Summer 2023 Gear Review

Mountain Hardwear, Trail Sender Jacket

Sometimes the best jacket is the one you have with you. Mountain Hardwear’s Trail Sender Jacket provides the perfect combination of comfort, functionality and weight for a variety of outdoor pursuits. The Trail Sender’s light weight and extremely small form factor make it easy to throw into your suitcase, backpack or gear bag when you head outside or on a trip. The jacket’s rip-stop nylon fabric is very breathable, offers UV-blocking sun protection and shields you from wind and drenching rains. Zippered hand and chest pockets and a fully functional hood give the jacket a high-end feel as it guards you from the elements. $99.00; mountainhardwear.com

Tecovas Boots, The Doc

Depending on where you live, it can be a struggle to find a good pair of cowboy boots. Tecovas offers a full-service online experience for those who want to order cowboy boots without having to try them on in a store. Tecovas are handmade in Mexico, and their customer service representatives can help you select a style and fit. The Doc is a classic western boot that can be dressed up or worn casually, depending on what you have in mind for the evening. Available in bovine, bison or goat, these handsome and comfortable broad square-toe boots offer a different look and feel than a traditional pointed-toe boot. Tecovas also offers free refunds and exchanges. What a great way to buy cowboy boots if you can’t make it to a store. $275.00; tecovas.com

Pesca Muerta, Hooded Long Sleeve Performance Sun Shirt

Unless you live in a cave, the sun can cause considerable short- and long-term damage if you’re outside too long without protection. Pesca Muerta’s Hooded Sun Shirt is functional, fashionable and offers UPF 50+ to keep you safe from the sun’s harmful rays. The sun shirt’s antimicrobial treatment helps to keep smelly bacteria off the shirt, and its light weight provides plenty of breathability and comfort if it gets hot. Avoiding sun damage is critical, but this sporting lifestyle brand’s sun shirt also turns heads with great fish graphics and one of the coolest logos in the industry. $60; pescamuerta.com

Allbirds, Trail Runner SWT
Allbirds new Trail Runner SWT shoes are an all-around adventure product that is part trail runner, part hiker and part walking shoe. Capable in all three pursuits, the SWT offers a breathable one-piece upper featuring rip-stop protection and a sock-like collar that keeps your foot secure and debris out. The SWT’s multi-directional, 4mm lug sole provides secure traction across a wide variety of terrain. Best of all, Allbirds has made great strides to move away from petro-chemical based materials. The SWT features eucalyptus tree fiber and wool blends in the upper, a sweet foam sugar cane midsole and natural rubber outsole. If you are looking for great all-around adventure footwear that’s well-suited for any environment and helps you do your part for the environment as a whole, give Allbirds Trail Runner SWT a try. $140; allbirds.com

Sea To Summit, EVAC Compression Dry Bag HD
Sea to Summit’s EVAC Compression Dry Bag isn’t your ordinary dry bag. The main body is engineered from super strong, abrasion- and puncture-resistant 420 D waterproof fabric. The base of the bag is made from permeable material that enables you to push the air out without letting water in. You can tighten the bag’s four compression straps to reduce its form factor, and the latch points can be easily secured to your bike, kayak or roof rack. The bag is available in a variety of sizes, from the smallest 8-liter version to the very capable 35-liter offering. If you need to keep your gear dry on your next adventure, consider Sea to Summit’s EVAC Compression Dry bags. $59.95 to $89.95; seatosummit.com

Decathalon, Quecha 2 Second Easy Fresh and Black Pop-up Tent

For an occasional camper, camping has many challenges—starting with setting up the tent. You must assemble stakes, poles, tent, and fly in a certain way in a certain order. Throw in darkness or rain, and the fun is over before it begins. Decathalon’s Quecha 2 Second tent aims to fix that and is possibly the easiest tent to assemble—ever. It’s simple: take the 2-person tent out of the bag, stake out the corners and pull two chords for the tent to take shape. That’s all there is to it. The Quecha 2 Second’s high-quality material is completely waterproof. And if you’re someone who likes to sleep in late, the tent is lined with black-out fabric that keeps your home away from home dark and private. While not ideal for a backpacker—the tent weighs more than 10 pounds—it is ideal for car camping and short hikes to your destination. $229; decathalon.com

