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.
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:
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.
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.