Welcome to another installment of Staff Picks from our Sports and Outdoors team. Every other 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Untapped Maple Hydration Mixes
Untapped’s latest project is hydration mix. I had the opportunity to test out the new Lemon Mapleaid flavor and have been craving it ever since. It’s just sweet enough without being cloying and is light and refreshing. Outdoor Retailer is a day full of standing on your feet and running from appointment to appointment (one GP staffer logged over 17,000 steps) and staying hydrated is key. Untapped’s new hydration mix definitely helped. In addition to this flavor, Untapped will also be launching a coffee-flavored maple syrup packet to add to its on-the-go energy lineup.
— AJ Powell, Assistant Editor
On the final day of Outdoor Retailer, as I was speed-walking to my next meeting, I saw a bearded man wearing a white ball cap with a little green pine tree embroidered on the front. That’s a sweet hat, I thought. And I’m not even what you’d call a “hat guy.” Later that day, I discovered that the hat was from Parks Project, a new name I’ve been seeing a lot lately. They’re a small company with big ambitions: Every product purchased helps fund one of over 30 National Park conservancies across the U.S. All of their stuff — hats, tees, shirts, accessories and more — features artwork that I’d actually wear (I’m also not what you’d call a “graphic tee guy”) but as you probably guessed by now, I’m especially fond of their hats. — Michael Finn, Associate Staff Writer
Duckworth Snowcrest Vest
If you aren’t in on the open secret that is merino wool, then do yourself a favor and pick up a pair of merino socks or a base layer for your next trip. The wool’s natural properties make it ideal for backcountry and everyday use. While most of the merino you’ll come across comes from Down Under, the 25,000-acre Helle Ranch in Dillon, Montana, is reviving the American wool trade. The Rambouillet sheep that live there hang out between 5,000- and 9,500-foot elevation, which results in a strong, rare fiber, almost like terroir for wool. That wool is spun and built into every product under the Duckworth brand. Of particular note is the Snowcrest Vest, which will be available mid-October this year. The vest is custom woven at one of the oldest operating mills in the country and sewn by hand in Chicago. It’s one of those garments that’s both elegant and practical, thanks to its merino insulation.
— Tanner Bowden, Editorial Apprentice