Looking for the best outdoor gear and experiences for 2021? We have 16 picks, just for you.
What a year it's been. But for all the turmoil, one thing has remained constant—the outdoors are there for you.
In fact, outdoor recreation has never been more popular than it was in 2020. It's easy to see why—nature is the one place we have left to breathe freely, to escape our work-from-home and to feel normal, at least a little.
Although this Christmas won't be like last, we hope you can still find the time to get outside soon (safely, and abiding by your regional regulations). And if Santa doesn't get the hint this year, and you're still looking for that perfect piece of gear, or a dream experience for 2021, read on. Here are our top picks for the season.
Stay safe everyone, and happy holidays.
Marmot Huntley Jacket
This is your quiver-killer. Constructed with three-layer Gore-Tex C-Knit for comfort, abrasion-resistance and extreme waterproof-breathability, with ventilation and articulated elbows, it’s designed for the changing needs of the active mountain sports enthusiast—from fall through to winter and beyond. (Men’s and women’s.)
Mustang Hudson Dry Suit
Did you discover watersports during summer and are now wondering what you’ll do in those months when the snow comes? With the Hudson Dry Suit, by Mustang Survival, you can keep on with your water adventures, no matter the season. Thanks to 50-plus years’ experience creating dry suit solutions for the world’s most extreme users and professionals, you can extend your paddling season so long you might forget it’s time to hit the slopes.
Merrell MTL Skyfire Undyed
Compared to traditionally dyed shoes, Merrell’s MTL Skyfire Undyed uses recycled materials, reduces water use by 80 per cent, and saves 50 per cent of overall energy (versus factory-supplied averages using traditional dyeing methods). Featuring completely undyed and partially recycled mesh uppers and natural rubber outsoles, it’s made clean to get dirty.
Helly Hansen Tromsoe Jacket
What’s not to love about this parka? Waterproof-breathable outer fabric with DWR and strategically taped seams means slush won’t seep through and the Primaloft insulation keeps us toasty in wind-whipped conditions. Detachable hood? Check. Glove friendly cuffs? Yup! It’s mountain-town après chic.
Saucony Peregrine 10 ST
With deep, well-spaced lugs, enhanced water- resistance and a snug, protective upper, this eye-catching trail-runner is ideal for sloppy autumn jaunts. The four-millimetre drop and PWRRUN cushioning combine to craft a neutral, springy, comfortable off-road kick.
Golden Biking Map
Golden will open again—when it does, pack up your bike and head to BC’s Columbia River Valley, where more than 130 kilometres of cross-country track await, plus ample downhill on the surrounding peaks. Download this free map and make a future weekend of it.
Topo Designs Subalpine Pack
Topo Design’s Subalpine Pack is constructed from bright nylon/ripstop, giving it a unique look that doesn’t sacrifice functionality or durability. Padded load-lifter straps allow you to readjust for a comfy carry and side water bottle pockets provide easy access to your hydration. Heavy-duty plastic hardware and YKK zippers round out the 35-litre package.
xact nutrition #FuelYourGoals Pack
We love this mix-pack: two FRUIT3 bars and four FRUIT2 bars (each a soft, easy-to-digest energy bar), one PROKRUNCH recovery wafer (a chocolatey post-workout crunch) and one 10-tab tube of electro2 sport hydration tabs (add to 500 millilitres of water). Aerobic adventurers rejoice!
Yamnuska Ski Mountaineering
(from $250; yamnuska.com/ski-mountaineering)
Backcountry skiing and snowboarding have both experienced explosive growth over the last decade. In the search for fresh powder runs and uncrowded backcountry experiences, more people are leaving the lift line and exploring the Canadian Rockies’ vast backcountry. Yamnuska offers courses, guided trips, getaways and more—whether it’s your first time touring or you’re looking to explore the steep-and-deep. (Contact outfitter for availability and note any Covid-19 regulations in effect.)
The Icebug Stride is the ideal boot for Canada’s winter conditions. With 16 carbide-tip studs, the BUGrip® outsole provides traction and enables outdoor activities regardless of how slippery it gets. The mid-cut textile upper with BUGdri® membrane gives both stability and weather protection. An ESS stabilizer and lots of forefoot rocker offer a stable platform for fast and healthy feet, 3M reflective trim adds visibility and the fleece lining brings comfort in low temperatures.
Roark Nordsman Lightweight Flannel
Clean and rugged, Roark’s Nordsman Flannel is made of brushed lightweight cotton. This flannel features elbow panel reinforcements for durability and snap- front with button chest pockets to secure your goods, along with a custom interior hanger loop.
Eddie Bauer Centennial Collection MicroTherm 1000
Say it after us: “1,000-fill down!” Eddie Bauer’s 1,000-fill RDS down is the lightest, loftiest and most compressible insulator we’ve seen in 2020. Discontinuous channel construction eliminates cold spots, stretch panels enable a full-range of movement, StormRepel DWR sheds soakers and the whole 280-gram package packs into a chest pocket for stashing and transport.
Rumpl Featherlite Down Blanket
Weighing just 454 grams, the Featherlite Puffy Blanket is built for your most demanding adventures where weight and packability are the top priorities. It features 800-fill sustainable-sourced hydrophobic goose down and a DWR finish. It can even be thrown in the washing machine for one less thing to worry about after a great adventure.
(from $4; karmikoutdoors.com)
Get your lost gear back with Karmik Outdoors Gear Recovery Decals. Register your info, then place Karmik’s smartphone-scannable waterproof decals on your most valuable gear to ensure your lost items can be returned. Returnees even receive a reward! Giving your community a reliable method of returning lost gear is as simple as: “Lost. Found. Connect.”
Montane Icarus Stretch Jacket
This four-season layering piece is designed for active outdoor enthusiasts. Fleece panels enable movement; an insulated under-helmet hood keeps winter’s chill at bay. Plus, it’s also designed for sustainable performance, utilizing recycled Primaloft synthetic insulation, a Pertex ECO outer (recycled polyester) and PEAQ ECO recycled lining.
Humble Approach “The Hike That Binds Us”
And now for something completely different. This downloadable role-playing game, The Hike that Binds Us, takes three to six players on a multi- session adventure as you try to survive a challenging wilderness hike. Using maps, characters and standard dice, you can embark on a journey while staying Covid-19-safe at home.