Like it or not, the Holidays are upon us.
Aside from choosing your next favorite non-offensive coffee cup or ugly Christmas sweater, the hardest part of the season is finding the best gift for everyone on your list. No one is harder to shop for than the Outdoorsman you know. He’s got a couple pairs of skis, a full rack of climbing gear, and every GPS, heart rate monitor, and outdoor gadget known to man. We’ve been testing a huge stable of gear this year chasing the best ski towns, SUP training, and a 4,200 mile road trip across the Northwest. These are our favorites, and guaranteed to impress even the most discerning adventurer.
Hydrophobic 750-fill down is the core of this puffy jacket. The new stretch welded seams are where it really shines though – not a singe needle hole pierces the body, enabling Mountain Hardwear to use a stretch fabric. The result is an amazing insulating piece for winter adventures.
Every good outdoorsman needs a go to flannel. We love Western Rise’s new Elkton flannel for its do-anything build. Coolmax fibers give it excellent wicking properties, so you can wear it chopping wood in the morning, mountain biking in the afternoon, and still look good for beers at your favorite bar at night.
This little kit has everything for the budding tenkara fly fisher. From a ten and half foot rod (with line and tippet), to a minimal hip pack for your flies, and leader wallet to store your line, this kit is perfect for the angler who is always on the go.
Whether you want to look like James Bond in alpine climbing terrain, or just want the absolute best sunglasses on the market, the Glaciers are it. A limited edition
commemorating Vuarnet’s 60th anniversary just launched. Get them while you can.
From snowy pre-work strolls in the woods, to cold weather weekend backpacking trips, the CW Pathmakers are our new favorite winter boots. Boost midsoles return energy from every step, and Primaloft insulation keeps your feet warm.
Serious adventures mean your outdoorsman will need some top notch muscle recovery. The Rolflex is positively the best foam rolling tool ever made. We’ve been using ours to keep our quads in order while we ramp up for ski season. We can’t imagine training for anything without it.
Winter camping calls for a different breed of sleeping bag. Kelty’s Cosmic Zero is our favorite bag for cold weather sleeping. DriDown is hydrophobic – keeping its loft even when damp. Oversized draft collars lock heat in whether you’re in a tent or snow cave. You won’t want to get out of this bag after you’ve climbed in.
The Nazca is timeless. The luxurious alpaca wool is softer than sheep’s wool, and has anti-stink properties as well. It takes styling cues from the British commando uniforms of WWII. The yolk and sleeves have reinforcing patches for when you’re doing hard work on the trail. The high collar is at home whether you’re grabbing an apres ski cocktail or splitting firewood at your cabin.
We discovered Under Armour’s ski gear
last season and were thoroughly impressed. This year’s Chugach Jacket ($450)
and Pants ($400)
improve on the original Nimbus system in every way. The high bib locks snow out and has inner thigh vents to dump heat while you’re hiking. The jacket has enough pockets to store everything you need for a sidecountry lap to your favorite pow stash. Stay tuned for a longer review once we get some more time bombing Utah powder in them.
EPS Foam combined with Marker’s MAP technology provides some of the best protection we’ve ever encountered in a ski helmet. It doesn’t hurt that the Phoenix is also the most comfortable helmet of the 2016/17 season, and one of the best looking as well.