Life’s Adventure Kit: Vanlife Edition

Posted by Sunny Stroeer on Jul 18, 2019 10:27:24 AM

By Nite Ize Field Team Member Sunny Stroeer

I am many things: I am an adventurer, a record breaker, a wife; a Harvard MBA, a recovering strategy consultant, and – as of the last four years - I am also somewhat of a serial #vanlifer. 

Vanlife has long graduated from its renegade counter-culture beginnings to cover a broad spectrum: from folks living out of their barely converted hatchbacks all the way to the fully-tricked-out $80,000 Sprinter van with 4WD and a custom interior that would give the most luxurious RV a run for its money.

My personal vanlife experience falls closer to the humble end of the spectrum - I bought my first dream mobile in 2015, an old Chevy Astro van named Eddie, for less than $3k on Craigslist. Ripping out the seats and a bit of basic carpentry gave me just enough headroom and storage space to have a little mobile adventure basecamp for one.

Sunny and Eddie

Paul and MerlotThree years and one wedding later, it was time to upsize so my husband Paul and I could live on the road as a couple. Once again, we scoured Craigslist and finally settled on a 2003 Ford E350 XL - a spacious but rusty bargain for $7k - whom we named Merlot the Van.

If there’s one thing that I have learned in my years of living on the road, it’s the importance of space and functionality in a van.  That’s why I’ve come to use and love a ton of Nite Ize gear; here are five of my favorites that I work with on a daily basis:

 

Gear Ties. Everybody loves Gear Ties, but it’s hard to overstate their usefulness in the van. We use them to secure our curtains, as a handy paper towel holder, for bookends, to hang lanterns, to organize our door storage space, and as a sunglasses holder in the driver’s cab. We’ve even used Gear Ties to fix a loose mounting bracket on our exhaust system that was causing a rattle!

Vanlife Gear Ties

GearLine. The GearLine is one of my new favorite tools. With space at a premium it’s important for us to be able to use hanging space efficiently, and that’s exactly what the GearLine was designed for. Back in my old one-person van I actually used to (poorly) jerry-rig a homemade version of the same concept, stringing paracord and spiffing it up with knots for spacers… but that didn’t work very well for anything but the lightest loads.  You can imagine my joy when I got my hands on my first GearLine.

Vanlife GearLine

Steelie. The Steelie phone mount system is an obvious choice for any driver, but we get a lot more use out of it than handsfree navigation: many surfaces in Merlot The Van are metal, and that means that my phone sticks to just about anything!

Pro tip: even though I use the Steelie Phone Socket directly on the van’s walls, you may want to consider using a Steelie Dash Mount to keep painted surfaces scratch-free.

05_SunnyStroeer_NI_Vanlife

Vanlife RunOff BagsRunOff bags. The new line of RunOff bags has been getting tons of attention - and awards - since their introduction a few months ago. I love them in the van for three reasons:

    • Their revolutionary zipper seals gear and documents from the dust, dirt and spills that are all an inevitable part of living in a van.

    • They are hangable - remember what I said about the GearLine above!

    • The bags’ clear windows mean I know exactly what’s inside.

SlapLit LED Drink Wraps. Okay, these are just pure fun. One of the best parts of vanlife is getting to enjoy amazing views and a cold one at the end of a hot day of playing outdoors. Having different colored SlapLits to insulate, tell apart and light up our beverages is practical, yes, but mostly it’s simply just awesome.

07_SunnyStroeer_NI_VanLife

Now… these five items may be my favorites, but they are far from the full list of Nite Ize gear that Paul and I rely on to keep us organized and efficient in the van. We use a plethora of S-Biners, Nite Ize lanterns and headlamps - and the HideOut Magnetic Key Box has saved us more than once from getting locked out of the van.

08_SunnyStroeer_NI_Vanlife

In the end, vanlife is all about freedom and mobility - but in order to enjoy that freedom and mobility, you first have to learn to navigate minimal space in an organized and efficient way; that’s why Nite Ize is with us every mile of the road.

10_SunnyStroeer_NI_Vanlife-1

 

Follow Sunny's adventures on Instagram at @sstroeer, visit her website and blog at www.sunnystroeer.com, and check out her organization Aurora Women’s Expeditions (AWE) at @awexpeditions and www.awexpeditions.org.

Topics: Gear Ties, outdoors, Adventure, Field Team, Organization, runoff, waterproof bags

Nite Ize Hacks The Nite Ize Way

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Jul 10, 2019 12:01:09 PM

Nite Ize employees are predisposed to "geeking out" over our own products, and we love putting them to use in our everyday lives – including around the office. Here's a quick peek at how we're using our own gear to make our work lives easier.

