trail-running gear reviews

Gear Review: The North Face Enduro Hydration Daypack

The North Face Enduro

Hydration Pack
The North Face Enduro
$140, 10 oz.
5.5L/336 c.i.
One size each in men’s and women’s-specific models
thenorthface.com

After numerous outings dayhikes, trail runs, and mountain bikes rides wearing the Enduro, I’ve decided it may be the most stable hydration pack I’ve ever used. Credit goes to the unique design. For starters, the shoulder straps attach using a hook-and-loop patch in a V-shape over your sternum, like the arms of a kid riding piggyback. A nylon hook-and-loop waist belt wraps around your waist like your kid’s legs.

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Gear Review: The North Face Etip Pamir Windstopper Glove

The North Face Etip Pamir Windstopper Glove

The North Face Etip Pamir Windstopper Glove
$62, 3 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL, women’s XS-L
thenorthface.com

As someone who gets cold fingers easily but loves ski touring, snowshoeing, winter hiking, and fast activities like skate-skiing—where you don’t always want thick, bulky handwear—I find that many lightweight gloves designed for those activities don’t deliver enough warmth. But on numerous outings this winter, many of them skate-skiing, I found the Etip Pamir gloves kept my fingers comfortable in temps down to the low 20° F.

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Gear Review: Patagonia Tsali 2.0 Trail-Running Shoes

Patagonia Tsali 2.0

Trail-Running Shoes
Patagonia Tsali 2.0
$115, 1 lb. 6 oz. (men’s US size 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-12, 13, 14, 15, women’s 5-11
patagonia.com

I keep grabbing these trail-running shoes for gym workouts and trail runs in the Boise Foothills because they’re comfortable, light, and deliver a nice balance of support, stability, and traction. The Tsali’s forefoot padding softens impact while flexing well for running, and the gender-specific footbed ensures a good fit that helps minimize the pounding on your feet. Even on 10-mile runs, my feet and toes don’t feel fatigued or beat up afterward.

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Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Super Power Hoody Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Super Power Hoody

Lightweight Jacket
Mountain Hardwear Super Power Hoody
$125, 13 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: Men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
mountainhardwear.com

Winter and the shoulder seasons of early spring and late autumn are difficult times to be an outdoor athlete—you get hot and sweaty, then your wet clothing makes you cold. For trail running and strenuous hiking in cool to cold temperatures, I’ve rarely found a jacket that breathes well enough and dries quickly enough to handle my body’s rapid temperature shifts—pumping out heat going uphill, then cooling off on the descents—until the Super Power Hoody came along.

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Gear Review: Princeton Tec Byte Headlamp

Princeton Tec Byte

Headlamp
Princeton Tec Byte
$20, 2 oz. (with two AAA batteries)
Max burn time: 146 hours at maximum brightness
princetontec.com

If weight is your top priority when choosing gear and you need a headlamp that’s bright enough for most backpacking situations, the Byte is your pick. I used this tiny, water-resistant light on several backcountry adventures, including family trips in the Everglades and Tetons and a backpacking trip in Idaho’s Sawtooths.

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