Mammut Wall Rider Helmet ($100)
For head protection to do its job well, it has to fit perfectly. The Mammut Wall Rider helmet has multiple adjustable straps. Bonus points for the ultralow weight and big vents to keep your noggin cool.
Black Diamond’s Alpine Light Softshell Pants ($99)
The built-in belt on Black Diamond’s Alpine Light Softshell pants lets you quickly take the waist in or out a few inches—handy for bathroom breaks. Shout out to the designer who shaped and placed the zippered pocket, which is ideal for sunglasses or a topo map.
Cotopaxi Teca Full-Zip Windbreaker ($80)
The Cotopaxi Teca Full-Zip windbreaker won’t blend in with the landscape, and that’s just fine with us. The 4.5 ounces of repurposed 20-denier nylon is enough to fend off light showers, while elastic at the hem, cuffs, and hood shuts out drafts.
Eddie Bauer Resolution Quantum SS Shirt ($60)
If James Bond were blitzing a fourteener, he’d wear the Eddie Bauer Resolution Quantum SS shirt. Moisture-activated polymers expand and contract with sweat levels, letting cool air in and vapor out. Smartly cut vents kept us chilled in direct sunlight beyond the trees, but beware awkward tan lines.
Adidas’s Outdoor Terrex Scope GTX Hikers ($160)
Lacing up Adidas’s Outdoor Terrex Scope GTX hikers is like putting on soccer cleats: this Gore-Tex newcomer is a bit more aggressive than most day hikers. But give it time and it will win you over with a combo of just-right cushioning and Stealth rubber outsoles (the same used on Five Ten climbing shoes) that enable mountain-goat scrambling on loose rock.
Platypus Duolock 2L Bottle ($12)
A rugged, easy-fill, compressible plastic hydration pouch like the Platypus Duolock 2L bottle is one of those thing you don’t think you need until you have it. With its two-liter capacity, locking valve, and carabiner clip, it’s equally at home stuffed deep inside your pack or clipped to a harness loop.
Thule Stir 35 Liter Pack ($140)
We loaded up the Thule Stir 35L pack with everything we needed for a one-day ascent, then cinched the top drawcord, and... wait, there’s still room in there! Thule combined a removable waistband (and sternum strap) with a side-access zipper, rain cover, internal bladder pocket, and enough nooks and crannies for a day or two on your feet.
Leki Micro Vario Carbon DSS Poles ($220)
Leki’s slickly designed Micro Vario Carbon DSS poles unfold and lock into place in seconds. Thin wrist straps decrease heft while trekking, and the foam grips don’t slip when your palms get sweaty. Nice: a featherweight stuff sack keeps these shiny carbon beauties from getting tangled in your pack.
Camp USA Jasper CR4 Harness ($68)
The Camp USA Jasper CR4 Harness is engineered with six millimeters of foam in the waist and four in the adjustable leg loops, for comfort without too much weight. The beefy nylon outer layer offers confidence when scraping along a via ferrata.