Bug-proof clothing, moldable trail shoes, a daypack that moves with you: What’s not to love about this summer’s newest finds?
Custom-Molded Trail Runners
Last year Tecnica came out with the Forge, a hiking boot that could be thermo-molded to your foot for a custom fit. This year, the company whose U.S. headquarters are in Lebanon, N.H. is coming out with a trail running shoe that uses the same technology. Tecnica claims the Origin ($170) is the first thermo-moldable trail running shoe. Introduced at Outdoor Retailer in June, the shoe weighs in at 9 to 10.9 ounces with a 9 mm heel-to-toe drop. Retailers such as Skirack which already have the custom molding machines will carry and fit the shoes. You choose a model that is right for your weight: men and women’s shoes vary depending not just on foot size but on overall body weight. You then get the shoe molded to your foot and an orthotic. We have yet to try these but have been wearing a custom-fit Forge which, a year later, we still love.
Bugs, Be Damned
Every once in a while a piece of gear comes our way that inspires a love letter. This is one of those.
Royal Robbins, you had me at “Bug Barrier.” After getting eaten alive by black flies this June, I ripped open the Bug Barrier Jammer Knit Pant ($99) stretchy pants and light-weight Bug Barrier Tech Travel Top ($60) praying that the odorless Insect Shield ™ would repel black flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and everything else the hang tag said it would. It did—even after being washed four times. What I didn’t expect is that the pants and top—which are stylish enough to wear to the office and comfy enough to sleep in—would become my go-to wardrobe for everything from corporate outings to camping trips. Fitted enough to hike or climb in, the pants have pockets on the rear (and a sweet little zip pocket) and a high waist band that keeps them where you want them. And did I mention the fabric, which is midweight and luxuriously soft, is made of recycled PET bottles? My husband is jealous. The good news: they come in men’s styles too.
A Hyper Adjustable Day Pack
Gregory’s Miwok ($119 for a 24-liter) and Maya day packs have been go-tos for years. But this year, they get even better. The packs, which come in three sizes, have been redesigned with a Bio-
Sync Suspension system of stretchy mesh tendons that flex as you move, as well as an Airwave panel
on the back and a moisture-wicking harness. We compared the new pack with an older version and found that yes, it is more comfortable and tends to jostle around less. And the Airwave means your back doesn’t get as sticky as with some packs. It’s also one of the few packs that has pockets and features in all the right places. The bladder hook holds and works, a small mesh pocket inside is perfect for keys and waist pockets can fit a small cell phone., The Miwok comes in 12, 18 and 24-liter sizes and while the smaller size may be perfect for fast-packing, the larger one is a versatile daypack (it even has a laptop sleeve) that will let you carry pretty much everything you need for an 18-hour day.