We gave this jacket a Gear of the Year award in 2017. “Think of it as a Nano-Air on steroids: a stretchy, waterproof-breathable fabric wraps the synthetic fill, while the interior is made from the same plush liner as the original. Add pit zips and you have a bombproof jacket that wears and breathes like a sweatshirt,” wrote our tester.
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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.
We have yet to find a better starter climbing kit at this price. Mad Rock’s package has the all the essentials for a session at the climbing gym or crag: an adjustable harness with four gear loops, a chalk ball, chalk bag, Wingman belay device, and a locking carabiner.
The Momentum is one of our favorite beginner shoes, but it also excels on long outdoor multipitch routes or as an intermediate gym shoe. The relaxed fit is ideal for those who want more toe space, and the breathable knit upper helps keep your feet from overheating.
We featured the Metolius Bravo Keylock Quickdraw in our roundup of the Best Sport Climbing Gear of 2018. The longer, double layer slings make it easier to clip bolts on those long, pumpy sport routes.
The Half Dome is gear editor Jeremy Rellosa’s go-to climbing helmet. The wheel clicker makes it easy to dial in the fit while four large vents dump heat quickly during toasty days at the crag.
Our gear editor praised these approach shoes: “I loved them so much I wore one pair for four years straight through my first couple of photojournalism jobs because the thick all-leather build and highly cushioned soles put up with everything I faced daily—from muddy rodeo fields to long, boring press conferences where I stood still for hours on end,” they wrote.
Our gear editor praised Patagonia's Nine Trails packs for their clean efficiency: “With a minimalist design and well-considered features, Patagonia has proven that when it comes to daypacks, simpler is better,” he writes. It's available in both men's and women's sizes from 14 liters to 36 liters.
The Storm is a perfect example of how far headlamps have come. It’s moderately priced but pumps out 370 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.
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.
The First Light’s stretchy face fabric adds durability and breathability while a DWR treatment repels water, dirt, and oil. Testers like what’s inside: PrimaLoft Silver synthetic insulation provides consistent warmth, even through the start and stop cycle of alpine climbing and backcountry skiing. When the snow begins to fall, pull the adjustable hood over your helmet for extra weather protection.
Contributor Jakob Schiller included these pants in his holiday style guide. Schiller found the slim fit flattering and said the spandex-cotton blend “means they’re great on the bike if you commute to work.” They’re also stylish enough to wear at both the office and dinner parties.
These rock rings are a solid budget option for training at home. In our roundup of the best fitness accessories of 2018, we wrote, “These portable climbing holds take [pull-ups] to the next level, turning the standard move into a feat of grip strength.” (20 percent off with the code 20CLIMBSALE)
We named this jacket the best uphill layer in our 2020 Winter Buyer’s Guide. “It’s as comfy as a cotton sweatshirt and treated with an interesting heat-regulating technology called ActiveTemp, made from a non-Newtonian polymer that becomes a liquid when cold, helping to block transmission of warm vapor,” we wrote.
Our testers hailed the Stretchdown as one of their favorite winter puffies. “Mountain Hardwear developed a loom that weaves the face fabric and lining simultaneously and creates the baffles without stitching,” one tester wrote. “A snug hood and 800-fill down retained warmth on 20-degree mornings.”
In our 2020 Winter Buyer’s Guide, we featured this jacket as one of our favorite midlayers. “The Wolverine Cirque is for those of us who can’t decide what kind of midlayer to wear,” we wrote. This clever piece has the warm synthetic fill of a puffy, and the stretchy, quick-drying qualities of a fleece.
Packed with premium 850-fill down in the torso and synthetic insulation elsewhere, the Cerium LT is constructed to retain warmth where you need it (around your core) and manage moisture everywhere else. You’ll barely notice it in your pack: it weighs just 9.7 ounces.