Last spring, our Gear Guy tested five different fleeces and the Tekno Ridge came out on top. “It excelled during every activity and looks so good that my wife stole it from me,” he wrote. This hoodie is close-fitting for easy movement, sturdy enough to fend off 15-mile-per-hour headwinds, and has side-seam zips to dump heat.
Altra's Lone Peak 4 Trail-Running Shoes Are Half-Off
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 Altras let your feet spread out and give your toes room to breathe,” wrote Appalachian Trail hiker Tara Dower in our roundup of AT gear essentials.
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.
After six months of testing the Capilene Cool Trail shirt, our Gear Guy loved it so much he wrote an ode to it. “I love this tee because it quietly does everything I expect from a technical layer extremely well while still looking good,” he wrote. The shirt boasts a soft, moisture-wicking fabric, odor control, and a flattering fit.
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.”
We included the Dart in our 2020 Winter Buyer’s Guide as one of the best pieces of men’s running gear. “This single-bottle holster sits comfortably around the waist, thanks to mesh and an adjustable belt,” we wrote. The included water bottle is 1.3 liters and the main zippered pocket can hold your phone and keys.
The Micro Puff was our favorite jacket of 2018 because there’s a lot to love about this warm, super-light piece. “The PlumaFill is tacked between sheets of ten-denier nylon fabric in long strands, so it won’t shift and create cold spots,” our tester wrote.
The Little Black Dress of fleeces, the Denali is as essential as it is simple. The fleece is inspired by the 1988 design, but it's been updated in a few ways in the sustainability department: the Denali is now made with recycled material, and you can track the fleece's journey from factory to gear shop.
This jacket provides serious warmth in a lightweight package. The DWR finish sheds water and the elastic cuffs lock in heat. And, when you’re ready to stow away the jacket for the season, it packs into the hand pocket.
The Snap-T Pullover is one of those iconic pieces of outerwear that we think will last you a lifetime. “Chances are you’ll be wearing the same one 30 years from now,” we wrote. Plus, it’s built with recycled plastic bottles.
Contributor Andrew Skurka recommended this shirt for summer hiking in the West because it offers full coverage from the sun. The Echo uses lightweight, breathable polyester to keep you cool on warm days and provides UPF 15.
The Quest 4D 3 is our go-to boot for hunting. It’s “stable and waterproof-breathable, with a stiff chassis and aggressive tread for hard and high treks in search of game or just a view,” wrote our tester, Grayson Schaffer. Plus, the boots have an antimicrobial treatment to help keep odors at bay.
Last Christmas, our Gear Guy got these athletic shorts for his father-in-law because they have “solid performance in a subtle package.” The Legacy shorts are incredibly soft and comfortable but look like your standard, no-frill workout shorts. They’re ideal for those who don’t want any flashy tech.
If all you want is a solid foam roller that will help calm your lower back and legs after a tough workout, look no further than the Grid. It’s nothing fancy—just a hollow core wrapped in ridged EVA foam to release those tight muscles.
We included this sports bra as one of the best pieces of ultrarunning gear in our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide. “This bra’s light poly-spandex mix dries fast, and the thin crossback straps are surprisingly supportive,” we wrote. Plus, we liked the cutout above the bottom band for airing out under-boob sweat.