento lunches can be easily made with products ranging from simple BPA-free plastic containers paired with your own lunch box or tote Tupperware Bento Box to more durable, less porous stainless steel bento containers with multiple compartments and levels.
To help you find the right one for you and for your family, we’ve rounded up our favorite bento box lunch brands and listed their pros and cons.
Remember it is okay to mix and match to suit your family’s needs!
You can buy the BPA-free plastic ‘Bento Buddies’ containers separately in sets of four.
We found that the Bento Buddies boxes fit perfectly in the lunch boxes my kids already owned, saving us money (and allowing us to buy an extra few sets of Bento Buddies as back ups).
Plus they’re cheap enough that you won’t panic if you child loses one or two, and they come in plenty of fun colors to keep kids happy.
Another company also offers a full system which allows the containers to fit perfectly inside its own Laptop Lunches Bento-Ware.
EasyLunchBoxes are very popular as well.
What makes them special?
First, they’re affordable at only $13.95 for a set of four.
Second, they are all one piece, making it easy for small kids to manage on their own.
They even have easy-to-open lids for small hands.
EasyLunchboxes 3-Compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers, Set of 4, Classic are available in just the bento containers or in an entire system with lunch tote.
Since they’re self-contained, it’s easy to store EasyLunchBoxes, too.
Basically, they’re just… easy!
And like all the other bento systems listed here, they’re BPA-free.
Light My Fire Outdoor Meal Kit
The Light My Fire Outdoor Meal Kit is designed for outdoor meals, but works well at home, too.
We took ours on our backpacking adventures during the summer.
Each child had his own and was responsible for cleaning his own.
What is great is that they are available in different colors, so everyone knows which kit belongs to him or her.
Now that we’re home for school, our oldest likes to use his for school snacks.
The kit includes a triangular main compartment with an extra covered bowl and cup, and includes utensils.
The pieces all fit together for storage.
It’s is a little small for complete lunches, but does close securely to be loaded up and placed in a backpack without a tote.
Goodbyn Bynto System
Perfect for young kids, the Goodbyn system is another all-in-one unit of BPA-free plastic with molded sections.
This one is shaped like a monster or fantastical animal, and comes with fun stickers for kids to personalize.
The Goodbyn doesn’t come with a tote, but rather is self-contained with a handle and lid.
It may be too childish for older kids, but preschoolers and kindergartners will love it.
It has three large sections, and can be picked up for under $16.00.
I really love the LunchBots brand, and in my opinion these are the Best Bento Box Lunch Boxes.
Right before school started, I bought some of their stainless steel bento boxes for my elementary-school aged kids.
I ordered directly from Amazon and enjoyed free shipping.
The items arrived in just two days!
I bought the Quad and the Trio and put them in my sons’ lunch boxes every day.
I also purchased the Small Leak Proof set which came in a package of two.
Last, I bought the set of three Condiment Containers.
My kids are not dressing-eaters but I have used it for ketchup.
Mostly, I use it for small treats, including dried coconut, a few pieces of candy corn around Halloween, or a few M&M’s or other candies.
Lastly, the grown-up Mr. Bento, perfect for adults and older kids.
Mr. Bento is more expensive than the other options in our round-up at $40.00, but is made of stainless steel that won’t leech any chemicals or flavors into your food, and has a sophisticated look of stacked containers.
You won’t want to send small kids to school with this one — just too easy to lose — but your co-workers will probably notice and ask you where you got it.
Mr. Bento comes in a more feminine version as well, though I think the classic stainless steel works for everyone.
Do you have a favorite bento box system?
What works for you?
What do you think are the Best Bento Box Lunch Boxes?
LunchBots Quad Stainless Steel Bento Box Review
Until my son started going to daycare, I didn’t realize how incredibly time-consuming making kids’ lunches can be.
Especially if you’re focusing on healthy, whole foods.
It’s a four-step process: take out the food, find containers for each of the foods, prepare the food and put it in containers, put all containers in a lunchbox.
A week after daycare started, my search for a safe, stainless steel bento box began.
I quickly found the perfect product: the Quad LunchBots stainless steel bento box.
I figured being able to put all of my son’s lunch in one container would really cut down on lunch prep time.
Instead of spending 5 minutes digging out containers, then another 2 minutes searching for their lids.
Why are there always more containers than lids?!
I would simply need to find one container — the bento box — and its lid.
I was right and I love the LunchBots Quad.
It’s safe, easy to clean, and holds an impressive amount of food.
The LunchBots Quad bento box holds lots of healthy food like pear, blueberries, cucumber, and hummus.
Safe and Stainless Steel
The Quad bento box is made from 18/8 stainless steel.
