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Brands and Stuff That You Love (Emphasis on Quality)

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    Tonic -- women's active wear made in Canada.

    Nordic Ware -- U.S. made bundt pans!
    Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

    Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.


      Benchmade knives are the best!!! Beautiful, durable, sharp...even customizable for lefties.


        Two great companies:

        Laptop Lunches is a wonderful California company trying to reduce waste children and adults create from carrying their own food with them. Buy one of these and you've eaten your last overpriced inflight 'meal' or your last lousy takeout. I actually bought my first Laptop Lunchbox at Tom Bihn, back when the store was on 2nd Avenue. It was the only store in the state with it, so I went in for the lunchbox... and left with some nice Tom Bihn bags, one of which toted the item I'd gone in for!

        For dog people, I highly recommend Doggone Good for dog items. Although they've discontinued their Cabana Crate, it can still be found for sale at some dog shows. Many are in evidence with happy dogs inside (usually top competitors, who use their crates nearly constantly). I have two, still going strong. Their clicker bait pouch has outlasted two dogs and one cat, and is awaiting my next puppy.

        They actually discontinued making their crates because they couldn't compete with the cheap Chinese-made drek flooding the market. The die-hard Obedience/Agility/Field competitors (myself included) begged them not to; we were more than willing to pay a premium price for a premium product made hell-for-stout with an outstanding warranty (which is why I buy Tom Bihn). It was either quit making the crates or make cuts in the quality (which they were not willing to do) to stay competitive with the other manufacturers. That's why I recommend them. They have integrity.

        Their article bags outlast the articles in them (it's a Utility Dog thing)!
        Last edited by aiethabell; 02-21-2008, 12:45 PM.
        Indigo Co-Pilot w' Cache, Sapphire/Olive Medium Cafe bag, Sapphire/Black and Indigo Ballistic Swifts, 50+ assorted Stuff Sacks/Pouches/Key Straps, 4 Shop Bags. 2 Absolutes, 2 Strap Wraps, a #5 Brain Cell, 3 Clear Quarter Packing Cubes , 3 Aeronaut cubes, a 3D, a Kit, a Convertible Shoulder Bag and Convertible Backpack for my Indigo/Solar Aeronaut. Last, 3 Lifefactory Bottles and my Plum Field Journal! Plus a blue (natch) FOT. All bags decked out with Tom Bihn luggage tags .


          Raven's Brew Coffee


          I live in Chicago, and I buy my beans direct from this Olympia, WA based roaster. A friend from the region turned me on to these beans a few years ago, and I'm hooked.

          Try the Dead Man's Reach and Dharma Beans blends!!


            Originally posted by brantroz View Post
            I've had that coffee! It's great stuff.
            Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

            Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.


              well I'll be the first one to do it. My beverage of choice is Stella Artois. If anyone needs a libation on the weekend, I recommend this beer!


                Originally posted by Darcy View Post
                Cesar Millan Illusion Leash and Collar Set

                This is a very high-quality leash/collar set: the pictures and the description don't do it justice. We know our webbing, buckles, and construction around here, and the Illusion Leash/Collar Set is made (in the U.S.) out of very high-quality webbing and buckles. Plus, it works really well: Lily is totally squirrel crazy (she was pretty much bred to be so) and the Illusion collar has proven to be a safe, effective, and gentle way to train her.
                Thanks. I've been wondering how they work. I'm going to try it. The only thing that's worked with my girl is a head harness and that rubbed near her eyes so I switched to a regular halter. The info on the site is a little confusing because it says not to use with short nosed dogs but lists pitbulls and staffordshires in their sizing.


                  I love this thread. My recommendation is for dogs that like chewing. Yak cheese chews. They're as hard as a bone and are fully edible. My dog goes through most chewies, like bully sticks, in a few minutes but it takes her a long time to complete a large yak chew. I buy mine at my local pet store. Here's the link for the company:


                    On the topic of pets...

                    The previous few threads reminded me of this:

                    Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance

                    I can't rave enough about this food... they are the first to publish 100% of their ingredients, and even have an all organic formula (which we use.)

                    Our Italian Greyhound eats the same amount that she did per day with her previous food... but she gained the final 3/4 of a .lb she had been missing (and this for a "skinny" breed.) Essentially, she is getting more nutrition from the same quantity.

