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Big Agnes Tumble 1 MTNGLO Tent, $240. Photo courtesy of Big Agnes.

18 Outdoor Gear Essentials for Every Season

Eighteen items from Centennial State brands that will keep your adventures fresh, functional, and—most important—fun all year round.

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WINTER

1. Strafe Scarlett Bib
Strafe Scarlett Bib, $469. Photo courtesy of Strafe.

Why We Love It: Brilliant features of the Scarlett—which won Ski Magazine’s 2017 Hot Gear Award—include a drop-seat-like design with zippers and snaps that allows women to take care of business sans jacket removal and leg vents that’ll help you cool down while skinning up Mt. Sherman.
Use It…on snowshoe adventures to Leadville Backcountry’s Marceline and Emma yurts.

2. Ortovox Ascent 30 Avabag

Ortovox Ascent 30 Avabag, $720. Photo courtesy of Ortovox.

Why We Love It: The award-winning design of the Avabag (from German brand Ortovox, whose U.S. operations are based in Longmont) includes an easy-to-pull release handle that deploys an inflatable balloon to help skiers rise to the snow’s surface during an avalanche.
Use It…on Silverton Mountain’s 2,000 acres of high-alpine terrain, available only to skiers and boarders with avalanche gear.

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3. Never Summer Maverix Snowboard

Never Summer Maveriz Snowboard, $530. Photo courtesy of Micah Cook.

Why We Love It: The Maverix combines four of the Denver-based snowboard and longboard manufacturer’s previous designs to create a versatile ride that effortlessly carves groomed runs and glides through powder.
Use It…at Breckenridge Ski Resort, with its four terrain parks for freestylers, the back bowls for powder seekers, and long, curvy pistes—such as the Gold King run—for speed demons.

4. Voormi Reversible Variant II Vest
Voormi
Voormi Reversible Variant II Vest, $349. Photo courtesy of Voormi.

Why We Love It: On one side, the first reversible vest from the Pagosa Springs company sports nylon, wool, and a weatherproof membrane to block wind, rain, and snow—and on the other is a nylon face that’s utterly après-worthy.
Use It…as a midlayer to shield you from Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s biting temps (minus two degrees on average from January to March). Or show it off as an outer layer at 54thirty, the Le Méridien Denver Downtown hotel’s heated rooftop bar.


SPRING

1. Native Eyewear Distiller sunglasses

Native Eyewear Distiller Sunglasses, $129. Photo courtesy of Native Eyewear Distiller.

Why We Love It: The polarized lenses on these active-lifestyle shades from Native Eyewear block up to four times more infrared light than regular polarized lenses. That means no glare or squinting during spring training.
Use It…while pulling a 12-inch brown trout out of the Arkansas River near Salida during May’s famed Mother’s Day caddis hatch.

2. Osprey Aether AG 60 Backpack

Osprey Aether AG 60 Backpack, $290. Photo courtesy of Osprey.

Why We Love It: The Aether has everything hikers need for long-distance excursions: an interchangeable harness and hip belt to fit any body type, a three-liter internal reservoir system, and side stretch-mesh pockets for access to need-now products.
Use It…on an overnight, pre-summer trial session on the
35-plus miles of trails in Golden Gate Canyon State Park.

3. The Polar Bottle Thermaluxe

The Polar Bottle Thermaluxe, $28. Photo courtesy of The Polar Bottle.

Why We Love It: This vacuum-insulated container keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours and warm for up to 12. So if adventures require a dawn start—and you don’t want to part with your coffee—this is the ideal canteen.
Use It…to stay awake (or hydrated) while exploring 300-foot-tall sandstone formations on the 4.1-mile Pawnee Buttes Trail at Pawnee National Grassland.

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La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX Hiking Shoe, $185. Photo courtesy of La Sportiva.
4. La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX Hiking Shoe

Why We Love It: Straddling the divide between a trail running shoe and hiking boot,
the Synthesis by La Sportiva (whose North American headquarters are in Boulder) weighs a scant 12.5 ounces (in women’s), providing secure ankle support without feeling heavy underfoot.
Use It…during a break-in run (or hike) on the 1.3-mile Bluestem Loop Trail in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.

5. SOLtrain Paddleboard

SolTrain Paddleboard, $1,100. Photo courtesy of Sol Paddle Boards.

Why We Love It: With double reinforced sidewalls, the inflatable Soltrain lets you tackle rock-studded runs on the Colorado River just as easily as relaxing laps around Boulder Reservoir.
Use It…for weekday paddles on Berkeley’s Rocky Mountain Lake.


SUMMER

1. ADG Titan Fly Rod

ADG Titan Fly Rod, $200. Photo by Sarah Boyum.

