The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
Steamboat Springs’ Big Agnes is known for unique backcountry sleep solutions. It was one of the first gear companies to stitch sleeping bags with sleeves to marry them to your sleeping pad. It also designs bags specifically for side sleepers, and its ultraplush sleeping pads have won countless awards. All that has turned Big Agnes into a camping juggernaut that might be big enough to survive its next big idea: encouraging people to buy less gear. “[You] don’t need to have a collection of different bags,” says Big Agnes product developer Paige Baker. “Instead, invest in a quality piece of gear that is going to last a long time and fit all the conditions you’re going to be camping in.” That’s the goal of the 3N1 line. Released in January, its mummylike inner bag and quiltlike outer sleeve allow sleepers to mix and match for different seasons and regions. The result is about the same weight and size as a single bag but with the flexibility to shed a layer in summer, double up for cold shoulder-season nights, or ship a layer ahead for when the weather along your thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail turns frigid. The hood on the inner layer feels more like a jacket’s cowl than the claustrophobic headgear on most mummy bags, and a cinching skirt mates to pretty much any sleeping pad so you won’t slide off in the night. From $330
We’re betting that you’ll be carrying a single-use fuel canister to power your stove on your next backpacking trip. We’re also betting that you don’t know how to dispose of it properly: It must be fully drained of fuel and punctured so recyclers know it’s safe. That’s why this new pot gripper from Englewood’s Outdoor Element includes an integrated tool for piercing the canister. Grab one and your county recycler will thank you. $15
For gals, roping up for a climb right after their morning coffee isn’t as easy—or safe—as it is for guys because going to the bathroom often requires doffing their harness and other gear. The Go There Pant from Gunnison’s SheFly solves that with a simple fix: two zippers. There’s a traditional one for taking the pants on and off and an extra-long one that starts just below the first and wraps all the way around to the back to make nature’s call quicker and more discrete. These aren’t just for climbing, though. With five large pockets, a mid-rise waist that accommodates harnesses and hip belts, and a stretchy nylon and spandex fabric, the Go There Pant is great for everything from mountaineering to mountain biking. $168
Portable battery packs and wireless charging are nothing new. But Fort Collins’ Otterbox expands on the concept with the first battery pack to feature two-sided wireless charging, meaning you can refuel your MagSafe-compatible iPhone at the same time as you top off the power bank. If you can stand cables, there’s also a USB-C port for charging non-MagSafe devices such as headlamps and GPS watches before your summit attempt. $70
With entrées such as Thai Peanut Slaw, Garden Mac & Cheese, and Fall Harvest Green Curry, Durango’s Farm to Summit makes dehydrated backpacking meals as good as—and maybe even better than—whatever you’re cooking at home tonight. If deliciousness isn’t enough, they’re also eco-friendly. The two-year-old company’s packaging is compostable, recyclable, and biodegradable, and the meals are made with flawed produce, food that might otherwise be thrown away because it’s too ugly to be sold at the grocery store. $3 to $15
A backpack when you need it; a softball when you don’t. That’s how small Matador’s new Freerain28 bag packs down. What’s even more impressive are all the features the Boulder travel accessory company crammed into the 12-ounce daypack, including a fully waterproof main compartment, space for a hydration bladder, a supportive hip belt, comfortable mesh shoulder straps, and attachment points for ice axes, trekking poles, and other gear. $125