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By Stephen Regenold Managing a large camera on a hike can be a pain. Big SLR cameras with long lenses are such a hassle that I often opt to leave them behind when heading outdoors. The KEYHOLE Hands-Free Camera Harness, a $30…

Justin's Picks: The Most Noteworthy Gear of Winter Outdoor Retailer 2010 Part 1: If you're as geeked about gear as we are here at Outside magazine, you probably already know that the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake…

By Stephen Regenold Visions of the Michelin Man might come to mind, but for untold thousands of winter lovers, horizontally-banded, ultra-insulated puffy down jackets have become the ubiquitous choice for the coldest of days. I am one of these mini Michelin Men. In Minnesota,…

By Stephen Regenold “There is a fine point where an athlete could freeze up, break down or thrive.” That is a tagline from Craft, a Swedish maker of clothing catered to runners, cross-country skiers, and cyclists. During activity or not, the average body functions best at…

As a newcomer to a cold climate, I've found several outdoor sports I enjoy. I've figured out how to keep my body and digits warm, but my face gets so cold it goes numb and my eyeballs feel like they'll freeze in their sockets. I've gotten a mild case of frostbite on my face. How can I keep my face warm and protected?

I need a soft-shell jacket with high breathability that I can also use for casual wear most of the time. I'm going to use it on spring and cool summer nights. Basically something I can wear with a T-shirt after hiking or rock climbing, something highly breathable and wind proof, but it doesn’t need to keep me too warm. Should I wait until new models come out in spring or buy one now? Ugur Istanbul

Hi, I want to get my husband some cold-weather gear for paddling (wet suit, paddle jacket) so he can kayak year round. What products would you suggest to keep him warm? Casey Fayetteville, AR

Julia Mancuso The first time we heard about Julia Mancuso, she was winning gold in the 2006 giant slalom, in Turin, after top U.S. contender Lindsey Vonn was injured in practice. The Lake Tahoe native went on to have a career-best season, but in the years that…

This year I began tossing some of my older, deformed wool socks for swamp-running and replaced them with socks from Vermont-native sock company Darn Tough (socks from $14). I picked up my first pair of neon striped boot socks in a discount bin in…

The Lolë Women’s Travel pants ($80) were designed specifically for me, I’m sure of it. Okay, so maybe they weren’t, but they fit like they were built for my needs, wants and activities.  The travel pant looks like a dressier trouser, stretches like your favorite…

Jimmy Winkelmann might have a sense of humor, but The North Face isn't laughing. 

 The gear and apparel giant is suing the 19-year-old founder of “The South Butt,” a line of apparel parodying The North Face's logo and motto, claiming Winkelmann's brand of humor…

If you have a winter-sports junkie on your shopping list, and you've seen Outside's third annual Winter Buyer's Guide, you've got your ski-coat, hard-shell, and soft-shell needs taken care of. To fill in the gaps, we found ten great jackets for…

Dear Auntie Nellie, Thank you so much for the closet-full of holiday sweaters. I particularly love the one with the reindeer branded festively across my chest–the sewn-on bells were a nice touch too. And not annoying at all. This year, I thought I might lend you a hand in…

I like clothing that encourages you to use it and abuse it.  The tags attached to my new Lululemon Contender Jacket ($108) read: “Play hard and sweat hard.”  It also claimed it was “created to withstand five years of physical athletic abuse.” After wearing it…

The surprisingly adventurous roots of a very personal effect.

By Stephen Regenold Jeans rarely do double duty as performance wear for active types. But this month Quiksilver releases three sport-specific pants that are fashionable enough and can squeak by for cyclists and skaters looking to jump a curb or kickflip a set of stairs while wearing…

By Stephen Regenold Mate a hooded sweatshirt with a base-layer top and you'd get the Ibex Hooded Indie. This hard-to-categorize piece, which is new this fall, includes a long zipper on the chest, a tight-fitting hood, and sleeves equipped with thumb-hole cuffs.

