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.
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The H2No fabric that Patagonia uses for the Rainshadow is fully waterproof and fairly breathable, but cheaper to produce than Gore-Tex, keeping the cost of the jacket low. A helmet-compatible hood with a visor, watertight zippers, and a draw-cord at the hem are just a few of the highlights of this fully featured rain shell.
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.
Gear editor Ariella Gintzler loves the Houdini for its versatile, lightweight material. “The papery quality of the Houdini offers superior next-to-skin comfort; you can wear it over a short-sleeve shirt without that clammy shell sensation against your arms,” she writes. It's billed as a trail-running shell, but works just as well for climbing.
This baselayer hits the sweet spot between versatility and comfort. We’ve used it on chilly climbs, pulled it on over T-shirts at the gym, and paired it with a collared shirt at dinner.
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.
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.
On a search to find the lightest backpacking setup, our tester chose the Q-Core SLX as his favorite sleeping pad. The pad packs down to the size of a Nalgene and weighs 16 ounces. Our tester especially loved the quilted top, “which you’ll gain a deep appreciation for sometime around night four on the trail,” he wrote.
In his test of the Journey Hydration Pack series, our tester wrote: “Ultimately, the Journey packs offer a comfortable ride, which is exactly what you want from a bag when you’re flying down singletrack.” The Journey includes an insulated bladder system, so if cold water on your ride is a priority, this is the pack for you.
Versatility is this headlamp’s calling card. A solid companion for your next camping trip, the Cosmo 225 has a beam distance up to 72 meters and is waterproof, too. Plus, it has five different modes including red night vision and strobe.
Gear editor Ariella Gintzler loves this base layer tank top. “This buttery-soft piece is form-fitting enough to layer but loose enough to wear alone,” she wrote. The merino wool and nylon blend fabric add a mix of durability with odor and moisture management.
The Wide Mouth was selected by our readers—and by our editors—as one of their favorite water bottles. The Nalgene's tough, BPA-free plastic can take a beating; we've slung ours around at crags, banged them against rocks, and generally abused them for years. Yet they still work just as intended—no leaks and only a few scratches, for character.
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.”
We're just as likely to sport this shirt at the campsite as we are at the office. That's because it's simultaneously smartly tailored and tough as nails, thanks to the fact it's made of burly, sustainably-grown hemp. During the summer, a couple of these polos is all we need.
In our roundup of affordable stocking stuffers, we wrote: “This flask should be full of bourbon and tucked into your daypack along with a compass, knife, headlamp, and matches at all times.” Stanley’s Classic Flask is compact, BPA-free, and easy to drink from.