Published

The skyrocketing market value of yarchagumba, a rare fungus prized as an aphrodisiac, has led to turf wars—and possibly murder.

It doesn't matter if you're Reinhold Messner or Ed Viesturs: your summit never happened unless Elizabeth Hawley says it did.

A new record on Nepal's Great Himalaya Trail.

Can a motorcycle be both a street rocket and an off-road demon in one?

In a tech-assisted misadventure, our man finds the most difficult line between two points

Could floating in a sensory-deprivation tank for several hours be as mind-expanding as a real-life adventure? Our neurological guinea pig is about to find out.

(The Hybrid)This mix-and-match jacket uses two types of fabric to deliver a blend of soft- and storm-shell performance. Waterproof-breathable nylon protects the shoulders, chest, and hips—the points where you get the most exposure. Stretchy, breathable material covers the sweat-prone areas of the core. The hybrid won’t keep you…

The low-key ranch-jacket exterior of the Hard Place conceals some trick technology. A finish called NanoSphere magically repels stains and dirt from the abrasion-resistant Schoeller WB-400 fabric. A waffled liner channels sweat away from the back. And under the arms, a lightweight stretch fleece allows venting without unwieldy pit…

Meet the jacket version of that warm friendliness Germans call gemütlichkeit. The microfiber inner cuffs are soft and help retain heat, the collar is snug but not too tight, and the fleecy collar caresses bare skin. Testers favored the coziness on gusty alpine ridges, when wind-resistance trumped breathability. 1.3…

Welcome to Savile Row. Enter your measurements and choose options on Beyond’s Web site and a couple weeks later take delivery of a custom-fit, custom-featured soft shell—I designed a model for cycling and nordic skiing. The one nonnegotiable characteristic—Schoeller Dryskin Extreme fabric—kept me just right during a 15-mph road…

Get howitzer-like bang for your buck with the Logic. Its functional midweight fabric—a stretchy nylon water-repellent face woven to a soft fleece lining—works for almost any activity from early spring to late fall. The high versatility is married to clean detailing (such as laser-cut zipper openings) normally reserved for…

Patagonia has virtually erased the line between soft shell and storm shell with the Spraymaster. The incredibly stretchy, astoundingly waterproof, and impressively breathable lightweight shell fuses the best of both worlds. Call it a firm shell. And rest assured, it’s the one jacket that will prompt you to seek…

This no-nonsense Canadian company specializes in “practical high performance”—a quality exemplified by the generically named but brilliantly engineered Rain Jacket. I stayed comfortably dry while cross-country skiing in a wet snowstorm, thanks to highly breathable eVent fabric and spare but effective features, like a huge chest pocket and a…

DIAD stands for “done in a day,” but even testers who didn’t speed-climb El Cap appreciated this wispy storm shell. It’s perfect for windy summits and surprise squalls—and so light we never debated packing it. Designing a seven-ounce jacket requires cutting a few corners, which in this case means…

“I’d climb Everest in this jacket,” said one tester. We doubt his fitness but not the jacket’s. A top-tier combo of Gore-Tex fabrics—ounce-saving PacLite in the torso and burly three-layer XCR on the shoulders—provides maximum durability, waterproofing, and breathability with minimum weight. Superb details include two-way pit zips, a…

Where are the gills? On a fast hike uphill in 40-degree weather, the latest iteration of Hardwear’s Epic fabric showed no signs of vapor trap. And when I picked up the pace, cracking the large pit zips and mesh-backed front pockets kept me cool. High-class touches include a laser-cut,…

If God is in the details, the Zorro is heaven-sent. The hood, which adjusts behind the head and below the chin, cinches out of view with or without a helmet—making it the best we tested. The gaping chest pockets easily accept backcountry skins or salami, and the solid pocket…

Author and filmmaker Sebastian Junger on covering war, being selectively lazy, and the rewards of following the rough road.

There's a war going on in coastal Maine, where renegade crustacean gangs are forcing people to grope for their guns. ERIC HANSEN heads for the boiling waters of Matinicus Island—the site of a dockside shootout between feuding lobstermen last summer—to find out why the locals are going after each other tong and claw.

Sailing post-earthquake aid to Haiti as part of an ad hoc group seemed like an urgent—and adventuresome—opportunity. One out of two ain't bad.

Page 2