Gift Guide for Warm Weather Adventurers

Gadling Gift Guide: Hiking BootsAs December approaches and the holiday season draws near, those warm summer days that we enjoyed just a few months back are already a distant memory. But no matter what the calendar says, I guarantee the adventurer on your shopping list is already plotting his or her next warm weather escape. Considering summer really is just a short plane ride away, here are some suggestions for what to buy them for their next adventure.

Keen Voyageur Hiking Boots
A good pair of shoes are essential for any adventure and the Keen Voyageur hiking boots are a great option for any summer escape. Both comfortable and durable, these shoes are well ventilated, keeping your feet cool and dry, while also preventing unwanted moisture from getting in. Amazon has them starting at $87.21, making them a bargain for trail shoes of this quality.

Gadling Gear Girl Pam Mandel is a fan of Keen shoes too, recommending the McKenzie as a versatile warm weather shoe for a variety of activities. ($85)

ExOfficio Sol Tech Tee
Staying cool and dry is one of the most important aspects of enjoying any outdoor activity in warmer weather. The ExOfficio Sol tech tee not only wicks moisture away from the body, it is also highly breathable, and provides UPF 50+ sun protection as well. All of that is marketing speak for “it’s comfortable to wear when it’s warm outside.” Available in a variety of colors, the Sol is perfect for hiking a local trail or traveling to the far side of the planet, and is a perfect addition to any adventurers closet. ($25)

Pam also recommends the BugsAway line of shirts from ExOfficio as well. The shirts earned high marks in her review of a variety of mosquito repelling gear. ($40)

Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts
A good pair of cargo shorts are a necessity for any warm weather adventure, and Columbia delivers a comfortable, durable product with the Silver Ridge. Super lightweight and breathable, these shorts are quick drying and include large pockets, as well as an adjustable waistband. With a UPF rating of 30, they also provide solid protection from the sun, and look as good around town as they do on the trail. ($20)Gadling Gift Guide: Marmot PreClip Safari HatMarmot PreClip Safari Hat
Staying protected from the suns rays is an important aspect of any warm weather adventure and a good hat helps considerably. I’m a big fan of Marmot’s PreClip Safari Hat, as it has a wide brim, is comfortable and cool to wear, and is highly packable. It is also waterproof and so lightweight that it actually floats. I’ve carried mine with me on six different continents and it remains one of my favorite pieces of gear. ($35)

Sierra Designs Meteor Light 2 Tent
The summer months are tailor made for camping and a good tent is an essential part of enjoying evenings in the backcountry. The Meteor Light 2 from Sierra Designs is a perfect 3-Season option that stays warm on cooler nights, but provides plenty of ventilation when it gets warm. It sets up in just minutes and sleeps two comfortably. ($210)

Kelty Cosmic Down 20º Sleeping Bag
While a tent is important for any camping trip, when it comes to getting a good nights sleep, it is only part of the equation. A good sleeping bag is essential as well, and the Cosmic Down 20º is a great choice for warm weather outings. Kelty has managed to make a comfortable, lightweight, down sleeping bag that won’t break the bank. ($75)

Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack
Nothing inspires adventure like a good backpack and Osprey makes some of the best. Their Stratos 24 daypack provides plenty of storage for a long day (or even overnight) on the trail. Its size makes it perfect for peak bagging or other short, yet gear intensive, adventures. The Stratos’ integrated suspension system helps you to stay cool on the move and the pack is hydration ready, keeping water close at hand at all times. ($89)

If you’re looking for something a bit smaller, Gadling gear reviewer Mike Barish recommends the Raptor 14, also from Osprey. He found it to be the perfect options for day hikes in warm weather destinations such as Zion Natoinal Park. Read his review here. ($81)

Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle
Staying hydrated on our warm weather adventures is vitally important, but that doesn’t mean we have to settle for drinking warm water while on the trail. The Polar Bottle uses an insulating foil to reflect back the heat of the sun, keeping the liquids inside cooler for a lot longer. These bottles make fantastic and affordable gifts for the hiker, trail runner, or cyclist on your list this year. ($11.25)

Gadling Gear Review: Teva Riva eVent

Before I left for my trip to the Northern Territory and Western Australia, I knew I’d be doing a fair amount of hiking. In anticipation of the plethora of outdoor activities that rural Australia offers, I decided to get a fresh pair of hiking shoes to keep me safe and comfortable during long days of Outback exploration. So, for my first trip to the bush, I packed a pair of Teva’s Riva eVent.

When it comes to hiking boots, I want three things: comfort, durability and water resistance. How did the Riva eVent stack up against the harsh landscape of the Outback? I found out firsthand (or foot) after two weeks putting them to the test.

I’m no mountain climber or adventure hiker. I’m what one would call your typical casual outdoor traveler. As such, I like my gear to be reasonably priced while ensuring my safety. The Riva eVent’s sole provided excellent traction on wet and dry rocks, as well as loose gravel. It did this while maintaining a light weight, which provided beneficial both for packing and for extending hikes under a relentless Australian sun. Your legs can feel like jelly after hours in the heat, so having hiking shoes that don’t feel like cement blocks is always a plus.

In order to determine just how waterproof the Riva eVent truly is, I aimed for every creek and submerged stepping stone that I could. Not once did my socks feel wet. In fact, the shoes would appear dry seemingly minutes after being completely underwater. More importantly, they never felt waterlogged or heavy after near complete submersion.

The comfort of the shoe was compromised only by its overly snug fit. I own another pair of Teva shoes that fit almost perfectly in a men’s size 11. Yet, the Riva eVent felt small and constrictive in the same size. This resulted in some uncomfortable rubbing in the toes and at least two blisters, which is never pleasant when you have several days of activities ahead.

As for durability, I wore the Teva Riva’s virtually everyday for two weeks in Australia. I got them drenched in rivers and walked through red dirt and gravel that often stained my clothing. I’m staring at the shoes in my apartment as I write this and they look as new as the day I packed them for my trip Down Under. In other words, these shoes are not falling apart anytime soon.

Let’s break it down simply with some pros and cons:

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof and maintained weight even after submersion
  • Incredibly durable

Cons

  • Inconsistent with the sizing of other Teva products

Overall, the Teva Riva eVent is a fantastic hiking shoe that I recommend for anyone looking to do a fair amount of outdoor activity. The tread is sturdy and the shoe is ruggedly constructed and waterproof. They are available on Teva’s website for $130, but I would recommend that you have your foot sized properly at an outdoor gear supplier and try them on before making your purchase to ensure that you have a comfortable and safe fit.