If you’re a frequent reader, you know that we always choose stainless steel over plastic because it’s naturally BPA-free and doesn’t pose a health threat.
I love that I don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into my son’s food when I use the bento box.
Cuts Down on Prep Time
As I mentioned above, you will no longer have to dig through your tupperware drawer for matching containers and lids.
Simply pull out your Quad and its lid (easy to find among glass or plastic containers) and you’re ready to go.
It may not sound like it will save that much time, but if you’re a parent, you know how precious those minutes can be.
Spending 5 more minutes packing a lunch in the evening means you’ll have 5 fewer minutes of “me” time.
LunchBots Quad Stainless Steel Bento Box Easy to Clean
If you get a Quad with a colored lid, the lid has to be hand washed, but the base can go in the dishwasher.
If you have the version with the plain (uncolored) stainless lid, both the lid and base can go in the dishwasher.
Holds an Impressive Amount of Food
Measuring in at 6″ x 5″ x 1.75″, the Quad bento box is neither too small nor too large.
It holds a surprising amount of food in each of its four compartments.
I usually pair the bento box with a Wrap-N-Mat, which holds a sandwich, and am good to go.
Although the LunchBots Quad isn’t completely leak-proof between the compartments (don’t put liquid in one compartment and expect it to stay there), it is spill-proof and the lid stays on surprisingly well.
If I’m sending something liquid or runny — like yogurt, cottage cheese, or applesauce — I’ll put it in a small Mason jar.
Don’t leave your money belt on the beach as you swim.
Leave it (hidden well) in your room.
When you are travelling at night, wear it even as you sleep.
Keep a close eye on your money belt even when you take a shower.
Where to buy money belts
For the biggest selection, the best place to buy money belts would be over the Internet.
You can find a good variety of money belts online, as many of the top companies specializing in luggage and travel accessories have their online stores where you can order the same money belts that you can find in brick and mortar stores.
For the best fit, the best place to buy money belts is in a store that sells travel accessories.
Usually, larger department stores, in their luggage department, will carry them.
Sports stores may have a few as well in their travel accessories section.
While most of the money belts made today are made from comfortable and durable materials, some people may need to experience them in person.
Money belt reviews
As you would learn from most money belt reviews, you can get good quality money belt.
Deciding what you will want to carry in advance — passport and multiple credit cards or just cash and an ID, etc. — will help determine which to choose.
Many have separate pouches for credit card, passport, and paper currencies.
If you have been thinking about owning one of the new bamboo bikes on the market, there has never been a better time.
While they are expensive, there are many advantages of owning one and minimizing your impact on our planet by using it instead of driving.
Bamboo bikes have been around for decades and are becoming more popular and accessible as more people are looking for environmentally-sound products and eco-friendly means of transportation.
We love products made with earth-friendly bamboo, especially bamboo straws.
In the past, many people opted to ride their bike to be more eco-conscious.
Now, some are taking additional steps to be even more environmentally-aware.
When they want to upgrade their bike or perhaps buy a bike for the first time, they are looking at how the bikes are manufactured and are choosing bamboo bicycles instead of mass-produced, commercial brands.
Rent a bike when traveling
Consider cycling tourism on your next vacation.
It’s a green way to travel and you will be better able to immerse yourself in the local culture.
You can choose to be part of an organized tour or rent them on your own to explore as you wish.
Benefits of bamboo bikes
There are so many advantages to owning a bamboo bike.
Bamboo bikes are hand-crafted locally and often customized for the individual rider.
Another advantage is that bamboo is a renewable source.
Grown instead of mined, it is eco-friendly unlike conventional bike frame materials which are made from aluminum, steel, titanium and carbon frames.
Depending on the bamboo bike company you purchase from, many of the lugs are made with hemp fiber, which are natural fibers.
Advantages of bamboo
From a bike rider’s perspective, there are many positives as well.
Bamboo bikes are durable; resistant to stress and impacts; and they transfer power efficiently.
They are resilient, comfortable and offer a smooth ride.
Bamboo bicycles are available in different types, depending on the rider: racing bicycles, road bicycles, and mountain bikes.
While the frame is made of bamboo, the bamboo needs to be treated to seal it and prevent splitting.
They are generally finished with satin polyurethane which functions as a vapor seal.
This will enable the bamboo bicycle to be easily maintained, like a metal or carbon frame.
It is non-toxic and safe.
Overall, the production and materials used in building the bamboo bicycles have a minimal carbon footprint.
Downsides of bamboo bikes
There are a few disadvantages of bamboo bikes, including the cost.
Even the most basic model will cost well over the cost of an everyday, get-around-town bike.
This is due to the 35-45 hours it takes to build a bamboo bicycle.
