Take a look at this week’s roundup of the latest gear you might not see anywhere else!
KÜHL Eskape Duffel Bag
Take a stroll through the terminal of any gateway to the outdoors (DIA, SLC, etc.), and you’ll spot numerous travelers with rugged duffel bags. Patagonia’s Black Hole seems to be the gold standard in this category, but now, KÜHL bursts onto the scene with the Eskape Duffel ($299). Available in TPU-laminated nylon or canvas, the Eskape duffel is a sophisticated carry-all with a plethora of pockets. While the large “high visibility” main compartment provides most of the storage space, two exterior pockets and a water bottle side pocket add organizational benefits.
KÜHL left no stone unturned in the Eskape Duffel’s design process. It’s full of nifty features — a hidden device tracker pocket and a “self-aligning” magnetic sternum clip among them.
VEJA Fitz Roy Hiking Shoe
French footwear brand VEJA drops its first-ever hiking shoe. Named for the most iconic granite peak in South America, the Fitz Roy ($245) sports a mountainous skyline design motif that wraps around the entirety of the shoe. As for tech specs, the Fitz Roy’s upper is made from VEJA’s “resistant, solid, and watertight” Trek-Shell material.
On the outsole, the rocker profile and rubber “crampon-style” tread aim to boost grip and comfort. A rock plate is embedded underfoot to protect against rough terrain. According to VEJA, the Fitz Roy is made from “43% bio-based and recycled material.”
Hyperlite Mountain Gear All-Black Unbound 40L Pack
Hyperlite Mountain Gear branches out from its standard stark-white color palette with the all-black Unbound 40 ($369) backpack. The white version of the Unbound 40 dropped late last year, combining many well-loved thru-hiking pack features into a single design. Dual oversized side pockets reduce excessive rummaging and low-profile daisy chains allow exterior cargo hauling.
Hyperlite made its name with Dyneema fabric, an incredibly abrasion-resistant face fabric that’s proven to hold up in the long term. But don’t worry, the new all-black Unbound 40 sticks with Dyneema.
GoSun Solar Powered Backpack
Though I haven’t personally tested this self-contained kit from GoSun, it contains a 10W solar panel, mini power bank, LED light bar, backpack, and eating utensils — that’s a lot of value for $129. It’s an unusual grouping of items, but it seems like a potentially good platform for an emergency go-bag.
Four included mini metal carabiners allow users to strap the solar panel to the outside of the pack for on-the-go charging. The pack’s compartments are specifically designed to house other GoSun products, including the Go Pro solar oven and the Brew coffee maker. On Feb. 18, the price of the kit goes up to $249.
Cotopaxi Kids’ Fuego Jacket
Cotopaxi is among the fastest-growing outdoor apparel brands of the last decade. Now, the momentum continues with an all-new kids’ collection. The Fuego Down Jacket ($140) is insulated with 800-fill “water-resistant” down and wrapped in a DWR-coated nylon shell. As usual, the brand’s signature lively color palette is in full force.
Alongside the Fuego Jacket, the kids’ collection also includes a fleece, a windbreaker, and a teeny 12L backpack.
Bare Performance Nutrition Personalized Fitness App
Bare Performance Nutrition makes supplements and fitness apparel, and now it’s adding a personalized training app to its portfolio. According to the brand, the app is a completely free resource for people seeking “tools, resources, and community to advance their physical potential.” Currently, four training plans are offered: Hybrid Athlete, 5K, Half Marathon, and Marathon. Users can sync the app with their personal health and fitness data through Garmin Connect and the training regimen will adapt accordingly. The BPN Training App is available for Apple and Android devices.
Saucony Peregrine 13 Trail Runners
Saucony has been at the forefront of running footwear for as long as the Olympics have included organized marathons — that’s well over 100 years. One of the brand’s latest creations is the Peregrine 13 ($140) a deep-treaded trail runner with a breathable mesh upper. Compared to past iterations of the Peregrine, the 13 is a touch lighter and comes with a slightly thicker midsole.
The 13 arrives as part of the 2023 Peregrine collection, which also includes the waterproof Peregrine GTX and the soft surface specialist Peregrine ST. Men’s and women’s sizes are available.
Matador GlobeRider45 Travel Bag
Matador’s 45L GlobeRider ($350) combines the fit and weight distribution of heavy-duty backpacking packs with polished travel bag aesthetics. The GlobeRider45 has a full internal frame with an aluminum frame and a thickly padded hip belt — unusual features for a carry-on-compliant backpack. Matador admits the pack is “overbuilt,” but that’s international — comfort is a top priority here.
On the interior, the GlobeRider45 looks more like traditional traveler’s luggage. From toiletries to laptops, this pack has all the compartments necessary for long airport layovers and hostel stays. Read our full review.
Stillhouse Peanut Butter S’mores Whiskey
Two delicacies are commonly associated with campfires: whiskey and s’mores. Stillhouse — known for its line of tinned American-made spirits — has created an inevitable mashup: Peanut Butter S’mores Whiskey. According to the brand, this flavored hooch delivers a blend of salty, sweet, and savory notes complemented by hits of marshmallow and bittersweet chocolate. Like all Stillhouse Whiskeys, this latest concoction comes in a stainless steel 750 mL flask bottle ($20). Combine it with some berry-flavored liqueur, and you’ll have yourself a shot of PB&J.
Red Paddle Co. Limited-Edition MSL Paddleboard
Red’s MSL Inflatable Paddle Board is the brand’s most popular all-around model. Now, in partnership with Love the Oceans, a limited-edition run of the MSL arrives with ocean-inspired graphics and a philanthropic purpose. Love the Oceans is a marine conservation nonprofit supporting ecosystem health and biodiversity in Jangamo Bay, Mozambique. Paddling a SUP across the surface of the sea certainly promotes an interest in healthy oceans. It’s a fitting collaboration.
The length of the board itself ($1,399) is 10’6″, and it’s geared toward riders of all levels.
Merrell x Jordan Ann Craig Collection
Jordan Ann Craig is a Northern Cheyanne artist known for her large-scale geometric paintings that are informed by indigenous design. Hiking footwear giant Merrell has commissioned Craig to help launch an expansive line of footwear, apparel, and accessories. The pictured Encore Ice 4 Puff shoes ($100) are “built for everyday wear” and “inspired by nature and indigenous beadwork.” They’re modern moccasins made with a faux fur lining and a rubber outsole for everyday wear.
Craig describes the collection as “art that can live off of walls and traverse the Earth.” In tandem with the collaboration, Merrell is supporting the Fort Robinson Outbreak Spiritual Run, an annual event that commemorates the Northern Cheyanne breakout of Fort Robinson as a tribute to its ancestors.