Our top picks for your next outdoor excursion - from an ultra lightweight tent to a rain jacket - all you'll need for spring outdoors in Colorado
1. Outdoor Research | Optimist Sun Hoody $89
Offering UPF 30-rated sun protection, this ultra lightweight outdoor shirt is durable, abrasion resistant, super stretchy and airy. A half-zip front makes it easy to get on and off, and a three-panel hood with a drawcord allows easy adjustment for changing conditions. The ultra thin material means the hood fits nicely under helmets.
2. REI Co-op | Flash Air 2 Tent $299
This lightweight tent is designed to either be pitched with the tent poles or with most trekking poles to minimize pack weight on the trail (without poles the tent weighs just one pound, 15 ounces). Two large canopy-style doors offer easy entry while internal mesh pockets and gear loops maximize organization.
3. Therm-a-Rest | Questar 20F/-6C Sleeping Bag
$259.95 - $299.95
The bag features connectors designed to work with your sleeping pad (we love their new ultra cushy backpacking pad, see below). The brand’s W.A.R.M. (With Additional Room for Multiple Positions) fit combines the ability to sleep in various sleeping positions without compromising thermal efficiency. Filled with 650-fill responsibly-sourced down, the Questar is offered in three sizes and three different thermal ratings. We find the 20F rating is ideal for spring in Colorado.
4. Therm-a-Rest | NeoAir Topo Luxe Sleeping Pad
$144.95 - $204.95
Offering four inches of thickness, the new NeoAir Topo Luxe offers superior comfort while still being small enough for backpack camping. The pad also features a twinlock valve system that allows for fast inflation and deflation.
5. Gregory | Paragon and Maven Backpack $199.96 - $349.95
An updated suspension system on the paragon and women’s specific maven is designed to move and flex with the body. Other features include a sunglasses stowing loop and an internal hydration sleeve, while front and side stretch mesh pockets offer quick access to water and additional layers. A full-length side zipper offers easy access to the main compartment.
6. Polar Bottle | Breakaway Bottle $15
The Breakaway bottle now boasts new tri-layer insulation (rejoice: no more tepid Skratch on those warm weather rides!), an easier to squeeze bottle to help when hand fatigue sets in and a new patented removable cap to allow for easier cleaning. And all the bottles are made in Colorado to boot.
7. Vasque | Talus XT GTX Hiking Boot $209.99
Available in women’s and men’s, this waterproof hiking boot is lighter than you would expect and features a breathable GORE-TEX membrane that keeps feet nice and dry. The Vibram MegaGrip outsole provides superior traction on slippery trails.
8. Patagonia | Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket $149
Reconstructed to be more comfortable and durable, the waterproof Torrentshell is now made from a recycled nylon face fabric that is bluesign approved and Fair Trade certified. Venting armpit zips help regulate body temperature along with two zippered hand warmer pockets - one of which the jacket can be packed into.
9. Athletic Greens Supplement $97
Nothing make us feel healthier than drinking something really green. Athletic Greens is a nutritional supplement that has 75 ingredients - including stuff you have heard of and stuff you haven’t like pea protein isolate, citrus bioftavonoids extract and artichoke leaf extract - that they say helps support your body’s nutritional needs. There is also a psychological effect you get by simply drinking something so green. We’ve tried it with water and in smoothies, and while the taste might not be for everyone, we liked it.
10. Seal Line | 70L Pro Zip Duffel $249.95
Available in 40L, 70L and 100L, this submersible duffel (rated to withstand full submersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes) keeps stashed gear nice and dry with a heavy duty PVC-free waterproof material, PF welded seams, corrosion-resistant hardware, and waterproof zippers. Other features include versatile handles that convert to shoulder straps to allow for easier hauling.