September is a month for adventure. Cooler temperatures mean hiking is better. Wildlife is generally more active than in the summer—a watcher's dream. Nights get darker and the sky is alive with stars (or Northern Lights).
Yet the weather is generally mild and conducive to camping, kayaking, canoeing, cycling or however you get sweaty outdoors.
So let's get outside. And if you need some new gear—we can help, with our mega-size multi-sport roundup. Scroll and enjoy!
FOR THE BACKPACKER
HydraPak Flux Flexible 1L Bottle
The better soft water bottle. Like any other, it rolls up tiny when empty. But unlike most, a double layer of TPU laminate means it stands up when full of water and the twist-cap lid is spill-proof.
Gregory Paragon 58/Maven 55
There’s just enough room in the Paragon (men’s) or Maven (women’s) to carry four days of gear. Six pockets make it easy to keep track of it all and the floating suspension system, lightweight build and 3D padding keep the load comfy.
FOR THE XC MOUNTAIN BIKER
Hustle Bike Labs REM Pedal
This pedal system flattens the curve for learning to ride “clipped-in.” Magnets in the mountain-bike- focused pedals and on the bottom of your shoe lock together, increasing pedalling efficiency and pull apart in any direction when it’s time to put a foot down.
EVOC Seat Pack with Boa
Leave the pack behind and stash all of your essentials in this underseat bag. Part of EVOC’s new collection of bike-packing gear, it’s dropper- post compatible, nearly waterproof, super tough and the BOA system keeps it stable.
FOR THE URBAN CYCLIST
POC Aspire Solar Switch
A liquid-crystal layer inside the lens of these road-biking shades instantly adapts the tint to the light conditions, no battery required. The oversized style won’t appeal to everyone, but they do a great job of keeping the road ahead in sight.
7Mesh MK3 Cargo Bib Short
With five pockets, these bike shorts are the love child of Lycra and the cargo short.
The spacious storage sits on the thighs and low back and the bib-suspenders keep them sitting just right, no matter how many snacks you load up with.
FOR THE COASTAL EXPLORER
Hoka One One Hopara
Hoka is getting its super-cushioned running shoes wet. Their first water shoe, the Hopara has Hoka’s fat, rockered foam underfoot for cushy hiking, a rubberized toe cap to prevent stubs and deep lugs for grip in and out of the water.
Takaya Lone Wolf
Over the years that Takaya lived on the Oak Bay Islands, near Victoria, British Columbia, photographer Cheryl Alexander spent months photographing this male wolf.
This book chronicles the unique relationship and what Takaya’s presence teaches us about urban wildlife.
FOR THE BACKCOUNTRY WANDERER
Somewear Global Hotspot
($350 USD; somewearlabs.com)
This pear-shaped, weatherproof device turns any smartphone into a satellite messenger. You can’t make calls, but you can send text messages, check weather reports and let people at home track your progress when you’re out of cell range.
Salomon Vaya Mid GTX
Salomon designed this sturdy- but-light hiker specifically for women. And it’s loaded with features to keep it comfy: a welded upper for fewer pressure points, expandable mesh across the forefoot and a high, soft collar for support without constriction.
FOR THE COMFORT-CAMPER
Outdoor Research Astroman Sun Hoodie
Hunkering into a hoodie is not just for sheltering from the cold. Here, the UPF 50 nylon mix is lightweight, breathable, wicking and stretchy, so you can hide from the sun without overheating.
Osprey Archeon 25
Keep it casual without sacrificing technical details with the Archeon day pack. The roll top and recycled fabric are commuter cool. Then when adventure calls, it’s loaded with organizing pockets, a rain cover and a breathable back panel.
FOR THE MULTI-DAY CANOEIST
Rab Mythic Ultra 180 Sleeping Bag
How do you get a zero degrees Celsius rating in less than a pound of sleeping bag? Start with the best down—900-fill— and then make the liner out of heat reflective-titanium applied at the thread level. It works like a space blanket, but breathes and feels soft.
Bending Branches Catalyst ST
What used to be waste is now the Catalyst. Bending Branches uses off-cuts from other wooden paddles to build the blade of the Catalyst. It’s super strong, looks awesome and five bucks from every paddle goes to a river-focused non-profit.
