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 July
Tested by: Katie Eichelberger, Content Producer
My desire to commute to the office more resulted in a search to find clothing that didn’t smell horrible after riding in and that dried quickly. And I found it! The Artilect Boulder 125 Tee.
The Artilect Boulder 125 Tee is made from the brand’s Nuyarn 125 merino fabric. Based out of Boulder, Colo., Artilect markets this tee as a base layer, and I can confirm that it’s great for that. To me, I found it to be solid enough to want to reach for it daily, no matter the activity or temperature. Merino can often feel heavy, but not this one!
It controls all the moisture I need. I didn’t even notice the ventilation holes that run down the side of the shirt because it was so subtle. Now I know why it feels so great while riding and stuffed under a jacket.
It’s a short-sleeved shirt, but the sleeves were longer than what I expected. Between the sleeves, the stretch, and the overall fit, it even felt a little fancy!
I have plans to wear this shirt everywhere, purchase it in all the colors I can, and not feel bad about the lack of washing while on adventures. Snag the Artilect Boulder Tee for your summer adventures and beyond.
Tested by: Mary Murphy, Managing Editor
Nonslip, grippy, and durable, the YETI Boomer was everything I was looking for in a dog bowl.
A little over a week before my new pup arrived, the first thing I did was search online for food bowl options. It had to be big enough to grow with the dog, sturdy enough it wouldn’t accidentally get chewed on, and durable enough that it could last both me and the dog for years.
The YETI Boomer 4, you guessed it, can hold up to 4 cups — perfect for dogs who eat 1-3-cup servings of food, and plenty of volume to hold a big gulp of water. These bowls have a “Bearfoot” non-slip ring on the bottom, a wide brim, and are made with an 18/8 food grade, puncture-resistant stainless steel (and they are washable!).
Twice already, I’ve also traveled with the Boomer dog bowls — sure, they aren’t lightweight (the Boomer 4 is 1.2 pounds) or collapsible, but they are still easy to pack away. Once, I stashed it in a bag, along with food and treats, for a day trip up to the mountains. Most often, I’ve taken the Boomer dog bowl back and forth from home to the office, so my pup has the same familiar bowl from work to home.
YETI advertises that the Boomer 4 Dog Bowls are “resistant to roughhousing,” and that’s generally true. No matter how energetic my dog is at mealtime (i.e., how playful he is with his water bowl), the Boomer is easy to wipe clean, emerging undamaged, shiny, and as good as new.
Like many YETI products, you can also customize the Boomer bowls, with your pet’s name, breed, or a cute dog design.
Tested by: Sean McCoy, Editorial Director
While hunting, weight matters. So this spring, I tested Maven’s compact powerhouse, the C.2 10×28 binoculars.
These midrange binoculars pack a lot of utility into a tiny package. They weigh in at 12.4 ounces, a fraction of the larger binoculars I use. But they still produce enough optical clarity and magnification for hunting, even in large spaces like the Rocky Mountains.
The fit and finish on these $225 binoculars are very good. They pack extra-low-dispersion ED glass multicoated lenses into a lightweight but durable polymer frame. Waterproof and fogproof, I never had an issue with moisture even during a very rainy spring turkey hunt in Nebraska. They are also covered by Maven’s excellent lifetime warranty.
Do they have the clarity or light-gathering capabilities of larger binoculars or spotting scopes? Of course not. But for the weight and size, you’ll have a hard time finding better binoculars anywhere near the price of the Maven C.2.
Tested by: Katie Jedlicka Sieve, Project Manager
Boston-based Tracksmith is quickly becoming my go-to running apparel. Tracksmith’s Session Collection is one you don’t want to sleep on.
The collection is designed to maximize comfort and support without sacrificing versatility. The collection’s best-known piece is its Session Speed Short. The shorts have an exposed elastic waistband, which I thought would be uncomfortable, but it’s not at all!
The inseam is 3.25 inches and has a very flattering and loose-fitting cut that provides plenty of airflow. Because of the loose-fitting cut, the shorts bunching awkwardly or riding up isn’t an issue. My favorite feature is the side pocket — it’s large enough to hold an iPhone 13 Pro.
New to the collection this past spring is the Session Tank. The tank is lightweight, relaxed-fitting, and incredibly comfortable. It is made from a soft, wicking stretch knit and finished with a polygiene odor-repelling treatment. Thanks to the odor-repelling treatment, I find myself staying in it all day, or even rewearing it for my next run!
The Session Collection is available in both male and female styles. Whether you are doing a long run or a speed workout — do yourself a favor and add Tracksmith’s Session Speed Short and Session Tank to your shopping cart!
Tested by: M.T. Elliott, Contributing Editor
CAMP Eyewear is a spin-off by Schwood, taking some of the parent brand’s proven styles and building them with a lower price point for the outdoors crowd. I approve.
The bio-plastic frames come with spring hinges, adjustable temple tips and, of course, walnut inlays. The lenses are polarized to provide UVA/UVB protection. For $20 more, you can swap in the HD Plus lenses. The sunglasses also come with a fun travel pouch that looks like a tiny sleeping bag.
At $79, the CAMP Arrowcrest Sunglasses are priced as low as I’ll go for eyewear. Over time, I’ve come to find most $25-60 shades on the market are damn near disposable because the lenses are often defective or scratch if you look at them wrong. My Camp lenses have held up to occasional brush-ins with branches, falling on the ground, and plenty of cleanings.
I’ve found the lenses block a lot of light and offer some contrast. They dim the sun and protect my eyes while I’m out walking, hiking, or driving around. For fishing or cycling, I’d turn to more specialized photochromatic lenses, but those also come with bigger price tags.
Tested by: Katie Jedlicka Sieve, Project Manager
If you’ve ever been on a boat with an infant, you know it’s important to find a life jacket that fits well and is comfortable. Too often a peaceful cruise is cut short by cries of protest. Enter Mustang Survival’s Infant Lil Legends Foam Vest.
The Infant Lil Legends Foam Vest has a front entry with a zipper and a buckle closure over the top of the zipper. The front cuts down in a V shape, allowing for easy head mobility and more clearance from chubby cheeks.
The vest has a built-in crotch strap that helps keep the vest in place and provides extra security. The top has a three-piece collar that cradles the head for extra buoyancy and added water support.
The collar also acts like a pillow — providing extra comfort for when your infant (hopefully) dozes off in the boat. The back of the jacket has a section of mesh to allow for airflow to keep your infant cool. And, most importantly, the vest is US Coast Guard Certified.
I tried several life jackets for our 7-month-old, and he is certainly the happiest in the Infant Lil Legends Foam Vest.