Stellar New Gear Innovations $100 or less for Adventurists
Looking for some new gear to kickstart your next adventure or as a gift for the hiker, backpacker, backcountry skier or adventurist on your list? Here’s our list of unique and useful picks for $100 or less.
Bolle® Sunglasses $58 to $99
In addition to sport- and gender-specific shades, Bolle offers some the best selections on the market of unisex ones—at fair prices. Made by the same company that owns the Serengeti brand, their built with polycarbonate lenses constructed of premium-grade resin that tests show is incredibly impact-resistant, and three times lighter than glass. The frames are built with exceedingly strong, yet lightweight and flexible B-88 premium nylon. Two standouts: the Rainer, engineered for outdoors adventure, and the Diamonback, a handsome hybrid shade offering stylish good looks and versatile performance. Both include integrated proprietary lens technologies offering stellar options that adapt to ever-changing conditions. You get crystal clear views with anti-fog, oil and water-phobic coatings that repel oil, dirt and water. Thermogrip in key places ensures a secure fit during the sweatiest endeavors.
GSI Pinnacle Backpacker $89.95
Help a friend step up their backcountry cooking repertoire with this ingeniously designed kit: A premium quality, durable, non-stick, hard-anodized aluminum pot with integrated uncrushable strainer lid, two 14 oz. nesting polypropylene mugs with insulating sleeves and sip-it tops, and two 14 oz. nesting poly bowls, which all nest perfectly in the pot. The non-stick coating is comprised of a three-layer thermal system that conducts heat evenly throughout the entire pan, making cooking more time-efficient. It also has a safe, non-stick technology that provides a longer life expectancy to the pan—it’s abrasion and scratch resistance so you don’t have to worry about peeling and blistering common on cheaper pans.
DryGuy FORCE DRY DX Boot and Glove Dryer $80
From rain soaked hiking boots and sneakers to sweaty ski or snowboard boots to soggy gloves and wet helmets, the Force Dry DX will have you raring to go and ready to do it again—in under two hours (and even less with fewer items). Employing a gentle force of air and heat—around 105°F—the whisper quiet blower makes moisture evaporate quickly, while preventing the growth of fungus and bacteria that cause odors, and eventually speeds deterioration of gear. The dryer won’t shrink, warp, or otherwise harm gloves, garments or even custom liners.
Ibex Vests $130
Constructed of New Zealand sourced Merino wool, these Women’s Carrie and the Mens Shak vests offer just the right amount of core installation under a cycling jacket without making you overheat. The naturally breathable and odor-resistance, milled boucle wool construction makes each of these vests a versatile midlayer that can do double wear in the office. The flattering fit with a full zip with locking zipper pull, 6.5 in. zippered chest pocket on the Scout Jura, and a 6″ concealed zip hand warmer pockets on Scout Jura and the Carrie, interior chin guard and flatlock seams, makes this a really beautiful utilitarian gift.
KEEN HOWSER II $75.00
These hybrid shoe/slippers have to be one of the best gifts you could give an outdoorist. The casual, almost slipper like shoes have water-resistant nylon uppers featuring a bunched and quilted textile with accented stitching details that provide a fitted and sleek (not sloppy) look. They’re lined with a cozy microfleece that looks like lambswool, and have a natural rubber outsole and memory foam footbeds that cushion your step, and mold to your feet. The elasticized gore makes for on and off easy. And, wow, are they light (9.5 oz average)—a terrific place to snug your feet after a day of play, or to pull out of your backpack, and wear around camp after day on the trail. Men’s and Women’s specific sizes.
NuuMuu Ruu Muu $85
These versatile jumper dresses can be worn anywhere from the gym to the café to the beach, while traveling, hiking or biking, or doing yoga. Designed with flattering “hide everything” patterns, a good pick for outdoorsy women is the “espresso” Ruu-Muu (pocketed version). The color/pattern synchs well with leggings or bike shorts, or even NuuMuu sleeves (for a fun color pop or added warmth). Bonus points: they’re made in the U.S. with American-milled textiles, and there’re no built-in bra or lining—extending the fit range even further. Built on the “classic” model, the RuuMuu has two perfectly integrated pockets (5-inches deep and 4 in. wide) for stashing on-the-go necessities.
Patagonia Jeans $99
They may fit and look like jeans when you pull them on, but these body flattering, slim fitting pants never cling, constrict, bind or chafe in the thighs, hips, midriff or seat. Made with 98% organic cotton/2% spandex, these are the most versatile adventure jeans around. They’re so comfortable you could run (OK, not a marathon), hike, backpack or climb in them. You won’t find a more comfortable jean for travel either—there’s just enough “give” to make them easy to sit on a plane or train for hours without feeling like you’re choking your most vulnerable body parts in a low rise, 5-pocket design. Styling accents include an antique bronze shank button closure and zip-fly, double needle belt loops, printed twill pocket bags, and antique bronze piton rivets throughout. And as a gift, they’re about as green as you can get for outdoor gear. The proprietary denim in them is 100% organic cotton grown (no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides) and dyed using an innovative process that significantly reduces water, energy and chemicals. They’re also uniquely Fair Trade Certified™ sewn. Men’s and Women’s.
Ridgemont Outback $79
If you’re looking for some footwear with a lot of versatile functionality, you’ll want to check this brand out, and especially this rocking boot. Available in both men’s and women’s fit and sizing, the Outback model is one of the most unique and versatile outdoor footwear you’ll ever wear. It’s not only great looking but it’s well-made and super comfortable. Constructed of durable 2mm oiled full grain leather, waxed cotton canvas, rustproof lacing hardware, attractive durable stitching, a Ortholite innersole and a high-density 100% vulcanized rubber outsole with a medium lugged tread, the Outback easily travels from urban paths to forested trails and back. It also sheds water and mud likes it nobody’s business.
Scrubba Wash Bag $54.95
Think vintage washboard in a bag. The Scrubba certainly is a boon to backpackers, bikepackers and travelers needing clean socks and undies, and though it isn’t quite perfect, it does a better job of cleaning than washing in a sink or a stream (a super no-no). Fill with water, clothing and soap (use laundry soap; don’t use machine laundry detergent unless you want a rinsing nightmare), roll and clip the bag, let out any air (skip the valve and carefully push it out), rub to wash, rinse and dry. It weighs less than 5 ounces and packs away perfectly., and oh, yeah, it doubles as a dry bag.
SlumberJack Borderland $74.95
Save your ultralight sleeping bag for the trail. When you’re camping close to your vehicle, bag weight matters less than comfort, warmth, ease of use and care, and affordability. This brand has been around for the better part of 50 years and still makes the best car camping bag you’ll find. My brother keeps two in the back of his pickup for impromptu adventures with his partner, and says he never worries about waking up with a “bitchin’ back.” Rated to 20 degrees, the Borderland combines mummy styling with mobility and airflow versatility, including a full-length dual zippers stretch all the way around the footbox. Layered, offset quilt construction couples with zipper draft tubes to prevent cold spots and heat loss while.
Squatty Potty $79
Anyone who spends a good deal of time in the backcountry and has done their business there, knows how liberating and body purifying it is to take a good squat. The biomechanics of the human body show this is really how we’re supposed to be “going.” Yes, there’s empirical evidence showing that elevating your feet during elimination is healthier. Basically, it’s an alignment issue: Think kinked garden hose. Proper squatting fully relaxes the interior rear-end muscle, allowing the colon to fully empty. This nifty little device brings the benefits home (and keeps you in shape for those overnight trips in the outdoors). It may make people laugh, but it will also bring relief. It slides against the base of the toilet and looks demurely like a step.
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