                    They also have specific food allergy blends. I sent them a note thanking them for their quality product, and they mailed me a bunch of coupons. Really great company, and very HIGH quality product.



                      A little different...

                      Ok, bear with me...

                      My next recommendation is a book, and the "quality" it brings is the enlightenment it lends you. I'm not the most emotional guy in the world, and I'm not the least, but there are inspiring moments while reading this book where you just find yourself welling up at the sheer inspiration of this real person... someone who was once renowned around the world, and who we might all be better for knowing again:

                      A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler

                      Honestly, I hope some of you decide to pick this one up... it will warm your heart. James Holman had one of the most devastating impositions of his time... and treated it as a hurdle, not an obstacle. Really well written, uplifting book.


                        Anderson-Little have reclaimed their brand and are once again manufacturing their men's blazers in a U.S. factory. Interesting story.
                        Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

                        Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.


                          That's interesting News Darcy. My mom's family is from New England, and I was familiar with Anderson-Little; but never had any of their clothes. the only thing the site has is their Classic Blue Blazer. I may have to buy one. I'm in the market for a one, and it's not any more expensive then going else were for one.
                          Thanks for the update.
                          Using a: Super Ego (Black, Steel, Wasabi) with seat belt strip (Wasabi), and alternate reflective Strip. Black BrainCell, Wasabi Snake Charmer, Cork Small Organizer Pouch, and Olive green medium organizer pouch.


                            Here are the brands I'm a fanatic about:

                            I-roc shoes--they're made in the US, they are built to last, and (coupled with Power Step Pinnacle insoles) cured my long-standing plantar fasciitis. www.i-roc.com.

                            Orthaheel sandals--Not sure where they're made, but they were designed by an Australian orthapedist. Their flipflop type Wave sandals have arch support that most other shoes can only dream of. I'd given up hope of ever wearing flipflops again, but these are terrific. Again, well constructed, light weight, and an essential for the pack-light fanatic like myself. I get them at www.footsmart.com (which is a pretty good company in its own right, though it's hard to beat www.zappos.com for shoes, with its free shipping and free shipping on returns policy!)

                            Avene SPF 50+ sunscreen: I have to get this in Europe, but it is a tinosorb-based sunscreen with very high UVA/UVB protection. I wish the FDA would get it together and approve the new generation of sunscreens being used in Europe--so much better and more effective than what we get sold here in the US. (It can also be ordered in the US from online etailers lile wwwfrenchcosmeticsforless.com). Actually, the Avene cosmeceutical range in general is very high quality--I use their retinaldehyde products like Diacneal and Eluage, too. But I'm not sure that anyone on this forum is interested in skincare...

                            But for those still reading on, the hands-down best cosmetics company I know is by Julie Hewett. Her camellia oil lipbalm (stick or pot) is better than any petroleum based one, and her lipsticks are absolutely to die for. Love her eyeshadows and foundation, and her cream blushes last forever and are sheer and lovely. Yeah, I know that no one here cares, but you did ask about favorite companies, and www.juliehewett.net is one of mine.

                            I tend to be evangelistic about my favorites, obviously including Tom Bihn.
                            Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.


                              The Anderson-Little blazer looks good, and though not "cheap" (I have not often paid more than $100 for a single item of clothing, and doing so gives me a pretty big dose of skepticism) it looks to be of high-quality. I wonder if they come with other than gold-looking buttons I know that's the (a) classic blazer look, but to me / on me, gold things always look gaudy.

                              A few years ago, I took a 2-week trip to China -- group tour, with the plusses and minuses of a group trip -- and I packed pretty light, in fact radically light for me (one small backpack), and was very glad to've brought a blue blazer along. Mine was definitely a size or more larger than ideal, but that made for greater comfort on airplanes, etc, and was close enough to stand in for "dressed up" for restaurant purposes. A nice blue blazer and a white oxford shirt (with collar buttons, making use without a tie more palatable) to me is about as close as one can get to "powdered suit" -- it's formality boullion.



                                Anderson-Little blazers are very reasonable priced considering the blazers
                                are made in the USA. I've paid $200 to $450 for a quality blazer in the

                                Nice find!
                                Last edited by PM4HIRE; 10-11-2008, 11:48 AM.
                                Tom Welch > Mesa, Arizona, USA

                                Travel Lite & Smart