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The 12 Best Down Jackets of 2019

Last updated October 2019: Prices and links have been updated to reflect current availability.

Editor’s Choice: Mountain Hardwear Super/DS StretchDown Hooded Jacket

We consider our list of the best down jackets of the year to be exhaustive, but throughout the year, we tested many more that you won’t see here. Down jackets have existed as functional outdoor protection for decades, and while the central concept that guides their design — ultralight warmth — hasn’t changed over the years, companies are still finding new ways to make them more functional than ever.

Mountain Hardwear is one of those companies. Instead of adhering to the iconic horizontal baffle design, it used a meandering pattern and a woven construction to disperse the down throughout the coat, thereby increasing durability and stretch while minimizing cold spots. The Super/DS StretchDown also uses a stretchier shell fabric that’s less shiny than traditional down coats, making it more approachable for those trying to avoid looking too “outdoorsy.” The sum of all these features is a down jacket with a vast range of applications. Mountain Hardwear may have built it for rock climbing, but the Super/DS StretchDown Hooded Jacket can function anywhere. Plus, with a price tag that’s less than $300, it’s also very affordable.

Weight: 17 ounces
Fill Material: Q.Shield responsibly-sourced down; 90% goose down, 10% goose feather
Fill Power: 800
Shell Material: Toray I-Tube (85% nylon, 15% elastane)
Waterproofing: DWR


Introduction

Down is warm enough that ducks and geese can swim in freezing water and light enough that they can fly. It’s those two qualities that also make it arguably the best form of insulation yet devised for outdoor apparel. Down’s warmth, light weight and ability to compress make it the perfect material for activities like skiing, mountaineering and backpacking (it’s also great for just cruising around the city, too). Advances in chemical treatments also mean that down jackets are more resistant to down’s mortal enemy, moisture, than ever before. From lifestyle wear to burly mountaineering layers, down jackets are lighter, tougher and more water resistant than ever. These 12 jackets are perfect for every activity, from walking your dog on frigid January mornings to conserving warmth and energy at Camp Four.

What to Know Before You Buy a Down Jacket

An Intro to Down

Down is found in layers underneath the rougher outer feathers of ducks and geese — it’s what keeps them warm while floating around all winter, so, naturally, it will keep us warm too. Despite that, moisture is the undoing of down, causing it to clump up and lose its heat-retaining qualities. It also should be noted that while large-scale efforts have been made by big brands such as Patagonia and The North Face, not all down is ethically sourced, and animal cruelty does happen.

Fill Powers Decoded

Down fill powers are numerical ratings that usually range anywhere from about 450 to 900. This number comes from a standardized test in which an ounce of down is compressed in a graduated cylinder and then measured for volume in cubic inches; that volume is the fill rating. An ounce of 900-fill down occupies more space (and thus traps more air and provides more warmth) than an ounce of 600-fill down. The two samples weigh the same, but one takes up more space and can trap more air, which means more warmth.

What this boils down to is the idea that a higher fill power means more warmth for less weight. It’s important to note that two jackets or sleeping bags may have different fill ratings while providing the same amount of warmth — the difference is that whichever has the higher rating will pack down to a smaller size because less material is needed to get the same amount of warmth. High down fill powers tend to come with a heftier price tag, so consider what you’re going to use a product for when getting into those loftier feathers.

The 12 Best Down Jackets of 2019



Best All-Round Jacket: The North Face Summit L3 Down Hoodie



Summit Series represents the most technical apparel and equipment that The North Face can cook up. These are the tents that are used as Himalayan base camps, the one-piece suits that look as suitable for outer space as for high peaks. It’s not just marketing chatter either; The North Face outfits its ambassador athletes in this stuff so that they’re better equipped to explore the places in the world we might only see in the pages of National Geographic, and when it sent its team to Antarctica this summer, it kitted them out in the L3 Down Hoodie.

In an expedition kit, the L3 is more of a mid-layer, which means it’s perfect for the rest of us who tend to explore less extreme latitudes. It’s the classic down jacket, made thoughtfully in every way: it’s lightweight with 800-fill down and a ripstop exterior, includes two hand pockets, an adjustable hem and an adjustable hood. It has a much wider range of motion than we expected and is treated with a DWR finish. The best thing though? The cuffs, which are soft and stretchy and more comfortable than what the rest of the field uses.

Weight: 13.4 ounces
Fill Material: responsibly-sourced goose down
Fill Power: 800
Shell Material: nylon
Waterproofing: DWR

Best Jacket for Active Outdoor Pursuits: Blackyak Bakosi



The Bakosi is far from the typical down jacket. Some of its unique features are obvious — like the two deep mesh pockets that are on its front or the lightweight grid fleece hood. They’re a departure from the “normal” image of what a down jacket looks like, but they have real-world application in mind. That hood, for instance, is more form-fitting than a down-filled one and doesn’t inhibit field of vision. It also fits under a helmet or stretches over a baseball cap.

But the Bakosi excels with features that are less visible — specifically, a body-mapped construction that combines both down and synthetic insulation as well as stretch paneling. The idea behind this is that the body retains and vents heat differently in different locations. For instance, the arms don’t need as much insulation, so Blackyak shrunk the baffles here and added less fill. Goose down is used on the upper section of the jacket to provide maximum warmth while the lower region is filled with synthetic Primaloft Gold, which is also water-resistant. The back is extra stretchy and filled with Polartec Alpha, another synthetic insulation that’s highly breathable — this helps with that sweaty back issue you might experience while climbing or hiking. It’s a complex construction (which contributes to its high price tag) but it’s also incredibly well thought-out, and more importantly, it works.

Weight: 21 ounces
Fill Material: traceable goose down, Primaloft Gold, Polartec Alpha
Fill Power: 750
Shell Material: Cordura ripstop nylon, Cordura 4-way stretch fabric, Polartec Power Grid fleece
Waterproofing: DWR

Best Jacket for Freedom of Movement: Mountain Hardwear Super/DS Stretchdown Hooded Jacket



The first noticeable feature in Mountain Hardwear’s latest down jacket is that it’s done away with traditional baffles entirely. Instead of stitching, the Super/DS Stretchdown uses woven baffles to create the maze of channels that hold its 800-fill down insulation in place. The advantages of this are twofold; baffle stitching is a recurring culprit for durability issues, and the new weaves do exactly what they’re supposed to do — they stretch. I purposely tried to flex the jacket to its limits, Hulk-style, and never actually reached them. That alone makes the StretchDown a great option for active use. It also gives the jacket a unique visual appeal — the small woven segments create a natural crinkled look.

The outer shell material of the StretchDown is an equally stretchy fabric made exclusively for Mountain Hardwear from a blend of nylon and elastane that isn’t waterproof (like most of the jackets on this list) but does have a DWR treatment. The fabric also has a rougher, less plastic feel to it, which we found to be a welcome departure from what traditional ripstop texture. Two zippered hand pockets, an exterior zippered chest pocket with an internal headphone port and an inner mesh sleeve allow for ample opportunities for essential gear stashing and give this jacket a wide range of application, far beyond rock climbing.

Weight: 17 ounces
Fill Material: Q.Shield responsibly-sourced down; 90% goose down, 10% goose feather
Fill Power: 800
Shell Material: Toray I-Tube (85% nylon, 15% elastane)
Waterproofing: DWR

Most Stylish Down Jacket: Foehn Robson Down Hoody



Familiarize yourself with Foehn. The small brand, which draws its name from the type of warm wind that can develop on the leeward side of mountain ranges, produces a small collection of apparel with rock climbing in mind while paying close attention to style — everything that the brand makes is suitable for city life too. Foehn’s most well-known piece is the Brise Pant, which raised more than $70,000 on Kickstarter, but its down jacket is equally-worthy of high praise.

Unlike many of the other jackets on this list, the Robson is a pullover. It doesn’t use the common quarter-zip construction either, favoring a zipper on the side to accommodate entry and exit instead. This keeps the jackets face — a matte, Japanese-made stretch fabric treated with DWR — plain, like a sweatshirt. It makes for a stylish profile that’s sure to draw compliments (and questions about who makes it). But the Robson isn’t all looks; it’s plenty warm with a substantial helping of 800-fill down and includes laser-cut underarm vents that aid breathability during high-output activities.

Fill Material: responsibly-sourced down
Fill Power: 800
Shell Material: Nylon
Waterproofing: DWR

Best Expedition Jacket: Jöttnar Fjörm



Jöttnar’s tagline is “Conquer Giants,” and that’s exactly what this expedition-class down jacket was built to do. The Fjörm is big, puffy, and most of all, warm. It’s filled with just under ten ounces of DownTek’s responsibly-sourced, water-resistant, 850-fill goose down — that’s a lot of warmth, but the jacket is still incredibly lightweight and compressible (it packs down into what seems like an impossibly-small stuff sack). That much warmth may be overkill for shoulder season use, but the jacket still breathes well enough to be worn in temperatures just above freezing and is certainly suited to go far below that mark.

Despite the Fjörm’s size, it doesn’t feel bulky, as some expedition jackets tend to. It’s also incredibly comfortable, and Jöttnar improved the cuffs (small yet key points of jacket-on-skin abrasion) with the addition of a fleece lining. A drawcord waist, extra-large internal gear pocket, helmet compatible hood, and two-way zipper give the Fjörm serious (and practical) mountain chops. But while this jacket may be built to equip high elevation adventures, its undeniable warmth and comfort make it suitable for wear in cities that see their fair share of frigid temperatures (like New York, for example).

Weight: 9.7 ounces
Fill Material: DownTek hydrophobic goose down, synthetic fill in cuffs and neck
Fill Power: 850
Shell Material: nylon
Waterproofing: DWR

Best Down Jacket for Cities: Norrona Lyngen



Not everybody is into the look of technical winter gear. The materials that make jackets warm and waterproof are often shiny or brightly-colored and covered in pockets and zippers, making wearers look like they’re headed to the mountains when they might just be commuting to the office. Gore-Tex launched its Infinium with remedying this stigma in mind. With Infinium, lifestyle drives performance, and technical fabrics might not look like technical fabrics, even though they’re still highly weather-proof and breathable.

It’s true for Norrona’s Lyngen down jacket. Its outer shell is water-repellant and fully windproof, but unlike many of the other options here, it doesn’t have the characteristic sheen of ripstop nylon. Instead, it looks and feels more like a thin layer of leather. But style isn’t the Lyngen’s only play; that same material is incredibly breathable (Norrona built this jacket with ski touring in mind) and it’s filled with a hearty load of 850-fill, responsibly-sourced down. It’s very warm as a result — warm enough to wear as an outer layer in Northern Hemisphere towns during the dead of winter.

Weight: 17 ounces
Fill Material: responsibly-sourced down
Fill Power: 850
Shell Material: Gore-Tex Infinium
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex Infinium (water-repellant)

Best Budget Pick: REI Magma 850 Down Hoodie



If you’re looking for the classic down jacket — the kind with pockets for your hands and another on the chest, a hood and not much else, look to REI’s Magma 850. That’s not to reduce the Magma’s value (we wouldn’t include it on this list if it lacked in any way) but to highlight the fact that this jacket is great because it’s simple. At just under 14 ounces, it’s lightweight and made to be durable with abrasion-resistant Pertex Diamond Fuse ripstop nylon fabric. Inside is enough 850-fill goose down to provide plenty of warmth as a mid layer or an outer layer. It’s everything the quintessential down jacket needs to be, and at $219 it’s also a steal. Editor’s note: This jacket is no longer available, but its successor, the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 boasts equivalent features, different colors and the same amazing price.

Weight: 14 ounces
Fill Material: responsibly-sourced goose down
Fill Power: 850
Shell Material: Pertex Diamond Fuse ripstop nylon
Waterproofing: DWR

Most Innovative Down Jacket: Mammut Broad Peak Pro



Of all the companies to eliminate stitching, Mammut does it in the way that maintains the look and feel of the classic down jacket. The problem with stitching is that it creates gaps in the insulation where cold spots can occur, pierces the shell fabric and has a tendency to fail after lots of wear (and sometimes before). To get rid of it is to make a jacket warmer, lighter and more durable. Mammut’s Broad Peak uses a weave pattern that the company calls Pocket Weave Technology — the exterior and interior fabric are woven in such a way that they create the baffles without the need for additional fabrics or liners. Cold spots are minimized, and weather protection (and warmth) increases.

That construction is enough on its own to make the Broad Peak Pro an excellent down jacket, but it excels in other ways too. The jacket has two large hand pockets that are situated so that they can be accessed while wearing a harness, but there are also two drop-in sleeve pockets on the inside for other small items. It’s stuffed with 850-fill goose down to provide serious warmth without too much bulk. One thing to note is that Mammut, which is based in Switzerland, built the Broad Peak Pro with a slim Euro profile that might not be suitable for those looking for lots of jacket coverage, but is ideal for use as a mid layer.

Weight: 13 ounces
Fill Material: goose down
Fill Power: 850
Shell Material: Pertex Quantum polyamide
Waterproofing: water-repellent

Best Ultralight Jacket: Montbell Plasma 1000



If you aren’t familiar with Montbell, you should be. They are one of my favorite ultralight brands (I own two of the brand’s sleeping bags). After testing the Plasma 1000, I was not disappointed. At first, the aesthetics of the Plasma 1000 didn’t sell me. The MVDS (Mojave Desert) colorway felt a bit too spaceman for my tastes, but it quickly grew on me. As soon as I picked up the jacket I was shocked — I’ve felt lightweight rain jackets that are heavier. When you toss it up in the air and let it float down, hyperbole aside, it literally mimics a feather. Despite its lean stature, the Plasma is toasty warm and packs down into a tiny stuff sack that fits in its pocket. I took the jacket on a shoulder season camping trip, and I’m glad I did. It took up virtually zero space in my pack and was warm enough to extend a sunset hike into the dark. In the ultimate test, I got a bit too close to the campfire on more than one occasion. Shockingly, none of the flying embers managed to put a hole in the Ballistic Airlight rip-stop nylon shell. AJ Powell

Weight: 4.8 ounces
Fill Material: Power EX Down
Fill Power: 1000
Shell Material: 7-denier Ballistic Airlight rip-stop nylon
Waterproofing: DWR

Best Jacket for Inclement Weather: Eddie Bauer BC EverTherm



Last year, Eddie Bauer released Thindown, an innovative down insulation that arranges feathers in fabric-like sheets rather than loose clusters. Thindown, which debuted in the EverTherm jacket, eliminates the need for down jackets to use baffles and in turn, disposes of stitching and the cold spots it creates. Long story short, the new fluff helped Eddie Bauer make a down jacket that was lighter and warmer. Eddie Bauer continued the development of Thindown with a new down jacket called the BC EverTherm. The jacket’s evolution was guided by Seth Waterfall, a member of Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent athlete development team, who desired a waterproof, down-filled hardshell jacket. Thindown helped make it possible; it’s lighter than traditional down, and its sheets are treated with DWR so that they won’t clump when damp.

The BC EverTherm was designed with the high-alpine environments of the Cascades and Mt. Rainier in mind, but its functions apply wherever winter weather may vary unpredictably between snow and rain. Like, for instance, New York City, where we routinely put it to use during the occasional downpour. The original EverTherm was and still is excellent (we featured it on this list last year), but the BC EverTherm really excels as an all-rounder for rough winter weather.

Weight: 19.2 ounces
Fill Material: Thindown
Fill Power: n/a
Shell Material: nylon
Waterproofing: 20/20 waterproof/breathable rating, Eddie Bauer Stormrepel Super DWR

Best Overbuilt Down Jacket: Best Made Co. 3L Down Parka

Best Made Co.’s 3L Down Parka isn’t as lightweight as all of the other jackets on this list, and it won’t pack down into its own pocket, but it is seriously winter-proof. The parka is made to be heavy-duty, with a waterproof cotton-nylon blended shell, a ripstop lining and 850-fill down inside. It’s longer than the other jackets here too — the hem drops slightly below mid-thigh — but despite all that, it doesn’t really feel heavy or bulky (and it’s immediately warm).

