Gear News

Archive

The Garmin Vector was one of our editor’s five picks for Gear of the Show at the 2011 Interbike show.

The Ibis Ripley 29er was one of our editor’s five picks for Gear of the Show at the 2011 Interbike show.

Outside's editors are excited to announce the launch of our all-new Gear of the Show awards program at this year's Interbike Show, September 14-16, in Las Vegas.

The Outdoor Retailer Show just wrapped, and as per usual, it was epic. Over the next week or so, we'll continue to highlight some of the favorite new products we saw, starting with these three. 1. Columbia Baselayer Light Shortsleeve Top: Columbia’s new Omni-Freeze ICE…

A new roof rack that is small on sound and big on gas mileage

A mountaineering boot with adjustable stiffness.

The first mountain-bike-specific lumbar pack

A budget roof rack that is small on sound and big on gas mileage

An ultralight anorak for fast-and-light missions

A limited-edition carbon fiber stand-up paddleboard designed by the best in ocean sailing

A plug-and-play joring system for your dog

Buy the September Issue—on Newsstands Soon Well, a few of them, anyway—just to start off with. As part of Outdoor Retailer, taking place right now in Salt Lake City, we’re handing out certificates to the companies that made our list…

Carabiners that use magnetic forces, not springs, to open and close

A satellite-based text-messaging and tracking device

A lightweight, foldable bike that let’s you access the inaccessible

We've landed in Salt Lake City, and today we're headed to the Outdoor Retailer on-water demo, where we'll get our first glimpse of kayakas, SUPs, and all the goodies and gadgets that go with them.  Then the show officially kicks off tomorrow, and here are a…

Twice a year, all the companies that make camping, climbing, hiking, paddling gear, clothes, shoes, and gadgets get together in one cement bunker in Salt Lake City to hock their wares. It's called the Outdoor Retailer Show, and it's the biggest gearapalooza in the…

Light, fast, and comfortable: Three reasons the Bolle Vortex is our Gear of the Year winning sunglass.

Four-season performance with three-season weight: Introducing our Gear of the Year winning jacket, Columbia’s Peak 2 Peak.

These new shoes are toeing the line between trail and road runner. One reason the North Face Double Track won our 2011 Gear of the Year award.

It’s sticky sole and lightweight helped, but it was the perfect fit that won the Garmont Zenith Mid our Gear of the Year award.

Simplicity is why the New Balance 890 wins our Gear of the Year award.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Deuter ACT Zero 50+15 pack.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Scott Genius LT 20 mountain bike.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Fondriest TF3 road bike.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Nikon D7000 camera.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Elie Strait 140 XE kayak.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the New Balance 890 running shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including The North Face Double Track running shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Marmot Plasma 15 sleeping bag.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Thule TCRU-2 60 Liter Upright rolling luggage.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Apple iPad 2 tablet.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Bollé Vortex sunglasses.

January was a fascinating month on the blog. It was full of top gear trends (spyed by our gear experts at multiple trade shows last month), interviews with all-star writers and athletes, health and fitness tips (for keeping those New Years resolutions), and, of course, advice for intrepid travelers. Check…

Buyer's Guide editor Sam Moulton's takes a look at K2's new ski pole, which has an inclinometer built into the handle. Outdoor Retailer: K2 Lock Jaw from Outside Magazine on Vimeo. –Joe Spring  …

This year we featured Core Concepts in our Winter Buyer's Guide. To see what cool new designs they have set for their 2012 line, we stopped by their booth at Outdoor Retailer.  Outdoor Retailer: Core Concepts Apparel from Outside Magazine on Vimeo.  –Joe Spring…

You know Polartec's fabrics from many of the jackets and fleeces you wear everyday. In 2012, the company will release a proprietary new fabric that is both waterproof and highly breathable. Outdoor Retailer: Polartec Neoshell from Outside Magazine on Vimeo. — Joe Spring  …

Buyer's Guide editor Sam Moulton stops by the Marmot booth at Outdoor Retailer to check out their stylish new hard shell. Outdoor Retailer: Marmot Silverton Jacket from Outside Magazine on Vimeo. –Joe Spring  …

Once Buyer's Guide editor Sam Moulton saw the diagram for K2's new rescue shovel, he made a bee-line for the company's booth at Outdoor Retailer. Outdoor Retailer: K2 Rescue Shovel from Outside Magazine on Vimeo. –Joe Spring  …

Outdoor Retailer: Smith Helmets and Goggles from Outside Magazine on Vimeo. Alicia Carr checks in with the Smith booth to see what new innovations they have planned for 2012. It turns out they have one of the coolest new technologies at Outdoor Retailer. –Joe Spring  …

The twice-annual Outdoor Retailer trade show, held in Salt Lake City, is an exhibition of to-be-released outdoors apparel and gear from manufacturers around the world. After six days in Utah last week — demoing new gear, skiing powder, walking the trade show floor — a few items began to surface…

You know the problem: Your boss calls your smartphone on the chairlift. Your iPod player starts cranking late-issue Rod Stewart way too loudly. You need to operate your touchscreen immediately. On a cold day, that usually means taking off your gloves. Unless you have one of…

Ever wonder where your dog goes once he gets out into the neighborhood? Curious where your kids end up going after school? GPS maker Garmin has developed a low-profile tracking device you can use to keep tabs on where the people, pets, and stuff you love are in real time.

