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.
Stock Up for Ski Season with This Sweet Winter Gear
These gloves feature Hestra’s famously soft cowhide that is warm and durable. The Pro Model also includes an extra layer of synthetic insulation to keep your hands toasty on chilly days. The insulation doesn’t add too much bulk though, so you can still adjust zippers or fiddle with ski or snowboard bindings with them on.
Last year, these goggles were our go-to pair. The magnetic lens swap is simple and straightforward, so you can easily adjust to changing weather while on an alpine ascent. We also like the wide field of vision and the Contact's subtle style.
In our review of the best ski pants of 2019, our tester wrote, “the Patsey Marley excels on all-day missions.” Convenient features like side zippers and four pockets allowed us to store plenty of snacks and easily use the bathroom when we needed.
The Ghost Whisperer is our Gear Guy’s favorite lightweight down jacket. The 800-fill-power down is toasty, and the feather treatment helps it stay dry longer, even in wet environments. If you’re concerned about weight, this is the jacket you want—it weighs less than eight ounces.
The Lifa Active Light is one of our Gear Guy’s favorite sun shirts. The shirt’s cut gives it more of a ski-mountaineering feel, but the lightweight synthetic fabric will wick moisture and keep you cool whether you’re going hard in the sun on a mountain bike or spending the day at the ski resort.
This past winter, our contributor Heather Hansman wrote a review of the best all-mountain skis for women. Out of dozens of pairs, she named the Daemon Birdie Ski the best playful freeride ski. “The Daemon Birdie is loose and playful, surfy in softer snow, easy to direct in crud, and well-suited to pivoty turns in bumps,” Hansman wrote.
We found Smartwool’s PhD Ski Light socks essential for resort skiing. “It’s tough to beat this blend of merino and synthetic fibers for the best mix of warmth, plushness, and sturdiness,” our tester wrote.
In our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide, this jacket was among our favorite women’s hiking gear. Our tester, Stephanie Pearson wrote: “The cotton-polyester blend is soft as brushed suede.” Plus, the DWR coating, taped seams, and roomy hood keep you warm and dry on stormy days.
Our Gear Guy put five well-known brands of snow boots through the wringer and these kicks ranked second in the test. The seam-sealed waxed-canvas upper and rubber bottom are completely waterproof and the nine-millimeter felt liner is removable for easy washing and drying.
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.
This shoe was one of our favorite pieces of men’s cycling gear in our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide. The AM7s don’t get major points for style, but the comfortable fit more than made up for it. With a moderately still midsole, we found the shoe ideal for a few hours of riding.
In 2017, this was one of our favorite soft-sided coolers. Our Gear Guy said it's “ideal for space-crunched apartment dwellers heading out on day trips” because it packs down to the size of a three-ring binder. Fully expanded, the cooler can hold 20 cans and a couple pounds of ice.
This inconspicuous, two-liter waistpack is one of our favorite low-cost fanny packs. The nylon fabric is durable and lightweight so it’s perfect for storing your essentials on a short day hike. Plus, the top loading main compartment makes your gear easy to access even with one hand if you’re fishing or walking your dog.
Our tester Andrew Skurka wrote a long-term review of the UberLite and found it ideal for three-season conditions (its insulation is good enough for temperatures down to 30 degrees.) This pad is as comfortable as the revolutionary NeoAir XLite, but cuts down weight by 3.2 ounces and isn’t as noisy when moving around.
Outside contributor Wes Siler called this jacket a timeless wardrobe staple for the outdoorsman. “The innovation here is a three-layer waterproof fabric that’s soft, thick, and stretchy and wears way more comfortably than the thin, crinkly hardshell you’re used to,” writes Siler. It’s ideal for around the town, hiking, and car camping.
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