Goodies for your active lifestyle

Gear We Love Issue 107

1. Fireside Outdoor Pop Up Fire Pit with Heat Shield

Imagine being able to set up a fire pit anywhere in less than a minute. That’s the cool thing about the Pop Up Fire Pit from Fireside Outdoor: it packs into a small bag and sets up quickly wherever you need a low-maintenance campfire. What makes this portable campfire so enjoyable is the stainless steel mesh that the logs sit on. Strong enough to withstand 125 pounds of wood, the mesh provides oxygen to the fire from below, creating a hotter burning fire that creates more warmth. We recommend you spend a little bit more and purchase the optional heat shield. The heat shield allows the Pop Up Pit to be set up on the grass or concrete without leaving any sort of brown marks, allowing for S’mores on the lawn and worry free backyard campfires.

MSRP: $119.95 (with heat shield) •

2. Five Ten Aleon

Following its purchase by Adidas in 2011, Five Ten has put more emphasis on research and development. For their February release of the new bouldering specific Aleon shoe, Swiss bouldering legend Fred Nicole made a custom last and created a completely new high performance shoe from scratch. An aggressive shape and a midsole that maintains a slight downturn aim to enhance precision and power when toeing small holds on boulders is what distinguishes the Aleon. Stealth C4 rubber is the gold standard of sticky rubber and the Aleon has plenty in the heel section for superior heel hooking.

Five Ten and Nicole designed the microfiber upper to resist stretching. Primeknit makes up the closure and keeps the ankle comfortable, all while helping keep the shoe lightweight. If you like steep bouldering these are the shoes for you.


3. Zodiac Lights Gemini 2300

We’re super impressed by the performance and quality of this night riding system for mountain bikers and road cyclists. The Gemini 2300 features a GoPro compatible base and bar mount, and an integrated long-lasting, rechargeable battery. Its 2300 lumens shed some solid light, and you can dial in the brightness with five settings to choose from. Extremely durable yet light, this system is shock resistant, anti-fog, and IP64 waterproof rated.

Also impressive is Zodiac Lights’ commitment to communty. The company sponsors a number of racers as well as the California Enduro Series.


4. Romp Pin Tail Backcountry Ski

Romp’s website claims you will “experience euphoria” on their hand crafted skis … and yes, we did. The Pin Tail backcountry ski boasts a versatile design that allows for sublime powder shredding and yet can also carve on hard pack. A more narrow tail and early taper make it nimble through the tight trees. A tip that always floats makes this ski your best friend in both pow and crud.

Romp utilizes the latest and best technologies and materials in the manufacturing of their custom and stock skis. They also offer a damage replacement policy within a year of purchase. In addition to the backcountry shape featured here, Romp also offers shapes suitable for all mountain, all mountain/powder, powder, and hard snow.


5. Ride Concepts Hellion Mountain Biking Shoe

Ride Concepts has blown us away with their mountain bike footwear. The Hellion — pace-setter of the their Session Series — specifically impressed us with its increased protection, durabilty, comfort, and all around good looks. Hard-charging riders who seek out the gnarliest conditions will appreciate this shoe’s comfort and flat pedal control. It comes in styles for both men and women (there is no Hellion for groms although there are plenty of other options in the RC line) … each tested and heartily approved by our staff.

Ride Concepts recognizes that men, women and youth all deserve equal quality and performance in their shoes, and their designs reflect the specific needs of each. Ride Concepts’ goal is “to design and make the most comfortable, most durable, and most reliable mountain biking footwear on the planet.” And thanks to their solid commitment to progressive style, cutting-edge features and singular construction, we say they certainly slayed that goal!

MSRP: $130 •

6. Morsel Spork

You know how your hand always gets food on it when you’re digging around at the bottom of your freeze-dry meal bag? Yeah, drives us nuts, too. So, on behalf of backpackers, backcountry skiiers/riders, bikepackers, paddlers, rock climbers and mountaineers everywhere … THANK YOU Morsel for producing a lightweight, packable eating utensil that allows us to keep our hands dry and comfortable while chowing down in the wild. Plus, its innovative design allows you to use it as a spoon, fork or even a spatula to  scrape every last bit of food in all the nooks and crannies!

MSRP: $12.95 •

7. Patagonia Black Hole Waist Pack

Even though Patagonia doesn’t use the term “fanny pack” to describe the Black Hole, that’s exactly what you think of when you see it — those classic men’s fashion accessories that were ubiquitous in the 1980s.

As it turns out, this updated and tougher version of a fanny pack also makes a great way to hold your phone, keys, and a few essentials during mountain bike rides, fishing trips, and low maintenance hikes when you don’t want to carry a pack. The classic design has one large main compartment that opens and closes with a zip-flap and stretch water-bottle pockets to hold beverages or a hat and gloves.

A small front stash pocket holds your phone and spare camera batteries. Two compression straps keep the load close to body and cinch down to hold additional gear. The highly breathable mesh lumbar panel provides all-day carrying comfort. Made from 13-oz 450-denier polyester ripstop (50% solution-dyed) with a TPU-film laminate and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish.

MSRP: $59 •

8. Bolle Shifter

While some people think the Bolle Shifter is just too radical looking for everyday use, we like ours way too much to limit their use to just cycling. The latest addition to Bolle’s performance eyewear range, the SHIFTER is a tribute to cycling history in a retro-futuristic design that looks good even if you don’t wear a mullet.

Seriously though, while the retro look and feel of the Shifter is very cool, these are more than just a fashion accessory. The Phantom lens features a molecular photochromic filter adapting to any light condition and a high contrast filter to enhance colors and boost your vision. Even though these sunglasses feel feather-light on your face and don’t squeeze your head, they are surprisingly hard to dislodge and stay put even during bumpy mountain bike descents. Air vents reduce fogging and hydrophobic treatment repels water making the Shifter our favorite sunglasses and pretty much the best we’ve ever worn.

MSRP: $89-$

9. Kahtoola MICROspikes

Kahtoola MICROspikes are an essential component of any trekking adventure involving snow and/or ice. Just pull them over your running shoes or hiking boots and off you go … hiking, running, and trekking safely on slippery terrain. Your explorations and training sessions will be all that more rewarding with this confidence-inspiring set of comfortable, durable, and lightweight traction gear.

MICROspikes come with a handy tote sack so you can easily pack them until you need ‘em.