August 6, 2020

Gear I Hold Dear: My Flash 52 Backpack

rei co-op flash 55

I don’t get warm fuzzies when I reach for my Flash 52, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it. This pack has steadied me as I shimmied across cliffs, and carried my filthy-wet gaiters when I couldn’t bear to touch them myself. It’s helped me reach distant campsites that seemed beyond my range. It […]

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July 28, 2020

The Perfect Kit: Mountain Biking

mountain biking

It’s prime time for mountain biking. Around much of the country, the weather has warmed up, the dirt is tacky and the trailheads are reopened. So, whether you’re new to mountain biking of the local King of the Mountain, hit the pedals and enjoy. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite items to shred this […]

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July 22, 2020

Good Gear: PrimaLoft Creates a New Way to Make Insulation More Sustainable

PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. insulation

For more than 30 years, the process of creating synthetic insulation at PrimaLoft’s Vietnamese manufacturing facility was mostly unchanged. Webs of synthetic insulation would pass along giant conveyor belts, where they were teased by industrial-size hairbrushes and layered into sheets, before entering ovens the size of school cafeterias. Intertwined in the tangle of polyester fibers […]

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July 13, 2020

The Perfect Kit: Backyard Camping

summer camping

Summer is here, and while spending time outdoors might look a little different, there’s still adventure to be had. All you have to do? Head into your own backyard. Backyard camping may not be as extreme as the alternative, but there’s solace in the easiness of it. No permits, no red tape, no forgetting any […]

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June 22, 2020

Tested: The Best Backpacking Tents of 2020

backpacking tents

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path. Take the long way home with the year’s best backpacking tents. These eight dependable shelters prove that you don’t need to sacrifice quality in order to create the perfect backcountry living space. Our 15 member-testers spent last summer and fall evaluating […]

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June 16, 2020

Innovators: Tim Leatherman

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  Like microbreweries and chocolate shops, the Leatherman factory in Portland, Oregon, offers public tours. Visitors come to watch silver ribbons of steel cut into intricate shapes by a massive press that booms like a giant’s footsteps, applying 300 tons of pressure with […]

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June 7, 2020

Head to Head: This Little Light of Mine

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  1. Best for Running: BioLite HeadLamp 330 Weight: 2.4 oz. (with batteries) Battery: Lithium-ion rechargeable Max brightness: 330 lumens Max burn time on lowest setting: 40 hours Price: $59.95 For nighttime jogs, you’ll want a headlamp that has good front-to-back balance with […]

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June 7, 2020

Material Science: Everything You Need to Know About Sleep Systems

sleep systems

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  The Sleeping Bag Many bags you’ll find at REI come with two temperature ratings: one for comfort and one for a lower limit. The labeling looks like this. Comfort Rating (T-Comfort): If the ambient air temp outside is this number or higher, […]

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June 7, 2020

Uncommon Challenge: Shifting Gears

bike commuting

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  y bike tottered. My screaming quads and rasping lungs made their opinion very clear: No gear was low enough for this hill. I was biking through SeaTac, Washington, on my way from Seattle to REI Headquarters in Kent, where I’d started working […]

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