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Staff Picks: Outdoor Essentials

A breathable insulated vest, durable and stylish hiking boots, merino wool hiking socks and more.


Welcome to Sports and Outdoors Staff Picks. Each week, we select our favorite pieces from the gear coming across our desks, in addition to mainstays in our kits. We show you glimpses into the gear we’re testing and what we’re stoked on. Have something you think we should check out? Or just want to say hi? Drop us a line at outdoor@gearpatrol.com.

Danner Light


When the weather starts to turn, a good pair of boots is essential. The Danner Light boots come equipped with a Gore-Tex liner that is 100 percent waterproof and breathable to release moisture. The boots are constructed in the USA from full-grain leather and 1,000-denier nylon, and they carry with them Danner’s reputation for extreme durability and long-term comfort. – Presented by Danner

Learn More: Here

Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Bottoms


I suffer from a horrible condition called “chicken legs.” Or at least that’s what a few of my beefy weight-lifting buddies have called it. Basically, I have skinny legs — hardly any fat at all. And that means I get cold. These toasty long johns are the cure to my condition. I’ve been using the same pair for years — most recently, I wore them playing pond hockey all-day-long in the frigid Minnesota winter. I stayed warm, and the long johns stayed dry and stink-free. To hell with chicken legs! — Michael Finn

Learn More: Here

Patagonia Nano Air Vest


A vest is one of those things that I can figure out how to wear pretty much all year round. The Nano Air is great because it’s so light and insanely breathable that I sometimes forget I’m wearing it. I throw it on under a shell for extra core warmth when I’m up in the mountains and over a hoodie as an outer layer walking around town. You can’t really go wrong. – Tanner Bowden

Buy Now: $199

FITS Medium Hiker Crew


Whether I’m spending my day at the office, or out on the trail, the FITS Medium Hiker Crew gets the job done. It breathes well, regulates temperature and has the absolute best fit of any sock I’ve tried. At this point, half of my sock drawer is comprised of the Medium Hiker Crew. – AJ Powell

Buy Now: $22

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