The adventure gear our editors loved in April 2022
From spring skiing to sea kayaking, our writers are going on adventures across the country (and beyond) this spring. This gear helps us tackle everything from changing snow conditions to changing temperatures and changing time zones.
My ski season is finally coming to an end, but I’ve had a string of rewarding spring hikes lately. My key piece of gear as the weather warms up but the snow still beckons has been this glove from Stio. The non-waterproof Uptrack, with softshell material on the back of the hand and wrist, isn’t too hot for spring climbs (even with a touch of PrimaLoft insulation that staves off chills if the mercury drops). But with a full Pittards goatskin palm and sturdier construction than many softshell gloves designed for skintrack, it performs as well as my downhill glove and doesn’t have the flimsy feel of a softshell either. With plenty of dexterity and a touchscreen compatible index fingertip, I can’t ask for much more from a non-waterproof glove. –Eli Bernstein, Equipment Editor
Like Eli, I spent the last ski season milking, and those bibs have always been with me. With a loose fit that doesn’t feel too baggy, they fit me better than any ski bibs I’ve tried before. Vents on the inside of the knees and outside of the leg keep me cool on the climbs, and although the material isn’t the lightest, I never got too hot in these bibs. It’s a perfect compromise, as I can close the vents on the coldest and windiest days and feel well protected. Two generous thigh pockets plus a zippered kangaroo pocket and chest pocket hold all my snacks (homemade banana bread is the best pocket snack, FYI), my phone, and my inhaler. The folding seat is also practical for long journeys. I’ve tested a handful of bibs this season, but I always come back to my trusty Moxie for its no-fuss comfort and balanced features. —Zoe Gates, Skills Editor
I’ve been going to PT for a while to finally get rid of a long standing injury that reached breaking point in February (tibial posterior muscle strain in both calves, oof). Treating this injury meant I bought a lot of things that I probably should have had all this time: supportive insoles, comfortable shoes, and these Zensah compression sleeves. Once I progressed enough to make my big return to the trails, my sensitive calves were supported with every step. These sleeves reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, allowing me to get back to my usual weekly running and hiking mileage without a hitch. Research has confirmed some of the benefits of compression sleeves, but even if it was a placebo effect, my calves (and I) would still be happy. —Emma Veidt, Associate Skills Editor
I’ve used these shoes for years, through several pairs, but I’ve never been more grateful for their blend of comfort and super-sticky rubber than on my recent first attempt at multipitch climbing. After five straight hours on the wall, my feet had no pressure points or pinching, and I haven’t lost a single toenail; by the time i finished the half hour hike all pain was gone. And I’ve never been more grateful for an equipment component than for the Vibram XS Edge rubber outsole while navigating friction slabs a hundred or a thousand feet from the deck. My conclusion at the end of the trip: multi-way climbing may not be for me, but these shoes definitely are. –Kristin Smith, Destination Writer
I’ve got a few trips coming up where I’ll mix adventure with sightseeing time – think desert hiking and sightseeing around Las Vegas or sea kayaking and the beach in Florida. Unfortunately, I also fly on budget, which means my baggage allowance is as small as my ambitions are big. Space-saving gear that can play multiple roles is a must-have, and these versatile dry bags with one-way air release valves help me out by compressing my clothes as small as possible to fit inside my personal item. At my destination, they double as dry bags, ready to protect my phone, wallet, and dry diapers from rain, waves, or even (briefly) accidental soaking. Now if only they could do something about Frontier’s legroom. —Adam Roy, Senior Digital Editor