This fall kicked off with big news, literally and figuratively, when the World Surf League announced that Maya Gabeira, a Brazilian big-wave surfer, rode the largest wave of the year, a 73.5-footer off Nazaré, Portugal. According to The Atlantic, it was a close call; judges had to reach out to scientists working in oceanography, aerospace and engineering to produce a 16-page report confirming that Gabeira beat out the next-tallest wave, ridden by another female surfer named Justine Dupont.
This month's gear-related news pales in comparison to such superhuman feats, but with cold temperatures on the horizon, there's no better time to highlight fresh winter boots, cozy baselayers, a retro ski pack and more.
Osprey Aether Plus
In updating one of its most beloved backpacking bags, Osprey considered the core elements. Like the hipbelt and shoulder straps, which are now fully adjustable to accommodate any body shape. And the back panel, which boasts new-and-improved load-bearing capabilities. Then there are the little things, like trekking pole attachments and a lid that turns into a daypack. All these features make the new Aether beyond worthy of into the wilderness.
Vasque Breeze WT GTX
Vasque continues to bolster its popular Breeze hiking boot collection, this time with a winter-ready insulated model. The Breeze WT GTX is both waterproof and warm, thanks to a Gore-Tex lining and 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation.
Saxx has long since proven it can make more than underwear, and this winter, the company is adding to its line a first-layer collection for snowboarding, camping or slipping on beneath some jeans before heading into town. The Quest offers a breathable, lightweight option while the Viewfinder is made from a midweight blend of recycled polyester and merino wool.
BioLite HeadLamp 750
Most headlamps begin to self-regulate mere minutes after you turn them on, dimming down to preserve battery life. BioLite's new HeadLamp 750 sheds light on that secret and addresses it with a new feature called Constant Mode that gives low-light adventurers control over brightness. The company's most high-powered headlamp to date also includes a "Run Forever" mode, enabled by a three-foot power cord that attaches to a power bank stashed inside a backpack, for (nearly) endless illumination.
Lifestraw Go Stainless Steel
Lifestraw's latest water bottle provides the convenient filtration that earned the company its stellar reputation among outdoor enthusiasts inside a double-wall, vacuum-insulated bottle. That means you can enjoy a cold drink and protect yourself from dysentery.
Rumpl Travel Dog Bed
A snowboard company might team up with a pro to create a new powder board, and a running brand might tap a record-holding sprinter. To make its Travel Dog Bed, Rumpl reached out to Instagram's most beloved wolf-dog, Loki. The resulting collaboration is a packable, portable dog bed that combines a water-repellent blanket with a self-inflating insert. It's machine-washable and comes in multiple sizes.
Dakine 96 Heli Pack
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Heli backcountry backpack, Dakine is bringing back the original design from 1996. With features for heading into the backcountry with skis or a snowboard that hold up to this day, it's no wonder the Heli remains a mainstay in Dakine's snow pack collection.
New for this winter, Anon is equipping its line of already-proven goggles with a new lens technology called Perceive. Goggles that have it, like the magnet-enhanced M4, boast increased contrast and clarity as well as smudge and water resistance.
Outerknown x New Life Project Backpack
Kelly Slater's sustainability-minded clothing label teamed up with Japan's New Life Project to add a line of thoughtfully crafted bags to its collection. Largest among them is a travel/work backpack that has all features you'd need for a week or weekend away from home (remember those?). The pack uses water-repellent, abrasion-resistant polyester and features rope accents for that extra outdoorsy touch.
Topo Designs x Nanga x Natal Design Down Tee
Yes, it's expensive, and sure, a down t-shirt seems like an oxymoron. Still, it's hard not to look twice at this unique collaboration between Topo Designs and two Japanese makers of high-quality goods. And who knows, maybe a short-sleeve down shirt is the perfect layer for shoulder season.
The Best Hiking Boots of 2020
The definitive guide to the best hiking boots available now, with reviews for each boot, plus tips and trivia to know before you buy.