And even though bamboo is a renewable source, many areas are becoming over-harvested, farmed and processed for bamboo’s versatile qualities.
Bamboo makes beautiful, long-lasting furniture and floors.
Bamboo has porous fibers, making it a silky, breathable and now-popular cloth that companies are manufacturing into socks, clothes, blankets and more.
Many fear this over-harvesting is threatening panda bears and further disrupting the eco-sphere.
Price of bamboo bikes
A quality manufacturer is key. Prices will vary from a basic model all the way to a custom one.
As maker Calfee Design’s website touts, “If there were an award for ‘Bicycle with lowest carbon footprint’ (least amount of carbon dioxide emissions in the production of the frame), this frame would win, hands down.”
Finding the perfect bamboo bicycle
My research brought me to Brano Meres Engineering and Design, which was founded by mechanical engineer and industrial designer Brano Meres.
He built his first bamboo bicycle (pictured below) in 2005 and even rode it in a bike marathon last summer.
Why go bamboo?
Meres says it’s light and bamboo frames dampen vibrations better than carbon frames.
And good news for anyone who’s thinking about buying a bamboo bike, Meres and other companies are increasing their production of bamboo bikes.
Helping others make big changes – Bamboo Bike Project
Calfee Design founder Craig Calfee teamed up with the Columbia University Earth Institute to launch the Bamboo Bike Project.
The project, which “aims to examine the feasibility of implementing cargo bikes made of bamboo as a sustainable form of transportation in Africa,” is well-thought out and sustainable.
Craig and his team show African villagers how to make bikes using local materials (like bamboo) and how to repair them so they’ll have reliable and sustainable transportation for years to come.
You can read about their trip to Africa last summer on the project’s blog.
Interested in the idea of bamboo bicycles and want to be a part of it without owning one?
The Bamboo Bike Project is perfect way to get involved. Learn more about donating to their cause on their website.
Build your own bamboo bike
There are weekend workshops where you can build your own bamboo bike.
Many bike shops have a cycling community with special interest classes and community rides for those who own bamboo bikes.
Whether for exercise, for fun or to do errands, bicycle riding is an easy way to reduce your impact on the environment.
Bamboo bikes are becoming the new trend as we all work to find better ways to consciously help our planet.
We’re going to be looking at the Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike.
Learn About Selecting the Right Hybrid Bike for You
There is a lot to consider when learning about hybrid bikes.
There are many different styles, models and brands.
You can read our review of Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike.
I have done a tremendous amount of urban/city commuting on a bike, and hybrids are great for Going Green Go Cycling.
I’ve had road bikes, cruisers and mountain bikes, but I truly recommend a hybrid bike.
Hybrid bikes are the Swiss Army knife of bicycles.
They are ‘ok/good’ at every type of riding but not great.
If a majority of your riding is casual, get a cruiser.
If it is long distance on paved roads, get a road bike.
If you are off terrain, definitely a mountain bike.
A hybrid bike can do all of these within reason and for a short duration.
Another attribute I really liked about my different hybrid bike, is that they are beefier than road bikes for the curbs and potholes, and faster/easier to ride on pavement than mountain bikes.
hybrid bike don’t really fall into the category of road or mountain bikes.
They’re kind of a hybrid bike.
They’re in between and the reason you might want to get one of these bikes is if you are someone who does some riding on the street, maybe some light off-road riding, like hike and bike trails and that sort of thing.
You want a bike that’s going to be able to do a little bit of all of that.
Some of the characteristics of a hybrid bike is that they will have tires that are wider than what you would find on a road bike but generally narrower than what you would find on a mountain bike.
They may have some tread on them to give you some traction and some mulch or loose soil.
They may or may not have suspension.
Some hybrid bike have a suspension fork in front to soak up some bumps.
Some have a suspension seat post to soak up some bumps coming from the rear wheel. But again that may not be the case with every hybrid bike out there.
They’re generally a little wider than a mountain bike and a little heavier than a road bike and again they’re not going to be the best at anything, but they’re sort of a jack-of-all-trades type bike.
Renting a bike
If you have the opportunity to rent a bike on your vacation or while at home, you will get a better idea of what you are looking for.
Test out a few models to see what you like.
Budget for your bike
First thing you might want to consider is your budget. When you go out, just have something in mind of what you can afford.
So you even know where to start looking in and what section of the bike shop should I even start looking.
How will you ride your hybrid bike
The second thing you might want to think on is how do I plan on riding my hybrid bike.
Am I going to put a lot of miles on it, a lot of road miles?
Will I use it around town as a city commuter?
Will I want to use my bike to grocery shop and/or to commute to work?
Am I going to be a road rider/maybe light MTB trails, mountain bike trails, bike paths, etc.?
