It's now November, which means that it's officially "sponsored gear suggestions" and retailers that are "totally anti-Black-Friday but please check out our Cyber Monday deals" season. I hope you're ready for an inundation of curated lists that are sliced and diced in every conceivable combination. I mean, I'll probably do a bit of that as well, although hopefully more entertaining than everyone else. Anyways here are 11 things that I wore a bunch this year, didn't get paid to write about, and held up great in a year of living pretty minimally (but still finding adventure).
An amazing pair of pants. 100% one of the best buys I've made in the last year. They're good for wearing at all times of day, or packing as a lightweight pant while hiking. They’re light enough to be comfortable in the summer while wandering around town, as well. Easily a top purchase for me recently. Huge fan.
Hoka Speedgoat 5 - $155
I love this update to the Speedgoat. The 5 is lighter and more responsive than the Speedgoat 4, and just an overall great improvement. I put nearly 400 miles on my first pair and ~200 trail miles in August alone.
Rab Aeon Ultra 28L Pack - $165.00
I spent much of spring and summer trail running, fast packing and hut-to-hut hiking through the alps and put this pack through the wringer. I'm happy to say that I'm a big fan, and it's *nearly* a perfect pack for me, although it's not without its flaws. The light weight and combo running vest + rucksack makes it extremely versatile for high-movement days in the mountains. I think the side pockets could be a more durable or offer a bit more security, but overall, this was an excellent purchase.
I stumbled across Meader while on a meader around London. They have a shop in 7 Dials right now and although I didn't buy anything on my first visit, I caved the next time I was in the area. This Scottish brand is making high quality, versatile, clothing. They remind me a bit of my friends at Western Rise, with pieces that fit in well with active lifestyles but also look great around town. The Adventure Trousers have 4-way stretch and are incredible comfortable -- almost like a sweatpant. They're also made with a water-repellent fabric and look great whether you're out to dinner or cruising around on the bike.
A comfortable shirt that easily straddles the line between a casual and "dress" shirt. It's easy to throw on over a t-shirt to class it up a bit. The shirt doesn't wrinkle, making it invaluable for traveling. I've had mine for like 4 years now, and it was still a staple of my wardrobe this summer while traveling through the alps.
Yeah, I'm a toe sock guy now. Sure, they take 5x as long to put on, but my issues with blisters and destroyed toenails has decreased dramatically since I switched to these.
Dynafit DNA Tee - $99
I picked this up at an outdoors shop in Slovenia and it became my go-to running shirt. Lightweight and comfortable. Can't ask for much more in a running shirt. It was one of three 'active' shirts I brought while in the alps, the other being a Saxx Hotshot, and then an Adidas one I ended up really not liking.
Relwen Superfleece Hoodie - $198
Yes, this is an expensive sweatshirt. However, it is one of the comfiest things I've ever worn. The interior lining is a thick fleece, and I basically lived in this all winter. Throw on a bomber jacket over it and you'll look good and be ready for just about any temperature while wandering around town. Unfortunately, I think Relwen is disontinuing these, so snag one now (if you can find one).
Salomon Cross 2-1 Shorts - $55
I picked up these shorts a few years ago when I started doing more running. They've held up great and I've worn them religiously since. I personally like shorts with built-in compression, so if that's not your style these might not be for you.
Salomon XA filter - $35
In my first week of traveling, I lost one of my 500ml soft flasks while running in the Julian alps. I managed to spend the four weeks trail running in the alps with only a 500ml soft flask and this filter. A no-brainer.
Rab Force Hoody - $65
A good longsleeve sun layer is a must-have for summer alpine adventures. Whether I was wearing it or not (I wore it quite a bit), the Force Hoody was in my running vest for nearly every mountain adventure this summer across the alps. It's comfortable to wear for long periods of activity, and has a tiny bit more heft than other sun hoodys that' I've worn. If you're looking for a *super* lightweight, basically ephemeral layer, this might not be it, but I liked the added comfort/durability.