Best of the Season: Gear That Made Our Summer Better

Is summer actually ending?

As much as we love autumn—bright foliage, crisp nights, wildlife watching—the end of summer seems so symbolic. The dog days are behind us. Colder, darker days are ahead of us. Sigh.

Until ski season hits, then we’re stoked once again!

But for now, we’re looking back at a summer of adventures—and reminiscing on the outdoor gear that helped make these adventures memorable.

Helly Hansen Odin Stretch Hooded Insulator


Every once in a while, a quiver-killer insulation piece comes along and we wear it more than any other. The Odin Stretch Hooded Insulator is just that piece. Filled with Primaloft Active Gold, coated with PFC-free DWR and featuring stretchy fabric (with underarm stretch panels), this hooded jacket shielded us from chilly nights, breathed exceptionally well, shrugged off showers and basically came with us on every adventure. It will make a fine fall coat as well as a layering piece come winter too.

Saucony Kinvara 12


Ultralight and fast-footed—Saucony’s new-for-2021 Kinvara 12 impressed with a barely-there weight (213 grams) and flashy colours too! A neutral and responsive shoe, while these didn’t offer a ton of plush cushioning, they would be the kicks to sport if you’re planning on jogging your fastest-ever time at this autumn’s fun-runs.

Coleman Skylodge 6P Instant Setup Tent


When Coleman told us their six-person family camping tent could be set up in one minute, we were dubious. So we set out to try—and we were blown away with how quickly this massive cabin tent pops up. From unpacking to staking it and guying it out, we’re talking just a few minutes’ total time (with, yes, the initial erection taking about one minute with two people). Roomy, with a stand-in height of about two metres, mesh venting and a cavernous door, all members of the family will fall in love with this summer-season shelter.

MEC ’91 Travel Pocket


Part of MEC’s Time Capsule Collection, the ’91 Travel Pocket is a re-issue of the old “fanny pack” that was ubiquitous during the heyday of the Co-op. We quickly became obsessed with it. Tough 600D polyester, three zippered pockets and a burly belt means this thing is likely going to last another 30 years. But the usefulness made it our EDC (every day carry)—from lugging essentials while walking the dog, to a handy cycling pack, to carrying snacks on park excursions and more, we are 100 per cent here for the return of the fanny pack.

SMRT Tent Sky Loft


Truthfully, this incredible rooftop tent didn’t make our summer better as much as it made someone else’s summer better. We gave away this slick, luxurious rooftop tent in August and we’ve never been so jealous. Built to last a lifetime, and compatible with most cars and trucks, this unit features a boxed aluminum frame, built-in three-inch mattress, quilted upper and lower sections for four-season use, a telescopic ladder and more. The ultimate overland accessory, it turns just about any vehicle into a hardy adventure machine.

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