Saola’s Cannon shoe is one of our favorite pieces of eco-friendly gear. Each part of the shoe is environmentally friendly or sustainably sourced. The soles are built with Bloom foam, which takes harmful algae out of water systems while the uppers are made of recycled canvas and plastic bottles. Plus, our tester Jakob Schiller says they look damn good, too.
The Gear You Bought the Most of This Summer
When the Switchback first came on the market last year, we crowned it the best budget sleeping pad. It uses two types of foam with different densities and specially-designed raised spikes to give optimal comfort and warmth.
Gear columnist Jakob Schiller loves the Weekenders. “They look great, have high-quality lenses, and are so affordable that I won't worry about them getting a little bit dinged up,” he says. “It's rare to find one pair of shades I want to wear for 80 percent of the things I do outside—and even rarer to find one at this price.”
Outside columnist Jakob Schiller wrote an ode to these shorts and praised them for their versatility. “Buy two pairs, and I promise that they’ll be all you need from June through October for the next five years,” he writes.
The 900-denier ripstop polyester body is water-resistant and boasts a padded bottom panel for added structure. Daisy chains make lashing a breeze, the shoulder straps are comfy and removable, and there are side grab handles for extra convenience. We dig the U-shaped lid, which makes for quick packing, and the two mesh pockets on the lid for storing small items.
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.
The Nalgene Wide Mouth is a beloved classic. While it won’t keep your water insulated like other stainless steel bottles, it’s still lightweight, leakproof, easy to clean, and completely BPA-free. Plus, as our Gear Guy says, it's just plain nostalgic.
Like many other pants made for the outdoors, the Konfidant is constructed from a light and breathable blend of cotton, nylon, and spandex. But the real story with these pants is the vents. They’re everywhere—in the rear pockets, in the front pockets, in the thigh pockets, on the back of the knees, and in the crotch. The idea is to keep air moving so you stay cool when you’re on the trail.
There’s nothing too fancy about the Stowaway—it’s a comfortable, low-profile camp chair that hits the budget price point and rocks a few smart details. The foam-padded armrests and the mesh backing won’t absorb sweat or rain if you leave the chair out in a storm. Also, it’s low enough that you can bring it to a music festival or concert and not piss off the people sitting behind you.
Showers are great—when you can take them. But it’s not always possible, so make sure you have a pack of these wipes in your kit. They’re extra thick but soft enough to use in the most sensitive places, and aloe vera and vitamin E moisturize as you scrub the grime away.
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."
“This is hands down the most versatile mid-layer in my arsenal,” wrote contributor Wes Siler. He gave the jacket high praise: The jacket “layers perfectly under everything from a puffy down jacket to a light soft shell,” in addition to being fast-drying and breathable.
In 2016, this flannel was our top pick for bike commuting. This upgraded version still has the moisture-wicking polyester and underarm mesh vents that we love and has added reinforced flannel patches on the elbows and shoulders for style and durability. Plus, the shirt has two chest snap pockets and a zippered hip pocket for your everyday carry.
We included this towel in our roundup of our favorite yoga gear. Jade’s Yoga Mat Towel uses polyester microfiber making it extra absorbent and quick drying. It’s ideal for sweaty yoga sessions when you want to stay dry and have plenty of grip.
In this Winter’s Buyers Guide we wrote: “on the coldest powder days, turn to the Black Magic and its polyester insulation to keep you warm and cozy.” The Black Magic has all the features you want in a bib (ex: tailored fit, boot gussets, mesh-lined leg vents) for a reasonable price. Plus, the belt-loop has a special eyelet for your lift ticket.
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 hot for up to six hours.
The Astro is our Gear Guy’s favorite budget headlamp. It's dimmable, has a strobe function, a lock mode, and the battery lasts 20 hours on the highest setting. “The Astro is the best headlamp for most people, most of the time,” he wrote.
We love this quarter-zip base layer. The merino wool helps to regulate body temperature when you’re building up a sweat under multiple ski layers, but the piece also works just as well as a light sweater for camping in the summer. And the wool naturally fights off odor, whatever the season.
Stance’s Hike Sock is one of our favorite budget-friendly essentials. The wool blend keeps feet dry and warm, while the seamless toe closures and reinforced heels and toes offer extra cushioning. Plus, we dig the Ridge Line’s eye-catching design.
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,” they write. It's available in both men's and women's sizes from 14 liters to 36 liters.
In our 2019 Winter Buyer's Guide, the seven-by-seven-foot Puffin Luxury was our top blanket for couples. The bottom of the blanket buttons up like a sleeping bag so you can tuck your feet in and keep drafts out and the whole thing packs into its own stuff sack for easy travel. The blanket is perfect at the campsite or to cozy up at home.
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