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One side of this pillowcase from Rumpl is made from soft fleece, the other from abrasion-resistant nylon. When you’re ready for bed, unfurl it and stuff it with your jacket or pants to turn it into a comfy place to rest your head. It packs down to the size of a can of soda and only weighs five ounces.
It doesn’t matter if you’re backpacking or car camping, lounging in a hammock is the most relaxing way to spend an afternoon. The SingleNest is ENO’s original backcountry model, and it still overperforms in the wild, thanks to bomber 70-denier nylon-taffeta fabric that can withstand loads of up to 400 pounds.
Made from double-walled stainless steel, this sleek 12-ounce mug will keep your coffee hot much longer than it’ll take you to drink it. We’re into anything that makes getting up and going in the morning a little easier.
Ditch the hiking boots around camp and go full-on Mr. Rogers with these booties. The Fireball is constructed from a tough Pertex outer with a DWR finish, 40 grams of PrimaLoft insulation, and a soft microfleece liner for ultimate comfort. The rubber outsoles are tough enough to handle light duty and pointy rocks.
Everything you need to make simple fireside cocktails—a shaker, a reamer, a jigger cap, and two rocks glasses—is here. Beer might be your go-to camp beverage, but there’s nothing wrong with indulging in an ice-cold martini or margarita in the middle of the woods every now and then.
A hot sandwich is a better sandwich. Load this cast-iron press with bread and your favorite sandwich fixings, then rotate it over the fire for a few minutes for toasted goodness. It’ll elevate your campfire-cooking game beyond hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks.
The One was our Gear of the Year sleeping bag in our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide. “Five-degree bags are sweatboxes, 40-degree bags aren’t warm enough, and 20-degree bags are never just right. The One Bag, though, is Goldilocks through and through,” said testers. “This is a quiver killer, worthy of all-year use in many places.”
The 900-denier ripstop polyester body is water-resistant and boasts a padded bottom panel for added structure. Daisy chains make lashing a breeze, the shoulder straps are comfy and removable, and there are side grab handles for extra convenience. We dig the U-shaped lid, which makes for quick packing, and the two mesh pockets on the lid for storing small items.
The Nano Puff was released over a decade ago, but it’s still one of the most popular jackets around. It fits great and is filled with synthetic insulation, so you can use it as a layer for skiing. But it also looks good enough to wear around town. It’s available in a women’s version, too, and both make great gifts.
“There are plenty of puffy blankets on the market, but the Rumpl Down Puffy takes the cake,” our tester wrote. This compressible, 600-fill down blanket will keep you warm on your next stargazing outing. It’s versatile, too: “The Down Puffy can be your sleeping bag stand-in on a summer backpacking trip,” he writes.
The Half Dome is editor Jeremy Rellosa’s go-to climbing helmet. The wheel clicker makes it easy to dial in the fit while four large vents dump heat quickly.
The Panga offers 75 liters of waterproof storage, thanks to the high-density nylon shell and Yeti’s famous Hydrolok zipper, keeping water and dirt out. We like the EVA foam-molded base, which gives you a solid platform when you’re loading gear. The interior has two mesh pockets, while the outside is fitted with side grab handles and burly daisy chains that let you tie the bag down to your boat.
Rated down to 20 degrees and weighing in at 2.7 pounds, the Mirror Lake is a versatile, multi-season bag. The 600-fill, water repellant down and traditional mummy construction makes this a reliable backpacking bag for all conditions.
Goodbye, shaky footage. Outside contributor Brent Rose praised the Hero7 Black for its superb image stabilization. “It handles small bumps much better [than the Hero6] and does a killer job of eliminating vibration,” Rose writes. “The footage is certainly smoother and easier on the eyes (and the stomach).”
We included the Helium II in our roundup of the most portable gear. The jacket weighs in at just 6.4 ounces, stuffs into your pocket, and is completely waterproof.
After months testing 59 models of socks, we think that the PhD Run are the best running socks you can buy. They’re soft, fast wicking, quick drying, durable, and comfortable for a long time, regardless of conditions.
Our tester put the Tiger Wall through the wringer. “I don’t believe there is a two- or three-person, semi-freestanding, double-wall tent that weighs 2.5 or 3 pounds (or less), retails for $400 or $450 (or less), and matches or surpasses the Tiger Wall,” they wrote.
The Ariel AG 55 won our women’s backpacking test. “The Ariel is a feature-rich, versatile pack that presents a case study in how a sturdy, weight-bearing suspension design is often more comfortable than a design that shaves ounces by way of flimsier built-in support,” our testers wrote.
We featured this pad in our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide. “It may be lightweight, but this pad gets big points for being stable and plush,” our tester writes. “The secret is in its looped TPU Air Sprung cells—small interconnected chambers that have enough bounce to make you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud.”
CamelBak built a kid’s version of its most popular mountain-bike pack for the littlest of shredders. The Mini Mule comes with a 1.5-liter hydration bladder, just under a liter of gear space, and a mesh harness that vents so junior isn’t left with sweat stains under the shoulder straps.
This hauler’s 55-liter capacity can hold a few days’ worth of gear (up to 45 pounds), but don’t go overboard: you don’t want to weigh down your child too much on their first multi-night backpacking trip. The Optifit suspension can be lengthened as your kid grows, while multiple exterior pockets and top and side access to the main compartment make organization easy. Pack judiciously.
A pack made for fast-and-light adventures on a bike, the Moki is a small 1.5 liters, just enough for a layer and some snacks. But it also comes with a dedicated hydration sleeve—with its own quick-zip access—and an attachment strap for a blinking light, so it’s easy for your child to be visible and safe.
This Deuter pack is for when you introduce your children to technical pursuits, like ski touring and rock climbing. It has 22 liters of room in a top-loading compartment, with space for a hydration bladder, but is also outfitted with ice-ax straps, D rings, and gear loops for lashing rope, trekking poles, or whatever they need for the day.
Built for big boys and girls (8 to 12 years old), the Tarn Hydro is a straightforward daypack with a wide opening to the main compartment and a comfy padded back panel with an air-flow channel. The stretchy mesh side pockets are great for items your kids want to access easily or an extra bottle if they want more water than the built-in, 1.5-liter HydraPak reservoir can fit.
The 40-liter Icarus is designed for overnight or quick weekend trips into the backcountry, and it comes loaded with the same features your favorite adult packs have: a hydration sleeve, a trekking-pole attachment, a rain cover, a separate slot for a sleeping bag, and an exterior stash pocket. The VersaFit suspension system has four inches of adjustment, so the Icarus can grow with your child.
Stio teamed up with Polartec to create a line of baselayers made with merino wool and synthetic fibers. The result? Breathable, durable pieces that move moisture off the skin. The Power Wool was the only baselayer our gear editor wore on a four-day hut trip. “The Basis was completely odorless,” he writes.
Designed to move with you through the elements in fall and then transition into a trusty midlayer for winter, the Nova Jacket is stuffed with Primaloft Gold insulation and has a stylish, modern cut that’s flattering without being restricting.
One of Outside columnist Jakob Schiller’s favorites, this jacket is made with burly, seven-ounce waxed sailcloth and lined with soft polyester. Like fine leather, it will develop a patina that looks great the more you wear it. “[It] will not only put up with years of chopping wood but will also look better afterward,” he writes.
Want a sneaker that you can throw on for a quick errand or dress up for a night at the water’s edge? There’s no wrong way to wear this minimalist shoe, with its stripped-down style, white piping, and a lightweight, breathable poplin-twill upper. We picked it as one of the best travel shoes of 2018.
The best part about the Wilder is that while it excels at being wet, it feels just as comfortable on land. It features a mesh and neoprene upper on a grippy, lugged outsole. That upper is reinforced for support with a heel cup in the back and rubber vamps toward the front. Dual climbing shoe-inspired tabs make getting in easy, and a speed lace system locks the foot into place.
The Unico blends the performance and support of a hiking boot with the style and agility of a trail runner. A one-piece Kevlar upper and seamless construction eliminates potential rubbing areas, which means no hot spot or blisters. Inside, a wool sock liner wicks moisture away from your foot. Plus, it’s totally waterproof.
Part Tupperware, part dinnerware, the MealKit 2.0 combines storage and serving with its system of plates, bowls, cups and lids, making it easy to prep the meal at home and store it in a cooler on the way to the perfect picnic spot. They’re a lot lighter than many other picnic dinnerware options and fairly reasonable to boot.
The 60-meter Ceuze is a solid rope for both indoor climbing and outdoor sport routes. The included rope bag keeps your rope clean when flaking it out and organized for travel to and from the wall.
For the weight conscious, Sea to Summit’s hanging toiletry bag is made from an über-light, water-resistant, polyurethane-coated nylon and weighs just 2.8 ounces. The big central pocket can accommodate shampoo, soap, and a comb, while two smaller zippered pockets on the lid are good for keeping travel-size floss and toothpaste organized.
Eagle Creek’s Dopp kit doesn’t hang, but it has a wide base and zips wide open, so you can find what you need without fumbling. The water- and stain-resistant ripstop, plus seam-sealed compartments, keep whatever else you have in your suitcase safe from potential explosions.
The beauty of the shower roll is its compact nature. Fold it up, and you can slip it into the most tightly crammed pack, but unfurl that puppy and hang it from the shower-curtain rod, and you’ve got everything you need visible. The best feature is the removable pocket with a clear window—handy for keeping liquids separate and easily accessible as you make your way through airport security.
Osprey has a reputation for paying attention to the details, and that’s certainly evident with the Ultralight. It’s made from 40-denier ripstop for durability, has cushioned walls to help prevent broken combs or burst shampoo, and five pockets for organization. And of course, there’s a hook for hanging.
Undoubtedly the coolest looking of the bunch, this toiletry case is waterproof (like fully submersible waterproof) and made from a light TPU construction that tips the scales at 2.75 ounces. And it has the best of both worlds: the solid base and wide-mouth opening are ideal for countertop use, and the hanging loop allows you to take it in the shower if you so choose.
Thule’s Subterra luggage has impressed us with its ability to fit what feels like endless storage in limited spaces, and the line’s toiletry bag lives up to that reputation. Flip open the top lid to access two compartments, but then unzip the bottom one to find another two pockets (which are conveniently transparent) cleverly nested within that.
Take the fun of Spikeball, eliminate all the setup, and you have Rocketball. Play one-on-one or in teams, trying to bounce the ball off the board and past your opponents. The best part? The board floats, so you can easily move from grass to the pool or lake.
Put a stick on top of a pole and try to knock it off with a Frisbee. That’s the gist of Frisknock. Be warned—it’s addictive. Luckily, Tenalach’s version glows in the dark so you can still see your target after sundown.
If you don’t have a bocce set at this point in your life, what are you even doing, bro? These dense composite-resin balls come sandwiched inside a pine carrying case, so you look good when you show up to play.
The game is simple: Work with your teammate to get your Frisbee in the can. Toss the disc and sink it in the top of the can for three points, have your teammate knock your throw in through the top for one, and hit the side for two. Angle a throw through the slot in front for an instant win.
This is what lawn games in Norway look like. Divide into two teams and try to knock over kubbs (or pins) with a wooden baton until you topple the other team’s king. According to our friends in Scandinavia, this is how Vikings entertained themselves when they weren’t pillaging.
Cornhole is like blue-collar bocce—a staple lawn game that’s tailor-made for playing with one hand (leaving the other one free to hold your beverage). It can be tempting to go for a lighter, more weatherproof set made from aluminum or plastic, but you want solid wood boards like these for that regulation bounce and slide.
These slippers are an all-time favorite of former gear editor Ben Fox. Each pair is handcrafted from toasty 100 percent pure, natural wool, which naturally wicks moisture from your feet so they’re always warm and dry. Plus, the rubber sole means you can wear them outside.
The Crown VC has all the bells and whistles you need, like compression straps, a ventilated back panel, and stretch pockets on the shoulder straps hold cell phone or earbuds, but still weighs barely over two pounds. Going on a shorter trip? The roll-top closure accommodates varied load volumes making it just as easy to use this pack for an overnight as it is for a week-long adventure.
These Chelsea boots look good and perform well, too. Made from a waterproof leather upper with a canvas lining, the boots slip on and off easily. The rubber outsoles have a slight heel and are made to be grippy on rocks and light snow.
We featured these zero-drop shoes in our roundup of the best trail runners of 2018. “The shoe takes a centrist’s approach to foam and protection, with a slow, cruisey vibe and a wide, boxy fit best suited for ambling runs on less technical trails,” our tester wrote.
With a cavernous 28-liter main compartment and laptop sleeve big enough to hold a 15-inch laptop, the Refugio can easily carry the essentials for work, the gym, or extra layers on long day hikes.
The design of this jacket is based on the iconic M65 field jacket issued to American troops, but Proof has borrowed smart modern materials for their updated version. We particularly love the outer fabric, which maintains that matte green finish but comes coated with DWR and has four-way stretch for unrestricted movement. Inside, the jacket is packed with 80 grams of cozy synthetic insulation.
The Gurkhali’s are one of gear editor Will Egensteiner’s favorite pants. They’re made with a blend of Dyneema, cotton, and Lycra, so they provide range of motion and durability. For those reasons, they’re a great fit for the office and the trail. “Pretty soon I’ll have no reason to change out of them,” Will writes.
Protect your eyes with these polarized sunglasses for women. The lenses reduce 99 percent of visible glare from water, snow, sand, and even pavement for better visual accuracy and decreased eye strain. An anti-reflective and hydrophobic coating help them resist reflections and water.
Removing 99.99 percent of bacteria and protozoa, the Meta Bottle is a collapsible and BPA-free. Fill it with water, then shake for speedy filtration—up to two liters per minute. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe.
Former editor Ben Fox loves the Transcendent for its uber-warm protection from the elements. “When you’re on a chilly belay or ripping off touring skins on an exposed summit and the wind starts gusting, you’ll be thankful for the Transcendent’s lofty, lightweight 650-fill down insulation, wind-resistant fabric, and cozy hood,” he says.
Fend off chills and cold weather in the Ghost Whisperer Reversible jacket. Nikwax-treated 800-fill down retains heat while also resisting moisture, so the jacket can be worn in light rain and snow and still provide ample protection from the elements.
Marmot’s Ama Dablam is an excellent midweight expedition parka. It has a long cut, full hood, and 800-fill down, all in a sub-three-pound package. And thanks to the hexagonal quilting, it has a slimmer, sleeker cut than many other puffies.
This hoodie is as high-tech as it looks. Packed with quality 850-fill down in the core, the Cerium LT Down has strategically mapped areas with synthetic insulation to resist moisture. You’ll barely notice it in your pack: it weighs just 10.9 ounces.
The Fuego is a good insulator for general around-town or on-the-trail use. It features baffles stuffed with responsibly-sourced 800-fill water-resistant goose down and breathable Polartec Alpha underarm panels.
The Fuego is a good insulation layer for general around-town or on-the-trail use. It’s made with responsibly sourced 800-fill water-resistant goose down and breathable Polartec Alpha underarm panels.
Our testers love the Thorium for its tough outer nylon shell that will resist rips (unlike the paper-thin outers of most puffies). Bonus points for the DWR finish and water-resistant synthetic insulation at the spots most likely to get wet (the shoulders, cuffs, and underarms). It’s the complete package.
