Welcome to another installment of Staff Picks from our Sports and Outdoors team. Each week, we select our favorite pieces out of the gear we’re testing, mainstays in our kits, as well as items on our wish lists. It’s like a sneak peek at the gear we’re testing and what we’re stoked on. Have something you think we should check out? Or just want to say hi? Drop us a line at email@example.com.
Salewa Wildfire Pro GTX
If you’re heading out for a day hike, there simply isn’t a need to wear a full-on, over-ankle boot. It’s overkill. My go-to day hiker is the Salewa Wildfire Pro GTX. It’s lightweight, provides enough support for a technical day hike, and has a waterproof Gore-Tex liner. The lacing system is also notable, as it goes all the way down to the toe box — making it easy to fine tune and dial in fit.
— AJ Powell, Assistant Editor
Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody
It doesn’t matter where you are or what season it is — mountain summits are cold and the wind is quick to chill your sweat-soaked clothes after a tough ascent. I’ve begun hikes in Spanish villages, Utah deserts, and Ecuadorian cloud forests that have all reinforced in me this inevitable conclusion. That’s why I always bring a good insulating layer for the top, and Patagonia’s classic Nano Puff Hoody is my go-to. It’s super warm compared to the negligible amount of weight it adds to my pack, which means there’s more space for other necessities — as well as the obligatory summit beer.
— Tanner Bowden, Editorial Apprentice
Darn Tough Micro Crew Hiking Sock
In my humble opinion, Darn Tough makes the best socks in the world — period. They’re unbelievably comfortable and last seemingly forever, and I haven’t experienced a single blister while hiking in them even after 18-mile days. Thanks to a merino wool/nylon blend, Darn Tough socks will stay odor-free for days on end. Best of all, the Vermont-based company has their socks “unconditionally guaranteed for life,” which means they’ll send you a free pair if you ever develop a hole or tear (which you won’t). Try a pair and, I can assure you, you’ll want to convert your whole sock drawer soon enough.
— Jeremy Fischer, Editorial Intern