Inspired partially by standard-issue jackets worn by the Marine Corps in the 1940s, the 3L Down Parka comes packed with lots of features: there are two hand warmer pockets and two button flap pockets on its exterior as well as a chest pocket and two drop-in sleeves on the interior. There’s also a cinch adjustment at the waist, which is more or less the jacket’s midpoint, in addition to another at the hem, and stretchy cuff liners prevent weather from entering the coat’s sleeves. Best Made Co. also outfitted the parka with a two-way zipper, which comes in handy should you need to access your pants pockets without completely opening up the jacket. At over $1,000, the 3L Down Parka doesn’t make any arguments for affordability, but if you’re looking for the biggest and warmest outer layer available, this is it.

Weight: n/a
Fill Material: goose down
Fill Power: 850
Shell Material: 70% cotton and 30% nylon
Waterproofing: DWR

Best Jacket for Bikepacking: Rapha Explore Down Jacket



Rapha is well known for its classically clean cycling apparel that fits and performs well on two wheels. You’ve likely seen the brand’s iconic bright pink accents on products like socks, jackets and base layers. This past year, Rapha experimented with luggage, with the same minimalist, upscale take. Next up, they’re turning their focus to the growing segment of bikepacking. To cater to this trend, Rapha has developed a unique sleeping-bag-and-down-jacket combo that is built to be used in tandem, but is sold separately. The jacket features a relaxed fit — slightly different than the slim cut for which the brand is typically known. It features a removable hood, and is built to be used with the brand’s Explore Down Sleeping Bag.

This isn’t Rapha’s first bikepacking product, but the brand decided it was time to start thinking about the category in a meaningful way. “We’ve spent years developing our new Explore range,” Alex Valdman, creative director at Rapha, says of the collection that includes cargo bib shorts, technical tees and polos. “We are continuing to build it out with functional must-have items for anyone who is planning an adventure.”

Weight: 230 grams (size medium)
Fill Material: Down
Fill Power: 850
Shell Material: Nylon
Waterproofing: DWR coating

How To Wash Your Down Jacket

Most people take their down jacket for granted, expecting it to perform the same year after year without any maintenance. Over time though, down becomes compacted and dirty, which inhibits its loft and makes the jacket less warm. To clean your jacket, revitalize its warmth and get it ready for all your adventures, follow our simple guide.

Put your jacket into a washing machine without an agitator. It is easiest to do this at a laundromat, but if your home washer is of the large, front-loading variety, feel free to toss it in there. If you use a washing machine with an agitator, you run the risk of tearing open your jacket or clumping the down in large balls inside — so avoid agitators at all costs.

Wash with Nikwax Down Wash. Though there are other good down washes out there (namely Granger’s), we recommend using Nikwax’s Down Wash. Add the Down Wash directly into the washing machine, using about three ounces. Follow the directions on the care label of your jacket for specific temperature and cycle settings.

Switch your jacket to the dryer and add tennis balls. Move your jacket over to the dryer, but before you turn it on, add in a package of new tennis balls. As the drier spins, the tennis balls will bounce around inside the drum, breaking up any clumps of down and helping dry the jacket completely. This also helps to restore the loft in the down feathers. As for dryer settings, low heat for a long period of time is the name of the game.

Pause the dryer and manually break up any clumps. Every twenty minutes or so, pause the dryer and manually work out larger clumps of down. While the tennis balls work well to help break up clumps, you’ll need to put some extra effort in to break them up completely.

Tumble dry until the jacket is completely dry. Dry the jacket until it is dry the entire way through. Not only does moist down function terribly as an insulator, it’s also prone to mold, which will lead to a stinky jacket.

The Gear You Need
Nikwax Down Wash $11
Tennis Balls $10

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The Best E-Bikes of 2019

E-bikes are fun, they’re useful, and they help riders cover more ground more quickly than any other kind of bike. These days, there are e-bikes for every activity, from commuting and fitness to hauling cargo, from road and gravel riding to mountain biking. Here’s what you need to know before you buy an e-bike.

Editor’s note: Prefer to jump straight to our field-tested favorites? Click here.

E-bike Classification

Regardless of what an e-bike is designed to do, it has a classification based on how fast it goes and how it accelerates, with pedal assist only or with a throttle. The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA) classifies e-bikes based on the top speed at which the e-bike motor assists you, and how much effort it takes to get the bike up to speed. An e-bike’s classification determines if you can ride your e-bike on bike paths and in bike lanes, though e-bike laws vary by state. Class 1 e-bikes are pedal-assist only, with a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph. Class 2 e-bikes are throttle-assisted with a maximum speed of 20 mph. Class 2 e-bikes carry the most restrictions. Class 3 e-bikes are pedal-assist with a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph. Pedal assist e—bikes can be pedaled faster that the speed at which they are governed, but the extra speed has to come from the riders legs and/or gravity, not the bike motor.

The Battery, Motor and Power Management

An e-bike’s battery, motor and power management system all determine how the bike rides. E-bike motors vary by motor location and type, wattage and weight. For the most part, you get what you pay for. More expensive systems usually have better battery management for more range, and the motor integrates with the battery and the bike for smoother, lurch-free pedaling.

Most e-bike motors are mid-drive mounted, attached to the frame near the crank arms. Hub-drive motors mount to either the front or rear wheel and sit inside the wheel hub. Mid-drive motors sense your pedaling cadence and torque and they respond with an appropriate amount of electric assist that feels natural. They’re the most common style of motor, and quieter and more stable than hub-drive motors. Hub-drive motors are integrated into a front or rear wheel, and they kick in responding to your cadence, which is tracked by a pedal-based sensor. They can feel like they’re pulling or pushing you, depending on which wheel they’re installed in. Some hub drive motors can be installed on your existing bike. Most e-bikes come with mid-drive motors, which are less expensive. The more watts a motor has, the more power it has to propel the bike forward. And the more watt hours, the stronger and longer the e-bike can supplement that power. Think of it this way: a fit bicyclist can produce 250 watts for an hour while pedaling hard. An e-bike with a 500-watt-hour motor can put out 500 watts for an hour.

E-bike batteries are either removeable or integrated into the frame. If they’re removable, that means you can lock up your bike outside and bring the battery inside to recharge. Many bike tour companies have bikes with a removable battery because that means that when the battery is low or dead, it can be swapped for a fresh one while you make a pit stop. In bikes that have Fazua’s integrated removable battery and motor in the downtube, the power center can be removed and replaced with a dummy, turning the e-bike into a regular bike and dropping seven or eight pounds.

Assess an e-bike’s battery life to meet your needs. Battery life per charge ranges from 30 miles to 90 miles. A physically larger battery will be heavier, making the bike heavier. Smaller batteries may not give all riders enough assist. Some riders, particularly road and gravel riders, prefer batteries integrated into the downtube that draw less attention because they look like part of the bike. Battery recharge times are all over the map. Before you buy, think about your own habits, and buy a bike that will get you to and from the places you want to ride. Remember that if your ride is hilly, you’ll be burning more battery per mile than if your ride is flat. The higher the watt hours, the more battery capacity. Many e-bikes come with a handlebar-mounted computer that has a battery monitor, or they’ll have a companion app to let you know your bike’s range. Choose the lowest assist level—most bikes have at least three options—for the longest range.

The Drivetrain

As with any bike, there are a wide range of drivetrains on e-bikes ranging from very affordable to super high end. As you might expect, the most affordable drivetrains are heavier and do not operate as precisely. Higher-end drivetrains will be lighter, more responsive and they will likely wear longer. They often offer a wider range of gears,  smoother shifting and the prospect of less maintenance.

Other Features

Many e-bikes have integrated bells and whistles like lighting, an integrated computer and an integrated lock. Many pair with an app that gives you GPS tracking and lets you monitor battery life and track miles traveled, calories burned and more. Integrated racks will help you carry gear, though some e-bikes also have mounts for an after-market rack. If you plan to add a rack, make sure it’s wide enough to fit your bike, particularly if your bike is hub drive.

It’s worth noting that e-bikes are typically heavier than normal bikes and they run at higher torque, or power and speed, than most riders create when they just pedal. So they tend to come with heavier-duty tires and brakes. Consequently, you may need a beefier rack if you want to transport them on your car.

While not a necessity, many e-bikes will offer a way to monitor and adjust your e-bike right from your handlebars. Integrated backlit bike computers often allow you to keep an eye on crucial stats like battery life remaining, pedal-assist level, miles ridden, current speed and more; you can also fine-tune your settings if you want to prioritize battery life or activate a throttle assist.

Rules of the Road

The best website for more information on e-bike rules and regulations in your state is peopleforbikes.com, a non-profit working to clarify e-bike rules and regulations by state as well as at the federal level. Click on your state, and the site will give you suggested rides as well as an overview of pedal assist bike legislation.

Our Picks

Nakto Cargo Electric Bicycle

Best e-Bike Under $1000: The carbon steel, step through Nakto uses pedal assist and throttle to power the bike forward. The removable lithium battery has a range of around 25 miles. A front basket and rear rack provide cargo capacity, and an included toolkit helps you make minor adjustments and repairs. Most bikes have disc brakes. This one has more affordable v-brakes in front and a rear drum brake. But you can’t beat the price.

Class: 3
Watt Hours: not available
Weight: not available, but heavier than other bikes in this review
Range: 20-25 miles

Bulls Grinder Evo

Best for Gravel: This gravel grinder has all the features you’d expect: drop bars, aggressive puncture resistant tires and a spring suspension fork with preload adjust and lockout to manage jouncy, bouncy roads. And it gives you a boost with its Bosch Performance Line CX drive unit and downtube integrated Bosch PowerTube battery pack. That leaves plenty of space for bottle cages on the outside, and wires for the integrated lights inside. A 2×11-speed drivetrain, powerful Shimano hydraulic brakes with 180mm rotors, and alloy fenders and rack sets you up for long adventures, speedy backroads supermarket runs and more.

Class: 3
Watt Hours: 500
Weight: 36.8 lbs
Range: Not available

Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert Evo

The Best e-Road Bike: As light as a non-electric road bike, this lightning-fast skinny tire e-bike runs on an internal 320Wh battery that combines with Specialized range extending 160Wh battery, stock on some models, to give riders an 80-mile range. A small front shock absorbs road shock and potholes. The battery is powerful and charges fast, in around 2.5 hours. Grab a leisurely lunch mid ride, and you can hit the road again with a full tank. Assist modes can be tuned to your preferences using Specialized’s Mission Control app. The app not only records your ride but connects to the bike’s built-in power meter and other sensors.

Class: 3
Watt hours: 320 plus optional 160
Weight: 26.9 lbs (large)
Range: 80 miles

Yamaha Cross Connect

Best for Commuters: This Class 1 flat bar road bike/hybrid bike boasts exceptional  stability, as well as responsive brakes and a spot-on power management system with four levels of assist for a natural-feeling ride. Yamaha’s own bottom-bracket integrated drive unit gives the bike a low center of gravity and great handling. The Suntour NCX suspension fork helps smooth out potholed and rough roads, and the rear rack, which has an integrated LED taillight, can handle up to 55 pounds of cargo.  The integrated computer provides all your stats, from speed to distance, battery capacity, battery range, cadence, time of day and how long you’ve been riding. A fender, kickstand and LED headlight round out the impressive features.

Class: 1
Watt Hours: 490
Weight: 49.4 lbs
Range: 30-80 miles

Gazelle Cityzen T10 HMB Speed

Best for Cruising: Arrive at work in record time on the sleek CityZen. It has all the creature comforts: a front shock, 10-speed Shimano gears and hydraulic disc brakes for responsive stopping. A built-in lock and lights are coffee stop-friendly and easily seen when you work late. And the frame-integrated, pedal-assist Bosch battery goes 28 mph. It’s a sporty and nimble ride thanks to the central-positioned motor and integrated battery; we used the full 85-mile range roaming on weekdays and weekends, too.

Class: 3
Watt Hours: 500wh
Weight: 55 lbs.
Range: 25 miles

Yuba Spicy Curry

Best for Cargo: This super stable Class 1 Bosch-battery powered e-bike can lug quite a load, whether it’s groceries or your child. The step-through frame makes getting on and off easy, even with a passenger or two in back. The cockpit adjusts as does the seat to fit riders from 5′ to 6’5″. It’s a beast at 60 pounds empty and more than eight feet long, but the battery and motor are designed to handle up to 300 pounds including riders and gear. Hydraulic brakes deliver potent stopping power, even fully loaded, and there’s a walk mode, so if you’re off the bike but still loaded you get an assist moving forward. The Spicy Curry comes with loads of extras like a bell, fenders, LED lights and a chainguard. Add bamboo sideboards, monkey bars to keep kids in, and a front basket and rear panniers for even more carrying capacity. This bike gets about 45 miles per charge loaded, depending on terrain.

Class: 1
Watt Hours: 418
Weight: 60
Range: 15-55 miles

Specialized Turbo Vado

Best Fitness Bike: Specialized designed the Turbo Vado to be a bike first. That means the mechanical system is fully integrated, with internally routed cables and a concealed motor. It’s sleek and uncluttered, and for the most part it looks like a normal bicycle. The 40-cell battery and belt-driven motor, which together power the Turbo Vado to speeds up to 28 mph, is fully incorporated into the downtube of the E5 aluminum frame. Components include an 11-speed Shimano cassette on the highest end build, and front and rear Tektro Zurich custom hydraulic disc brakes. There are also built-in extras, made possible by the electronic system, like a removable handlebar-mounted display and a brake-responsive tail light integrated into the rear rack. The motor has been custom-tuned for city riding. It intuitively reacts to the force of your pedaling, so the harder you pedal, the more power it delivers, smoothly and silently.

Class: 3
Watt Hours: 460
Weight: 54 lbs.
Range: 60 miles

Pivot Shuttle

Best for Trail Rides: With the components, kinematics, a full carbon frame and high-end mountain bike component spec, the Shuttle is one of the lightest and most fun pedal assist trail/enduro mountain bikes you can buy. The Class 1 Shuttle has stamina thanks to the Shimano STEPS E8000 battery, and to manage the rocks and roots and drops of trail riding, Pivot spec’d this bike with 140mm Fox DPX2 double barrel rear shocks and a 160mm stiff and responsive Fox 36 fork. It comes with fast rolling 29-inch wheels, but you can also run wider, confidence-inspiring fat tire 27.5-plus wheels if you prefer. This bike fits more riders than any other eMTB, from 5’4″ to 6’7″. And in the unlikely even you aren concerned the carbon gram can’t take a beating, rest easy. It also has a 10-year frame warranty.

Class: 1
Watt Hours: 503
Weight: 44 lbs.
Range: not available

Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Alloy 50

Best for Bike Park Laps: With the same geometry and suspension as the non-assist version, the alloy-frame Powerplay feels like any other mountain bike — albeit a heavier one. The custom and compact Dyname 3.0 motor has tons of torque for acceleration even on the steepest climbs. The company integrated the long-running 630Wh battery into the frame and passes on an LCD display, instead using lights to tell riders what mode they’re in and how much battery remains. Pair the bike with the companion app for more control and information. Short chainstays, 150mm rear travel and 160mm up front make this a great bike for getting in big mountain laps when the lifts are closed.

Class: 1
Watt Hours: 630
Weight: 52 lbs.
Range: not available

The 5 Best Hiking Apps

Going off the grid can be a liberating experience. Hiking, trail running or camping, living at the pace of nature — these are downright therapeutic. But it also helps to know where you’re going, which direction you came from, or even just general information about the environment around you. So before you go all Into the Wild, consider at least charging up your mobile device and downloading these apps. They’ll make your life easier — and they might even save it.

