The gear our editors loved in July


You may be surprised to learn that the employees of Outside likes to be, well, outdoors. When we are not working, we are outside, especially in July. Here’s the gear our staff used for lounging in the height of summer.

Nomadix Festival Blanket ($70)

(Photo: Courtesy of Nomadix)

I’ve brought this blanket to every park hangout, outdoor concert, and car camping trip for the past three years. The Festival Blanket weighs just over two pounds and packs down small, and the water-resistant base keeps your butt dry on dew-covered grass. The top fabric is soft and non-slip – I’ve even used it as a yoga mat – and repels pet hair, sand and dirt. If it gets dirty, it’s machine washable and the post-consumer recycled polyester dries quickly. Four tie-down loops at the corners help lock it in place with pegs on windy days and let you attach it as a tarp or sun shade in a snap. —Maren Larsen, podcast producer

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Carhartt Kids Canvas Overalls ($33)

Carhartt Kids Canvas Overalls
(Photo: Courtesy of Carhartt)

My partner is a vegetarian farmer so we couldn’t resist putting our toddler son in a pair of Carhartt bibs. There’s the cute factor, sure, but they’re also practical. Our five-month-old can mostly sit up on his own, but he’s still a little tippy, so we quickly grab the back of his overalls to steady him if we see him start to bend over. I plan to invest in the next size up as soon as he starts crawling and walking for the same reason. Note: we’ve sailed at least two major blowouts without a poop stain in sight. —Abigail Wise, Chief Digital Officer

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Espresso Forge ($399)

Espresso forge
(Photo: Courtesy Espresso Forge)

Many of us know the whimsical joy of making an espresso on a camping trip. Your brew has a certain, uh, character that’s the byproduct of being handmade in the open air, and not by a $3,000 machine in a kitchen. So yes, sometimes you cringe, and often your drink is either a watery mess or gooey rocket fuel. Enter the Espresso Forge, a stainless steel appliance designed to produce professional quality espresso, without electricity. Sure, the device looks like a bong and it’s heavy. But if you’re serious about espresso and love the great outdoors, this might be the machine for you. Other travel espresso machines reduce size and weight by reducing the diameter of the perforated cup, where the pressurized hot water meets the ground coffee. The Espresso Forge, however, uses a 58 millimeter cup, which is the world standard for automatic machines. The company’s founders claim that narrower, deeper cups simply cannot replicate the flavor and crema produced by a wider, shallower cup. On top of that, the Espresso Forge also lets you modulate the pressure. Automatic machines often increase the pressure to 130 PSI at the start of the pour and then reduce it dramatically, a process that releases more flavor from the beans. You can replicate this using the Forge by simply adjusting how hard you push down on the metal plunger. Warning: this device is absolutely for discerning coffee nerds who sweat the details. I bought an espresso grind that was too coarse and it produced a disaster. If you’re the type-A coffee snob who’s always on the hunt for the best cup of camping espresso, this thing may be the answer. —Frederick Dreier, Articles Editor

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Shredly Biker Tank Top ($48)

Shredly Biker Tank Top
(Photo: Courtesy of Shredly)

I almost always ride in a tank top in the summer heat here in Colorado, and I love how the oversized armholes on this tank top allow for extra airflow as well as a nice muscle tank look. As a result, this top is garnering lots of compliments. The polyester-tencel-lycra fabric is super light and soft, and it wicks moisture well on the wettest days. And I commend women’s mountain bike clothing brand Shredly for their size range – the tank top is available in sizes XS to XXXL. —Gloria Liu, Editor-in-Chief

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Troy Lee Women’s Luxury Shorts ($119)

Luxury Troy Lee Women's Shorts
(Photo: Courtesy of Troy Lee)

With a yoga-style waistband and stretch leg panels, slipping on these women’s mountain bike shorts is like slipping on comfortable sweatpants. They’re long enough to wear light knee pads and the outer fabric is light enough for hot summer rides, while the elasticated panels provide extra breathability. —GL

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Ibex Tranquil Long Sleeve ($142)

Ibex Tranquil Long Sleeve T-Shirt
(Photo: Courtesy of Ibex)

