Category archives for Gear

Folding bikes are cool in the way that new versions of FileMaker are cool: They’ll enhance your life but not necessarily your social status. Cyclists whose needs demand a compact, portable solution are by definition willing to compromise performance in the name of a tidy package that can fit next to their desk at work,…

Lots of backpacks come with rain covers, which is fine if you don’t mind the added weight or bulk. Or that everything inside still gets wet if you accidentally drop it in a river or marsh puddle. Or that you actually have to dig it out and scurry to get it on when a sudden…

Spring is a time of renewal, regeneration, and rebuilding. And while that traditionally means getting to work on shedding the layers of fat you might have acquired for your long winter of hibernation, it also extends to the spirit, too: Sometimes a new daypack or pair of sunnies is just what it takes to germinate…

When I was 11, my family bought a rattletrap cabin and 2.5 areas in the woods of Pennsylvania — at auction, for just $3,300. The price should give you a clue how much work was involved making the place even remotely livable, and most of the pictures we have of that era show my dad…

See more gear reviews in our Elements Gear Guide >> Upon seeing the Barebones Canyon Lantern for the first time, music fans of a certain age might find themselves singing a Cowboy Junkies lyric: “We are miners, hard rock miners … .” In fact, they might find themselves having a hard time not singing it: The…

See more gear reviews in our Elements Gear Guide >> The modern obsession with sneakers eluded me until I started paying closer attention to New Balance. Granted, the Massachusetts company has been making shoes for more than 100 years, but for at least the last decade and a half it’s been designing shoes that seem to…

Many years ago, I was having one last coffee in the Paradise Inn on Mount Rainier before heading up to ski the mountain when I connected with a friend who was involved with product design at Marmot. She was touring the West on a borrowed motorcycle, and I still remember her excitement over discovering how…

The Nike 2014 Hyperfuse apparel line has a “ghostly aesthetic,” and whether it makes you feel weightless like Casper or not, it looks very modern, very sexy, and very approachable. The transparent color-blocked nylon shell of the Tech Windrunner jacket is water- and wind-resistant and has taped seams. $150 • BUY Read more from Steve…

No outdoor brand has been as progressive as Patagonia in its efforts to clean up and preserve the planet while owning up to the built-in hypocrisy that comes from selling stuff at the same time. On one hand, it wants you to buy its products, on the other it knows that consuming more doesn’t really…

Is this a new era in sleeping comfort? Big-wall climber Andy Kirkpatrick has been using a synthetically insulated blanket, not a sleeping bag, for some of his biggest assaults, including a seven-day winter climb of the Eiger. And now comes a new brand, Rumpl, that makes just that — synthetic blankets. Rumpls are, in a…

Starbucks Via might have revolutionized backcountry coffee consumption, but when it comes right down to it, it’s still…Starbucks. And it’s still coffee, not that rich, aromatic elixir of the gods known as espresso. But a new, ingenious little device coming out early next year could brighten those dark desperate hours when you’re craving something more…

You wouldn’t think that you could shake up the bike helmet market all that much, but Smith did it this spring with its amazing Forefront mountain biking helmet and now it’s looking to do the same thing in road cycling with the Overtake. Weighing a scant 250 grams, the Overtake is constructed of a polymer…

Brace yourself for a round of widespread fascination with all things hiking, especially thru-hiking, as Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, comes to the big screen this fall, with Reese Witherspoon in the starring role. Danner has even created a special women’s boot, worn by Witherspoon in the movie — I only got a sneak peek and…

A few outdoor gear companies are rising to the challenge to make innovative products that offer global living solutions for more than just campers and hikers. At its heart, the outdoor gear industry is a world of solutions for survival. Their clientele are the lovers of the great outdoors—the backpacker hiking in the Alaskan Chugach…

For two months, I have traveled over 300 hours in the Colorado winter backcountry with one mission: to learn how we can all travel safer in avalanche territory. Statistically speaking, I should have already had some idea. Winter backcountry guides love to joke that women make smarter, less “ego-driven” decisions regarding avalanches and snow travel,…

Here’s one more run down on new gear previewed at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City. This episode features footwear from Keen, Sperry Top Sider, Ecoths, Astral, Old Town, Propet, Muck Boots, and Timbuk2 with Cordura Fabric. What’s your favorite?

More gear! After exploring the floor, I attended a little party hosted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association and National Geographic and finished the evening at the Reel Rocks Film Tour. All amazing stuff. Gear in this video includes: Ticla Tents, Trimble Outdoors Smartphone Navigation App, Text Anywhere, LifeProof Phone Case, Mountain Hardwear, Eureka Tents,…

Spring 2014 gear is ready to check out at Outdoor Retailer with sweet products from Deuter, Big Agnes, Power Trekk, Evolv, Trango, Fits Socks, BOA Systems, Vasque, and Eagle Creek.

Summer Outdoor Retailer, the gear trade show in Salt Lake City, Utah, started with a hike with Andrew Skurka, who is designing a new line of hiking gear for Salomon, and interviewing folks at the lake about kayaks and stand up paddleboards.

In late July, writer-photographer-adventurer Cameron Lawson and a near stranger will use fat-tired bikes and packrafts to travel approximately 350 miles along Alaska’s Lost Coast. Getting from Yakutat to Juneau will take 14 to 17 days. The majority of this adventure is highly isolated and void of civilization and will entail lots of beach riding,…

See more of Jim Whittaker in this video and portrait gallery. Read more about the state of Mount Everest in the June issue of National Geographic. The first time I met 84-year-old Jim Whittaker, a giant both in height (6’5″) and spirit, he was literally throwing around the heavy (and sharp) ice ax he used…

Outdoor writer and photographer Cameron Martindell shares his final preview of upcoming gear launches for fall/winter 2013 seen at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the opening scene, Cameron mentions the creative films by climber/illustrator Jeremy Collins. We’ll have Collins’s latest film and an interview up tomorrow. Then watch for Black…

Outdoor writer and photographer Cameron Martindell shares another preview of upcoming gear launches for fall/winter 2013 seen at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s pretty hard not to get excited about these sweet down jackets, skis, ski boots, and more from Tilly’s, Outdoor Research, Scarpa (featuring top ski mountaineer Chris Davenport),…

There’s no doubt outdoor gear keeps getting better and better. Here writer and photographer Cameron Martindell shares a preview of some of the fall/winter 2013 gear shown at last week’s  Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, Utah. This episode features mountaineering legend Jim Whittaker on the Eddie Bauer gear used on the first…

Outdoor adventure reporter Cameron Martindell gets the scoop on next season’s skis and snowboards right from the slopes at Utah’s Solitude Mountain Resort. This on-snow demo day is part of the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City.