It’s May, which means it’s time for another gear review! One whole moon cycle teaches the rambling traveler some, but not all. Our good friend Einstein said it best, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” We’re looking forward to the next seven months on the road, and what they have in store for us. While we’re stumbling, and discovering, check out some of the gear that keeps us on the trail and ready for the next adventure.
La Sportiva Women’s Rocky Mountain Pant– If you haven’t had Stretch Cordura® grace your activewear wardrobe, have we got a treat for you! La Sportiva has created pants that combine the comfiness of leggings with the ruggedness of heavier protective mountain pants. This hardy, yet light, pant features Stretch Cordura®, which is a ying-yang of durability and breathability. I’ve hiked with these from daybreak to sunset through brambles and underbrush and walked away unscathed and cool. These pants come complete with large pockets for climbing overhangs without fear of anything falling out, elastic bottoms so they don’t snag on the trails, and a super comfy waistband so you can wear them all day. Can we talk about the waistband again? It really is a game changer.
Appalachian Trail Map Guides- Thinking of hiking the Appalachian Trail? Or just want to hike a section or two? National Geographic Maps has you covered. They’ve published a new, Appalachian Trail illustrated thirteen map set. Just like all of their maps, the A.T. maps are printed on waterproof, tear-resistant, paper that holds up like no other map on the trail. They’ve decided to print this set in booklet form instead of their usual fold-out style. We prefer the booklet on the trail. For us, they tend to be a little easier to deal with in windy situations, especially when you only need a small section of the map at a time. Each booklet covers 150-200 miles of the A.T. The whole set covers Springer Mountian, Ga., to Mt. Katahdin in Main. Each page is centered on the A.T. and overlaps with the adjacent pages so there is little chance of getting lost. Along the bottom of each page is a trail profile that shows the distance between shelters, camping areas, and trail access points. Each booklet lists resupply information, town inset maps, camping options, and much more.You don’t have to be a thru-hiker to enjoy these beauties. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. We love maps.
Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail 35- Lowe Alpine is celebrating their 50th birthday this year and they have been making top notch gear since their inception. Lowe Alpine, who was founded by climber and mountaineer Greg Lowe, is responsible for some of the most commonly used climbing and mountaineering gear today.
We’ve fallen in love with all of their packs, but today we’d like to introduce the Airzone Trail 35. This 35-liter pack is perfect for lightweight backpackers or for day hikers who need a little extra space. Checking in at 2.7 pounds, this pack edges out most others in its size class. The Airzone Trail 35 uses a top-loading, single clasp, design that cuts weight and increases stability and accessibility. The Airzone get’s its name from the tensioned mesh that separates the pack from the wearer’s back. The mesh promotes air flow and cuts weight. They’ve included unique trekking pole holders that fit various types of poles and ice tools. Our personal favorite thing about this pack is the way it holds weight. There are specific designs for each gender, with the female design taking into consideration back length, hip belt length, shoulder height, and load distribution. No matter which gender, it is incredibly stable and well balanced.