A lot of that is going to determine what style hybrid bike that you want to get.
So the style would probably be one of the next things you would want to think of.
The other is hybrid bike fit.
You got to find out what hybrid bike fits you.
If it doesn’t fit you, you’re not going to like riding it.
The other is if you like riding the bike, so test ride as many as possible.
I can’t stress that enough.
Go to as many bike shops as you can, borrow hybrid bike, whatever you got to do; but ride as many of them as you can.
You can find one that you really, really like riding because if you like riding it, you’re going to ride it a whole lot more and that’s a pretty key factor.
Then you can start going in the other details about the hybrid bike.
Suspension or no suspension
A big thing to consider is whether they have suspension or not suspension.
Of course it’s going to lighten up the bike some if you do not have a suspension.
If you live in a really rough area and you have a lot of potholes, curve hopping, things like that or if you’re going to be off roading.
I prefer a suspension type that you can lock out for road rides and one that you can set a pre-load adjuster on too so that when you’re riding, you’re not always just putting all your energy into those front forks but when you hit that pothole, it’s not hard.
But a lot of bikes don’t need it.
The braking is pretty important. An older style are called V brakes, like modulated linear pull.
Now the big thing is – and I agree – are disk brakes.
Of course this tendency if you get in the mud or you ride in the snow or anything like that, dirt and debris can build up.
It’s closer to the road. They get wetter.
I hear a lot of people say how much better just stopping in the rain but I don’t find any trouble with the linear pull brakes in the rain and they might squeak but you still get great stopping power.
But disk brakes will build up with a snowy mud that’s for sure where V-brakes brakes don’t.
Tire size can be a huge factor on how fast you want to go and how they perform in various conditions.
Most hybrids nowadays are going to come with 700 cc series.
Some are as a city commuter which I think is an ideal city commuter.
Hybrids are great bikes to be a city commuter.
Usually they are equipped with 26 inch by 1.6 tire on it, semi slick so you get some speed on the road and some grip doing some bike paths and stuff like that.
Drive terrain is also going to be really important thing to consider.
The crank, front chain rings, rear derailleur, front derailleur and rear cog set.
Hybrid bike are not designed to be fast bikes, they aren’t meant to be.
Typically you will have three front chain ring with two rear gears.
And a decent front and rear derailleur.
Your brake levers are pretty standard.
The gear shifts are called twist grip shifters or you got index shift.
There are so many variables out there now in the hybrid world.
You really got to factor in what your riding style is going to be and start going from there and start looking at bikes that are going to fit your riding style and how much you enjoy it.
Then in budget too, you also got to factor in extras which a lot of people tend to leave out and probably even other things like suspension seat post.
I love a suspension seat post and I’ve had bikes that don’t have them and they are ok but I prefer a suspension seat post.
Are you going to want a Speedometer?
I particularly don’t care for one.
For me, lights are more important so I allocate more money to great bicycle lights.
Probably going to want a saddle bag, basket or some kind of storage to carry certain items.
You may want a rack.
You may want a pump.
Carry your spare tube, lock.
Highly recommend a Awesome Bike Lock or you probably won’t have your bike too long especially if you get a nice one.
Water bottle, water bottle cage, you got to buy a helmet and all these accessories start adding up pretty quick too.
So if you just buy a new bike, you don’t have any accessories but you want to upgrade your bicycle, you got to kind of factor those into your budget or just do without until you can afford them
Hybrid bike summary
This is has been an overview.
It’s a really quick one on what you might look for in going out for a new hybrid.
I would recommend:
First, your budget, and not just for the bike but also factor in component upgrades and accessories.
What is your predicted riding style you know that you’re going to be using your hybrid for.
Next, “Does it fit you?” and are you comfortable RIDING it (gotta test ride them).
If you are not comfortable you will not ride it as much, and definitely not enjoy it when you are riding.
Last, “Do you like it?” It can be the best bike in the world and if you don’t like it, you’re just not going to want to ride it as much.
So I know some people probably have better ideas and things that you could probably add to this.
This is not promoting any particular brand or model.
Just trying to throw some tips out there for buying a new hybrid and so hopefully you’ve learned a little bit about hybrid bikes and it helps you pick out a good hybrid bike for you.
A great option, and one we recommend, are the Diamondback Bicycles Insight 1, and Diamondback Bicycles Insight 2.
There are two recommended options, and this review will cover for both the Diamondback Insight 1 and Diamondback Insight 2 of the Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike line.
They are both hybrid bikes, ideal for commuting and coming in with a pretty competitive price point PRICE, like some of the other hybrid bikes that are out there from Rockhopper or Giant or possibly Trek.
So, each manufacturer has a bike that comes in around this price point.
These are pretty stable hybrid bikes.