This sleek, leak-proof bottle keeps drinks hot for 12 hours, and cold for 24 hours. The glass finish on the inside means there’s no metallic aftertaste.
This jacket is built tough, but looks sharp. It’s made with mechanical stretch denim that can take a beating and has six pockets for tools, pacifiers, and other E.D.C. mom essentials.
Flimsy totes don’t stand a chance against the Camino Carryall. It’s a bomber everyday bag built for the beach, the back of the van, and everywhere in between. Plus, it cleans up easily with a quick spray down, a must for moms on the go.
We crowned this the Gear of the Year hiking shoe in our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide. They’re fully waterproof, and gave us confidence to power through puddles and light streams, thanks to the Gore-Tex construction. The cherry on top was the lightweight Vibram outsole, which kept our feet secure across uneven terrain.
We love drinking shower beers. But when it’s time for a classier, Mom-only relaxation session, she can put a glass of wine in the Sipski during a bath or shower. It’ll keep the cabernet clear of the soap and suds.
This pullover is a classy but ultra-comfy top made for kicking back after a long day. It’s made of hemp and recycled polyester, features a big kangaroo pouch, and has UPF 50+ protection, should that mom in your life choose to relax in the sun.
We included these towels in our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide. They’re made with long-staple cotton that gets softer with each wash. And the big waffle weave absorbs moisture quickly, allowing Mom to towel dry in a flash.
We love these sandals for both laid back activites and dressier occasions. OluKai’s footbed offers firm support and cushioning to prevent sore feet.
Sometimes smartphone cameras don’t cut it. Upgrade that special mother in your life to the Coolpix B600, which features 60x optical zoom, full HD video, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity for sharing photos. The controls are simple, so she can get shooting right out of the box.
The Tile Pro two pack is an ideal gift for mothers that chronically misplace their valuables. Latch one onto a a set of keys or put one in a purse fold, and they act like beacons when synced with her smartphone. The best part? If she can’t find her phone, she can just press the button on the Tile to give it a ring.
The Harmony is one of our Staff Picks. The natural rubber is among the grippiest we’ve tested, which makes it ideal for hot yoga or sweaty workout sessions.
The big sole of the Clifton 5 gave testers a cushy, stable ride. At 15.2 ounces, they’re on the heavier side, but Mom’s feet will be happy with the extra cushioning and support.
The Versa’s simple interface allows mothers to track their heart rate and sleep quality, while boasting 15 exercise modes. The sleek design of the watchface doesn’t look bulky, like most sport watches.
A handy sack for gardening, foraging, and holding weekend sundries, the Barebones Gathering Bag has a removable waterproof liner, so cleaning it out after a day of heavy use is a breeze. Plus, it comes with steel pruners and a canvas sheath.
These headphones deliver audio through the cheekbones, so mothers can stay alert while they listen to music. These are a great option for stroller pushing and bike riding especially in an urban environment.
The Uinta has what you’d expect of a solid bag—tough polyester to keep your mat safe and a small pocket and key clip for carrying personal effects. But it’s got nice extras, too, like the mesh bottom that allows sweat to evaporate and escape.
If you want to really open up your back, lay faceup with this wheel beneath your spine, and settle in. (Don’t fret—it can withstand up to 550 pounds.) You can also use it to help build balance and core strength by incorporating it into poses like crow and plank.
Pendleton brought its signature aesthetics, and Yeti Yoga contributed its gear know-how for the Fire Legend mat. It has an eye-catching pattern and is made from textured PVC, with a rubber bottom for no-slip, plush comfort.
Yoga blocks can provide crucial support in tough poses. This one is sustainably harvested from the bark of Portuguese cork trees, and it’s naturally antimicrobial and water-resistant (read: it can handle bouts of sweaty hot yoga).
Double up on comfort by spreading this moisture-wicking, quick-drying towel over your mat. Not only is its polyester fabric cushier, but it also provides more grip, so bare feet won’t slip out from under you.
This organic cleanser, which is biodegradable and alcohol-free, won’t break down your mat as it refreshes. Aim a few spritzes at your mat, wipe it down, then let it air-dry as you enjoy the pleasant smell of ginger grass—not sweat or BO.
Every proper backcountry number two starts with a cathole, and this ultralight shovel gets the job done. It’s made from a tough but light aluminum and even has small teeth in case you run into any debris as you dig.
In some outdoor spaces, you can simply dig a hole, cover it up, and leave your business behind. But if you’re in a sensitive ecosystem, or on the side of a big wall, you’ll be packing your poop out. Enter this puncture-resistant solution, with “Poo Powder” that turns waste into a stable gel, so you can transport it worry-free. These 12 bags are leakproof, but smart people bring along a Tupperware.
Guys have it easy. Women, who are tired of ditching layers or a harness or a pack when peeing, do not. The Sani-Fem is the lightweight answer: a small funnel that lets you keep your clothes on and stay upright. Because accidentally squatting in poison ivy is no fun.
The TP you use is really about personal choice, because, in an ideal Leave No Trace world, you’ll be packing it out with you. But Coleman’s version comes in a convenient carrying case that acts as a dispenser and is two-ply, affording a bit of comfort when answering the call of nature in nature.
This is how you’re bringing that used Coleman Camper’s toilet paper out of the woods with you. Use gallon-size bags so you have plenty of room, and double them up—for safety.
You can go with Dr. Bronner’s, but this case, containing 50 “leaves” of soap, is a better choice for your poop kit, because it’s light (half an ounce) and small (half an inch thick). Just pull one out and dissolve it with water.
When you’re car camping, you shouldn’t skimp on comfort. This cot’s aluminum frame and 600-denier polyester fabric makes for a sturdy sleeping platform. At 86-by-40 inches, it needs a good bit of space—make sure you have a big enough tent.
On cool-weather climbs and hikes, we prefer soft shell jackets for their stretch and breathability. The Ferrosi’s nylon-spandex blend is lightweight but holds onto enough warmth to take the bite out of chilly breezes. This hoodie does run a bit small, so consider ordering a size up.
Back in 2012, the Zealot made the cut as one of our favorite pieces of MTB gear. Not much about this classic pack has changed since—it still holds up. Testers found it easy to stow and retrieve a jacket in the outside pocket, while the ribbed suspension system and detachable hose are comfortable and intuitive.
We love trucker hats for their sun-blocking prowess. But they’re often bulky and hard to stuff in a pack. The ball cap-style Horizon has a bill that folds down the middle into the size of a hotdog, fitting easily in a back pocket and, yes, a pack too.
This top’s polyester mesh feels airy and wicks away sweat well—perfect for hot and humid environments. But if you’re looking for a more form-fitting cut, check out the Motivation Stripe tank.
We feel good about wearing Threads 4 Thought. The brand uses recycled materials (much of it from a city in China that recycles 82 percent of its water) and makes comfy gear to boot. We dig the Moto’s sleek ribbed material on the shins. These run a bit loose—we recommend sizing down.
If you’re looking for a solid pair of polarized, multi-sport shades, grab the Comstock. The grippy nose pads keep the frames in place even when you work up a sweat. Though these sunnies run wide, so try them on beforehand if you have a slimmer face.
A removable insulated box paired with an outer shell, the Cooloir was a breeze to hose down and dry out after a trip. It’s large enough to fit lunch for four, but best not to keep perishable items in it for more than 48 hours.
Last year, we featured the ProLite in a round up of our favorite yoga gear. Testers loved it for its durability and grip, but also for how Manduka shaved 3.5 pounds from the previous version.
The Ardent DC EXO TR’s have aggressive, block-style knobs for superior traction on rocky terrain. They’re tubeless-ready, so you can use them with or without an inner tube. Also available in 29 in.
These pedals give you the option to clip in with your cleats for longer rides, or flip them over to use the wide platform with your daily shoes on more casual trips—ideal for road cyclists, commuters, and everyone in between.
Stock up on this industry-standard cleaner that handles the toughest grease. We like to pair it with the Park Tool Chain Gang. Bonus: it’s biodegradable and non-toxic.
The Vibe was featured on our list of the best affordable bike lights, where our tester appreciated the “sensor, which turns the light on when there’s motion and turns the light off when the bike is parked so you never waste your battery by forgetting to hit the off button.”
The Mini-7 employs a three-part locking system which allows you to protect the most vulnerable bike components: frame, rear wheel, and front wheel. The U-lock secures the frame and rear wheel, while the front wheel is protected by Kryptonite’s included 130mm WheelBoltz.
Easily the most versatile mount you can buy, this accessory turns your ski pole into a selfie stick for powder-heavy face shots. It also fits multiple positions on your bike: stick it on your bars for head-first action, or turn it backward on your seat post to capture a friend ripping behind you. The base rotates 360 degrees and features multiple secure positions for the perfect angle.
Our gear editor praised Patagonia’s Nine Trails packs for their clean efficiency: “With a minimalist design and well-considered features, Patagonia has proven that when it comes to daypacks, simpler is better,” he writes. It’s available in both men’s and women’s sizes from 14 liters to 36 liters.
We get compliments on our Marmot Precip jackets every time we wear them. It’s a simple, streamlined design that works for urban commutes, epic hikes, and bombing down singletrack. Plus, Marmot makes them in solid colors that look good on everybody. You won’t find a more reliable, comfortable shell at a better price.
We take the Better Sweater almost everywhere because it hits the sweet spot between warmth, comfort, and style. It’s made from a polyester knitted fleece that is soft on the skin.
It seems like every week one of our writers praises the performance qualities of the Buff. Made from soft polyester microfiber, you can use it as a neck warmer, twist the ends together to make a hat, or even wear it as a bandana.
The LifeStraw’s membrane removes 99.9 percent of bacteria and parasites. We like it so much we included a version of the filter in our 2018 roundup of the best men’s thru-hiking gear.
Forget stealing the hotel shampoo. Fill these durable Cordura bags with your shower and grooming essentials instead, and you’ll have everything you need in reusable, leakproof containers. Each weighs less than half an ounce and carries three ounces of liquid—well within TSA restrictions.
Not all Dopp kits are created equal. The North Face’s version is made from tough ballistic nylon that easily withstands shower spray and mist. More importantly, it has a wide opening, a flat bottom, and a hook, so it can sit upright on the countertop or hang from the showerhead, always within reach.
There are plenty of organic, biodegradable soaps out there, but it’s hard to beat the classic: Dr. Bronner’s. A liquid pure-castile soap (no chemicals or phosphates), it doubles as shampoo and bodywash. The label also makes for fun bathroom reading.
Showers are great—when you can take them. But it’s not always possible, so make sure you have a pack of these wipes in your kit. They’re extra thick but soft enough to use in the most sensitive places, and aloe vera and vitamin E moisturize as you scrub the grime away.
Why waste time and materials cutting the end off a cheap plastic toothbrush when you could use this overdesigned model that folds into itself? Plus, the head is replaceable when the bristles wear out.
Whether you’re rinsing off after a bike ride or grabbing a quick shower at a hostel abroad, having your own towel comes in handy. This one is an ultralight option (6.4 ounces for the full-body version) that folds down to the size of a pocket square. It’s made from a super-absorbent microfiber that dries fast, too.
One of our favorite camp shoes, the Ember Mocs have a quilted Ripstop upper, which hugs your feet like a slipper, and a rubber sole, which lets you move freely around rocky and dirty campsites.
The Dipseas sunglasses have long been one of our favorites. According to our testers, “the [Dispseas] turns up the style dial with delicious frame colors…and the outlook is cool and clear through polarized emerald lenses that are better than you’d expect at this price.”
Soft-shelled coolers aren’t supposed to work this well. The Hopper Two collapses nearly flat and will keep brews cold for a really, really long time. It’s not light (almost six pounds when empty), but let’s be real—nothing from Yeti is. If you want cold beer for hours, and a lot of it, opt for the Hopper Two.
With space enough for two growlers, the seam-sealed, waterproof polyester-ripstop Sixer is burly. Friends will thank you for bringing plenty to share, and that the reflective silver liner and foam insulation kept it all chilled by the time you arrived.
Every cooler here is collapsible to a degree, but the Classic is the true space saver’s dream. It’s essentially just a watertight nylon bag that can fold flat or roll up when you’re not using it. An air valve lets you pump extra cold-trapping dead space into the walls for maximum insulation around 12 cans of beer and accompanying ice.
The smallest cooler here, the Bucket Truck It is only designed to carry a six-pack. But that makes it easy to bring everywhere, leaving no excuses to not have it on hand. Fill this tote with your favorite beverages and an ice pack, then carry a liquid picnic to your preferred scenic overlook.
Fold the Pack Away completely flat when you’re not using it—it’s much easier to stow in the back of your car that way, ready to deploy when you make a pit stop for beer en route to the campsite. It holds 24 cans and is fully seam sealed, so don’t worry about leaks, even when the Pack Away is loaded with ice.
The beauty of the Double Take: it’s only a cooler when you want it to be. Use the retro main shell on its own (choose from waxed canvas, 1,000-denier Cordura, or upcycled tent fabric when you buy), or throw the Chilly Bag insert in and you’ve got 6.5 liters of cold storage. Bonus points for the buckle that doubles as a bottle opener.
The cozy wool upper on these slippers pairs beautifully with a rubber outsole for ultimate convenience when hanging out indoors or running out for a quick coffee. They can be worn with or without socks, and if you choose to do the latter, you won’t have to worry about stink, thanks to the odor-resistant nature of the wool.
We take the Better Sweater almost everywhere because it hits the sweet spot between warmth, comfort, and style. It’s made from a polyester knitted fleece that is soft on the skin.
Made with lightweight, quick-drying polyester ripstop fabric, the Sol Patrol II shirt is a warm-weather staple that also offers UPF 30 sun protection.
The Liddy is one of editor Emily Reed’s most worn items. “It’s extra stretchy, has soft and flexible buttons, and an extra-long hemline for easy layering,” she says.
Designed with surf artist Thomas Campbell as part of Huckberry’s Earth Week, 100 percent of the proceeds for this shirt go to Waves For Water, a nonprofit that provides clean drinking water to people around the globe. It’s printed on a Flint and Tinder shirt, a brand we love.
It may be so hot and humid outside that your hair feels like it never left the shower, but at least the Short-Sleeve A/C Lightweight Top helps. With a blend of ultralight organic cotton and breathable hemp crafted into a slightly raised texture, this shirt helps cool you down against the sticky heat outside.
Editor Emily Reed, who tested the Yampa 70 last summer, said the bag is “made to endure rocky shorelines and brambly bushwhacks,” citing its TPU-coated nylon and foam cushioning. “You can haul, toss, and drag your gear without fear of damaging it,” she wrote.
Springtime means rainstorms, and the Venture 2 is a budget-friendly way to stay dry, whether you’re dodging drops on your way to work or stuck in a torrential downpour miles from the trailhead. Clean lines help it look sharp, while the 2.5-layer DryVent waterproof-breathable laminate and underarm vents dump unwanted heat buildup.
This lightweight, soft-shell hoodie is built for comfort on all-day missions. This jacket has windproof coverage in the hood and arms, but if you’re looking for more insulation, layer up with a warm long-sleeve base-layer underneath.