Gaia GPS

The free app will let you check out a plethora of hiking trails across the country, but the premium version ($36 for the first year, then $40 per year) lets you download all the maps so you can get where you need to be, even in the backcountry. If you won’t have cell service on your trip, the premium version also lets you view the topo, satellite or road map version of your route.

AllTrails

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If you feel like you’re in a rut, hiking the same old trails, AllTrails is your friend thanks to 50,000+ routes in the US. Filters for dog-friendly, kid-friendly and wheelchair-friendly trails make narrowing down a choice easier. All the trails on the app are curated by hikers and mountain bikers all over the country, so feel free to record, upload and share your own routes.

Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder

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Oh, Ranger! is a database filled to the brim with info on national parks, national forests and all other federal recreation destinations. It also includes every state and local park in the nation. Browse park overviews and descriptions, maps and directions, and take note of important phone numbers and seasonal weather.

SAS Survival Guide

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Like a little British Special Forces soldier in your pocket, this app has tips from John “Lofty” Wiseman and the full text of his survival book. Other features include a sun compass, a survival checklist, a morse code signaling device and an extreme-climate survival guide.

Map My Hike

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Developed by Under Armour, this app lets you log over 600 types of workouts and record activities based on the GPS data you create. One interesting feature is that you can monitor certain connected gear (like running shoes) to keep an eye on the mileage you’re racking up with them; you’ll eventually receive a notification when it’s time to invest in a new pair.

The Best Hiking Boots of 2019
The definitive guide to the best hiking boots available now, with reviews for each boot, plus tips and advice to know before you buy. Read the Story

10 of the Best New Pieces of Fall Mountain Biking Gear

We’re autumn optimists. Rather than view fall as an ending of fair weather, we prefer to think of it as a final hurrah. Fall is a reason to look forward to the end of summer, not to wallow in warm-weather nostalgia. Besides, milder temperatures make this season ideal for getting out and at ’em, especially when doing so involves two wheels. Yes, fall, with its changing leaves and early sunsets, is the best time of year to go mountain biking. So here you’ll find everything we’re riding with — from apparel to bags to a bike — until the first snowflakes fall.

POC Resistance Ultra Tee

Jerseys are great, but we prefer to take to the trails in a tee. POC combined the best of both in the new Resistance Ultra Tee — it’s casually loose fitting but still has those ever-handy pockets on its back. Three drop-in ones, plus a fourth with a zipper, to be exact.

Velocio Trail Short

Velocio is perhaps better known for its premium road cycling apparel than mountain bike clothing. But that know-how plays into its excellent trail short — Velocio made it with stretchy, lightweight Italian-milled fabric and thoughtfully hemmed it to prevent chafing behind the knee. Its zippered pockets aren’t at the waist like your everyday shorts; instead, Velocio put them down on the side of the thighs where they won’t become annoying when stuffed with a phone, wallet or snacks.

Kitsbow Haskell Pant

We don’t often ride trails in pants, even on the chilliest days. But we do sometimes ride our bikes in town, and Kitsbow took that into account in designing its Haskell Pant. Styled like a chino, the Haskell is made of lightweight and slightly stretchy fabric with a casual look that belies its techy functionality. The pants have six pockets, and the legs roll up and snap in place to both reveal a reflective detail and get out of the way of your chain.

Hestra Ergo Grip Enduro Glove

Technically, gloves are an accessory. But they’re also essential, and Hestra, with all the expertise it has earned making some of the best winter gloves around, created the ideal pair in the Ergo Grip Enduro. These gloves are minimal enough not to intrude on handlebar control while providing plenty of comfort.

Smith Wildcat Sunglasses

Unlike cheap throwback shades following current ’90s revival trends, Smith’s Wildcat shades are built to perform. The frames are the same thermoplastic polyurethane that Smith uses in its snow goggles, and the cylindrical lens is water- and oil-resistant. It also uses Smith’s contrast-accentuating ChromaPop tech, which works well for discerning trail obstacles before they bite. And here’s a bonus: the Wildcat comes with a clear lens for riding deep in the forest.

Giro Tyrant MIPS

The Tyrant is the first mountain bike helmet to integrate MIPS Spherical, the rotational impact protection system that Giro used in the award-winning Aether MIPS road helmet. (Instead of using an insert, Spherical consists of two layers of foam that rotate against each other like a ball and socket joint.) That’s not the only element that sets the Tyrant apart though; it’s full-cut, chin bar-free profile emphasizes coverage for rowdier riding while keeping things lightweight and stylish (in a moto cafe racer sort of way).

Mission Workshop Axis Waist Pack

We’re fully on board with mountain biking’s full embrace of the hip pack. The Axis is a reasonably minimal take on the category — it won’t hold a hydration bladder — but still packs enough volume for a multi-tool, tire levers, spare tube, snack, extra layer, gloves and the random items in our pockets. It’s weatherproof, has a small internal zipped pocket, and its waist strap is comfortable and unobtrusive.

Henty Enduro 2.0

Alternatively, the Enduro 2.0 is as feature-laden as hip packs get, nearly crossing the line into backpack territory. The pack’s unique design has enough space for everything you need on long rides, including a three-liter water bladder, spread across its various pockets and storage loops. Its pack straps help support an extra-full load, provide a perch for a drinking hose and allow for a mesh pocket that’s perfect for stashing a lightweight layer.

Quantum Energy Squares

Snacks are essential, and when we’re headed out for pre-dawn rides ahead of punching the clock for work, so is caffeine. Quantum Energy Squares contain unroasted coffee along with other whole ingredients like almonds and pumpkin seeds to provide an espresso shot’s worth of energy that the body absorbs slowly. Plus, they’re small enough to fit in a saddlebag along with a spare tube.

Trek Fuel EX 9.9

Of all the mountain bikes we’ve been eyeing for fall riding, the new Trek Fuel EX sits high on the list. Trek recently updated what’s become its most popular do-it-all trail bike. The new models follow recent mountain bike trends: they’re longer, slacker and feature deeper suspension (140mm up front and 130mm in the back). The top-line Fuel EX 9.9 boasts Trek’s RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft shock, which is built to reduce lag as the bike responds to obstacles on the trail. Other things we love about this model: 29-inch wheels, an adjustable geometry, a 1×12 drivetrain and a handy storage compartment in the downtube.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

5 BCAA Supplements Personal Trainers Swear By

No supplement regimen is complete without a good protein powder, and there’s a good chance you already have your post-workout fix locked down. But when it comes to building a more well-rounded and complex stack of supplements, a great place to start is with branched-chain amino acids (also known as BCAAs).

First, a quick science lesson: all proteins are made up of 20 different amino acids. Your body can’t make nine of these amino acids, which means you can only get them in your system through a proper diet. Of those nine, three are called “branched-chain” amino acids: valine, leucine and isoleucine. They’re primarily found in protein-heavy foods but are also available isolated as a supplement.

There are several vital benefits to BCAAs. They aid significantly in the recovery process, especially when it comes to decreasing muscle soreness. Incorporating BCAAs into your diet will also contribute to muscle growth and prevent muscle wasting. And they reduce muscle fatigue, meaning you can go at it harder and longer at the gym. Unlike pre-workout supplements and protein powder, which should be taken before and after workouts respectively, BCAAs can be taken before, during or after workouts and provide the same benefits all around. They’re available as a separate supplement or as an additive to other supplements like protein powder.

Here are some of the top BCAA supplements personal trainers embrace.


Clean BCAA

Neil Thomas, a trainer located in Richmond, Virginia, sticks with Clean Machine’s Clean BCAA. “I’m always quick to jump ship and try something new with supplements, but [they’re] the one I go back to the most,” he says. He first tried the brand when preparing for a deadlift meet a few years ago, and he stuck with it when he noticed notable gains during his prep: “I used it with a turmeric and ginger green tea, and saw solid gains that I don’t notice with other supplements.”

Clean Machine is also a favorite of Shauna Godwin, a trainer who operates out of Boone, North Carolina. Shauna sticks with Clean Machine because of their transparency regarding the sourcing of their ingredients. Their BCAAs are 100 percent natural, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and devoid of artificial flavors. “I love knowing where my BCAAs come from,” she notes, citing studies that have shown certain brands deriving their product from less-than-savory sources.

Alani Nu

Josh Habeck of Root 18 Crossfit keeps caffeine out of his diet, so he had some trouble finding a BCAA that worked for him as many products on the market come caffeinated. Eventually, he stuck with a brand called Alani Nu, which makes BCAAs in a variety of flavors. “I’ve tried pretty much everything out there, and this is the only one I like,” he says. Habeck notes that Alani Nu BCAAs are super effective and don’t utilize caffeine, making them ideal for his supplement regimen.

Vivolife

A London-based trainer, Izzie von Köhler, lives a vegan lifestyle. As such, finding an effective supplement regimen that didn’t come loaded with sugar or make for grainy, lumpy mixes was a challenge. She eventually found Vivolife supplements and has stuck with them ever since. Von Köhler’s BCAA fix comes from her Vivolife protein powders, which are derived from hemp and split pea. It’s 100 percent vegan, and a great way to get both protein and BCAAs all in one (the average serving contains 25 grams of protein and 6 grams BCAA). “It’s all raw and bio-fermented, so I never feel bloated after taking it,” she says. That Vivolife only sweetens their products with stevia makes them all the more appealing to athletes looking to cut out sugar.

X-Tend BCAAs

Long Island-based trainer Kevin Wasson gets his BCAA fix through Xtend BCAAs. “They’ve been my go-to for a while,” he says. The brand’s BCAA powder comes in with a whopping 7 grams of BCAAs per serving, which helps Wasson’s strength gains and recovery greatly. X-TEND is also full of electrolytes, which he finds beneficial to his hydration during especially intense workouts.

Redcon1 Breach Branch Chained Amino Acids

Freddy Vidal is not only a personal trainer but also a high school wrestling and football coach. As such, he’s an extremely active guy who can’t afford to let soreness or a lack of energy get in the way of his workouts. To combat those hangups, he takes Redcon1’s Breach BCAAs. “So many BCAAs just have this chalky texture when you take them, you know?” he says, “But it’s never been an issue with Breach.” It’s available in six delicious flavors, but Vidal recommends Watermelon or Strawberry Kiwi.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The Best Gear for Elk Bowhunting, According to Pro Hunters

Tagging an elk can be a challenging affair, one that requires every piece of your kit to function flawlessly. After all, herds roam the high peaks of western states like New Mexico and Colorado, where the weather can be as unpredictable as the terrain is demanding. The land, and the herds, can require hunters to spend days hiking, glassing and stalking. We recently tapped two pros who are no strangers to the west’s mountainous landscape to find out what the choose to bring into the backcountry. Below: their picks for the best gear for elk bowhunting season.

Montana Decoy RMEF Cow Elk

Elk decoys are best used for cover rather than drawing an animal in, says Trevon Stoltzfus, Outback Outdoors founder and executive producer. “There are times when I need to move to a new spot, and maybe there are other cows there,” he says. “I can use the decoy for cover, stop to make a few calls, then move forward.” Stoltzfus’s go-to is the Montana Decoy RMEF Cow Elk. It’s comprised of a foldable fabric that weighs less than three pounds and packs down to 17×15 inches but extends to more than four feet wide.

Phelps E-Z Estrus

There are a lot of calls on the market. Ben O’Brien, the host of The Hunting Collective podcast and MeatEater’s editorial director, opts for the Phelps E-Z Estrus, saying that its ease of use is perfect for both beginners and seasoned hunters. “You can really make realistic sounds,” he says. “It’s a good option.” The call is well-suited for early fall in the high country when elk are rutting and the weather is unpredictable — it’s weatherproof, and its nasally sound mimics a cow in heat.

onX Hunt

The onX Hunt app provides detailed maps on your smartphone that include topographic information as well as private and public land boundaries. “It changed the way I scout,” Stoltzfus says, noting that he uses it by searching for a glassing point and marking the spot on the app. During hunting season, you can use waypoints to track down elk, mark campsites and navigate the backcountry.

Kifaru 22 Mag

The 22 Mag is equipped with the Kifaru Duplex Frame, which is specially fitted to your torso to ensure the best comfort. Although its volume is only 3,000 cubic inches, Stoltzfus says there’s plenty of room for multiple days in the backcountry. “I’ve packed out an elk with it,” he says, adding that there are more than enough easily-accessible storage areas, as well as expandable ones. “It’s comfortable, rugged and lasts.”

La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX

The Nucleo High GTX offers incredible ankle support that easily handles the heavy loads commonly lugged on an elk excursion in the backcountry. Its Gore-Tex outer breathes well yet keeps your feet dry, a must for long days stalking elk. “It has a Vibram Nano sole with the stickiest traction I’ve ever experienced,” O’Brien says.

Sitka Big Game Apparel

Perhaps there’s no better early-season combination than the Sitka Ascent Pant and Core Lightweight Hoody, built with ventilation and moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool. “I’ll also have the Mountain Jacket with me,” Stoltzfus says, for those cooler days in the high country to repel rain and snow, as well as block wind. Sitka’s unique camouflage system — based on algorithms and an arrangement of digital pixels — is guaranteed to conceal. Choose the Big Game pattern for the high country or the Big Game: Open Country for lower elevations.

First Lite Seak Stormtight Rain Jacket

Built for hunters and anglers in the stormy Pacific Northwest and Alaska, the Seak Stormtight jacket’s outer shell will handle any moisture you can throw at it — sleet, rain or snow. “If you’re running and gunning like we do in Montana, you need the durability aspect, but you really need the packability,” O’Brien says. Extras like pit zips allow for maximum ventilation, and the 3D Turret hood doesn’t feel restrictive and offers an excellent field of view.

Stone Glacier Skyscraper 2P

At five pounds, the Stone Glacier 2P tent isn’t ultralight, but it is a sufficiently durable option for early season hunting. The four-season, double wall tent is roomy, boasting 32 square feet of floor space. Two large vestibules keep your gear dry, even in the harshest mountain weather. “I’ve had that thing in 40 mile-per-hour wind gusts and it holds up tight,” O’Brien says.

Stone Glacier Chilkoot 15°

In early fall, the weather can change in an instant at elevation. For that reason, O’Brien recommends the mummy-style Stone Glacier Chilkoot 15 sleeping bag, which has several features to keep you warm, even if it gets wet. The 850+ Power HyperDRY grey goose down filling is treated to be water-resistant, and there’s an extra layer of protection thanks to a DWR-treated shell exterior. That shell is also windproof, and yet, for all that protection, the whole thing weighs just two pounds.

Vortex Fury HD 5000 10×42

The Vortex Fury HD 5000 combines two necessities for every elk hunter: a binocular and rangefinder. “It’s compact and easy to use the controls with one hand,” O’Brien says. “I’ve ranged out to a mile with it.” The Fury incorporates angle compensation, a necessity when hunting in mountainous terrain, so you’ll know exactly how far an elk is regardless of the elevation difference.

Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger

The no-frills Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger knife gets the job done without a hefty price tag. “It’s not going to have the craftsmanship of a handmade knife, but for the bang-for-the-buck, all I want it to do is be sharp and breakdown an elk,” Stoltzfus says. The stainless steel, full-tang blade makes quick work on the hide and meat, while the concave handle creates a finger rest for better control.

G5 Outdoors Striker

When it comes to harvesting big game like elk, opt for a fixed-blade broadhead over a mechanical one, which has folded blades during flight that deploy upon impact. The Striker by G5 Outdoors has a durable steel construction; “The fixed blade is simple, cut-on-contact and sharp,” O’Brien says, who shoots a 125-grain head. The blades are replaceable, so in the backcountry, you can easily change out dull ones. Each head is 100 percent spin-tested to ensure accuracy right out of the box.

Spot Hogg Fast Eddie XL

The Fast Eddie XL is a beefed-up version of the already durable Fast Eddie sight from Spot Hogg. It has a solid aluminum, lightweight construction, and the pin guard features Multi-Ring Technology, a bright housing that increases visibility and offers superior protection to the sight’s fiber optics. Stoltzfus uses a five-pin version, enabling shots from 20 yards to 60. Although he likes to keep shots within 40 yards, Stoltzfus says if he already has an arrow in a wounded animal, he likes having the option to shoot farther to dispatch it humanely.

