Gear

Introduced in 2016, Vibram’s Arctic Grip technology is designed to provide extra traction and grip on slick, wet ice, making it a top contender for winter footwear this year. Integrated into the rubber sole underfoot, it does indeed work, as I detailed two winters ago in my product review of the Merrell Overlook 6 Ice+…

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Winter poses an annual dilemma for many outdoor adventurers in the winter months: Do I need some form of traction gear? And if so, what kind? Whether you run, hike, snowshoe, ice climb, or simply want to make it home safely on a slippery sidewalk, a little extra grip can go a long way. And…

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Aerogel is a nearly weightless super-insulator, used by NASA in satellites and other space technology. A commercial version, Primaloft Gold Aerogel, first hit the outdoor gear market in 2017 as a synthetic and ultra-warm insulation. L.L.Bean had exclusive rights to use it during its first year of release, notably in the company’s Packaway Jacket ($169,…

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Properly layering your clothing is essential to staying warm and comfortable in the cold. A simple mnemonic device can help you remember the basics of dressing for winter activities outdoors. W is for Wicking. First you’ll want a (non-cotton!) next-to-skin base layer that is both warm and effective at moving body-chilling moisture (a.k.a. your sweat)…

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Down is a miracle material, one of the few natural fibers that science and the outdoor industry have yet to fully replicate in synthetic form. That doesn’t mean companies aren’t trying to evolve and slowly improve synthetic down options, including the releases of several new breakthroughs. As temperatures dip in the coldest season, here are…

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The dark season is upon us when day fades into inky night long before most people leave work, and that means it’s all the more important for bikers to be as visible as possible to passing motorists. I’ve written at length about the various high-visibility items (and colors) that I recommend for cycling—bright is life, after…

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I bike commute 28 miles most workdays year-round and have been doing it now for more than six years almost entirely on the same bike, a 2010 REI Novara Randonee touring bike. At this point I estimate that my go-to ride now has somewhere north of 20,000 miles on it, so it needs some regular…

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Picaridin hit the U.S. market in 2005 as an alternative to DEET, the long-time (since 1946) champion of keeping insects at bay. As I wrote back in 2012 (Picaridin vs. DEET: Which Is the Best Insect Repellent?), the evidence at the time indicated that picaridin is at least as good a repellent as DEET. What’s…

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If you’re hiking with kids, the single most important thing you can do is ensure they have fun, enjoy the experience, and continue on a path of  loving the outdoors. Having a few key items of gear can help with that goal, while keeping them safe at the same time. Here are seven things I…

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Obtaining an accurate measurement of a mountain’s elevation has become something of an obsession among hikers. Whether you’re tagging New Hampshire’s 48 peaks above 4,000 feet, the 46 4,000-footers in New York’s Adirondacks, or each state’s high point, your list is ultimately determined by elevation. But how, exactly, do geodesists­—scientists who measure and monitor Earth…

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