Outdoor

In keeping with our editors, essentially the most coveted gear of 2020

Every year we come across gear we can’t get enough of, but we also test products that are so appealing to gear nerds and average consumers that they are harder and harder to find. We believe these are the most sought after items on the market and why.

Peak Design Tech Pouch Organizer ($ 60)

(Photo: Courtesy Peak Design)

We test a lot of top-notch gear at Outside, from high-tech grills to the latest in motorcycles. While reviewing these marquee items is always a pleasure, the equipment I am most excited about is the one that makes my everyday life easier. That’s why I was particularly amused when I got my hands on the Tech Pouch Organizer from Peak Design. We named it an “Organizational Masterpiece” in our 2020 Best Travel Gear Report. This sturdy little bag opens like a book when unzipped, making it easy to see everything you’ve stowed in the myriad of pockets, slots and openings. It has enough structure to stand on its own whether it’s open or closed, is wrapped in DWR treated nylon, and has a waterproof zip – it would take a real flood if items inside got wet. I keep the everyday items that don’t fit in my pockets like a phone charger, memory cards, my headlights, pens, pen drives, dongles, etc., although this would be a killer dopp kit too. (I also look forward to the day I can use it on the plane as it is so essential on road trips). I’ve used a lot of different small bags and none are as intuitive or thoughtful as the Tech Pouch. Peak Design has a rabid fan base and is killing all product launches on Kickstarter because it always leads the way with well-designed products. The brand has made it: it fills my heart with joy every time I look in there and immediately find what I need. – Will Taylor, Gear Director

Shopping now

Exped MegaMat Duo 10 sleeping pad ($ 349)

Sleeping mats(Photo: Courtesy Exped)

I search the internet every day for deals on the best gear that we have tested and reviewed. We’ve showered the Exped MegaMat Duo with praise, calling it the most comfortable mattress we’ve undoubtedly used for car camping. Every time I’ve seen it on sale or just in stock, it sells out in a matter of days on most equipment store websites. “Unlike air mattresses, the air chamber on this mattress is surrounded by memory foam – an arrangement that makes sleeping more comfortable than the Tempurpedic mattress I use on my bed at home,” wrote outside columnist Wes Siler. “You will not find better support anywhere in or out.” It’s expensive and hard to find, but it’s most likely to feel like we’re at home in our bed instead of parking in the woods. Because of this, I think the MegaMat Duo 10 will be the most sought-after car camping camp in 2020. – Jeremy Rellosa, editor of the reviews

Shopping now

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded UL Down Jacket ($ 375)

Berg-Hardwear-Ghost-Whisperer-Ul-coveted-Gear_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy Mountain Hardwear)

Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost Whisperer line has long been a favorite for those looking for lightweight insulation options. This year, however, it got even easier as only 1,000 limited editions were available. The premium insulation makes this iteration of the jacket live up to its name – it barely feels to the touch except for the impressive warmth it offers. A thousand fillings are popping up in many places this winter, but it’s an incredibly rare resource that may not last. We believe the combination of the tried and true Ghost Whisperer design and its new premium filling will make this piece float off the shelves this season. – Karen Larsen, Assistant Editor of the Buyer’s Guide

Shopping now

Stanley Classic Perfect-Brew Pouring Set ($ 35)

stanley-pour-over-set-coveted-gear_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy Stanley)

I’ve been keeping an eye on this pour-over setup since Stanley announced it to Outdoor Retailer in January. So much has changed since then, but my love for this brewer (and the mug to go with it) has only grown stronger – like my need for caffeine. At a time when a quick run to the grocery store for coffee filters is not always possible, the filter-free design of this set is particularly suitable for coupling. The durable and iconic green enamel coating makes it a classy and practical gift. At less than $ 50, it’s a great choice for those who are keeping a closer eye on their budget this year. – ML

Shopping now

Flint and Tinder Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket ($ 240)