The Borod works great as a midlayer or light jacket for outings in multiple seasons. The lightweight gridded fleece interior keeps your skin cool and dry on high-output days, while maintaining insulation should the weather turn foul.
The Isabella will serve you well on your daily commute, on campus, or as a carry-on. It’s outfitted with a laptop sleeve, two side pockets, a compartment for your electronics, and plenty of room for textbooks. And the cushy shoulder straps make this pack a solid option for day hikes after class.
The synthetic insulation in the Ventrix is made to be active, with gill-like vents cut into the underarms to dump heat. The soft face fabric glides easily under your shell for perfect layering when the weather turns.
This award-winning jacket has a permanent home in our editors’ closets—and for good reason. The active insulation in the Ventrix is made to work with you, dumping heat as you go. Gill-like vents cut into the synthetic insulation that stretches throughout the whole jacket.
Hold on to your fitness goal harder than ever before with this data-driven bundle from Garmin. It combines a multisport GPS heart rate monitor watch with an HRM-Tri heart rate chest strap to deliver top-notch results after every workout. The watch is great for everyday use too—smart notifications hit the device as soon as you get a text or call to your smartphone.
This isn’t a luggage tag in the traditional sense. It’s a GPS tag you can attach to anything you don’t want to lose like your camera, keys, or purse. Pair it with your smartphone and you can click a button to sound an alarm on the Tile that can be heard for 300 feet, or use the GPS feature to track the item that’s missing.
If you’re packing bear spray, you want it at the ready. Mystery Ranch’s holster straps to your belt or a pack’s sternum or waist straps, so your deterrent is always within reach.
Make sure your beer and chocolate bars stay yours with this cooler, which, when paired with a locking kit, is certified bear resistant from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. To earn that distinction, the Venture had to survive an hour of being manhandled by a grizzly.
If you want to keep food safe, seal it up. The Insider has a quick-opening locking mechanism that’s easy for humans to figure out but a lock that will frustrate bears. And it’s made of bomber polypropylene, plus has a good amount of storage space (11.86-liters for food) without a ton of weight (3.7 pounds).
Federal regulations limit how much capsaicinoids (the active eye- and nose-stinging ingredient) bear spray can have, and most options on the market hit that maximum. But the Sabre Frontiersman also has a long range (up to 30 feet), and the company makes a training spray so you can safely practice without wasting the real stuff.
Some national parks and forests require the use of bear canisters in the backcountry. But for places where ursine scavengers aren’t as much of a concern, a food bag is a good, lightweight option to keep the critters out. The Ursack is made from an incredibly tough Kevlar-based fabric, and the integrated six-foot-long cord makes it easy to string up in a tree.
Our gear editor praised Patagonia’s Nine Trails packs for their clean efficiency: “With a minimalist design and well-considered features, Patagonia has proven that when it comes to daypacks, simpler is better,” he writes. It’s available in both men’s and women’s sizes from 14 liters to 36 liters.
This bag is a staple for summer surf trips, shoulder-season backpacking trips, and overnight forays into the mountains. It’s light and compact enough for taking out on the trail, yet still comfy enough for casual car-camping adventures, and it comes at a price that won’t destroy your summer-wandering budget.
RxBars are made of just a handful of natural ingredients, one of which is egg whites for protein. The result is chewy and delicious. This particular flavor has only a hint of caffeine (five milligrams) for when you need a little pick-me-up.
Chocolate and peanut butter go wonderfully together. And they’re even better when they’re mixed into individual servings—easier to pop on the trail for an instant shot of calories and protein. Plus, ProBar’s blend has 25 milligrams of caffeine derived from yerba maté.
Jelly beans have gotten us through more than one mountain-bike race. They’re fruity, delicious, and packed with electrolytes and B and C vitamins, but mostly they’re straight energy-giving sugar. These also have 50 milligrams of caffeine per bag for even more of a bump.
Shot Bloks are good when you’re craving something (anything) other than another gel or bar. And they’re made from all-organic ingredients. Get the black cherry or chocolate-cherry flavors, which come with 50 milligrams of caffeine per every three pieces.
The Double Expresso energy gel is like mainlining caffeine—100 milligrams of it, to be exact, the same as in your morning coffee. And the pouch makes for easy slurping as a midrace jolt.
A quick hit of goo with 87 calories and 22 grams of carbs, a single Double Espresso gel also has a whopping 150 milligrams of caffeine—more than a 12-ounce can of Red Bull. Consume in moderation.
After testing this new Hydro Flask product, our Gear Guy said it was his favorite cooler-pack hybrid mostly because of how comfortable and easy to carry it is. Credit the padded shoulder straps and sleek design.
Although it’s minimal, this kit contains the most commonly need first aid products, including gauze, scissors, band-aids, and ibuprofen.
Camping with a partner? Our Gear Guy recommends the Apollo, which uses a QuadPower LED light that pumps out 250 lumens, and features a non-glaring case and fold-down legs. It’s ideal for lighting up your camp kitchen or tent.
Small, packable, and easy to deploy, this tripod stool makes a great chair at camp. We recommend storing it in the back of your car so it’s always on hand.
Gear editor Emily Reed loves the Eldris, which is a staple of her camping box. She finds the oversize handle and fixed blade effective for whittling and chopping kindling. Plus, the affordable price means it’s not a devastating loss if she accidentally forgets the knife at a campsite. Read her full review here.
The back panel on this space-efficient pack closely mimics the curve of a woman’s back, making it so comfy that testers almost forgot they had it on. It’s available in five sizes, so you can really dial in the fit.
This practical, sturdy headlamp pumps out 70 lumens of light and only weighs 3.2 ounces. The four-LED lamp is surprisingly feature-rich considering its affordable price tag: it has five different light settings, and can be dimmed or brightened simply by holding a finger down on the button.
With ten LEDs that produce 50 lumens, this lantern has a frosted plastic body that casts prettier light than most fixtures at five-star resorts. It has three settings (low, medium, and high), a separate button to check the remaining power, and a strap for carrying and hanging.
We love the Klettersack for its beautiful, high-quality design. Our tester praised the bag’s bomber construction, writing “the 22-liter pack features 1,000-denier Cordura fabric and heavy duty hardware so it’ll put up with years of day-hike abuse.”
This jacket is as high-tech as it looks. Packed with premium 850-fill down in the torso and synthetic insulation elsewhere, the Cerium LT is constructed to retain warmth where you need it (around your core) and manage moisture everywhere else. You’ll barely notice it in your pack: it weighs just 9.7 ounces.
This unassuming little beach chair weighs just 3.2 pounds but it can accommodate up to 320. Nice touch: The legs come with big plastic feet to prevent sinkage into the sand.
Our testers put the Z/Cloud X sandals through the paces and came away impressed. One wrote: l’ve hiked for miles on end in them, from rocky scrambles in Grand Teton National Park to ruins in the ancient city of Petra, Jordan, and dusty, steep hills along other parts of the Jordan Trail.
This superlight jacket is filled with Patagonia’s new PlumaFill insulation, which is made of hydrophobic polyester fibers that mimic the structure of down. Rather than being blown into baffles like other synthetics, the PlumaFill is tacked between sheets of 10-denier nylon in long strands, so it won’t shift and create cold spots.
Keep your digits extra warm this winter with a refillable hand warmer from Zippo. Fill the interior chamber with lighter fluid, light the flame, close the lid, slip it in your pocket, and enjoy heat for up to 12 hours. When the heat runs out, repeat the process for endless warmth all winter long.
The Roo Double camping hammock is optimized for adventure. It’s durable, tear resistant, comfortable, and strong enough for two campers—or a baby elephant. Your pick. Diamond ripstop nylon adds reinforcement to protect against tearing and ripping and results in the 500-pound weight capacity.
The Deviator is one of our favorite mid-layers. It uses hydrophobic Polartec Alpha insulation, which moves water away from your body.
Gear editor Ben Fox praised Patagonia’s Nine Trails packs for their clean efficiency. “With a minimalist design and well-considered features, Patagonia has proven that when it comes to daypacks, simpler is better,” he writes. It’s available in both men’s and women’s sizes from 14 to 36 liters.
The easy-to-set-up Discovery fits four people and has two vents for airflow. At 10.4 pounds, it’s a better fit for car camping than mutli-day backcountry excursions. Still, we love this shelter for its full-coverage rainfly and the well-designed interior pockets.
The Marzen has an interesting feature: its glasses come with two sets of interchangeable arms, one sporty and one casual. More importantly, it’s made with superlight, impact-resistant nylon frames and polarized lenses with 100 percent UV protection.
These glasses were designed specifically for water sports, with gray wraparound polarized lenses that cut through the glare and a buoyant foam frame core that keeps the glasses afloat if you drop them. The lenses are shatterproof and offer 100 percent UV protection.
With a cool-blue lens and tough stainless-steel body, the Salute gives you pilot aesthetics with a polarized carbonic TLT lens. It offers 100 percent UV protection and helps reduce glare from water and snow.
The Marshall blocks 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays with its polarized polycarbonate lenses, which also cut down on glare. The temple pieces are made from bamboo to help minimize their impact on the planet.
Sunski’s version of the classic wayfarer silhouette features polarized triacetate cellulose lenses that offer a full spectrum of UV protection in a frame that weighs just one ounce.
These women’s sunglasses offer 100 percent UV protection in a polarized, polycarbonate injection-molded lens that gives you a high quality of polarization over cheaper lenses.
The Charge 4 is a speaker-and-battery combination, delivering high-quality audio in a portable, waterproof package with 20 hours of playback time. It weighs more than three pounds, so it’s not the lightest speaker on the market, but it also has a 7,500 mAh battery that can charge your phone twice and still leave you with several hours of play time.
This has a battery capacity of 1,425 watt-hours and the ability to power everything from your mini fridge to your laptop to your camera. It’s incredibly easy to use (there’s an app to control it with your phone and a screen that will give you the estimated run time) and has outputs for every form of power you could think of. At 45 pounds, it isn’t light, but true off-the-grid power has its price.
This isn’t much bigger than the palm of your hand, but it puts out 350 lumens of light for up to 250 hours. It also serves as a power bank that can charge your smartphone up to four times. There’s an Android and iOS app that enables you to control the light from your phone.
This battery is just four inches long and weighs less than three ounces. It only has one USB port but carries 3,350 mAh of power that will charge your phone once on the fly.
All you need to charge your phone are some sticks—that’s the beauty of BioLite’s Campstove 2. It features a powerful burner (10,000 BTUs) that runs thermal energy generated by a small fire. The heat produced also feeds the on-board 2,600 mAh battery, which can store a full phone charge. We dig the LED dashboard that offers real-time info on fire strength and battery level.
The River Bank bridges the gap between a small power bank designed to charge your phone and a large portable generator made to power just about everything. It features two USB-C ports and two USB ports as well as a Qi wireless charging pad, so you can charge a laptop, phone, drone, or even jump-start your car. It holds its charge for up to six months and only weighs two pounds.
Our testers picked the Caldera 2 as one of the best trail runners of summer 2018. “This was the shoe we reached for when we wanted to take it easy on our dogs,” they wrote. “On most trails, the Caldera provided ample protection.”
We featured the FXpedition Monopod in our roundup of the best camera accessories of 2017. When you need some stability to get the shot, you can use this foldable monopod. Bonus: it doubles as a hiking pole.
Constructed with 2.5-layer GORE-TEX, the Paclite Stretch is built to brush off rain showers and snow. With vents to dump heat and a drop-tail hem that protects your lower half from downpours, it’s a complete waterproof package.
Pair the Kyanite fleece vest with a base layer, or wear it under a shell when you’re huffing it on switchbacks. The airy Polartec insulation wicks moisture and breathes well, and the four-way stretch keeps you unrestricted.
Made from a blend of recycled wool, polyester and nylon, this fleece is soft against the skin and works great as a mid layer on cold-weather hikes.
Our tester praised this shirt in his test of the best performance flannels. “The Fjord deserves points for its 100 percent organic cotton, which felt soft and supple, and it had just enough give to never slow me down as I rode the Jabberwocky Trail outside Ashland, Oregon,” he wrote.
We featured the Challenger ATR 4 in our roundup of the best trail running shoes of 2018. Though the ATR 4s are thick-soled, testers described the shoe as “admirably nimble.” They’re great all around: “Extra-long days on hardpack? Easygoing efforts? Both felt great,” our testers wrote.
The back panel on this space-efficient pack closely mimics the curve of a woman’s back, making it so comfy that testers almost forgot they had it on. It’s available in five sizes, so you can really dial in the fit.
Why choose between pants and shorts when you can have both? These convertible pants go easily between both by an easy access zipper above the knee. They have two great cargo pockets for maps, keys, or other small essentials.
These gloves are made to do nearly anything, from yard work to working with ropes. They’re made from leather and polyester and have a special grip that’s contoured to your fingers.
Made for kids, this water bottle filters out bacteria, parasites, and chemicals and improves the overall taste for your little one. It lasts for up to 1,000 gallons of filtering and only weighs 7.9 ounces.
Recommended for beginners, this shoe is not too aggressively down-turned, so your feet won’t be screaming after a few climbs at the bouldering wall.
Instead of filtering water, these dissolving tablets purify it with EPA-approved sodium dichloroisocyanurate. Complicated name, but essentially it kills viruses, bacteria, and cysts in a quart of water in 30 minutes. The price ($10 for 30 individually wrapped tablets) and tiny size make Aquatabs the ideal backup on long trips.
Katadyn took a handy one-liter water bottle, which rolls up small to save space in your pack, and put a 0.1-micron microfilter in its nozzle that removes 99.9 percent of nasties. The BeFree can purify up to 1,000 liters over its lifetime.
Like the LifeStraw, MSR’s TrailShot lets you drink straight from the source, but it’s also good for filling a water bottle. Drop the long straw in the stream and squeeze the hand pump to get the magic started. It works fast, treating a liter of water in 30 seconds.
Collect stream water in one of Sawyer’s 32-ounce pouches, then filter it through the hollow-fiber membrane to remove bacteria and protozoa. The pouches are collapsible (each weighs only three ounces) and reusable, and you can drink straight from the filter’s nozzle or pour the water into a bottle for later.
This is one of the best starter climbing packs on the market. Besides shoes and a rope, this kit has everything you need to hop on the rock: a comfy Corax harness, a Verso belay-rappel device, carabiner, chalk bag and chalk ball. The kit is also available with a larger harness size.
Salomon got innovative with storage in this vest, giving you the standard front water-bottle pockets and multiple stash pockets for smaller items but also a kangaroo pocket that stretches around the sides. Everything is designed to be accessible without breaking your stride.
A 15-liter backpack built on a running-vest chassis, the Distance is a hybrid hauler with dual front stretch pockets for snacks, a bladder sleeve, and dual side-compression straps that keep the load close. And its water-resistant, 210-denier nylon helps keep gear dry.
We featured this helmet in our nine favorite pieces of peak-bagging gear. Thanks to multiple adjustment straps, you can dial in the Wall Rider to fit your dome perfectly. “Bonus points for the ultralow weight and big vents to keep your noggin cool,” our tester writes.
