The Gear Our Editors Loved in May
Shorts, tees, swimsuits, gin... must be almost summer!
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Technically it’s still spring, but at least here at Outside’s home base in Santa Fe, summer is in the air. After-work hikes have started bleeding over into patio happy hours, without the need for a fire pit to keep us warm. Over drinks, the conversation tends to turn to the vacations staffers have planned—for the first time in nearly a year and a half. Here’s the gear we’ve been using non-stop as we jump head-first into the warm months ahead.
Bearded Goat Summit Shorts ($68)
This month, I’ve been wearing a few pieces from a new-to-me brand, Bearded Goat. The small, Arkansas-based company specializes in do-everything pieces that you could just as easily wear hiking, floating, or to a barbecue. Their just-launched women’s summit shorts ($68) are cut perfectly: high-waisted with roomy legs for ample range of motion and enough space for athletic thighs. That plus the lightweight, quick-drying fabric meant I wore them for a day of rafting and swimming and brought them along as my only pair of pants on a three-day backpacking trip. The large, zippered pockets are a bonus. I’m also excited about their sport tank ($58), an airy cropped muscle-cut top that I’ve been wearing for mountain-bike rides, trail runs, and town excursions. —Abigail Barronian, associate editor
Machines For Freedom Short Sleeve Technical Tee ($78)
The trend of bike clothes that don’t look like bike clothes may be one of the best things that’s happened to cycling. I’ve been wearing cotton t-shirts and cutoff tank tops on the bike for a few years now, but on big rides I find myself weighing the very real tradeoffs of looking and feeling casual with wearing a sweat-soaked shirt for hours. That’s why I’m obsessed with this tech tee from Machines for Freedom’s spring trail line. The shorter length and flowy cut make for a shirt I’d wear out for dinner, but the lightweight and quick-drying fabric means I don’t have to decide between feeling cute (might delete later) and feeling clammy (might have to burn this tee later). And oh, the way the breeze feels on your back in this shirt … divine. —Gloria Liu, features editor
Cadence App ($15)
I’ve been testing the new running and biking app Cadence for about two months now. In a sea of fitness apps, Cadence stands out thanks to its simple user interface and customization. You can create your own activity screens and plot out a route the night before, then follow your plan the next morning. I had a ton of fun tracking new trails and loops in the arroyos by my home. The app delivers enough information (grade, lap average, cadence, and more) to satisfy a pro, but is user-friendly enough to satisfy beginner runners and cyclists. —Abigail Wise, digital managing director
Baboon to the Moon Fannypack 3L ($59)
I’ve had this sling bag for well over a year now, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that it became a daily gear staple. It’s the perfect size for errands, outdoor hangs, and even short hikes. The main compartment holds my keys and wallet, plus hand sanitizer, a multitool, chapstick, and a pen, all protected by super-durable water-resistant cordura. Depending on the objective, sometimes I’ll throw in a light layer or a can of hard seltzer. My mask lives in one external zippered pocket when I’m not using it. In the other outer pocket, I keep a couple of emergency essentials: tampons, disinfecting wipes, tissues. The wide, comfortable strap adjusts up to 55 inches. But maybe my favorite thing about this bag is the bold, bright yellow colorway, which has never dulled even with daily use and brings me a bit of joy every time I put it on. —Maren Larsen, associate editor
Old Dominick Formula No. 10 Gin ($28)
There is no greater joy in this world than a good gin martini paired with potato chips. It’s especially so when that martini is made with Old Dominick’s Formula No. 10. Slightly floral, sweet, and less juniper-forward than other gins, it sips smooth and doesn’t taste like you’re drinking a tree. My first drink when I turned 21 was a gin martini (don’t ask me why). It fell into the latter camp of wood-chip-inspired gins and turned me off from martinis of any kind, until now. This bottle stays in my fridge, ready for perfectly chilled drinks whenever the time calls, but its beautiful artwork would be a stylish complement to any bar. —Kelsey Lindsey, senior editor
Triangl Maci Swimsuit ($89)
For my first post-pandemic trip, I headed to the ocean. I’d gained some weight during quarantine, and my bikinis were fitting a bit tight, so I started looking for a set that would stay in place in the surf, feel comfortable enough for all-day wear on long hikes to waterfalls, and be a bit forgiving towards my new body shape. This set from Triangl did all that and more. Its construction and textured fabric was stylish but durable, and a secure back clasp and straps meant I wasn’t constantly adjusting the fit. The brand’s variety of options makes me wish I lived closer to the water and had an excuse to buy another set or two. —Erin Riley, senior editor
