After years of testing GPS running watches from a slew of brands, I had accepted what felt like a hard fact: When it comes to fitness, all of Garmin’s watches are so far ahead of the pack that it would be almost impossible for any other company to catch up. I’ve seen many companies try and fail. If I wanted to track a workout or map a run, I’d probably strap on a Garmin.
However, a year or so ago, one company started making me pause. Coros, a California company that started out making bike helmets, of all things, began sponsoring some athletes with serious star power. The celebrity pro ultrarunner Coree Woltering, who ran the fastest known time on the Ice Age Trail and won hearts on the World’s Toughest Race, wears a Coros. So does Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder for the marathon.
It’s like watching every Nike-signed athlete suddenly migrate to a completely different shoe. What is Eliud Kipchoge doing? But it wasn’t until I saw Des Linden set a new world record with a Coros watch that I couldn’t put it off any longer. I had to test the tech. Coros sent me its Pace 2, and—surprise!—it’s now my new favorite running watch too.
Let’s start off with the most striking feature. The Pace 2 is light. It weighs 29 grams, which is lighter by a few grams than its closest obvious competitor, the Garmin Forerunner 45. It’s so light that I barely even noticed I was wearing it.
You also have the option to switch out the perforated silicone band for a nylon one to save even more weight, although I prefer the convenience of soaping and rinsing a silicone band to handwashing the sweat out of a nylon one. (And yes, I know it’s disgusting, but if you’re having irritation on your wrist under your fitness tracker, you probably need to wash that strap.)
The Coros watch has two buttons, as compared to Garmin’s five buttons. One of the buttons rotates like a digital crown to scroll through activities, while one other button selects the highlighted option, and the last one navigates back to the previous step. Operation is very simple.
The screen is simple too. Rather than the Garmin’s crisp, clear, light-up memory-in-pixel display that you can tinker with and customize, the Pace 2 has a basic LCD screen. You can choose different faces and select your color scheme, but your choices are limited. Honestly, I prefer it that way. And sports watches don’t have to have the best possible screens. An LCD is usually fine.
An LCD screen is also a low-energy component, which I found especially helpful when I went camping. My family is outdoors a lot, and nothing is more annoying than going on an impromptu trail run to discover that your battery has died. The Garmin Instinct Solar I tested last year could supplement several days’ worth of battery life with solar charging, but it turns out that you don’t need to worry about recharging your battery—by any means—when the battery itself is epically long-lived.
As the runner’s rule of thumb goes, you should always dress like it’s 20 degrees warmer than it is. That’s why you see racers in singlets and shorts when it’s 45 degrees out: Once your furnace gets going, winter turns to spring and spring turns to summer.
But what do you do when it’s already summer? When a heat wave sets records seemingly every month, and when the humidity rises along with the temperature, making the ambient air feel like an oppressive sweater? Well, for one, you reset your expectations. You’re going to be slower, and everything’s going to feel harder. You should also think a little more about your running gear—make sure you have enough water and are as comfortable as possible.
There’s no across-the-board truism for running in the heat, and acclimatization is a hell of a drug: Some folks don’t leave the house without enough water for an overnight camping trip, while some camels can happily lope along under the blazing sun for an hour without noticing. Either way, make sure you’re prepared, from the best shoes to sunscreen to hydration packs. Anything to stay off the dreadmill, right?
Be sure to check out our fitness tracker picks and our favorite trail running shoes.
Updated July 2021: We removed older picks, like Supergoop sunscreen, and added new ones, like the Coros 2 and UE Fits.
It’s National Masturbation Month! I know that sounds weird, but basically, this is a month for some self-reflection about the highly stigmatized but nearly universal act of self-love. It all started when President Bill Clinton fired then surgeon general Joycelyn Elders in 1994 for suggesting that masturbation should be a part of sex education. The retailer Good Vibrations marked May 7 as National Masturbation Day in her honor, but it has since expanded into a monthlong international extravaganza.
Everyone should feel safe and comfortable spending time on self-love and talking about it openly. Strip the stigma, talk about it, and celebrate it. It’s 2021! We’re living through a global pandemic. Who has time for Victorian social norms?
Due to the holiday, May has become a good time of year to pick up sex toys at a steep discount. There’s a lot to sort through, but we did our best to highlight the best sex toy deals from some of our favorite brands.
Updated May 20: I removed several toys that are no longer on sale and added Lora DiCarlo Tension Tamer deal, Lelo’s Ina 2 and Tiani 24K, and Tenga’s storewide deal.
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Sex Tech Deals
MysteryVibe Crescendo for $149 ($50 off): The Crescendo is one of my favorites. It’s a versatile toy for all kinds of play, all kinds of genitals, and all kinds of body parts. It has six internal motors, and that doesn’t just mean it’s powerful. This toy can deliver handcrafted vibration patterns up and down the entire length. You can customize them or select from preset patterns.
MysteryVibe Poco for $99 ($30 off): The Poco is a small toy, like a travel-size version of the Crescendo. It’s flexible, you can easily bend it into a position uniquely suited to your body, and it features two separate motors for powerful vibrations no matter how you bend it. It’s a good choice for vulvas and penises.
Lora DiCarlo Tension Tamer Bundle for $130 ($30 off): This bundle includes Lora DiCarlo’s unique “tapping” toy, which simulates the tapping of a fingertip. It’s a great choice for clitoral stimulation and definitely an experience worth checking out. The bundle includes coconut oil–based lubricant and massage oil Fluid Coco.