Gear Picks

5 Items Under $20 to Help You Ditch Single-Use Plastic

Why use a throw-away plastic fork and spoon when you can simply BYOS (spork)? Here are five items that will help you build a zero-waste kit that you can keep in your backpack or car.

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$65 $45 from Amazon
31% off
These are Outside contributor Andrew Skurka’s favorite trekking poles. “[They] are not best in class, but they’re an irresistible combination of price and utility,” he wrote. “I’ve used these poles extensively, including on a thru-hike of the Wind River High Route, and I’ve recommended them to countless hikers.”
$25 $20 from REI
20% off
Don’t let falling temperatures keep you from getting your sweat on. Thin merino wool, like the kind used in the Chase beanie, is ideal for arduous winter activities, wicking moisture to help you stay dry and warm. We featured it in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide.
$79 $26 from REI
67% off
We recommended this pack for the remote worker in our Holiday Gift Guide. The 20-liter Wayfinder is a versatile everyday pack made from durable ripstop nylon. Plus, it has all the tech features you need for work travel, like cord organizers and padded laptop sleeves.
$249 $174 from REI
30% off
The Micro Puff was our favorite jacket of 2018 because there’s a lot to love about this warm, superlight 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.
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NDO Wind Block Tights

$198 from Tracksmith
Running in the coldest conditions just got easier with the Tracksmith NDO Wind Block Tights. With double-sided with wind-blocking lining on the front and thighs, three pockets and snug, high-waisted fit, plus reflective sashes on the front thigh and back left calf for visibility in low light, you’ll be ready to brave the elements with confidence.
$180 $140 from REI
22% off
In 2019, we gave the Carbon X our coveted Gear of the Year award. “The Carbon X is the everyday runner’s superhero cape,” wrote testers Cory Smith and Lisa Jhung. “Hoka’s rocking-chair-like outsole propels heel and midfoot strikers onto their toes, maximizing launch.”
$300 $269 from Amazon
10% off
“Though we’ve tested pricier, more feature-rich watches, we liked the budget-friendly simplicity of the new M2,” wrote our Buyer’s Guide tester. “It provides all the data you want (heart rate, activity tracking, interval timers) without any extraneous, confusing metrics that you don’t need.”
$120 $100 from REI
17% off
Outside tester and mountain guide Andrew Skurka summed up the Lone Peak best in his roundup of backpacking shoes: “[It’s] a favorite of thru-hikers, who appreciate its extra-wide toe box and generously cushioned 25-millimeter stack height when putting in long days on well-maintained trails.”
$199 $150 from Amazon
25% off
This quiet, four-speed tool helps ease sore muscles. “It doesn’t come with a lot of frills—there is no carrying case and no extra attachments—but it is a solid piece of machinery that can give you a relatively deep massage,” wrote our tester. “For the majority of people, the Impact is likely as much of a gun as they’ll ever need.”
$1400 $1200 from REI
14% off
We featured this trainer in our 2021 Buyer’s Guide roundup of the best home gym gear. “Sync this trainer with popular apps like Zwift to simulate real rides or plot your own—the Neo 2T changes resistance to mimic descents and hills up to a 25 percent grade,” wrote tester Hayden Carpenter. “It folds for storage and fits most setups.”
$120 $90 from Backcountry
25% off
Back in 2017, we rounded up the best hiking shoes, according to adventure guides. The Boulder X made the cut: “The laces go all the way down to the toes so it's easy to fine-tune the fit and the Vibram outsole grips equally well to wet and dry surfaces,” wrote one guide.

Gear Picks is a curated selection of products we’ve tested and heartily recommend. We stand by this gear—and the brands that sell it—and many of our editors and writers use this stuff weekly. Whenever possible, we provide a link to a past review so you can make sure it’s something that suits your lifestyle—ideally at a steeply discounted price. Happy shopping—and gear-picking.