Valentine’s Day is four days away, guys. No pressure to get us the right or anything. Oh, listen to me go on and on. There is pressure. You do need to get it right. Here’s what we want, take notes:

Gore Power WINDSTOPPER soft-shell lady gloves (55.99): GORE always cracks me up with their long-winded product names. They get bonus points for syllable length and knowing how to make a glove to keep the chilly wind off your hands. I was pretty amazed at how deep into the cold these gloves took me. I was got all the down to 10-degrees. It was pushing the edge of comfort but I still have all my fingers. Note on fit: I wear and tested a size small and the fit was on the money.

Pearl Izumi Transfer Wool LS cycling baselayer ($85): Several years ago I converted to merino wool for all my technical shirts. Wool is naturally anti-microbrial, moisture-wicking and you can get multiple wears before washing. What I like about the Transfer Wool baselayer is that it doesn’t feel bunchy under a cycling jacket like some thicker wool baselayers can. The downside is the thinner wool isn’t as warm. But the cut is also more streamlined for cycling and cyclists with a longer cut in the back. I also like the mesh fabric along the shoulders and arms because it helps to encourage sweat out and air in. I paired this baselayer with a Gore ELEMENT WINDSTOPPER  soft shell jacket during four days of testing in the fall on its own.  Single-digit temps do require a midlayer.

Yosemite National Park for the win

Yosemite National Park for the win

National Parks Special Edition Buff ($25): Show your love and support the American Hiking Society! This special edition Buff celebrates the 100th anniversary and the majesty of our national parks Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Great Smokies and Rocky Mountain. It’s one of the most versatile pieces of outdoor gear around (1 Buff = 12 wearable options). This great tutorial shows you how. You’ll need sub-woofers:

https://vimeo.com/131465471

I’ve semi-mastered the balaclava, sahariane and pirate!

Ben’s Invisinet Bug Net ($9.99): It looks like something your grandmother or local baker would wear but if you or the love of your life spends any time outdoors hiking in mosquito breeding grounds, this bug net keeps the bugs off a face. I look tool’ish wearing it but I still like it because I don’t have to douse my face with bug spray. Very easy to see through, too. Because this is a very new product, it won’t be available online until March. Still something to keep in mind for spring.

No need to douse your face with bug spray

No need to douse your face with bug spray

Natrapel ($5.99): Deer ticks spread Lyme disease and have a life span of two years. They become active any time the temperature is above thirty-five degrees. They are our enemies. Once bitten, you have at least twenty-four hours to find and remove a feeding tick before it transmits a tick-born disease. Mosquitoes are also thy enemy. Chikungunya virus, anyone? Dengue fever? Prevention is key. I like Natrapel because it’s available in both a spray and wipes). It’s also DEET-free, which appeals to me.

Kora Shola 230 leggings ($145): A full review is forthcoming but did you know that yaks produce wool? Neither did I until a sample showed up. It’s a little softer and silkier than merino wool but still has the same anti-microbial and odor-resistance of sheep wool. Kora’s harvesting method deserves a full blog on its own. They do it by hand in the spring when the yaks are naturally shedding their winter layer. No shearing needed and the yaks are happy. If only there was a way to do that with cats. Note on fit: I wear a small, my sample size was small and the leggings were a little on the big size. Try a size down from your normal size.

  • Pearl Izumi
    Long before Lycra was a glint in the industry's eye, cycling's wonder material was merino wool. For the Wool Short-Sleeve Cycling Base Layer, Pearl Izumi updates that reliable material with some synthetic materials, giving it better compressive properties and adding to its moisture-management chops. The result is a breathable, naturally odor-resistant second skin that retains its shape and wicks better than wool alone. The shoulders are rotated forward, which increases comfort while stretched out on the hoods, and flatlock seams throughout minimize chafing and layering bulk.
    $79.95  from Backcountry
  • Buff
    If you've been fishing for the right buff to wear when you're spending long days casting your reel, look no farther than the Buff UV Derek DeYoung Fly Fishing Buff. Artist and fly fishing enthusiast Derek DeYoung's colorful depictions of fish from Montana, Alaska, and the Florida Keys give this buff a distinctive look as you enjoy its lightweight, moisture-wicking, and UV-blocking comfort. The buff's CoolMax Extreme fabric keeps you cool by rapidly pulling perspiration away from your skin and drying quickly, while also blocking out 95% of harmful UV rays. A Polygiene antimicrobial treatment prevents odors and keeps the buff lasting for years to come, while the buff's seamless construction lets you feel only soft fabric without irritating, scratchy seams. The buff's versatile style can be worn in a multitude of ways, from covering your neck, to covering your neck and ears, face, and head.
    $24.95  from Backcountry
  • Natrapel
    Pack of 3 for the UPC: 044224067722 Long Lasting Effective Mosquito; Tick Protection Ingredients: Active Ingredient:; Picaridin.20% Inert Ingredients.80%
    $16.54  from Walmart US
  • Gore Bike Wear
    High quality, wind proof gloves for ambitious racebikers. For better warmth, grip and finger sensation.
    $69.95  from Paragon