The Trail Mix 7 is built specifically to better fit around a woman’s bust. Compression straps that bring the load tighter to your back, reflective hits for 360-degree visibility, and seven liters of storage (in addition to the two-liter bladder) are icing on the cake.
The Ultra Pro 2in1 name is appropriate, since this model comes with a ten-liter pocket that completely detaches from the vest. Use the vest solo for fast, short runs, or attach the pocket for longer missions when you’ll need more food and gear. It comes with two long-straw flasks and can handle a two-liter bladder in back.
Osprey blends running-vest performance with backpack capability in the Duro, which has four front pockets—two extra-large stretch-mesh ones for a phone and water, and two smaller ones for food. Six liters of space in the main compartment is enough for a jacket, headlamp, and other accessories, plus the included 1.5-liter water bladder.
The Halo was designed for ultramarathons and all the extra gear they demand. The front bottle pockets keep water at the ready but also have lash points to holster trekking poles, while the pockets on the lower straps hold your phone, gels, or bars. The bladder-compatible Halo also has two pockets on the back, which are reachable without taking off the vest.
Weighing just 1.6 pounds, this chair can hold up to 320 pounds. The secret is a pairing of strong but light aluminum poles and tough 600 denier polyester fabric which creates a package that packs to the size of a Nalgene.
Pitch the roomy, three-season Frying Pan SL3 on backcountry excursions or on laid-back camping trips. It’s easy to set up (two poles), and spacious for three compadres (two doors and two vestibules). This package also includes a footprint.
Made from 100-percent wool, the Walnut Ridge works just as great around the campfire as it does on your couch. Keep this blanket in the trunk of your car—just in case you decide to spread it for an impromptu picnic or lounge sesh.
Floyd’s of Leadville combines the proven muscle-soothing properties of arnica with the calming power of CBD in this balm. Rub the mixture on your skin after a workout, and let it do its thing. Peppermint and ginger lend a pleasant smell.
If you want a real postworkout stretch without having to ask a gym partner for help, this is your strap. The 58-inch-long elastic band has multiple large loops that you can slip a foot or hand through to get a deeper flex on sore hammies and quads.
Runners have been big fans of these sticks for years, using them to roll out tight quads and calves after long runs. The center is slightly flexible, to allow the foam wrap to contour around your muscles for a wider massage. The whole thing is light, just 18 inches long, and easily packs into a gym bag.
Sometimes you need to dig deep to hit those trouble areas, like your sciatic nerve. Pro-Tec makes three sizes of the Orb, all constructed of dense closed-cell EVA foam, but the Extreme Mini is the smallest and most aggressive of the lot. Place it on the floor or against a wall to work out your back, glutes, and legs.
If all you want is a solid foam roller that will help calm your lower back and legs after a tough workout, look no further than the Grid. It’s nothing fancy—just a hollow core wrapped in ridged EVA foam to release those tight muscles.
Calling all nine-to-five-ers! Built with 1,000-denier Cordura fabric, the Topo Designs 22-liter daypack is a solid, durable daypack with clean, easy-to-use organization in the main compartment.
Biolite’s Cookstove has an integrated battery, which powers a fan for efficient cooking. Plus, four fan speeds control flame size, enabling you to boil water fast or just simmer.
It’s amazing how many things you need to carry for a quick session at your local climbing gym: shoes, chalk, harness, and snacks. You can haul them all in this simple messenger-style bag from Metolius. The main compartment has 28 liters of space, and a front zipper pocket keeps your phone and keys safe.
A cross between a duffel and a grocery bag, the Black Hole Gear tote is made from a light nylon ripstop with a DWR finish, all but promising it can handle years of abuse. You get 28 liters of storage space and an interior zipper pocket for your wallet, phone, and keys. Best of all, the bag stuffs into its own pocket when you’re not loading it full of gear.
Don’t worry about quarantining your stinky yoga clothes after your lunch session. Stuff all of them and a bottle of water in the large main compartment of the All Day, and slide your mat through the exterior sleeve. There are also two zipper pockets to keep your phone and accessories organized (and yes, away from the smelly gear).
If you prefer to hit the gym after work, this is your backpack. It has all of the necessary touches, like a separate shoe compartment, water-bottle pockets, and a big interior space, plus a padded laptop sleeve. And its simple black aesthetic means it won’t look out of place at the office.
The Beast is designed for gym rats who obsess about their carb intake as much as their squat max. It has an insulated compartment designed to keep six meals organized and cold, with the help of the included gel ice packs. And even with all that grub and Tupperware, there’s still room for your workout gear in the main compartment and interior pockets.
With a sealed, water-resistant shoe compartment, a separate pocket for a phone and notebook, and another for keys and a wallet, the Jnr Kong appeals to the most organization-obsessed among us. It has 32 liters of storage space in the main compartment and is made from tough 1,000-denier nylon and burly YKK zippers.
Designed to handle a variety of snow-filled excursions, the Environ is made with a three-layer, waterproof polyester shell that can take a beating. While the outer is plenty breathable, Stio added pit zips to dump heat for high-output activities, like those grueling early-morning skins.
This ultralight, all-season insulator is filled with 60-gram Primaloft Gold insulation and features a 15 denier polyester outer with a DWR coating. A secret bonus: the Azura’s interior pocket acts as a stuff sack—that means you can convert your jacket into a pillow at camp or when traveling.
We love the Azura LT for its versatile, four-season insulation. Built for fast-and-light ascents, this pullover performs just as well for more casual endeavors, like relaxing around the campfire. It’s packed with 40-gram hydrophobic Primaloft insulation, so it will stay toasty if you’re caught in a shower.
We’re a big fan of henleys, but most of ours are cotton and don’t work well in the woods or on the river. That’s why we love the Tipton, which is made from a cotton-polyester blend, so it dries four times faster than traditional shirts but still feels like a normal cotton tee. It’s become our go-to weekend shirt.
Everyone should own a lightweight, throw-it-in-your-bag-and-forget-about-it jacket like the Alpha Alpine Pullover. The two-tone design looks good, the ripstop nylon is lightweight but durable, and the thin layer of Polartec Alpha insulation is wonderful on cool summer evenings. The Alpha Alpine is simple, but it works exceptionally well.
On-mountain performance meets street-savvy looks in this parka that extends down to mid-thigh—it’s the more fashion-forward sister to Stio’s Shot 7 resort jacket. The waterproof-breathable outer shell and 800-fill waterproof down insulation mean you won’t be soaked or cold after two hours of sledding.
Made from thin waffle-knit fleece with stretch panels at the cuffs, this top combines the soft feel of your favorite sweatshirt with classic button-up styling. With a collared neck, snap front, tailored fit, subtle drop tail, and muted solid colors, it’s like a mountain-casual spin on the oxford—clean, simple, classic, and practical when sweat is on the day’s agenda.
The ultralight, ultrawarm Pinion Pullover is stuffed with 800-fill water-repellent down and features a ripstop shell, so you can stay toasty while taking a beating from Mother Nature. We also love the Pinion’s zippered kangaroo pocket, which doubles as a sow pouch for the jacket. Stuff it in, then use the whole package as a travel pillow.
Hands-down, the Mega Mat Duo is the most comfortable mattress we’ve used for car camping—a 10-centimeter-thick air pad with foam insulation and support. It’s pricey, but it’s the closest we’ve come to feeling like we were in our bed at home while camping.
The “AG” stands for Anti-Gravity, Osprey’s term for the Atmos’s swath of torso-conforming mesh that allows airflow while providing balance and support. The unique design creates contact with your entire back, which, combined with tons of adjustability in the torso and hipbelt and four compression straps, allows you to stabilize loads both large and small.
This tent is a backpacker’s dream, made with durable polyurethane-coated ripstop nylon fabric and reinforced seams that are tough as nails but light as a feather. The whole package is just over three pounds.
For less than the cost of most full-price sleeping bags, you get a three-season two-person tent, a two-and-a-half-inch sleeping pad, and a 30-degree sleeping bag. The whole set weighs just over nine pounds and has most of what you need to get into the woods. The Passage 2 has two vestibules, a rain fly, a water-resistant floor, and interior mesh storage pockets for organization.
With you the Half Dome 2 you get an ultra-dependable, two-person, five-pound tent that packs down reasonably well for under $300. The hubbed aluminum pole set up is simple to pitch solo, and the symmetric design means there’s no confusion about how to lay out the fly.
This three-digit combination lock is accepted by TSA, meaning they can unlock it and search your bag without cutting the lock. An indicator light changes from green to red once the lock has been opened so you know if your bag has been tampered with.
Magellan’s takes a lower-tech route to getting your luggage back to you. Instead of microchips and GPS, this tag has instructions written in multiple languages that guide airline agents to use the itinerary inside the tag to forward your bag to you en route. After all, it does no good if you’re going to Fiji, and your lost bag is going back home.
This tag features a variety of different locator technologies (two different microchips, a serial ID number, and QR Code) that airlines use all over the world to help identify lost luggage. It’s like microchipping your dog—if someone finds your luggage, they can scan the chip and get it back to you.
If you have beautiful luggage, it deserves a beautiful tag. This simple leather option has a solid brass buckle that’s designed to hold your business card so if you lose it, your bag can find its way back to you. The adjustable strap makes sure that it fits around any lash point.
Emergency cash—you can never have too much of it. This simple nylon belt has a hidden pocket big enough to stash a few bills, in case you find yourself in a Thailand bar without your wallet and the bartender is looking to you to pay the bill.
This is a larger money belt, big enough to fit your passport, cards, cash, and any other important documents you might be carrying around. It has two zippered pockets that keep everything organized, and it’s made from a soft, washable silk that resists sweat. The waistband is elastic, so it doesn’t bind as you snack your way from café to café.
No, it doesn’t stuff inside your bra. It clips to the side of your bra and hangs down your side, hiding credit cards, keys, and cash beneath your shirt where pickpockets can’t reach. The pouch is made from a supersoft mix of nylon and spandex that feels like lingerie and weighs just 0.4 ounces.
StashBandz is part running belt, part money belt. It’s twice the width of your standard hide-away belt and made from a soft spandex fabric that hugs your waist. Four separate pockets keep your goods organized and decrease bulk, and you can sprint to catch a train without any annoying belt bounce.
Wear this wallet around your neck, and tuck it under your shirt or sweater to keep all your important documents out of sight. The wallet also has an RFID-blocking liner so thieves can’t snag your goods digitally. It’s made from a water-resistant ripstop nylon that will hold up no matter how long you’re traveling.
If you want to travel ultralight, Sea to Summit’s version of the money belt is made from featherweight Ultra-Sil Cordura that weighs just two ounces and has a 3-D mesh back for extra breathability. You also get two zipper pockets for organization, a soft elastic waistband for comfort, and an RFID-blocking liner to keep hackers at bay.
Many duffels offer a single cavernous space, but the Big Kit is all about gear-specific organization. It has a separate (and ventilated) shoe compartment, a side panel for a water bottle, a molded pocket for sunglasses or goggles, and a tuck-away helmet carry that lets you attach your lid to the outside of the pack. If the Big Kit is too big, look at the 40-liter TrailKit or 45-liter SnowKit.
We love the Base Camp duffel because of the cost-to-space ratio. You get 150 liters of storage for under $200, wrapped in an 840-denier ballistic nylon exterior. Compression straps tighten the load, grab handles and lash points help you secure the bag on top of your car, and the main carry straps work in duffel or backpack mode. It’s not submersible, but a zipper flap helps keep the rain out.
This 56-liter bag is built from tear-resistant 1,050-denier nylon, and it sheds light rain, thanks to the DWR finish. It has all the duffel features you need—compression straps, lashing straps, and grab handles—and can switch from duffel to backpack with ease. We really dig the daisy-chain-style side panels, which allow you to attach canteen carriers and extra storage solutions.
Ortlieb’s duffle has some details that help it stand out from other similar products on the market. The waterproofing is no joke—zip it up tight and the bag can be submerged for 30 minutes without leaking. The shoulder straps are comfortable enough to let you wear this bag as a backpack. You get 60 liters of dry space, with two interior mesh pockets and an exterior pocket for easy access.
If you’re subjecting yourself to serious weather, consider the Blunt, which was built to stand up to 55-mile-per-hour winds, thanks to a tensioning system that helps distribute the force. The canopy offers 40 inches of protection, weighs 12.8 ounces, and closes up to 14 inches. It has a beautiful design if you want something that will look good, too.
Made from a superlight 30-denier siliconized Cordura, this umbrella weighs in at a svelte 8.5 ounces and collapses to less than ten inches but still boasts a canopy size of 38 inches. The umbrella top is supported by an aluminum-grade shaft and a comfy rubber handle. It also comes with a mesh tote that you can hook to the back of your pack or a belt.
The Eez-y keeps the rain off, but this umbrella also works as a legit parasol, with a UV-coated canopy that offers UPF 25 sun protection. We also like the vents in the material, which help move wind through the canopy instead of breaking it or folding it in half. It’s a little on the larger side (with a length of 11 inches and a weight of 15.2 ounces), but reviewers rave about its durability.
At 11.5 inches long and 15 ounces, this isn’t the smallest or lightest umbrella on the list, but it is one of the toughest. Thanks to nine extra ribs made from flexible fiberglass, the Repel can take a beating in a windstorm, and its Teflon coating helps bolster the waterproof abilities of the top fabric.
In countless reviews, this tiny shield has proven itself to be as good as umbrellas twice its price. It truly is an ultralight umbrella, weighing just seven ounces, but still has a nearly 40-inch coverage when open. The coolest feature, though, is that you can attach the umbrella to your backpack, keeping your hands free to use your cell phone or hold your coffee.
Gear editor Ben Fox praised Patagonia’s Nine Trails packs for their clean efficiency: “With a minimalist design and well-considered features, Patagonia has proven that when it comes to daypacks, simpler is better,” he writes. It’s available in both men’s and women’s sizes from 14 liters to 36 liters.
One of our favorite pieces of ski gear, this shell is made with bomber three-layer Gore-Tex and fully-sealed seams to brush off nasty snow storms. Our testers called it “an investment in staying dry.” It also has a helmet-compatible hood, powder skirt, and underarm vents to dump heat.
Our columnist Wes Siler tested the Tango Duo Slim in his comprehensive review of couple’s backpacking gear. The sleeping bag weighs in at 2.6 pounds and has a 30-degree temperature rating, making it ideal for three-season backpacking.
It’s not a product per se, but in 2018, more readers bought an REI membership than purchased tents, headlamps, or backpacks. The main reason is obvious: for just $20, REI members get special access to REI Garage Sales and 10 percent back on any full-priced items they purchase online or in-store.
The organizational details on this pack are forthright, with a front zippered panel built for batteries and cords, hidden pockets for your passport and cash, and padded sleeves for a laptop. Plus, there’s an RFID-blocking pocket for your wallet, a crush-resistant pocket for fragile items, and a pass-through panel that attaches to rolling luggage.
If you’re going to wear a money belt, you’ll want it to be as light and comfortable as possible. Sea to Summit uses featherweight Ultra-Sil Cordura fabric and a 3-D mesh back for a minimalist approach. There are two zippered pockets and plenty of room for cards, cash, and a passport—all lined with RFID-blocking material.
