Buy It For Life: Mulholland Waxed Canvas Negotiator Bag

In our “Buy It For Life” posts we feature products that are built to last a lifetime. We also give preference to products that are very durable, are warrantied for life, and are made in the U.S.

Founded in San Francisco in 1984, Mulholland is a small company run by a father and his two sons. They specialize in handcrafting bags and accessories using raw materials sourced in the U.S. Their Negotiator Bag, featured here, is made with waxed canvas, a heavy-duty fabric which is dipped in paraffin for water resistance and strength.

You can get Mulholland cases on Amazon, or from Mulholland directly.


The Best Low-Flow Shower Head: Oxygenics SkinCare

Low-flow shower heads can significantly reduce your household water consumption without a noticeable difference to your shower experience. The term “low flow” is generally defined as a shower head with a water consumption rate of 0.5 to 2 gallons per minute (gpm).

I’ve tested about seven different low-flow shower heads, and the Oxygenics SkinCare Showerhead is my favorite, due to its invigorating spray. The technology behind Oxygenics is based on the Venturi Principle. As water enters the base of the showerhead, it is propelled through an accelerator fin to increase the velocity of the water flow. It is then directed through a channel where oxygen is injected into water

It is a “self-pressurizing” shower head, which means it works with low or variable water pressure. It can deliver a great shower whether the water pressure is 20 psi (pounds per square inch) or 100 psi. It has a maximum flow rate of just 2.5 gallons of water per minute.

You can also control the water velocity at the shower head — you can select a spray ranging from brisk and stimulating to soft and gentle. Oxygenics shower heads come with a lifetime guarantee that they will not clog.

The Oxygenics Shower Head is available from Amazon for around $20.

The Top Rated Waterproof Headphones

Today, water lovers can bring their tunes with them and still get quality sound. Not just for swimmers, waterproof headphones are beneficial for all sports enthusiasts since they are also sweatproof and can be rinsed off after use. By reading reviews across the web (iLounge and CrunchGear are good sources), we’ve come up with a list of the top rated waterproof headphones.

H2O Audio Surge 2G Waterproof Headphones

H2O Audio Surge 2G Waterproof Sport Headphones

H2O Audio Surge 2G Waterproof Sport Headphones

H2o Audio, an innovator in developing underwater accessories, has recently released their improved Surge 2G waterproof headphones that come highly recommended by iLounge. These are the headphones used and endorsed by Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. They are 100% waterproof for underwater submersion up to 12 feet and can be rinsed after a strenuous workout. Five sets of varying sized rubber tips are provided to find the right fit. According to iLounge, these earbuds form a more complete seal in the ear than other headphones they’ve tested. Also compared to other underwater options, the H2o Audio Surge 2G offers an unparalleled sound with a sound-isolating fit and bass amplified neodymium drivers to provide a balanced quality both above and below the water.

The plug is designed to fit into H2O Audio’s waterproof armbands and cases so is only compatible with the iPhone 3G and all iPod models. For other Mp3s or the original iPhone you’ll need a case with a pass-through port or an adapter.

The H2o Audio Surge 2G waterproof headphones retail for $49.99, but are currently on sale at Amazon for $25.59. Comes with a waterproof carrying case. Also offered is a model with a built-in waterproof microphone for around $50.00 here.

Aquapac Waterproof Headphones

Aquapac Waterproof Headphones

Aquapac Waterproof Headphones

The Aquapac waterproof headphones that operate at an underwater depth of 30 feet, but are not advised for use beyond 10 feet due to pressure on the ear. Underwater headphone testers at iLounge gave the Aquapacs a B rating. They were impressed by the sound quality both above and below the water. The silicone tips create a seal in the ear to prevent water from getting in, though the one downside to the Aquapacs are that they only come with one size tips that will fit average sized ears.

The Aquapac waterproof headphones come with a buoy and keychain cord keeper.

You can get them on Amazon for about $24.

Audio Bone Waterproof Headphones

Audio Bone Waterproof Headphones

Audio Bone Waterproof Headphones

The Audio Bone headphones use bone conduction technology which allow the user to wear the headphones on the outside of their ears. Since we hear differently while submerged in water, this technology completely bypasses the ear drum by converting sound waves into vibrations. There are pros and cons to this type of headphone and after reading reviews by those who have tried them, people either love them or hate them.

