The Gear We’re Most Excited About for Next Summer
Our Outdoor Retailer Gear of Show picks are all items that make life outside easier
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The gear editors at Outside are a picky bunch. We get scores of emails a day from companies claiming that they have the latest greatest products that we just have to try. The reality is that most of them don’t live up to the hype. So when something does pique our interest, we get really excited. After sifting through hundreds of new products being announced at the 2021 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, these are our Gear of Show winners—the ones we can’t wait to test.
Ignik FireCan ($200)
The appeal of a campfire is simple: it’s warm, it brings folks together, and it is just plain nice to stare at after a long day of adventuring. But fire restrictions (or a lack of wood) get in the way of that simple pleasure—unless you have an Ignik FireCan. The powder-coated steel pit is powered by propane, so you can safely enjoy the heat and light of a traditional campfire without the fear of a stray ember sparking a forest fire. (Still: be sure to check your local regulations to make sure you’re in the clear.) We also love the sleek ammo-box silhouette, which is more packable than other round, portable fire pits. You can use any propane tank as fuel by attaching the included adapter and hose. (The brand also makes our favorite reusable propane tank option.) The FireCan will be released in September. —Jeremy Rellosa, reviews editor
Black Diamond Capitan Kids Helmet ($65)
Our favorite gear innovations aren’t flashy, loud, or earth shattering. They’re the ones that make life easier. Case in point: the new Capitan Kids helmet from Black Diamond. This lid is certified for the impact forces from both climbing (EN & UIAA) and cycling (CE & CPSC), which just means one less helmet I have to buy for my kids. The inside is dual density EPS foam and the outer shell is ABS, a tough composite common in climbing helmets, which translates to a bomber lid (there’s also a MIPS version for $95). My daughter has only been riding bikes for nine months and has already almost completely destroyed her first helmet. She’s wearing this one now and I’m confident that it will last much longer. It has great coverage, with more side and back protection than your standard bike helmet. Dad also likes that it comes with integrated headlamp clips for night missions and—the kicker—a sticker pack so your little can customize their own dome (do not underestimate how much kids love stickers). It’s a winning package. —Will Taylor, gear director
Chaco Bohdi ($95)
There was a time when Chacos were the only shoes I’d wear in the summer. I was fresh out of college and working as a sea kayaking guide on the coast of Maine. The classic river sandals were everything I needed: submersible, quick to dry, supportive, and grippy enough to run laps up and down the seaweed-covered dock shouldering 60-pound boats. The downside is that they’re clunky and heavy—not a problem if you live where you paddle, but a challenge for traveling. So I was excited to hear about the brand’s latest launch, which is 50 percent lighter than the classic Z Sandal. How? The midsole is thinner. But the more visible change is in the webbing, which is slimmed down to just an ankle strap and toe loop with one connecting strip of nylon instead of the usual cross-foot zig-zag. Now that I live in the New Mexican desert, most of my water-sport trips involve either a plane or a long car trip, so I’m personally intrigued by the promise of having a more transportable version of my favorite summer sandal. And I think plenty of other people will be too. —Ariella Gintzler, senior editor