Staff Gear Favorites: Part 2
Your favorite piece of gear can be like a good friend. You might only see it a few times each year, but it can feel like no time has passed. RRT’s staff has many gear favorites; here are some pieces in particular that have won our affection year after year.
Emma – Tera Kaia – Toura High Cut Top
My Toura top from Tera Kaia has easily become one of my favorite pieces of gear since my first purchase last year. It’s great for climbing, backpacking, and swimming. It has practically replaced regular bras for me on a daily basis. It gets bonus points for being designed and produced by a small, women-owned business!
Dillan – MSR – Pocket Rocket Deluxe
Let me tell you about the greatest piece of gear you’ve ever seen: the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe! Weighing in at only 2.9 ounces, this ultralight stove will change your life. This stove is essential to any life in the backcountry by providing a source of heat to boil water and cook food. This stove is one of my favorites. For one, it’s simple to use; screw it on any isobutane canister, open it up, press the ignitor, and bam, you’ve got 10,400 BTUs ready to use. Another reason it’s great is how small and packable it is; this stove can easily be stored in a pot with some fuel and takes up practically no space in your pack. The last reason this is my favorite piece of gear is the wealth of possibilities it offers. With this stove you can cook anything your heart desires, from bacon and grilled cheese to Mountain House and instant potatoes. This stove turns the wilderness into your private kitchen. It’s one of my favorites and I believe it’ll be one of yours as well.
The Kula Cloth is the female hiker’s new best friend. If you have ever hiked with wet underwear or a nice, pungent urine smell about you like you’re walking down the streets of New York City but you’re actually in nature, then the Kula Cloth is your girl. I love that it is super easy to clean, antimicrobial, cute, and most of all that it is super functional. I can’t ever go hiking or backpacking again without it.
Sean – Rab – Khroma Kharve
The piece of gear I cannot go without is my Khroma Kharve jacket. Rab’s Khroma Kharve is a packable synthetic coat that is warm but not hot. I have used it as a standalone piece walking through the city and as an outer layer relaxing at the camp site before bed. It has a Gore-Tex Infinium fabric and a DWR coating that make it water repellent. Though it’s not advertised as waterproof, it has a waterproof front zipper and a bill on the hood. I have used it in a downpour and did not get a drop of water on me. With well-sized pockets on the outside and massive gear pockets on the inside, it holds everything I want it to. The final reason I love this jacket is its double zippers. Last November I went climbing at Red River Gorge and it was in the low 40s. My friends were cold, but since I had a jacket with double zippers, I was able to keep my jacket on while belaying. If you want a durable, water repellent, warm, and versatile jacket, get the Khroma Kharve.
Emily – Astral – Loyak
It was 2016 when I first met the Astral Loyak. I was instantly attracted to its minimal design that would flatter my larger than average size 9.5 feet. For years I struggled with bulky sandals or the unflattering amorphous water sock, but the Loyak was neither of those things. I had never met the perfect kayaking shoe. The Loyak gave me the flexibility I needed to squeeze my tootsies into the narrow bow of a kayak and the support and style to don them around town. They’ve also become my go-to water and camp shoes for backpacking trips. They’re lightweight, dry quickly, and have a razor-siped bottom for extra grip on wet rocks and riverbeds.
These gear favorites have pleased our staff for years of adventures. Odds are, they’ll soon become your favorite too.
You can look forward to more amazing gear selections from our staff in Part 3 of this series.