Therabody Recovery Air ($699)
When it comes to outdoor objectives, I’ve always lived by the adage “If you are going to be dumb, you’ve got to be tough.” Being both dumb and tough worked well for me until I hit my mid-thirties and began racking up overtraining injuries. Since then, I’ve used every tool available to me to try and stimulate recovery. My newest one, Therabody’s Recovery Air, is by far my favorite. After every big effort during the past two weeks, I have zipped these airbags over my legs and passively let them cure my ouchies. Forty-five minutes to an hour of the adjustable compression-release cycle stimulates blood flow, which helps speed muscle recovery and minimize soreness. I ran a tough sprint workout of my life on a Tuesday afternoon, used the Recovery Air for an hour that night, and felt fresh enough that I could repeat the effort the next day. —Joe Jackson, Gear Guy
Forty Five Supima Crew Tee ($35)
When the weather warms up here in New Mexico, my daily outfits become much simpler: T-shirts and khaki shorts. Out of a substantial collection of daily tees, this is the one I’ve been wearing the most. Its Supima cotton is soft on my skin, and the relaxed, but not baggy, fit is airy and keeps me cool when walking around town. And after a few washes, it hasn’t shrunk or become uncontrollably wrinkled. —Jeremy Rellosa, reviews editor
Flint and Tinder 365 Short ($64)
I’ve tested plenty of shorts, but this pair from Flint and Tinder is the one I choose to wear for most activities. It doesn’t tout high-intensity performance, nor is it part of the ultra-delicate crop that you’re afraid to get dirty. Instead, the 365 is meant to be a daily driver. Its no-frills cut is simple and clean-looking enough to wear to the office, and its stretchy cotton-spandex fabric facilitates city bike rides and easy hikes. —J.R.
Alpine Start Coffee With Benefits ($23)
I gave up coffee about two years ago when I realized that it was just making me feel jittery and exhausted instead of awake and energized. I’ll still drink it from time to time: in moments of desperation or when I simply crave the taste. But the daily habit is long gone. So, when a sample package of Alpine Start’s new instant brew showed up at my home office, I figured I’d have one cup and then pass it off to a colleague. I wound up drinking a mug every morning that week without any of the dreaded side effects. Perhaps that’s because the mix combines organic coffee and coconut-based creamer with additives like Lion’s Mane mushrooms and MCTs, a type of healthy fats that some say boost brain function and memory. It’s not a mug of black coffee—more like very milky and sweet coffee—but it hits the spot for me. —Ariella Gintzler, senior editor
Ten Thousand Lightweight Shirt ($54)
I’m always skeptical of shirts marketed as lightweight. That word brings to mind poorly made, staticky, weirdly cut garments that often end up in a landfill. This couldn’t be further from the truth with the Ten Thousand Lightweight Shirt. From CrossFit sessions to hot desert runs, and even as a base layer for cooler bike rides, this shirt does it all. Not to mention it’s stylish and well-made. —Evan Grainger, assistant video producer
Honey Stinger Black Cherry Rapid Hydration Mix ($32 for 24)
I always use a hydration mix when I go for a run or ride here in New Mexico because it’s so damn hot, and regular water just doesn’t cut it. Most mixes work pretty much the same, so I’ve been choosing based on taste. My new favorite by a mile is this black cherry flavor that Honey Stinger just launched. Not only is it refreshing and not too sweet, but it also immediately transports me back to when I was ten and guzzling similarly flavored Kool-Aid after a hot, dusty bike ride with friends. I’m sure I’d find Kool-Aid gross as an adult, but something in this Honey Stinger flavor profile took me back like a time machine. Now get a silly smile on my face after every sip. —Jakob Schiller, contributing writer
Taxa Outdoors Mantis Overland Trailer ($51,700)
Back in early May, my wife and I spent a weekend in a Mantis stationed right below the infamous Lion’s Back rock feature in Moab, Utah. At 19 feet long, it was one roomiest overland trailers I’ve ever tested, and also one of the most dialed. The layout inside was smart and efficient, and it had everything we needed, including a fridge, a shower, a stove, and an optional air conditioner. Thanks to a rooftop tent strapped to the rack, it also had enough room to sleep up to six people (we often have our four kids with us, so we need space!). I would never tow the Mantis up a technical road because it’s way too long, but thanks to 14 inches of ground clearance, off-road suspension, and all-terrain tires, I’d have no problem taking it on a rutted forest road to get away from the crowds. —J.S.