Gear review – Staff picks

October 25, 2016

Oboz Boots, Naked Band, Leki Poles and more


Tentsile T-Mini Double Hammock

Whether you are camping with a loved one, or simply a big guy like myself, the new Tentsile T-Mini provides plenty of hammock space to stretch out and gaze at the stars, without putting a stretch on your back, or your wallet. This sleek, durable, double-wide 40D polyester construction, and trustworthy and secure three-point anchoring, boasts the lightest pack weight offering from Tentsile.
Retail: $150

~PJ Watanabe

Micro Vario Carbon Lady DDS Leki Trekking Poles

Leki is the first in the fast-growing folding-pole category to design an anti-shock system which reduces vibration in the shaft while minimizing impact to your body. I tried the women’s Carbon Lady which features smaller grips, shorter straps and weighs just 8 ounces. Brilliant! Before our hike on Sauer Mountain in Leavenworth, the poles’ tension cord easily unfolded and snapped into place. Packing up was a cinch and at 15 inches, they fit compactly into my backpack. The DDS Antishock System is featured on four select LEKI Micro Series models this year. Retail: $219.95 (women’s model)

~ Carolyn Price

Naked Running Band

Look ma, no hands! The all-new Naked Running Band is your answer to running hands-free. A light-weight, quick-drying mesh fabric band fits comfortably around your waist, with pockets for carrying all your small essentials. Elastic silicone grip loops in the back securely hold hydration flasks, rain shells, trekking poles and other accessories. Based in Seattle, Naked Running Band weighs 2.3 ounces, comes in various waist sizes and was designed by an ultra-trail runner and a triathlete. Retail: $39

~ Carolyn Price

Oboz Low B Dry Hiking Shoes

Do blisters and leg-fatigue plague your outdoor adventures with pain and discomfort like mine? Try the Oboz Sawtooth Low B Dry hiking shoes. Oboz eliminated the unnecessary rubber from the outsole to reduce weight without sacrificing the rugged outsole. The 3-D engineered heel keeps the foot stable reducing blisters and ankle fatigue. I especially love the B Dry membrane that blocks water from wet trails while quickly wicking away sweat. If your trail boots are a hiker’s challenge, the Sawtooth Low or Mid-ankle B Dry are great solutions. Available in men’s and women’s sizing. Retail: $135 low-top

~ Kris Parfitt

LOWA Innox Evo GTX Hiking Boot

Unwavering stability and light-weight comfort marry in the attractive new Innox Evo GTX low-top hiking boot by LOWA. Lined in waterproof GORE-TEX, these boots will easily navigate slick trails and the wettest terrains that the Pacific Northwest can dish out. The injected polyurethane midsole and Monowrap frame construction, and heavy duty LOWA NXT sole tread, provide even the most novice hiker the confidence of an off-road monster truck. Don’t wait until the holidays to put these on your wish list! Also available in mid-high; men’s and women’s sizing. Retail: $175 low-top

~ PJ Watanabe