Sperry Top-Sider H20 Escape Bungee
When I’m looking for a watersports shoe, I need it to be lightweight, fast drying, quick draining, easy-on (when wet) and to limit unfortunate slip-and-falls. Sperry Top-Sider’s H20 Escape checks all boxes. At 160 grams I can barely feel them on my feet, the bungee lace system is handy, they slip-on in a jiffy and the sole is designed to channel water from underfoot for sticky grip on slick surfaces (Sperry models their soles after a dog’s paw — the system really works).
Joby Action Clamps & GorillaPod Action Tripod
($30 to $40; joby.com)
I’m obsessed with finding new ways to film with my GoPro — and Joby’s new Action Clamps and GorillaPod Action Tripod are making my endeavors easier. The Action Clamps affix to anything sturdy (up to about six centimetres thick) and depending on model, the camera is moved into position via either a five-ball GorillaPod Arm (best for stationary mounts, like a tree branch) or 360-degree rotating/180-degree pivoting Locking Arm (best for moving mounts, like on a bicycle). The multi-surface-capable Action Tripod fills the gap when there’s nothing clamp-worthy; a quick-release ballhead and integrated level add to its ease-of-use. I’ve abused a Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom for five years and counting, so I’m sure these new action-cam-specific units will hang around just as long.
Eddie Bauer Airbender
In the future, all sleeping bags will have integrated air mats. Until then, I’ll stick with Eddie Bauer’s Airbender — a three-season mummy bag accurately comfort-rated to -7 degrees Celsius, with DWR-treated 850-fill down (which maintains loft when damp) a highly water-resistant shell and a fully integrated and insulated air pad. Inflated via a foot-pump attached to the compression sack, the Airbender’s welded-in air mat provides nine-centimetres of lux sleeping-comfort; deflated and compressed, the unit weighs 1.5 kg and is smaller than a soccer ball (pump included). Thanks to this cozy bag, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to roll off a sleep-pad and wake up on the cold, cold ground.
GoMotion Fusion Backpack Light
The GoMotion Fusion Backpack Light needed to grow on me — frankly, I didn’t think my headlamp was due for an upgrade, and getting the unit fitted on my backpack straps, the cord routed over-shoulder and the battery pack tucked in a rear stash pocket was fussy at first. But now I really appreciate having a pivoting, beam-width-adjustable LED unit at chest level. When trail-running or hiking, it’s much more comfortable to have a light secured on my sternum rather than bobbing up-and-down on my skull — plus, the light-path always stays directed at the trail ahead, even when I glance into the woods or at the stars. And, unlike with a headlamp, I don’t sear peoples’ retinas when I make eye contact. Running on three AA batteries, the Fusion beams out eight hours worth of 100 lumens before it dims one iota. It attaches to any backpack or hydration pack and the whole kit weighs 282 grams.
Mention the word “thermos” and an image of my grandparents sipping tea out of tartan-patterned containers springs to mind. I’m sure the tea was lovely, but that old-school gear had zero street cred. Enter the chic new SIGG Thermo-Bottle, available in four sizes: 0.3L, 0.5L, 0.75L and 1L; the latter two sizes come with a mug that fits neatly on the top or bottom and the former two sizes come with built-in tea-filters. All are made from 18/8 stainless steel, are vacuum-insulated and can keep drinks hot or cold for up to 24 hours. I tested the 0.75L bottle by preheating it and filling with boiling water. After 24 hours (at room temperature), the water was still a finger-scalding 55 degrees Celsius.