Our Gear Guy loves the Hydro Flask 32-ounce tumbler. With one of these suckers, he can “nurse a single pour for hours without having to worry about lukewarm beer.” The same goes for hot drinks—a freshly brewed cup of coffee will stay warm for up to six hours.
6 Board Shorts to Live in This Summer
Vuori blends its recycled polyester (made from plastic bottles) with spandex for a flyweight short that stretches like yoga pants. The inner thighs are perforated for extra breathability, and the shorts have completely stitchless seams for ultimate comfort. The Sonic is built for surfing and swimming, but it’s so comfortable you’ll wear it to yoga, too.
The Fish Hunter is actually made for fishing: it’s got a stain-resistant treatment and a knife pocket built into the hip. But the relaxed fit and longer seam (19 inches) means you’ll feel comfortable wearing it in and out of the water.
Howler Brothers added spandex to its popular Bruja board shorts to give the cotton-polyester blend more stretch for extra comfort while you’re paddleboarding or playing horseshoes. The side pockets are a smart utilitarian touch, because these shorts are too stylish to be relegated to just the beach.
These trunks have all of the technical chops (they’re incredibly stretchy, super fast to dry, and have zippered thigh and back pockets), but their feel impressed us the most. They’re super soft, which means you’ll find reasons to wear them out of the water. We also like the interior draw cord, so you can tighten the waist without bunching.
Go full retro with these trunks that look like they’re straight out of a sixties surf flick. But Katin makes the most of modern fabric, adding an astounding 12 percent spandex to the polyester shorts for a serious amount of stretch. The waistband (featuring a hidden key pocket) has a touch of elastic, too, for added comfort.
The Hydropeak isn’t flashy, but it gets the job done at a surprisingly friendly price. Patagonia loads it with goodies, like 13 percent spandex for unrestricted movement, a fused waistband that hugs your hips, and a UPF 50 rating to keep the family jewels safe from the sun. All that is loaded into a minimalist pair of shorts for those who prioritize performance over show.
We like snuggling up in this organic cotton shirt on rainy days or relaxed evening hikes. The Fjord is one of our favorite fall flannels for women. “The pearl buttons add just the right amount of femininity and will catch the light on sunny days,” we wrote.
We love the Boulder X’s classic leather build, super cushioned sole, and grippy Vibram rubber outsole. Contributor Jakob Schiller fully endorsed it in his article about the best approach shoes. “I loved them so much I wore one pair for four years straight,” he wrote.
We named the Gaea the best aerobic layer in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide. It’s “warm where you need it to be while remaining supremely breathable,” one tester wrote. It has insulation across the chest, at the shoulders, and in the collar, while the uninsulated mesh back panel keeps you from overheating on high output missions.
This is the midlayer that makes life easier on 20-degree high-alpine backcountry excursions. “The outer fabric on the Proton LT was more wind resistant than many of the other jackets,” we wrote in our review.
Keep your kid’s waterworks at bay on hikes or backpacking trips with this carrier. In our test of child carriers, the Poco AG Plus was “by far the sturdiest, most durable, and most stable of all the packs I’ve tried,” wrote our tester. At 7.6 pounds, the pack is heavier than some comparable models but also includes 26 liters of gear capacity.
Kodiak’s Fernie boot was editorial assistant Claire Hyman’s most used piece of gear from 2019. “It keeps my feet perfectly warm and dry, with a soft microfiber lining and a seam-sealed waterproof upper,” she wrote. Plus, the understated style means it looks just as good on a snowy hike as it does out to dinner.
Columnist Wes Siler included this piece in his fall roundup of timeless wardrobe staples. “Compared to nylon soft shells, this thing is going to hold up to—and look better with—wear, and the zippers and stitching are built to match,” he wrote. The G-1000 fabric is heavier than nylon, so it’s not ideal for thru-hikes but otherwise works like a charm.
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.
In our roundup of the best puffies of 2019, the Thorium was our favorite for its durability. This jacket is sheathed with a stout face fabric and a DWR finish, so it can take a beating. Plus, it has water-resistant insulation at the spots most likely to get wet.