 

At Our Desks:

Gear Tie Name Tag

We all have Gear Tie name tags, each expertly hand-bent by our COO.

Steelie Hack

We stick Steelie magnets onto just about anything to help organize our space. This one is keeping our white board eraser in place.

Figure 9 Coat Rack

Not only are our products handy, but so are our employees. We've made ourselves some awesome coat and hat racks out of Figure 9s!

Gear Ties

Our IT department is Gear Tie obsessed. Can you tell?

Steelie Pedestal

How did we ever live without Steelie Pedestals on our desks? if you have a Steelie on your phone, think about adding this one to your arsenal. It comes in handy way more often than you would think – on your desk, bedside table, kitchen, and anywhere else you'd want hands-free phone viewing.

In The Gym:

Steelies in the gym

We've added Steelies to our treadmills and ellipticals, and HandleBands to our stationary bikes.

S-Biner #10

Our giant S-Biner #10s help hang and organize our workout gear. Bonus points for the Figure 9 rack.

In The Kitchen:

Gear Tie Hacks

We make sure that the tape to mark your lunch stays with the fridge....

Gear Ties in the Kitchen

...And that no one mistakes a dirty dish for a clean one with this Gear Tie-ed sign.

In The Warehouse:

Gear Tied Tape

Keep that packing tape from wandering off with a Gear Tie.

NI-Office-tools

Mad props to anyone who can name how many Nite Ize products are in this photo. SlideLock 360s are magnetic clips, so they can easily attach to metal surfaces and double as a quick hook. 

Steelie Magnet

A Steelie magnet keeps our measuring tape right where we need it.

Optics Case Pen Holder

Yes the Gear Ties are doing a fantastic job holding our labeling essentials, but get a load of that Rugged Optics Case masquerading as a pen holder!

CamJam Tie Down Straps

You betcha we're securing our trade show gear with CamJam Tie Down Straps.

Gear Tie Loopable

We keep our sample room clipboard at eye-level and where everyone can find it with a Gear Tie.

CordCollar bumpers

Sure our CordCollars protect the ends of your cables from fraying, but they can also protect your hands from the sharp edges of this cellophane wrap holder.

Gear Tie Loopable + Handle

Carrying this rig is so much easier with a Gear Tie Loopable + Handle.

Giant BugLit

And finally, a giant BugLit on the wall. Because why wouldn't we have that? It even hangs by an S-Biner #10!

Topics: Mobile Device Accessories, Garage Organization, Gear Ties, Organization, Fitness

Nite Ize Moms Tell Us Their Nite Ize Parenting Hacks

Posted by Cassie Ryan on May 9, 2019 12:00:09 PM

Part of our mission here at Nite Ize is to make your life a little bit easier, one product at a time. This Mothers Day, we’re celebrating the superhero moms of our Nite Ize family by sharing some of their go-to products for raising and having fun with their kiddos. Every mom deserves something that makes their life just a little bit easier, and that’s where we shine.

Kelly Von Letkemann, Legal Operations Manager:

  • LED Mini Glowstick: My kids LOVE it when I turn off the lights and throw a few of these in the bathtub. They are obviously great for trick or treating or just generally clipping on kids when you are out at night (and can color code by kid).
Mini-Glowsticks
  • S-Biners: We carry water bottles around with us everywhere we go. S-Biners are the obvious choice for making sure water bottles stay attached to backpacks, and I always have one or two on hand so I can attach water bottles to my purse so I can be hands free (because we all know who gets stuck carrying all their stuff. . .)
  • FlipOut Handle + Stand: The FlipOut is great for Face Timing with family, or simply bribing your kids to eat their breakfast by offering to show them a PBS Kids show. Not that it ever happens. . .  

 

Michael Westfield, Creative Director:

  • BugLit: I wrapped one on my kid’s bed as a little light.
  • Gear Ties: These are great for closing snack bags in the pantry and large veggie bags in the fridge. Or for when I lose the bread tie or the bread tie plastic breaks.
GearTie-Food

 

Kristen Green, Customer Service Representative:

  • Flashflight LED Flying Disc: For hours of endless entertainment outside on a beautiful Colorado evening. Can’t wait to see these flying around our campsite in Moab in a few weeks!
Flashflight-Kid
  • TwistLit LED Bike Lights: My kids are the talk of the neighborhood with these.
  • BugLit: These are great for when I actually need them to do some reading! Perfect for long car rides too!