This sleek, RFID-blocking clutch was made to fit inside a purse but still have enough carrying capacity to be useful, with six card slots and a dedicated currency sleeve. An interior slot is specifically designed to hold your smartphone so you don’t have to shove it into your back pocket. There’s a polyester version, too, if you don’t dig the leather.
The Sojourn is the one-trick pony of women’s travel bags, with straps that convert it to a backpack, cross-body bag, or tote. It’s made from tough polyester in a herringbone pattern and has anti-theft details like an RFID-protected pocket and a metal locking loop that lets you secure the bag to a table or other stationary objects. There’s also a padded laptop sleeve and tablet slot.
You can keep all of your sensitive goods in one spot with this organizer, designed to hold multiple passports, six credit cards, a notebook, and a pen. There’s even a zippered change purse for heavy foreign currency. Pacsafe is one of the best-known (and trusted) brands in travel-safety gear, so you know this organizer, which is lined with RFID-blocking material, will keep the thieves out.
The Ridge wallet has an exterior cash clip and expandable aluminum plates that can hold up to 12 cards. The wallet keeps them all safe from hackers, thanks to their RFID-blocking lining. It’s superlight at just two ounces, so you won’t feel like you’re carrying a brick in your pocket.
This stainless steel bottle will keep your coffee hot and your iced tea chilly, thanks to its double-wall vacuum insulation. Yeti’s TripleHaul cap makes it 100 percent leakproof, so don’t be afraid to toss it in your pack with other weekend sundries.
Does your apartment or house have super-tall ceilings? The El Greco ceiling hoist helps you utilize space with a series of pulleys and levers that allows you to raise your bike up and out of the way. Just hook it to the handlebars and seat, and raise any bike that’s less than 50 pounds to the ceiling.
Portland Design Works has a knack for elegant bike solutions, and its wall hook is no exception. The powder-coated steel is built to last and look good for years, while the hook itself is covered in rubber so your rims don’t get scratched. Mount it on the wall and you can store your bike vertically. Just don’t put your heavy rig on it; the weight limit is 33 pounds.
Sometimes the simplest solution is the most effective. Park Tool’s hook mounts into either a ceiling beam or a wall stud, allowing you to get your bike off the ground by hanging the front tire through the hook. Buy a couple of them and safely store your whole collection in your garage, shed, or living room.
This rack lets you store your bike standing up and can support a variety of frame and wheel sizes—from skinny 20-millimeter road tires to 29-inch mountain-bike ones. The spring-loaded arm can hold the front or back tire, depending on how you like to store your bike. And you can link multiple Rakks together to store your whole fleet.
Have multiple bikes you need to store? This wall-mounted rack works for bikes with straight top tubes, like most road bikes, some cruisers, and old-school mountain bikes. Sandwich them tail to front and you can fit two bikes on the arms, and there’s a small shelf for your helmet. It folds flat against the wall when not in use.
This bike rack takes your standard wall hook mount and adds a hinge plate, so your bike can swing to the side and give you more room in a tight space. There’s also a bumper for the bottom wheel that keeps the bike from swaying. The beauty of this hook mount is that you can use it for any bike, regardless of its frame size and shape.
This superlight jacket is filled with the company’s brand-new PlumaFill insulation, made of hydrophobic polyester fibers that mimic the structure of down—gossamer tendrils radiating from a central spine. Rather than being blown into baffles like other synthetic down, the PlumaFill is tacked between sheets of ten-denier nylon fabric in long strands, so it won’t shift and create cold spots.
We love Topo Designs for their functional, well-designed packs, and the Rover is no exception. Great for both the trail and the commute, the Rover is coated with burly pack cloth and Cordura, and its brightly colored compartments keep your gear easily organized.
We gave these gloves a nod in our 2018 Winter Buyer’s Guide. Our tester wrote: “As dexterous as your hands, just tougher and warmer. When you need precision without going numb, slip on these wool-lined gloves made from soft cow-belly leather. Curved fingers and elastic wrists keep them snug while you clean out the woodstove.”
This dress is a great addition to your warm-weather wardrobe. It’s easy to dress up or down, and two hand pockets are a unique but appreciated addition.
Smartly designed features like a split hem, which promotes mobility, a wide-knit waistband that lies flat against skin, and a center-back zippered pocket make these shorts great for running or gym workouts.
The perfect outer layer for climbing, hiking, or anything active, the Alpine Start has a gusseted construction, which allows for complete freedom of movement, and the hood fits over your climbing helmet for added weather protection when the wind picks up in the afternoon. It’s highly packable and stows in its own chest pocket when not in use.
Iterations of the R1 have been on the market for years, but it’s still the ideal layering piece for a variety of activities, and it’s our favorite overall fleece. The R1 uses Polartec’s Power Grid fabric—tiny squares of thicker fleece arranged in a grid pattern and separated by thinner fleece fabric. The pattern is meant to increase air transfer and reduce the material’s overall weight.
This is a gas-free generator that can power almost anything in your home in an emergency. It stores more than 3,000 watt-hours of power in a lithium battery that also has Wi-Fi. It has every sort of port you could need and can power anything from your phone to a mini fridge or TV. But beware: it does take a full day to charge this beast via a wall outlet.
With 500 watt-hours of power, this lithium battery can power a weekend camping trip for the whole family, enough to run a mini fridge for nine hours or charge your phone 40 times. You get two USB ports as well as AC outlets and 12-volt DC ports. It’s splash-proof, has an LCD power display, and is surprisingly light at just 12 pounds.
What this complete solar-power kit lacks in power, it makes up for in plug-and-play convenience. The kit consists of a six-watt solar panel, a control box that stores 20 watt-hours of power, and three lights with wall-mounting switches. It’s an easy way to dabble with solar power in your van or cabin—everything daisy-chains together for easy fuss-free installation.
The Renogy 100-watt panel is the industry standard for vanlifers. This panel weighs 16.5 pounds and is designed for RVs and boats. It can be used alone, in a series of panels, or as a portable option. With built-in mounting holes and aluminum frame, you can even mount it to the roof of your van. And it’s waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about rain or snow.
You can eschew carrying a power bank with the Nomad 7 Plus, a surprisingly portable set of solar panels with a seven-watt output capacity, making it ideal for extended backcountry trips when tech is necessary. The best feature? An LED indicator that lets you know the strength of the solar conditions. A single USB port allows you to plug a phone or tablet directly into the panels.
If you’re looking for enough power to charge your phone a few times over a weekend, the Anker PowerCore 10,000 is your tool. It has one of the best power-to-size ratios on the market, with 10,000 milliampere-hours of power in a slim package that’s just seven ounces and fits in your pocket. It’ll charge your phone three times and, with Anker’s quick-charge tech, do it in a flash.
Our testers hailed the StretchDown as one of their favorite winter puffies. “A snug hood and 800-fill down retained warmth on 20-degree mornings,” they wrote. It’s also a staff favorite.
This earned a spot as one of our favorite coolers in the 2018 Summer Buyer’s Guide. “With a slim profile and matte exterior, the Unbound resembles a top-shelf commuter pack more than a cooler,” a tester wrote. It also helped our Gear Guy keep his drinks chilly for 48 hours.
The SuperFly has served gear editor Jeremy Rellosa for years without fail. “I’ve taken this stove everywhere from Nepal to Patagonia, and it’s kept my trail food warm and my backpack happy because it’s easy to use, clean, and stow,” he says.
RxBar takes a whole-food and minimal-ingredient approach to its bars, using pure egg whites for protein along with almonds, cashews, and dates. Each bar has 210 calories and is paleo and Whole30 compliant, with no added sugar, dairy, soy, or gluten. There are at least 12 flavors to choose from, but the most popular is the sea salt and chocolate.
If you’re craving a candy bar but want to pretend you’re being healthy, this protein bar is your best friend. It’s packed with protein (20 grams) but goes heavy on the sugar (29 grams). The plus side? At 350 calories, it’s a legitimate meal-replacement option. If taste and protein are your biggest concern, give it a go.
Rise has two categories of bars—whey protein bars and plant-based protein bars. The almond-honey option only has three ingredients (almonds, honey, and whey isolate), offers 20 grams of protein, 13 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of fat, and boasts just 280 calories. It’s void of grains, preservatives, gluten, soy, and dairy, so it will likely fit your current diet.
Bulletproof originally made its name with coffee but has recently branched out into supplements, enhanced waters, oils, and these collagen protein bars. They claim that the protein, which is sourced from grass-fed cows, is better for your joints and bones. We like the fudge-brownie-flavored bar, which has 11 grams of protein and only two grams of sugar in a 210-calorie serving.
This is probably the most legitimate meal-replacement bar out there, with up to 390 calories per bar depending on the flavor you choose. All options are non-GMO certified and comprised of whole foods (you can pronounce most of the items on the ingredient list). We like the Superfood Slam, which is packed with berries and has ten grams of protein, six grams of fiber, and 370 calories.
One of our favorite trail running shoes of 2017, the Trailbender impressed testers with its cushioning. “We were pleasantly surprised by how well this shoe bombed full-speed down deeply rutted trails,” they wrote. “It’s a confident, cushioned shoe that delivers support, not just stack.”
Contributor Justin Nyberg picked the Caldera 2 as one of the best trail runners of summer 2018. “This was the shoe we reached for when we wanted to take it easy on our dogs,” he wrote. “On most trails, the Caldera provided ample protection.”
We featured the Actik Core in our 2018 Summer Buyer’s Guide as one of the best headlamps for running. “We love the simplicity of the Actik, which powers its 350 lumens via a rechargeable lithium battery that’s easy to top off before a run,” our tester wrote. “No outlet? It also runs on three AAA batteries.”
Outside’s male staffers love the Retro Pile Pullover for its fuzzy, versatile warmth. Credit the double-sided shearling that’s soft on the skin. It works great as a midlayer fleece or over a shirt for spring hikes.
Your new summer do-everything shorts, the Zion is made from super-stretchy nylon and spandex. The abrasion-resistant fabric is naturally UPF 50, and the built-in belt makes sure you always have a snug fit.
Prepare for a winter full of long hikes in the snow with the Revo snowshoes. The DuoFit bindings accommodate a wide range of footwear and operate easily when you have bulky gloves on.
These emerged as the best budget leggings in our editor’s test. “I’m continually delighted,” she concluded, “by these budget-friendly leggings. Sure, they don’t have many bells and whistles, but they get the job done without compromising important features.”
A flashlight and lantern in one, the Orbit is great to have around camp when night hits. The 105-lumen light operates with one button to transition among flashlight, lantern, and dual (lantern and flashlight both illuminated) modes.
Astral has long been our go-to brand for quality life jackets with bang-up features. The Layla is no exception, with a women-specific fit that allows more room in the chest; its slimmer front profile reduces chafing while you’re out on long paddles.
The Turtle Shell can take a beating. It’s waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof, and it floats. The sound is boom-box quality, and there are multiple strap and mounting options, so you can put it on your raft, paddleboard, bike, or cooler.
2018 was the year of the reusable straw. Klean Kanteen’s version has removable silicon ends, which are comfortable enough suck on.
Our travel editors have been preaching the good word of the Trtl pillow for years. A unique take on the classic doughnut-shaped neck pillow, the Trtl is far more comfortable because you can adjust it to support your neck in any position.
Outside gear editor Ben Fox bought a Ringer a few months ago and has been raving about it to staff and readers ever since. Made of metal rings similar to chain mail, the tool makes quick work of gunk on cast-iron pans.
A portable battery is a tool that’s often overlooked but incredibly helpful when you have it. The PowerCore 20100 has enough juice to fully charge a MacBook, an iPhone, and an iPad Air 2 on a single charge. It even has three USB ports, so it can charge all three devices simultaneously.
It warms our hearts that so many readers purchased Outside’s most recent book this year. Out There is a collection of the 32 most riveting stories that have graced the pages of our magazine for the past 40 years.
Whether you plan on conquering a 5K, an Ironman, or something in between in 2019, Endure is essential reading. Written by Outside contributor Alex Hutchinson, it blends cutting-edge science and gripping storytelling to prove that the key to succeeding at endurance events is training your mind.
Outside editors (and apparently our readers) are big fans of hammocks. The Sub6 is unique because it weighs just 5.8 ounces, making it one of the lightest hammocks on the market.
Vanlifer Alexandra Lev loves the Camp Roll table, which packs up small but has enough surface room for a two-burner stove and cooking tools.
The Camp X is a no-frills camp chair that’s comfortable, stores relatively small, and has three pockets to hold beer and accessories. It holds up to 300 pounds and weighs just over seven pounds.
This sock won Outside Gear Guy Joe Jackson’s test of the best hiking socks, which is quite the honor. Check out Joe’s full review here.
The tiny Moji can be hung from a tree branch or inside a tent and has a dimming function so you can customize it depending on conditions.
An essential item for hikers and travelers, this synthetic towel features a waffle texture that helps it absorb up to eight times its weight in water. Yet wring it out and it’ll dry almost instantly.
Perfect for hiking, climbing, or layering during cold weather pursuits, the Screeline technical pants are made from a mixture of nylon and spandex and are treated with a DWR coating to resist light rain and spills. They have a UPF rating of 50 and a drawcord hem adjustment to tighten over boots or around your ankle.
Our tester loved the ability to seamlessly swap between AAA batteries and the rechargeable ones that come with the ReVolt. And the torch has a max output of 300 lumens, which is nearly bright enough to light up an entire campsite.
For general car camping, cots can make a big difference in your quality of sleep. The Discovery boosts sleepers more than two feet off the ground and has a maximum capacity of 300 pounds, thanks to an aluminum and steel frame and 600-denier ripstop polyester fabric. It folds up for convenient storage and travel in the included roll-tote bag.
The Hydro Flask Wide Mouth bottle is a favorite around the Outside office. The tough, stainless-steel build impressed our Gear Guy, Joe Jackson, during his plastic-versus-insulated water-bottle test.
The SkyRise 3 has a wall-to-wall, 2.5-inch thick mattress and uses simple but sturdy plastic clamps, making it the easiest-to-install rooftop tent we’ve tested.
Free Solo, the first true climbing film to reach a mainstream audience, chronicled Alex Honnold’s 2017 solo of El Capitan’s Freerider route. It has already earned almost $19 million at the box office, and won best documentary at the British Association of Film and Television Arts several weeks ago. Now you can rent it or own it for yourself.
A good pair of slippers can be a game changer in cold winter months. These ones have a fleece lining to wick moisture and durable sidewalls made of suede. Skid-resistant outsoles mean you can wear them both inside and outside, and don’t worry about keeping them clean: they’re machine washable.
One of our female editors’ favorite layers to cozy up in after a long day of skiing, the Better Sweater can also be dressed up thanks to the heathered knit face.
Made from water-resistant nylon and stuffed with a few grams of synthetic insulation, the Howser III is perfect for frosty morning walks to the coffee shop or long winter nights in the cabin. A non-marking rubber sole won’t mess up your floors if you decide to wear it indoors.
During the running boom of the ’80s, the Azura was one of most sought-after running shoes of the time. Updated for 2019, the shoe now focuses on comfort and stability with a padded tongue and collar, a shock-absorbing EVA midsole, and a durable rubber traction outsole, which provides good grip in various conditions.
