Four Multitasking Pieces of Outdoor Gear We Want to Try
Versatility is the name of the game with these yet to be released items
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Often, versatility comes at the expense of performance. The age-old quandary: gear can either do one thing really well, or multiple things decently. But after scanning the crop of goods at this summer’s Outdoor Retailer show, we spotted quite a few items that claim to break that paradigm. Here are the ones that got us most jazzed.
Big Agnes Lost Ranger and Roxy Ann 3n1 (from $330)
Big Agnes has been making some of the most innovative—and some of our favorite—camping gear for twenty years. The Lost Ranger and Roxy Ann 3n1 bag systems are next in that long line of progression. The men’s and women’s version are both literally two separate sleeping bags in one: a looser outer sack for warm nights under the stars and a tighter inner mummy that can be used solo or combined with the outer for a temp rating down to 15 degrees. (Simply slide the former over the latter for the warmest temperature rating—no zippers required.) The outer bag weighs one pound eight ounces and the inner bag weighs one pound four ounces for a claimed total of just under three pounds. Packed together in one stuff sack they compress to about the size of three liter Nalgenes side-by-side. Why this really makes us excited: if you’re a three season camper, you need two bags. The 3n1 combo is more expensive than one quality bag, but definitely cheaper than two and will keep you comfortable in a wide variety of conditions. Plus, we love that you can leave one at home to go lighter. —Will Taylor, gear director
Leki Makalu FX Carbon ($220)
If you’re a serious runner and hiker who gets out year-round and likes to use poles, you probably have at least two pairs: a lightweight one made of carbon and one of heavier, but more durable aluminum. Leki’s new Makalu FX Carbon can help declutter your gear closet. Its design is modular, so you can completely remove and replace the lower two sections of the shaft. The brand says this makes on-trail repairs easier (though you’d need to be near a shop with replacements sections or carry spare parts in your pack). But we’re most excited about the ability to buy one pole that can transition from your running kit to your winter hiking kit just by swapping a few spare parts. —Ariella Gintzler, senior editor
HiBear All-Day Adventure Flask ($85)
There are many feature-rich, stainless steel water bottles on the market nowadays. You can find vessels with tea infuser tops and nesting coffee tumblers, not to mention the myriad options that claim to keep your cider hot for hours on end and retain ice for even longer. But we haven’t seen one as versatile as HiBear’s Adventure Flask. The 32-ounce bottle has an interior stainless-steel filter that extends from the lid to the bottom of the bottle, plus a removable lid, which turns into a pour-over filter when inverted. The lower half of the Flask unscrews into an 8.5-ounce mug, so you can serve your freshly-brewed coffee or cocktail around the campsite. It’s truly an all-in-one vessel that eliminates the need for juggling three bottles—good news for your crowded cabinet. —Jeremy Rellosa, reviews editor
Bridger Highline Helmet ($230)
The key to a successful piece of multipurpose gear is performance that doesn’t make you miss your specialized piece of equipment. With safety gear, that performance becomes even more crucial (a helmet is definitely not an item you want to compromise on). But if Bridger delivers on what it promises with the upcoming Highline helmet—a customizable model designed for both biking and snow sports—we’ll be first in line. It boasts two interchangeable shell tops and two back/side pieces, so you can transform your helmet from trail to slopes. You also get to add or remove a range of other features like ear pads and an insulating liner for cold powder days, or a brim for sunny afternoon rides. If you’re a helmet hoarder, be prepared for more room in your gear closet. —Natalia Lutterman, editorial assistant