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New Gear and Stories, Fresh from the Farm

This Week in Sports and Outdoors: July 10, 2014

This Week in Sports and Outdoors: an interview with Lance, bespoke baseball bats, self-driving minesweepers, and more.

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New Gear and Stories, Fresh from the Farm

This Week in Sports and Outdoors: July 3, 2014

This Week in Sports and Outdoors: a $20,000 bicycle, survival kits, nightlife after the Tour de France, and more.

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New Gear and Stories, Fresh from the Farm

This Week in Sports and Outdoors: June 26, 2014

This Week in Sports and Outdoors: A new bike helmet from Giro, a Slovenian ultra swimmer, the most refreshing drink on Earth, and more.

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More Shoe, More to Love

Cushion for Pushin': Maximalist Running Shoes

Is “maximalist” the next big thing in running? There’s certainly a lot to love. GP puts rubber to the pavement to see how seven different options stack up.

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New Gear and Stories, Fresh from the Farm

This Week in Sports and Outdoors: June 19, 2014

This Week in Sports and Outdoors: an adventure road bike from GT, electronic shifting from mountain bikes, beast-shaped kettlebells and more.

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Upgrade Your Skivvies

Deft Drawers: Underwear for Active Guys

Made from lightweight, wicking, breathable fabrics like merino wool, polypropylene and a host of proprietary fabrics, sports underwear designed for active guys keeps you cool and dry without bunching up when you move.

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Business suit, leisure suit, tri suit

The Five Best Tri Suits for Race Day

The apparel you choose in a race is important from a performance and comfort standpoint, too: while you can change clothes at each transition, a tri suit can take you from swim to bike to run to post-race pizza and beer.

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The Best Running Pack of 2014

Tested: Ultimate Direction Fastpack 20

Rarely does one pack meet the demands of all its intended uses. The Ultimate Direction Fastpack 20 ($150), which launches on August 15, exceeds them.

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Topo's New Multisport Shoe

Tested: Topo Oterro

If you’re looking for a shoe to replace your current lightweight hikers or to conquer your next obstacle race, the Topo Oterro is a good bet. Plus, it isn’t shaped like a cloven hoof.

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Hands-free hydration

Fluid Dynamics: Hydration Packs for Running

Running without water is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. These five hydration packs are among the best on the market, each with unique features that sets it apart from the field.

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Sun's Out, Guns Out

Tee Up: 5 Basic T-Shirts

There’s nothing like the old, faded out, ripped-at-the-collar t-shirt. It carries years of stories in stitches and stains. Unfortunately, you’re the only one who knows and respects that history; it just looks like a dirty t-shirt to everyone else. Save it for wing night and keep your wardrobe loaded with fresh, handsome Ts for all other occasions.

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Be Short, Not Brief

Under Armor: Five Great Boxer Shorts

The loosest fitting of male undershorts, boxers allow free range of movement for you legs and other parts, and enough soft protection that wearing them is like getting away with loungewear 24/7. From inexpensive to splurge, classic to technical, we’ve got you and yours covered with these five pairs of boxers.

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Fashionable and Functional

Button Up, Hike Down: Best Hiking Shirts

Apparel with the technical specs to keep you snug and dry on the trail doesn’t have to look out of place the minute you leave the wild. Exhibit A: these 10 adventure shirts.

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Chris Burkard's Gear

Kit: A Photographer in Oregon’s Wilderness

Photographer Chris Burkard explains his kit for capturing nature in the Oregon wilderness.

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Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night...

10 Best Rain Jackets of 2014

When the season changes from twenty degrees and snow to forty degrees and rain, it’s time to update the outerwear. Sometimes you need a coat that’s lightweight and waterproof, while also being paradoxically windproof and breathable. These are the best.

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Essentials for a quicky with mother nature

Kit: The Perfect Day Pack

Most day hikes require a peanut butter sandwich, a water bottle and maybe some bug spray. But for the weekend warrior who wants to crush in one day what most people stroll in three, there are a few indispensables. Here are our favorite necessities and extravagances for spending a day burning through some miles on the trail.

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Proving Big-Brand Isn't Bad

Tested: Under Armour Speedform Apollo

Under Armour takes its first shot at a race-weight running shoe with the Speedform Apollo. We took a pair for a spin to see how they stack up.

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Light shoes, fast hikes

The Best Hiking Shoes of 2014

If you’re traveling light and fast in the mountains or just need something to walk the local trail system, you can skip a full-fledged hiking boot in favor of a hiking shoe. These are our five favorites.

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Warm, Dry, and Comfortable...that's far from base

Second Skin: 5 Best Base Layers

Whether you’re training for a ski mountaineering race or just sick of shivering on your morning commute, staying warm and dry is objective number one. The base layer you choose to wear while doing battle with the elements can’t guarantee success, but it sure as hell can guarantee ruin. But have hope. New synthetic fabrics offer amazing moisture-wicking properties, while merino wool is experiencing a renaissance with temperature regulating properties that are borderline miraculous. We’ve done the leg work to find the best base layers for every outdoor activity and situation for upcoming winters, falls and springs.