Hoyt Carbon RX-3

“The bow outshoots me every day of the week,” Stoltzfus says. “I’ll never be better than that bow. It’s me I spend the majority of the time working on.” The beauty of the RX-3 lies in its carbon construction, which decreases vibration and noise and keeps its weight under four pounds. The Zero-Torque Cam and Split-Cable System increases accuracy and enables a lightning 342 feet-per-second arrow speed.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The 6 Best Canned Cocktails Your Camping Trip Needs

Summer’s here, and that means you’re going camping — a lot. From the mountains to the forest to the beach, you’re following the trail where it leads and, at the end of a perfect day of hiking/swimming/fishing/being your rugged self, you’re happy to kick back at the campsite with a tasty tipple of something. But what? Cocktails would be a surefire crowdpleaser, but glass bottles of liquor and mixers are heavy and a hassle.

Solution? Canned and pre-mixed boozy drinks. You won’t have to reach for your headlamp to measure anything out or hunch over a wobbly table trying to slice a lime by campfire light. Just grab one of the following faves from the cooler and keep the good vibes rolling…

Rita’s Pear-Orange Sangria Spritz

This canned cocktail seamlessly combines a citrusy bite and “just right” pear sweetness. Consider one of these carbonated bad boys your reward after ten miles of up-and-down terrain on your hike. Refreshing is the order of the day when it comes to Rita’s, and the Pear-Orange Sangria Spritz is not only a mouthful to say, but also a mouthful of refreshment.

Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer: Black Cherry and Rosemary

Remember that weird Super Bowl ad with the mermaids pitching to sharks? That was for Bon & Viv. They’re the OG of this spiked seltzer craze, which makes sense when you consider how popular LaCroix is. Bon & Viv’s beverages are also relatively healthy, coming in at 90 calories and zero grams of sugar. Among the plethora of flavors, Black Cherry and Rosemary stands out for us.

Malibu Piña Colada

Malibu’s canned Piña Colada brings the beach party no matter where you’re camping. This canned 5% ABV version somehow nails that creamy, pineapple-y tropical flavor that’s been hardwired into your cerebellum since that college spring break trip to Cabo. Malibu’s seriously gone overboard with different flavors of pre-mixed cocktails, but this one is our tried-and-true favorite.

Old Forester Mint Julep

We get it, mint juleps are only for the Kentucky Derby. Or maybe not. While Old Forester’s pre-mixed concoction is the drink served to the masses at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday of May, there’s a place for it on a camping trip, too. What else are you looking for after a big day out in the woods beyond a refreshing kiss of mint, a little simple syrup and some delicious bourbon? Fill your camp coffee mug generously with ice, pour some of this stuff over and daydream about hitting the trifecta.

Cutwater Spirits Tequila Paloma

A summertime staple for camping trips of all stripes, Palomas come with that double edge of being too deliciously boozy for their own good. Cutwater’s Paloma delivers the grapefruit and tequila goodness without the excess. On a camping trip in Wisconsin, this one made me a believer in pre-mixed cocktails. Bonus: If you’re looking for a little hair of the dog after watching that campfire burn down low the night before, the brand also makes a mighty tasty Bloody Mary.

Narragansett Li’l Dinghy Vodka Lemondrop

New England’s legendary Narragansett Brewery launched Li’l Dinghy this spring in conjunction with Faber Spirits, which supplied the vodka. Weighing in at a muscular 9 percent, the Li’l Dinghy brings big flavor and a little more booze to the 12-ounce can than some of the others on this list. Take your time with this one, lest you crash your boat right into the dock.

3 Best Whiskies to Bring Camping

When you’ve been out enjoying nature all day, escaping the trappings of everyday urban life, there’s nothing better than unwinding next to the campfire with a glass of whiskey. These are the best smokey whiskeys for the occasion along with the flasks to put them in.Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

These Are 13 of Cinema’s Coolest Watches

Given the right circumstances, a watch that shows up in a film can reach icon status for watch enthusiasts and movie buffs alike. It can be downright astonishing what screen time can do for a watch’s popularity and value, especially on the wrist of the right actor.

But things have changed since the mid-1990s; whereas the choice to use a watch in a movie was once a pure wardrobe decision, it’s now often the product of contractual marketing agreements. Generally, collectors are most interested in watches from before the era of product placement — it’s no surprise that the pieces picked for ad money just aren’t as cool. Below, we bring you our ten favorite silver screen timepieces that have made a huge impact on both cinema and the watch world.

Dr. No: Sean Connery’s Rolex Submariner 6538

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Right Photo: Columbia

If there were a Holy Grail of movie watches, the Rolex Submariner reference 6538 worn by Sean Connery in the first few Bond Films is a likely contender. With a tight budget and no help from Rolex during production on Dr. No, producer Cubby Broccoli supposedly gave Connery the watch off of his own wrist — and it ended up becoming a legendary timepiece. Today, the average 6538, which is not very easy to find, can fetch six figures in the right condition. But the real deal, purportedly owned by the Broccoli family, is likely priceless. The Bond name carries so much weight that it essentially launched watch marketing in movies with Pierce Brosnan’s Bond debut in Goldeneye; thanks to Jean-Claude Biver, Omega’s marketing genius, the laser-equipped Seamaster set a precedent in promotional agreements that today is commonplace.

Daylight: Sylvester Stallone’s Panerai Luminor

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Right Photo: Universal

Sly singlehandedly revived Panerai from its struggles in the early ’90s. After their contract to supply the Italian Navy with wristwatches ended in ’93, Panerai looked to the civilian market, with little success. Sometime in ’95, Stallone happened to be in Rome (apparently in the market for a watch) when he spotted a Luminor in a shop window. He bought it on the spot to wear during his movie, Daylight, and proceeded to order a bunch with his signature engraved on the case back. Sly continued to dominate the action movie scene, and Panerai has become one of the most recognizable luxury watch brands. Stallone can be seen wearing Panerai watches in numerous movies, including as recently as, The Expendables 3.

Le Mans: Steve McQueen’s Heuer Monaco

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Right Photo: Paramount

The “King of Cool” basically has a Midas touch when it comes to watches. In fact, he was never seen wearing the Rolex Explorer II reference 1655 — it’s known as the “McQueen” Explorer II because of an auction house marketing ploy. As for the Heuer Monaco, there was no mistaking its presence on his wrist in the movie Le Mans. McQueen originally turned down an offer from Omega, thinking they were using him for promotional reasons, and then opted for the Monaco. Although the Monaco received all the screen time, a number of on set photos reveal McQueen’s true personal preference as his Submariner reference 5512. However, his mark had already been made, and the Monaco owes its provenance to him.

Blue Hawaii: Elvis Presley’s Hamilton Ventura



The Hamilton Ventura worn by Elvis Presley on the set of the 1961 film Blue Hawaii was apparently his own watch. It is also notable as the first “electric” watch (distinct from quartz watches, which would be introduced eight years later), and this reflects The King’s taste for cutting edge design and technology. The brand produces an entire family of Ventura watches today with the funky “shield-shaped” case, and it’s continued its on-screen career most recently featuring in the latest installment of the Men in Black franchise.

Apocalypse Now: Marlon Brando’s Rolex GMT Master 1675



Brando was evidently told to remove his personal Rolex GMT Master ref. 1675 on set, as the feeling was that it would look too new and out of character for Colonel Kurtz, a Special Forces officer gone rogue. Brando insisted on wearing the watch, famously popping off its bezel and wearing it “naked” throughout filming. The watch was thought lost to history until it recently resurfaced — it’s set to hit the auction block this fall.

Glengarry Glen Ross: Alec Baldwin’s Gold Rolex Day-Date

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Right Photo: New Line Cinema

A gold Rolex has become an achievement watch for many people. To earn one, according to Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross, one must “always be closing.” In probably the most epic de-motivational speech of all time, Baldwin flaunts his yellow gold Rolex Day-Date in Ed Harris’ face, telling him it’s worth more than his car. If you’re fortunate enough to own a gold Rolex, we hope it’s not because you emulated Baldwin’s character to get there.

Jaws: Richard Dreyfuss’ Alsta Nautoscaph



Richard Dreyfuss’s oceanographer character, Matt Hooper, wore an automatic dive watch in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic, but for decades, watch nerds couldn’t figure out what the hell it was. Turns out the watch was an Alsta Nautoscaph, made by a company that shuttered during the Quartz Crisis. Thankfully, the brand was recently reconstituted and began production of the Nautoscaph II, which you can pick up on the brand’s website for around $824.

Apocalypse Now: Martin Sheen’s Seiko 6105

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Right Photo: Paramount

When it comes to iconic watches on a budget, look no further than the Seiko 6105. Not only does it ooze vintage cool, but Martin Sheen rocked one as Captain Ben Willard, the Army Spec Ops officer serving during the Vietnam War in the classic Apocalypse Now. A 6105 in good condition can be found in the $700-$900 range, while Seiko’s new reissue of the style can be found for even less.

Predator: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Seiko H558

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Right Photo: 20th Century Fox

The Seiko H558 quartz diver is arguably pretty cool on its own, but, let’s face it, there’s no way it’d be as sought after today if it weren’t for Arnold. It’s crazy that an otherwise average Seiko sells for roughly double its original retail price on today’s secondhand market. The Governator wore the H558 (or possibly its brother, the H601) in a number of ’80s action blockbusters, such as Predator, The Running Man, and Commando. Given how many movies he’s been in, it may have the widest range of movie appearances out of any single watch. A modern version is available for a retail price of 550 and now features solar charging.

Pulp Fiction: Bruce Willis’s WWI Lancet Trench Watch

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Right Photo: Miramax

The “Gold Watch” scene from Pulp Fiction is truly one of the great movie moments of the ’90s. Among a collage of punched-up scenes, it stands out for its surprising dark humor and Christopher Walken’s utterly captivating monologue. The gold WWI Lancet trench watch is almost as memorable as its hiding spot…and serves as the perfect catalyst for a dangerous trip back to Bruce Willis’s old apartment.

Apollo 13: The Crew’s Omega Speedmasters

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Right Photo: Universal

Perhaps the most obvious choice is Apollo 13 and the Omega Speedmaster. For a movie looking to capture accurate details of such an historic event as the incredible return of the Apollo 13 crew, getting the correct Velcro-strapped Speedy was a must. Although Omega may have had a promotional agreement in place, it would have been a major misstep to ignore the only mechanical watch certified for spaceflight by NASA. After proving its capabilities numerous times, there’s no doubt the Speedmaster is a legend, and being prominently featured in an Academy Award-winning film only adds to it’s legacy.

Aliens: Sigourney Weaver’s Seiko 7A28-7000

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Right Photo: 20th Century Fox

Giorgetto Giugiaro — the man known for his wedge-y supercar designs — probably didn’t know that his automotive-inspired foray into watch design would end up as a central prop James Cameron’s bleak and unnerving Aliens. While the blocky vertical pushers on the right of the watch were meant to be easy to access while driving, and the font on the dial evokes the dashboard gauges of cars of the ’80s, they proved to be the right balance of utilitarianism and futurism to adorn Sigourney Weaver’s wrist as she battled a terrifying alien species.

Back to the Future: Michael J. Fox’s Casio CA53-W

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Right Photo: Universal

Like the franchise, the geek-tastic Casio digital calculator watch is to this day an enduring symbol of the ’80s. During this time, affordable and inherently accurate electronic watches (both digital and quartz) were quickly displacing traditional mechanical watches. So it makes sense Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly would don one along with his burnt-orange life preserver puffy vest and light-wash denim. Ironically, in the film McFly’s Casio CA53-W couldn’t keep proper time, prompting him to hold it up to his ear to check if it’s ticking. Digital watches don’t tick. Heavy stuff.

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The Best Hydration Packs of 2019

Hydration backpacks are more than a trend. Humans are 60 percent water, and when it’s hot and/or humid, you need to continuously replace the fluid you’re sweating out. A hydration pack lets you drink without interrupting your flow, whether you’re running an ultra or jamming through a music marathon.

“People want to be more self-sufficient, to go on hikes, bikes and runs being able to drink on the move, hands-free, with the ability to toss in a jacket and snacks with the thing you’re already carrying,” notes Ren Walkenhorst, Associate Product Manager at Hydrapak. “Hydration packs make it easier and more efficient,”

Hydration packs are ideal for activities where you want frequent access to a sip, slurp or guzzle of water or sports drink, without carrying a bottle in your hand, or taking off your pack to drink. They also have storage for other gear you need on your hike, bike, run or other adventure.

Packs come in vest, backpack and hip pack styles, with many sizes and features to choose from. “Where there’s a lot of movement, a pack’s ability to stay stable and stabilize the liquid inside is key,” says Mike Valvano, director of Soft Goods and Sport at Camelbak. Consider the questions and options below to find the one that’s right for you.

How much water do you need?

Water is heavy, and carrying a lot more than you need can slow you down, but it’s important to be realistic. Hydration reservoirs typically range from 0.5 to 3 liters. During strenuous activity, it’s recommended to drink a liter an hour. Pick a pack with a reservoir that will accommodate the length of your typical outing.

What else do you need to carry?

Besides water, you may need space for cargo, like a jacket, trekking poles, snacks, first aid or bivy. Buy a bag with the capacity to hold your kit. Overstuffed, even the best pack can feel like a sausage on your back. Choose a pack that fits your gear comfortably, and if you plan to be heavily loaded, pick one with suspension, including a broad hip belt and possibly a frame. Sport-specific gear, like a helmet or trekking poles, requires specific attachments — buy one made for the sport or activity you do most frequently.

How does the pack fit loaded?

If you’re running any significant distance in your pack, make sure it doesn’t bounce or chafe on the trail. Check pack fit in the store. Adjustability is critical, as is enough structure to keep the load you’ll carry from bouncing around.

What else do you need to grab on the go?

Mountain bikers might want access to a multitool and snacks without taking the pack off. A runner might need multiple handheld flasks and instant access to a gel or sunglasses storage. If you have an XL iPhone and you want to be able to reach it, look for a pack with a pocket big and easy to get to. Many packs have pockets on the shoulders, chest and hips that are accessible while you’re wearing them.

How often should you empty and clean your hydration reservoir?

It’s easy to drop your pack at the end of an adventure and forget about it until the next one. But hydration reservoirs get moldy fast, particularly if you had drink mix inside. Wash and dry your reservoir after every use. And hand wash your empty pack or throw it into the washing machine on delicate for periodic cleaning.

Black Diamond Distance 8-Pack

Best Hydration Pack for Fast and Light Mountain Scrambling

Made from ripstop fabric that’s 10 times stronger than steel, but so light it floats in water, this vest-style pack is durable enough to be scraped on rocky outcroppings, and to survive abrasion during boulder scrambles. Rib cage and chest straps keep the pack close to your body, even with ice axes, trekking poles and a liter of water in two soft flasks or water in a bladder on your back. Main pocket access is speedy — it’s held shut with a single clip.

Salomon Advanced Skin 12 Set

Best Hydration Pack for Ultras

Ultrarunner Aliza LaPierre does 90 percent of her races with Salomon’s Advanced Skin 12 Set, from the UTMB to Western States.“The pack hugs me in all the right places, and has adjustment points so I can really dial in the fit for a chafe-free run,” she says. “Stretch pockets on the front give me quick access to my nutrition, and then the large zippered storage in the back lets me carry an emergency blanket and a jacket, without my gear bouncing around on the trail.” The pack lets runners really personalize the fit. An insulated sleeve is bladder-compatible, and it comes with a soft flask, too. Side compression laces are adjustable without removal. And there are half a dozen other stretch pockets plus the main compartment to carry gear, snacks, an emergency kit and electronics. Loops hold poles as well as a clip-on light.

