Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gear Closet: Camelbak Forge

Do you have a coffee-loving adventurer on your shopping list this holiday season? If so, you might want to consider picking up a Forge travel mug from CamelBak, the same company that makes hydration packs for just about every activity you can think of.

I first got the opportunity to check out the Forge back at Outdoor Retailer in the summer of 2013, and was immediately impressed with how much thought went into the design of the product. CamelBak could have easily just mass produced any-old travel mug, and people would have bought it based on their brand alone. But the design team actually came up with some unique features for the Forge, and went out of their way to ensure that it stands out in a very crowded market.

What makes the Forge so special? Well, for starters, it comes with a leak-proof, self-sealing cap that ensure your warm beverage goes in your mouth, and not down the front of your shirt. A trigger mechanism is integrated into the cap, making it super easy to open the seal when you're ready for  a sip of your drink. Releasing the trigger seals the lid down tight, keeping the liquid in its place, and preventing accidental splashes. A lock-open button allows you to keep the seal open at all times if you choose, which can come in handy when you're wanting to vent out some heat.

Perhaps my favorite feature of the Forge is how easy it is to clean. Removing the lid from the canister  allows the cam-arms on the sealing mechanism to flip open, allowing you to clean every nook and cranny of the lid. Other travel mugs have similar caps, but none are this easy to clean, which means they tend to build up grime over time. The Forge is also dishwasher safe, so you can toss it in with the rest of your dishes, and have the forge ready for use whenever you hit the road.

In addition to the cap, there has been a lot of thought put into the cup that actually holds the coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or other liquids too. The metal canister features double-walled vacuum insulation, which CamelBak says will keep your beverage warm for 4+ hours. That's plenty of time to enjoy a hot drink on your commute, or on that cross-country road trip. The bottom the cup also features a break-proof cap that absorbs impact, and keeps the mug looking brand new.

It is easy to think that all travel mugs are created equal, but when you feel the Forge in your hand, you know it is a quality product. Available in two sizes (16 oz and 12 oz), and a variety of colors, the Forge actually looks great too. The 16 oz version sells for $30, while the 12 oz model is $29. Either makes a great gift for the holiday season, and will be appreciated all winter long.

Check the Forge out online at the CamelBak website, or pick one up at a local retailer.

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