At GearJunkie, we test, use, and rely on all manner of gear — for all seasons and conditions. Take a peek at the products we love this month!
Favorite Gear We Tested in January
Tested by: Katie Jedlicka Sieve, Project Manager
If you don’t believe in love at first sight, then you haven’t met Askov Finlayson’s Winter Parka. Minnesota-based and climate-positive outerwear brand Askov Finlayson has created a winter jacket that doesn’t just look good but is designed to last.
Created with both performance and sustainability in mind, you won’t find down insulation in the parka like you would in a similar jacket. Instead, the Winter Parka offers 3M Thinsulate 100% Recycled Featherless Insulation.
This parka is rated warm all the way to -20 degrees. Minnesota just had a cold spell and had several days of sub-zero temps. I found that the recessed elastic cuffs at the wrists and the insulted interior collar kept the cold air at bay.
The jacket is perfect for all outdoor exploring. And just in case you decide to pack the kitchen sink, you can choose from one of its eight pockets to keep your items safe. Enjoy and celebrate the cold in the Winter Parka.
Tested by: Mary Murphy, Editor
For anyone who has tried tricks like doubling up on socks, or using foot warmers or sock liners, and still gets cold at night in the cooler months — gather ’round. Down socks may be right for you.
Down socks are light, fluffy — and importantly, toasty — layers for your feet, stuffed with insulation and designed to keep your toes and feet warm no matter the temps outside. The ones I’ve been wearing and loving this whole winter are from GooseFeet Gear (from $69).
These puppies are warm and, best of all, totally customizable (from your favorite color to the fill). I got mine with a 20-denier exterior fabric (options are an 8-denier or 20) and a 1,000 goose down fill. If you’re going to be in more extreme temps, you can add 25%, 50%, 75%, or even 100% more fill to ensure that your feet stay warm.
For super-cold camping, ski trips, winter backpacking, and more, my GooseFeet Gear socks haven’t let me down yet.
Tested by: Chris Potter, Community Manager
CamelBak collaborated with LifeStraw to create the most hiker-friendly version of the beloved Eddy water bottle to date. The CamelBak Eddy + filtered by LifeStraw water bottle makes it simple to hydrate on the go, wherever you are.
The Eddy + features two stages of filtration. First, the hollow-fiber filter removes bacteria, parasites, and microplastics. Next, the ion-exchange filter reduces lead, taste, odor, chlorine, and other chemicals so you can sip with the confidence that your water will be clean and delicious.
Whether you’re backpacking, traveling, fly fishing, or doing any activity that requires regular hydration, this filtered water bottle is the king of convenience. I tested it out in small creeks while hiking and camping in Colorado this past fall, and I enjoyed the ease and simplicity of relying on a single water bottle for all my hydration needs.
The CamelBak Eddy + filtered by LifeStraw bottle comes in BPA-free Tritan Renew and vacuum-insulated stainless steel and is available in 20- and 32-ounce sizes. Pick up one of these bottles to fill up with safe drinking water no matter where the day takes you.
Tested: Zach Burton, Marketing Projects Director
Brooks has been a staple in the running community for decades for everyone from competitive racers to casual athletes. The Hyperion Tempo is one of the brand’s lightweight and built-for-speed running shoes.
One of my favorite things about these shoes is their performance fit. I prefer shoes with a close fit that feels like an extension of your actual foot. The Hyperion Tempos deliver on this with a breathable, stretch-woven upper that has a tight, yet comfortable fit.
The Hyperion Tempos have a “DNA Flash” cushioning sole made from nitrogen-infused foam for lightweight construction that reacts to your unique stride.
I use these shoes for everything from fast running workouts to HIIT and weight training.
Tested by: Jenny Hansen, Marketing Manager
Tentree’s one of those sites that I feel good shopping at — mainly because the brand has a cool story behind it. For every item you purchase, tentree plants 10 trees. The website claims that the company has planted 65,467,328 trees so far, with a goal of 1 billion trees by 2030. Love it.
Lately, the Golden Spruce Hoodie has been my go-to for chilly mornings. It’s a bit oversized and very soft — just how I like my hoodies. Plus, it’s sustainably made with 60% organic cotton and 40% recycled polyester.
If you want to get a full set, add on the Bamone Sweatpants. Even though the fabric is thick enough to keep you warm, they have a slim fit that makes them stylish enough to wear while running errands.
