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Remember that high school buddy who souped up an old Datsun 510, then went looking for suckers to race? The Taku is his kind of jacket. At first glance this 2005 Gear of the Year pick is just another storm shell, but a closer look reveals a whole lotta functional…

FLYWEIGHT CONTENDERThe seven-ounce Essence is no sissy, thanks to a tough ripstop nylon fabric. The tapered cut keeps excess fabric from flapping—but a little extra material under the arms keeps the jacket from sneaking up your torso when you go for that just-out-of-reach bolt. This two-layer, welded-seam shell is armed…

VIKING-TESTEDThis is virtually the national label of Iceland—and for good reason. When it’s raining daggers in Reykjavík, this two-layer piece keeps you bone-dry, thanks to an eVENT waterproof-breathable membrane that bars rain and wicks away perspiration. Soft fleece lines the collar and pockets, and a zip-off hood moves with you…

FULLY LOADED FEATHERWEIGHTEven at a pound and some change, this bombproof feature fest is still worthy of the Lite name. Its three-layer Alchemy3 fabric repels mountaintop precip, while flexible side panels breathe and move with you. Dig the see-through watch window (no more unbundling to check your progress) and the…

Next time you’re in Grand Teton or Yellowstone national parks, ditch the maps and try a GAPERGUIDE. Available this August, the new GPS-enabled navigator—named after a local slang term for tourists—sits on the dashboard and uses your exact position on any of the two Wyoming parks’ collective 378 miles of…

Biking & Nightlife

Wind, waves, and siestas—just a few of the reasons to discover Tarifa, Spain

Learning Curve

Don't miss out: Make plans now to experience the classic rites of summer

With western drought lowering Lake Powell daily, Glenn Canyon fans dream of going all the way

A new, portable search-and-rescue beacon may save dozens of lives—and cause dozens of headaches

Hey, brah—at the Camp, Southern California's new outdoor-retail supermall, you can catch big air and fill big bags