Gear Review | Winter 2023
XTRATUF Kiata Waterproof Sneakers
For sneaker-heads, we recommend the XTRATUF Kiata Waterproof Sneaker. We field tested a green pair in one the most dangerous domestic environments known to the common the homeowner – on a wet roof. Our task was to take down Christmas lights and once we slipped the sneaker on, we knew we had the right shoe for the job.
The XTRTUF Kiata Waterproof Sneaker is constructed from an innovative 100% waterproof 3D knit upper crafted from a single yarn to provide a seamless design which flows over the curves of your foot with ease. Our size 12 men’s version did just that. The lightweight sock-like upper combines with a cushioned and breathable midsole with support and stability. Despite the light sprinkle, my feet stayed dry.
The sole is made from the revolutionary TUFgrip outsole, which offers next level traction on flat hard surfaces and uneven terrain, such as rivers or streams. Or for this field test, on a wet roof. The SRC Rated Outsole provides best in class traction and kept us slip-free while we finished the job.
If you’re looking for a high-performance sneaker engineered in the ultimate testing grounds of Alaska, we highly recommend the XTRATUF Kiata Waterproof Sneakers. Visit https://www.xtratuf.com/xtratuf-kiata-mens-waterproof-casual-athletic-sho/KIA300.html.
Chillest electric cooler/freezer by GoSun
When you’re in the elements, the last thing you need to worry about is running out of ice. If you’ve ever felt this stress, you must consider adding the Chillest electric cooler/freezer by GoSun. It’s perfect for any occasion – rain or shine.
The Chillest is a cooler that never needs ice. It’s an ultimate portable fridge on wheels that cools food and drinks with electricity from 12V, 24V DC, AC power, solar or battery. The dual zone 45-liter cooler prepares you for any outdoor adventure, or just a simple trip to the grocery store. The cooler has two compartments. Each compartment will keep temps between -4 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The built-in telescoping handle is designed for on-the-go movement and perfect for just about any terrain. (Note | an added bonus is you can actually make ice while in the field. Visit https://gosun.co/products/chillest.
SwitfwSwifick National Park socks
Whether you’re running, hiking, cycling or just walking, support your favorite national park with a pair of socks from the VISION™ Six Impression National Park collection, a partnership between Swiftwick and the Anderson Design Group. These beautiful socks pay homage to the majestic locations we love to explore and are great for outdoor enthusiasts and make for a perfect gift for special events. They’re built with performance-quality wicking materials and high-performance fibers, crafted for breathability, and keep your feet dry, cool, and blister-free.
We field tested two pairs on a recent trip through Utah, visiting Zion, Arches and Bryce Canyon National Parks. I sported the Bryce Canyon pair, while my wife repped Washington in the Mt. Rainer. I inadvertently wore mine for two days straight, with no blisters and just a hint of funky cornchips.
Choose your park – Acadia, Glacier, Mt. Rainier, Death Valley, Olympic, Bryce Canyon, Jasper, Banff, Yellowstone, Zion, Great Smoky Mountains, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Arches, Rocky Mountains, and Grand Teton – and get outdoors. Visit https://swiftwick.com for more information.
If you’re looking for a lightweight and breathable midlayer, look no further than a Polartec® fleece. We field tested the PRO Sun Hoodie from Orvis in the Olympic National Park tackling Hurricane Hill in fall. The PRO Sun Hoodie is made with the Polartec® PowerGrid™ technology, so we knew UV rays and punishing heat were no match for the lightweight UPF 50 hoodie.
The morning was warmer than normal, so the fleece kept me comfortable earlier on and seem to adapt as I heated up. Apparently, this is the Science of Fabric, a practice where Polartec® knits, shears and constructs fleece into hundreds of different weights and thicknesses to spread moisture quickly over a large area. (Note | there’s a hidden zip pocket in side-seam in the Marine and Sage versions.)
Following the hike, we did some research on my new hoodie and found it was equipped with the Polartec® Power Grid, a technical fleece engineered to optimize warmth and breathability, while reducing overall fabric mass. As the internal temp heated up, the hoodie did an excellent job of wicking away the moisture. On our descent, as the temperature rose, we ended up finishing the hike with the Polartec® hoodie wrapped around our waist.
We also tested the Sunseeker Hoodie from Burgeon Outdoor made with the Polartec® Delta technology. The Polartec® Delta technology is made to use evaporative cooling to keep the body temp regulated in warmer conditions. The highly breathable and super wicking material was a hit. The hoodie not only looks great, it protected us from the sun and helped amplify our body’s natural cooling system. The material was originally developed for the U.S. Special Forces operating in hot climates, so we knew we looked bad-ass. The Sunseeker Hoodie from Burgeon Outdoor is great for hiking, climbing, fishing, kayaking, or just lounging around. Visit https://www.polartec.com/news/the-summer-of-fleece.
CEP Compression Socks
For those runners still chewing up the miles over the winter months, we recommend a pair of CEP Compression socks to keep your lower half circulation in tip-top-shape. We field tested a men’s size 12, Run Compression Tall Sock 4.0.
The socks come in several different designs and various heights for running, skiing, hiking and more. These socks are great for improving circulation, reducing fatigue, and giving your muscles the support and stability, they need to prevent injury and decrease recover time. All socks are blister-free and moisture wicking. (Note | for those with large feet, you may want to size up.) Visit https://www.cepcompression.com/ for more information.
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