Summer Gear & Apparel

Summer Gear & Apparel

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England, Mike

Gear and apparel for summer excursions.

Arriving fashionably late, summer finally showed up at the party. Yet who among us bemoans the tardiness? The sky is blue, the are is warm, the days are long... Mother Nature never looked so fine. And she wants to dance – with you. Here's our latest rundown on new gear and apparel to help you embrace the elements and celebrate the season.

AKU FastAlpina GTX Trail Shoe

The first thing you need are some kicks, and this shoe will get you around all summer, from post-work trail runs to long hikes up Mount Baldy or Hyalite Peak. The FastAlpina GTX is cut low like any trail shoe, but a burly sole lends surprising stiffness and stability – if you've got strong ankles, your hi-top hikers may never leave the closet. The wraparound exoskeleton provides great torsional rigidity, and a suede outer and conservative styling means you can wear them around town, too. $180;

AKU FastAlpina GTX

MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3-Person Tent
Spacious and roomy, this ultralight tent easily holds three people, or two people plus dogs, with extra room for gear in the vestibules. It packs up nicely in a sweet little compression sack, and the whole kit and kaboodle sneaks in under five pounds – not bad for a tent this size. Stake it down, guy it out, and it'll hold fast in strong winds. Set-up is a breeze, even in the dark, with an interlocking pole system that clips right into place. Were it not for the tiny zipper pulls (just try opening the doors with one hand), we'd give this baby five stars. $490;

MSR Mutha Hubba

Smith Dover Sunglasses
We could pontificate on the technology behind Smith’s ChromaPop lenses, but let's just put it this way: these things kick ass. Whether you're fishing rivers, cycling streets, or running trails, the Dovers offer impressive clarity, scratch resistance, and nonfogability (don't bother looking that word up). The slip-resistant nose and ear pads hold the frame snug and comfy during outdoor activity, while the lenses providing ample cover and wind blockage – but they're not so oversized that you'll be mistaken for a giant dragonfly. Small-skulled wearers beware: the arms are a bit long and may extend beyond your ears; of course Smith may counter by calling you a pinhead. $199-$219, depending on style;

Smith Dover Sunglasses

LifeProof iPhone Case
Do you take your phone along on your outdoor adventures? Stop it right now, you infatuated techno-freak – leave the thing in the car and worry about missing a diving osprey, not some inane text message from your bestie. If you just can't put your Precious down, though, at least protect it properly. The LifeProof frē may have a dumb name and deviant capitalization (not to mention perverse punctuation), but it's smart enough to keep your smartphone waterproof, dirt-proof, snow-proof, and drop-proof – while still allowing full usability and functionality. When boating, tubing, or fishing, take an extra safety step and equip your obsession with its own PFD – the LifeJacket's buoyant, bright-orange foam slips right over the frē case, keeping your phone afloat and in sight should it happen to take a plunge. $80 and $40, respectively; (Be sure to take advantage of special deals at LifeProof's coupon page.)

LifeProof iPhone CaseLifeProof LifeJacket iPhone Case

Chaco OutCross River Shoe

If you spend a goodly portion of your workweek daydreaming about fishing or floating (or both), good news: you're perfectly sane. Summer in Montana means long hours on the water, and a good river shoe is essential to that end. Chaco sandals are a staple, of course, but for more toe coverage when wading or clambering around the boat, you want the OutCross. Its grippy sole snags the soppiest of surfaces, a padded heelcup keeps the shoe in place while hiking or scrambling, and an open midsection drains water quickly. Paddleboarding, kayaking, wet-wading, whatever – this is the shoe for whatever summer throws at you. $120;

Chaco OutCross 


Nikwax Sandal Wash
Speaking of river shoes, is there anything that reeks worse than a manky sandal after a weekend on the water? You can try all those weird remedies to rid your shoes (and your house) of that inhuman stench – dishwasher, freezer, dryer sheets – or just pick up a bottle of Nikwax Sandal Wash and exorcise those olfactory demons in a flash. Sponge on the deodorizing solution, rinse, and voila – no more nasty eau de foot to befoul the fresh Montana air. $7.25;

          Nikwax Sandal Wsh 

Ticla Refugio Tarp

Montana's deadly combo of thin air and scorching sunshine can put a hurtin' on your skin, especially if your body is butt-white from a long winter and wet spring. Insulate your epidermis while relaxing outside with this versatile, lightweight shelter. Great for river trips, camping at alpine lakes, or even a picnic in the back yard, the Refugio sets up fast and is completely waterproof. Two sails, in the shape of 12-foot isosceles triangles, can be configured in a variety of ways for maximum sun and rain protection. $150;

Ticla Refugio Tarp 

Astral Rassler Kayaking Shoe
Famous for their low-profile PFDs, Astral recently expanded their product line to include, among other things, water shoes. The super-lightweight Rassler is designed for backcountry kayaking – hiking deep into the mountains before plunging into the water for a raging run back out. For protection and traction during the hike, the Rasslers combine a stiff midsole and a protective upper, with 5.10's famous Stealth rubber underneath for excellent traction on wet rock. Rapid draining and adroitness during stream crossings make this a good crossover shoe – it's equally adept at wade-fishing, rafting, or just general use in wet conditions. $120;

Astral Rassler 



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