Nathan Speed 2L Hydration Vest

Best Hydration Pack for Urban Running

At 3.6 ounces, this is one of the most minimalist packs available, best suited for a pre-or post-work run where you don’t need much gear or water. The mostly mesh vest fits like an ultra-breathable shirt, with enough compression to stabilize a light load. A 12-ounce soft flask with a straw tube tucks into one of the four front pockets for drinking on the go. The others store nutrition and your phone, while the back pocket has a key clip. When you’re pushing the limits of daylight, reflective trim keeps you visible.

Hydroflask Journey 20 L Hydration Pack

Best Hydration Pack for Music Festivals

With enough storage space to store everything from sunscreen to blankets to clothing and lunch, this pack also boasts an oversized reflective neoprene pocket that keeps water in the 3-liter reservoir cold for up to four hours. Separate storage compartments keep water and food apart from clothes and gear. The weather-resistant pack sits off the harness allowing airflow to keep you cool. And the main compartment is big enough to hold a 13” laptop, so this pack is just as functional when the party is over.

Thule Vital 8 L

Best Hydration Pack for Mountain Biking

When you’re mountain biking, a flapping, swinging hydration hose is annoying. A magnet in Thule’s hose sleeve prevents that distracting motion — let go of the hose and it auto attaches to the shoulder strap. Jersey-style pockets give this pack a vest-like feel, as well as quick access to your phone, snacks and tools without taking it off. Even with the 2.5-liter reservoir full and the pack loaded, the weight sits low on the body to reduce muscle strain and enhance upper back and shoulder cooling.

Evoc FR Enduro

Best Hydration Pack for Big Mountain Biking

Over intense terrain, riders wear pads to protect knees and elbows. Don this pack, and you’ll also protect your back. The flexible, temperature-impervious honeycomb back protector absorbs 95 percent impact energy in a crash to save your spine. It makes the pack somewhat heavy — around 2.3 pounds — but it detaches with toggles for less extreme outings. This 16-liter pack is big enough for backcountry adventures where you’ll need extra clothes, lots of water and multiple meals or gear to record the ride. With the back protector in place, this pack is protective enough to take to the downhill park. A rain cover stashes in a bottom zipper to keep contents dry in a downpour.

Osprey Savu

Best Hydration Pack for Day Hikes

Hip packs are all the rage, but most don’t carry enough water for trail adventures. This one does. Sleeves on both sides secure a bike-style or wide-mouth bottle — a snap adjusts the opening, and a cord wraps the top so bottles don’t bounce out when you’re making technical moves or running on descents. A middle pouch is big enough for a lightweight jacket, sandwich, car keys and phone, with a separate scratch-free pocket for sunglasses. Side pockets keep snacks in easy reach. And this is the first hip pack that didn’t slide down our butts when we were scrambling. The pack is designed for ventilation with a ridged lumbar panel and well-vented hip belt.

Camelbak Podium Flow Belt

Best Hydration Pack for Everyday Use

Never be caught without water with Camelbak’s newest hydration hip pack. We tested this pack lapping our local MTB trails — its intended use. The 20-ounce dirt-protected, high-flow bottle stayed put in its elastic sleeve even hitting jumps, and the two-liter pouch held a tool and phone. But this isn’t just a pack for riding. We grabbed it all summer long for everything from dog walks to lake walks to blueberry picking, avoiding dehydration headaches and always having wallet, ID and sunscreen on hand.

The Best Water Bottles of Every Type

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Here’s Everything You Need to Run Commute Like a Champ, According to Experts

Run commuting takes a particular type of crazy. As someone who dabbles in it, I get it. It’s a bit aggressive to strap a pack on your back filled with everything you need for the day and hit the streets full-stride. But the perks are many: no subway fee, fresh air in your lungs, no feeling like a sardine, sunshine on your skin, to name a few. It can be faster than driving if you live in a congested city, and it’s also an easy way to build up your mileage.

I’ve run commuted off and on for the past nine months in New York City. Most recently, I’ve been commuting from Brooklyn to the Gear Patrol office in Manhattan (just over 5 miles), and I’ve learned that with a little prep and the right gear, it’s one of the faster ways to get from point A to point B. I also chatted with a handful of run-commuting experts: Michael Wardian, an American marathoner and ultramarathoner who lives in DC and regularly commutes eight miles to his office; Gordon Wright, president of Outside PR in California, who has run up to 15.4 miles to (and from!) work during training periods; Matthew Imberman, a run coach for Brooklyn Distance Running and an antique jewelry dealer who runs 10 miles to or from work year-round; Marco Anzures, head cross country coach at City College and professor of Health and Exercise Science, and Ben Taylor, who runs one to three times a week, about three miles each way in Burlington, VT.

What to Know Before You Go

Before heading out for the first time, our experts recommend taking the time to plan everything out. Figure out if it’s easier to run home as opposed to running to work. Can you leave everything at your office and pick it up the next day? Depending on the distance you’re running, and how many times a week you want to run, there’s a variety of options. And like anything else, you’ll have to test everything out a few times to find out what works best for you. The trick is that there’s no right way to run commute — it’s more about figuring out what makes your life easier and let’s you sneak in those extra miles.

A few insider tips: Don’t overcommit.”You can do half-commutes,” Wright shares. “I more often drive partway to work, park the car, and run around six miles. After work, I’ll get in the same run apparel or fresh ones I’ve stashed and run back to my car.” According to Imberman, prep is also key: “I typically take clothes to work at the beginning of the week, so I have stuff to change into, and then I leave some running gear at work so I can run home.”

If you like to bring a lunch, I recommend carting in as many of your weekly meals as you can at once on Monday and then not worrying about it for the rest of the week. Packing food every single day gets tricky, and all of the bouncing around the food will do makes anything liquid a no-no. “I’m a brown bagger most days, especially for breakfast and lunch, and transporting fruit running is the trickiest thing to solve,” Wardian explains. “I run with berries in my hands with paper towels stuffed in the case and then re-apply the rubber band to them. I try to keep everything packed in plastic bags. I’ll bring oatmeal and organic baby food to add to it. I slide bananas in the outside pockets [of my backpack] and wrap fruit in a shirt and plastic, so if it does gush, it’s not going to ruin my clothes.” If all that sounds like a hassle, buying lunch is the most straightforward solution.

The Gear

Backpack

The most essential piece in your run commute kit is the one that transports everything — your backpack. You want a backpack that has a breathable back panel, since you will sweat carrying everything, as well as one that adjusts to your body. Tightening all the straps keeps the bag in a comfortable place, so there’s no chafing against your neck or lower back. “I use the Journey 20L [from Nathan],” Wardian says. “It’s a practical bag for running — it’s a roll top, with a shell that comes over it, so if it dumps, everything is protected.”

“I’ll use my Ultimate Direction Fastpack to pack clothes, a small lunch, keys, wallet, ID badge, etc.,” Taylor says. I tested the same pack and was a big fan of how many pockets it has. Keeping track of keys, credit cards and other small essentials is simple with pockets along the straps.

If you’re looking for something a little sleeker that doesn’t scream ‘I ran here’ try the Lululemon Surge Run Backpack II. With just two connection points across your chest, there’s not as much sweat that pools on your lower back, making it a lighter, breezier pack than most.

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Packing Cubes

If you have to wear something professional and wrinkle-free to work, look into garment sleeves. “Your load is going to be heavier, but Eagle Creek makes a terrific, lightweight garment sleeve that cuts down on any wasted space and still protects your suit and shirt from wrinkling,” Wright says.

“I find rolling [a suit] works better than folding it. Folding [causes it to get] creased and depends on how hard you go and how floppy your backpack is,” Wardian says.

Waterproof Jacket

“I run commute year round, and it helps to invest in some lightweight, packable layers for the winter; a decent running pack/vest or shorts with a variety of pockets if you aren’t planning on lugging gear,” Imberman says. A waterproof jacket that doubles as a rain cover for your bag is also essential.

“I usually always have a waterproof jacket of some sort in my bag, and a space blanket, which is crazy because I’m not that far from civilization, but it could save your life,” Wardian says.

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Socks

You’ll want some comfortable sweat-wicking socks that’ll go the distance with you. Wardian likes to run in Injinji socks, and I love the softness of the newest Balega Blister Resist socks. Use whatever works best for you, and bring an extra pair.

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Shoes

You’re going to need a good pair of running sneakers. Run in the shoes you’re going to race in if you’re using this time to bulk up your mileage for race day. “Right now I’m using the HOKA ONE ONE Challenger 4 ATR, and the whole all-terrain line is made for commuting due to the shoes’ versatility and cushioning,” Wright says. “It’ll eat up whatever you throw at it and is a no-worries shoe.”

Keep in mind that you’re also carrying a load, confusing the muscles in your body. Your Saturday or Sunday long runs will start to feel amazing without that extra weight, and on race day you’ll be thankful for the weight training. “I need to ensure my whole body stays in balance while on the run,” Anzures says. “I use Currex Run insoles in my Skechers Performance running shoes to keep my ankles and running posture in alignment.”

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Reflectivity

Depending on your work hours and the season, it might be dark when you run. You’re going to need some reflectivity, whether that’s a vest or a headlamp or a blinking light that clips onto your hat. “I use a NoxGear safety vest to stay visible for morning runs or right after dusk,” Anzures says.

“I have a reflective vest, and my backpack has some reflectivity on it,” Wardian shares. “Nathan makes a flashing light that I’ll sometimes run with on my bag. Now I’m using a Petzl headlamp if it’s dark. The nice thing is I have lighting for most of the route, so I don’t have to worry about it as much.” He also recommends adding 3M reflective tape to your gear if you don’t have anything reflective.

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Post-Run Cleanup

If you have a shower at work, that’s great. “When I first started, there was no such luxury [as a shower], so I had to figure out how to not smell all day,” Wardian shares. “Especially if I have to meet clients, there are ways to do that. So, find a gym close to the office where you can shower, and usually, most offices have some personal space, so I’d put a suit and a couple of shirts, underwear, socks, ties, belt and a nice pair of shoes to change into when I need to look professional.”

If showering isn’t an option, there are always body wipes or cleansing sprays that you spray on and wipe off with a towel. “In the warm months, baby wipes and a bottle of witch hazel can work wonders, as can a small, highly absorbent packing towel,” Imberman says.

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The 3 Best Summer Running Kits for Men

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The 11 Best Gym Shoes for Every Type of Workout

This guide to the best gym sneakers of 2019 covers the best shoes for weightlifting as well as mixed-use options.

Introduction

When it comes down to it, so to speak, shoes can make or break your gym-going experience. And whether you’re trying to get in shape or find that extra edge in the weight room, this list has an option for you. While it can be tempting to use the same pair of sneakers for all your walking, running, jogging and gym-going, it’s ideal to have a pair of shoes that you use just for the gym. Beyond extending the life of your running shoes, swapping out that pair for a gym pair does a lot for your workouts. Shoes designed for that purpose are closer to the ground, lending more support to your muscles and joints, giving you better stability during unilateral (one-sided) moves and providing a reliable platform for lifting heavy weights.

Get the Right Fit

When purchasing true running shoes, people often leave space in the toe box for toe splay. It makes sense and can improve your running form and performance. But in weightlifting shoes, it’s best to avoid unnecessary space in the toe box. You want the sneaker to snugly fit so that there’s support for your feet during unilateral moves. The more space between your toe and the end of the sneaker, the harder your body has to work to balance, which is unnecessary. Go with an exact fit.

Best For Weight Lifting

Nike Metcon 5

The Nike Metcon is always a top contender in the gym space — the fifth iteration of this sneaker is pretty darn close to the perfect weightlifting shoe. If CrossFit is your workout of choice, or you like to hit the gym and only lift weights, this is the shoe for you. The grip is tough and will help you crush sled pushes and pulls without slipping. There’s not much cushioning between your feet and the ground, so there’s more of a stable launch point for tuck jumps and power cleans — and the sneakers are a breeze to tighten with an added sixth lace loop option. The colors are bolder with version 5.0, and if you’re heading to just lift, you can add in a Hyperlift insert under your heel (that comes with each sneaker).

Reebok Crossfit Nano 9

Reebok’s Nano is synonymous with CrossFit. Last year’s update includes a Flexweave material upper that is breathable, stable and durable. This year’s Nano For All asked the CrossFit community what updates they’d like to see and implemented them. You’ll find a CrossFit specific outsole design with MetaSplit grooves for better traction and grip. A wider-than-average toe box gives your feet room to breathe and enough toe spread for improved balance and a stronger base to push off. The unchanged minimal drop outsole keeps you close to the ground.

Nobull Clay Trainers

The speckled outsole adds a bit of a dynamic touch to these otherwise minimalist sneakers. A super-durable upper paired with a perforated microsuede tongue is breathable and comfortable for all-day wear, if you need them to last that long. High-carbon lateral and medial guards add balance support and help during rope climbs and deadlifts. The lighter colors can get dirty very quickly — especially in the weight room — but there are 20 other colors and designs to pick from that likely won’t have the same problem. Similar to the Nike Metcons, these shoes feature a 4mm drop.

York Athletics The Henry Mesh

These unisex sneakers felt light for the amount of support they provided — they weigh in at 8.3 ounces despite having the highest offset with a 9mm drop. Originally designed for fighters, the Henrys feature a mesh upper that is exceptionally breathable whether you’re box jumping, pistol squatting or throwing punches. There’s not much support underfoot, but there is enough to get through sprints and a boot camp class. The high heel pull tab didn’t rub during squats, lunges or mountain climbers. The toe box is large enough to offer room for toe splay to aid in balance, but not so wide it looks disproportionate or bulky. The textured lining is comfortable and minimizes heel slippage. And on sale at $110, this is the most affordable option on the weight lifting list — plus it looks good enough to wear all day long.

Under Armour TriBase Reign

The Under Armour TriBase Reign features a full rubber outsole that wraps around the edge of the shoe to help your grip during rope climbs. The foam midsole is firm and built for lifting, not running. I wouldn’t wear these on the treadmill for even short sprints. The abrasion-resistant upper makes for a durable shoe that’ll hold up to even the toughest of WODs.

Mizuno TC-01 Training Shoe

The TC-01 is Mizuno’s first foray into gym sneakers and they are bold. Our tester found them to be perfect for heavy lifting given the 4 mm drop and 11.8-ounce weight. These are the sneakers to pull out when you’re heading into the weight room to do squats or Olympic lifts. A knit upper and soft midsole feel comfy from the first step.

Mixed-Use Sneakers

APL TechLoom Pro

These sneakers are priced more like running shoes, which makes sense since they lean slightly more in that direction. However, I wouldn’t run more than three miles in them, especially if you’re used to a more supportive stability sneaker like a Brooks or Asics model. The dual-layered woven upper is reinforced with a sock liner and has a neoprene-feeling tongue. The tongue is attached, so there’s no easy way to move it around, and the laces tie underneath — a feature introduced with aesthetics in mind — but you can pull them out and re-lace if you prefer a more traditional style. The 8mm drop is slightly more than the other shoes on this list, but there were no performance issues when completing squats, reverse lunges, mountain climbers and even spider planks.

Adidas AlphaBounce Beyond

The cushioning on these sneakers is what sets them apart from the others on the list. They’re comfortable enough to handle miles on the treadmill and are most similar to the Reebok Flexweave Fast in that you can do a variety of activities in them. The grippy Continental rubber outsole means they’ll work just as well in the grass as they will on the mats at the gym. We highly recommend these for HIIT classes like Barry’s Bootcamp, as well as for your day-to-day gym trips.

Altra HIIT XT 2

These training shoes are built to help you tackle compound lifts yet also shine on the basketball court. The dual-purpose sneakers are stable and durable thanks to a foot-friendly toe box and abrasion-resistant mesh upper. All the extra rubber that wraps up the sides helps with lateral action, so whether you’re pivoting or spin-moving past your opponent, your ankles should be safe.

