I'm new to hiking and would like some good clothing suggestions for day hikes in late spring/summer/early fall. I'm just not sure where to start.—TaraWashington D.C.

This year, U.S. Soccer finally fields a team worthy of competing—and making a serious run—at the world's greatest tournament. Heard that one before? Presenting a few reasons June in South Africa could be a whole different story.

I’m going on a three-day backpacking trip in the Catskills in upstate New York this summer and need a pair of pants for the trip. Something light and breathable, yet tough for abrasion resistance on scrambles. I would also like a bit of water resistance, and a quick dry time if they do get wet. Lastly, I would like something that can pack small if I decide to also carry a pair of shorts with me.—SamWoodstock, NY

Proof that comfortable, travel-ready clothing need not scream, "I'm going on safari"? You're looking at it.

When spring showers make a mess of your favorite streets and trails, fight back.

Overlooked mountain ranges, river beer, running album, gear of all time, and 47 other big ideas, accidental winners, and awesome things about the world outside we've come to love over the past 33 years. Introducing our first annual Editors' Choice Awards...

I'm a runner and cyclist. I have runner's knee, mild arthritis, and mild overpronation. I don't want to spend hundreds, but I do want to protect my knees. What gear might be useful?—TinaPortland, Oregon

What gear do you recommend for bike commuting in winter? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

Presenting nine foolproof rules to keep in mind when scouting for presents (or just a little swag for yourself), plus 67 great products we couldn't keep under wraps.

Yes, there's a world-class ski resort in Steamboat Springs. But as the careers (and hobbies) of these five guys demonstrate, that's just one part of this relaxed Colorado town's allure.

What type of apparel would you wear for backpacking to keep your burly legs warm in the Georgia and Tennessee mountains from November to March? Jason Calhoun, GA

All you need to cast away.

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I'm going to be traveling around South erica this summer and need pants that will be up to the rough life of backpacking, without looking like they were made for my boyfriend. Alexandra Seattle, Washington

I'm looking for a high-end pair of snowboarding pants that are waterproof, have a removable inner layer, vents, and some well thought out pockets. Kalah WIllis Boston, Massachusetts

I looking for a rugged, water resistant pair of long hiking pants that can be worn in warm weather conditions. What do you recommend? Karl Newton, NJ

Schoeller Dryskin ses to be the material of choice in soft shell pants, followed by Schoeller Dynmic. There is also a stretch-woven polyester used by Patagonia in the Guide Pant (which I believe is now discontinued) and a lighter version of the se material used in the Simple Guide Pant. Can you discuss the pros and cons of the Schoeller vs. the material used in the Patagonia pants? How they perform one vs. the other. And the temperature range in which each can be used comfortably. In short, which do you recommend? Scott Lubbock, TX

From African safaris to Indian trekking to Brazilian backpacking, the right gear will make the trip

From travel-worthy to office-ready, the latest cords and khakis have got you covered

What are the best pants for a hiking trip in Alaska? I’m looking for stylish, breathable, stain resistant, crease resistant, and quick drying. Thanks in advance of a helpful response. Jeffery Islington, NSW Australia

1. WILSON AVP REPLICA BALL You might not be able to spike like Misty May-Treanor, but you won’t be able to blame the ball. This soft, composite-leather volleyball is a facsimile of what the pros use. $15; Women’s Beach Gear Essentials 2. LOLË…

I’m doing research this summer in Pana, which means hot, humid, and often wet conditions (including wading around in water and mud). Can you recommend the best lightweight, fast drying, and somewhat bug-proof women's clothing? Lot of pockets would be helpful as well. Kristy Gonyer, Portland

I hiking the West Coast Trail this June, which is typically a rainy season for the trail. What would you recommend for a good set of backpacking pants that can fend off at least a couple days worth of rain? Reagen Calgary, Alberta

I about to take on a few mountaineering trips involving Mount Rainier, Mount Shasta, and some of the Colorado 14ers. What is your recommendation for decent pants that are waterproof and breathable and will hold up to wearing a harness for an extended period of time? E.J. Dallas, Texas

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I a long-time snowboarder but have recently started telemark skiing as well. Based on the holes in my snowboard pants, they’re not designed for the stresses of telemark. What pants do you recommend instead? Chris Seattle, Washington

Are there climbing pants out there that are rugged and stretchy, and that actually make wearing the harness more comfortable? I’d appreciate any suggestions to make a long day of climbing more enjoyable. Tony Montreal, Quebec

1. The Racer Two rolls of the hem expose all four buckles. You’re saying: I don’t huck. But try me on the groomers. You’re wearing: Spyder Training Pants ($150; and Salomon’s stiff Falcon 10 ($850; 2. The Jiblet…

I’m an avid curler in desperate need of pants to wear on the curling rink. They must have a bit of stretch, and breathability is an issue, too. Curling is harder work than meets the eye, particularly when sweeping vigorously. I understand that you probably don't get too many curling questions, but perhaps you are aware of a suitable product from another sport. David Westmount, Quebec

Call it trickle-up technology. In the past 30 years, adventure-centric products have moved from the margins to the mainstream. Here's drool-inducing proof that today's top manufacturers are on our side.

