It’s not easy being a young outdoor enthusiast. Gear, fees and clothing can be expensive, so if we are looking to buy newer things, we have to be choosy.
At Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, there were so many great products, from pricey top-of-the line packs, high-end jackets and great but ka-ching electronics. But in between all that there were pretty cool, smaller items, too. So, I decided to search the show for the best new gear that I thought young people could afford and would like, and considered function, price, versatility and visual appeal when picking my favorites. The various accessories are items needed out on the trail and during activities, but can also be worn casually. A great two-fer!
A great accessory from Sprigs is the Bangee. It’s like a wristband, but with a zippered compartment for keys, cash or other small items. Bangees are typically used for running or biking, while eliminating the need to bring a bag even to the coffee house. I’ve even used something like it for travel when I don’t want to keep my cash or ID in an exterior pocket, but still need it to be easily accessible. Bangees come in 60 different patterns, all of which are reversible, and only $15 (www.sprigsville.com).
Ivar Pack has backpacks like no others with a unique “shelf system” that not only separates, but also puts your gear on a slant. (SNEWS first saw this pack in winter ’09, but it has upgraded, added styles and even added better aesthetics. ) This pack seems to be a truly great improvement on the traditional backpack. It is designed with organization in mind, but it is not only for school supplies. Slide your shoes into one compartment, a towel in another and a sandwich in the third and it’s perfect for a day at the beach…but now you won’t spend the whole day digging in your bag -- or find a squished sandwich underneath the layers. Another plus? It’s only $60 (www.ivarpack.com).
Another new bag is Kavu’s Clutch and Go, which resembles a slim wristlet (i.e., a wallet worn on your wrist). It comes in five different colors and patterns, plus the fabric can be easily cleaned. The Clutch and Go looks like a good long-time investment, so it’s worth the $20 (www.kavu.com).
Now here’s something for the water-lovers among us. Buff (www.buffusa.com) has two new types of gloves: the Angler and Fighting Work. Both models run for $40 and are made with special fabric for UV protection. They’re designed to perform in wet and dry conditions, and have fingertip openings so you can manipulate lures and hooks. The Fighting Work glove has additional reinforcement in the palm, and could be used for aggressive rowing.
The final item on my list is from Sherpa Adventure: the Sangye hat, the newest pattern in its line of wool hand-knit headwear. It is great because the pattern is a mix of various warm and cool colors. It isn’t flashy with poufs on top, but it isn’t drab either. It’s a quality, cozy hat that's lined with Polarfleece for $18 (www.sherpaadventuregear.com).
All these items are functional, yet they won’t completely empty the funds you need for textbooks or rent.
--Audrey Goss, SNEWS Youth Team Reporter
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