Black Diamond’s Spot 325 has all of the traits that made the original Spot so popular (red night vision, multiple power settings, IPX8 waterproof rating) but in a smaller package that weighs just three ounces. It’s not rechargeable (it requires 3 AAA batteries, which come included), but its 325 lumens at the highest setting are plenty bright for early morning trail runs and evening sends.
Change Up Your Trail Food Game with These Tasty Snacks
The Tiki Bar has only eight ingredients (all of which you can actually pronounce) and tastes full-on tropical thanks to a heavy wave of mango and a light side of coconut. The lemon zest adds a kick and the almond butter-honey combo provides a welcome density to keep you full.
We’re indifferent about the fact that each Wise Bar is infused with CBD, but we’re completely stoked about the use of lemon and ginger, which adds a snappy note to the bar’s filling foundation of dates, almonds, and oats.
OK, canned shellfish might sound like an odd trail snack. It’s not right for every occasion, but if you’re in the backcountry for extended periods of time and get tired of bars, a tin of these mussels can be the savory bite your body craves. Bonus: they’re loaded with B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Almond butter might be a healthier alternative to peanut butter, but it lacks the natural sweetness of its latter. Justin’s solution? Add a bit of honey powder to the mix. We love this pouch which strikes the right balance of protein, fat, and carbs. It goes well on bananas and apples or tastes great by itself.
Sunflower seeds are a workhorse snack packed with B vitamins, healthy fats, protein, and magnesium. These single-serve packs of kernels were developed by Olympic skier Jonny Moseley and his wife, who were looking for healthy on-the-go fuel for their active family. The Classic is flavored with pink Himalayan salt and is exactly the savory note we crave on hot mountain bike rides and hikes.
Biltong is a South African snack that was brought to the U.S. in recent years. It’s like jerky, but more tender. Kalahari’s version is straight-forward, with no sugar or soy and packed with protein (16 grams per ounce). Our favorite flavor is garlic.
Editor Maren Larsen called this bag “the best gift she’s ever received.” While the original version of the Lamina she tested is discontinued, this is the newest model. “The inside feels like a cloud wrapped in silk sheets, thanks to the polyester-taffeta lining,” she wrote. Read her full review here.
These gloves raised nearly $225,000 when they debuted on Kickstarter in 2016. Contributor Jakob Schiller is a big fan. "With a waxed and baked leather outer, waterproof-breathable membrane, and Thinsulate insulation, they're great for frigid resort ski days while being breathable enough for long backcountry missions," he wrote.
These gloves live in columnist Jakob Schiller’s car at all times. “The leather palm is tough enough for putting on chains or sawing wood but supple enough for riding a bike,” he wrote. “Wool on the back lets your hands breathe, and a wool lining inside keeps your digits warm, even when it’s below freezing.”
This polyester mask comes in a kit that includes a three-pack of filters and a protective storage pouch. It’s finished with an antimicrobial treatment that the brand says will diminish after 30 washes. One tester said the wire over the nose “gives a secure fit without feeling like Darth Vader.”
Our Gear Guy called the Lowball the only Yeti product you actually need. “I’ve been using this tumbler almost every day since August 2015, and after four and a half years of heavy use, it still works just as well as the day I got it,” he wrote.
Our testers Elizabeth Miller and Justin Nyberg called the Griffin “the most dynamic and customizable big-load hauler we’ve seen.” That’s what made this multi-day pack worthy of a Gear of the Year award in 2019. “If you often find yourself stopping to fiddle with the fit of your pack, the Griffin can solve that for you,” they wrote.
Columnist Graham Averill rounded up his favorite headlamps back in 2017, and some models on his list still hold up today, like the 280-lumen Inova STS. Averill liked its “swipe-to-shine interface that works just like your iPhone: slide your finger across the top of the headlamp to turn it on and adjust the brightness.”
The Daylite doesn’t come with a bladder, but there’s storage aplenty: 20 liters in the main compartment plus an exterior pocket. The sleeve in the main compartment can house a reservoir you buy separately, or it’ll accommodate a tablet or small laptop if you’re just using it for commuting. If you’re extra thirsty, two side bottle pockets boost the Daylite’s water-carrying capacity.
The Microlite won our Gear Guy’s insulated water bottle test. “It’s remarkably light, and is the least expensive of the bottles I tested,” he wrote. “It almost never pans out that the lightest, most affordable product also demonstrates the highest performance, but the Microlite 1000 really has it all.”
Our testers called the Cosmic Down 20 one of the best bang-for-your-buck sleeping bags in our 2018 roundup. It’s stuffed with 600-fill down, wrapped in a 50-denier ripstop polyester shell, and rated down to 20 degrees.