They have some nice features that I’m going to point out and also show you some of the modifications that I’ve made to my Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike that I think make it a little bit more user-friendly and better for the commuting environment, Go Green Go Cycling.
We have nice article about Learn About Selecting the Right Hybrid Bike for You
Diamonback Insight Hybrid Bike Review and Accessories
Beginning with the handle bars, the handle bars are a little bit on the thick side on the Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike.
You’ll have to rig up something kind of special because the Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike has a really thick handle bar stem.
But it is a strong hybrid bike that can withstand the harsh rode pothole curb environment of an everyday commuting hybrid.
Regarding the handle bar grips I use are not the stock grips that came with the Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike.
Instead of having a round grip, I prefer kind of a flat surface and it’s ideal for resting the palms so that your tendons and nerves in the hand don’t get pinched.
So that’s real key, I think that’s a good investment to go and upgrade to the nicer grips.
The shifting is really quite nice on the Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike.
It has a lever action.
You push in too shift up and then pull this level back here to shift down.
Very simple for the beginning or advanced user.
Breaking is pretty good.
I did notice some squeaking but they work very well when the rims and tires are a little wet or even like a little bit of oil on them. So they are definitely a plus.
And I’ve discovered that that squeaking noise has become kind of a safety feature.
Often people are wearing headphones and listening music in their own world.
So you need more than just a bike bell to alert people that you’re coming up behind them.
And the squeaking is perfect.
It’s there when you need it when you start braking as you’re approaching.
The valve stems that come with the Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike are Presta valves.
And so they are narrower.
They don’t work if you go to a gas station or use a standard air pump.
You just can’t pump up the tires.
So I added a little adapter which allows you to go to pretty much any air pump and fill up the tires, which is really convenient for a commuting bike because you’re going to be riding around town and maybe you’re not going to have a specialized bike shop or carrying around special pump with you to pump up the tires.
And at about 50 cents to a dollar, it’s definitely worth it to have for convenience.
I do find that the Presta valves that come with the bike, for whatever reason, maybe it’s just me but it seems that they tend to hold air better.
I’ve actually noticed it over the years.
It seems like a Presta valves on bikes tend to keep the air.
And maybe it’s just the tighter seal with the rubber gaskets in there or whatever.
Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike
Another item that I almost always add to my commuting hybrids bikes are fenders.
If I’m replacing a bike with a new one I’ll just remove and move the fenders from the old hybrid bike to the new hybrid bicycle.
I added the fenders from Planet Bike.
There are bunch of brands out there.
These are just the ones that were available.
But I found that they work well.
It’s good to have a plastic lip thing on the back to help catch the extra road dirt.
These are pretty basic fenders.
They mount to the forks and cover most of the rear part of the tire.
And that’s going to prevent road dirt, grit, sand, all that kind of stuff from getting up in the bottom bracket of those front gears that are really susceptible to picking up road debris.
Definitely a worthwhile item and fenders aren’t that expensive.
Depending on what kind of bike you have, if you have wider tires, you’ll need wider fenders.
Almost ALL hybrid bikes DO NOT come with a kick stand, it’s a $10 item.
I had that added on afterwards. Definitely worth it.
You probably want to stand the Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike up on its own sometime.
Another feature that I like, is it does expand so you can really get a lot of extra, maybe a rain suit in or extra gear or whatever you want for a day trip or weekend trip on the bike, or just going from home to work.
For whatever won’t fit in a rear bike bag or if you really have more to carry with your Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike on your commute , you may want to go ahead and get a bike trailer.
I use the one from BicycleR Evolution, their trailers are starting at about $250 and up from there.
I like theirs because you can order just the metal frame structure and put your own tub on the back.
And because it’s using a rubber tub, it’s relatively waterproof which is a good thing.
The connection is similar to that of a high pressure air hose like air tools that are found in a garage or workshop. And so it just clips on and clips off.
Really quick, really easy, you don’t have to fiddle around the straps or whatever, just clip it on.
There is a u-bolt there you can see. And that u-bolt is useful for locking the trailer down if you want to lock it to a bike rack.
One thing I want to point out also is that they do have accessories.
So the same trailer can be used for two or three bikes.
If you’re putting a lot of miles on, which I do, you want a more comfortable seat.
I went ahead and got a heavier duty seat post because I wanted to make sure I had plenty of leg room.
Diamondback Insight Hybrid Bike typically don’t come with a water bottle cage, so you want to go ahead and use one from a previous bicycle or pick out one that fits the kind of bottle that you’re going to be using.
I usually go with a basic aluminum black one.
And that works just fine for me.
One thing I found was that the pedals on most bikes are kind of small and plastic and slippery.
And in the rain, or year-round biking, you’re going to want something a little more stable than that.
