These shorts stand out in a crowd, but you’ll barely notice them when they’re on. That's because they’re airy as hell and prevent skin-on-skin friction for a comfy fit. “Credit goes to the breathable mesh liner and a hammock-shaped pouch that keeps the boys in place,” one of our Buyer’s Guide testers wrote.
Our Favorite Gear from Small Brands We Love
These were among favorite boardshorts in our 2019 Summer Buyer's Guide. For pure toughness, these burly trunks win big, with a cotton-poly material that holds its shape so you don’t wind up with a waistband full of sand. As a bonus, four pockets hold wallet, keys, and other sundries for after-session cervezas.
We love the Klettersack for its beautiful, high-quality design. Our tester praised the bag's bomber construction, writing "the 22-liter pack features 1,000-denier Cordura fabric and heavy duty hardware so it'll put up with years of day-hike abuse."
Our cycling columnist said he'll “never go back” to other hitch models after testing the Backstage Swing Away. “It’s no overstatement to say that for truck and van owners, the swing-away design will make life a lot easier,” our tester said.
The Dirt Surfer made our list of cool crossover bike gear. “Club Ride added a little bit of spandex to this poly shirt for extra stretch, as well as a UPF 50 rating to give the Aloha vibe technical chops,” our tester writes. It also has perforated pit vents and zipper pockets on the front and back.
The Cannons are some of our favorite women's sneakers. “Every aspect of this sneaker uses environmentally sustainable materials and construction,” our tester writes, “but it doesn’t look like a 'green' shoe, and that’s the point.” The synthetic upper uses recycled plastic bottles and the soles use Bloom foam made from repurposed algae.
Stio teamed up with Polartec to create a line of baselayers made with merino wool and synthetic fibers. The result? Breathable, durable pieces that move moisture off the skin. The Power Wool was the only baselayer our gear editor wore on a four-day hut trip. “The Basis was completely odorless,” he writes.
These are some of our favorite do-it-all men's pants. Kudos to the drawstring adjustment on top of the traditional button-and-fly closure, which kept the Everywhere snug without the weight of a belt, making airport security a breeze. Factor in the ten pockets for all of your EDC gadgets, and you’re set.
Our Gear Guy put these merino wool socks through the wringer last year. The result? They won his test of the best hiking socks. Joe Jackson wrote, "This sock did everything extremely well, but mostly it was just damn comfy."
The Harmony is one of our Staff Picks. The natural rubber is among the grippiest we’ve tested, which makes it ideal for hot yoga or sweaty workout sessions.
These classic canvas sneakers go with nearly anything in your closet, from jeans to your favorite summer dress. The shoes are 100 percent vegan and have a nonmarking rubber outsole.
This jacket is perfect for sudden afternoon showers or for layering over a puffy in colder months. Our writer tested the Ozonic on a climbing trip in the Sierra and appreciated the jacket’s stretchiness. It’s also built with 40-denier nylon, so you don’t have to worry about scraping it against rock and ripping it.
The 20-liter Kompressor keeps Outside’s resident boulderer Jenny Earnest organized at the crag. "It's big enough to haul a day's worth of gear and the frameless design and lightweight ripstop nylon shell allows it to compress and jam into my pad," she wrote.
"Leatherman has completely rethought the category it invented," wrote columnist Wes Siler in his 2019 review of the new Free line. One-handed operation is this tool’s calling card: “It works just as well in your left hand as it does in your right. You can access all the in-handle tools, opening, closing, locking, and unlocking them with ease.”
We haven’t found a better bang-for-your-buck camping bundle than this one. With a four-person tent, two sleeping pads and sleeping bags, this package is ideal for the budget-conscious camper and backpacker. “You'll be hard-pressed to find a less expensive tent that’s worth bringing into the backcountry,” our Gear Guy wrote.
We're just as likely to sport this shirt at the campsite as we are at the office. That's because it's simultaneously smartly tailored and tough as nails, thanks to the fact it's made of burly, sustainably-grown hemp. During the summer, a couple of these polos is all we need.
We included these jeans in our roundup of retro-inspired men’s gear that we love. This pair is “not only ultra-durable but also insanely comfy due to its built-in stretch,” wrote columnist Jakob Schiller. “I’ve biked, hiked, and worked in these pants, and they look better with wear.”
This is the third iteration of one of our favorite trail-running shoes. “The Sense Ride raised the bar for every other trail shoe in the test,” our tester wrote. “Nothing came close to beating its combo of give-’em-hell speed and quick-stepping technical chops with an accommodating midsole.”
The Ariel AG 55 won our women's backpacking test. “The Ariel is a feature-rich, versatile pack that presents a case study in how a sturdy, weight-bearing suspension design is often more comfortable than a design that shaves ounces by way of flimsier built-in support,” our testers wrote.
We featured this folio in our roundup of gear that gets better with age. It has room for a 13-inch laptop, smartphone, business cards, tablet, and notebook to boot. Our tester wrote that the environmentally certified leather "will make you feel like executive material."
Our 2019 Summer Buyer's Guide review sums up our thoughts on the Ignite: “It is everything you could want in a straightforward car-camping stove,” our tester wrote. “It has two 10,000-BTU burners, a piezo igniter that we used a hundred times without a hiccup, and space for two ten-inch pans as we cooked up pancakes and bacon.”