New Gear We’re Testing Right Now
From camping equipment and running shoes to apparel and accessories, we get to test it all. Here’s what’s on our editors’ desks today.
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One of the best parts of being an editor at Outside is testing new gear. From biking, skiing, and technical climbing gear to everyday lifestyle apparel, our desks are home to a rotating collection of adventure toys to test and consider for review. Here are just a few products that have come through the office recently.
SOG Terminus XR Knife ($80, above)
With a four-inch handle and nearly three-inch blade, SOG’s latest everyday-carry knife, the Terminus XR, is a little bigger than my normal EDC. But its narrow profile and sleek carbon-fiber handle make it feel surprisingly compact in my pocket. The coolest feature is the assisted opening; unlike other knives with springs that fling open the blade, the Terminus XR does it with just the weight of the blade and a flick of the wrist. It’s fast, simple, and effective, and after a week of cutting open packages and slicing up kindling I don’t have any complaints. —Ben Fox, affiliate reviews manager
Sierra Designs Nitro 0 Degree Sleeping Bag ($380)
Winter sleeping bags are notoriously expensive, especially ones stuffed with ultra-compressible, high-fill-power down. So I did a double take when I saw this new 800-fill bag, which costs just $380—hundreds less than similar models from competing brands. I recently got one and have been struck by its thoughtful design features, like a bottom vent for poking out your feet, which is ingenious for folks whose body temperature fluctuates in the night. (Your body weight seals the gap when your feet are tucked in, to keep out cold air.) —Ariella Gintzler, assistant gear editor
BLDG Active Skin Repair Spray ($25) and Gel ($30)
As a climber with skin as soft as a newborn baby’s, I’ve started searching for products to help my fingers heal faster so I don’t have to take days off when the rock wears down my skin or leaves me with cuts, called flappers. Lately I’ve been using BLDG’s Active Skin Repair wound care formula (available as a spray or a gel), which uses hypochlorous acid—the same molecule our bodies produce in response to injury—to kill bacteria, lessen inflammation, and promote speedier wound healing. The jury is still out on whether this helps my skin recover more quickly after climbing, but at the very least the placebo effect sure makes me think it does. —Emily Reed, assistant reviews editor
Sherpa Yatra Everyday Pack ($60)
Sherpa Adventure Gear’s new Yatra Everyday Pack is quickly proving an indispensable part of my, well, everyday. The Cordura fabric is abrasion-resistant, and DWR lends a touch of water repellency. But it’s the smart touches—like the daisy-chain closure for the main compartment, two slim accessory pockets, and side water-bottle pockets that automatically cinch shut when empty—that help the Yatra adjust to whatever size load it’s carrying. And the padding on the back panel is surprisingly cushy for a ten-liter commuter bag. —Will Egensteiner, senior gear editor
Olukai Nalukai Shoes ($120)
In the week I’ve been wearing them, these leather kicks have become my go-to footwear. I wear them around the office, out to dinner, and while traveling. The wider toe box makes for a relaxed, comfortable fit, and the full-grain leather upper looks classy. But what really has me sold is the foldable heel that tucks down over the sole, transforming the shoes into comfy slip-ons, great for airport travel. —Jeremy Rellosa, editorial assistant