Patagonia says its Down Shirt, which it unveiled last summer, is the “lightest piece of insulation on the market.” That’s a bold claim, but it could well be true: The 800-fill “shirt” weighs less than six ounces (and costs $250,…

If you secretly hope your child’s first steps might happen, say, on a muddy stretch of the Appalachian Trail, these shoes are for you. Adidas Outdoor is coming out with what we think might be the first Gore-Tex hiking shoe…for toddlers. It’s called…

Mammut/Barryvox makes some very fancy avalanche transceivers—one even can tell if the victim beneath the snow has a heartbeat. But for 99 percent of the casual backcountry users out there, it’s most important to just have a basic beacon that they won’t…

Avalanche airbags are showing up all over the trade floor at the Outdoor Retailer convention, if not yet all over the backcountry (though stories of skiers and snowmobilers who credit them for getting them through big slides are certainly becoming more common). A number…

Really into packing light? Check out Outdoor Research's new take on the standard beanie—it’s more like a down jacket for your head. It’s really light, insanely packable, and looks really warm. I’ve never felt like my hat was too bulky to fit in my bag,…

Photo courtesy of Flickr The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market began Wednesday in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Winter Market, which is a five-day trade show of outdoor products, events and…

Adidas has been making outdoor gear (hiking boots, shells) in Europe for a while, but the Euro sports giant is coming to the U.S. in a big way. Expect more of the triple stripes on everything from hiking boots to storm shells, all…

Like hucking cliffs taller than the lift chairs? May you stick your landings. To help, check out Marker’s new Jester Pro (new for Fall ’11). It’s reinforced with an aluminum strut to stiffen the toe piece for more power than most mortals could ever possibly need from their skis. “You…

Behold the Gear of the Year: A 16-ounce, 900-fill-down wonder that’s destined to be the new sleep standard for fastpackers and anyone else who appreciates gossamer weight in a three-season bag. Marmot’s ultrastuffable Atom practically vanishes into your pack. 1. How feathery is the Atom, with its über-premium down and…

Patagonia has virtually erased the line between soft shell and storm shell with the Spraymaster. The incredibly stretchy, astoundingly waterproof, and impressively breathable lightweight shell fuses the best of both worlds. Call it a firm shell. And rest assured, it’s the one jacket that will prompt you to seek…

1. The Virtue Two debuts a radical new suspension system (dubbed Equilink) that offers more than five inches of active travel but has none of the drawbacks—no pedal feedback, no bob, and no extra weight—that plague most long-travel systems. It’s super-plush and, amazingly, still handles like a hardtail. 2.

1. From backyard strolls to backwoods epics, the Back­country was our favorite all-purpose snowshoe. Its frame is really two pieces of aluminum alloy held together at the toe and heel by sturdy, flexible plastic, so the deck self-adjusts to tricky terrain. The inner tail is streamlined to allow a…

It isn’t quite the holy grail, but for high output in bad weather, like ski-touring in a storm, this jacket gets darn close to solving the weatherproof-breathable equation. While it’s not technically waterproof—the seams aren’t taped—one tester stayed dry for hours in sleet and wet snow. And when the…

1. Equipped with five fin boxes, the Walden works as a thruster or quad. Our 6’4″ test model carved up small waves best as a quad. And when the surf jumped up, we popped out the back two fins and added one in the center for a thruster…

When we finally terraform Mars, the first colonists will doubtless be issued Montrail Hardrock Wides—kicks perfectly suited to the dusty slopes of 78,740-foot-high Olympus Mons. OK, admittedly, we’re reaching, but our 2005 Gear of the Year trail runners have more than proved their worth on this planet, moving effortlessly from…

1. Black Diamond rolled out an impressive 11 new models this year. But our tele and alpine testers agreed: Of all the new skis we reviewed, the redesigned Verdict was the most versatile, wide enough for the deepest days and stable on hardpack yet still lightweight enough for touring. 2.

1. Thanks to its top-of-the-line 800-fill down, light fabrics, half-length zipper, and trim cut, the Adrenaline 20 packs down to the size of a loaf of bread. Even more impressive, at less than two pounds, the Adrenaline is about a half-pound lighter than the average 20-degree down bag. Add…

Why It RulesAs a custom shop, Feathered Friends tailors each of its bags exactly to your specifications, meaning you get your choice of fabrics, color, and even zipper location. I picked the Pertex Quantum interior for breathability and the Epic exterior for water resistance—the combo tipped the scales at just…

Rudy Project hits the sweet spot where sportsworthiness becomes fashion and vice versa. This frameless wonder fends off 70-mile-an-hour winds as effectively as ski goggles, but it’ll also turn heads in Santa Barbara. Add dreamy optics and negligible weight and the result is a Gear of the Year award. 1.

