It’s warming up, and days are longer, but it could all change in an instant. That’s why spring adventure calls for all-conditions equipment.
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1. Columbia OutDry EX Diamond Shell
This high-tech rain jacket is sort of like your old one, only turned inside out. Most shells use a layer of fabric on the outside to protect the delicate waterproof membrane beneath it. But that fabric tends to take on water, and while it won’t ever hit your skin, it does leave you feeling cold and clammy. Columbia has put an abrasion-resistant, waterproof membrane on the outside and a comfortable wicking fabric next to skin to create a rugged, hike-ready jacket that won’t wet out or feel damp in an alpine cloudburst.
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2. HOKA ONE ONE Tor Ultra Hi WP
Hoka, the brand that disrupted the running-shoe industry with its plush, freakishly lightweight “maximal” shoes, is back with a pair of hiking boots that practically float. Comfortable straight out of the box, these boots blend featherweight running shoe cushioning with grippy Vibram outsoles and a supportive yet supple upper made from leather and nylon. At only a pound a pair, they help you go the extra mile on the trail and still be confident in your footing.
Finally a rugged pack that can keep pace with you in the bike lane, on the trail, or at the office. The Lagunitas was purpose-built for bike commuting, with reflective elements, a waterproof top pocket, and daisy chains for lights. It has a built-in hydration sleeve and even stops sweaty-back syndrome by keeping pressure off your body. Boreas also makes a more urbane version with a technical gray cotton-blend canvas that’s trail tough.
The best sunglasses are the ones you forget you’re wearing. Julbo’s newest sport shades have a barely-there frame that tips the scales at less than an ounce, with wrap-around, wide-angle coverage. The high-performance photochromic lenses—with minimal attachment points and full venting around them—adjust quickly and seamlessly to changing light conditions, giving you a laser-sharp view of the road, ski slope, or trail ahead.
Life is full of unexpected obstacles, and a good multitool is the solution to pretty much all of them. Whether you need to improvise a splint or outsmart a stubborn bottle cap, the 4.1-ounce PowerPlay is the perfect everyday carry—everything you need without being too SEAL Team 6. It holds 18 essential tools, including straight-edge and serrated blades and SOG’s patented geared pliers, which use compound leverage, doubling grip strength.
The Moji Curve may look simple—if a little space-age—but it’s essentially a magic wand for those with tight muscles. The curve and flex of the professional-grade massager allow you to do deep-tissue work on large muscle groups like quads, hamstrings, and hips. Or toss it in the freezer before your toughest squat sessions, runs, and rides, then fast-track your recovery by using it as an icy rub to instantly soothe especially sore spots.
Take your workout on the road, or even just to your local park, with the Crossrope kit. These stainless steel, PVC-coated jump ropes are rugged enough to use anywhere, and the kit includes four easily interchangeable weighted strands: Use the 4-ounce cable for double-unders; the 8-ounce cable for building endurance; the 1-pound cable to engage your core; and the monster 2-pound cable for an even deeper burn.