If it’s truly cold during your night run, you’ll need a layer to keep your ears warm. The Greenlight is a mix of polyester and spandex that wicks moisture, dries fast, and has reflective hits on the front and back for added visibility.
The FlipBelt is designed to enable you to carry your phone and keys on a run without any bouncing or chafing. This version adds a neon green reflective stripe to the mix to boost your visibility. It’s stretchy, moisture wicking, and has room to fit a small water bottle.
Add a bit of reflectivity to any part of your exposed skin with this wax-based spread, which rolls on like deodorant but glows like a club kid at a rave. It’s made from seven natural ingredients, and you can even apply it to your clothing if you’re running in cold weather and don’t have a lot of exposed skin.
These tiny but bright LED strobe lights are better than reflective bands. Clip them to your shirt or shorts and choose from blinking or steady-stream mode to stay visible. They also have an IPX3 water-resistant rating, so you don’t have to worry about rain or heavy sweat.
Strap this 1.5-inch-wide band around your ankle for an easy bit of reflectivity that’s more likely to catch a driver’s eye, thanks to the movement of your legs. The hook and loop closure is simple to use, and you can adjust it to be worn on a bare ankle or over your pants or tights.
Instead of a full vest, the Xinglet gives you neon green shoulder and waist straps for reflective stripes all over your torso that can be seen from 360 degrees. The system clips easily to your body and is made from stretchy nylon for a secure, customizable fit.
Regardless of the action camera you own, it comes with accessories. Between cords, batteries, and micro SD cards, there’s a lot to keep track of. Organize it all with the Legend, a crushproof case that holds up to two GoPros and countless extras in padded foam cutaways. There’s even a lid pocket to store all of the little things that typically get lost during a shoot.
Get your finger out of the shot with this small extender handle, which is especially handy on water-based adventures. The bottom of the grip has a flotation device that will keep your camera from sinking to the bottom of the ocean when you get smacked by a rogue wave.
Joby’s flexible joints allow you to secure this tripod to a tree, fence post, car bumper—almost anything you can think of. Fix the camera and use a remote trigger (or app on your phone or watch) so you can be the director and talent in the same shot. You can also use it as a selfie stick, if you’re into that.
Action cameras don’t have flashes. You can try to rig a headlamp on a tree to get your video in the dark, or you can use this duo of LED lights, which sandwich your action camera via a mounting bar, throwing 3,000 lumens on your subject. They’re just as durable as your camera and waterproof up to 100 feet. And each cube has a wide beam to account for your action camera’s wide-angle view.
The Capture clip was originally designed to allow you to tote a large camera on your backpack strap or belt for hands-free carrying. Add the POV kit and you can use the Capture clip to mount your GoPro to your backpack strap, giving you the same easy access as the chesty mount without having to wear an extra harness.
These gloves were included in our 2018 Winter Buyer’s Guide. “Stylish warmth on a budget is the sell on these gloves, which are made of leather stuffed with 60-gram PrimaLoft insulation,” wrote editor Axie Navas.
Hestra has been making gloves since 1936 and they know what they’re doing— every single pair of their gloves are made in their own factories and they personally source all materials. The Army Leather Couloir is a classic sport glove that combines leather and a high tech polyester lining to keep your hands warm during cold, damp days.
These gloves raised nearly $225,000 when they debuted on Kickstarter in 2016. Gear editor Jakob Schiller is a big fan writing, “with a waxed and baked leather outer, waterproof-breathable membrane, and Thinsulate insulation, they’re great for frigid resort ski days while being breathable enough for long backcountry missions.”
Outside contributor Jason Heaton loves the new Huckberry line, saying “Huckberry’s Flint and Tinder line, a new collection made entirely in the U.S., enables lots of mixing and matching right through shoulder season.” The Crossback Work shirt is made from midweight indigo denim and is cut, sewn, and washed in El Paso, Texas.
The shirt jacket is an essential layer for anyone living in colder climates. Built from the same cut as Patagonia’s iconic Fjord flannel, this shacket ramps up the warmth level thanks to a thin layer of polyester on the inside. Of course, on the outside, it still looks like your favorite flannel.
The Performance Better Sweater is the perfect mid layer for cold-weather pursuits. The side panels are stretchy for extra mobility and the back hem is lower for better protection against the elements.
Two vests in one, the Bivy is reversible and insulated with 600-fill recycled down. Each side is treated with DWR to resist light rain or snow and the drop in hand pockets have a button closure for extra security.
After testing this new Hydro Flask product, our Gear Guy said that it became his favorite cooler-pack hybrid, mostly because of how comfortable and easy to carry it is. Credit the padded shoulder straps and sleek design.
Go fast and light up the mountain and enjoy the comfort of the Gea’s on your way down. Each boot weighs just over two-pounds and the front tongue is designed to open up wide for easy entry. Plus the integrated ski/walk mechanism makes it easy to go from climbing to descending.
A rugged lifestyle demands a rugged knife. The Bear Claw’s 2.37-inch blade is full-tang and made from high-quality stainless steel. It weighs just 3.4-ounces and comes with an injection-molded nylon sheath for easy storage and quick access.
One of our favorite camp shoes, the Ember Mocs have a quilted Ripstop upper, which hugs your feet like a slipper, and a rubber sole, which lets you move around rocky and dirty campsites freely.
One of the most popular AT boots of the year, the Maestrale RS is built on a wide, 101mm last for super comfort on the ascent. The shell is made from Grilamid, a lightweight plastic that’s reinforced with carbon fiber for increased rigidity without extra weight. The entire cuff is vented to let body heat escape and is backed by a waterproof, breathable membrane so snow doesn’t work its way in.
This is our favorite midwinter morning top. It’s stuffed with just enough synthetic fill to keep you warm while brushing off the car and driving to the mountain and an extra layer of fabric across the shoulder and on the forearms will tame sharp ski edges.
On top of the traditional crampon-style claws underfoot, MSR serrated the edges of the Lightning Ascent. It looks like a snow saw—and bites like one, too. The extra spikes provide stellar all-over grip and lateral stability on steep, icy traverses.
When it was first released in 2010, we called the Snowshot “one of the least expensive jackets in our test but also a tester favorite.” The three-in-one design lets you wear a waterproof shell or insulated liner—or both together for really cold weather.
Keep your little ripper warm with OR’s full-face-covering balaclava. Its nylon-polyester blend is soft against the skin, so they can forget the cold and stay focused on shredding.
At long last, the holy grail of waterproof jackets. The Interstellar blew our crew away with an uncanny mix of weatherproofing, breathability, and stretch. “It feels softer than a soft shell but as waterproof as any hard shell I’ve used,” said one tester. “Not to mention that it’s the most breathable rain shell imaginable.”
The stretchy face fabric adds durability and breathability and a DWR treatment repels water, dirt, and oil. The PrimaLoft Silver synthetic insulation provides consistent warmth, even through the start and stop cycle of alpine climbing and backcountry skiing. When the snow begins to fall, pull the adjustable hood over your helmet for extra weather protection.
The Traverse is an all-aluminum touring pole that’s durable enough for any day of backcountry skiing. Black Diamond’s FlickLock system makes adjustability easy and the ergonomically shaped grip and rubber grip extension feel natural when choking up while sidehilling on the skin track.
Quality insulation doesn’t have to be expensive. Case in point: the REI Co-op 650 Down jacket. It weighs just 10.5 ounces and packs into its own pocket when you don’t need it. It’s a perfect midlayer for colder winter pursuits, thanks to the 650-fill down insulation, and it’s lightweight enough to be a good stand-alone piece in milder weather.
The Solstice is a rugged jogging stroller, complete with inflatable tires that roll smoothly over all types of terrain. It’s got plenty of room for snacks and baby gear, but what really impressed testers was its ease of use. “The ability to fold and unfold with one hand is genius,” one wrote.
The Recon BT is a user-friendly avalanche beacon with all the features you need for a quick, efficient search. Its three antenna design reduces signal spikes, which drastically improves accuracy during a search when compared to more traditional two antenna beacons, and the 60-meter circular range allows you to pick up the victim’s signal from farther away.
The stretchy face fabric adds durability and breathability and a DWR treatment repels water, dirt, and oil. The PrimaLoft Silver synthetic insulation provides consistent warmth, even through the start and stop cycle of alpine climbing and backcountry skiing. When the snow begins to fall, pull the adjustable hood over your helmet for extra weather protection.
This three-layer jacket a worthy accomplice for fast-moving alpine missions in notoriously fickle conditions and versatile enough for everything from grueling hikes to long-duration travel. Water-resistant underarm zips quickly expel excess heat when you’re working up a sweat on fast-moving ascents.
This hat is fully insulated, with fold-down earflaps and a Velcro chin strap. The brushed-microfiber outer fabric offers UPF 40 sun protection.
Trekking poles help keep you stable on sketchy sections of trail, and when you’re wearing a heavy pack they can transfer some of the load to your arms, relieving your back and shoulders. The Trail Backs have low-profile trekking baskets, non-slip EVA foam grips, and nylon webbing straps with woven lining for increased comfort.
The Coffee Flask keeps beverages cold for 16 hours, so you’ll never sip on lukewarm coffee again. The smartly designed flip lid essentially eliminates any spills. Note: the sale price will only appear once the product has been added to your cart.
Multi-tools are great for some but for most, carrying 20-plus tools around can be overkill. The Ellis is the perfect solution for those who want a streamlined everyday carry knife, that can do a little more than just cut. It features a 2.6-inch stainless steel blade, plus a flat head screwdriver, scraper, and bottle opener. It’s everything you need and nothing you don’t.
Don’t knock them until you try them. Made from down insulation and a DWR-coated nylon shell, the behind-the-head design helps the 180′s fit comfortably over your ears and can be worn with other headwear and head protection.
No frills but packed full of dependability—the Trail trekking poles offer easy-to-use FlickLock adjustment points that promise no slipping while you’re hiking. The poles extend from 23 inches to 49 inches and pack easily into suitcases or on the exterior of backpacks.
This is what we wrote about the Black Hole tote in our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide: “Two words sum up this bag: tough and simple.”
All-in-one travel backpacks have become ubiquitous in recent years, but we like the CTB 40 because it skews more stylish than outdoorsy. The sleek exterior is completely devoid of branding and the 40-liter interior doesn’t look totally out of place in urban environments. But the four interior pockets and two large straps are just as capable of holding climbing gear as they are dress shirts.
One of the top shoes from our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide, the Trailbender is “a thick, cruisey softy, best for meandering epics over hill and dale. Though it offered a somewhat clunky ride overall, we were pleasantly surprised by how well this shoe bombed full-speed down deeply rutted trails—not a fun prospect in most high-stack maximalist shoes.”
The Montrail Enduro is customizable, thanks to a thermo-moldable top layer and thermoplastic shank, which contour to the shape of your foot over time. It has six millimeters of extra cushioning, an impact plate on the bottom, and a top layer designed to wick moisture away from your foot.
Sole is known for its heat-moldable footbeds, but for the Performance, the company collaborated with pro skier Chris Davenport to create a slim insert that provides support without added cushion. It has Polygiene odor-control technology in a moisture-wicking top sheet and a 100 percent recycled-cork base. The footbed promotes natural foot alignment and equalizes pressure through the running shoes.
There isn’t any crazy technology in these insoles. But they fit in just about any pair of shoes and offer an extra layer of cushion and slightly more support than standard insoles. We wouldn’t recommend them for serious runners, but they’re a solid budget-friendly option if you’re looking for a little extra shock absorption in your daily kicks.
The Sof Soles have motion-control heel cups for stability and a bridge that provides support to your arches, but the key to these insoles are the gel pads in the heels, which provide relief from plantar fasciitis. They’re ideal for running and hiking, or just slip them into your work shoes for extra comfort throughout the day.
This insole works for minimalist or cushioned running shoes, adding dynamic arch support that maintains 100 percent contact with the bottom of your foot. It’s a zero-drop insert with a deep heel cup for added support and a heel pad for shock absorption. You can choose the depth of arch support (low, medium, or high) as well.
The Green has become the industry-standard insole for athletes. It features a deep heel cup, a high-density foam layer, and a stabilizer cap through the heel and midfoot for a blanket of comfort and support that enhances running and hiking shoes for people who don’t need corrective shoes. There’s also an organic coating that stifles bacterial growth and cuts down on odor.
The Wide Mouth was selected by our readers—and by our editors—as one of their favorite water bottles. The Nalgene’s tough, BPA-free plastic can take a beating; we’ve slung ours around at crags, banged them against rocks, and generally abused them for years. Yet they still work just as intended—no leaks and only a few scratches, for character.
CEP is known for its compression layers, and this sock has graduated compression features that help enhance circulation through the calf and foot. But you’ll really appreciate the blend of silk, merino wool, and synthetic fibers that maximize the warmth and comfort of these socks. The seamless toe closure doesn’t hurt either, whether you’re running or ski touring.
Arc’teryx relies on Gore-Tex to provide a breathable barrier in this rainjacket built for trail running in cold weather. It has features like a fitted hood with an elastic brim that you can cinch down, pit zips, elastic cuffs and hem, and an internal chest pocket with a media port. We really dig Gore-Tex’s C-Knit fabric, which gives the layer a softness you don’t expect from a hard shell.
These pants were built for ski touring with OR’s lightest, most breathable ski-specific fabric to date. The AscentShell build is waterproof but air permeable, so you can work up a sweat without worrying about becoming a sopping mess. The fabric is surprisingly soft, especially for a hard-shell construction, and built to stretch and move with you during high-endurance pursuits.
This winter-specific Buff has Polartec fleece on the lower half for extra warmth and Buff’s standard polyester-elastane material on the upper half, so you can dial in the exact coverage you need for the conditions. The four-way stretch piece can be used as a bandana or scarf and has UPF 50 protection against the sun.
There’s a lot going on in this midlayer. The Tech Trainer uses merino wool, mixed with 3 percent Lycra for a crazy amount of stretch. You also get 100 percent nylon panels over the chest and shoulders to give you extra warmth where you need it most. Built to move fast in the cold, it has smart details like a high-zip collar and drop-tail hem to keep the frigid air at bay.
The Winter Warm tights are stretchy and snug without being too tight, so many runners find them far more comfortable than standard tights. They’re made from the company’s FlashDry fabric (a mix of poly, nylon, and elastane) for a moisture-wicking, quick-drying first layer. There’s a pocket across the back hip for a phone or pair of gloves. They can also be a base layer for skiers.
The Merino 150 is Smartwool’s lightest base layer. Wear it as a solo piece during warmer months or the first layer for winter pursuits. It’s mostly merino wool with some nylon mixed in for durability, but you get merino’s signature softness and antistink properties. The wicking and quick-dry capabilities of the layer are legendary, which is key when you’re running during cold temperatures.
The 21-liter Urban Assault bag is inspired by military assault rucksacks and is the epitome of clean, functional design. A unique three-zip closure on the front allows you to easily see the contents of your bag without having to dump it out. The face fabric is a super durable 500-denier Cordura, which you’ll be hard-pressed to tear.
This bag can be carried like a traditional briefcase, shoulder bag, or backpack and is made from tough 500-denier Cordura fabric to resist abrasions. The internal laptop sleeve is padded and fits computers up to 15-inches and three additional pockets help organize documents and power cords.
