If you’re one of the lucky men with a true outdoorsman for a father, you probably remember catching your first trout, ripping powder turns when big storms hit, and camping out under the stars with dad by your side. Those of us truly fortunate still get to see the old man build a fire with nothing but flint and steel – faster than we can with matches and lighter fluid of course – and put the other seasoned anglers to shame on every river. Giving the gift of gear to the outdoor dads and husbands in our lives will keep them out on the trail (rather than that pen or tie that will gather dust). Just be prepared to try and keep up camping and hiking for another few seasons.
Tenkara Rod Co. Teton Package
Whether dad is a professional fly fisherman or simply looking for a new hobby, tenkara rods make getting out on the water simple and fun. The Teton Package from Tenkara Rod Co. has everything he’ll need to get set up. Rather than a typical fly rod, a tenkara rod telescopes out rather than breaking down. It also features a tie-in point at the end of the rod for a fixed line instead of a reel. They are perfect for backpacking and fishing tight creeks and streams. Ours gets thrown in with ski gear all spring as we ski into high alpine lakes filled with winter starved trout.
lululemon El Current Shorts
This season’s El Current shorts from lululemon are the perfect hybrid board and fitness shorts for any adventurer. The four-way stretch fabric dries incredibly fast – perfect for a SUP yoga session or hitting a beachside bar after an afternoon swim. Seams are bonded rather than sewn, eliminating chafing spots around the waist and groin. Wherever your gym is, these shorts can handle a sweaty, salty beating. Be prepared to size up, as ours ran a little small.
Eddie Bauer Quantum T-Shirt
Eddie Bauer’s new Freevent Pro design on the Quantum T-Shirt is perfect all of the trail running freaks out there. When the fabric around the laser cut vents get sweaty, moisture activated polymers open the vents. Venting is biologically mapped to areas that aid the most in cooling your body, so when the temperature rises you won’t have to slow down. Extra air flow on a hot trail? We’re sold. Dad is probably going to want one in ever color.
Salomon S-Lab X Alp 20
Designed for fast and light mountain missions, the X ALp 20 is Salomon’s one pack solution. Fitting more like a race-day running vest than a heavy pack, the light weight harness molds to your body instantly. Access is from a back side zipper so you can keep it on using the waist band while rummaging for your camera or snacks on the trail. We’ve been taking it for some extended testing skiing and trail running, and the pack is simply the most comfortable ultralight daypack we’ve ever worn. Expect to get hundreds of miles of use out of it – you’ll definitely drop dead from exhaustion far before the X Alp 20 has begun to show signs of fatigue.
Weighing in under two pounds, the all new FlyLite is MSR’s lightest weight backpacking shelter ever. Set up is easy – using just two trekking poles and a small aluminum pole for the foot end, it goes up in a few minutes. Near vertical walls provide extra living space. The silicone impregnated polyurethane fabric is waterproof, and surprisingly strong. If dad is planning a long backpacking trip, this might be the last tent he’ll ever need.
Benchmade 916 Blunt-Tip Triage
Benchmade’s Triage knives are our go-to for carrying commuting, around camp, and just about anything else. The 916 model features a blunt tip that can used as a pry bar, an integrated safety cutter, and even a glass breaking spike on the frame. It will handle everything from cutting moleskin for blisters on the trail, to trimming a little extra fat off your famous campfire cooked porkchops, and impressing dad’s friends around the table at the Monday morning conference call. It will definitely become the one tool he won’t leave the house without.
Altra One 2.5
Built for speed, Altra Running’s One 2.5 is perfect for quick morning runs, cross training, and even setting that race day PR. The A-Bound sole is cushioning, but also extremely responsive. When combined with Altra’s signature Footshape toe box and zero-drop platform, the One is ridiculously comfortable. Weighing in at 6.3 ounces, it is one of the lightest shoes on the market, but performs with a much more luxurious ride than we expected. Now if only they had a dress shoe version we could wear in the office.
Photo Courtesy of Skyler Gillette