Over the past few years, we've written about and reviewed a bunch of gear from Nau, makers of stylish and eco-conscious technical outerwear and clothing for men and women, like the jacket the bearded gentleman is wearing above. If you're not familiar with their stuff, check it…

Are gaiters really necessary or just another piece of equipment to spend money on? If gaiters are needed, then what should I be looking at to find the best functioning/performing gaiter for the price? It seems from everyone I've talked with, or reviews I have read so far all speak to the band/tie that goes under the boot always failing. What is your experience with gaiters? Matt Stevens Point, WI

By Stephen Regenold Dressing right for aerobic activity in cold weather is a continual challenge. With its new Animagi Jacket, The North Face offers a hybrid option that insulates where needed but also breathes. Horizontal panels and a high neck give the Animagi the look…

Presenting nine foolproof rules to keep in mind when scouting for presents (or just a little swag for yourself), plus 67 great products we couldn't keep under wraps.

By Stephen Regenold When you pay $38 for a pair of socks–that's $19 per foot, excluding tax–they had better be something special. The EX-Celerator Socks from Injinji Footwear, which have individual toe slots and an over-the-calf compression fit, do…

By Mary Catherine O'Connor When Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard wanted to have a confab about gear, Ernest Capbert knew that he and his cohorts at the outdoor clothing startup Finisterre were doing something right. The company is the dreamchild of…

Can you comment on Lands' End as a source of backpacking outerwear? For exple, they sell the 700 SnowPack Down Jacket, which is similar to down sweaters by Patagonia and Mountain Hardwear—save that Lands End’s version weigh 14 oz for men's medium, which is heavier than the higher-end brands. They also market the Marinac Jacket, which is Polartec fleece with Windcheck barrier. Have you used any of these or other Lands' End gear? David Columbia, MO

By Stephen Regenold It ain't a technical top. Some people think its prairie-dog-with-wings motif is silly or childish. But the Topo T-Shirt, an organic-cotton, casual short-sleeve, has been an unlikely wear-everywhere jersey for me over the past few years. I am on my second one. The $36…

By Stephen Regenold Touted to be a “storm fortress” with a pedal-specific cut, the Cyclical Shell offers a solid waterproof/breathable top with a svelte look tailored for commuters and the urban single-speed set. It employseVent fabric, which is commonly used in outdoors- and mountain-oriented…

Think of Julbo's new glacier sunglasses, The Bivouak ($120), like a Transformer. At the base level, they're a wraparound frame with a stylish shape for moseying around town. Now, attach the fire engine red side shields and you have a glass that is…

By Stephen Regenold I'm not sure exactly when humble “long underwear” became “next-to-skin technical base layers,” but somewhere over the past decade designers in the outdoors industry switched up the nomenclature and cut words like “skivvies” and “long johns” out of the conversation. It…

By Stephen Regenold At $180, the Outlier 4Season OG Pants are a specialty productcreated for a small, affluent market niche. Essentially, these are “performancedress pants,” a unique hybrid for office workers who bike commute or activetypes who want a comfortable pair of pants to do double duty…

The Merrell Siren rain jacket ($230) makes travel more comfortable. Not only does it hold up in light rain and torrential downpours, it fits easily into a small bag or purse. Made of Gore-Tex Paclite, the jacket is extremely lightweight so…

I would like to do some long-distance fast hiking with about a 25- to 35-pound pack. What shoes or boots would be supportive enough for rough trails, but light and flexible enough to go fast? Ben Milledgeville, GA

By Stephen Regenold The deer hunter comments started coming the first time Iput the jacket on. Indeed, the obscene-orange ViZi-PRO Collection — a line ofapparel from Saucony to be released this month — is made with “thebrightest, most…

I'm heading to Nepal (November through December) for a one-month trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp. Can you recommend a glove and gaiter that would suffice for trekking, scrambling, cold temps, etc. Nathan Los Angeles, CA

Summer cycling season is ending. What would you recommend for winter riding clothes? Matt Clinton, CT

Sudden leaps in technology. Breakthrough products. Stunningly transformed landscapes. These things don't happen on their own—they require the vision and dedication of exceptional designers. Meet seven minds that are radically changing your world for the better.

