Welcome to another installment of Staff Picks from our Outdoors and Fitness team. Every other week, we select our favorite pieces out of the gear we’re testing, mainstays in our kits, as well as items on our wish lists. It’s like a sneak peek at the gear we’re testing and what we’re stoked on. Have something you think we should check out? Or just want to say hi? Drop us a line at outdoor@gearpatrol.com.

Danner Mountain 600 EnduroWeave

Durable hiking boots don’t always have to be made of leather and take days on the trail to break in. Take Danner’s Mountain 600 EnduroWeave for example. Thanks to the tightly woven, carbon-washed upper, the boot is not only durable and highly abrasion-resistant, but it’s also incredibly lightweight. The upper is paired with a Vibram SPE midsole, which is also lightweight but doesn’t sacrifice on comfort. Speaking of comfort, the boot also features a removable Ortholite footbed as well as a highly breathable airmesh liner so your feet stay dry even on hot days. For traction, the Mountain 600 EnduroWeave employs a Vibram Fuga outsole, which allows plenty of flexibility while still being tacky and grippy in a variety of conditions. If you’re looking to gear up for hiking this summer, this is your boot. — Presented by Danner


Goldwin Hooded Pullover

Summer hiking is all about peak bagging. And while the weather can be warm and sunny at the base, when you reach the summit, it can be significantly cooler and blustery. It’s best to have a light layer in your pack to toss on when you reach the top. Goldwin’s Hooded Pullover is made from a lightweight Pertex Quantum Air nylon that cuts the wind and will also protect from unexpected afternoon rain showers. — AJ Powell, Assistant Editor


If you’re looking for something similar to the Goldwin Hooded Pullover, but it’s a bit too expensive, try these alternatives: Burton [ak] Power Grid Hood ($100) | Rab Borealis Pull-On ($95)

District Vision Nagata Black Rose

If I’m out on the trail all day, I need more than just a hat to protect my eyes. A pair of sunglasses that will adjust to the changing light is ideal. This feather-light pair from District Vision has a pink hue on the lenses that seems to change to the different light as I hike or trail run through the woods. Crafted from a titanium core, the frames are bendy, stay in place, and look hardcore enough that I look like I know what I’m doing, yet are cool enough to wear bike commuting as well. — Meg Lappe, Staff Writer

If you’re looking for something similar to the District Vision Nagata Sunglasses, but they’re a bit too expensive, try these alternatives: Under Armour Rival Wrap ($140) | Sunski Treeline Polarized ($89)

Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack

I used to shun day packs. I’d prep for any outing that didn’t require the capacity of my 65-liter trekking pack by dumping my things into whatever school bag or ski pack was at-hand. Oh what a world I was missing. I picked up Osprey’s Stratos in its 24-liter volume (there’s also a larger 34-liter version) last fall, and it has changed my hiking experience. The bag is outfitted with all the pockets, compression straps and access points you’d expect from a backpack company, but the standout for me has been the mesh back panel. It’s raised and tensioned away from the pack’s main vestibule, which allows lots of air to flow between my back and the bag, minimizing the sweaty back issue I had come to view as unavoidable. The mesh also integrates into the hipbelt, wrapping its arms around my lower torso like a well-studied dance partner for a fit that’s more comfortable than any I’ve known before. — Tanner Bowden, Associate Staff Writer

If you’re looking for something similar, but the pick above isn’t quite right, try these alternatives: Patagonia Nine Trails Backpack 20L ($129) | Mountain Hardwear Scrambler Roll Top 20 OutDry Backpack ($110)
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