The number-one rule for heading into the high country: go prepared. That means equipment that’s light in your pack yet heavy on performance (even if that performance yields espresso). From a quick stand-up paddling mission to an overnight fishing trip, our picks will keep you dry, comfortable, and in your element.
Osprey’s Manta AG 36 pack ($175) rides on a tightly woven, contoured mesh back panel that allows the pack to move right in sync with your body. Ptarmigan Sports, Riverwalk, Edwards; 970-926-8144.
Sage’s four-piece, collapsible Mod fly rod ($850) enables fast, precise casting for trout and comes in five weights. Minturn Anglers, 102 Main St., Minturn; 970-827-9500; Vail Valley Anglers, Riverwalk, Edwards; 970-926-0900
Simply fill the Wacaco Minipresso maker ($59) with hot water and grounds, then give it a few pumps for a satisfying cup of joe.
Mountain Hardwear’s two-person Hylo tent ($299) marries the best of single- and double-wall construction, so it’s lightweight, easy to set up, and well vented.
A wool and recycled-polyester blend makes Icebreaker’s MerinoLOFT Ellipse long sleeve half-zip hood pullover ($230) snug and warm, while the wool-insulated front panel and hood give extra protection from windy gusts. Icebreaker, 141 E. Meadow Drive, Vail Village; 970-331-0837
Stash your headlamp in Sierra Design’s Nightglow hanging sleeve ($15) and—presto!—enjoy ambient illumination in your tent.
Garmont's new burly Tower Trek Hiking boot ($330) is super-lightweight, and Gore-Tex lined, designed to keep you light on your toes—and your socks dry—on the most grueling long-distance backcountry adventures.
PackTowl’s 19-by-19-inch microfiber Nano towel ($10) absorbs up to twice its weight in water and gets a new style boost with a forest print.
Inflate Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir Trekker SV sleeping pad ($150) in record time via the innovative speed valve; only a few breaths of air are required to fill it.
Columbia literally turned waterproof/breathable technology inside out with the men’s OutDry Ex Gold rain pant ($150); a watertight membrane coats the outside of the fabric, allowing unprecedented air flow away from your body.
The Boardworks women’s muse inflatable stand-up paddleboard ($1,099) is made of stiff but lightweight fabric for painless portability and comes with its own backpack for transport.