May/June 2010

Gore-Tex Paclite is a waterproof-breathable material designed to be a lighter weight alternative to its standard Gore-Tex cousin, a feat made possible by an oleophobic, or oil-hating, coating on its underside that keeps your pore-clogging body oils to yourself. Gore-Tex is a laminate, a solid piece of material that is glued (laminated) to nylon and…

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Are you a bicyclist or runner? Do you want to reduce your chances of being hit by a car? Consider this: The brightest, most visible color you can wear during daylight hours is fluorescent yellow-green. Why? Human eyes are built to be most sensitive to that particular wavelength of light (~550 nanometers), at least during…

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Part 7 in an ongoing series highlighting Northeast-based gear companies. Based in Windsor Locks, Conn., Dermatone Laboratories has been producing its trademark line of sunscreen products for nearly 30 years. Though the company produces a full line of sunscreen and lip balm products, they are best known for their line of waterfree sunscreens for cold…

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Looking for serious adventure fuel? I recently perused the extensive energy bar selection at a local outdoor gear store. My objective: Identify which individually wrapped energy bar contained the most calories. (Note that they do not necessarily provide the highest calories per ounce, just the most calories contained in one package.) Here are the winners:Honey…

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Losing your keys overboard can be a major inconvenience. But not if you’ve equipped them with their own personal emergency rescue gear! The new self-inflating key buoy from Davis Instruments provides a floating margin of safety for your precious keys. How does this nifty little, inexpensive ($7) doo-hickey work? PLUNK! OH, NOOOOOO! There go your…

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Few items of footwear are as odd-looking as a pair of Vibram FiveFingers. Designed to mimic the experience—and benefits—of running (or walking) barefoot, FiveFingers provide a form-fitting, thin layer of protection underfoot to keep your tender, shoe-loving soles from becoming too battered by the environment. The premise of barefoot running is simple. For thousands of…

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Finding the right pair of sunglasses can be a formidable challenge. First, they have to fit properly in order to provide adequate coverage and protection for your eyes. Second, they have to look good and match your personal sense of style. Here’s a quick primer on how to find the right fit. (When it comes…

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The latest GPS watch is out. Timex has introduced the Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS Sport Watch, a super-sized watch with a built-in GPS receiver. One of the first serious rivals to the Garmin Forerunner line of GPS training watches, this new gadget will likely challenge for best on the wrist. It’s still an enormous…

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I’m a tall guy at 6’5″, which can make it challenging to find lightweight backpacking tents long enough to fit my Sasquatchian frame. If you’re tall like me—or have a hiking/camping friend who is—here’s some advice for finding a tent that fits. Look for tents that are at least 90 inches long. 92 inches or…

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Excellent ventilation, outstanding freedom of movement, and loads of pocket potential—hiking in a kilt has some serious advantages. Kilts have been making some slow, steady inroads into the male fashion world over the past few years. Now they’re transitioning into the outdoor arena as well; several kilts are now available designed specifically for hiking. Mountain…

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