Gear Guy

What’s the Best OR Gear for Less Than $30?


There was definitely some very expensive gear on display at this year’s Outdoor Retailer. I strolled by one parka that was beautiful, functional, breathable, and would protect you in virtually any weather—for only $900.

So while extremely high-end gear is fun to talk about and often what we focus on at this tradeshow, this roundup only includes cool products that cost less than $30. 

Dakine Sasquatch Log Wax ($18)

Ski wax can easily be molded into any shape and dyed any color. Dakine used this flexibility to create an all-temperature rub or melt-on wax that looks like, well, a turd that a sasquatch would leave in the woods. We love all things sasquatch and appreciate Dakine for not taking itself too seriously.

Black Diamond Cosmo 90 Headlamp ($29.95)

Pretty much everything Black Diamond builds is bomber, and this is no exception. Most headlamps in the Cosmo 90’s price range aren’t half as powerful—this can pump out 90 lumens.

Balega Enduro Physical Training Veterans Socks ($12)

Yes, there are a lot of socks on the floor. Why did these stand out? They have deep heel cups to prevent slipping, they wick very well, and they’re padded in high-shock areas. Plus, Balega donates $0.50 from every pair sold to Veterans in Need—a nonprofit that helps homeless and disabled veterans.

Airblaster Hood ($20)

These synthetic hoods from Airblaster have a straightforward design and are available in 12 awesome patterns, including “lunarscape” (pictured). Camo and a Hawaiian Shirt are two other options.

Stanley Packable Shot-Glass Set ($20)

At first I didn’t see the point in bringing stainless-steel shot glasses on my camping trips. Then I watched a few buyers pull the glasses out of their retro carrying case, stack them, and go crazy for them. Maybe I got caught up in the party, but I walked away from my meeting with Stanley wanting to start brining these sharp shooters into the woods. Well done, Stanley.

Night Ize Handleband ($20)

You can strap any size smartphone to your bike’s handlebars with this simple but sturdy plastic band. Although this isn’t the first system that lets you mount your phone on your bike to track metrics from apps like Strava, I like Night Ize’s simple setup and sturdiness. Bonus: It has a built-in bottle opener for post-ride suds.

Sunday Afternoons Solstice Visor ($25)

At first glance, the Solstice looks like a simple visor. But Sunday Afternoons packed it with some hidden features such as a high-wicking band along the interior, a packable brim that folds like a clamshell, and two small pockets that will hold your sunglasses’ arms.

Innate Saison Beer Sleeve ($12.50)

This double-walled, vacuum-sealed 16-ounce pint glass looks sleek and is built with extremely tough stainless steel. The airspace between your beer and the exterior of this mug keeps your hand from warming it up—Innate claims that it will keep a beer cold for approximately 4 hours. We’d like to put that claim to the test.

Sea to Summit Buckle Replacement ($5)

Perhaps not the sexiest product on the floor, but Sea to Summit’s buckles are one of the coolest pieces on this list. Just remove a single buckle replacement rod with a multitool, remove your broken buckle, and thread the rod through wherever your broken buckle used to be. They come in three sizes to accommodate a large variety of potential replacements.