 

Calle Gainok, Digital Content Manager:

  • Steelie Pedestal Kit: I’m all about the Steelie. I use a Pedestal Kit for our video baby monitor so we can view it at just the right angle.

Baby-Monitor

 

Kristin Butcher, Marketing Communications Specialist

  • The Hitch: For when I give my butterfingered progeny my phone to take pictures (that will invariably result in 100 blurry pictures of the cat’s butt).
  • NiteHowls: Keeping an eye on your children at a campout has never been easier!
  • SpokeLit Wheel Lights: Awesomeness and safety all in one rechargeable color-changing package.

SpokeLit-Kid 

We hope this wisdom imparted by our resident moms inspires you to find new ways to make your life easier. Or steal some of their ideas, that’s what we’re here for! Tag #LifesAdventureKit on Instagram or Twitter and show off your Nite Ize parenting hacks and be entered for a chance to win your own Adventure Kit!

Topics: Visibility and Safety, Games & Toys, Gear Ties, Fun & Games, Flashflight, Bike, Home, Organization

7 Unexpected Products to Help You Organize Your Life This Spring

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Mar 12, 2019 11:49:04 AM

Spring is upon us and with it comes the motivation to declutter your domain and tidy up those things that “spark joy” in your life. And what’s more motivating than a few new items to help you conquer the cleanup? Here are a few of our favorite products for home organization.

THE GARAGE:

Gear Ties

Whether you’ve already been converted to the Gear Tie cult or you’re new to this revolutionary reusable twist tie, there’s no denying that this versatile solution is a lifesaver in the organization department. Featuring a durable rubber exterior that is bonded to a strong interior bendable wire, Gear Ties can be twisted, tied, and reused over and over. Better yet, they come in a variety of forms, sizes and colors so you can tame the smallest electronics cables to heavy hoses and more.

GearTies_Garage-1

S-Biner Dual Carabiners

Another small but mighty tool is the iconic S-Biner, which also comes in an array of sizes, colors and materials. At first glance one might wonder what to do with it, but you’ll quickly learn that in addition to various other uses, you can hang items as small as keys and as large as bundled electrical cables using the range of sizes.

S-Biner-Combo

GearLine Organization System

Still need more room to hang those random tools and accessories laying around? The Gear Line features 10 S-Biner clips attached to individual sturdy loops, with Gear Ties on each end so you can hang it just about anywhere. Go vertical when you want to maximize storage and save wall space or hang horizontally to keep things easily accessible at eye level.

GearLine-Garage

 

THE JUNK DRAWER:

IdentiKey Storage + ID System

Let’s tackle your junk drawer next. Do you spot more than one mystery key? Enter the IdentiKey Storage system. This key organizer holds up to four keys in a compact, flat cartridge and includes write-on IdentiKey Tags so you can confidently give your house sitter your spare key instead of the one to the shed – without having to spend time on trial-and-error.

IdentiKey-System

Gear Ties… Again!

The great thing about Gear Ties is their variety of sizes. Use the 3” or 6” Cordable versions to wrap small electronics cables, or go larger, depending on cord size and length. You can even color code while protecting your cables with a cousin to the Gear Tie family, the CordCollar. Reinforce cable ends where they bend the most to help prevent fraying while taking the guessing game out of distinguishing similar cords and cables.

CordCollar

 

THE CLOSET:

RunOff Waterproof Large Packing Cube

The largest member of the revolutionary RunOff Waterproof Bag family is the Large Packing Cube. You might be wondering why a waterproof bag would help you organize your closet. RunOff bags compress and protect bulky items, so you can pack away your winter sweaters and base layers and compress the bag down to save room. They’re also great for keeping your sweaters safe from hungry moths. Until next year, winter wardrobe!

LG-Packing-Cube

 

THOSE DARK AND SPOOKY CORNERS:

Radiant 250 Rechargeable Headlamp

You might be dreading this last spot. Need to clean out the attic or basement? Whether or not you believe in ghosts, demons or Jason Voorhees, you’ll definitely need some extra light to help you sort through those dark storage areas. A good headlamp will shed some light on the situation and keep your hands free to dust off boxes and decide if your vintage G.I. Joe collection still sparks joy.

Attic

 

Ready to tackle your Spring cleaning adventure? We want to see how you use your Nite Ize products to tame the chaos. Tag #LifesAdventureKit on Instagram and Twitter and be entered to win your own Nite Ize Advenure Kit!