Using specially designed lightweight luggage while travelling can considerably reduce your travel expenses, for example overweight luggage costs and luggage costs in general.
Plus, lightweight luggage is easier to carry and lift when you are being checked at the airport.
You will not need to worry about hauling your luggage around.
Baggage Fee Reduction
Majority of the airlines charge a considerable amount of money if your baggage weight exceeds the prescribed limit.
You can find wheeled bags which are lighter than your average suitcase which means you will not have to pay anything extra for your bags.
Since the luggage itself is light, you can pack your heavy stuff in it easily.
Less Strain on Your Back
Carrying heavy luggage is a back crusher.
You might seriously injure your back when travelling with heavy luggage, in the process ruining your vacation.
It is advised that you research lightweight luggage reviews to ensure you get lightweight bags and suitcases which are easy to handle and carry because remember you will also have to handle your baggage when checking in a resort or hotel.
Make sure you buy a durable set of lightweight baggage so that the trip is comfortable for the entire family.
Lightweight bags are very strong, they may look light but they are built with strong materials such as plastic and aluminum.
Easy to Manage
The ease and comfort lightweight luggage provides cannot be emphasized enough.
Light baggage provides ease of handling for people who travel regularly and over long distances.
Small and durable travel bags are sturdy and easy to store anywhere when travelling.
Plus, lightweight luggage is easy to carry along especially when you have to move around a lot after reaching your destination.
Even at the airport, you have to board the bus that takes you to the airplane and while you’re roaming around the airport you will not have to worry about carrying heavy luggage with you.
Packing in a lightweight luggage bag is always convenient.
Do not make the mistake of carrying heavy luggage.
It can turn a happy trip into a trip filled with backaches and groans.
You’ll be resting half of the time during your vacations if you carry heavy luggage around.
How to Choose Lightweight Luggage
Here are some important tips to make your travels pleasant and enjoyable.
First of all, it is important that you plan your trip accordingly and depending on the period of days you will be travelling you must calculate how much luggage you will be taking along.
22-inch upright wheeled bags should weigh than 10 pounds when empty to be considered lightweight.
There are even some lightweight bags which weigh less than 8 pounds.
You can always pack more when the luggage is lightweight.
On the off chance that you are not a very organized packer, be sure to purchase a lightweight bag.
The lighter your luggage is, the lesser you’ll need to endure the hassle involved in handling it.
Secondly, decide what kind of lightweight luggage you need, for example you can get a soft-shelled lightweight bag and a hard-shelled one.
But soft sided luggage bags are often lighter as compared to the harder ones.
If you want to go for strength and durability, it is strongly suggested that you buy a durable suitcase made with components such as ABS or poly-carbonate.
These substances are both light and strong.
Luggage made of durable nylon, rip-stop materials or fabrics which are thick, for example the ‘Cordura’ are also very light and extremely durable.
Third, make sure you look for bags which have light handle frames.
Upright bags for travelling are built with handling frames which are light.
These handles are made using components like fiberglass, graphite or aluminum, which are all light materials.
Lastly, when you are purchase a lightweight travel bag, make sure that the bag set you choose doesn’t have too many attachments.
Unnecessary suitcase and travel bag attachments add more weight to the bags.
Choosing the Best Lightweight Bags
If you are in search of a lightweight luggage set, then try looking at some of the finest collections of lightweight travel bags on Luggage Pros and their section on ‘Lightweight Luggage’ has to offer.
You can buy suitcase bag sets in all shapes, sizes, colors and weights.
If you have read some lightweight luggage reviews, you might have noticed that much emphasis is also made on choosing four-wheeled and two-wheeled lightweight bags.
You can also get a bag which has a lock or non-lock handle option.
If you have a habit of leaning on the handle of your bag, it is advised that you buy one with a lockable handle.
The main advantage of suitcases which are under the 7-lb mark is that they are extremely light and durable.
These bags are so light that even kids can manage them.
Ultralight Edition by the World’s Lightest collection can be a good travel buddy as you can pack a lot of stuff in it and it will still be light.
The bag is a sophisticated product in terms of its structural integrity.
The only flaw in the bag is that it is a bit too light, which is a good thing, but from a protection point of view it does not stand a chance against a heavier suitcase.
Users of the bag have mentioned that it is sturdy enough for long or short travel.
The ‘ultralight’ edition is suited for those who prefer to travel light and are mainly carry-on travelers who carry just clothing and other non-breakables.
How the ‘Ultralight Edition’ by the World’s Lightest collection is rated:
The usefulness and portability factors is rated 10/10, as it is durable and super light to carry.
It offers good value for money.
These suitcases are reasonably priced making it affordable for everybody.