I’m cold and notoriously bad at controlling my own body temperature. So in the summer, when it’s 70 degrees and I’m tempted to grab a fleece, I grab this short long sleeve instead. It’s made from a heavyweight merino wool blend that offers warmth equivalent to a heavyweight base layer top, but in a naturally more airy boxy silhouette. The result sits on the border between shirt, sweatshirt, and midlayer, with a sleek cropped fit and natural wicking properties that make it perfect for everything from overly air-conditioned offices to work hikes to weekends. cold campsites. —Ariella Gintzler, Associate Director of Equipment

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Whiskey Kate Big Nose ($39)

Whiskey Kate with the big nose
(Photo: Courtesy of Big Nose Kate)

It was my go-to during the summer because it’s a well-balanced whiskey that sells for a reasonable $40. Good enough in fact that I refused to mix it into a drink and instead insisted on enjoying it neat or maybe with some rocks. mixed in Outside Magazine’s hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico, he uses pure ryes and American single malts that are distilled in Virginia, Texas and Indiana. The company is named after a self-made, fiercely independent woman who traveled the Southwest in the late 1800s stealing horses, running salons and hanging out with the likes of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. —Jakob Schiller, Editor

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Jungmaven Sporty Tank Top ($44)

Jungmaven Sports Tank Top
(Photo: Courtesy of Jungmaven)

This little tank top from Jungmaven is well made, flattering and ridiculously comfortable. Made with a blend of hemp, organic cotton, and just a little spandex, it’s been my top pick this summer for everything from lazing around to gentle hikes to dinner parties. I’ve been keeping an eye on the website so I can stock up on different colors as soon as they’re in stock, but they’re selling out fast! It’s hard to go wrong with anything from Jungmaven, who make all of their clothes in California with ethically sourced natural fibers. —Abigail Barronian, Editor-in-Chief

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Orvis Recon Rod, 4WT 8’6″ ($568)

Rod Orvis Recon, 4WT 8'6
(Photo: Courtesy of Orvis)

I’ve always fished a nine-foot three-piece 5WT that I inherited from my dad. It’s an amazing rod that’s also incredibly annoying to carry. My four-piece Orvis Recon is endlessly portable and has accompanied me on backcountry hikes, river trips, a mega roadtrip, and a few flights since I got it this summer. He casts beautifully and has easily landed trout (including some real lunkers!) in four states this summer. I have mostly dry fly fished, but this is a versatile rod, well suited to a wide range of water, fish and flies. -A B

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Fourlaps Level Tech Tee ($68)

Fourlaps Level Tech Tee
(Photo: Courtesy of Fourlaps)

I’d love the Level Tee for its comfort against the skin, smooth drape, and durable feel, even though it didn’t have built-in cooling technology. But it does, making it a shirt I go for when I’m heading out on hot runs and hikes, as well as for those times when I want to look and feel great during and after activity. The fabric blend features seven percent wool, accounting for soft feel and odor resistance, and seven percent spandex, which rounds out comfort with just a little stretch. The rest is recycled polyester (each shirt eliminates nine plastic water bottles from the environment), with embedded volcanic sand particles that would use infrared energy to regulate heat and humidity. A 2017 study from the University of Colorado showed that cyclists could go 26% longer at the lactate threshold wearing this technology compared to wearing the same shirt without the volcanic particles. I haven’t recreated the test, but I can report that I stayed cool, dry, and comfortable off the tee on a three-hour mountain hike in temperatures in the 90s. And, although I have other shirts that wick away sweat better, even when the Level Tee got soaked through sweltering runs, I never overheated as much as expected, or felt clammy and sticky. I tend to wear it a couple of times before washing it – it dries quickly and thoroughly – and it always seems to be in the hamper. —Jonathan Beverly, Editor-in-Chief

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Maloja Trentinom Multi 1/2 Shirt ($79)

Maloja Trentinom Multi 1/2 Shirt
(Photo: Courtesy of Maloja)

On hot July afternoons in Montana, the number one criteria I have for my trail clothes is that they keep me cool. I have been mountain biking in Maloja’s Trentinom Multi 1/2 jersey almost every week this summer, and it has never failed to do the trick. Its polyester and Primaloft Bio fabric is light as a feather and super breathable against skin sweat, and I like the loose fit that doesn’t cling to my body. And, big bonus: it is biodegradable at the end of its life. —Kelly Klein, Associate Editor

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