We tested the pants off this gear over the summer and it all transitions well into the cool temps of autumn. So here is your Fall Gear Guide, our editor’s choice awards for the season’s best gear.
1. Braven BRV-1
It’s hard to believe such fantastic sound comes out of this wireless, Bluetooth speaker that can fit in your hand. Even better, it’s waterproof and nearly indestructible (Braven ran a Hummer over it in one demo). That makes it ideal for everything from car camping to tubing trips to cruiser rides. Or just bring it out on the deck and don’t worry about the weather changing. This was hands down our favorite
2. Treksta Evolution GTX
You deal with all the elements come fall and this is one light hiker that can handle mud, slop, talus, puddles and snow. A Gore membrane allows it to breathe even when it’s shucking off the elements and a solid sole will grip everything from packed snow to rock. Add in a NestFIT system that holds the foot according to its natural curves and you have our favorite shoe for fall.
3. Deuter Guide 35+
Hut trip season is nigh and this comfortable pack is our top pick for hauling in all the essentials to a backcountry cabin. It’s definitely a winter pack, pimped out with a ski/snowboard carry system, ice axe holder, detachable hip belt and a snow skirt but that doesn’t mean you can’t also use it for overnight backpacking and other autumn excursions. It’s roomy and easy to pack, and the top pops up for an extra 10 liters of space, which proves useful when you need to shed and stash layers. That’s a lot of versatility for a pack that rings in for less than $200.
4. E-Case for iPhone 5
Yep, now that you have your oh-so-hipster iPhone 5, you also have to buy a whole new bevy of accessories for it. That’s how the American economy works, friends. This is one little purchase you will want to make if you spend any time in the wild. This case will keep your new baby safe from foul weather and more. It is fully submersible in water and includes a nifty headphone jack so that you can still listen to tunes when you are out there playing hard.
5. Stio Kirby Wind Shirt
Direct-to-consumer brand Stio is the brainchild of former Cloudveil founder Steve Sullivan and based out of Jackson, which means it just oozes mountain town credibility. The nifty Kirby typifies the brand’s offerings. It’s a wind shirt for hiking, a light layer for skiing or a shit-kicker in the bar.
6. Osprey Pixel Port
Ok, so you have that fancy waterproof case for your iPhone, but what about your iPad, Mr. Mustachioed Fixie Man? Never fear, Osprey’s latest series of commuter bags include a clear protective window that allows you to view and operate that fancy toy while it is still safely inside the pack. The Pixel is also an impressive ba without that bit of tech flair—a comfortable, durable hauler that’s just as at home on a college campus as it is on a day hike.
7. Marmot Minimalist
We test a ridiculous amount of jackets over the year, but nothing else combines protection and light weight as well as the Minimalist. This 15-ounce shell relies on Gore’s Paclite fabric, a lighter version of the waterproof/breathable standby that’s virtually just as effective in the high, dry Rockies. We used it for everything from alpine climbs to backcountry skiing to backpacking.
There’s an old recovery mantra that goes: rest, compression, elevation, ice. Usually, you put that ice on your injury. In this case you put it in your belly. What’s not to like about a pre- or post-workout popsicle?
$7 for box of 6 pops; powerice.com
9. Altra Lone Peak 1.5
Got big, wide, freaky toes that hate to be squished into a running (or worse, climbing) shoe? No fear. The folks at Altra have developed a zero-drop running shoe that takes into account one aspect of your foot that many natural gait companies miss: the toe box is nice and wide—your toes room to be strong and free.