This superlight jacket is filled with the company’s brand-new PlumaFill insulation, made of hydrophobic polyester fibers that mimic the structure of down—gossamer tendrils radiating from a central spine. Rather than being blown into baffles like other synthetic down, the PlumaFill is tacked between sheets of ten-denier nylon fabric in long strands, so it won’t shift and create cold spots.
Men's Waist Packs for All Kinds of Adventures
If you need to carry a lot of stuff, look to this eight-liter pack and its massive main compartment that’s big enough for all your day-hike necessities. An additional zipper pocket keeps smaller items separate, compression straps cinch the load close to your body, and the burly 500-denier Cordura fabric can take plenty of abuse.
The Talon has everything you love about Osprey’s backpacks, just shrunk to fit around your waist. It comes with smart details like padded bottle holsters, small zippered pockets on the sides for quick access, and external compression straps that let you carry an extra layer. Osprey also makes a women’s-specific version called the Tempest.
Based in Bellingham, Washington, High Above specializes in waist packs for mountain bikers. We dig the Lookout’s camo body, which is waterproof and durable as hell, thanks to the Dimension Polyant VX material. Three interior pockets make for simple—not fussy—organization.
Mountainsmith has been synonymous with hip packs for years, and it updated the classic Tour by making it waterproof: built with TPU-coated nylon, welded seams, and waterproof zippers, it ensures everything inside stays moisture-free. A mesh back panel and compression system keep the load comfortable and compact, while detachable bottle holsters, webbing loops, and D rings allow customization.
Nathan moves the water storage (two ten-ounce bottles) to the sides of the hips to disperse the load and keep the running-specific Trail Mix Plus from bouncing too much. While storage is minimal, the belt is made from a stretchy nylon-polyester blend for a snug but comfy fit, and there are reflective hits all over the pack to boost visibility.
The Performance Better Sweater is the perfect mid layer for cold-weather pursuits. The side panels are stretchy for extra mobility and the back hem is lower for better protection against the elements. We loved this hoodie so much, it was our favorite hoodie in 2018.
The Storm is the perfect example of how far headlamps have come. It’s moderately priced but pumps out 350 lumens from a proximity beam—ideal for working in close quarters or as a spotlight when you’re on the trail. We really like the battery meter, which shows how much juice you have left in your AAAs. Oh, and it’s fully waterproof.
This superlight jacket is filled with Patagonia's new PlumaFill insulation, which is made of hydrophobic polyester fibers that mimic the structure of down. Rather than being blown into baffles like other synthetics, the PlumaFill is tacked between sheets of 10-denier nylon in long strands, so it won’t shift and create cold spots.
Our tester praised this shirt in his test of the best performance flannels. “The Fjord deserves points for its 100 percent organic cotton, which felt soft and supple, and it had just enough give to never slow me down as I rode the Jabberwocky Trail outside Ashland, Oregon,” he wrote.
Pearl Izumi has long been an Outside favorite for its “good-looking, hyperfunctional, and not too expensive gear,” as we wrote in our review of soft goods from this year’s bike test. The ELITE Escape Tank is no different. It has a longer torso for full coverage, a pocket in the back, and a built-in compression bra lining.
While the Illuminate might not be a top choice to withstand repeated rubbing against rock, it is perfect for keeping warm while camping or hiking. Bonus: it packs into its own pocket to make a comfortable camping pillow with a soft-brushed tricot covering.
The Cragsmith was our favorite pack for sport climbing in 2018. We especially loved the main compartment’s easy access with a top entry and a U-shaped zipper, which allows you to open up the entire back and see all your equipment. That way, you never have to take everything out of your bag just to find one sling or your GriGri.
We tested these shorts during our 2019 bike test and loved them. The Vista Short “is just as comfortable for walking around town as it is in the saddle,” we wrote. While other cycling apparel has started catering to race types, these shorts are perfect for cyclists who just want to enjoy the ride and an après barhop.
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