Gear Review: Our Fall Adventure Essentials

Canadian Traveller's editor shares her top gear picks for an adventure

The arrival of sweater weather means it’s time to layer up, especially when adventuring outdoors. As the leaves turn, the days shorten and nights get colder, here’s what you’ll find me wearing and toting on sweaty fall adventures.  

KÜHL Spyfire® Down Hoody

Crisp weather doesn’t mean dusting off your winter coat just yet—especially if you’re zipping into a KÜHL Spyfire® Down Hoody ($340). With the comfort of a hooded pullover and the warmth of down, it’s a cozy compromise of style and function. The shell is made of Mikrotex, the yoke overlay of TuffleX and 800-fill, RDS-certified goose down.

My take: I had no idea something so lightweight could offer such warmth. After testing the down-fill garment while hiking and biking, I was worried about care instructions, but pleased to discover it’s machine washable. Those living in wetter Canadian climates should be noted the KÜHL Spyfire® Down Hoody is not waterproof, but water-repellent. Fits true to size. 

Fjällräven Abisko Tights

Confession time: I typically hike in Lululemon Wunder Unders. And honestly? They’re not bad. But they’re not technical tights, either.

I jumped at the chance to sweat-test two styles of Fjällräven technical tights on a 26-kilometre hike in Yosemite National Park: Abisko Trekking Tights ($189.99) and Abisko Trail Tights ($179.99). Both tights boast four-way stretch, low-profile flatlock seams, thigh pockets and a thick, high waistband. Both models are snug and fit comfortably like a second skin. They’re thick enough to wear as pants yet suitable for layering beneath a waterproof shell.

My take: If ordering online, I recommend ordering a size up as both models run a bit small. Trying to pick between the two styles? The Abisko Trekking Tights have a reinforced seat and knees which are practical for trails that involve a degree of scrambling or kneeling in rough or damp terrain. Well-rounded adventurers will do just fine in the lighter weight Abisko Trail Tights.

Fjällräven Ulvö Rolltop 23

On that same grueling 26-kilometre hike in Yosemite National Park, I toted the Fjällräven’s Ulvö Rolltop 23 ($164.99). The “23” denotes its size: 23 litres, which is exactly what you want for a day-hike or afternoon adventure. Not too big, not too small, just right. It’s constructed of an award-winning material Fjällräven developed called “Bergshell fabric.” This bag is abrasion-resistant and very waterproof.

My take: This roll-top pack with snap enclosure and waterproof material combats the temperamental rain that bridges the transition from summer sun to winter wet. Ulvö Rolltop 23‘s only downside? Apart from the two water bottle pockets, there’s no extra pocket.

Buff Original

Taking everything they’ve learned since 1992, Buff developed an Original Neckwear ($25) that uses 100% recycled microfiber. Where do they get it? Recycled PET bottles. Not only is the material more eco-friendly, the fit is improved, too, with four-way stretch. But my favourite new feature is the UPF 50 sun protection. 

My takeJust like the original Original Neckware, the redesigned version is still seamless, dries quickly, offers great moisture management and functions as a headband, balaclava, hat or sweatband. Plus, how can I resist red plaid during a Canadian fall? 

Camping Blanket


There’s nothing quite like cuddling up by the campfire with a mug of something hot (and maybe a little boozey) beneath a canopy of burgundy and bronze leaves. Rather than getting your sleeping bag smoky, wrap up in this puffy blanket ($68.95).

My take: Avventura Outdoors x OGGI placed this blanket in a recent Gear Box, and it was an instant hit. To join the Live the Adventure Club, click here



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