Spring is in the air and our team is gearing up for an exciting season. With endless possibilities of adventures up ahead, we curated this list of essentials so you can spend less time shopping and more time outside! Whether you’re starting to fill your gear closet or you’re updating the staples, this list offers our personal insight into pieces that will last for seasons to come.
With spring, the most fickle of the seasons, you never really know what you’re going to get—it might be sunny and warm one minute, then back to winter-like temps the next, so a versatile outer layer is a must! When looking for the right one for you, consider the activities you’ll be doing in the shoulder season and look for something that isn’t too heavy but will also keep you warm when winter decides to make one last cameo.
“The Patagonia Houdini is remarkably thin, super lightweight, and acts as a second skin against early-morning wind and light dew. It holds up far better than I expected and has resisted swipes from branches on mountain bag rides.” - Jake Moritz, Senior Manager, Marketplace Experience
“The Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell packs small and weighs very little, so it's great to carry during the shoulder seasons. I use it for mountain biking and nordic skiing.” - Reid Curry, Senior Manager, Product
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In order to do spring properly, you must layer! When looking for a top, find something that is breathable, warm, and won’t take up too much space in your backpack when it’s time to take it off. Remember the golden rule of layering: cotton kills. Opt for more natural or moisture-wicking fabrics like merino wool, polyester, and nylon for warmth and breathability.
“I like building up layers to get to the ultimate comfort point, so make sure it fits over a base layer without being too bulky under a jacket or shell. It also needs to move with you during activity and wick away sweat or melted ice to keep you from getting chilly.” - Meg Kernahan, Senior Manager of Affiliate and Editorial E-Commerce Strategy
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Though layering is perfect for tops, it doesn’t work quite the same way with bottoms. You could easily wear shorts under your pants and pull off the longer layer if it gets too warm, but who wants to feel like they’re wearing a diaper? Find a pant with an adjustable length, whether they zip off or come with a fastener to hold a rolled-up pant leg in place. And you definitely want something water-resistant to keep you dry when you find yourself in wet conditions.
The best feature of these pants, in both versions, is that you can customize the length for when those cool mornings turn into warm afternoons. The added bonus of the durable water repellant (DWR) finish on the fabric will keep you dry and repel moisture and stains.
The two most important factors in shoes are comfort and water resistance. What’s comfortable for one person, may not be comfortable for another, and certain activities require specific footwear features. Look for a shoe that is right for your activity of choice.
We love this boot because you can wear it around town or on a backpacking trip. A versatile boot with an unparalleled grip on wet and dry surfaces, it proves superior cushioning without the weight.
With three layers of varying density for maximum cushioning and support, the leather upper is unlined for cool comfort in warmer temperatures. The entire footbed is made of open-cell polyurethane for better heat dissipation and air circulation.
Backpacks are a must-have for any season! When shopping for a backpack, look for something that is big enough to carry all your gear, but not too bulky that it becomes awkward to carry. Also, the more compartments and pockets, the better! That way you can easily access what you need with ease.
“All Osprey bags come with a lifetime warranty and I appreciate that my pack, despite being huge (85L) can pack down pretty small for weekend getaways and is big enough for multi-week trips!” - Julia Allen, Growth Marketing Manager