Leopard Print Jorts, Saucony’s First Hiking Boot, Balloon Lights, and More Emerging Gear

Outeru "faceGlove"

The human face is delicate territory. From the high alpine to the windblown desert, proper face protection is crucial garb in extreme environments to prevent chapped lips, burned corneas, and raw noses.

OuterU’s faceGlove aims to improve on the age-old balaclava options with “the perfect balance of protection, comfort, and weight.”

Made from soft Polartec fleece, the faceGlove covers the entire nose and both cheeks, without covering the nostrils or fogging up goggles, the brand claims. According to OuterU, the faceGlove “weighs nothing and means everything,” and has been tested on the slopes of Everest, K2, and Denali.

Smart Wool Second Cut "Circular" Hiking Socks

According to Smartwool, socks are the most frequently discarded pieces of apparel. I don’t doubt this; they’re notoriously quick to wear out and relatively affordable to replace. Unfortunately, after a handful of uses, it’s out with the old and in with the new.

The problem is, short-lived disposable apparel comes with a massive carbon footprint. While the human race grapples with the prospect of an inhospitable Earth, Smartwool aims to make a positive dent in the problem by making new socks out of old socks.

The Hike Sock has been a Smartwool staple since 1994, so it makes sense that it would also be the brand’s “first circular sock.” Currently, the Second Cut Hike Socks ($22) are made with roughly 24% recycled nylon from old socks (like Soylent Green!). And the brand says it intends to increase that percentage to 100 in future seasons.

KUIU PRO Brush Pants

KUIU’s rugged PRO Brush Pants ($199) initially launched back in March, and the first batch sold out in a matter of days. Now, in an effort to catch up with demand, the brand restocks its popular puncture-resistant bottoms.

As usual for KUIU, the Brush Pants are designed specifically for hunting. In my experience, the brand’s exceptional comfort and durability standards transcend any single application. For any sort of bushwhacking — from hunting to foraging to field science — these pants will do the trick.

For ease of movement, the Brush Pants have a gusseted crotch and articulated knees. Removable suspenders and zippered mesh-lined thigh vents add versatility for all conditions.

Saucony Ultra Ridge GTX Hiking Boot; (photo/Saucony)

In 125 years of footwear production, Saucony has never made a hiking boot — until now. From the looks of it, the Ultra Ridge GTX ($190) is worthy of being the brand’s first. In a women’s size 7, a pair of Ultra Ridges weighs a featherlight 1.3 pounds.

As expected, many aspects of Sacuony’s running shoes carry over into the new boots. Underfoot, PWRRUN RB cushioning foam provides springy recoil and protection from jagged trail features. A PWRRUN internal frame adds support through the arch and ankle joint. As for waterproofing, a good old GORE-TEX upper makes the Ultra Ridge well-equipped for deep mud and puddle hopping. Check out our full coverage of the Ultra Ridge GTX launch.

Ripton Women's Cosmic Dirt Shorts

In an age of high-tech hybrid textiles and synthetic fabrics, Ripton & Co. keeps its faith in denim. I’ve worn a handful of the brand’s clothes, and I’m convinced that jean shorts can in fact serve as capable active wear.

The new Cosmic Dirt Jorts are “funky, incognito, and hardcore.” Designed in partnership with inclusive sizing advocates Cosmic Dirt, these jorts come in Ripton’s widest size range to date.

With “54% stretch” and a splash of leopard print, they’re ready-made for “ripping berms and having vampires up fog-cloaked climbs.”

E-Z UP SKYFUZE Balloon Lights

Much like swarming mosquitos and burned marshmallows, insufficient light is a classic part of the camping experience. It’s possible to get by on headlamps and lanterns, but just about every camping trip in history could have used just a little more light.

This portable indoor/outdoor light inflates like a balloon to illuminate large areas up to 5,000 square feet. All packed down, the E-Z UP SKYFUZE fits into a pair of nifty carry bags and weighs just 6 pounds.

The globular SKYFUZE — with its tripod stand and blowup fixture — generates 360-degree light that E-Z UP claims is well-diffused and glare-free. It’s rated IP42, so it’ll survive light rain — plus it comes with a remote control.

Two sizes of the SKYFUZE are available: 60W ($399) and 150W ($549).

Beyond Clothing Eryx Ultralight Short

I’m not sure what qualifies a pair of shorts as “ultralight,” but Beyond Clothing believes its new Eryx Shorts make the cut. A “technical short” designed for “unrestricted adventure,” these sleek, tapered shorts look to be a fine choice for the glorious summer ahead.

Shorts are meant to be simple, but a few key characteristics set the Eryx apart as worthy activewear. Four-way stretch fabric, a gusseted crotch, and a DWR coating should add up to comfort, durability, and unrestricted movement.

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