This suitcase-style backpack is perfect for keeping everything organized and separated while traveling. The internal padded laptop sleeve keeps devices up to 15-inch safe and a small pocket on the front fits documents, your phone, or a notebook. You can carry the Mission three ways: suitcase, shoulder, or backpack style.
The Vibe boxers have changed the way many men wear boxers, thanks to their BallPark pouch. Soft viscose fabric, supportive construction, and fun patterns are just a few of the reasons Saxx is the unofficial underwear of Outside’s male employees.
This hammock was one of our favorites in the 2018 Summer Buyer’s Guide for good reason: it’s lightweight and packs down to the size of a coffee mug, yet it supports 300 pounds.
The SlimShady made it into our 2018 Summer Buyer’s Guide because it attaches to any roof rack and covers 42 square feet—plenty of shelter whether you’re escaping the brutal sun or waiting out a downpour.
These are some of Outside editor Jakob Schiller’s favorite pair of approach shoes. “I loved them so much I wore one pair for four years straight through my first couple of photojournalism jobs because the thick all-leather build and highly cushioned soles put up with everything I faced daily—from muddy rodeo fields to long, boring press conferences where I stood still for hours on end.”
Go a little faster and a little lighter with the Duro handheld water bottle. It holds 8.5-ounces of your favorite hydration and has a small zippered pocket for small essentials like cash and your driver’s license.
A blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex, the Captive is lightweight and quick drying. The polo style is cool on hot days but can also be dressed up. Truly it’s one shirt that you can wear anywhere.
The Moab boots have been around for years now, garnering love and a cult-like following from hikers across the country. This low-volume option for women is completely waterproof and has a Vibram outsole for extra grip and durability.
You don’t have to pack up your skirts just because the weather is getting colder. The Parmalee is filled with 60 grams of recycled wool insulation to keep you warm. Stretchy, knit panels allow you to run to catch the subway in a pinch and the DWR coating gives you light protection against moisture.
A perennial part of our back-to-school gift guide, the 28-liter Refugio is the perfect size for carrying daily cargo like lunch and gym clothes, and it even makes a decent day-hiking pack.
This budget-friendly duffel is ready to haul 100 liters of your gear. When not in use, the duffel packs into its own pocket that is about the size of a Nalgene. Perfect for overseas travel, this bag is there when you need it and gone when you don’t.
Duer jeans are very popular around the Outside office. Made from a blend of cotton, Tencel, and spandex, they’re super flexible and have an invisible seat gusset for extra mobility.
With Spidey-like Stealth C4 rubber soles, these Guide Tennies excel as approach shoes. They also work for every day because of their clean, not-overdone aesthetics, cushy compression-molded EVA soles, and simple but fun colors. They’re not our first choice for longer hikes, but they’re perfect for overland camping trips where you’re driving for hours and then and scrambling over rocks.
Climber and artist Jer Collins creates art inspired by his favorite landscapes. The pieces are whimsical and hyperreal, resulting in many with an almost topographical vibe. We like his series of wood prints, which range from the sort of action silhouette seen here, to actual maps of destinations.
If you need simple, functional running pants, look no farther than the Threshold, which we featured in our 2018 Winter Buyer’s Guide.
An instant classic, these rain boots have waterproof, vulcanized rubber uppers that are flexible so you can walk in them comfortably. Buckles at the top of the boot allow you to tighten them down when the weather turns for extra protection and a nylon lining helps wick away foot sweat.
New Zealand-based Icebreaker has sourced the merino directly from growers since 1997 and in 2000 they were the first outfitter to launch a full line of merino performance wear. The Tech Lite Crewe for men is great for hiking or everyday wear thanks to the properties of wool—wicking, breathable, and odor-resistant.
Keep hands happy and dry with these gloves made from a waterproof Gore-tex lining and tech-compatible, nonslip synthetic palms. The brushed tricot lining adds warmth and wicks moisture when your hands get a little warm after hours on the hill.
Made with a waterproof nylon outer and a Gore-Tex lining, these gaiters feature a fitted design and a front tab, which latches to your boot laces to keep it secure. The retro styling ensures you stand out amoung the crowd.
The medium size of this pod will hold up to six liters of small products—like toiletries or cords. The wide zip opening makes it easy to see what you packed and what you didn’t and the fun, bright orange print won’t get lost in your luggage.
Much like the GoPro Shorty, the Pixi works as a handheld grip or a traditional tripod, depending on how you configure it. But this one is built for small DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras, and it has a ball-head design that allows you to microadjust the camera angle.
This looks like a little selfie stick, but it’s actually a lightweight (2.25-ounce) tripod built specifically for the GoPro. As an extension rod, it’ll help you nail hard-to-get angles (and make sure your thumb is out of the frame). Convert it into a tripod and you can stabilize the frame or get group shots.
Stability is the key to the Square Jellyfish, which can hold an oversize iPhone 7+ steady in horizontal or vertical position. The key is the metal frame, which gives the infrastructure that wraps around the smartphone more of a backbone.
The RoadTrip Air folds down to just 11 inches long, so you can squeeze it into a backpack, but then it extends to 61 inches, so you get a relatively tall stand for an economical price. It’s built from aluminum (instead of the more expensive carbon), and it can hold a DSLR or a smartphone.
The Corey is a budget-friendly option with a ton of features, like microadjustments on the legs and head, which let you get the steady shot and angle you need. We dig the interchangeable feet—they give you security on a variety of terrain. It’s big (it weighs over three pounds and is almost 14 inches long when folded), but it extends to a 58 inches tall and can support cameras of up to 30 pounds.
Joby revolutionized tripods with the GorillaPod, which has legs that adjust to uneven surfaces and can wrap around all kinds of objects. The 1K is small, with a ball-head attachment that works with cameras of up to 2.2 pounds. If you want something beefier, go for the 5K.
A great everyday layer with technical chops, the Nano Puff packs down to the size of an orange yet brought enough heat to keep our testers warm in low thirty-degree weather. Filled with high-loft synthetic insulation, the ripstop fabric is treated with DWR to repel water. It’s one of our fitness editor’s favorite jackets.
Skhoop, which is female-owned, makes down and synthetic skirts in all lengths, ranging from mini to ankle-length. You can adjust the side zippers to fit the temperature or your stride length, pull the skirt easily over pants and snow boots, and when you’re not wearing it, squash it down to the size of a pair of gloves.
Made of cowhide leather and polyester fleece lining, these durable gloves hit the sweet spot between warmth and dexterity.
This beacon is among the smallest and lightest on the market. It automatically switches to search mode when light hits it and features a flagging option for multiple burials.
Safety is the number-one priority when in the backcountry. This kit contains crucial medical supplies like bandages, scissors, and Ibuprofen.
Safety is the number-one priority when in the backcountry. This kit contains crucial medical supplies like bandages, scissors, and Ibuprofen.
Outside contributor Graham Averill picked the Messenger as one of his favorite commuter bags. “[It's] made from a tough-as-nails ripstop nylon that shrugs off abuse and comes with a DWR coating,” he writes. “Inside, there’s everything you need: a laptop sleeve, plenty of pockets, and a key keeper.”
Gear editor Ariella Gintzler loves the Houdini for its versatile, lightweight material. “The papery quality of the Houdini offers superior next-to-skin comfort; you can wear it over a short-sleeve shirt without that clammy shell sensation against your arms,” she writes. It’s billed as a trail-running shell, but works just as well for climbing.
We featured Honolulu-based brand Reyn Spooner in our 2018 Summer Buyer’s Guide for their vintage-inspired aloha-print shirts. The Hawaiian Christmas Shirt blends warm style with holiday spirit (looking at you, snowbirds.) It’s made out of a cotton-poly blend and treated with Reyn Spooner’s Weekend Wash, so it feels uber soft on your skin.
The Thyrus boot is built for day hikes and quick weekend backpacking trips. With a Perwanger waterproof leather upper and Gore-Tex liner, it’ll be a completely dry hike, regardless of how hard it’s raining. The upper and dual-density footbed are complemented by the popular Vibram Megagrip sole for traction on the worst terrain. You can get it in brown, but we dig the Johnny Cash black.
Hoka One One went for an uncharacteristically subtle approach to the day hiker with the Tor Summit. You get the maximum cushion and rocker you’re used to with Hoka but also a Vibram Megagrip outsole with extra sticky lugs and a nubuck and suede upper with a eVent membrane bootie. Put it all together it’s a surprisingly stylish package that’s warm, waterproof, and agile on the trail.
For years, Vasque has been known for its straight-out-of-the-box comfort and has made a substantial contribution to the world of leather hiking boots with its classic Sundowner. The sportier St. Elias has a full-grain all-leather upper with a Gore-Tex waterproof liner, a soft EVA footbed for cushion, and a urethane shank for support and protection against sharp rocks.
The Mountain 600 series blends Danner’s heritage aesthetic with lightweight performance touchstones like Vibram midsoles and treads. The result is a boot that’s supremely comfortable and agile on the trail while still featuring the brand’s signature look. We’ve been wearing this boot for a year now, and we like the way it looks as much as the way it feels.
Artcrank is a collection of bike-inspired art created by independent artists. The styles of the posters available are as varied as your imagination. We dig this two-color screen print from artist Amy Jo, who was inspired by a kids’ toy she saw at an art show. Each poster has a limited run, so you don’t have to worry about seeing the same art hanging at your neighbor’s house.
OK, these aren’t cheap, but can you think of anything better than turning the ski map of your favorite resort into a piece of hangable art? It’s an exact reproduction of the trail map, printed on canvas that’s hand-stretched over a solid wood frame.
The Landmark Project has a series of destination-based posters, and there’s something really sweet and badass about its Smokey Bear series. It’s nostalgic, good-looking, and well-intentioned all at the same time.
Artist Robert B. Decker created a series of graphic-art prints commemorating our national parks. They’re all printed on 100 percent recycled paper and use soy-based ink, and each print is dated, numbered, and signed by the artist. Choose a park that means something to you, or find a park you’ve always wanted to visit and use the poster as inspiration.
This simple yet versatile midweight jacket has a supremely casual vibe—perfect for running errands around town. The 650-fill down stuffing makes it light and warm, while the cool snap closure adds style points and eliminates the fuss of a zipper.
The Sense Rides are one of our favorite trail runners. The drawcord lacing system makes them easy to slip on, they don’t require a break-in period, and, thanks to the thick, cushioned midsole, our feet are always happy after a few miles of trail-chomping.
Packed with 120 grams of Smartwool’s proprietary wool-poly blend fill, this skirt features a functional two-way side zipper, which lets you unzip the skirt from the bottom or from the top.
The H2No fabric that Patagonia uses for the Rainshadow is fully waterproof and fairly breathable, but cheaper to produce than Gore-Tex, keeping the cost of the jacket low. A helmet-compatible hood with a visor, watertight zippers, and a draw-cord at the hem are just a few of the highlights of this fully featured rain shell.
The Down Sweater delivers ultralight, compressible warmth for your cold-weather fun outside while everyone else is languishing at the gym or huddled by the fireplace. It’s stuffed with sustainably sourced 800 fill down and covered in a recycled ripstop nylon shell with a DWR coating.
Once winter sets in, a sturdy, warm pair of winter boots are an essential component to your daily life. We love the Chelsea version of the Cheyanne for it’s easy-to-slip-on fit and durable leather upper and classic rubber lower half. It’s lined with 200-gram synthetic insulation, allowing for work or play in cold conditions.
Fully taped waterproof construction keeps your feet dry while 200-gram insulation keeps toes warm and toasty during that early morning drive to the mountain for first tracks. When you take off your uncomfortable plastic ski boots, the Cheyannes, with their removable molded EVA footbeds, will feel like walking on clouds as you slip them on for apres-ski drinks.
This midcalf boot from Sorel is waterproof, thanks to vulcanized rubber and taped seams. That means you can power through winter-slosh with ease and in style.
We recently included the Helium II in our roundup of the most portable gear. The jacket weighs in at just 6.4 ounces, stuffs into your pocket, and is completely waterproof.
Ideal for speedy missions in the alpine, the SummitRocket can hold between 10 and 25 pounds of gear. The shoulder straps (with four pockets) hug your chest and distribute weight evenly. Ice climbers, give kudos to Mountain Hardwear for throwing in two ice tool holders and mini daisy chains.
The Lamina’s insulation is selectively zoned to maximize warmth where you need it most while reducing weight and bulk in other areas. The result is a 0-degree bag that insulates more efficiently while saving weight and packing down smaller. This women’s model also packs more insulation than men’s bags since women have been proven to sleep at colder temperatures than their male counterparts.
Built with underarm gussets for more mobility, this shirt moves with you whether you’re clinking glasses or reaching for the final hold on a route. Cotton blend construction adds softness and a touch of moisture management so you can focus on having a good time instead of a wardrobe malfunction.
This DWR-treated softshell packs down into its own pocket so it can be easily pulled out/stashed when the clouds roll in. Slip it on when the gusts come out to play, and the climbing-specific gussets keep your arms moving freely even as its nylon face blocks the wind. The Schoeller softshell fabric is highly breathable, so you can hike fast and climb hard.
Thanks to its T-back, this polyester top allows for free range of movement and breathability. The light and stretchy polyester and elastane blended fabric wicks moisture and dries quickly to keep you looking fresh for the post-send beverages back home.
This bag’s resilient polyester shell will stand up to seasons of abuse, while its synthetic insulation continues to insulate even if you set up on soggy ground. Lofty synthetic insulation combines hollow fibers and denser, solid synthetic fibers to create a balance of warmth, softness, and compressibility for easy packing, whether you’re car camping for the weekend or on a longer adventure.
At 18 liters, the Atom is a good choice for an everyday carry pack. The main compartment can fit a few books, a snack, and your keys, while the soft-lined sleeve can fit your laptop.
The Charge is one of our Gear Guy’s favorite speakers. For its size, the sound quality can’t be beat and it gets bonus points for its simple, round geometry and clean aesthetic.
We fell in love with the Terra several years ago because it’s fully featured at a bargain price. This pack comfortably supports 45-pound loads, thanks to the ultra-comfortable and anatomically correct shoulder harness. While vertical channels promote air circulation during stifling summer trips and sub-tropic excursions.
The ultralight Ascensionist is made with double-ripstop nylon and features one large sinch compartment for stuffing gear on-the-go. It’s just as good for hauling gear up a multi-pitch wall as it is at making a short trip to the local crag.
Now 35 years in, Nike’s oldest running shoe is sweeter than ever. The midsole of the Pegasus is snappy, aided by an eye-catching beveled heel and slight rocker—transitions were easygoing and effortless. We featured the Pegasus as one of the best women’s running shoes of 2019.
An updated version of our go-to outdoor pants, the Zion Straights take the comfort from their predecessors and add a more streamlined cut. One bonus: less muddy, flappy cuffs on those dirty days on the trail.
One of our favorites, this 100 percent cotton shirt is indigo-dyed and washed so it feels like your favorite t-shirt the first time you put it on.
Our Gear Guy, Joe Jackson, picked the Kingdom 6 as one of the best car-camping tents on the market. It has a six-foot-high ceiling, a divider that creates two rooms (a handy feature if you’re camping with a rambunctious dog), and two doors. It’s a roomy setup that’s great for long weekend outings.