Flint-Tinder-waxed-Trucker-coveted-equipment_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy of Huckberry)

Our writers and staff try out a lot of technical equipment, but we also enjoy testing lifestyle clothing. After all, we spend more time running errands and completing tasks than we’d like to admit. But the clothes we use for everyday chores during the colder months are best when they’re durable, warm, and damn good-looking. Enter the flannel and tinder flannel lined waxed trucker jacket. It’s a piece that I’ve seen again and again in conversation with other equipment nerds – so much so that the contributor Jakob Schiller dedicated two different odes to it. In his latest review, he wrote: “Thanks to a waxed 7-ounce canvas-cotton outer material, the trucker is virtually indestructible. I’ve used it to saw trees, clean up my yard, move trash, and do all sorts of other random jobs, none of which really put the jacket in danger of nicks or tears. “The Huckberry website barely stocks it, and for good reason:” You will have this jacket for years and wear it so much that the price sounds like a bargain. “- JR

Shopping now

Fischer Twin Skin Cruiser EF ski ($ 259)

fishcer-twin-skin-cruiser-ef-skis-coveted-gear_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy of Fischer)

Nordic skiing has never been as popular in the US as its gravity-based alpine cousin. Some think it’s downright uncool. (I disagree!) But this winter, with no season passes or the ability to safely travel far-away ski touring due to COVID, people are starting to see the sport in a different light. It’s much more accessible and much cheaper than skiing. You can do this virtually anywhere there’s a path, park, dirt road, or golf course that has enough snow to cover the ground – no lift lines or flies required. And the fact that it’s one of the best full body workouts you can get is a huge bonus. Dressing up in spandex and gliding through the woods on thin skis sounds pretty fun after all. Out of the blue, Nordic gear flies off shelves faster than stores can replenish it. For many Nordic skiers, waxless classic skin skis like Fischer’s Twin Skin line are the best entry point. The basic technique is easy to learn and the skis hit the sweet spot of maximum performance with minimal maintenance. The Twin Skin has mohair strips under the feet, like the skins you use with alpine touring skis, for a surprisingly good kick and glide. The Twin Skin Cruiser EF with a basalt core is perfect for everyone who wants to ride a groomed classic route under different conditions. Those looking to step up to new PRs and technical championships should opt for the Twin Skin Superlite EF ($ 326), which has a lighter, stiffer construction that’s tuned for a smoother kick. – Ariella Gintzler, Associate Gear Editor

Shopping now

Kelty Low Loveseat ($ 109)

kelty-low-lovenseat-covet-2020_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy of Kelty)

If I had to pick out a piece of camping gear that almost everyone on the staff would generally love, I’d have to refer to the Kelty Low love seat. It has come up many times on our pages and website, particularly in stories about equipment that makes camping better and more comfortable. Contributor Jakob Schiller summed it up best in September: “The love seat is neither small nor light, but the additional closeness to your loved one is worth it.” The nature-loving masses have to agree that it is pretty great because it often sells out is. This chair is just big enough for two people and has two cup holders on both arms. It is made of sturdy nylon fabric that can withstand years of abuse. I’m not generally the one who brings luxuries into the woods, but somehow this camping couch is on my permanent list of things I should never leave behind. – AG

Shopping now

Support outside of online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. For the past several years, Outside Online has reported groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you updated on the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous reporting helps fuel important debates about wellness, travel and adventure, and provides readers with an accessible gateway to new passions in the outdoors. Time outside is important – and we can help you get the most of it. Providing a financial contribution to Outside Online takes only minutes, and it ensures we can continue to deliver the breakthrough, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you will support us. Many thanks.

Post outside

Main photos: Background, Clarisse Meyer / Unsplash; Equipment from left, Courtesy Kelty, Courtesy Flint and Tinder, Courtesy Stanley. Graphics: Petra Zeiler.

If you buy something through the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. Outside does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our guidelines.

Related Articles

Close
Close