We featured these slippers in our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide. The braided and tanned water buffalo upper stays true to its heritage roots in India, but the goat-leather lining and natural rubber outsole deliver a much needed dose of modern comfort: “The City molded to our feet for a truly custom fit,” our tester wrote.
Games for the Backyard, Beach, or Campsite
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide, these were our favorite all-mountain chargers. “The toothy Vibram Megagrip lugs offer killer traction, and that surefootedness, combined with massive Hoka cush, inspires confidence on technical terrain,” we wrote. The third version of the shoe has an updated tongue and a heartier toe bumper.
Outside columnist Jakob Schiller loves his Lowdown Flips because of their durability and comfort: “I’ve probably put over 400 miles on them,” he wrote. “Now the footbeds bear an imprint of my toes, the soles are slightly worn down, and the webbing is filthy. But they aren’t showing any signs of falling apart.”
Our Gear Guy crowned the Workman Mid Comp Toe the best mud boot in his test. “The flexible footbed, coupled with a hugging heel cup, kept the Workman Mid absolutely snug on my foot while climbing the muddy hill,” he wrote. “And they never let a drop of water in as I splashed in a soaked and unruly bamboo patch.”
In 2018, we called this shell “the holy grail of waterproof jackets.” “It feels softer than a soft shell but as waterproof as any hard shell I’ve used,” one tester wrote. If you want a jacket that covers all the bases with weatherproofing, breathability, and stretch, look no further than the Interstellar.
Keen makes some of the most comfortable sandals we’ve tested and the Astoria West is no exception. While we wouldn’t wear these for thru-hiking, we like them as a daily driver and for casual day hikes. The grippy rubber sole kept us confident on wet rock. “Perfect for river hangouts,” one tester said.
In our Gear Guy’s test of the best men’s flip flops, he highlighted the Nohona Ulana’s classy vibe: “You could almost wear a pair in the office on a casual summer Friday,” he wrote. “On flat ground, the supple leather toe post and subtly contoured footbed made for the second most comfortable flip on this list.”
We reviewed this rain jacket in our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide. “The exterior nylon is tough, wind-resistant, and stretchy, while the interior is lined with a buttery knit that adds warmth for alpine starts and windy ridge walks,” we wrote. The lining does make the jacket less breathable, so it’s best for slower paced activities.
This is our Gear Guy’s insulated water bottle of choice. In 2013, he did a full test of the entire Hydro Flask quiver, measuring their durability and how long they kept liquids hot and cold. He wrote, “I highly suggest buying a Hydro Flask as your insulated, everyday water bottle.”
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."
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.”