FOR THE DOG WALKER
Toad & Co Coaster Cord Short
Corduroy is making a comeback and these shorts, available in men’s and women’s, keep the retro feel for après fun but add enough performance for a day of exploring.The organic cotton wicks moisture and stretches.
Black Diamond Mission Approach Shoes
Part of BD’s first-ever shoe collection, the Mission LT’s are ideal for any kind of rock hopping, but the sticky rubber and knit upper also make them one of the most comfortable hiking shoes we’ve ever tried, ideal for any adventure.
FOR THE ADVENTURE KAYAKER
NEMO Aurora 2P
Like the aurora borealis, this tent made our jaw drop. With vertical walls, two doors and two vestibules it’s roomy for a pair. The simple symmetrical architecture is easy and fast to pitch. And it’s made without the usual stew of nasty chemicals.
Oru Kayak Haven
Most 16-foot tandem kayaks require dedicated storage. The 40-pound Haven folds into a suitcase and fits in your trunk. The origami- style boat comes together in a few minutes and is seaworthy enough to take anywhere.
FOR THE FITNESS BUFF
Runderwear Running Boxer Shorts
I will never wear another pair of boxers on a long run. Runderwear knit the high- grade merino wool into a seamless and label-free design to eliminate chafe points. Plus, the supportive fit means no twisting or bunching. Perfection.
Prana Aquila Top
Part rash guard, part swim top and part sun shirt, the Aquila is an ideal active beach day companion. It is long sleeve, but cut at the rib line in the body for a bit of style.
FOR THE DAY-HIKER
Patagonia 3L Torrentshell
Rarely does doing right cost this little in dollars and performance. The 100 per cent recycled and Fair Trade shell is totally waterproof and highly breathable (pit zips help). At about 400 grams it’s not super light, but it is packable, stuffing into a hand pocket.
The first heat-moldable trail runners: shops can mold the footbed and heel of the Origin to create a custom fit. The rest of the runner is just as high-tech: three-density midsole for support and cushioning and three different grip zones on the outsole.
FOR THE DOWNHILLER
Hydro Flask Down Shift
Because the dog days of summer can turn a refreshing gulp of water into salvation-sapping soup, this pack combines an insulated bladder with a reflective and insulated sleeve. It keeps water chilled for up to four hours.
Smith Forefront 2
To catch up to mountain biking’s evolution to all-mountain riding, the protection extends lower at the back and includes MIPS, a concussion prevention technology, and adds extra ventilation around the face.
FOR THE BACKYARD RELAXER
Salt Life Performance Long Sleeve Pocket Tee
The mix of polyester and Spandex in this shirt is anti-microbial, super soft, ultralight and naturally cools and breathes. The long sleeve is UPF 30 to fight off the sun’s rays during a summer day outside.
Helly Hansen Odin 3D Air Shell
This shell invents a new category of rain jacket, the 2.75-layer. It’s more durable than a 2.5 and lighter and more comfortable than a three. Developed with help from a Norway search and rescue crew, it’s highly breathable and very waterproof.
FOR THE BEACH BUM
Sole Balboa Flip
Everyone needs a pair of flip-flops and few compare to these. They’re made from algae removed from lakes during dangerous blooms and turned into super cushy and moldable foam. They require 35 per cent less energy to make and have 40 per cent less environmental impact than most plastic flips. Like all Sole sandals, they offer excellent arch support.
Big Agnes Big Six ArmChair
Tall, wide, armrests and high off the ground, the Big Six is no ordinary packable camp chair. The hub-less and colour- coded aluminum pole frame is easy to put together and the nylon seat is water-resistant.
FOR THE TRAVELS TO COME
Peak Design Travel Tripod
Peak Designs spent four years figuring out how to make this tiny and lightweight tripod not only compact, but steady and super easy to adjust and use. Finally.
Cotopaxi Allpa 42L
Leave the wheeled luggage at the gate and grab the Allpa by the pack-straps. The rugged pack fits in even the tiniest turbo prop’s overhead bin, but easily carries five days’ worth of stuff organized in an ingenious series of pockets.
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