Best Backpacker Editors’ Gear for August 2021


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Saucony Xodus ISO3

Photo: Courtesy

These trail running shoes have been an incredible addition to my fleet of hiking boots and the pair I have worn the most this summer. The wide V-shaped crampons on the exclusive PWRTRAC outsole helped me feel secure while descending steep, loose gravel on Utah’s Grandeur Peak and climbing boulders to the summit of Pfeifferhorn. The shoes strike a balance between agile runners and supportive hikers: They kept my feet happy under an overnight pack on a three-day trip to Aspen, Conundrum Hot Springs, Colorado, and when I had to hurtle down Mt. Senior in the Wasatch to make it to a wedding on time, they helped me go fast even on steep, slippery descents. The bellows tongue gripped my foot and blocked the pebbles. Can’t wait to put more miles on these babies. Zoe Gates, Senior Skills Writer

Stio Icefloe MC Technical Tee

Stio Icefloe MC Technical Tee
Photo: Courtesy

A good technical all-rounder is hard to find. So much so that for most of the trips over the past decade I’ve worn the same Arc’teryx synthetic tee. It was super light and airy, naughty like a champ, tight fitting, and somehow never developed a stink. It was a miracle, but it was abandoned in this form, and I am looking for more. Finally, I found his match with Icefloe by Stio. It’s 100% poly, but the material looks like worn cotton and buttery, and on a three mile morning run in Boulder’s Chataqua Park, it’s as bad as any shirt I’ve got. worn in the relatively sweltering heat of 85 ° F. Since that initial test I have used it for day hikes and mountain biking rides in temperatures up to 95 ° F. Flat seams matched the straps of my backpack and the slight drop hem added some coverage to my turn. I hope I can take to the track in this shirt for the next 10 years as well. Shannon Davis, Editorial Director

La Sportiva TC Pro climbing shoes

La Sportiva TC Pro

I broke my toe about six weeks ago and quickly remembered how disturbing such a small injury can be for an active person. As I was hiking again in about a week (thanks, sports tape and leather boots) rock climbing, another of my favorite pastimes, was a little more elusive. That is, until I unearth those beastly high top rock shoes from my gearbox. The sole of the shoe is stiff and almost flat, useful both for scaling thin cracks and for supporting injured fingers as you work your way up the wall. They also have supreme edges, thanks to the 4 millimeter thick Vibram XS Edge sole. While there are some drawbacks – the lack of ankle flexibility can make toe hooks and wide grips difficult to grip – I’m going to be counting on these bad boys until I’m pain free. . Adam Roy, Senior Digital Editor

Suncloud Belmont Sunglasses

Belmont Sun Cloud
Photo: Courtesy

At first glance, these stylish sunglasses seem better suited for drinking wine in a park (… everyone does, right?) Than for protecting your eyes on a hike. But the Belmonts have proven to be exceptionally durable over many days of hiking, and I don’t really like my sunglasses. They were whipped by tree branches, fallen on rocks and crudely thickened in my bag, but the polycarbonate lenses and the lightweight frame, which are partly made from plant-based materials, did not suffer. no scratches or bumps. Although they don’t have nose or ear pads, I didn’t notice any slippage when I sweat. They also seem to have to cost twice as much. Eli Bernstein, Senior Material Editor

Bellingham Community Nautical Center

RS Quest Boat

Whenever I’m on the coast I like to go out on the water, but the semi-annual tours don’t really justify buying a kayak and dinghy. Enter the Bellingham Community Nautical Center in Washington state: He rents sit-on-top kayaks, sea kayaks, SUPs, dinghies (RS quests, which are incredibly fun), and even 24-foot keelboats (D24). An hourly kayak or SUP rental costs just $ 18, an inflatable boat $ 25 and a keelboat $ 35, or you can purchase a season pass for as little as $ 200. On my last visit to the house, I went there as often as possible, paddling or cruising in 6 mile wide Bellingham Bay. From the wharf you can see the boardwalk, downtown and on a clear day, the North Cascades and the Canadian Coast Range; walk past the Alaskan ferry dock and the Lummi and Portage Islands appear, with the Olympic Mountains rising behind. The Nautical Center is a non-profit organization that rents to anyone in the community with no membership required. In addition to offering rentals and boating lessons to the public, the Center is a certified clean marina, minimizing the environmental impact of its operations through ocean-friendly cleaners, quick-access spill kits and minimal fuel consumption. Kristin Smith, Associate Destination Editor

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