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 email@example.com.
Evil Bikes The Following MB
When Washington-based Evil Bikes first released The Following, the critics raved. Its Dave Weagle-designed DELTA suspension platform was one of the best on the market at isolating pedaling forces from suspension travel. This year, Evil tweaked The Following, tacking on an “MB” (More Better’er) to its name along with a bit more length and extra stiffness to the frame. With only 120mm of suspension, many would peg The Following MB as a trail bike suited to timid riders a lycra-clad XC’ers, but it smashes that mold. The bike is designed to take on even the rowdiest of all mountain trails. — AJ Powell, Assistant Editor
Here are two more bikes we’re excited to test this summer:
Yeti SB100 ($6,999) | Kona Process 153 CR ($4,799)
Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent
With the rise of summer comes the re-birth of what seems like a million mosquitoes. As someone who goes outdoors once and gets 100+ bites (a slight exaggeration), I’m always seeking ways to eliminate them. I’ve done the whole spray my body with bug spray and tried dryer sheets, but each has its downside. I’m excited to test out one of Thermacell’s mosquito repellant devices. It fits in the palm of my hand and claims to create a 110-square foot mosquito protection zone. Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to test, so we’ll see. — Meg Lappe, Staff Writer
If you’re looking for something similar, but the pick above isn’t quite right, try these alternatives: Cutter Backwoods Dry Spray ($6) | Gardner Fly Web Fly Trap ($32)
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 40-Degree Sleeping Bag
I don’t often get the chance to test out warm weather sleeping bags. For whatever self-afflicting reason, my camping and backpacking trips tend to take place in extreme latitudes and at high elevation. It doesn’t matter what season the calendar says it is, cold is cold. This summer though, I’m making plans to stay closer to the equator, and sea level. And that means that I can bring a bag that weighs a pound and packs down to the same size as my 40-ounce water bottle.
Mountain Hardwear’s 40-degree Ghost Whisperer sleeping bag has both of these qualities, thanks to the lightweight 900-fill insulation that first debuted in one of the brand’s most popular jackets. The sleeping bag version, which is new this spring, debuted to much fanfare and ado (some of it coming from yours truly). I’ll let you know if it lives up to the hype. — Tanner Bowden, Associate Staff Writer