The durability of this particular product can be somewhat questioned as it is not that strong compared to a heavier suitcase.
So, the durability factor stands at 7/10.
Apart from this, the bag comes in different colors and has a very trendy look, so 9/10 for looks.
Lightweight Luggage Reviews Other Luggage Items
Let’s say you need to make a decision regarding a lightweight suitcase with wheels versus a suitcase that has no wheels and you decide to go for the one with the wheels then what should you look for?
Once you have decided that you want a bag with wheels it is important to then decide how many wheels would you prefer, four or two?
The ‘EXO Hardside Spinner’ is considered top-of-the-line when it comes to lightweight travel bags due to its extraordinary structural integrity.
The EXO has a bombproof shell made with ribbed polycarbonate component and provides strong protection against rough bag handling and any other chaotic event.
According to various sources some testers of the EXO said that the bag survived a very long European trip (approx. 13,000 miles) without a dent or a scratch on it.
It is regarded as the most reliable and durable two-wheeled spinner ever made and tested and most users completely agree with this statement.
Lightest Suitcase – easy to Lift
When it comes to lightweight travel bags, IT Luggage has been unbeatable with its ‘World’s Lightest’ collection pioneering in lightweight suitcases which are wheeled, The luggage bags have 2 and 4-wheel options as well.
Hard-shell is also a very good option and has become fairly popular when it comes to lightweight travel luggage sets.
Antler has a very sophisticated hard-shell suitcase design starting at very lightweights (4.8 pounds) and is a more durable option.
If you prefer to go for a more expensive product then get the ‘Liquis’ which uses a hard substance called poly-carbonate.
It is a design which can bend but will not break or crack, with a very beautiful yet sophisticated design.
Lightweight bags are popular and this is primarily due to the fact that you can reduce your overweight charges.
‘Delsey’ specializes in offering sophisticated handlebars which alert the user if the luggage goes over 50 pounds.
This suitcase will prove to be quite useful on your travels.
You can even opt for a Rimowa Salsa Deluxe which has very good handling options.
The Salsa Deluxe has a telescopic handle which you can stop anywhere you want in order to adjust the height.
Another feature involves a front pocket made out of Kevlar, a material used to make bulletproof jackets.
New Wheel Technology
The original manufacturers of the famous ‘Rollaboard’, Travelpro came first in a show pertaining to best travel products and took an award for its product known as Platinum Magna.
This item features technology which uses magnets to keep the wheels straight.
Best Travel Hats – The hat I usually took with me when traveling was an old baseball hat.
It was “broken in,” fit me well, packed well (I usually put socks inside it in my bag to save on space), and would keep the sun out of my eyes.
It served it the purpose I needed.
The baseball hat provided shade, looked decent, and covered up a bad hair day.
These are all important qualities in a hat.
But sometimes when you are spending a lot of time on a boat, in the rain forest, on the beach in the sun, hiking in the desert, or somewhere with lots of bugs and mosquitoes, you need something better than a baseball hat.
Here are the best travel hats for bug protection, sun, wide brim and more, based on hats in various categories.
After getting attacked with bugs on our visit to the southeastern states, we made it our mission to never leave for a trip or even a day hike without a hat to keep the bugs away.
Here are two of our favorites.
Best travel hats for bug protection
These mosquito protection hats really do help keep the bugs away:
These hats are all in Tilley brand hats or in the traditional Tilley style.
They have wide brims, tend to be breathable, and come backed with a brand name that says:
This is an awesome hat – so awesome that we guarantee it for life.
Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat
This Tilley travel hat floats if it falls in the water, offers 50 SPF protection, fits with a cord under your chin (for high winds or high speed boat rides), and comes with Tilley’s lifetime guarantee.
Tilley also offers an aviator hat, a Tilley Winter hat, and a Tilley Hemp hat.
Tilley look-alike travel hats
They look much like the Tilley hats, but are cheaper in price.
They generally do not offer the same breathability as Tilley’s hat, but they are usually similar in style.
You may find some imitation brands that snap on both sides to keep the flaps up if you want them up instead of down.
There are best travel hats for wherever you are going.
Remember to pack one or two on your trip as the right kind of hat for your journey can be more effective than sunscreen alone to shield you from the sun’s harmful rays.
And who knew there were hats to keep the mosquitoes away.
Even if you think you don’t need one or won’t wear it, pack a hat before leave for your trip.
You just might find it comes in handy.
Natural Mosquito Repellent Ideas ~ Plants and Other Tips
As a child in the 1970’s in the Chicago area, I remember going inside and watching from my living room when the mosquito control truck would go down our street spraying chemicals to prevent mosquitoes.
Even then we knew those chemicals couldn’t be good for us to breathe in but we didn’t have many natural mosquito repellent choices.
