Sunday Afternoon
Credit: Sunday Afternoon

Sunday Afternoon Solstice Visor (pictured above)

($25; sundayafternoons.com)

The best part about the Solstice is not the shadow it casts, nor that there's a channel on the sides for holding sunglass arms. No, the best part is that the clamshell brim folds in half for easy storage. Unleash it and it emerges in perfect shape with its brim stiff and the wicking lining ready to catch sweat.

KEEN
Credit: KEEN

Keen Class 6

($110; keenfootwear.com)

Using a high tech polyurethane injection technology, KEEN was able to build most of this water sandal in one piece, creating a longer-lasting, lighter and, with fewer stitches, more comfortable sport-sandal. A bungee style lace across the front and a Velcro tab at the back to lock in the fit and amphibious lugs grip both wet and dry surfaces.

Adventure Technologies
Credit: Adventure Technologies

Adventure Technology Hercules

($300 and up; atpaddles.com)

Impact and abrasion tests showed that the Duraweave material used to build the Hercules is impressively resilient against the kind of beating a river can dish out — even when cracked, the shaft remains paddleable. After a few days of paddling, the all-around-shaped Hercules blade shows no signs of wear. 

Kotokat
Credit: Kotokat

Kokatat Destination Paddling Shirt

($90; kokatat.com)

This shirt-jacket enigma is all about sun protection. The rip-stop polyester is equivalent to SPF 30. Tapered cuffs cover the back of the hand. The collar flips up to protect the neck. And large back vents are positioned behind the armpits, where they won't be shut off while wearing a PFD.

Howler Bros.
Credit: Howler Bros.

Howler Brothers Horizon Hybrid Short

($65; howlerbros.com)

These are the kind of shorts we will likely wear every day, all summer. The just above-the-knee cut and casual style fit in at the après bar or beach party. At the same time, the nylon ripstop fabric survived a bushwhack, dried fast after a swim and was light enough not to be burden on the trail. 

Patagonia
Credit: Patagonia

Patagonia Simple Fly Fishing Kit

($280; patagonia.com)

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard believes the best way to learn to fly fish is by Tenkara, an old-school method of using a rod and line but no reel. He introduces it in the included book; tie on one of his 12 recommended flies and give it a toss. Flexible and lively, catching any fish on this collapsible rod is a thrill.

Plan your next great adventure with explore!
Off the beaten path locations, tips and tricks, interviews with intrepid explorers and more.