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.
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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.
Our Gear Guy 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.
Last year, Outside tester Anna Callaghan chose the R1 Fleece Hoody as the best overall fleece. “The R1 was my go-to choice when I knew I’d be working up a sweat,” she wrote. Plus, the R1 is so well-loved, it had people literally breaking into song earlier this year.
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.
Iterations of the R1 have been on the market for years, but it’s still the ideal layering piece for a variety of activities, and it’s our favorite overall fleece. The R1 uses Polartec’s Power Grid fabric—tiny squares of thicker fleece arranged in a grid pattern and separated by thinner fleece fabric. The pattern is meant to increase air transfer and reduce the material’s overall weight.
Last fall, we tested dozens of women’s climbing pants and the RPS Rock Pant was our staffer's top choice. Stretchy fabric, articulated knees, and an adjustable waist make these pants perfectly designed for rock climbing. "These have quickly become my favorite pants to climb and boulder in,” our tester wrote.
A perennial part of our back-to-school gift guide, the 28-liter Refugio is the perfect size for carrying daily cargo like lunch and gym clothes, and it even makes a decent day-hiking pack. Plus, it has a lined tablet pocket and padded laptop sleeve to keep all your valuables safe.
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.
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.
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.