New Balance Minimus 40 Trainer

These cross trainers are run-friendly and work for your everyday weight-lifting challenges — like a HIIT or strength class, or a day on the machines. Easily tackle the TRX or ski erg with these 10.2-ounce breathable sneakers that feel stable and have enough grip on the otherwise thin sole. The synthetic and mesh upper keeps your toes happy — even if you hop on the treadmill between reps and sets.

Reebok Fast Tempo Flexweave


If you’re looking for something less stiff than the Nano 9s, Reebok’s Fast Tempo Flexweave is a stellar sneaker that works for runners and gym goers. The lightweight feel doesn’t rule out how sturdy and stable it feels. Our tester liked the plush tongue and all the compliments fellow weight lifters showered. The flexweave upper won’t rip during intense CrossFit classes and the flexible outsole means you can take these out for a light run without feeling too sore the next day.

Best New Running Shoes

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The Best Bang for Your Buck Gear

At Gear Patrol, we spend a lot of our time with lavish objects: the burliest vehicles, the fastest bicycles, the prettiest dive watches, the smoothest espresso machines. But the truth is that once we’re done putting these things through their paces, we send them back to where they came from. (It’s okay, we don’t have enough space in our garages as it is — actually, none of us have garages).

We love getting our hands on the upscale stuff, partly because it gives us a better appreciation for the things that we can actually afford. It helps us discern luxury for luxury’s sake, and also quality at a bargain. That’s what we’re exploring here — the objects that feature the highest degree of excellence at the fairest price, making them worthy of space in our non-existent garages. In other words, these staff-approved picks offer the best bang for your buck.

Darn Tough Tactical No-Show Cushion Socks

You might ask: “Seventeen dollars for a pair of socks, you might ask? Are you crazy?” Yes. However, these darn tough Darn Tough socks are backed up by a lifetime warranty. Yes, the insane Vermonters who make them will actually replace the socks when they wear out, which means that they literally last a lifetime. Now that $17 doesn’t sound like such a bad deal, does it? —Oren Hartov, Associate Editor

Honda Civic Si

Gearheads often banter about the idea of the “one car” — the sole model you would buy to check as many boxes as possible. This usually takes the form of some six-figure speed machine from AMG, Porsche or BMW. But for the money, no car offers the combination of driving involvement and everyday versatility that the Civic Si sedan does.

The Civic Si’s 205-hp turbo engine makes it quick, but it’s that combined with the six-speed manual gearbox, limited-slip differential, active dampers with MacPherson Strut suspension up front and multi-link suspension in back that make it fun. On a more reasonable front: there’s room for four grown adults inside; it gets nearly 40 miles per gallon on the highway; a 450-watt stereo with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto means those road trip miles will breeze on by. Sure, it may lack some luxury features, but for a starting price of $24,300, more than $12,000 under the average new car transaction price, it’s practically a steal. —Will Courtney, Editor

Volcom Vorte Slim Fit Jeans

I’ve worn lots of jeans over my years of working for men’s lifestyle publications, including many that cost hundreds of dollars. And there are certainly some at those high price points that boast corresponding quality. But often these jeans score higher on style than they do on durability. Meanwhile, my Volcoms cost just $60 to $70 (depending on color), and they seem to last forever. I’ve bought several pairs and wear them regularly to do everything from office work to motorcycling to socializing, and they unfailingly look and feel fantastic. Raw selvedge heads may turn up their noses at these humble dungarees, but the rest of us will smile silently as we save our money for Scotch and steak. —Steve Mazzucchi, Editor

CRKT Squid, Black with D2 Blade Steel

I’ve had a CRKT Squid as a regular part of my adventure kit for years now. I’ve found it to be a reliable go-to for a one-hand-opener that’s basically indestructible. It’s easy to sharpen by hand and looks just as good clipped to my pocket in the wild as it does alongside my watches and wallet on my dresser. —Kyle Snarr, Head of Marketing

Cole-Parmer Dust It

All gear gathers dust. Watch collections, keyboards, display ports, fishing reels, nooks, crannies. Dust finds a way. The Dust-It makes little noise and compared to the Aerosol versions, is eco-friendly and will last far longer. That said, it is not as much fun to use upside down as the Aerosol version. —Tim Murray, Account Executive

Lezyne Steel Floor Drive

A bike pump is something one generally buys out of frustration. Something is flat, needs air and you’re left without the correct tool for the job because either a) you have never owned a bike pump, or b) your previous shitty plastic bike pump crapped out or got so bad you threw it away.

I generally don’t jibe with the whole “buy it for life” movement — I think it’s an oversimplified approach to how people consume things — but this Lezyne pump has replaceable parts, is made of honest, simple materials and costs an entirely reasonable $60. Buy it in a moment of peace and try not to think about how beautiful the far more expensive Silca Superpista Ultimate is. —Henry Phillips, Deputy Photo Editor

Sunski Dipsea Sunglasses

Buying $20 sunglasses from the local bodega can be tempting when I’ve forgotten a pair at home or realized that my last pair is all scratched up from getting thrown in my suitcase again and again. But the truth is, those just don’t last that long. Plus, I end up spending more money, in the long run, trying to find new ones that can replace my old ones.

Sunski’s Dipsea shades are just $58 and work through sweat, rain, wind and snow. I’m partial to the tortoise, but there are six different frame colors to choose from. Sunski created sunnies that would last longer than a gas station pair, plus provide you with much more sun protection. On top of all that, the resin is made from scrap plastic, meaning these are sustainable too. And if you forget to put the sunglasses back in their case before tossing them in your gym or overnight bag (as I often do), each pair comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can count on getting them fixed. For $58 it’s hard to find a better looking and better-priced pair than Sunskis. —Meg Lappe, Staff Writer

Seiko Prospex “Turtle”

You simply can’t deny the value proposition that Japanese watchmaking superstar Seiko is known for. The “Turtle,” nicknamed for its case shape, is not only comfortable and fun to wear (as well as to match with different straps), but it can probably last you for multiple decades. The brand’s fit and finish are regularly compared to Swiss watches costing much more, and a hardy automatic Seiko movement powers the Turtle. On top of all this, it’s just got a killer classic look and will be recognized and respected by in-the-know enthusiasts. That’s pretty hard to beat, even at its roughly $500 retail price, but it’s frequently discounted, offering an even better value. —Zen Love, Associate Staff Writer

Opinel No. 8 Folding Knife

Opinel’s No. 8 folder is simple: a 3.35-inch 12C27 Sandvik stainless steel blade, a wood handle (beechwood is the classic choice), and a swiveling collar lock. But it has what many other knives don’t — heritage. Joseph Opinel made the first version of the No. 8 back in 1890, and it hasn’t changed a whole lot since. It’s handsome, versatile, iconic and, somehow, less than $20. —Tanner Bowden, Staff Writer

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

This Sportswear Icon Is Celebrating Its 100th Year — After Starting Out Making Sweaters

Champion is arguably one of the most well-known athletic brands — and for a good reason. After all, colleges across the country stock collegiate branded Champion sweatshirts by the thousands. However, the brand has made much more since 1919 than just sweatshirts. For 100 years, Champion has put out reliable and durable apparel, pivoting from sweaters and sweatshirts to team uniforms and fashion runways, all while maintaining its classic look and feel.

“The thing that very few people know is that Champion started as a sweater company,” Matt Waterman, general manager for Champion North America, says. “So the founder made wool sweaters, and he sold them into department stores and dry goods stores, and those sweaters became the basis of Champion’s Athletic line.” Born in 1919, Champion began as the Knickerbocker Knitting Mills company, thanks to the Feinbloom family, in Rochester, New York. “From there, [Champion] started to sell those sweaters to football teams and military academies, who started to wear them not only on the sidelines but also on the football field.” Back then football jerseys were wool-based, anyway, so it wasn’t too big of a leap.

Vintage football jerseys by Champion $17

Swapping jerseys from wool to cotton sparked a massive change in the game of football. Cotton is lighter and more affordable and that tweak really opened up the sport of football to a new generation of kids who probably could not afford wool apparel, Waterman says. Champion changed with the times, outfitting Wentworth Military Academy in 1926, then expanding into college apparel in 1934.

The first patent came in 1938, for Champion’s reverse-weave sweatshirts that don’t shrink. The model was updated (and re-patented) in 1952 — and has remained the same ever since. You can’t walk onto a college campus without spotting those classic reverse-weave sweatshirts featuring the school’s mascot or logo.

Patrol Logo Crewneck Sweatshirt by Champion $59

Another pillar of Champion’s legacy started in 1967. The company designed a mesh nylon jersey — changing the game of football once again and expanding quickly to basketball and a plethora of other sports. And in the ’90s, Champion partnered with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to outfit all 27 teams (today there are 30). Then 1992 brought with it the Dream Team, the first American Olympic team that drew its roster from the professionals — and jerseys from, you guessed it, Champion.

Jerseys from 1992 Olympics by Champion $150

Throughout the 90s and into the early 2000s, Champion’s popularity resurged thanks in part to streetwear. Everyone from Kanye West to Selena Gomez to the Kardashians was spotted wearing a Champion piece. The love for the brand didn’t stop there — in 2017, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) exhibited one of the brand’s hoodies in the ‘Items: Is Fashion Modern?’ Exhibition and in 2018 it became a fixture in the collection. You can shop MoMA x Champion hoodies online today, and they’re a best seller.

Champion Hoodie – MoMA Edition by Champion $80

The brand has come a long way from sweaters to fashion week. And while Champion continues to push out apparel that’s budget-appropriate, everything it does is still for the team — whether that’s your dance, running or golf crew.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

5 Pairs of Summer Running Shorts We Absolutely Love

Do the dog days of summer have you feeling worn down and yearning for cooler temps? I hear you. Unfortunately, there are still weeks of sweating it out before it’s time to break out your warmer running clothes. On the upside, late summer and early fall are the best times to stock up on fresh running gear. Besides the possibility of cashing in on late-season sales, buying new digs can inject some newfound motivation to get out the door and suffer through another steamy run. Over the past three months, I’ve tested more than 30 pairs of running shorts to find the best. Here are the gems.

Editor’s Pick: Smartwool Merino Sport Lined

I bet you’re thinking “Smartwool makes running shorts?” Wool shorts in the summer sound awful. I had the same reaction, but rest assured, only the brief liner is made with an ultra-lightweight merino wool. The shell is a DWR treated polyester/elastane blend and while it’s a bit thicker than most running shorts, they function perfectly in heat – soft, stretchy and wick moisture wonderfully. The merino wool brief liner is top of the line, offering a snug, supportive fit, while the magic of merino prevents that nasty swamp butt feeling. For a more versatile general training/gym short check out the 8-inch inseam.

Inseam: 5 and 8-inch
Pockets: Rear zip, Internal drop-in
Shell: 86% Polyester, 14% Elastane
Liner: 54% Merino Wool, 46% Polyester
Weight: 4.9 oz.

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Best 3-inch: Lululemon Fast and Free

If you’re not afraid to show a little leg, Lululemon’s all-new Fast and Free 3-inch offers a next-to-nothing feeling that’s simple and distraction-free, yet still supportive. Sporting a generous notch down the side that not only looks sharp but also opens flawlessly with each leg lift, these shorts never restrict as your hips open up. The entire back is perforated, furthering what is already an airy, breathable short. If you want to rip circles around your local track, these shorts are sure to attract attention with their fast and free attitude. I’d just recommend going up one size as they run small.

Inseam: 3-inch
Pockets: Two internal drop-in
Weight: 3.2 oz.

Best 5-inch: Patagonia Strider Pro Short

Patagonia bills these as trail running shorts, however, functionally they’re just as suited, if not better for road running. Made with a DWR treated 100 percent recycled polyester stretch ripstop, the shell is remarkability light, and durable too. After a year of heavy use, my pair is still going strong. The shorts have a next-to-nothing, unrestricted feel with incredible range in the leg opening for a mid-length short, making these a perfect option for guys with larger thighs. The liner is Polygiene® permanent odor treated. There’s no shortage of pockets either: four envelope-style and rear zip, big enough to fit a mid-sized smartphone.

Inseam: 5 and 7-inch
Pockets: Four side envelope and one rear zipper
Shell: 100% recycled polyester stretch ripstop with a DWR
Liner:100% polyester (42% recycled) crepe with Polygiene® permanent odor control
Weight: 3.5 oz.

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Best Budget: H&M Running Shorts

H&M may not be the first brand to comes to mind when seeking out running clothing, but if value is what you’re after I highly recommend these running shorts. Made with 100% polyester these no-frills shorts dry quickly and run great, all at a killer price-point. Vented mesh throughout the gusset dumps between-the-legs heat. The best part- they come in five colors, and at such a modest price stocking up won’t break the bank. My favorite color, the burgundy red, looks sharp paired with a dark-colored shirt.

Inseam: 7-inch
Pockets: Two-side zip
Shell: 100% Polyester
Liner: 100% Polyester

Best Run/Gym Hybrid: Under Armour Qualifier Speedpocket

For those who spend just as much time in the gym as you do pounding the pavement, the Under Armour Qualifier Speedpocket is the perfect dual-duty running/training short. What makes it so good? The Speedpocket, a center-front loading pocket that’s specifically designed for smartphones. This water-resistant pouch keeps sweat off your phone and secures the largest of smartphones completely bounce-free. But the best part is by storing your phone upfront, verses in the back, like most running shorts, you’re not lying down on your phone when lying on your back.

Inseam: 5- and 7-inch
Pockets: Front-loading Speedpocket and rear zipper
Shell: 88% Polyester/12% Elastane
Liner: 100% Polyester
Weight: 4.7 oz.

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Perfect Day Hikers: The 6 Best Approach Shoes

Most people fall into one of two camps when it comes to hiking footwear. You either prefer the support and protection of a full-on hiking boot or the comfort and nimbleness of a trail runner. However, somewhere in the middle sits a class of technical mountain shoes only a few people outside the climbing world know about – the approach shoe. Perhaps the most versatile class of mountain footwear, the approach shoe is a tough-as-nails, below the ankle blend between a hiking boot, trail runner and climbing shoe. Their biggest advantage, the outsole, is made with sticky climbing shoe grade rubber, meaning they stick to rock like glue. So, if your daily objective is tackling the ever popular Cables up Yosemite’s Half Dome or spending a few hours getting lost in the canyons of Moab or the Grand Canyon, these shoes will instill a sense of surefooted confidence your hiking-shoed friends just won’t have.

Scarpa Crux Air

The go-to approach shoe for hot summer lead-ups and hikes, the Scarpa Crux Air may not have the durability of its tough skinned sibling the Scarpa Crux, but what it lacks in durability it makes up in comfort. Made with a synthetic knit upper that’s more breathable than any other approach shoe tested, the Crux Air admittedly wasn’t the best pure climber, however, it was my favorite casual kicking around town shoe. If I could only pack one shoe for dual-duty mid-summer dry weather approaches and post day après festivities, this is the one for sure.

Outsole: Vibram Megagrip with Vibram Vertical Approach climbing zone
Weight: 12.2oz

La Sportiva TX4

For a good mix of support and comfort for heavy load approaches and hikes without the ultra bulky, stiff feel of a hiking boot, look no further. The durable leather upper is partially wrapped with a thick band of rubber to help with torsional rigidity when the footing ahead is rocky and uneven. Underfoot, the outsole features La Sportiva’s Trail Bite Heel Braking Platform, a multi-directional deep lug pattern that’s ideal for wet, muddy and loose rocky conditions, making these the best approach shoe for the non-climber who wants more of a hiking shoe.

Outsole: Vibram Mega-Grip Traverse with Impact Brake System
Weight: 13oz

Arc’teryx Konseal FL

Fast and light is how Arc’teryx classifies the Konseal FL and I agree. With a weight that’s lighter than most trail runners, it’s made to move quickly and confidently over rocky terrain, so much so, they’re almost suitable for short stints of running if needed. The clean and minimalist upper looks sleek while adding a layer of protection from rock and moisture. Made with a straight last and smooth synching lacing system, it’s easy to get a snug secure fit, however, those with wide feet may want to look elsewhere, as they do run narrow.