The big breathability issue is making buying a jacket confusing. eVent has thrown a cat ong the pigeons and waterproof soft shells also change my options. Is there any clear thinking on this subject? I have the new Aegis jacket and that's just a proprietary fabric but seems to work fine. In other words, what are the "real" facts and how do you choose the "best" jacket for various applications? Ian South Africa

What type of sunglass lens makes the transition from sun to shade the easiest for riding singletrack through the forest? Lynn La Grande, OR

Walk hard in these travel-ready kicks worth a place in any adventure photographer’s duffel. : Patagonia Maui Dew (Photograph by Shana Novak) These all-weather, water-resistant-pigskin shoes are surf-town casual yet warm enough to wear well into the fall. But they’ve won hearts and minds in the halls of our offices…

I?m a bike commuter of seven months, and fortunately those months have all been dry. Now monsoon season is upon us and I need a jacket to keep me dry on the way to the office, one that?s light enough to carry there when the rains come in the afternoon. Jacob Tucson, AZ

A character study based on classic summer kicks.

From sea to summit, these performance shades are looking out for you.

Revo, which popularized blue-mirrored lenses in the nineties—but never outgrew the decade—is back with an updated look for summer. The Highsides (pictured) have the same high-tech panes inspired by NASA, but the style is all Generation Y. $189; revo.com…

Whether you're surfing or simply sitting on the deck, we've got you covered.

I hike and cp a lot—and for long periods—during the middle of the hottest days of the year (with no access to showers). I’m wondering what you’ve heard about Icebreaker underwear and how well they are about odor. Katherine Greenville, SC

The new crop of bike-worthy specs.

The Eddie Bauer Mountain Guide soft-shell jacket marks the company’s return to making expedition-worthy gear after outfitting the original American Everest expedition, in 1963, and later sliding downhill into women’s casualwear. Eddie, we’ve missed you. $229; firstascent.com Eddie Bauer…

Pimp your thighs and tris with these shorts and jerseys.

Keep your head and eyes safe with the best new helmets and sunglasses.

1. Mt. Borah Custom With seven-week turnarounds and minimum orders of just six pieces, Mt. Borah makes custom cycling gear easier than ever. Jerseys from $83; mtborahcustom.com 2. Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX The handmade CX can handle pressures up…

I will be hiking with my 12-year-old son for a few days through the rain forest in Costa Rica. What gear to you recommend? Hiking boots, socks, moisture-wicking underwear, bag to keep camera dry, insect repellent, hat...? Al Bedford, NY

I looking for a rugged, water resistant pair of long hiking pants that can be worn in warm weather conditions. What do you recommend? Karl Newton, NJ

Schoeller Dryskin ses to be the material of choice in soft shell pants, followed by Schoeller Dynmic. There is also a stretch-woven polyester used by Patagonia in the Guide Pant (which I believe is now discontinued) and a lighter version of the se material used in the Simple Guide Pant. Can you discuss the pros and cons of the Schoeller vs. the material used in the Patagonia pants? How they perform one vs. the other. And the temperature range in which each can be used comfortably. In short, which do you recommend? Scott Lubbock, TX

Just because you own a fancy soft shell doesn't mean you should wear it all winter

From travel-worthy to office-ready, the latest cords and khakis have got you covered

Brit Eaton is the best of a curious breed of fortune hunters combing old mine shafts and barns across the West for vintage denim. He's discovered $50,000 worth of clothes in a single day, and his clients include Ralph Lauren and Levi's. STEVEN RINELLA joins him on a search for the blues.

A collection of rare and expensive pants.

From hard shells to soft shells, associate editor Justin Nyberg reviews his favorite jackets of 2009.