I going trekking in Peru and Bolivia this July and would like to take a soft shell pant that combines around-town style, warmth for alpine hiking, and affordability. What recommendations do you have? Ron San Francisco, California

1. HIND P.E. SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT » This T’s grid pattern minimizes points of contact on the skin for increased airflow, which helps keep you cool. And on long runs, the extra-stretchy underarm panels don’t chafe. $38; womens running…

Strange but true: It feels good to run all day. Prep yourself with this go-far gear.

I'm headed to the Bob Marshall Wilderness this July. We'll be riding horses in and out of the Bob, and from cp to cp. Any ideas on rain pants that could stand at least some time in the saddle without breaking down? Jeff arillo, Texas

Score with a bargain rain shell, an eco-friendly PFD, and more of the season's hottest new gear

In Outside‘s February, 2007 issue, writer Andrew Tilin reported on a new, sustainable outdoor apparel company, Nau (And Nau for Something Completely Different). The Portland, Oregon-based start-up launches their web sales this February, and will open four stores in the spring of 2007 in Boulder, Colorado, Portland, Oregon, Seattle,…

It's chic to buy organic groceries, but all-natural clothes? Consider this: It takes roughly one pound of fertilizer and pesticide to grow the conventional cotton required for one pair of jeans. Eco-smart designers have taken note, introducing up to 100 percent organic denim that simultaneously saves the environment and your shot at a first impression.

What's the best waterproof hiking pant for under $200? A full side zip would be nice and lightweight is ideal, but not at the cost of durability and waterproofing. I'm about five-feet, nine-inches, so hiking pants that aren't ridiculously long would also be helpful. Tim Rochester, New York

Taking their cues from urban sidewalks and fashion runways, sportswear designers redefine the look of winter

I just moved to New England from Scotland, where the lack of defined seasons and nearly constant chilly rain make three-season gear essential. Should I shop similarly here or aim for two entire get-ups, one for lightweight summer trekking and one for colder months? Callum Boston, Massachusetts

I have heard that clothes treated with Buzz Off work well for repelling ticks and other bugs in the U.S. I’m traveling to the African tropics in the wet season and curious if Buzz Off can repel malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Carmen Washington, D.C.

Layering gets smart with cutting-edge fabrics and designs that let you do more with less

I'm looking for a good all around soft shell alpine climbing pant; something I can wear alone in warmer weather and layer under in cooler weather. Any suggestions? Denise Albuquerque, New Mexico

I like to hike in Baja where the vegetation includes some of the nastiest plants I've ever met. Do you have a recommendation for the toughest pants to wear? Jon Pacifica, California

Window shopping is nice, but there's nothing like wrapping your fingers around the sharp, hard edges of a new pair of skis to spark the urge to give (or get). To help you savor the mood this holiday season we present the year's best bounty in all its lust-worthy forms. From the slickest bike to the toughest laptop, these are the gifts you'll want to have—a

I'm looking for a pair of pants that will be good for trekking the Everest circuit in April. I tend to overheat easily, so they have to breathe fairly well. The trail will be rocky, so they have to be able to take a few of my inevitable slips. Oh yeah, and I'd rather not spend more than maybe $150. Ideas? Craig Brooklyn, New York

I climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in August. I have been skiing before but never in sub-zero conditions. Will two layers of long underwear under two layers of fleece and a waterproof, windproof shell jacket be enough to handle the cold at over 19,000 feet? Or do I really need to get down or something like it? Steve Moorpark, California

I'm a news photographer headed to Iraq this summer. I need some long pants (for protection), but they need to be very light, breathable, and quick-drying. Further, good-sized cargo pockets and belt loops that will allow me to wear a sturdy belt would be helpful. I can't seem to find a good combination of the above. J. Lee Washington, D.C.

New-school technical pieces look after the serious business of snowbound fun, while playing nice with the classics of cold-weather style