Tested by: Adam Ruggiero, Editor in Chief
Love it or hate, there’s not much else like it. Patagonia launched its Alpine Downlab line of ultra-lightweight cold-weather garments in fall 2021. The idea — create Patagonia’s most lightweight and packable down garments to date — hinges on high-loft down and ultralight fabric derived from recycled fishing nets.
Tucked within this new product line is perhaps the most unorthodox piece to bear the Patagonia name: The UltraAlpine Down Crew. It uses 800-fill responsibly sourced and traceable down, Fair Trade-certified sewing, and 100% post-consumer recycled nylon face fabric.
And that fabric is the crux of this piece — it’s 7-denier, the lightest fabric Patagonia has ever used. A midlayer at its core, the UltraAlpine Down Crew weighs a quill over 6 ounces.
Let’s be frank — what we have here is a puffy shirt. While not designed to be a statement piece, it’s bound to turn heads. GearJunkie’s editor in chief has a running headcount of sideways glances and double-takes from his morning dog walks and winter weekend trips to the coffee shop.
Overall, the UltraAlpine Down Crew showcases the better parts of the two worlds it straddles — the ease and comfort of a shirt, and the warmth and coziness of a puffy. And with unrivaled packability and lightweight, it will likely be a favorite among the ounce-obsessive. To learn more, read our full review.
Tested: Zach Burton, Marketing Projects Director
SportDOG Brand was the first to combine GPS tracking with e-collar training. The TEK 2.0 series is the latest from the brand, combining tracking and reliability that is more accurate than ever before.
Bluetooth-compatible and with a 10-mile range using HopTek technology, the TEK 2.0 series provides control of my hunting dog, Stella, and shows me her location at all times. While Stella is well-behaved and generally stays within range, there are always variables when you’re out pushing fields for pheasants, and this collar gives me peace of mind.
When we get into thick cattails, I can easily figure out where she is, and which way we should head. And while I rarely need to dip into the bonus settings, the device offers 99 levels of continuous, momentary, and rising stimulation levels — including vibration and tone — so you can adjust as needed.
Another thing I found very helpful was the option to program the buttons for how you want to communicate with your hunting companion. You can customize different profiles to have different button patterns, which is helpful if you have multiple dogs — or if you find yourself hunting in variable terrain from week to week and need to give more (or less) guidance in the field.
The collar and remote are both rechargeable, and the collar receiver is DryTek waterproof and submersible to 25 feet, so you can rest easy regardless of the weather. Finally, I love looking at how much ground Stella covers when we’re hunting. You can look at the distance covered, among other things, at the end of the day and get an idea of how fatigued your dog may be.
Tested By: Jake Ferguson, Marketing Director
The PowerDot 2.0 Duo uses electronic pulses to stimulate your muscles and nerves, providing temporary pain relief and building strength. The PowerDot 2.0 packs the proven concepts of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) into a portable package you can use anywhere.
Plus, it’s controlled by an easy-to-use app filled with programs to help you recover properly and workouts to build strength, endurance, and more. It has up to 20 hours of battery life.
I’ve tested the PowerDot 2.0 Duo (and Therabody Wave Duo Roller) for a few months now. At first, I was skeptical but now I use it several times a week after workouts. I love using it on my IT bands, thighs, and shins after runs and it notably has helped to reduce soreness.
The strength-building options are great as well. I use them on my abs a few times a week as I work from my home office. As an unexpected bonus, my wife uses them on her stomach to help with menstrual cramps. They are very versatile!
Tested by: Jenny Hansen, Marketing Manager
For a jacket that combines function and fashion, check out the Gobi Heat Arcadia Women’s Heated Parka. Yes, that’s right, this parka is heated.
The jacket has five heat zones, four on the front side and one on the upper back — to ensure you stay ultra-toasty. As added bonuses, the jacket has a removable hood, thumb cuffs, and is water-resistant.
I’d seen heated jackets before, but they’ve always been more on the sporty side. I love the feminine styling of this parka. The forest green color, gold buttons, and fur-trimmed hood make it perfect for throwing on over some leggings and chunky boots for a nighttime festival.
So far, I’ve worn it while walking my dog along the river in the morning and while meeting friends for an outdoor concert. Versatile, am I right?