Spring has sprung. National Parks are reopening, snow is melting, and roads to off-the-beaten-path campgrounds and trailheads are accessible again. All this means one thing: it’s officially the kickoff to road-trip season. But adventuring in shoulder season comes with its own set of challenges, mainly unpredictable weather. So whether it’s bitterly cold or hot as hell, here are a few essentials worth stashing in your travel bag.
Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket ($129)
A lightweight raincoat is crucial when heading somewhere drizzly, and Patagonia’s Torrentshell is one of the best. The 2.5-layer breathable jacket is made with 100 percent recycled nylon face fabric and soft fleece, and features a visor hood, weatherproof zippers, and men’s and women’s styles. The fit isn’t too baggy or tight, making it perfect for almost any activity, and it stuffs into a pocket for easy transport when the sun’s out.
Hydro Flask 32oz Wide Mouth with Straw Lid ($45)
Thanks to its double-wall vacuum insulation and stainless-steel construction, the Wide Mouth keeps your drink hot for 12 hours, or add ice cubes in the morning and have water that’s still icy cold at the end of the day. And this high-quality bottle has an optional straw lid, ideal for spill-free drinking on bumpy roads.
Oakley Latch Sunglasses ($193)
More than just a stylish pair of shades, these glasses match a fashionable frame with Oakley’s Prizm Polarized lenses, which amplify both color and vividness. They fit comfortably for the long haul and protect your vision and minimize glare when that late-afternoon sun hits just below your car’s visor.
Ridge Merino Inversion Midweight Crew Merino Wool Base Layer ($65)
Transition from a hike to a long car ride without the stink with this moisture-wicking 100 percent merino base layer. Unlike some other wool competitors, the Ridge Merino isn’t itchy and has a longer cut, meaning it won’t ride up. Plus, it’s available in both men’s and women’s styles and is trendy enough to wear as a standalone shirt for coffee-shop pit stops along the way.
Vans Made for the Makers SK8-HI Reissue Sneakers ($85)
Designed with a water-resistant canvas and suede upper that repels rain and dirt and a lugged outsole for improved grip, this high top may look like a city sneaker but function as a great outdoor shoe. With a contoured, cushiony footbed, it’s super comfy for long travel days.
Suunto Core Watch ($259)
Instead of reacting to the weather, prepare for it with this waterproof watch that features a storm alarm, weather-predicting barometer, thermometer, altimeter, and compass. Made of a durable composite with a stainless-steel bezel and soft polymer strap, it goes anywhere you do.