Stio’s Hometown vest was one of our six favorite sleeveless wonders in 2017. “The 800-fill down makes this is one of the warmest vests we’ve ever tested,” we wrote. Plus, the helmet-compatible hood and water-repellent down make it just as suitable on the slopes as it is in the bar after.
Altra's Lone Peak 4 Trail-Running Shoes Are Half-Off
Our tester Wes Siler loves these shoes for hiking and backpacking trips. Siler said the Lone Peak 4 “is more comfortable and has better grip than anything else I’ve tested.” Altra designed the Lone Peak 4 for hikers and runners with a wide, comfortable footbed and exceptional traction on anything from loose dirt to slippery mud.
The Terrex Agravic Alpha was our top choice jacket for “going aerobic” in our 2018 Winter Buyer’s Guide. “I can’t imagine next winter without it,” said one tester. The superlight shell is thin and breathable, but has a layer of Polartec Alpha insulation on the chest area that lends enough warmth to make it an everyday midlayer.
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.
Contributor Graham Averill spent the summer testing men’s shorts and these were his favorite for running. “I dig the soft poly-spandex blend mesh that breathes like a ventilator,” wrote Averill.
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 also combines a mix of durability with odor and moisture management.
We included this vest in our list of the best men’s running gear in our 2020 Winter Buyer’s Guide. The vest is coated with a water-repellent finish, wind-resistant, and has reflective detailing to increase your visibility at night (or during early winter mornings). “It’s perfect for days when you want just a bit more insulation,” our tester wrote.
Last year, we picked the Switchback as one of the best pieces of women’s workout gear. The cross strap back makes the bra supportive enough for sizes up to a D cup.
In our roundup of the best women’s running shorts, Janji’s were the runner-up for best short shorts. Our tester liked the three-inch inseam which she said “was long enough for me to feel covered but short enough that it wasn’t restrictive.”
Our Gear Guy has yet to find a koozie that keeps beverages frosty for longer than the Colster. Its vacuum insulation traps cold air, and the stainless-steel wrap protects your brewski—to an extent—if you drop it. That’s why this insulator is our go-to drink accessory for campground kickbacks.
Gear tester Andrew Skurka ran over 300 miles in these shoes and found them best for easy rolling singletrack. “Because of those 4mm lugs,” Skurka wrote, “this shoe has also become my go-to for bike lanes, pea-gravel trails, and dirt roads that are muddy or covered in snow.”
This 36-ounce vacuum bottle seals completely, so you can throw it in your bag without worrying about spillage. It comes with a leakproof lid, but if you prefer easy-drinking access, a straw and chug-cap top are also available.
Our Gear Guy dubbed the Kanken the best backpack for parents because it transitions seamlessly between a diaper bag and an everyday carry pack. “Fjällräven’s Kanken does it better than anything else I’ve tried in the 11 months since my daughter, Jojo, was born,” he wrote.
This 800-fill water-resistant parka packs next-level warmth in a sleek package. The Hometown’s mid-thigh length provides a flattering fit while keeping you toasty on frigid outings around town. We especially like the roomy, adjustable hood.
We reviewed these bottoms in our our roundup of the best women’s base layers. They “pack down almost as small as a pair of pantyhose,” said our tester, “and the poly fabric is exceptionally breathable, wicks well, and is ideal for warmer days and rigorous activities like cross-country skiing or alpine touring.”
We included these shoes in our 2018 Winter Buyer’s Guide roundup of the best winter hikers. “We loved the speed-lacing setup, which was a breeze to cinch and take off, as well as the rubber heel rand, which totally eliminated blisters,” we wrote. The boot’s Gore-Tex membrane keeps your feet dry, while mesh uppers help your feet breathe on warmer days.
Patagonia’s Performance Twill is one of our favorite pairs of do-anything jeans. The lightweight cotton-polyester blend is “stretchy but also works to wick moisture away from the inside and repels moisture from the outside,” we wrote. Plus, the pants are sewn using Fair Trade Certified practices.
We included this insulated bottle in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide. Whether you’re hunkered down waiting for a rescue snowplow or returning from a hot summer day trip, the ChuteMag’s double-wall insulation will ensure your water doesn’t freeze or get too warm.
In our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide, we recommended this pack for light weekend trips. “The Paragon is a sizable pack without the heft you’d expect,” wrote tester Justin Nyberg. We loved the 58-liter pack’s back panel ventilation system, roomy side pockets and sturdy suspension. Plus, the hydration sleeve doubles as a summit pack.