Welcome to another installment of Staff Picks from our Outdoors and Fitness team. Every other week, we select our favorite pieces out of the gear we’re testing, mainstays in our kits, as well as items on our wish lists. It’s like a sneak peek at 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 email@example.com.
Vasque Saga GTX
Sturdy, durable, and well-built all describe Vasque’s community of backpacking boots. The newest member of the family, the Saga GTX, is no different. You can expect the same technical performance aspects in the new style. The waterproof GORE-TEX Nubuck leather and engineered mesh upper, along with its Vasque-exclusive gripping Vibram outsole, can tackle any wet or dry trail days. Plus, on hot days, or when the route gets a little tough, the Anatomical Dual-Density High Rebound Footbed will wick away sweat. Tackle rock scrambles with confidence with the TPU torsional plate that’s simultaneously lightweight. These boots will get you to the ascent and back for many years to come. — Gear Patrol
Stance Willamette Hike
Stance is most well-known for its collaborations, but more importantly, the California-based brand crafts durable socks for just about every activity. Where it really shines is in its more technical socks. The wool fusion blend of its hiking sock is a no-brainer for the outdoors — the reinforced toe and heel prevent holes while also providing comfort for long days on the trail.
If you’re looking for something similar, but the pick above isn’t quite right, try these alternatives: Darn Tough Coolmax Cushion Hiker Boot Sock ($23) | FITS Performance Trail Quarter Sock ($19)
Osprey Stratos 34L Backpack
Whether you’re heading out for a day trip or a multi-day trek, your backpack is a crucial piece of gear that often goes overlooked. A great hiking backpack can’t rub or chafe, needs to provide proper ventilation and features padded straps and easy access pockets. Osprey’s Stratos 34 comes with an integrated rain cover and attachments for an ice ax and trekking poles — so you can use it in virtually any weather.
If you’re looking for something similar, but the pick above isn’t quite right, try these alternatives: Patagonia Ascensionist 40L Backpack ($179) | Granite Gear Lutsen 55L Backpack ($143)
Aside from holding 26-ounces of water for long days on the trail, the V8 is also well-suited for holding 2.5 beers to help you celebrate at the summit. The stainless steel bottle is vacuum insulated and keeps your beverage of choice cold for up to 24 hours. You can leave one in the car while you hike up and down, then enjoy it when the day is done.
If you’re looking for something similar, but the pick above isn’t quite right, try these alternatives: Klean Kanteen Insulated Water Bottle ($30) | Miir 27oz Bottle ($20)
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