The Equinox Convertible Pants from Outdoor Research have pushed the boundaries of traditional zip-off leg pants and are a big step up from those you may have worn in the past. Outdoor Research already had the Equinox Pant in their apparel line and now they’ve made them convertible with a clean aesthetic that integrates the zipper in an offset manner. The “Sly Thigh Zip Off” design hides the extra fabric length under a discrete zipper so you have not only the best-looking convertible pant on the market but also a functional pair of hiking pants and shorts. For the Equinox Convertible Pants Outdoor Research used a bluesign-approved nylon/spandex plain weave fabric that provides a UPF 50+ sun protection while still being water resistant (thanks to the DWR finish), lightweight and quick-drying. A gusseted crotch and articulated knees make them comfortable hiking, cragging or just travelling the globe—making them the ideal adventure pants for anything you can throw at them.
Arc’teryx Delta MX 1/2 Zip Hoody
A versatile mid-layer is a must-have for any adventure and the new for Spring 2020 Arc’teryx Delta MX 1/2 Zip Hoody is one you should consider. Made from Polartec Power Dry this pullover is ideal for a range of activities and conditions. It’s a fleece mid-layer designed for mixed weather—hence the MX in the name. Since it is created specifically for climbers it has an increased range of motion yet retains an articulated trim fit that moves with your body. The air-permeable fabric uses a voided grid construction on the inside to trap heat when you need it while the smooth outer surface makes it easy to layer under a shell. The hood has an integrated balaclava for extra warmth when you need it and a deep front 1/2 zipper to dump heat when you don’t, making it the ideal adventure piece for any activity Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
The North Face has put a huge marketing push behind their new FUTURELIGHT fabric and for good reason, it’s an innovative new waterproof / breathable fabric that is found in many of their new 2020 apparel such as the Summit L5 LT FUTURELIGHT Jacket. If you were to think that this is just like all the other waterproof / breathable fabrics on the market you be dead wrong, what makes FUTURELIGHT unique is that it’s a superlight membrane which facilitates better airflow while keeping water out. This means that the Summit L5 LT Jacket breathes incredibly well and requires delayering less often since you won’t overheat as much. The FUTURELIGHT fabric is at the heart of The North Face’s new Summit L5 LT Jacket and once we got our hands on this jacket we never wanted to take it off. This ultra-thin jacket feels so comfortable yet protects you in the harshest conditions. FUTURELIGHT’s nano-fibre structure has enabled The North Face to create their most lightweight, breathable membrane to date with air permeability that is off the charts yet it’s still 100% waterproof and surprisingly durable.
The Summit L5 LT FUTURELIGHT Jacket is fully featured and ideal for hiking and ski touring, and the fabric’s face and back layers are made with 90% recycled materials!
Read our full review of The North Face Summit L5 LT FUTURELIGHT Jacket here and see why it won our Gear of the Year Award.
Rab’s new Meridian Jacket uses Gore-Tex PACLITE Plus which is waterproof and windproof to keep you dry and warm but what really makes this fabric ideal for mountain adventures is its ability to pack down to almost nothing. With a 40 Denier rating, this nylon face fabric is resistant to abrasions, durable to rough use but still compact when you store it away in your pack.
Designed with a regular fit, the Meridian Jacket allows for flexible layering while the adjustable hood, hem and cuffs mean you can customize a close body-tailored fit for efficient movement. The articulated sleeves provide good mobility for active sports like ski touring, climbing and hiking while the quick-vent armpit zips allow you to dump heat should your exertion level warrant it. With two spacious, easy-access A-line chest pockets the Meridian has plenty of space to stash those essentials you may no longer need while on the move. Compact, tough and made to protect you from the elements, the Rab Meridian Jacket’s minimist design has everything you need and nothing more so it won’t slow you down on your next adventure.
Peak Design Travel Tripod
Peak Design has been revolutionizing the camera accessory market for years now and we’ve been big fans from the very start when we reviewed Peak Design’s Every Day Messenger Bag and the Capture Pro Camera Clip. They have now set their sites on improving the common travel tripod since they have always suffered from needless bulk, weight and wasted space. Peak Design has spent the past 4 years designing their new for 2020 Travel Tripod from the ground up. They have created a travel tripod that packs down to the diameter of a water bottle—without compromising height, stability, or features.
GoPro has been the leader in action sports cameras for years now and they further cement their position with the release of their new Hero 8 Black. This is the best GoPro yet with a more streamlined design, higher maximum bit-rate, 1080p live streaming, new microphone and improved app. They have also built-in new time-lapse modes, capture presets and improved the digital stabilization. On the hardware side, GoPro now offers a series of Mod accessories to make blogging easier. There is the Media Mod which attaches a premium shotgun 3.5mm mic and HDMI out ports to the Hero 8 Black, the Display Mod incorporates a flip-up screen to make framing your shots even easier, while the Light Mod adds powerful LED lighting.
While all of these features are great additions to the GoPro Hero 8 Black, the best one by far has to be the integration of the new built-in mount which means that there is no more need for the cage. Waterproofing used to be provided but the cage, however, that long went away when the GoPro itself became waterproof, so the only real benefit the cage provided was for mounting the GoPro to tripods or add on's. The new GoPro Hero 8 Black has two hide-away mounts that fold out from under the GoPro which work with all current GoPro accessories.
GoPro also unveiled their new GoPro Plus service which offers unlimited cloud storage for all of your footage along with 50% off mounts and accessories, plus free replacement of your GoPro should you break it—no questions asked! GoPro Plus is available for $4.99US/month or $4.17/month with a year-long contract.