I ride my bike to class every morning, and as the temperature drops, I have a jacket problem that is two fold. 1) My fleece does little to stop the piercing cold winds. 2) My hard shell retains too much body heat, and I feel like I’m in a furnace. What do you recommend? Bary Charlottesville, Virginia

Crush it, roll it, or stuff it in your bag: The Orvis Packable Felt Hat will pop right back into shape ($39; orvis.com). Orvis Packable Felt Hat            …

Room for only one jacket in your luggage? Merrell‘s lightly insulated and water-resistant Uniform Parka is the perfect choice ($189; merrell.com). Merrell Uniform Parka Jacket            …

Problem: No time to properly clean up before dinner. Solution: A dab of Davidoff Adventure cologne ($48; macys.com). Davidoff Adventure Cologne            …

Merrell‘s Gore-Tex Chameleon Trek shoes are understated enough for a night on the town but tough enough for the trail ($145).

Two years ago, Arc’teryx gave lead designer Carl Moriarty a dream mandate: Build the best mountaineering jacket in the world, cost be damned. It needed to be warm enough for nasty conditions, so he stuffed it with the company’s top-of-the-line ThermaTekinsulation, which, in addition to being more hydrophobic than other…

Office-worthy? Yes. Street tough? You bet. You just found your new favorite pair of shoes.

Any suggestions for a travel jacket that can also hack it as a weather-protection piece and meeting wear? It doesn't have to look like a three-piece suit, but it should up the ante on standard backpacking gear. Rick Edmonton, Alberta

I’m hiking the John Muir Trail and want to take some super-lightweight raingear. But there are so many options on the market, that it makes the choice confusing. What are your top picks? Janet Charlotte, Vermont

What are the best pants for a hiking trip in Alaska? I’m looking for stylish, breathable, stain resistant, crease resistant, and quick drying. Thanks in advance of a helpful response. Jeffery Islington, NSW Australia

The plan: Pair up six of our favorite globe-trotting photographers. Ask them to comb their hair. Subject them to one another's creative visions.

I’m headed out to Quetico for little over a week, and I need women's underwear that will last a long time, limit chafing, dry fast, and rinse well. Any suggestions? Nicole Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin

What is the best type of sock to wear on a day hike? I a naturally sweaty person and often my socks get so wet that is causes blisters. Not pretty, I know, but that’s the truth of it. Nick London, England

Nothing says sophisticated traveler better than a light-colored jacket. Just keep it clean, OK?

What clothing do you recommend for hiking in hot weather? From time to time I've heard that light cotton or hemp clothes are, in fact, the coolest choice for hiking in high temperatures. Ted Great Falls, Montana

I’m doing research this summer in Pana, which means hot, humid, and often wet conditions (including wading around in water and mud). Can you recommend the best lightweight, fast drying, and somewhat bug-proof women's clothing? Lot of pockets would be helpful as well. Kristy Gonyer, Portland

I hiking the West Coast Trail this June, which is typically a rainy season for the trail. What would you recommend for a good set of backpacking pants that can fend off at least a couple days worth of rain? Reagen Calgary, Alberta

I get all kinds of different advice on how to care for my gear. Normal detergent, hi-tech fabric cleaners, and spray-on or wash-in waterproofing make my head spin. Can you clarify how to best take care of soft-shell and hard-shell fabrics? Gudni Reykjavik, Iceland

My wife and I will be hiking the Inca Trail in April, and I would appreciate your opinion about appropriate raingear. We’d want something waterproof-breathable, right? Ed Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

I looking for a warm belay jacket for ice climbing and have considered the Patagonia DAS or the Wild Things Belay Jacket. Would the Polarguard 3D (in the DAS) be more durable over time and keep its loft more so than the Primaloft (in the Wild Things jacket)? Rich Athens, Georgia

In terms of rain jackets, which waterproof-breathable fabric is more breathable: eVent, Gore-Tex Pro Shell, H2No (Patagonia), or Dry Light Tec (MontBell)? Chris Mission, Kansas