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. This week, we’re bringing you an extended look at some of the new fall gear that’s already available now. These are the things that make the end of summer a friendlier prospect, and have us pining for cooler temps.
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Silca Sicuro Bottle Cages
Silca’s version of the titanium water bottle cage is launching in October, and I can’t wait to compare it to Ron Andrews’ King Cage bottle cages. They look very similar in construction, and won’t scratch up your water bottles in the way that carbon ones will. — AJ Powell, Assistant Editor
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Pant
After owning a Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer down jacket a number of years ago, I always thought that the material choices and ultralight mentality of the jacket would translate incredibly well to a down pant. Turns out, Mountain Hardwear thought the same. The Ghost Whisperer pant looks like the perfect lower-body insulator for ultra-cold ski days and end-of-the-day hours spent in a tent when winter camping, or even just lounging in the ski cabin. — AJ Powell, Assistant Editor
Jones Mind Expander
After riding the Ultra Mountain Twin back in 2016, I fell in love with Jones Snowboards. Everything from what the brand stands for to the type of terrain the boards are built for resonated with me. So when I saw the Mind Expander at Winter Outdoor Retailer in January, I was immediately smitten. It has a killer topsheet and a unique shape, which those familiar with my snowboard preferences will tell you is the easy way to win me over. — AJ Powell, Assistant Editor
DNA AMP and DNA Loft are Brooks’ newest blends of proprietary EVA compounds that create a super bouncy energy experience for a soft yet responsive run. The newest sneakers from Brooks, which are available October 1, combine the two types of foam with a knit upper. These seem like the perfect half marathon shoe that I can’t wait to run in. — Meg Lappe, Staff Writer
Red Paddle Co. Compact
There’s not much that compares to the feeling of being on the water — especially in the summer, it’s a treat to spend time paddling, swimming and boating. But once we wave goodbye to 9 PM sunsets, fall descends and the time I get out on the water diminishes. I’d like to change that, and I have a feeling that the newest item from Red Paddle Co. can help me out. Stand up paddle boarding is an easy way to get out on the water and not get wet. The catch? Even inflatable paddle boards are astronomically too big to fit in my apartment. With the Compact, I can actually get it in my closet, and carry it around without feeling like I’m lugging something the size of a small boat. The 9’6″ inflatable paddle board might even fit on the subway — or my bike (I have yet to test this out, so stay tuned). And after trying the larger size up in Vermont this past summer, I know I’ll feel secure and stable on the water. — Meg Lappe, Staff Writer
Revere Pre-Workout Energy
Due to circumstances I cannot control (i.e. work hours), I have become someone who works out in the morning as opposed to at night. While the latter is my preference (I’m much more of a night owl than an early bird), I’m slowly encouraging my body to get used to this. The one thing I still haven’t dialed yet? My nutrition before working out. As a personal trainer, and someone who used to write about nutrition a lot, I know that it’s ideal to have a little something to eat before an intense AM workout. It’s definitely based on personal preference, and it’s something I’m still working on. Revere has been one thing I’ve found that I can actually stomach before a workout. It’s not a bar I have to chew to consume, it’s a pre-workout mix that I dump in a bottle of water, shake and drink. The brand recently released four new flavors: blackberry strawberry, peach mango, watermelon lime and lemon green tea — each is only 45 calories and filled with enough caffeine for me to forgo my first cup of coffee in the morning. Best of all, I don’t have to get up 15 minutes earlier to digest it. — Meg Lappe, Staff Writer
Burton Tribute Pullover
Fall is fleece season in the Northeast. I don’t know if there’s a more comfortable layer; it’s soft and warm (even when wet). Especially pile fleece — the lofty variety that makes its wearer look a bit like a sheep. I favor the thinner stuff for trips into the mountains, but for more casual adventures I’m into pile, and Burton’s pullover Tribute looks to be about as comfortable as they come. — Tanner Bowden, Associate Staff Writer
Rab Microlight Summit Down Jacket
Rab has never been anywhere but at the top of its game when it comes to insulation. The latest addition to its line of down jackets is the Microlight Summit, an improved version of its already-proven Microlight Alpine jacket. Like its predecessor, the Summit features a slim fit and 800-fill down insulation, but this time it’s constructed with a unique process that creates baffles without any stitching. That means more of everything that makes down jackets great: warmth and packability. — Tanner Bowden, Associate Staff Writer
Peak Design Travel Backpack
Peak Design revealed its newest bag at Outdoor Retailer this summer, and it’s one of the few items I saw at the show that’s available now. Well, available for preorder on Kickstarter at least, with an estimated delivery of this December. I was able to get my hands on an early sample of the Travel Backpack and have been using it for the past few weeks now and can confirm that it delivers on all of the promises that it makes. — Tanner Bowden, Associate Staff Writer
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