Bone Conduction Technology

Bone Conduction Technology

One of the cons is the price. The audio bone headphones retail for $189.00. However, these headphones do transfer well to all activities, such as cycling or even listening at work, since it allows you to still be able to hear other things going on around you. Another con is that bone conduction is a less efficient way for us to hear, therefore your iPod or Mp3 will generally need to be on the highest volume setting which can cause the battery to drain faster. Some users report a muffled sound quality, while others like that they can still hear outside noise. Your personal preference would depend upon the intended use. Also, many people don’t like the feel of earbuds so the Audio Bones are a perfect match for them. You can read a full review at the Gadgeteer and CrunchGear.

The Audio Bone Waterproof Headphones are currently on sale at Amazon for $141.82.

Budget Pick: H2O Audio Flex Underwater Headphones

H2O Audio Flex Underwater Headphones

H2O Audio Flex Underwater Headphones

These Flex headphones are the newest entry from H2O Audio and our budget pick for a waterproof headphone. These would be a good option for someone who needs waterproof headphones from time to time, perhaps for sweaty workouts, occasional laps in the pool, or just lying in the bath. They are submersible up to 3 feet underwater. Amazon reviewers complained about the fit with these headphones, though they do come with 3 bud sizes. As one reviewer pointed out, be sure to wipe out your ear so that it’s dry before inserting the buds. This will help create a stronger seal and they won’t slip out as easily. Also, wear the wires on your back and insert the headphones from behind your neck. The sound is of good quality and is well-balanced. Those who prefer a strong bass won’t get it here, but again, the price is key. For a full review on the H2O Audio Flex click here.

The H2O Audio Flex underwater headphones come in a choice of 5 cool colors and are on sale at Amazon for $19.41.

Waterproof iPods Cases

H20Friendly 100% Waterproof iPod Shuffle

H20Friendly 100% Waterproof iPod Shuffle Case

If you spend a lot of time in the water, you may want to consider investing in a fully waterproof system. Companies such as H2oFriendly and Swimman will waterproof an iPod shuffle from the inside out so you can take it right into the water without use of a bulky case. User reviews for both of these systems are excellent both for quality and for ease of use. H2OFriendly offers a 1 year waterproof warranty and you can purchase just the 4th generation 2 GB iPod shuffle or a complete system which includes Velcro securing straps that clip onto goggles and underwater headphones, as well as the original iPod shuffle packaging.

The H2OFriendly Swim System sells for $169.95 on Amazon. Or just the silver waterproof iPod goes for $143.95 on Amazon. You can also order straight from the company’s website if you’d like a choice of iPod colors: green, orange, blue, silver, or pink.

Swimman Underwater Music System

Swimman Underwater Music System

Swimman has an excellent reputation among swimmers and they are currently waterproofing 3rd generation iPod shuffles. At $250.00, their system is more than the H2oFriendly, but they do include a waterproof control adapter and their underwater headphone set boasts superior sound quality similar to top-of-the-line non-waterproof headphones. To purchase Swimman order directly from their website. You can also purchase their headphone set separately for $100.00 here.

Buy It For Life: The Letter Carrier Bag By Moop

In our “Buy It For Life” posts we feature products that are built to last a lifetime. We also give preference to products that are very durable, are warrantied for life, and are made in the U.S.

Moop is a small company that handcrafts bags in their studio in Pittsburg. Their Letter Carrier bag, featured here, is built from durable waxed canvas and lined in cordura. Waxed canvas is naturally water repellent and ages like leather.

In regards to ordering, Moop says:

We are just a few people designing, sewing, modeling, packaging, etc. everything that comes out of here so, we typically have a turnaround time of 3-5 business days.

The Letter Carrier bag is available directly from Moop for $191.

Buy It For Life: Bialetti Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker

The Bialetti Moka Espresso Maker, has a polished-aluminum octagonal design has been available in Italy since 1933. In the 30s, Italy was in an economically difficult time, which made making coffee at home appealing. This simple little device crafted from aluminum was extremely popular and is still crafted by Bialetti, the same firm that produced it in the 1930s.

Moka Pot stovetop brewers produce a dense concentrated cup that’s something between espresso and Turkish coffee. Coffee is placed into a filter between the lower chamber (that you fill with water) and the upper chamber that will contain the finished beverage after brewing.

It works by passing hot water that has been pressurized by steam through ground coffee beans and produces a hot beverage similar to espresso.

Over 200 Amazon reviewers rated this espresso maker an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

The Bialetti Moka Espresso Maker is available on Amazon for $25.