In 2018, we called this jacket “the holy grail of waterproof jackets.” “It feels softer than a soft shell but as waterproof as any hard shell I’ve used,” our tester said. If you want a jacket that covers all the bases with weatherproofing, breathability, and stretch, look no further than the Interstellar.
Tackle Any Hike with This Lightweight Gear
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.
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 Arkali heralds a new breed of hiking shoe. There’s off-road, off-trail, and then there’s off the map. HOKA ONE ONE® has just gone vertical with the Arkali. A combination of running shoe innovation, climbing shoe technology, and hiking boot engineering, the Arkali is ready for anything.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stio released the first version of the Downwater Anorak last year and we loved it. “It has a laid-back style that goes great with jeans and even better with boardshorts, making it a versatile layer on the river or around town,” our tester said.
Stio released the first version of the Downwater Anorak last year and we loved it. Made from a rugged water-resistant nylon treated with UPF 50-plus sun protection, it fends off wind and water while still looking casual enough to wear around town.
We included the Eddie in our roundup for the best sun shirts because it’s stretchy, dries fast, and has a UPF 50+ rating. “It’s as performance-minded as your favorite tech tee but good-looking enough to wear about town,” our tester said. Added style points for the pearl snaps.
Stock up for the next ski season with this Gear of the Year-winning helmet. “After more than a dozen testers placed the Switcher on their noggins, all agreed that it was the most comfortable helmet they’d worn,” we wrote. The helmet ticked all the boxes we wanted (like a MIPS construction and a magnetic closure on the strap).
These buds made it into our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide in our list of the best audio gear. They're lightweight and have a cord that clips to your shirt to stay in place. The sound quality is “faithful to your favorite tracks,” our tester says, but be aware—the buds do not lend themselves to aquatic activity.
Made from water-resistant nylon and stuffed with a healthy dose of synthetic insulation, the Howser III is perfect for frosty morning walks to the coffee shop or long winter nights in the cabin. And a non-marking rubber sole won't mess up your floors if you decide to wear them in the house.
Outside gear tester Jakob Schiller can’t say enough about the Chandler CNX shoes. These kicks held up against the abuse of both his children as they grew in and out of them. He says, “Even after years of wear, they’re in great shape. I can’t say that about any other brand of shoe my kids have ever worn.”
The Rose sandal looks great, but can handle some adventure, too. The front toe bumper provides extra protection from rocks and sticks, and the rubber outsole has multi-directional lugs—like you'll see on hiking boots or running shoes—for increased traction.
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