Have you ever considered how committed you are to specific product brands?
Does the grocery store's generic brand do it for you, or does it have to be Cheerios?
I am not one to adhere to brands, but in some instances I am compelled to search for "sign value" and an affiliation with the quality and attributes of a brand.
I'm a Honda consumer. Motorcycles and cars. They work well, are reliable and offer top performance. I may be a Honda owner for the rest of my life.
Of course, I love Brooks running shoes and apparel. They make the best products and I am proud to promote the Brooks brand in my endurance endeavors.
The other area I am brand conscious is hydration packs. I was initially an Ultimate Direction consumer, and at one point went to their offices in northern California to have a meeting about a new product idea (an idea that was later implemented by Camelback). Then, I got into Go-Lite packs, as I read one of the company founders did a 400 mile self-contained journey using Go-Lite products. They're light and minimal, and my two-bottle Go-Lite pack is the ultimate in function.
And check out the image above. It's the Nathan HPL 020 hrydration pack. I bought one, it's full cool and when you have it on, the fantasies roll from the mind. Many of the top trail hotdogs where this Nathan pack. It holds a full 2-liters of fluid and carries well on the body with a unique holster that distributes the pack weight. The pack also offers carry pockets on the back and front, where access is most critical.
Bryce Thatcher, the man behind Ultimate Direction, went on to build the Nathan brand. Dana Miller, a top ultra racer, is also into Nathan R&D. If you're going to step up to a hydration pack, make the extra effort to find a Nathan. It's not for the mainstream, but it's a product and brand that I want as part of my master competitor endurance sport effort.