Outsole: Vibram Mega-Grip
Weight: 10.6oz

Lowa GTX Pro Low

Made by a leading German hiking boot maker, these Via Ferrata-inspired approach shoes are damn near indestructible, making them suitable for just about any dry or wet mountainous adventure. Their hiking boot level of stiffness and support gives them an edge up on most approach shoes for long alpine days with a heavy pack, but less so as an everyday shoe. Causal outdoor enthusiasts should look elsewhere; these are made for the experienced mountain goers. You may want to consider sizing up by half a size as the Euro sizing equivalent tends to run a little small.

Outsole: Vibram Rock Trac
Weight: 15.8oz

Five Ten Guide Tennie

Nine times out of ten if you spot someone wearing the Five Ten Tennie it’s safe to assume they’re a rock climber. Why’s that? They’re hands down one of the best approach shoes for technical rock climbing. More of a performance lifestyle approach shoe that feels like a skate shoe, a long hike isn’t a strong suit of the Tennie. Still, if you’re sticking to shorter 5th class approaches that involve technical climbing, these are the shoes you’ll want.

Outsole: Five Ten Stealth S1
Weight: 11.5oz

Butora Wing

Perhaps one of the lesser-known brands is South Korean climbing company Butora. It recently introduced a new line of climbing-focused approach shoes. The Wing fits into the performance lifestyle niche, rivals the Five Ten Guide Tennie shoes with its technical rock climbing skills. But like the Guide Tennie, it’s better suited as a short technical approach shoe where movement over rock is more vertical than horizontal. If you enjoy skateboard-like aesthetics with solid technical skills, I highly recommend checking these out, just make sure to size up half to a full size, as they run small.

Outsole: NEO Fuse with NEO Flat climbing zone
Weight: 16.6oz

What to Know Before You Buy

Approach shoes are quickly gaining mainstream attraction for their killer mountain aesthetics and versatility on and off the trail. Just this year both Black Diamond and Altra announced they’re launching lines of approach shoes making it somewhat difficult to sift through the field and find the ideal approach shoe, especially if you’re not a climber. To help point you in the right direction here’s what you want to think about before buying.

More Hiking or Climbing

While all approach shoes will excel over rocky terrain, there remains quite a bit of variability on ideal application. For non-climbers whose primary application is day hikes, I suggest leaning towards hiking-focused approach shoes such as the La Sportiva TX4, Scarpa Crux Air or Arc’teryx Konseal. Climbers need to be a bit more selective based on terrain.

“First figure out what you are going to use it for. Flat approaches? Burly switchbacks? Fourth class ridges?,” Francis Sanzaro, Rock and Ice magazine editor, suggests. “There are really two types of approach shoes — those for the crag, and the kind you want in the mountains. For the crag — I’m looking for comfort, easy on, easy off and good rubber,” such as the Five Ten Tennie or Butora Wing. “For the mountains, you need a workhorse, a real approach shoe. The rubber needs to be good and sticky in wet environments. The stitching and materials need to be very durable, for talus hopping and such. It also needs to climb and have cushion for heavy loads. If I can’t climb 5.7 in an approach shoe, it’s destined for the crag, not the mountains,” such as the Lowa GTX Pro or La Sportiva TX4.

The Outsole Pattern Tells All

A lot can be gleaned by looking at the bottom of approach shoes. First off, all approach shoes should have a smooth patch of rubber under the toes. If they don’t, they’re not true approach shoes. This area, which is often coined the “climbing zone,” helps with edging and smearing while climbing. Next, take note of the lug pattern. If it’s relatively flat, such as the small circular pattern seen in the Five Ten Tennie, they’re better suited for pure rock surfaces and kicking it around town. More surface area touching the ground means better grip on the rock, but less grip on loose gravel or dirt. If the lug pattern is toothier and more aggressive such as the La Sportiva TX4 it will make a great hiker over dirt and looser terrain.

Finding the Ideal Fit

Fit depends, again, largely on your intended use – climbing vs. hiking. As with any shoe, always wear your intended socks when trying on. If you’re primarily going to use them for day hikes and kicking around town, look for a fit like you would a for a hiking boot or trail runner – with some space to allow your feet to swell. A thumb width space in the front is a good guide. If climbing performance is your goal, you want your toes edging closer to the front of the shoe for better sensitivity when climbing vertically.

“7 Tougher-Than-Hell Military-Inspired Backpacks

Using super-tough materials and packing as much function as possible, these backpacks blur the line between tactical, outdoor and everyday use. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The 11 Best Camp Chairs of 2019

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with our picks for 2019.

There are many styles of camping. Some people go off the grid in Patagonia. Others park their van and camp wherever they can find a parking spot with a view. But no matter what, at the end of a long day of backpacking, fishing, hunting or even just swimming in the lake nearby, every camper likes to take a load off, and the cold, hard ground won’t cut it. There’s a camp chair for everyone; collapsible seating ranges from heavy, relatively luxurious chairs you’ll need a car to tote around to ultralight chairs that can slot snugly into a backpack. These are our favorites for kicking back outdoors.

Additional contributions by Tanner Bowden, Tucker Bowe, AJ Powell and Meg Lappe.

Helinox Chair Zero

helinox-gear-patrol-650

Best Lightweight Technical Option: Released last year, the Helinox Chair Zero is the lightest four-legged camp chair on the market. It weighs in at just over a pound and offers a seating height of 11 inches. The Chair Zero is also extremely easy to set up: its frame is made from one tent-style, shock-corded pole and the seat itself is one piece of ripstop polyester.

Weight: 1 pound 1.6 ounces
Materials: ripstop polyester, anodized DAC aluminum
Seat Height: 11 inches
Packed Dimensions: 3.9 x 3.9 x 13.8 inches
Weight Capacity: 256 pounds

Crazy Creek Hex 2.0

crazy-creek-gear-patrol-650

Best Durable and Lightweight Option: Crazy Creek’s foam and fabric chairs have been providing back support for campers in every environment for over 30 years. The Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 is dead simple, and that’s a good thing. It consists of one piece of fabric folded at a 90-degree angle and held together by two nylon straps. It’s light and affordable, and best of all, because there are no aluminum poles to bend, it’s incredibly durable. You can fold it, roll it and jam it into whatever you’re using to pack your gear.

Weight: 1 pound 5 ounces
Materials: Ripstop nylon, carbon fiber stays
Packed Dimensions: 4 x 16.5 inches
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury

Most Comfortable: Here it is, the Cadillac of camping chairs: the Stargaze Recliner Luxury. NEMO built its entire Stargaze line with comfort in mind — each one is a free-swinging seat suspended between a set of lightweight aluminum poles. The Luxury takes comfort to the max though, with a supportive headrest that’ll let you gaze into the depths of the Milky Way for hours without developing a crick in your neck. All that comfort comes at a price — the Stargaze Luxury is probably too heavy for longer treks and will take up plenty of space in your backpack, but it’s great for car and boat camping where you don’t have to worry about weight. It’s like a portable La-Z-Boy; don’t be surprised if you find yourself waking up in it in the morning.

Weight: 6 pounds 5 ounces
Materials: Water-resistant nylon mesh, aluminum
Packed Dimensions: 7 x 24 inches
Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Burton Chair One

Best Blend of Performance and Style: In recent years, Burton, the brand most known for bringing snowboarding into the mainstream, has been making a push into the camping category. It’s done that in the only way it knows how — with style and ease. The Vermont-based company collaborated with Big Agnes and Helinox to create this dressed-up Chair One. It’s equipped with all the lightweight function as the original Chair One but the polyester seat is printed with Burton’s funky patterns, which help hide some of that tech with a welcome layer of fun.

Weight: 1.9 pounds
Materials: 600D plain weave polyester, aluminum
Seat Height: 13.5 inches
Packed Dimensions: 14 x 4 x 5 inches
Weight Capacity: 320 pounds

Therm-a-Rest Trekker Lounge Chair

Best Ultralight Option: Most self-affirmed ultralight backpackers wouldn’t even consider bringing along something so luxurious and unnecessary as a chair, but Therma-Rest’s Trekker Chair isn’t really a chair at all. It’s more of a sling that turns the sleeping pad that’s already in your pack into a chair. The Trekker Chair is made with 100 percent polyester ripstop fabric that protects your pad from abrasions while keeping it folded up on itself in an L shape that’s perfect for sitting at the end of a long day. It packs down small and only weighs 10 ounces — surely even a pure minimalist could find room in an outside pocket to tote this chair along on the trail.

Weight: 10 ounces
Materials: polyester
Seat Height: 4 inches
Packed Dimensions: 4 x 20 inches

Alite 4-Legged Mantis

alite-gear-patrol-650

Best for #CampLife: Alite’s Four-Legged Mantis is another camp chair that places as much emphasis on style as it does technical features. Like Helinox’s chairs, the Mantis is constructed with a four-legged aluminum frame that gets your butt off the cold ground and provides back support up to just below the shoulders. Additionally, the San Francisco-based company offers a lifetime guarantee on its camp chairs; if you ever have an issue with one, simply send it back and the brand will repair or replace it.

Weight: 1.9 pounds
Materials: 210D ripstop nylon fabric, aluminum
Seat Height: 8 inches
Packed Dimensions: 17 x 5 x 5 inches
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

GCI Outdoor Big Comfort Stadium Chair

Best for Campground Camping: Picnic tables are great for giving your legs a rest but spend too much time seated on a wooden bench and your back will be screaming. GCI’s created a solution with the Stadium Chair — it’s constructed specifically to perch on picnic table benches and stadium bleachers so that you can give your back a break while you’re hanging at basecamp or watching the game. The chair secures to the seat with a rotating L clamp and folds up on itself for transportation much like a typical beach chair.

Weight: 4.2 pounds
Materials: nylon mesh, polyester fabric, aluminum
Seat Height: 4 inches
Packed Dimensions: 8 x 22.8 x 7.1 inches
Weight Capacity: 330 pounds

Kelty Low Love

Best Two-Person Chair: Camping isn’t always a solo endeavor. In fact, it’s often double the fun with more than one buddy. If you happen to head out with your significant other, your patience might be tested and will leave you questioning, will this last the weekend? This chair is here to help. At the end of a long day of hiking, pull this loveseat out. While this isn’t the lightest of chairs, it’ll fit two people, and you both can lean back to enjoy the views, making it all the better to check out the sky and rest your achy legs and back.

Weight: 15 pounds 6 oz.
Materials: 600D polyester
Seat Height: 13.5 inches
Assembled Dimensions: 44 x 23.5 x 31.5 inches
Weight Capacity: 500 pounds

Alps Mountaineering King Kong Chair

Best Backyard Chair: Sometimes you don’t have to wander much farther than your own backyard to experience the great outdoors. It makes a great addition to any car camping experiences you have coming up — and pretty much forever since the chair has a lifetime guarantee.

Weight: 12.5 pounds
Materials: 600D polyester
Seat Height: 18 inches
Packed Dimensions: 7 x 41 inches
Weight Capacity: 800 pounds

GCI Freestyle Rocker

Best Rocking Chair: Picture yourself sitting lakeside with a beer in hand, feeling tired, yet fulfilled after a successful long day of hiking. Are you sitting still or rocking back and forth? There’s something to be said about a rocker on a porch (or better yet, on a dock). While rocking chairs are definitely not for the carry-in, carry-out type, throw this in the back of your pick-up and enjoy a few calming undulations anywhere you go.

Weight: 12.1 pounds
Materials: Powder-coated steel
Seat Height: 19.7 inches
Packed Dimensions: 25 x 4.9 x 34.8 inches
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

Moon Lence Compact Ultralight Portable Folding Chair

Best Budget Chair: This small, yet mighty chair comes in its own carrying case, meaning the legs won’t get tangled along with everything else in your backpack. Made from lightweight aluminum, it’ll go anywhere you want to take it. The waterproof fabric is easy to clean and at $30, it’s hard to find another well-built chair that’ll survive more than just one adventure at that price point.

Weight: 2 pounds
Materials: 1000D oxford cloth
Seat Height: 15 inches
Packed Dimensions: 14 x 4.2 x 5 inches
Weight Capacity: 242 pounds

The 6 Best Backpacking Tents of 2019

If you plan to sleep in the wild after a long day of hiking, you need a tent. A good backpacking tent should be lightweight and small when packed down, since you’ll probably carry it with you all day. It should be comfortable with a bountiful sleeping area, complete with room to spread out, plus eat or read, and possibly a vestibule for storing gear. Bonus points for a tent that’s easy to set up — when you arrive to the campsite after dark, you’ll reap big rewards. And depending on your adventure plans, you may also need a tent that can stand up to high winds, heavy rain or even snow.

To identify the best ones, I spent hours upon hours researching tents rated as highly durable, as well as those made with high-quality poles and fabrics. After all, you don’t want to buy a new tent every year; a good backpacking tent should last you for at least the next decade. I also brought in experts like Laura Evenson, an experienced thru-hiker and REI employee, as well as three other Seattle-based backpackers, to comment on their favorite tents. These outdoors folks shared their opinions on backpacking tent deal breakers and winning features. And personally, I am an experienced gear reviewer who has written and edited dozens of guides to outdoor gear for publications like Gear Patrol, Wirecutter and the REI Co-op Journal, with a special focus on tents, materials and camping equipment. And I like to go outside, too; I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and have been sleeping in the backcountry since I was a kid. All of which is to say, here are the best backpacking tents of 2019.

Best Overall Tent: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

The Big Agnes Copper Spur UV is a popular option for new and experienced backpackers alike because of its ideal space-to-weight ratio. Weight starts at three pounds and one ounce, then grows if you expand from a one-person tent up to a four-person tent. It also offers high volume, which means you’ll have increased living space for gear storage, eating, hanging out or sleeping, but without added weight. Bonus points: The Copper Spur has two dual zipper doors, making getting in and out — and getting enough ventilation — quite literally a breeze, and it’s made with durable nylon so it’ll last for years.

Best Durable Ultralite Tent: MSR Hubba Hubba

If you’re looking for a durable, lightweight backpacking tent, the MSR Hubba Hubba is the way to go. The tent starts at three pounds, eight ounces, and comes in one-, two-, three- or four-person configurations. The Hubba Hubba has long been praised in the outdoors community as the absolute best option for long-term durability. Evenson says she loves MSR’s new waterproof coating, which is resistant to the damage that often occurs over time due to heat and humidity. The Hubba Hubba also has Syclone poles, which are made with cutting-edge aerospace composite materials for standing up to inclement weather.

Best Budget Tent: REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent

At less than $200, the REI Co-op Passage 2 tent is a good beginner tent for someone who isn’t ready to commit to backpacking quite yet. The Passage 2 is fairly lightweight for its price, weighing in at four pounds, 13 ounces, and it comes with vestibules for gear storage, plus aluminum poles. Like most REI tents, it’s incredibly easy to set up, which makes it more accessible to newbies.

Best Tent for Intolerable Weather: Hilleberg Anjan 2 GT

If you think you’ll be facing crazy weather during your outdoor adventures, the Hilleberg Anjan 2 GT is a solid choice. It’s a bit heavier than its competitors, weighing in at 4 pounds and 10 ounces, but it offers extra durability and weatherproofing in exchange for that extra pound. The tunnel-like build of the tent allows for venting while still offering rain protection, with an inner and outer tent wall wrapped all around you. If temperatures are scorching, you can roll up the rear wall and vestibule to boost ventilation; if the weather turns, the shelter’s sides zip back down easily. The Anjan is best used as a solo tent for three-season backpacking, not during the winter.

Best Crossover Tent: REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent

If you’re looking for a tent that works just as well for car camping as it does in the backcountry, consider the Half Dome 2 Plus. This much-loved, five-pound, five-ounce tent offers enough space to relax while also still somehow remaining relatively lightweight. The durable Half Dome is color coded, which makes setup a breeze, and it has two doors.