Topics: Garage Organization, Gear Ties, Organization

Nite Ize in the Dorms

Posted by Dave Taylor on Sep 10, 2018 10:39:00 AM

After eighteen years of the frequently challenging daily task of parenting, I reached a milestone in my son’s life: He headed off to college. And he's not staying close to home. We live in Boulder, Colorado but he chose Pitzer College in Claremont, California, almost exactly 1,000 miles from home.

I lived in the dorms when I went to college many eons ago, but the increase in technology and electronics coupled with more participatory and attentive parenting has changed the dorm life experience quite a bit. College kids expect nicer housing amenities and parents demand it.

Still, dorm rooms are fundamentally small rooms where two kids who don’t know each other are stuck sharing the space and learning how to get along, even as they both figure out that college thing too.

Fortunately, Nite Ize had some great ideas for making the most out of those small dorm rooms and navigating the college experience. We pulled together a College Dorm Move-In Kit that contained lots of great products to help out with cable organization, bike safety, and recreation. Here’s a photo of my son on his dorm bed with the Kit spread out:

gareth-nite-ize-products

Look closely and you’ll see Gear Ties® in both 6” and 12” lengths, a pack of CordCollars™  a Wraptor™ rotating phone holder for the bike, a pair of Radiant® 125 rechargeable bike lights, an INOVA® XT flashlight and a Flashflight® LED flying disc.

It wasn’t until he started trying to plug in his computer, phone charger, music speakers, voice speaker, lamp and other gadgets that he suddenly realized the great benefit of organizing all his cords. The Gear Ties worked great for that and ensured that he’d never accidentally unplug anything while sitting at the desk doing homework (or surfing the internet while not doing homework as it may be.)

nite-ize-dorm-kit

We decided not to take his bicycle to campus on move-in, but it turns out that his dorm mate is a triathlete and has spare bikes, one of which he generously loaned to my son! The Radiant 125 bike lights are going to work great to keep them safe while biking around campus and the community at night, one on each of their bikes. And since they're rechargeable, there's no batteries to buy.

Of all the Nite Ize products, however, there’s no question that the one he was most excited about was the Flashflight. Being based in California means that the evenings are delightful, the students are outdoor minded, and everyone’s already good at tossing flying discs. With its light-up colors and smooth flight, Gareth’s sure to be the most popular guy on campus in no time with his Flashflight!

Move-in is done. He’s set up in his dorm room, wires organized and flashlight sitting by the bed in case of emergencies. His bike will be well illuminated and his charging cables now sport collars to make them more reliable. He’s even ready for late night outdoor recreation. Now the hard part: classes, studying and working towards his degree. I’m confident he’s going to do great!

 

 

Topics: Commuting, Gear Ties, DIY, Organization

Road Team Tested: Hitting the Road with Gear Ties

Posted by Live Outside & Play Road Team on Sep 5, 2018 10:25:59 AM

Ben and Roxy are more than road warriors. They spend all day, every day traveling the country out of a custom van as part of the Elevation Outdoors Live Outside and Play Road Team. While taking the road less traveled, these two have developed clever ways to keep their rolling home organized, accessible, and ready to handle whatever bumps come their way.

Roxy and her dog Henry

The versatility of Gear Ties® have made these Reusable Rubber Twist Ties™ a vital part of their everyday lives. Colorful Gear Ties can be spotted throughout their van, illustrating numerous ways that Ben, Roxy, and their pup Henry have discovered solutions on the fly. From securing their refrigerator to creating impromptu storage, Ben and Roxy have a variety of ways that these everyday items have proved essential.

Whether you're traveling across the country or going for a short family road trip, check out the Live Outside and Play Road Team's favorite out-of-the-box ways to make long days in the car easier with Gear Ties.  

Click here to discover Ben and Roxy's "SIX OUT-OF-THE-BOX WAYS TO USE A GEAR TIE."

*Nite Ize is a proud sponsor of the Live Outside and Play Road Team.

 

 

Topics: Commuting, Gear Ties, DIY, Organization

Road Team Tested: The Fun Doesn't Stop When the Sun Goes Down

Posted by Live Outside & Play Road Team on Jul 12, 2018 9:54:41 AM

When you live in a van in Colorado and the sun dips below the horizon, you have two options: Get in and enjoy that claustrophobic feeling of being in the same small space for far too many hours, or grab some Nite Ize products and keep the fun going. With the fire ban stretching across the state, it’s easy to get discouraged after sunset in the backcountry. Without a fire to base evening debauchery around, what’s an outdoor enthusiast to do? Luckily, Nite Ize has plenty of products to help keep you entertained. Check out some fun post-sunset products perfect for both humans and furry friends alike.

