Gear

When it comes to the future of down-filled winter apparel, it seems that the revolution will not be puffed. An innovative new material has successfully converted down into thin, stable sheets of fabric that can be layered inside apparel. This eliminates the iconic ‘Michelin Man’ puff effect created by the long-standard method of creating a…

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On the last day of September, the summit observatory atop 6,288-foot Mount Washington recorded sub-freezing temperatures (27 degrees Fahrenheit) and 0.3 inches of snow. It wasn’t the season’s first snow atop the Northeast’s highest point—that actually occurred a month earlier, on September 1—but it was a telling reminder that the creeping fingers of Old Man Winter have…

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Part of an ongoing series on Northeast-based gear companies. There was a period in my life when I sold sunglasses. I helped hundreds of people try on thousands of different pairs of shades to find the best-fitting options and styles for their face. Which in turn required carefully phrased feedback to help them find the…

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I have, and continue to use, an original Jetboil PCS stove from the early 2000’s. It has proven to be durable, reliable, and useful in two very specialized ways: it boils water exceptionally fast and it’s great for making coffee. (Other than that, it’s pretty much useless—as far as I’m concerned, the pot is just too…

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Be visible. Always.I bike commute thousands of miles every year and do everything I can to avoid getting hit by a vehicle. This includes always wearing a high-visibility shirt or bike jacket, using front and rear bike lights, and always keeping an eye out for other good visibility options, especially for nighttime riding. As fall…

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Whether you’re hiking, climbing, biking, skiing, or just living in the modern world, you need a way to carry your supplies for the day. The concept is simple, and yet day packs come in multitudinous forms, with bewildering arrays of features to match. Here are the most important elements to consider. BIG DECISIONS Most day packs feature roughly 1,200 to 2,400 cubic inches of volume (or between 20 and…

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Some day-pack features are worth the money; others less so. Here’s what to look for and what to skip: Side straps are useful for lashing gear to the outside of your pack or for compressing an underfilled pack. Bungee systems also let you attach gear to your pack’s exterior, but these tend to be less secure and lose their stretch…

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Grab your tent and your pals for an adventure that combines the best of backpacking and mountain biking: backpacking. I glide to a stop and step off my bike, leaning its considerable weight against a tree. As I amble down to the edge of Bailey Pond, I take in the glassy, bluegray surface, backed right…

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One night last spring, curled in my tent on an island off the Maine coast and lit only by the glow of my iPhone screen, I posted a photograph on Instagram. This was my fifth post on the photosharing site but my first from such a remote location. As I hit “share,” I felt a…

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Bright bluebird skies sprawl above a dark, craggy mountain peak. Glistening snow drifts along the shadowy forest’s edge. The same natural contrasts that make outdoor photography so spectacular can create a major technical challenge: How do you capture detail in both the brightest and the darkest elements of a scene? Fortunately, a standard smartphone feature can help you eliminate blown-out skies and dark shadows: high dynamic…

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