Technically, November is autumn. But many of us know it more simply as shoulder season — the weird bridge between the part of fall where the forests are bright with color and, well, winter. It's a downtime of sorts and not a bad moment to follow The North Face's lead and "Reset Normal." For its part, TNF is gathering up its athletes and others like writer/producer/actress Lena Waithe to create the Explore Fund Council, which will aim $7 million at building equity in the outdoors through a range of initiatives.
Finding your own new new normal can be simpler, though; you might do it by refreshing an outdated gear collection — more on that below.
Peak Design Mobile
Strictly speaking, Peak Design's new ecosystem of phone accessories isn't outdoor gear. However, the Out-Front Bike mount, which allows you to use your phone and all its apps just like a pricey bike computer, is one of the best made we've seen (and tested, thanks to an early sample).
POC Cornea Solar Switch
You won't notice it at first glance, but POC's newest ski goggle is packed with innovative technology. You can see it if you look closely: a small solar array in the forehead that allows the lens to change tint automatically depending on lighting conditions.
On Waterproof Pants
These days, we're all spending so much time at home that a cold drizzle is no longer an excuse not to get outside on the weekend. On's take on waterproof bottoms pairs a three-layer upper section with a lower one that's stretchier more breathable, and just slightly less repellent. You end up with the best of both worlds.
Rumpl x Snow Peak Fireproof Blanket
We've seen enough tiny burn holes in down jackets to know that ripstop nylon doesn't agree with errant campfire sparks. To make its camp blankets more flame-friendly, Rumpl teamed up with Snow Peak to harness its Takibi fabric, consisting of a tough Aramid ripstop that's fire-resistant.
Rapha Classic Winter Gore-Tex Jacket
Rain, sleet and cold are coming. It's not a reason to skip a ride; it's a reason to layer up. Rapha recently updated its first softshell jacket with Gore-Tex's Infinium fabric, a more-breathable version of its famous waterproof membrane that can still handle a driving drizzle and the inevitable rear wheel-spray.
Good To-Go Chicken Pho
The latest from this Maine-based, chef-owned dehydrated meal company is inspired by Vietnamese soup and is tasty enough to make you look forward to base camp dinner.
Price: $15 (two servings)
Columbia Black Dot
Columbia doesn't shy away from putting its technology front-and-center, and Black Dot is impossible to miss. Garments that use it are literally covered in black dots that capture heat from the sun, increasing warmth without adding extra insulation.
Tracksmith Offroads Collection
Tracksmith has primarily focused on the classic, collegiate-leaning aesthetic embedded in running's roots. Its new collection, however, takes the brand off the track and onto the trail. The company's unique design language easily translates to a packable jacket, merino crew, pocket-packed shorts and more.
Alba Optics Solo
The aerodynamic shape of typical cycling sunglasses leaves one crucial element behind: style. Not Alba Optics's Solo, which the brand designed for adventure riding. The frames include a ventilated lens as well as removable eye cups that call to mind glacier glasses.
On Cloudrock Edge Raw
These distinctive water- and wind-proof hiking boots boast many of the features that make the original Cloudrocks great, including a traction-packed Missiongrip sole, quick-tie laces and a beyond comfortable fit. The major difference is that thanks to undyed fabric, a 90 percent recycled polyester upper and a 30 percent recycled Speedboard, they are On’s most sustainable shoe to date.
Skier Eric Pollard and snowboarder Austin Smith left decades-long careers working with established ski and board companies to start their own. One of Season Eqpt.'s unique propositions is that these items don't need to be remade or updated every year. Another is that skiing and snowboarding aren't so different, and neither are the people who do either. "One plank or two planks, it's up to you. If you find a three plank option that's cool too," says Smith on Season Eqpt.'s website.