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Get wet, stay warm

Tested: Patagonia R1 Wetsuit

Patagonia has always been a company with one foot in the mountains and one in the sea — climbing and skiing one day, surfing and paddling the next. When they introduced wetsuits to their lineup a few years ago, it was a big leap for the company, but not one they were unqualified to make. In fact, their experience building warm, lightweight and bombproof alpine gear transferred well to wetsuits, which we found out recently while testing the R1 wetsuit during a week of diving in Belize.

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Gear for the jungle and the reef

Kit: Underwater and Underground in Belize

Packing for a tropical getaway usually only involves deciding what color swim trunks to pack. But when your plans include jungle hiking, cave exploration and scuba diving, things get a little more complicated. The key is versatility — you need gear that works underground or underwater just as well as it does topside. For our week in Belize we made sure everything we took did more than just one thing well. This saved space in our luggage and let us be nimble yet well prepared. Here’s a sampling of what we took.

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Gear for the diehard winter rider

Kit: Fat Bike Racing

Fat bikes can effortlessly glide over snowy conditions like a set of snowshoes, and they’re cushy enough for riding in frigid temps without shattering your frozen tuchus. But the bike can only take you so far. Staying warm and dry — and returning home with all your fingers and toes — requires the right set of gear for when the weather decides to take a serious turn for the worse. These winter fat biking essentials will help you battle the worst Mother Nature can throw your way.

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Beg for mercy, prep mercilessly

Rewind: Bad Weather Gear

What’s that bright thing in the sky? Is that…is that the sun? We’re not done with winter’s worst yet, but a look back at some of our cold-weather pieces should help you fill out your much-needed wintry gear set. Only a few more weeks, folks. We’re almost there.

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To Russia We Fly

Kit: Capturing the Olympics

Packing for a trip to Russia for the Sochi Olympics is no small feat. There’s weather, international travel, technology and a desire to stay light on our feet to consider. Gear needs to be tough, functional, lightweight and understated. Here’s a sampling of what we’re packing to use on a normal day in Sochi.

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Speedier Skating

Breakdown: Under Armour Mach 39 Speedsuit

Speedskating — not to mention its thrilling short track sibling — is known less for its technical innovation and more for its excitement. Under Armour, partnered with Team USA and Lockheed Martin has set out to change all that. Come February 8th at 6:30 a.m. EST the USA men’s 5000m contenders will be the first to don the menacing and impressive Mach 39 Speedsuit in anger. We break down the high-tech super-skater suit.

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Live From Salt Lake City

Best of Outdoor Retailer, Winter 2014

We like to get our hands on new gear early, and short of theft and corporate espionage one of the best ways to do that is by checking out Outdoor Retailer, a biannual product show for retailers, manufacturers and other industry pros. We were on hand at the Winter Market 2014 show at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT, where every brand with a stake in the great outdoors showed off their future cold-weather wares. Of everything we touched, tasted and saw, this gear stood out most.

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A Jacket of All Trades

Tested: Aether Alto Jacket

When we stopped by the Aether office and showroom to take a look at the second version of the Alto ($395) jacket, their crew handed us a sample and sent us on to their on-site testing facility — an industrial walk-in freezer — where we got a preview of how it would perform in the wild. Our adventures with the Alto would take us from chilly nights in Los Angeles to face-mashing wind in Detroit to a short stint inside New York’s polar vortex. And Vegas. That set of varying destinations is where the Alto, a true multipurpose jacket, is meant to shine.

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These should come in handy

Winter Gloves for Every Sport

These, the five best winter gloves, will give you free range of motion, excellent grip and reasons to start conversations — all while maintaining a high standard of comfort. So whether you’re into something sporty, stylish, svelte or something else, we’ve found the right fit for you.

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Weatherproof Jackets for the slopes and otherwise

Shelling Out: 10 Best Winter Sports Hardshells

There’s no such thing as bad weather — only bad gear. And in the age of industrial manufacturing and waterproof fabrics, there’s no good excuse for bad gear. Modern hardshell jackets are designed to provide a first layer of defense between you and the elements, whether “the elements” are an alpine whiteout or an afternoon thunderstorm. They’re the crown jewel of any outdoor kit: they’ll keep you warm, they’ll keep you dry, and most of them weigh less than a pair of blue jeans.

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Be faster than the freeze

Cold Warrior: 10 Best Winter Running Shoes

‘Tis the season of calorie intake, so keeping one’s running regimen going strong should be a priority. Thing is, winter weather — the snow, slush and cold — is prohibitive at best. Fortunately, gentlemen, we have options. These are the best winter running shoes for facing the cold on pavement, trails and mountains.