Why We Love It: This Titan three-weight is the latest iteration of the Denver company’s pioneering titanium wire rods; enhanced sensitivity means you can instantly feel the bite on your line.
Use It…on the Cache la Poudre River, the only Colorado waterway with the National Park Service’s Wild and Scenic River designation. Read: some 30 miles of unspoiled riverbank.

2. Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock

Sea To Summit Ultralight Hammock, $90. Photo courtesy of Sea To Summit.

Why We Love It: The Australian gear company (whose American headquarters are in Boulder) picked the right descriptor for its hammock: It weighs less than half a pound. Yet the nylon fabric could support 300-pound Broncos lineman Garett Bolles worry-free.
Use It…to glimpse stellar sunset views from your perch on Morrison’s Mt. Falcon.

3. Slackline Industries Base line Kit

Slackline Industries Base Line Kit, $60–$80. Photo courtesy of Slackline Industries.

Why We Love It: Boulder’s Slackline Industries has beginner and intermediate balancers covered with this introductory kit, which offers a nylon and polyester strap with custom-designed, extra-stable webbing.
Use It…at Harvard Gulch Park, where the Colorado Slackline Club meets on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m.

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4. Otterbox Venture 65 Cooler

Otterbox Venture 65 Cooler, $400. Photo courtesy of Otterbox.

Why We Love It: This industrial-strength cooler keeps ice frozen for up to 16 days and features a stainless-steel bottle opener to crack open the 46 bottles of Great Divide Brewing Co.’s Colette Farmhouse Ale you’ll be able to fit in the sturdy container.
Use It…in the Piñon Flats Campground at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve to see if the vessel can handle the heat radiating off of the nearby dunes.

5. Big Agnes Tumble 1 Mtnglo Tent

Big Agnes Tumble 1 MTNGLO Tent,$240. Photo courtesy of Big Agnes.

Why We Love It: LED bulbs are sewn into the seams of this tent’s polyester walls, creating light at the push of a button (no more fumbling for your headlamp!).
Use It…to provoke the envy of the other campers at tents-only Longs Peak Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park.


FALL

1. Smartwool PhD Outdoor Mount-aineer Socks

Smartwool PHD Outdoor Mountaineer Socks, $35. Photo by Sarah Boyum.

Why We Love It: The Steamboat Springs brand’s unisex PhD socks feature breathable mesh panels on the top of the foot and Merino wool fibers—part of its new
“Indestructawool” technology—in high-wear areas, like the heel and toe, to make your pair last longer.
Use It…to crush 13.4 miles on Boulder’s Mesa Trail (out and back), where the mix of grasslands and hilly forests makes for scenic marathon training.

2. Spyderco Persistence G-10 Knife

Spyderco Persistance G-10 Knife, $65. Photo courtesy of Spyderco.

Why We Love It: A backcountry folding knife should be three things: compact, reliable, and light. The Persistence, which measures just over four inches when closed, is all three. Its ergonomic handle allows for easy, one-handed opening and closing, and the stainless-steel blade provides consistent, fatigue-free cutting.
Use It…during duck hunting season in the Grand Valley, near the Colorado River, while testing your field-dressing skills.

3. Kelty Range 2.0 Trekking Poles

Kelty Range 2.0 Trekking Poles, $60. Photo courtesy of Kelty Range.

Why We Love It: Don’t let rugged terrain knock you off your stride. With a nonslip carbide tip, all-weather grips, and aluminum shafts designed with antishock technology, Boulder-based Kelty’s trekking poles are built to keep you upright. They also sport a simple twisting lock mechanism so you can easily adjust the length and store the sticks when the trail is smooth and flat.
Use It…on a vibrant fall hike like the aspen-lined Flash of Gold Trail—newly opened in July—in Steamboat Springs.

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4. Spot Mayhem 27.5+ Mountain Bike

Spot Mayhem 27.5+ Mountain Bike, $7,000 (complete, five-star build). Photo courtesy of Spot Bicycles.

Why We Love It: Spot—based in Golden—builds mountain, gravel, and city bikes for all sorts of terrain, but for riders who want to do it all, all year long, there’s the Mayhem. The carbon, full-suspension rig makes for a light but burly ride capable of conquering mud, snow, sand, or whatever else you encounter on the trail.
Use It…throughout Fruita’s Kokopelli trail system, where you can test the grip strength of those plus-size tires on the trail’s red-rock features.

This article appeared in the December 2017 issue of .

Jay Bouchard, Digital Assistant Editor

Jay writes and edits stories for 5280.com and assists the digital team with social media and online strategy.

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