The Gear Our Editors Loved in June
The products that let us get outside in the summer heat
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Here are the products that let us stay cool in the heat, get our flow on, and led us to sweet success during a bike race in the month of June.
Velocio CONCEPT SE Jersey ($199) and CONCEPT Bib Short ($309)
A rule of thumb in competitive cycling is to never use a brand new piece of gear, nutrition, or apparel during a race. This advice, of course, is based on the adage that if something can go wrong, it absolutely will go wrong when you’re pushing your body and bike to the limit. Recently, I completely ignored this rule. On the morning of Colorado’s Iron Horse Bicycle Classic road race, I pulled Velocio’s Concept SE jersey and Concept bib shorts out of the bag and zipped them up for the first time. Anytime you wear a new kit, there’s potential for painful chafes and unsightly bunching, as your body’s various creases and crevices become accustomed to the new fabric and unworn chamois (that’s the butt pad). Still, I threw caution to the wind. Why? To put it simply, the Concept kit looks and feels badass. The jersey’s racing cut hugged my biceps and midsection, and the racing bibs had a nice snug fit on my quads. I felt like I was lining up for the Giro d’Italia and not some goofy race for dads. This confidence was rooted in the fact that, after several weeks of consistent training, I had actually gotten myself into decent racing shape. I’m not sure my opinion of the jersey’s racing fit would be the same had I been carrying a few extra pounds in my midsection. That said, I’m happy to say that I made it through the Iron Horse with no irritation or chafing. The Concept kit, with its laser-cut ventilation, kept me cool when my body temperature began to rise amid the hard efforts. And while the aerodynamic fabric didn’t propel me to the win, it did make me feel super pro as I was yukking it up, post-race, with the other weekend warriors. —Fred Dreier, articles editor
Chakra Girl Yoga Leggings (from $84)
I’m in love with these yoga pants—and not just because the company was founded by former Outside graphic designer Julia Fullerton, who is now a certified yoga and meditation teacher. The leggings are so comfortable to move in, they’re lined so they’re not see-through, and the designs are awesome and meant to help heal certain chakras. I already have three pairs of them. They’re also breathable and quick-dry so if you sweat in class, the leggings dry fast and you can wear them all day (I’ve been living in them constantly). They come in capri, long lengths, and a good range of sizes. I also appreciate that the leggings are made one at a time in an intentional, eco-friendly way. —Mary Turner, deputy editor and travel director
Flylow Life Bib ($120)
I love the idea of bibs and jumpsuits and waders and overalls for their all-in-one breathability and outdoor functionality. But as a tiny, 5’2” curvy-ish woman, I can rarely pull them off—they’re usually too long, too uncomfortable, or too ugly. (And though men’s workwear has traditionally nailed it, I’m over the “shrink it and pink it” translation to women’s gear. It doesn’t work.) Enter: my victory story. Last weekend, at the Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, Colorado, my husband, aware I’m constantly on the hunt, noticed a woman rocking well-fitting bibs and said, “You have to go ask where she got them.” So, unabashedly, I did. I met Marla, a badass chick from Tahoe, California, sporting Flylow’s sweet-lookin’ pair of Life Bibs. They’re stylish, super lightweight, airy, quick dry, and made by women for women, to fit short-to-tall bodies, curves or not. I snagged a pair immediately and will never look back. Get sweaty in ‘em, wade in ‘em, stash stuff in the hand pockets, and if you chow down, the barely-there elastic waistband is both flattering and forgiving. Bonus: the Flylow Dolly shirt (another Marla staple) is next up on my must-buy list. I’ll share more next month after I try it on the river, but its fabric is unlike anything I’ve ever seen—especially in the complex world of women’s gear. —Patty Hodapp, interim digital director
Pressio Bio S/S Tee
As the summer heated up in June, I pulled out my most breathable running tops and started testing half a dozen new ones. The Pressio Bio short-sleeve keeps making its way to the top of the pile, and most of the time is hanging on the bedpost drying for the next day’s run. What makes it stand out? The mesh fabric has an excellent touch: soft and pliable—not slick like many tech tees—and it’s light and airy, yet it feels durable (I’ve gotten no snags after three months of regular use). I like its two-way stretch, which enhances range of motion and comfort but maintains the shirt’s shape so it drapes comfortably and fashionably (I’ve worn it as a casual shirt on more than one occasion). On top of that, I love that it is made of 100% recycled polyester yarns that biodegrade 85 percent within 380 days in a landfill, and uses a chemical-free seed-based wicking process and a mint-based odor protection. —Jonathan Beverly, senior running editor
RovR Rollr 45 Wheeled Cooler ($400) and BikR Kit ($70)
Most high-end coolers on the market these days do little more than keep cold things cold, which is not to be under-appreciated. But still, they’re a pain in the back to haul around when full of your favorite beverages and ice. Imagine if you could haul it with your bike instead of your biceps? RovR’s new BikR kit allows exactly that. The metal arm extension hooks right to the axel of my back wheel, and thanks to the beefy offroad wheels, I can’t even tell it’s back there. Someday, maybe I’ll be hauling a couple of kids around behind my bike, but for now, it’s ice-cold beers. —Sierra Shafer, editor-in-chief SKI
JoGo Brew Straw ($25)
When it comes to coffee on a backpacking trip, I’m all about simplicity, packability, and of course, taste. This neat little device nails the trifecta, as long as you can get past the notion of sipping your coffee with a straw. (At first it irked me, but I got used to it.) The JoGo is a simple stainless steel straw with a little filter on the bottom and a silicone lip-protector on the top. You just put a tablespoon of your favorite grind into your cup and add hot water to make cowboy coffee, then sip away—the filter keeps the grinds from spoiling your morning. The other thing I love about the JoGo is that allows me to enjoy my caffeine with zero waste. No instant packets or filters to pack out. It comes in a little cotton carry pouch and it weighs just 1 ounce. Works great for loose tea, also. —Kristin Hostetter, head of sustainability