Tag Archives: hiking gear reviews

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants

July 24, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants

Soft-Shell Pants
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants
$89, 11 oz. (men’s 32)
Sizes: men’s 32-38, women’s 2-14
outdoorresearch.com

For most summer and fall backpacking trips, unless I expect really wet conditions, I wear zip-off, nylon trail pants because they’re lightweight, dry fairly quickly, durable, and inexpensive. But when I’m heading to a place where I could face a wide range of weather, including wet and cold, I want pants that repel water better and dry faster than run-of-the-mill nylon pants. And waterproof-breathable rain pants are so hot to hike in that I rarely wear them. For me, the solution is a zip-off, soft-shell pant that’s light enough for summer. On a seven-day, hut-to-hut trek through Italy’s Dolomites this month, where almost daily we encountered on-and-off rain, wind, even some hail and wet snow, and temperatures ranging from the high 30s to around 60° F., the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants shined. Continue reading →

Gear Review: La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0 Shoes

July 2, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments
La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0

La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0

Hiking/Trail Running Shoes
La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0
$115, 1 lb. 8 oz. (men’s Euro 42/US 9)
Sizes: Euro men’s 38-47.5, women’s 36-43
sportiva.com

There are trail-running shoes I can run in, and then there are shoes I can run and hike far in because they simply have greater support and cushion for handling the cumulative abuse that feet suffer on longer outings. On many trail runs of up to 12 miles in the Boise Foothills—plus one 20-mile, 3,600-foot run—the Wildcat 3.0 never caused me the hot toes, sore soles, or foot achiness that I get from some lightweight shoes on runs of more than eight or 10 miles. Even after that 20-miler in the Wildcats, my feet felt good. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Salewa Firetail EVO Gore-Tex Shoes

June 9, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Salewa Firetail EVO Gore-Tex

Salewa Firetail EVO Gore-Tex

Hiking/Scrambling Shoes
Salewa Firetail EVO Gore-Tex
$149, 1 lb. 11 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 6-13, women’s 3-9
salewa.us

You can find really tough, durable shoes, or really lightweight shoes, but rarely will you find a shoe that can legitimately make both claims. The Firetail breaks that rule. From hiking and scrambling around Utah’s Arches National Park and Idaho’s Castle Rocks State Park to a 22-mile, 5,000-vertical-foot dayhike in the Columbia Gorge, I subjected these shoes to the kind of abuse that would begin shredding other lightweights. Yet other than being dirty and a bit scuffed on the rubber toe bumper, my Firetails still look and perform like new. And although sporting the pedigree of an “approach,” or scrambling shoe for climbers, this is actually the kind of versatile, comfortable, all-around low-cut that all dayhikers should give a serious look. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Oboz Bridger Mid BDry Boots

May 15, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Oboz Bridger Mid BDry

Oboz Bridger Mid BDry.

Boots
Oboz Bridger Mid BDry
$160, 2 lbs. 8 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 8-12, 13, 14, women’s 6-11
obozfootwear.com

How much should you expect from boots that weigh just two-and-a-half pounds and cost just $160? I wondered that as I set out in these boots on an overnight backpacking trip in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in late March. Carrying up to about 50 pounds—including gear and food for my two kids and me plus, at one point, 13 liters of water—I honestly was ready for my feet to feel a bit sore and beat up by day’s end. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of support and performance delivered by boots at this weight and price. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Salomon Synapse J Kids Hiking Shoes

May 9, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   1 Comment
Salomon Synapse J

Salomon Synapse J

Kids Hiking Shoes
Salomon Synapse J
$75, 1 lb. 2 oz. (youth size 4.5)
Sizes: unisex kids 13 to youth 6
salomon.com

If there’s a dayhike that will beat up a flimsy pair of kids hiking shoes, it’s going up and down Mount St. Helens, a 10-mile, 4,500-vertical-foot slog over sharp-edged, volcanic rocks and highly abrasive, fine-grained pumice. But my 13-year-old son wore the Synapse J on that big day, and on dayhikes at Mount Rainier National Park, Arches and Canyonlands national parks, Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve, and elsewhere. He’s also worn them to school and playing outside for most of the past year, and these low-cut hiking shoes not only have the support and protection for a hike as hard as St. Helens, but they’re still going strong. Continue reading →

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