Fun for Humans

SPOKELIT® LED WHEEL LIGHT – DISC-O SELECT™

 

Nothing says “I’m keeping myself safe, but I’m here to party” quite like the SpokeLit LED Wheel Light from Nite Ize. The SpokeLit is an LED lighting accessory for all occasions. And we mean ALL OCCASIONS. You can select between six colors or leave it on the color changing Disc-O mode to keep you seen and safe with perfect side visibility while riding your bike. Biking home from work? SpokeLit. Biking to the bar on a Saturday night? SpokeLit. Biking across the desert at Burning Man? Definitely SpokeLit. This shock and weather-resistant light is super efficient and has a battery life of 20 hours (roughly the length of one REALLY GOOD party). In all honesty, it just makes riding your bike more fun. We’ve even used ours along with a headlamp while mountain biking at night. We usually select our color based on our mood… Which is almost always Disc-O mode.

FLASHFLIGHT® LED LIGHT-UP FLYING DISC

When we’re backpacking we choose food with a high nutrition-to-weight ratio. When we’re in the van, we choose our toys with a high fun-to-size ratio. The Flashflight LED LightUp Flying Disc always makes the cut. The Flashflight is a LED Light Up flying disc designed by an Ultimate player to perform as beautifully as it looks. Weighing in at 185 grams, the Flashflight is our go-to for fun, whether we’re in the van or spending a night in the backcountry. The Flashflight is not only water-resistant but it floats, too! Nite Ize incorporated fiber optics as well as long-life LED lights into the Flashflight to make sure you can see it from every angle.  Obviously, it’s great at night, but it was designed to fly like a high-quality flying disc and you’ll be reaching for it even during the day.

Fun for Dogs

HUCK ‘N TUCK™ GLOWSTREAK® COLLAPSIBLE THROWER + LED BALL

We often play fetch with our van pooch after dark, and before the Huck ‘N Tuck Glowstreak Collapsible Thrower and LED Ball, we lost count of all of the tennis balls that were lost to the night. With the LED ball, and easy to store thrower, we can tire our puppy out every night after finding camp. The Huck ‘N Tuck thrower extends to two-feet long for long arching throws, and collapses down to 12 inches so it’s easy to store in the van. The motion-activated LED ball comes to life with a bounce against the ground or the first throw, and keeps glowing until it’s stationary for five minutes. You get five more minutes of the LED’s blinking before it turns off. This ensures you can find the ball even when your pup is done running. That strong little LED has 35 hours of glow time so you can play throughout the entire summer. The LED ball is molded, shockproof AND waterproof (and it floats!). This means if you have a pup that likes to swim, you can keep the water games going all night. The ball has ridges so it won’t slip as he makes his way back for another throw. It is also the same size as a tennis ball so it’s compatible with all throwers! Our dog has put this ball to the test, and it’s stood up to his slobber, chewing and his incredible ability to hide the ball from us when we’re done playing.

NITEHOWL® LED SAFETY NECKLACE

We have an adventure dog. He sprints along as we bike down singletrack, secures the perimeter every time we arrive at a new campsite, and scrambles up rock fields as we make our way to summits. This dog knows freedom and yearns to roam like the rest of us. When we arrive at camp, we instantly reach for the NiteHowl LED Safety Necklace. The collar is made up of flexible polymer which you trim down to fit your pup’s neck exactly. It comes in three different colors so you can easily distinguish between other dogs wearing the same collar. The button on the weather-resistant battery pack cycles you through solid lights, flashing and off. We use the flashing mode when walking through crowds at festivals to make sure our pup is seen, and so everyone else knows he’s ready to party. At campsites, we use the solid option so we can always spot him (and he’s still ready to party). Sometimes it’s catching glimpses of him sprinting through the trees around us, or as a glow reminder he’s curled up next to our camp chair snoozing once he’s partied out.

Topics: Adventure, "travel", DIY, Organization

Nite Ize. Life's Adventure Kit.

Over the past 30 years, Nite Ize has grown from a cabin-based startup to distributing 500+ products worldwide. We pride ourselves in being fun and functional, trusted and innovative, and obsessively dedicated to making products that are not only guaranteed for life, but guaranteed to improve your life.

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