Our testers put the Z/Cloud X sandals through the paces and came away impressed. One wrote: “l’ve hiked for miles on end in them, from rocky scrambles in Grand Teton National Park to ruins in the ancient city of Petra, Jordan, and dusty, steep hills along other parts of the Jordan Trail.”
Technical Backpacks to Help Get Your Kids Outside
Built for big boys and girls (8 to 12 years old), the Tarn Hydro is a straightforward daypack with a wide opening to the main compartment and a comfy padded back panel with an air-flow channel. The stretchy mesh side pockets are great for items your kids want to access easily or an extra bottle if they want more water than the built-in, 1.5-liter HydraPak reservoir can fit.
The 40-liter Icarus is designed for overnight or quick weekend trips into the backcountry, and it comes loaded with the same features your favorite adult packs have: a hydration sleeve, a trekking-pole attachment, a rain cover, a separate slot for a sleeping bag, and an exterior stash pocket. The VersaFit suspension system has four inches of adjustment, so the Icarus can grow with your child.
This Deuter pack is for when you introduce your children to technical pursuits, like ski touring and rock climbing. It has 22 liters of room in a top-loading compartment, with space for a hydration bladder, but is also outfitted with ice-ax straps, D rings, and gear loops for lashing rope, trekking poles, or whatever they need for the day.
A pack made for fast-and-light adventures on a bike, the Moki is a small 1.5 liters, just enough for a layer and some snacks. But it also comes with a dedicated hydration sleeve—with its own quick-zip access—and an attachment strap for a blinking light, so it’s easy for your child to be visible and safe.
This hauler's 55-liter capacity can hold a few days’ worth of gear (up to 45 pounds), but don’t go overboard: you don’t want to weigh down your child too much on their first multi-night backpacking trip. The Optifit suspension can be lengthened as your kid grows, while multiple exterior pockets and top and side access to the main compartment make organization easy. Pack judiciously.
CamelBak built a kid’s version of its most popular mountain-bike pack for the littlest of shredders. The Mini Mule comes with a 1.5-liter hydration bladder, just under a liter of gear space, and a mesh harness that vents so junior isn’t left with sweat stains under the shoulder straps.
Outside tester Andrew Skurka wrote a long-term review of the UberLite and found it ideal for three-season conditions. This pad is as comfortable as the NeoAir XLite, but cuts down weight by 3.2 ounces and isn’t as noisy when moving around. Plus, its insulation is warm enough for temperatures down to 30 degrees.
For those who like the freedom of flip-flops but need more orthopedic support, these are the shoes for you. The sandals got top marks in our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide for their cushioned, shock-absorbent footbed and deep heel cup. The uppers use recycled PET webbing that’s both stylish and comfortable.
Our testers included this sack in our Buyer’s Guide roundup of the best summer sleeping bags. It’s a resurrection of Yvon Chouinard’s two-way center zip design, but with modern refinements. “Stitches puncture the outer or inner fabric, not both, keeping down and heat in,” we wrote. It’s best for “taking up peaks and down trails.”
Nearly every guy in the Outside office has a pair of Stretch Zions. That’s because they’re supremely comfortable (way superior to jeans) and the DWR-treated nylon-Spandex fabric makes them a solid choice for hiking and climbing.
The Nano Puff is a classic jacket that is “super versatile, warm, and looks good with any outfit.” It’s built with 100 percent recycled polyester for the ripstop shell and 55 percent recycled content for the insulation. Plus, it packs down into its own chest pocket for easy transport.
The Stretchdown is a staff favorite. "This puffy is made with a nylon-elastane face fabric that's super stretchy, so it's great for increased range of motion for climbing, hiking, and skiing," said gear editor Ariella Gintzler.
This hoodie is as high-tech as it looks. Packed with quality 850-fill down in the core, the Cerium LT Down has strategically mapped areas with synthetic insulation to resist moisture. You’ll barely notice it in your pack: it weighs just 10.9 ounces.
We included this bra in our roundup of the best women’s workout gear of 2019. “The recycled nylon-Lycra fabric feels like brushed suede,” our tester wrote. Plus the removable cups, interior shelf, and racerback straps make the bra supportive enough for most gals.
Our Gear Guy tested five lightweight soft shells, and the Keele was his favorite. “I was most impressed with how [it] almost completely repelled water during the shower test, leaving very little moisture on the interior after 30 seconds,” he wrote. This is the jacket you should grab for chilly runs.