1. The Aura is downright spacious (35 square feet), with two doors and two big vestibules. It’s plenty sturdy, easily withstanding 50-mph winds without guylines. And light: The Aura flirts with the four-pound barrier, the two-person freestanding tent’s equivalent of the four-minute mile. 2. Talk about usable space:…

It used to be that sleeping bags’ degree ratings were determined in various ways, so conventional wisdom dictated that you buy a bag with a temperature rating at least 10 to 15 degrees lower than the lowest temperature you’d expect to be camping in. That’s starting to change. For…

1. The Triumph is like the best hotel mattresses: soft and springy but not mushy. Articulated outsole lugs and a five-layer sandwich of foam, rubber, and thermoplastic in the heel absorb the impact of each foot strike while retaining a remarkable responsiveness. And thanks to its forward-leaning tilt, the…

Innovation usually comes in fits and starts: a zipper here, a strap there. But Arc’teryx dispenses with the nickel-and-dime approach with this revolutionary pack. Any other year its every detail—from welded seams to dynamic suspension—would have been noteworthy. In this case the sum is much, much greater than the…

1. The best soft shells are jackets that rarely spend time in the closet—they’re always in use. Such was the case with the Cipher. Its chest, tops of the arms, and part of the back panel are armored with Gore Windstopper fabric, while the rest of the jacket…

1. The AG is one highly engineered board, but all that technology disappears when you hop on it, and this directional twin-shape was our favorite all-mountain board. 2. Heavily reverse-cambered boards, with a rocker shape from tip to tail, can be a little squirrelly for riders used to traditional…

You have to hand it to big-mountain legend Jeremy Jones for launching a successful board line during the recession. Straight out of the gate, Jones’s boards won over our testers. In the end, though, it was the versatile Mountain Twin that had them wishing we could extend our test…

1. Thanks to the 690-cubic-inch Bandit’s low profile, we barely noticed it while riding lifts. And when we wanted to leave the gates or head out for a quick backcountry tour, this pack was the perfect size. 2. The Bandit’s sleek look belies its utilitarian nature. Inside, you’ve got…

Leave it to the GPS pros at Garmin to thoroughly idiot-proof heart-rate training: The company’s new Forerunner 301—our pick for Gear of the Year—is a no-brainer digital coach. It’s ideal for runners, trekkers, cyclists, paddlers, and anyone else who wants to collect satellite-enhanced workout data in the field and crunch…

1.The Patrol 35 nails the most important feature in a winter pack: how well it carries skis or a snowboard. TNF’s Fly-Trap carrying system compresses skis (A-frame or diagonally) or board (vertically) amazingly close to your center of gravity. The result is excellent stability—which made me feel balanced and…

1. We’ve tested overnight packs this big and light before, but none as stable as the 2.3-pound, 2,800-cubic-inch Exos 46. The usual ultralight materials and buckles are in play, but it’s the suspension system—a superlight aluminum skeleton securing a mesh back panel—that makes the Exos stand out. In addition…

Why It RulesThe first effort from a scrappy New England startup, the Jetboil represents a total rethink of backcountry cookery. A tall one-liter pot—aluminum, with a hard anodized cooking surface and insulating neoprene cozy—docks (and locks) to the stove’s burner. A ring of heat-conducting baffles attached to the pot’s base…

The killer app of the digital music revolution leapfrogs the pack by inviting your camera to the party. This 40-gig Gear of the Year champ easily organizes and pumps out 10,000 songs—or up to 25,000 photos, which you can spin through about as quickly as you can shuffle a deck…

1. It’s partly recycled, yes. But the Verde won this year’s award because of how it performed in the field. It’s all about the fill: The Verde’s insulation (Climashield Green) is “continuous filament,” meaning it won’t clump or shift—and create cold spots—as old-school synthetics do. 2. The insulation…

Huge, heavy boots are a thing of the past. If your normal routine involves short outings, mellower trails, or lightweight packs, steer toward low-cut, breathable, flexible trail shoes. If stuffed packs, over­nighters, or craggy summits are more your style, consider stiffer trail shoes or boots with taller, more supportive…

The debate between bigger and lighter ends here. On an early-fall trip in the Wind River Range, Black Diamond’s Skylight performed like a big top, allowing a pair of testers (one over six and a half feet tall) to stretch out and stay dry. The shelter weathered a gusty…

Tent walls condensing like a steam room? Roll over and go back to sleep in the Sierra Designs Trade Wind. The down bag’s waterproof shell is impervious to weather that will wilt the feathers of lesser bags like, well, a cold shower. But that’s not all. Premium down fill,…

Back Next