Retro Fleece, UTMB Jacket, Massive VanLife Awning, and More Emerging Gear
This new women’s hiking shoe from adidas is the product of more scientific research than the Apollo Space Program. Adidas claims to have conducted thousands of foot scans, dozens of interviews, and copious demographic analyses to craft “a hiking shoe developed specifically for the female anatomy.”
Of course, every person’s feet are unique, and there is no guarantee that these will fit all women, despite adidas’ elaborate development process.
According to adidas climbing athlete Brooke Raboutou, the TERREX WMN Hiker RAIN.RDY ($160) thrives on technical sections of rock hopping and steep approaches to cliffs.
Moon Fabrications — makers of portable vehicle awnings and other car camping accessories — launches its largest shade structure to date. The MoonShade XL provides a whopping 108 square feet of coverage — that’s a $ 1,000-per-month apartment in NYC.
Weighing in at less than 13 pounds, the XL folds, rolls, and stores into a roomy carrying bag. Compared to the original smaller Moonshade, the XL utilizes “beefed up stitching, support poles, and stakes.” It doesn’t permanently affix to the vehicle, so it’s easy to move it from one side to the other, depending on the position of the sun.
The MoonShade is a massive 9 feet wide when deployed, so it’s only compatible with vehicles that are long enough to mount it. Full-size trucks, sprinter vans, and camper trailers make an ideal platform for the Moonshade XL. Preorder now for $495.
Sock prices are all over the map. One pair of hiking socks from a high-end brand can cost as much as ten pairs of cotton generics. While the cheap stuff may seem like the better financial choice, it’s also true that a single good sock can last as long as ten bad socks. As the timeless adage goes, you get what you pay for.
I haven’t tested Donkey Label’s Word Socks, but they’re about the middle of the road in terms of price at $75 for ten pairs. On paper, the materials look to be high quality, and the features — arch compression, flat knit construction, and mesh vents — are appealing. Plus, every pair in the bunch is individually named and boldly branded. From “Bonk” to “Send,” these socks can be easily matched with the theme of your day’s adventure.
HOLOS is a nutrition company based in Quebec and geared toward endurance athletes. Elite ultrarunners Abby Hall and Anton Krupicka endorse the brand. If HOLOS’ products are fueling record-breaking 100 milers through the mountains, it’s safe to assume they’re pretty wholesome.
Now, the brand has launched its Organi Overnight Muesli ($60/12 meals), a “crunchy and creamy” blend of whole grains, plant protein, seeds, probiotics, and dried fruit. Preparation is simple — simply pour your favorite milk over the muesli, soak overnight, and enjoy. Six flavors are available, including Vanilla, Chai, and Maple & Almonds.
Pale Blue Earth set out with the specific goal of modernizing household batteries. The brand’s flagship product is a AA battery that recharges via a universal USB-C port ($30/4-pack). Yep, every Pale Blue Earth Battery can be recharged through the same cords that we all use for phones and tablets. Plus, the brand’s unique 4-to-1 charging cable allows a whole handful of batteries to charge at once from a single outlet.
Through Pale Blue Earth’s 1% For the Planet partnership, the brand joins the American Alpine Club in an effort to “push forward the greater good of creating a more sustainable future.”
The Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) is an annual ultramarathon in Chamonix. Due to high elevation and extreme weather conditions, race participants must carry a set of mandatory equipment from the starting blocks to the finish line. Now, Ultimate Direction drops a new outerwear jacket that’s made to the UTMB’s standards of a “warm second layer.”
Made from a “windproof, tear-proof” polyamide and treated with a durable water-repellent coating, the Aerolight Wind Jacket is a lightweight, packable windbreaker for long-distance runners. Men’s and women’s sizes are available.
PrAna’s new Originals collection is a reboot of the brand’s early appeal from the 1990s. With retro style and gender-neutral sizing, the Originals collection has been updated with a modern fit and “Earth-conscious craftsmanship.”
The Hurricane EZ Fleece ($160) looks like it’s been sitting in a closet since spring break ’91 — and that’s a compliment. It’s got that unmistakably old-school fuzzy, and it’s made from entirely recycled materials. Other standout pieces from the Originals Collection include the flowy Snakebite Sweatshirt ($99) and the festive Indio Heritage Short ($75).
Named for Mt. Tamalpais — a forested peak near the northern edge of the Golden Gate Bridge — Speedland’s GS:TAM is a long-distance trail running shoe with a massive underfoot cushion. Speedland athlete Dylan Bowman was heavily involved in the shoe’s design process, and early impressions from testers are calling it a game changer.
Aside from the tangerine-colored upper, the GS:TAM’s key features include a dual-dial BOA fit system, a beaded external midsole, and a Michelin fiber Lite outsole with 4.5mm lugs. When the shoe wears out, owners can return their pair to Speedland for disassembly and recycling.
This nifty little accessory is a backpack for your backpack. The Wingman ($49) straps directly to a pack’s shoulder straps and sits right in the center of the wearer’s chest. Built to elevate a backpacker’s organizational systems, it’s the ideal housing for items that need to be immediately accessible on the trail. A water bottle, chapstick, GPS, and snacks can all fit inside.
Mystery Ranch is known for attention to detail in the backpacking world, and the Wingman appears to support this reputation further. Ounce counters, beware: The Wingman will add 4.8 ounces to your total load.
In recent seasons, Snow Peak has been expanding its product line at a rapid clip. Now, the Japanese outdoor lifestyle brand known for its utilitarian design drops a Game Vest for anglers ($300). In collaboration with the fishing appeal brand Toned Trout, this vest is inspired by the renowned fishing found on the Toned water system in the Gunma Prefecture of Japan’s main island.
Equipped with an assortment of handy pockets for flies, snacks, and tackle, this Vest is built for glorious mornings spent ankle-deep in a cold water stream. According to Snow Peak, the vest is a limited edition and will not be restocked once sold out.
The latest carbon commuter from Specialized ($2,250) sports some of the most striking frame geometry I’ve ever seen. According to the brand, the peculiar rear end isn’t just for looks — called the “Compliance Junction,” it aims to add flex for improved forgiveness and comfort.
It’s tough to say how much flex the Compliance Junction technology will actually provide, but I do appreciate the persistent innovation rolling out of Specialized. Other neat features of the Sirrus X 5.0 include Tektro HD-R510 hydraulic disc brakes and double-butted alloy handlebars with a 9-degree back sweep.
'Highest-Performing' HOKA, 3-Person Hammock, Grass Fiber Sunglasses, and More Emerging Gear
From next-gen tech to ingenious innovation, our weekly peek at emerging products examines the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design. Read more…
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