Mid-Summer Gear Guide

Mid-Summer Gear Guide

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England, Mike

Gear and apparel for August adventures and beyond.

Summer's half over—time to get outside while the gettin's good. Here's a rundown on some of the latest and greatest gear to aid your outdoor adventures.





Redington Vapen Red Rod – $350

"You don't cast this rod, you fire it!" So goes Redington's slogan for their latest fly rod, the Vapen, which means "weapon" in Swedish – and in this case, the marketing mantra holds true. The counter-wrapped, high-density carbon layers give this nontraditional graphite rod strength, light weight, and superior vibration dampening. I took the red-handled beauty to to the Madison and launched a big Rubber Legs halfway across the river with surprisingly little effort, to the envy of my fellow fishermen. The Vapen hauled hard, providing plenty of backbone when pulling beefy trout through the current. The polymer grip is sticky even when wet, and its spongy quality reduces the fatigue that comes from grasping cork all day. The Vapen is making ripples through the fly-fishing world this summer, and for good reason: it's a damn good rod. redington.com. —Mike England

Redington Vapen Rod

ThermaCELL Mosquito-Repellent Outdoor Lantern – $32

Sick of slathering yourself with bug juice every time you go camping? Spare your skin and keep the bugs at bay with this cool little lantern. Super light and compact, the ThermaCELL emits a soft light while clearing mosquitos and black flies in a 15-foot diameter. A butane cartridge activates an allethrin scent pad (allethrin is a synthetic version of a natural repellant found in chrysanthemum flowers); set it on the picnic table or back porch and watch the skeeters scatter. The only drawback to this baby is the requisite refills: $7.50 for a single butane cartridge and three repellant pads. mosquitorepellent.com. —the editors

ThermaCell Lantern

Chaco Updraft X2 Sandal – $110

As the dog days of summer swiftly approach, the heavy heat demands a good pair of sandals – and Chacos' new Updraft X2 does the job. This sandal has a lighter footbed and heel risers than previous models, allowing for instant comfort with no break-in time needed.  As with all Chaco shoes, the legendary comfort, sturdiness, and versatility make them a great choice for town and trail alike. The LUVSEAT platform offers some of the best support out there, providing all-day comfort. With just a few quick adjustments to the cute double straps, you'll be ready to hit the trails and splash your way through any creeks out there. chacos.com. —Angie Mangels

Chaco Updraft X2

Zootility PocketMonkey Tool – $12

Keep a tiny toolbox in your wallet with this wafer-thin multi-tool. In addition to cracking beer bottles—in our opinion, its most important function—the PocketMonkey ratchets hex nuts on the trail and tightens tiny screws on sunglasses and battery cases. Other functions include a letter opener, orange peeler, and ruler—it's even got a hook for opening door latches when you forget your keys. It's a goofy-looking little device, but the compact size and versatility make it a worthwhile item to keep at hand, be it in your wallet, pack, desk drawer, or glove box. zootilitytools.com. —the editors

Pocket Monkey


Scarpa Rapid LT Trail Shoe – $110

Any Montanan worth his weight has worn out a pair of trail shoes by now... and for sheer versatility, this should be your replacement. Made of lightweight (11 oz. each) nylon mesh, yet with a burly rand and well-placed suede reinforcements, the Rapid LT does triple-duty as trail runner, hiker, and approach shoe. Alpine climbers will appreciate the flexible hybrid fabric and reduced heel counter, which allows the shoe to fold up for packability; trail runners and hikers will like the super-sticky sole. To top it all off, this sucker fits snug, secure, and comfy, making it an all-around excellent shoe. scarpa.com. —Mike England

Scarpa rapid LT

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