Best Single Wall Tent: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2

Backpackers looking for an alternative to a traditional tent can opt for Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s single-wall shelter, the Dirigo 2. It weighs just under two pounds and sets up quickly, warding against unwanted moisture with waterproof fabric. You pitch the tent using trekking poles and stakes, meaning you’re not carrying the extra weight from interior poles, and the mesh walls help keep things light and breezy inside.

The Best Camping Blankets

Made using the same functional materials as sleeping bags — materials like water-repellent down insulation and ripstop nylon shells — camp blankets are perfect for warm weather camping and fit right in inside the home too. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

19 Books for Athletes We Are Loving This Summer

Summer is flying by, but there’s always time to kick back and relax with a book. While we’re all about beach reads and taking our mind on a journey while we soak up the sun, these 19 books are filled with stories that will have you signing up for fall marathons and fun runs — even mile races when they pop up. We tapped our staff and some of our friends to hear what’s on their list right now. But, no matter their year of publication, no matter which sport they embrace — surfing, running, hiking, mountain biking, weightlifting and more — the feeling we get is the same: inspired. If you’re re-drafting your summer reading list, bring these to the top.

The Incomplete Book of Running, Peter Sagal

Peter Sagal is the host of the popular NPR podcast, Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! and his latest book weaves a narrative about how running can help with survival — not just from a run-faster perspective, but rather from a personal and mental health perspective. Sagal was sedentary for most of his life and didn’t pick up running until just before he turned 40. The Incomplete Book of Running is a humorous read for self-proclaimed runners, those who want to get into the sport and even those who want nothing to do with it.

Good to Go, Christie Aschwanden

Recovery has been the buzzword in the health and fitness world for the past couple of years due to an uptick in awareness around foam rolling, stretching, napping and more. In this book, Aschwanden takes a closer look at what works and what doesn’t — and topics range from drinks, shakes, compression sleeves, sleep trackers and more. From real world testing to digestible scientific studies, Aschwanden makes it easy to know what you should add to your fitness routine.

Running Home, Katie Arnold

Writer and reporter Katie Arnold’s first book, about how running helped her heal from her father’s death, will inspire you to hit the trails and churn your legs no matter your burdens. An adventurer at heart, Arnold shares how over the course of three years, she pushed herself to run longer and longer distances, past the point of pain and into acceptance.

26 Marathons: What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from My Marathon Career, Meb Keflezighi

After 26 marathons, four trips to the Olympics, two and thousands of miles, Meb Keflezighi retired with the 2017 New York City marathon. He’s won the Boston and New York marathons in addition to having a reputation in the running world as one of the kindest and hardest working souls. This powerful book tells Keflezighi’s story but makes it a quick read. Keflezighi shared what he learned from each of those 26 marathons (one for each mile in a marathon — 26.2), including life lessons apply to everyone.

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance, David Epstein

If you’ve ever wondered what Serena Williams, Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps have in common, Epstein explores the limits of biology and what training can do for your body. The Sports Gene looks at the nature vs. nurture debate in addition to interviews with Olympians about the quality of their training. Is there a gene that determines how good you’ll be at athletics? Epstein strives to find out.

Liferider: Heart, Body, Soul, and Life Beyond the Ocean, Laird Hamilton

Laird Hamilton’s name now extends past the surfing world into the world of fitness thanks to his ability to seemingly never age, a modeling career and his first book. This book goes beyond just pure fitness and surfing and looks at how everything is connected — from death and fear to your heart, body and soul. Hamilton shares his viewpoint on life and everything that comes with it, from relationships to business to risk-taking.

The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is another pillar of excellence in his field — he’s built a reputation for himself by merely playing and excelling at what he does. His first book gives fans an insight into how he gets himself amped before every game and how he continues to push the boundaries of sport. For those who remember every play he’s made over the past twenty years, you’re in luck, Bryant dissects those as well. You can expect to display this book on your coffee table after you’re done — the images are stunning and on practically every page.

The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train and Thrive, Jim Afremow

If you’re looking for an edge to help you hit that new deadlift weight or mile time or lead the softball team to victory in the upcoming tournament, this book is for you. The Champion’s Mind explores how elite, Division 1 and recreational athletes get in the zone before a big game or competition, in addition to individualized paths to progress. No matter what your goals are, this book will help you get to the next level.

Let Your Mind Run, Deena Kastor and Michelle Hamilton

“If you’re interested in the power of positive thinking, give this a read. It’s an intimate look inside the mind of an elite runner, Deena Kastor, as she transforms her running career by transforming her mind and her way of thinking. Simple examples like ‘So I decided to approach the hill playfully. Hill, today, you’re mine’ made each practice more positive and made Deena a stronger person and athlete. I think every runner, from beginner to elite, can find a positive takeaway from Deena to incorporate into their daily practice.” — Jes Woods, Nike Run Coach

How Bad Do You Want It?, Matt Fitzgerald

“Continuing the theme of mental training, [this book] is all about mental toughness. We all have different coping styles and not one method is the ideal recipe to greatness, so Matt explores a dozen pivotal races and what gives these elite athletes an edge, mentally. There are countless quotable moments in this book, but the following is my favorite and helped me through my last race: ‘Sweet disgust is really the opposite of defeat. It is the determination to fight back, something that is hard to do effectively without anger.’ I think it’s fascinating to learn how mental fortitude can help you win over physically stronger competitors and [can be] used as your secret weapon out on the course.” — Jes Woods, Nike Run Coach

Finding Ultra, Rich Roll

“I love Rich’s podcast, and I think his story is so interesting. Finding Ultra follows his life: from all-star swimmer, turned lawyer, turned raging alcoholic to what he is now, an ultra runner, podcaster, dad, vegan advocate and so much more. I loved reading Finding Ultra, particularly in the height of my marathon training where the humidity was 1000% and runs felt like crap. Even though an ultra is much harder than anything I could imagine, hearing him talk about the ‘pain cave’ that is running was helpful for me.” — Lindsey Clayton, Barry’s Bootcamp Instructor

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami

“I love this book because it’s a beautiful account of one man’s love and obsession with his two favorite things: running and writing. It’s vivid, and it brings the reader into his world. The way he writes about running is so eloquent; it’s almost like he writes about running the way you wish you could explain it, but can’t find the words.” — Lindsey Clayton, ran this year’s NYC Marathon

Essentialism, Greg McKeown

“This is the quintessential burnout survival book. In my experience, runners are often the Type-A, overly-ambitious, competitive types who are far more likely to take on more than they can chew at work and in relationships. This book really helped me slow down and create strict guidelines about how I choose to spend my time.” — Gabriella Kelly, Head of Brand at Satisfy Running

A Race Like No Other, Liz Robbins

“This is an epic book that I am so glad I read before my first marathon. It gave me an understanding of what to expect as I ran the NYC marathon: the crowds, what you’ll be seeing. And despite all this, it still didn’t prepare me fully for the day ahead!” — Dan Churchill, Chef of Under Armour and Co-Founder of Charley St

Two Hours, Ed Caesar

“Part history lesson, part compelling narrative, part discussion of physiology, geography and culture, and part commentary on the current challenges the sport of running is facing, this is the compelling true story of Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, one of the most dominating marathoners of our modern time and his pursuit of the 2-hour marathon. It’s educational, inspirational, aspirational and a must-read, whether you’re a passionate fan of the sport or not.” — Mario Fraioli, Running Coach and Founder of The Morning Shakeout

Hypoventilation Training, Push Your Limits, Xavier Woorons

“The one for the nerds. The first thing we do in life is breathe and the last thing we do is breathe. Don’t tell me that how we are breathing is not important. One of the things I concentrate the most on when I am running races is to get the air all the way down my stomach and not just in my lungs.” — Lars C. Pedersen, founder of Saysky

Endure, Alex Hutchinson

“Why — and how — do we keep going when every fiber of our being is telling us to stop? This is the great paradox of endurance sports and a question any runner, regardless of experience or ability level, is forced to confront. In short: Read it.” — Mario Fraioli, Running Coach and Founder of The Morning Shakeout

Born to Run, Christopher McDougall

“This provides a firsthand insight into the natural state of running. It takes into account the runners of a native Mexican tribe and how their ancestors have been running epic distances for years, yet don’t get injured like we see today. This goes along with my own philosophy on minimizing, both when it comes to food, your routine and your lifestyle.” — Dan Churchill, Chef of Under Armour and Co-Founder of Charley St

Meditations From the Breakdown Lane: Running Across America, James E. Shapiro

“[This is] for the ‘Burningman’ runner. Shapiro’s account of running across the US in the 1980’s is kind of like the running biography version of Tom Wolf’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, capturing the ‘zen’ of long distance running with interjections of the weirdness that comes along with it.” — Gabriella Kelly, Head of Brand at Satisfy Running

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

10 Bike Racks that Blend Seamlessly Into Your Home

Last Updated July, 2019: We’ve added new bike rack picks and insights. Prices and links have also been updated.



Introduction

Leaving a bike on a New York City sidewalk is like going for a swim in shark-infested South African waters; limbs are lost, spokes are shaken, nothing left but the bones. During idle hours, city bikes need a safe place to rest inside: enter the indoor bike rack. City dwellers are masters at making a square foot somehow larger, and they’ve come up with some creative ways to store bikes. Whether it’s standing in the corner, blending in with wall decor or just plain out of the way, the method comes down to you (and your wallet). These indoor racks will keep your bike dry and safe at night.

Additional contributions by Tanner Bowden, Meg Lappe.

The Best Indoor Bike Racks

Park Tool Storage Hook

Bust Budget Pick: Indoor bike storage doesn’t have to be complicated. The simplest solution can be found at your local hardware store (or on Amazon). It’s a standard rubber-coated hook that can be easily installed with nothing more than a drill, allowing you to hang your bike freely from the ceiling or against the support of a wall. The hooks come in different sizes, which means you can store road bikes, mountain bikes, and everything in between — just be sure to buy the right size.

CLUG Bike Clip

Best Minimalist Bike Rack: The CLUG is as minimal as it gets — it’s nothing more than a simple, polycarbonate C-shaped clip that allows you to balance almost any bike against a wall, vertically or horizontally. It should be noted that the CLUG has specific size requirements and it’s not a hanger — make sure to buy the right size and install it correctly based on the bike you’re storing.

Steadyrack Classic Bike Rack

Best for Storing Multiple Bikes On a Wall: There are plenty of wall racks that use a tray-like system to cradle your bike and keep it off the ground, but Steadyrack does it best. The wall-mounting storage rack uses two arms to hold a bike’s front wheel in place while the rear sits in a small clip to keep it from swinging. The Steadyrack can also be swung from side to side nearly 180 degrees, allowing you to stack multiple bikes against each other and maximize available space. When not in use, the arms fold up on themselves to create a less obtrusive profile.

Racor Bike Lift

Best for Spaces with High Ceilings: Wall mounts are great, but they require a bit of lifting and demand that the bike become a visual highlight in the arrangement of any room. Racor’s Bike Lift brings the bike to the ceiling, up and out of the way of your regular interior movements. The lift uses two simple hooks that grab a bike (up to 50 pounds) by the handlebars and saddle, and works with a rope and pulley system that can elevate your ride up to 12 feet. Excess rope secures to a separate wall cleat. Despite the Bike Lift’s simple components, it offers a unique way to free up space inside (if you have it).

Delta Cycle Michelangelo Gravity Storage Rack

Best No Setup Required Option: Delta Cycle’s Michelangelo rack may be on the bigger side, but it’s the only wall mounting indoor storage option that doesn’t require installation — no drills, no screws. Instead, the rack works with gravity, using the weight of the bikes to create a stable downward force that can support two horizontally hung bicycles. The Michelangelo is constructed with steel tubes and rubber bumpers that prevent any scuffs and scratches and can support up to 80 pounds of bike weight.

Saris The Hottie Storage Rack

Best Freestanding Bike Hanger: No available wall space? No problem. The Hottie is a freestanding storage rack that can accommodate two bikes horizontally using two cushioned, adjustable cradles. The rack has a small footprint so it won’t take up too much living space, and it’s built with a wood face that blends nicely in most interior environments. As an added bonus, The Hottie is equipped with a small shelf for storing essentials like your keys and wallet.

Feedback Sports Rakk Bike Stand

Best Floor Stand: Wall mounts, hangers and racks have many benefits, but if you’re looking for a simpler option that prioritizes accessibility and doesn’t require installation, then a classic bike stand is a good choice. The Rakk is small and conveniently portable. It grabs and holds a bike’s front or rear wheel with a spring-loaded arm that keeps enough pressure on the bike to keep it from toppling over, all while preventing scratches to the rim or damage to the spokes. The Rakk is also modular, allowing you to connect multiple units for storing more than one bike.

CB2 Wood Bike Storage

Best Contemporary Bike Rack: Bike racks have a tendency to either blend into the wall or stick out like a sore thumb. This wood bike rack from CB2 is a simple space saver with room for your bike, plus storage for cycling gloves, a water bottle and snacks — anything you don’t want to forget before you head out for that early morning ride. The handcrafted rack holds up to 40 pounds, thanks to solid, sustainable acacia wood. You can totally impress your design friends with that knowledge.

Flat-Bike-Lift

Best for Families: If you have the garage space and really want to get your kids’ bikes up and off the floor, the Flat Bike Lift literally lifts your bikes up over everyone’s heads — out of sight and out of mind. You can fit two small bikes up there, so if its rare that the kids get out with you and ride, store them where they won’t take up valuable floor space. You’ll need to affix the bike rack to the ceiling, so be sure to check that you have studs — or hire a professional. Once installed, the bike locks into place and it’s a breeze to pull the handle down to reach it.

Vadolibero Bike Shelf

Best for Letting Your Guests Know Your Bike Is the Most Important Object In Your Life: If you’re storing your bike inside, then you probably care very much about it. Cycling is your passion — declare it to the world! Or to your house guests, at the very least. The Bike Shelf is less a rack and more a furniture piece that makes a statement. It highlights the beauty of the bicycle as an object, placing it where you’d normally display a fancy 4k television or perhaps an antique sculpture. But just because the Bike Shelf comes with an inherent level of vanity, that doesn’t mean it isn’t also practical, too. The solid oak shelf is built with a rack for hanging your cycling kit, three modular drawers for storing accessories and tools, and various hanging points that can be used for your helmet, a backpack, headphones and more.

The Best Commuter Bikes

These nine commuter bikes cover everything from high-end electric bikes to speed-minded fixies. Read the Story
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The 3 Best Summer Running Kits of 2019

Eighty-eight degrees. “Feels like 90 degrees.” Partly cloudy, wind gusts from the north at three miles per hour (negligible). Humidity: 80%. Three miles to go. That’s summer for you. When we’re in it, we wonder how the crisp spring days slipped so quickly by us and long for the onset of fall. We relish early mornings and the dusk at end of day, but when we do find ourselves running beneath a high sun, we push on through the thick atmosphere, stride after stride, one mile at a time.

Clothing is essential during these hazy months, even as we aim to wear as little as possible. Lightweight fabrics and good ventilation take priority, sleeves become optional, inseams rise. Cotton becomes an insulating sponge, so we avoid it at all costs, swarming like mosquitos to polyester, spandex and elastane. Finding cool-ish comfort takes a measure of trial and error, but it can be done, and not without style either.

This year, we find ourselves driving on toward three smaller brands that integrate elusive qualities: Satisfy, Saysky and District Vision. Rather than crank out endless runs of singlets and shorts, these companies pay mindful attention to every stitch and seam — think laser-cut mesh and bonded two-in-one shorts — to create apparel that becomes nearly invisible on the body in feeling but definitely not appearance. That’s exactly what we want on a summer run.
















Blaze Singlet by Saysky ~$45
Combat Shorts by Saysky ~$61
Combat High Socks by Saysky ~$19