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Outfitted: Standouts from shoulder season

Meg Simon
Outfitted

April and May are all about transition, and as I see more and more signs of spring, my gear uses tend to change as well. It can be a tricky time of year. My skis slowly migrate to the back of my closet, but it’s not quite time to break out my bikes and bathing suits. Below are some favorites that I’ve been gravitating toward lately as I navigate weather and conditions that run the gamut of winter to summer within the day-to-day.

1. MSR DynaLock Explore Backcountry Poles


Mud season means varied terrain, so I never head to the trails without poles. After 4 knee surgeries, I don’t like taking chances! Recently, I’ve been using this collapsible set from MSR that I love for packability and strength. Made of aluminum, there are dual DynaLock mechanisms that allow easy adjustment on the fly. I find them handy as I attempt trails that still have patches of icy snow. They come with powder and trekking baskets, so can be used year round. $110, msrgear.com

2. TowerBall


During April, the snow finally melted enough that my yard is no longer a giant mud pit which means yard games are back! Sure, Cornhole and Bocce are standard, but for some new variety I recently tried TowerBall, a 360 degree toss game. It’s easy to play, portable and 100% weatherproof. Great for groups of all ages, it includes a collapsible tower, 8 soft hackey balls and a backpack carry case. $190, towerball.com



3. Saucony Jazz ’81 Runners


Springtime means ditching my clunky boots for lighter and more fun footwear. These classics from Saucony are colorful, iconic and have 40 years of approval from runners and sneaker fans alike. Saucony constructs the shoe with some technological upgrades such as premium suede and a molded EVA sole for durable comfort. Available in a variety of women’s and men’s styles and colors. $80, saucony.com

4. Rab Valiance Waterproof Down Jacket


As much as I wish I could hang up my heavy-duty down, we’re not there quite yet. For this season I love this 800-fill waterproof and windproof jacket from Rab. It’s warm, durable and able to stand up to that unpredictable off-season weather. I find myself keeping it nearby for early season camping, meet-ups in the park and for those forced, chilly outdoor dining experiences we’re all jonsing for. Available in women’s and men’s sizes and colors. $385, rab.equipment/us/




5. Otterbox Elevation 14 Mug


Whether sitting on the deck or hitting an early crag, a new coffee mug is always a welcome companion. The Elevation has a durable stainless steel build with an internal copper lining for extra temperature control. The 14oz size is perfect for coffee as well as a chilled vessel for wine while your taking the dog on a happy hour walk. Although not entirely leak proof, the Elevation has a closed lid for spill-resistant transport. Available in a variety of great colors. $25, ottorbox.com

Meg Simon is an Aspen-based freelance writer, graphic designer and founder of Simon Finch Creative. She can be reached at meg@simonfinchcreative.com.


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