The Atom LT is a lightly insulated jacket with a highly compressible synthetic fill. The stretchy and uninsulated panels of fleece under the arms make for a less bulky fit and up the comfort factor.
An essential for winter running or hiking, these feature steel beads that bite into the ground, allowing for secure footing on sketchy terrain.
A full 26 inches wider than ENO’s classic DoubleNest hammock, the Double Deluxe offers a mega-comfy setup for those warm-weather excursions. It’s built with durable nylon and fits two people with room to spare.
This solid, waterproof hiking boot is built to last. The height of the boot provides more ankle support than a traditional hiking shoe, and the hefty cushioning in the midsole means it’s super comfortable on long hikes.
These simple sandals are made from two strands of cord and a rubber sole. A soft midsole easily molds to your foot shape, while the sticky rubber outsole lets you walk with confidence over rocks and water.
These classic canvas sneakers go with nearly anything in your closet, from jeans to your favorite summer dress. The shoes are 100 percent vegan and have a nonmarking rubber outsole.
“These mid-height lace-up sneaker boots combine city performance with an outdoor silhouette,” our tester wrote. We picked them for our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide.
We’ve often said that a vest is one of the most versatile layers you can own. We like Marmot’s Zeus because it’s stuffed with high-quality 700 fill goose down that’s treated with a water repellant. Plus, it stuff into its own pocket.
One of the top picks of our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide, the Trailbender is “a thick, cruisey softy, best for meandering epics over hill and dale. Though it offered a somewhat clunky ride overall, we were pleasantly surprised by how well this shoe bombed full-speed down deeply rutted trails—not a fun prospect in most high-stack maximalist shoes.”
Based in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, Voormi makes all of its own garments, including base layers, shirts, and shells, in-house using its own proprietary fabrics. It’s all good-looking, high-performance stuff, but the Confluence hoodie is one of its most popular pieces because of its versatility—it’s a thermal wool midlayer that also sheds water.
Birdwell Beach Britches was launched out of a SoCal seamstress’s home in 1961 and quickly helped define an era in surfing culture. The company still uses the same patented two-ply SurfNyl fabric for its shorts. It sources almost all of the fabric, thread, zippers, and grommets from U.S. manufacturers. Choose the length of your board shorts, and then pick your preferred fabric.
Almond Surfboards has stirred the pot with its latest creation, the R-Series. It’s is a soft-top, waxless shortboard with big volume, making it easy for beginners to catch just about anything, but still fun enough for more experienced surfers to rip. Even better, the high-density foam construction can take a beating, is 100 percent recyclable, and is handmade in Southern California.
Based in Asheville, North Carolina, this maker is best known for producing big, canvas-walled tents and packable two-person dome tents. The Great Day pack has adjustable straps so you can wear it as a shoulder bag or backpack. The 24-liter bag is made from waxed canvas and has a zipper down the middle for easy access, as well as a padded laptop sleeve.
Wolverine has been making boots in Michigan for 130 years. The new 1000 Mile sneaker is a play on its original 1000 Mile work boot. Some of the materials and stitching were borrowed directly from that original boot, but you get a more street-savvy silhouette and a flexible Vibram sole for ultimate traction and comfort.
Peak Design takes a more holistic approach to organization with its Tech Pouch, which opens a bit like an accordion and has slots that can accommodate sunglasses, a wallet, phones, and boxier items like a MacBook wall plug. There are smaller slots for thin cords and pens, as well as a pass-through slot and an exterior pocket, so you can connect your phone to a battery on the inside of the pouch.
The Joto Organizer is just a sleeve, but one side is packed with customizable elastic straps so you can fit dozens of items, from keys to cords to pens as well as SD cards, your phone, and notebooks. The back side has a thin zippered pocket, great for a passport or some cash.
Instead of a bunch of elastic straps, you get a few mesh zippered pockets with Osprey’s Ultralight Roll. It’s simple and effective, and the beauty of pockets is that they’re big enough for whatever you need to take with you, from cords to pens to a deck of cards or multiple batteries. And they keep small items, like JumpDrives or SD cards, safe.
Big enough to fit a Kindle or other small tablet, there’s also enough room for all your cords, batteries, headphones, and whatever else you’re toting. The interior organization is a mix of elastic straps, mesh pockets, and a large zippered pocket. There’s even enough room for pens and a slim zipper pocket on the outside, too.
We’ve been impressed with Thule’s luggage for a while now, and the PowerShuttle takes its bomber nylon design and shrinks it to offer an organizer with a series of pockets and elastic straps and enough room for batteries, wall adapters, cords, and headphones.
Made from a cozy blend of organic cotton and recycled polyester, this crewneck pullover layers neatly over a collared shirt or under a coat. Choose from nine colors and patterns.
If you appreciate buying American-made, you’re going to like this sock, which is made in the states with domestically sourced materials. Knit with a blend of wool, bison down, nylon, and polyester, this sock has reinforced heels and toes plus ribbed arch support for a comfy fit.
Carry anything from coffee to your favorite mixed beverage in this double-wall-insulated water bottle. The vacuum-seal lid keeps contents warm or cold during commute, and the braided-paracord lid handle has a side release for easy looping around a pack strap or handlebar.
The scent of cedarwood and leather with spices and moss makes a candle that’s sure to remind you of your favorite trail. Once you burn through the 100 percent soy wax, you get to use the vessel as a coffee mug or ice cream bowl.
This newly released puffy is designed to keep you comfortable from zero to 50 degrees. The face fabric is made from a two-layer waterproof membrane, and the cuffs and front pockets are lined with soft fleece for added comfort.
This fully waterproof jacket is a limited-edition run of only 1,000. According to the brand, it’s made to withstand temperatures between zero and 40 degrees and has a removable hood, a waterproof front zipper, and several stash pockets. Plus, there’s a microfiber cloth stowed in the left chest pocket for easy on-the-go glasses or goggles cleanings.
The X-shaped aluminum frame and 3-D-molded shoulder and hip straps mean the Zulu can comfortably carry as much gear as you can cram into its 55-liter body.
This mug is constructed with high-quality copper and finished with a tarnish-reducing lacquer for durability. Plus, for every product sold, United by Blue removes a pound of trash from oceans and waterways.
Relieve tension with the Addaday Pro massage roller, which uses soft- and medium-density foam to target hard-to-reach areas such as the Achilles, shins, shoulders, and forearms.
A bucket-style main compartment lets you access your trail essentials quickly and easily, and dual water-bottle pockets are designed to securely hold one-liter vessels.
Keep your hair dry and out of your face with this waterproof cap. The reflective logo increases your visibility during early-morning or nighttime runs.
This cooking set has everything necessary to easily make a meal for two in the backcountry. The kit includes a hard-anodized 1.8-liter pot with a strainer lid, two insulated mugs with lids, two bowls, two telescoping foons, a welded sink, and a stove bag.
Simply designed with a full-length zipper and two zippered hand pockets, this jacket is a versatile and cozy layer that can be worn hiking, under a ski jacket, or around the house.
The Flash 45 was the best budget pick in our comprehensive women’s backpack review. Testers wrote, “It more than ably supported the test’s 35-pound load, even when I pushed it off-trail and into steep, scrambling terrain.”
Made of a cotton polyester blend, these Chinos have a casual look and a technical feel. We wore ours to the office and then kept them on for an after-work hike. We suggest you size up as the 32-inch waist feels a lot more like a 31.
Although it sports a similar cut and the same Primaloft insulation as the Sherpa, this jacket is decidedly more stylish. It sports oversized metal zippers and forgoes baffles for a cleaner look that can be dressed up for date night.
Featuring a moisture-wicking, wrinkle-resistant fabric that’s as soft as it is technical, the classic plaid Woodside looks good enough to wear for most occasions.
With its classic canvas outer and metal buttons, this jacket feels at home in any mountain town bar. The Primaloft lining feels almost like real sheep wool and we dig the dark khaki color.
These waterproof ankle boots were featured in our roundup of the best women’s après gear in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide. With lugged soles that provide grip on snowy streets, the Elsa is a go-to boot for the winter months.
We named the Targhees one of the best winter hiking boots in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide. Testers liked the synthetic insulation, which kept their feet toasty and dry.
The Trekkers are a great multi-sport glove that will keep your hands warm on chilly hikes. They’re ultra-breathable and grippy, too, making them our go-to option for high-output adventures. Take an extra 20 percent off with code NEWGEAR2019 at checkout.
The 69-liter BAD (Best American Duffel) remains one of our favorite gear haulers. Made with 1,000-denier Cordura nylon and two-inch, 6,000-pound break-strength seat-belt webbing, it’s built to withstand a beating.
The Air Core Insulated sleeping pad offers a 4.1 R-value, with a comfort range down to 15 degrees. Complete with a ripstop nylon outer and stuffed with a thin layer PrimaLoft insulation, it’s a durable multi-season pad for those chilly nights under the stars.
Nearly every guy in the Outside office has a pair of Stretch Zions. That’s because they’re supremely comfortable (way superior to jeans) and the DWR-treated nylon-Spandex fabric makes them a solid choice for hiking and climbing.
The Sonic Pro topped our list of the best waders for women. They worked well for testers with a variety of chest sizes; in general, testers found they fit “more like your favorite pair of jeans than the balloon-style waders of yesteryear.”
Since its launch in 1986, the Base Camp has essentially defined the category of adventure duffel. Its burly 1,000-denier, water-resistant fabric and convertible straps allow it to be carried as a duffel or a backpack, meaning you can haul it just about anywhere. The 50-liter size can be carried on an airplane and works well for a weekend trip.
We highlighted the Free Motion sports bra in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide for its backless design. Our tester found it was ideal for climbers or those who want an uninhibited range of motion while sweating.
Contributor Bryan Rogala called the Comfort Plus one of the most comfortable pads you can buy in his roundup of Outside-approved camp sleep gear. Credit the hundreds of air-sprung cells that distribute pressure evenly across the pad.
Columnist Wes Siler crowned the FirePit the best portable grill ever. It works as both a fire pit and an efficient grill, thanks to the fan that makes the pit run “virtually smokeless.”
The Duck’s Back rain cover kept the gear inside our editor’s pack bone-dry during monsoon season in Patagonia. At camp, I draped it over my tent fly for some extra rain protection. And when the sun came out, it was easy to pack down and stash.
We love REI’s Flash-series packs for their lightweight and minimalist design. The Flash 18 is the smallest and most packable of the bunch, making it a solid option for shorter day hikes.
One of our favorite shackets, the United by Blue Snap is stuffed with a blend of bison fiber and recycled polyester, making it quite warm for its weight and exceptional at quashing odors. Pro tip: The jacket runs small, so we suggest sizing up.
This wearable tracks exercise in 15 different sport modes, including pace, distance, and heart rate, and there’s a sleep-tracking function. On top of that, it features women’s health tracking, water resistance up to 50 meters, and a blood oxygen sensor that tracks disruptions in breathing during sleep.
These pants are made from a stretchy, ripstop-nylon spandex blend and then coated with a DWR finish. Our Gear Guy thinks they’re the best pants for hiking. Although he found them lacking in breathability, he called them otherwise “damn near perfect. They’re so functional and so comfy that I credit them with getting me on the trail more often,” he wrote.
Thanks to its light yet durable build, the Minimalist earned a place in our Reader’s Choice roundup of the best men’s rain jackets. “It has a minimal weight to it but feels substantial enough to be more than just a raincoat,” one tester wrote. “It’s truly a wind-proof waterproof shell.”
We featured the Octal X in our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide among the best women’s bike accessories. It weighs in at less than a half pound and fits like a headband, thanks to a simple strap-dial system.
The mountain bike-specific Tectal features a clean style and unibody construction, which extends coverage over the back of the head and temples. POC also carves 15 vents and a lengthy system of air channels throughout so you won’t overheat under your lid when you start working hard on a climb.
The GLCR impressed us so much that we gave it a Gear of the Show award . It has a water reservoir integrated into the powder skirt with a hose that runs along the inside of the jacket. All that is to say that instead of awkwardly carrying a bottle on the slopes, or going thirsty, you can now hydrate via bite valve.
The I/O Mags were a highlight of our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide. Testers particularly loved the easy-to-use lens-swap tech, which relies on sturdy, hassle-free magnets to lock the glass in place.
We use the Stratos 24 for day hikes and weekend excursions, but we’ve also stuffed it to the max for multi-day backpacking trips. We like the stretchy back panel, which keeps cool air flowing on hot days.
The Rendezvous is rated as one of the best camp chairs on Amazon. One reviewer praised the chair for its simple design: “[It's] incredibly sturdy, and there is no need for a cup holder since you are so low to the ground.”
The 2400 Southwest has a 40-liter main compartment made entirely from super tough, waterproof Dyneema fabric. The whole system comes in under two pounds, making it an ultralight option for weekend adventures.
The Luci Outdoor Pro impressed us with its built-in lithium-ion battery, which allows you to charge other devices. Ten LED lights put out a bright, 150-lumen glow for 24 hours. When you’re done, just deflate it and slip it into a backpack pocket.
The Baltoro 65 won our Gear of the Year award in the 2018 Summer Buyer’s Guide. Testers raved that the Baltoro offers “a full buffet of features along with excellent load-carrying comfort and very low weight.”
In her recent review, gear editor Emily Reed praised the Flash Air Hammock, describing it as “more like a hanging tent than a traditional hammock.” One of the coolest features: the zippered bug net, which lines the entire hammock body, so you’ll never worry about being bitten at night.
Our Gear Guy loves the Hydro Flask 32-ounce tumbler; with one of these suckers, he “can nurse a single pour for hours without having to worry about lukewarm beer.” The same goes for hot drinks—a freshly brewed cup of coffee will stay hot for up to six hours.
Our editor praised the Nano-Air Light Hybrid for its do-it-all capabilities. It retains just enough warmth during high-output sports to keep you comfortable, while still dumping heat efficiently. The jacket blends 40-gram insulation with a waffle-knit polyester.
Filled with toasty Primaloft Eco insulation and coated with a DWR finish, the Ronan pairs well with a shell for especially wet conditions.
Our testers picked these as the comfiest bibs in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide. Credit the spacious cut and the simple design—a few big front pockets, vents to dump heat, and no excess material.
We love this because of its unique design, which wraps a multi-density foam over a rigid, hollow core. During testing, we’ve found that the material gives a better, firmer massage than the cheap foam found on most rollers.
Last year, we named this one of the best active midlayers for women. Much of its performance chops come from the Polartec Alpha Direct insulation, which looks like shag carpet and uses a big, open weave to vent sweat, while also holding in just the right amount of body heat.
This 16-ounce stainless steel pint glass is insulated to keep your beer cold, which is just one of the reasons why our Gear Guy loves his. It’s also BPA-free, phthalate-free, and is designed to be easily stackable.
The Trtl weighs less than a third of a pound, is small enough to fit in your luggage, and is far more comfortable than anything else we’ve tried.
To combat cold spots in its Featherless hoodie, Marmot ditched large baffles and instead filled tiny compartments with synthetic Thinsulate Featherless insulation.
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Post time: May-21-2019