Next Summer’s Gear We’re Most Excited About

Outside’s gear editors are a discerning bunch. Every day, we receive dozens of emails from firms claiming to offer the latest and greatest items that we simply must try. The truth is that the vast majority of them do not live up to the hype. As a result, when something piques our curiosity, we get ecstatic. These are our Gear of Show winners—the ones we can’t wait to test—after sifting through hundreds of new goods being unveiled at the 2021 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.

FireCan by Ignik ($200)

Photo: Courtesy Ignik

A campfire has a simple appeal: it’s warm, it brings people together, and it’s just plain nice to look at after a long day of adventuring. But, unless you have an Ignik FireCan, fire regulations (or a lack of wood) get in the way of that simple pleasure. The propane-powered powder-coated steel pit allows you to enjoy the warmth and light of a classic campfire without the risk of a stray ember starting a forest fire. (However, double-check your local laws to be sure you’re in the clear.) The sleek ammo-box silhouette, which is more packable than other circular, portable fire pits, is also a favourite of ours. By connecting the provided adapter and hose to any propane tank, you can use it as a fuel source. (This company also produces our favourite reusable propane tank.) In September, the FireCan will be released. —Reviews editor Jeremy Rellosa

Capitan Kids Helmet ($65) by Black Diamond

Photo: Courtesy Black Diamond

Our finest gear advancements aren’t bright, loud, or revolutionary. They’re the ones who make things easy for you. Take, for example, Black Diamond’s new Capitan Kids helmet. This helmet is certified for both climbing (EN & UIAA) and cycling (CE & CPSC), which means I won’t have to buy two helmets for my kids. The inside shell is dual density EPS foam, and the outer shell is ABS, a durable material commonly used in climbing helmets, resulting in a bomber lid (a MIPS version is also available for $95). My kid has only been riding bikes for nine months, yet she has already shattered her first helmet. She’s wearing it right now, and I’m convinced it’ll last a long time. It provides excellent coverage, providing more side and back protection than a typical bike helmet. Dad like the integrated headlamp attachments for night excursions, as well as the sticker set that allows your child to personalise their own dome (do not underestimate how much kids love stickers). It’s a winning combination. —Will Taylor, director of gear

Chaco Bohdi ($95) is a Chaco Bohdi is a Chaco Boh

Photo: Courtesy Chaco

When I was younger, Chacos were the only shoes I wore in the summer. I had just graduated from college and was working as a sea kayaking guide on the Maine coast. Submersible, quick-drying, comfortable, and grippy enough to run laps up and down the seaweed-covered wharf while shouldering 60-pound boats, the classic river sandals were everything I needed. The negative is that they’re clumsy and heavy, which isn’t an issue if you live near where you paddle, but makes travelling difficult. So I was thrilled to learn about the brand’s newest release, which is 50% lighter than the original Z Sandal. How? The midsole is more slender. The webbing, on the other hand, has been reduced to just an ankle strap and toe loop, with a single nylon connecting strip instead of the traditional cross-foot zig-zag. Most of my water-sport outings now that I reside in the New Mexican desert require either a plane or a long car ride, so the prospect of having a more portable version of my favourite summer sandal intrigues me. And I believe that many others will be as well. — Senior editor Ariella Gintzler

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