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.
Nixon Regulus Watch
To construct a chronograph watch that could stand up to the elements of any environment, Nixon consulted special ops personnel. The result shows it too; the Regulus is ruggedly bomb-proof, with an injection-molded, fiber-reinforced TR90 case and a hardened crystal face. The watch is water-resistant to 100 meters, and its digital unit is bolstered with built-in shock-absorbing materials. Special ops had their say too — the Regulus includes two chronograph timers, a dimmable display and a silent mode, all of which contribute to the watches discreet character and can come in handy when out in the wilds. — Gear Patrol
The James Brand Elko Knife
When I stumbled across the James Brand’s Elko, memories of my Victorinox Sportsman immediately brought forth preconceived ideas about the inadequacy of small pocket knives. Closed, the Elko is the size of a USB stick. Open, it’s just over 4.3 inches, shorter than a standard pen. But the best thing about the Elko is its size. No other knife, including the Sportsman, has ever gone as unnoticed in my pocket with my wallet and keys. It’s the type of item I forget about completely until the moment when I need it — a validation of good design in any product.
When I do move to a place with less antiquated knife laws, I’m not sure my old Gerber will find its way out of storage; it’ll sit in a drawer, next to the Sportsman, while the Elko stays attached to the keyring in my pocket. — Tanner Bowden, Associate Staff Writer
Tracksmith Session Shorts
I wore the Session Short for practically every long run I did when marathon training – roughly 132.75 miles – and they’re still in great shape.
The shorts are made from a Veloce blend – which is an Italian knit fabric. They’re silky smooth to the touch, can handle sweat and then transition to the coffee shop without an inch of discomfort. The stretch is just right too — they don’t sag and the elastic stays put through countless washes. The single pocket is just the right size for my keys, chapstick and perhaps a MetroCard if I get desperate and don’t want to run home.
These shorts are the closest I’m going to get to running like an elite runner. They aren’t quite the split shorts or the spandex shorts of the pros, but something comes over me when I put them on and hit the road. Running is a decidedly mental game, so the stronger I feel about my gear, the faster my next race will be — at least that’s the hope. — Meg Lappe, Staff Writer
Perhaps the coolest feature on the SunLight is a built-in solar panel that can charge the light to full in seven hours — which is quick enough to get the job done during the day when lights aren’t needed (there’s a micro-USB input too). BioLite has always positioned itself as an energy company, and it does make great solar gear, so it’s nice to see that technology integrated across product lines.
No, the SunLight won’t replace my headlamp as a backpacking essential, but hiking and camping aren’t just about essentials (I’ll probably continue to trek my BaseLantern XL into the woods too). It’s nice to have a lantern transitioning from purple to blue to green to yellow while you’re playing cards in a tent, or hanging in a cabin. Camping should be fun, and the SunLight, while it does serve an important function through an innovative design, is also exactly that: fun. — Tanner Bowden, Associate Staff Writer