Burly, Virginian Fire Pit

t’s tough to beat relaxing around a fire with friends and cold (or hot) beverages. But there’s nothing worse than a fire that belches smoke and won’t stay lit. Burly’s new Virginian fire pit is handcrafted to reduce smoke and make starting a fire (and keeping it lit) a snap. Made in the USA, the fire pit is manufactured from one piece of Corten steel that’s meant to be left outside in the elements; with time, it will develop a cool rust-like patina. If you want to do more than sit by the fire, the Virginian can be outfitted with accessories so you can cook over the flames. The Virginian has everything you need for a relaxing evening, except for those beverages, and perhaps a couple of nice steaks. $500 to $800, depending on style; burlyusa.com

Tom Beckbe, Tidewater Fishing Shirt

When summer is here and things heat up, deciding what to wear is more than a fashion decision. Available in a variety of smart-looking colors and patterns, Tom Beckbe’s new Tidewater shirts offer plenty of good looks and so much more. UPF 30+ protection helps prevent sunburn and damage, while its lightweight, quick-drying fabric presents a comfortable fit and the performance you need when you’re out on the water. The Tidewater’s two pleated chest pockets have button enclosures that give you a place to store your sunglasses (or reading glasses for those of us who need some help tying on our flies) and they also drive home the classic look that Tom Beckbe is known for. Also available in a short-sleeve version, the Tidewater can be best described as the outdoor shirt that sits at the intersection of fashion and function. $145; tombeckbe.com

Free Fly, Breeze Pants and Elevate Hoodie

Anyone who has ever spent time on a flats boat knows how important it is protect yourself from the sun and stay cool. Free Fly’s Breeze Pants and Elevate Hoodie offer the perfect solution for anyone looking for the perfect outfit for a day in the sun. The Breeze Pants are constructed from Free Fly’s best-selling woven fabric that is lightweight and extremely breathable. These comfortable pants defend you against the sun’s harmful rays and are a great choice if you’re going to spend a lot of time on a casting platform. To complete the ensemble, Free Fly’s Elevate Hoodie has your back—literally—from the waist up. The Elevate’s innovative cuff design protects your hands from the sun without sacrificing the dexterity you need for stripping your fly line or opening a beer. For those of us who spend time in the sun, it’s not always about the outfit. And with Free Fly’s Breeze Pants and Elevate Hoodie, you don’t have to sacrifice style or functionality. Breeze Pants $94.00, Elevate Hoodie $88.00; shopfreefly.com

Cotopaxi, Allpa 35 Liter Travel Pack

If you’re shopping for a bag for your next long weekend, Cotopaxi’s Allpa 35 Liter Travel pack offers versatility, comfort and performance. Cotopaxi is known for bold color combinations and producing high-quality gear and apparel for travel and adventure. And its 35 Liter Travel Pack is no exception. The Travel Pack’s clamshell design provides easy access, and the interior mesh zippered pockets offer a wide variety of organizational options. Perfectly sized for overhead airline storage, the bag’s slim profile makes it easy to carry and store. In addition, Cotopaxi has outfitted the bag with several handles and shoulder straps so you can carry the bag a number of different ways. $200; cotopaxi.com

Trollgadda Tackle and Apparel, Kid Groda Topwater Frog Lure

The Swedish legend of Trollgadda, or “troll pike,” centers around giant fish that terrorize the lakes and waterways in this Nordic country. When Trollgadda Tackle Founder Jeff Wanat researched a name for his new company, he chose a name that drew from his love of heritage and storytelling. Trollgadda’s lures are hand-carved works of art made from premium sustainably harvested bass wood and hand-painted by craftsmen in North Carolina with tremendous attention to detail and care. The Topwater Frog’s red glass eyes give the lure a realistic look that is bound to fool the most perceptive fish, and the lure’s aircraft-grade stainless steel hooks and dive lip will hold up under the most taxing conditions. But make no mistake, these lures are made to fish. So, the next time you’re targeting giant pike or bass, think about fishing with one of these bad boys. $140.00; trollgadda.com

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