We sprayed Off! from aerosol cans and enjoyed our evenings.
Wearing a hat seemed to help keeping them away from my head.
I haven’t seen those trucks in decades but they have to exist as without them in some areas, there would be even worse mosquito population problems.
Increases in mosquito populations cause devastating public health issues, including increases in Malaria, West Nile, Lyme Disease, Yellow fever, Dengue fever, Encephalitis viruses, and more.
There become more problems for livestock and wildlife as well.
So many mosquitoes
Did you know that in the US there are over 176 types of mosquitoes and over 3,000 types in the world?
No matter what area of the country or world you’re in, chances are you may be plagued by these pesky creatures.
And if you’re like me, to ward them off you typically reach for mosquito repellent sprays or creams which are all basically chemicals.
Traditional Deet-filled mosquito repellent is far from natural.
Thankfully, there are preventative measures you can take.
There are even plants that repel mosquitoes.
They either work by planting them in your garden or by taking a bit of the plant and releasing some of the scents.
Natural mosquito repellent ideas
Whether or not it’s the season for mosquitoes, it is always a good time to think about keeping mosquitoes away from your property.
There are easy chemical-free steps you can take to ward them off, especially if you live in an area where it doesn’t get below freezing often enough to control their populations.
Remove standing water from around your home
You can do this by ensuring you don’t have empty buckets or flower pots collecting water.
You can also take a broom to “sweep away” standing water in low spots on your driveway or patio.
Make sure your garbage cans are always closed.
Clean out your gutters
Dried and decaying leaves, damp twigs and water are the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Rake and remove leaves
Damp and decaying leaves blow around your yard and often bunch up under bushes, at the base of trees and fences, and around your house.
Though unsightly for my neighbors, I always thought a few little piles were okay and even good; I thought they would break down and enrich the soil.
Now I know while they may be good for the earth, removing them eliminates mosquitoes from living and breeding there.
Avoid being out at sunrise or sunset
Especially in the hot summer months, these are times when you are most likely wanting to be outside; however, this is the time when mosquitoes are most active.
Natural mosquito repellent ideas
Hang a bat box
When we lived in Indianapolis and in Tucson, we saw lots of bats — probably because there were lots of mosquitoes!
We bought bat boxes to encourage them to fly around and feast in our yard.
Hang bird feeders and man made nesting boxes
Some birds, like swallows, eat mosquitoes so do what you can to encourage these animals to live near your home.
Bird feeders, man-made nesting boxes, and bird baths are helpful.
However, if you use a bird bath be sure to empty and clean it frequently because mosquitoes will breed in the water.
Plant mosquito repellent plants
This is a controversial topic as most research points to the mosquito-repelling benefits only when you rub the leaves on your skin.
It is important before doing this that you test a small amount on a small section of your skin for a few days to ensure you are not allergic.
Mosquito repelling plants
Here are some mosquito repelling plants that have been known to help:
Citronella Grass: Use the oil from Citronella. Ensure the plant you’re buying is not just a “Citronella Plant,” “Citronella Geranium,” or “Mosquito Plant” as these are different varieties and while they may smell similar to Citronella, they are far less effective.
Catnip: Reported to be up to 10 times more effective than DEET
Lemon balm (a great alternative to Citronella)
Lemon Thyme (studies show this is about 60 percent effective as DEET)
Not all of this mosquito repellent plants grow in all climates.
Check with your local nursery to find the plants that grow best in your area.
In order for these mosquito repelling plants to be most effective, plant them in potted plants around your patio area.
When you’re sitting outside and the mosquitoes are especially bad, break off a piece of plant that repels mosquitoes.
Crush it, and rub the oils on your pulse points.
How to prevent mosquitoes
Citronella oil to repel mosquitoes
The plants that contain the citronella oil in them may deter mosquitoes.
However, it is mostly when you crush the leaves and rub them directly on your skin.
There is also citronella oil that you can purchase online or at health retailers.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) when used correctly, mosquito repellents that have DEET or picaridin are safe for adults and children over 2 months.
Still, many mosquito repellents are in spray form.
These are bad because we inhale them.
Also, if they are aerosol and not pump bottles, they contribute to ozone depletion.
We’re also busy slathering sunscreen on ourselves during these mosquito prevalent months.
There are a lot of chemicals being absorbed through our skin.
While there are many ways to prevent against mosquitoes, it seems some people attract mosquitoes than others.
When we lived in the Midwest, my elementary-aged son was what our family calls, a Mosquito Magnet.
Since moving to Tucson, I have been given that distinction.
Even better than repelling mosquitoes is preventing them.
Do what you can with natural mosquito repellent ideas to prevent mosquitoes.