The new GoPro Hero 8 Black was just released in the fall with most of the Mods being released in early 2020 so now you can get the latest and greatest action cam to capture all your hero worthy adventures.
Yeti Trailhead Dog Bed & Boomer Dog Bowls
If a Dog is Man’s best friend then why would you let them slumber on anything less than the Yeti Trailhead Dog Bed? This two-in-one dog bed features a Home Base and a removable Travel Pad so it has your four-legged adventure-loving companions covered no matter the destination or adventure. The Trailhead Dog Bed has a cushy base pad and wrap around pillow bolster so they can stretch out and prop their head up on their very own built-in dog pillow. Built tough like all Yeti products the fabrics are not only durable but also removable and easy-to-clean—because they are dogs after all.
The perfect companion to the Trailhead Dog Bed is the Yeti Boomer Dog Bowls. They come in two sizes, 4 and 8 cups and are both dishwasher safe and engineered with double-wall, non-insulated stainless steel so they are just as tough (if not tougher) than any of Yeti’s other products. They are chew-proof, built for rough-housing, resistant to rust and easy to clean. Best of all they are also ‘scoot-resistant’ meaning they won’t move across the floor as Fido gets aggressive with his food. The built-in Barefoot Non-slip ring on the bottom of the Boomer Bowls ensure they stay put no matter the size of your dog or the veracity of it’s eating habits.
Both sizes of the Boomer Dog Bowls are ideal for freshwater, kibble, and prime cuts. The size you choose just depends upon the size of your dog or perhaps the Boomer 4 for food and the bigger Boomer 8 for water, totally up to you.
With what seems like an endless array of water bottles hitting the market over the past few years how is a relatively new brand like Purist supposed to catch your attention? With the ability to keep your favourite liquids hot for 12 hours and ice cold for 24 the Purist Bottles offer up impressive functionality but what really sets them apart is their minimalist design. Purist Bottles are the ultimate in sleek modern design without giving up any features, not to worry, form still follows function but they really nailed in on the form thing.
Purist currently offers three bottles to choose from, the Maker (10oz), the Mover (18oz), and Founder (32oz) all of which are dishwasher safe, guaranteed leak-proof, and easy to clean, thanks to their wide mouth openings. Their interior glass finish means that Purist Bottle can go from water to coffee to beer and back again without any after taste and the exterior surgical-grade stainless steel is not only appealing to look at and easy to hold but also surprisingly durable.
Each Purist Bottle has three available top options to choose from, the Element (jar top), the Scope (360-degree top), and the Union (pour top). Each of these tops is guaranteed leak-proof and made with easy-clean, PBT (BPA-Free) plastic materials. The Element is the Jar top option that uses a sleek, flush design and comes with an integrated handle that hides away when not needed. The Scope is a 360-degree top with a twist-to-open function. It has an adjustable sip volume and is only available for Mover and Maker bottles. The Union is a pour top with a flip-top cover that locks back while open. Like the Element Top, the Union has an integrated handle for easy carry but is only available for Founder and Mover Bottles
If you appreciate well-designed products that make a statement and also keep your beer cold and your coffee warm, then the Purist Bottles are worth checking out.
HydraPak Flux 1.5L + Expedition 8L
For Spring 2020 HydraPak has unleashed a slew of new hydration products to make your time outside even more enjoyable. The new HydraPak Flux 1.5L ultra-light reusable bottle is a flexible bottle that’s shaped like a hard bottle only it compresses down like a soft flask and cuts weight by 60 percent. It's ideal for thru-hikers and backpackers who don’t want to carry extra weight or bulk on the trail. Weighing only 97g the Flux’s dual-layer film laminate construction packs down smaller than a deck of cards yet it still has a semi-rigid structure that will stand on its own when filled. The RF-welded soft walls provide grip and the large 42mm spill-proof twist-cap opening is compatible with the Katadyn BeFree Filter (sold separately) which easily screws on to the top allowing you to drink creek water directly from the bottle. The built-in bail handle allows you to keep the Flux secure in your hand or on your pack and helps compress the Flux 1.5 Down to a minimal size when not in use. It also comes in a 1L version for those who don’t require as much hydration on those cooler or shorter adventures.
If mass hydration storage is what you need for a group of people or a base camp then look to HydraFlask’s new Expedition 8L soft-sided storage. It’s ideal for car camping and base camps and has a wide-mouth Plug-N-Play cap for easy pouring. The flexible built-in handle makes carrying and hanging easy but the Expedition 8L is also free-standing thanks to its dual baffles for stability. Like the HydraPak Flux 1.5L, the Expedition 8L is super lightweight and extremely packable—only it stores a crapload more water.
Several years back Smith replaced their best-selling Overtake model with the Trace Helmet and now they have an updated Trace version debuting in their Spring 2020 line. You’ll find improved ventilation on the new Trace Helmet with the top two vents being fully open and no integrated Koryod panels to maximize airflow while riding. The lightweight in-mould construction of the Trace Helmet surrounds the interior of the helmet in Koroyd which is proven to absorb more energy during direct and angled impacts. The use of Koroyd provides a solid skeletal structure with all the protection you need while not sacrificing ventilation. The Trace’s AirEvac system dissipates heat build-up around your eyewear to prevent fogging while channels on the sides of the helmet provide secure storage for your sunglasses when you no longer need them. The overall sleek look of the Trace Helmet means it is more aerodynamic than most other helmets on the market and makes it a great all-round bike helmet.
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