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The 2020 Summer Buyer’s Guide

40-plus testers. 350 products. Thousands of miles running, biking, hiking, and fishing.



Ariella Gintzler

Editor's Letter

We’re living in extraordinary times. As I write this letter, COVID-19 has brought entire countries to a halt. With the effects of the virus rippling through the out­door industry and communities around the world, we’re all figuring out how to live and recreate responsibly. We maintain social distance on trails and support one another however we can—buying gift cards from local businesses, dropping off groceries for family. And faced with more uncertainty than many of us have experienced in our lifetimes, we also search for ways to escape. We read books. We snuggle our dogs. In my case, escape means emptying drawers of running clothes, hydration vests, and climbing shoes onto the floor. Some pieces I set aside for charity, some for friends who need them more than I do. The rest I organize. I imagine what shorts I’ll wear for the 20-mile run I have mapped out on local trails. I consider what tem­peratures will be like in the Peruvian ­Andes this fall—is this midlayer right?—for a hypothetical trip I know may not be possible. I’m not just cleaning house out of practicality; I’m also doing it to stoke my fire for adventure, though adventure might feel a little distant at the moment.

In that spirit, I hope you’ll think of this issue of the Buyer’s Guide as your virtual gear closet, a place to get lost in the would-be and could-be of epic pursuits to come. As always, there’s plenty of innovative tech on display, like the ­titanium-laced lin­ing in Rab’s Mythic ­Ultra sleeping bag. Then there are the items we love simply because they work better than anything else, like Patagonia’s ­Strider Pro running pants. These and other pieces inspired us with daydreams of the rides, climbs, runs, hikes, and camping trips they’ll be perfect for once the world opens up and we’re getting outside together again. Because at the end of the day, gear—even just looking at it and thinking about it—is a portal to adventure. —Ariella Gintzler

Meet the Testers

Float

Watercraft suitable for everyone

A smoldering solution for a wide range of conditions

Gear to make landing lunkers easy, no shooting required

Kit to keep you casting all day long

Suits for women with butts, boobs, and big-wave dreams

Treat your skin to reef-safe protection and soothing aftercare

Meet Ryan Lovelace, designer at Trimcraft Surfboards

Enter for a chance to win one of our 70+ adventure-ready prizes featured in our 2020 Summer Buyer's Guide.

Hike and Camp

Superior lodgings for weekend jaunts and extended outings

Kicks to keep feet fresh no matter what your mileage

Comfortable, technical, light—sleep systems for every season

Reliable performers for switchback adventures

Shed a little light on your campsite

Our favorite kit for long days on the trail

Because dinner isn’t going to make itself

These cut through the competition

Essentials for fledgling adventurers

Tim Fish talks about gaining design inspiration from unexpected places

Travel

Shades that’ll protect your eyes and turn heads

Versatile bags to withstand your wildest journeys

Look and feel good, en route and on the ground

Comfortable, stylish gear for the road (or plane)

Tools for capturing high-energy pursuits

Adventure palaces that rule the open road

Timepieces that check all the boxes

Do long flights right with these essentials

At your waist, across your back—what’s old is cool again

Meet Robb Jankura, bike builder turned camera-gear designer

Bike

Trail machines are more versatile than ever

Updated rides for modern performance

Top-notch gear for road and trail riding

Maximize your time in the saddle

John Cordoba thinks the future of bikes—and bike racing—includes e-bikes

Run

Grip and support on any dirt, at any distance

Kicks to sustain your toughest blacktop efforts

All-weather gear for every kind of summer running

Gear so light and comfortable, you’ll PR on your morning jog

Logging miles in brutal conditions? Be sure and replace what you sweat out.

Stylish protection from sun and sweat

Jessica Rogers and her team make some of our favorite trail-running gear

Fitness

Top-notch tunes need equipment to match

Dish it out­—this stuff can take it

Your sweatiest endeavors are no match for this kit

Hardware to help you maximize your workouts

Just say no to chalky bars and gritty shakes

From prehab to rehab, make down days productive

Goods to take you from morning sun salutation to bedtime savasana

We caught up with Scarpa's climbing shoe category manager Heinz Mariacher to talk about what's next