Editor’s Holiday Gear Picks

We get a lot of requests to review or test a lot of outdoor gear from around the world, and we only follow up on a handful of requests each season to highlight cool, unique, and quality items that we think are worthy of sharing with our readers. Here are a few worth of sharing.

Toren Fundamental Shell (Men’s Tangerine)

Toren Technical Apparel, a new company creating technical outdoor gear at the same factories as other more well-known and more expansive brands, has launched their Fundamental Shell, a 3-layer waterproof/breathable shell that’s designed to function in the backcountry as well as it looks and feels on the streets in urban settings. By cutting out the retail middle-man, Toren offers similar products as their competitors at a discount price. The jacket repels water and wind as well as any other technical shell I’ve owned, but with added props for style. It also has everything I would want on a backcountry ski tour or wicked weather day hike, including a three-point adjustable hood that’s helmet compatible, three external pockets and one internal polyurethane touch screen pocket, underarm zips for venting, and a waist draw cord. At $245, it raises the bar on fit, performance, and affordability in technical outerwear. Toren.is.

Thermacell ProFLEX Heated Insoles have three settings that you can control with the small remote.
Thermacell ProFLEX Heated Insoles have three settings that you can control with the small remote.

Thermacell ProFLEX Heated Insoles

Thermacell ProFLEX Heated Insoles foot warmers are the newest addition to the Thermacell line. Designed to make cold weather activities like skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, or fly fishing in waders more comfortable and enjoyable, they have all the features of the original Thermacell Heated Insoles but are more flexible and comfortable, have longer use time, contain a removable and rechargeable battery and can be charged using either a USB cable or wall charger. The insoles have three settings that you can change with the small remote: medium, high or off. And you can pull and recharge the battery out of the insole without having to pull the entire insole out of each boot. Powered by rechargeable, removable lithium-ion polymer batteries embedded in the foot warmer insoles, they can run continuously for up to five hours (or much longer if used in intervals) and re-charge in four hours. Made for men and women, the ProFLEX Insoles are customizable to fit any shoe size from a women’s 4.5 to a men’s 14 and price at $179.99. Find them online or at stores throughout North America: Thermacell.com.

LED Lenser Neo Headlamp
LED Lenser Neo Headlamp


These compact and petite headlamps are designed to be a portable, lightweight companion to take along on hiking, biking, running and urban walking outings after dark. I’ve started taking mine along on roadtrips and flights in my carry-on bag as a late-night reading light wherever I end up. The vibrant LED light features a 90 lumen light output, a rear red safety light, an ultra-wide dimmable beam and are available in orange, green, blue, yellow and pink neon colors, making them a light-weight and stylish alternative to more bright and bulky lamps. They run on three AAA batteries and have a battery life of ten hours. (MSRP: $25). Ledlenserusa.com/headlamps.

ECCO Ulterra Day Hiker

One of the world’s largest shoemakers, ECCO is a family owned company that celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, although the Ulterra Day Hiker is the first pair of ECCOs I’ve ever put on my feet. I’ve owned a handful of dreamy hiking boots over the years – you know, the kind that make you forget you have five miles to go on your 17-mile hike – and the Ulterra Day Hiker boots seem to be earning their way into that elite category for me. Made from strong yak nubuck leather with a GORE-TEX® membrane, they are supportive, light-weight, durable and comfortable, and after at least 50 miles of walking, they are holding up like new, but already feel like an old, trusted trail companion. (MSRP: $160-210). Eccousa.com. //

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