O/B Tested. O/B Approved.

O/B Tested. O/B Approved.

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Mid-season gear roundup.

This spring has been typical: rain, snow, sun, and whatever else Mother Nature has in her arsenal. Luckily, the unpredictable weather has made for some ideal gear-testing conditions. Here's a handful of new products, put to the test by discerning members of the O/B staff.





Monix Sunglasses – HOVEN
After repeatedly losing sunglasses to the lake or river, most people respond in one of two ways: leaving their shades in the car, or succumbing to fate and wearing crappy gas-station glasses. There's a third option now, and it's called the Hoven Monix. Part of the company's Argonaut series, these sunglasses are decent-looking, comfortable, and floatable, with a host of cool features that set them apart from the rest. One is the built-in, adjustable retainer, which keeps the shades tight to your noggin' regardless of activity level. Next is the magnetic connection point between the lenses, which makes donning and removing them extremely convenient—no more removing your hat, or craning your neck sideways to slip through the retainer—just pull 'em apart, slide on or off, then snap 'em back together. Finally, the Monix can take a beating, because it bends instead of breaking: the retainer flexes and the lenses pivot on hinges. If you lose or break these babies, you might just want to stick to the gas-station cheapies. $140; hovenvision.com. —Mike England

Hoven Argonaut Sunglasses


Mystic Low Shoes – OBOZ 
What first attracted me to the Mystic Low from Oboz was their great look; with the muted earth tones, they’re perfect for a casual Friday. Beyond that, I found a rugged trail shoe. Built specifically for women, this trail shoe has a waterproof/breathable membrane, aggressive traction, and a comfortable midsole.  Don’t plan on getting these shoes off the rack and going on a 10-mile hike—they do need some break-in time. But after about 20 hours of small hikes and wearing them to work, they've proven to be a great fitting, sturdy shoe. $125; obozfootwear.com. —Danielle McCarthy

Oboz Mystic Low Shoe


Canopy Pants – ARBORWEAR
Spring means variable weather, which calls for long pants; but good luck finding a pair that's as comfortable and nonrestrictive as your beloved summer shorts. I searched high and low for something in which I could bend, stoop, squat, and clamber without hanging up—and finally discovered the Canopy pants by Arborwear. Made for climbing trees, which requires full articulation of the leg and hip joints, the Canopy is loose without being baggy, and the slick Stretch Tech fabric moves as you move—by both stretching and sliding up the leg as needed. Lightweight, breathable, water-repellant, and fast-drying when you do soak 'em through... the list of virtues goes on and on. Almost as comfy as PJs, the Canopy will quickly become your favorite set of breeches, for just about any outdoor excursion. Bonus: after a washing, they look pretty good as casual around-town pants, too. $130; arborwear.com. —Mike England

Arborwear Canopy Pants


Guide S – REVO
I wear sunglasses all the time, not because I fancy myself a “Joe Cool, I wear my sunglasses at night” kind of guy, but because my eyes are sensitive to light. Not the teary-eyed sensitive, but retina-burning-out-my-eyeballs sensitive. Because of this, I like my sunglasses to be comfortable and functional, something I can wear from the office to the river or the highway to the trail. Having previous success with Revos, I thought I’d give the new Guide S with the Green Water lenses a go. These sunglasses work great in all light conditions, are polarized for time on the water, and don’t slip when running or doing other outdoor activities. This is an all-around, everyday pair of shades. $189; revo.com. —Chris McCarthy

Revo Guide S, Revo Sunglasses

Blue Ridge Hammock – LAWSON
My initial impression of the Lawson Blue Ridge camping hammock was positive. I did fumble around setting it up, but luckily I had plenty of daylight to make mistakes. My first night was nerve-racking, but once I got use to the swaying, I drifted off to a comfortable sleep. The spreader bars kept the hammock from folding up on me like a taco shell, and the built-in mosquito netting and rain fly are real bonuses. There are other details that really add to the comfort, such as the o-ring above your head to clip in a headlamp, and at 4.25 pounds I foresee many more backpacking trips with this handy hammock. $170; lawsonhammock.com. —Chris McCarthy 

Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock

 

 

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