Roundup: Spring 2024 Gear Guide

April showers bring May flowers… and springtime outdoor adventures!

Cherry blossoms are blooming in the parks, ice is melting in the lakes and rivers, and birds are singing in the branches of budding trees. It’s time to get outside and explore. From bright, colourful tops and breathable pants to a stretchy adventure dress and cushioned socks, here are 15 gear items that will take your outdoor experiences to the next level this spring.

Fjallraven Kanken Weekender

Fjallraven bag in a forest.

Going on a road trip or camping trip? You need this convertible duffel bag-to-backpack. I love stuffing everything I need for a weekend getaway in the ample 30 litres. It keeps my clothes, toiletries and laptop separated with the padded inner compartment and exterior zippered pockets. There’s even an expandable spot for stashing shoes or towels. Multiple straps allow you to carry it different ways (crossbody, handles, backpack) for the ease of ultimate portability. With durable, water-resistant, PFC-free fabric, it’s my go-to for a night or two away.

Price: $220
Buy it here:

Cotopaxi Muevo Dress

A woman wearing a Cotopaxi dress

If you love wearing cute spring dresses, try the Cotopaxi Muevo Dress for flexibility and freedom on the trail. The back features a comfortable racerback design, the fabric is stretchy and—my favourite part—the long side pocket fits the newest iPhone model. Made of 74 per cent recycled nylon and 26 per cent spandex, you can expect a slight compression—it is curve-hugging, and I’d recommend sizing up if caught between two. Best for light adventures, the dress features a built-in elastic shelf bra, but there is no padding, so some people may prefer to wear an additional sports bra underneath.

Price: $100
Buy it here:

Smartwool Active Mesh High Tank

Alison sports a Smartwool tank on a waterfall hike

From the gorgeous colour choices to the textured material and the relaxed flowy fit, I love this tank top. It’s perfect to toss on as a base layer on a spring hike. The high neck hits at exactly the right point for coverage without restriction, and the loose fit offers ultimate comfort for sweaty ascents. It’s made of merino wool and Tencel™ lyocell, two of the best natural fabrics for sweat-wicking, sun protection and breathability, while remaining soft on your skin.

Price: $75
Buy it here:

MEC Fireside Fleece

Alison and her boyfriend pose wearing watching fleeces

My boyfriend and I will be casually matching at the campsite this spring while staying extremely cozy and comfortable in MEC’s Fireside Fleece, a plush, midweight polyester fleece with warm, lined pockets perfect for storing your phone, fire starter or snacks while setting up camp. The durable woven nylon is strategically placed on high-wear areas so you can keep wearing this classic-looking sweater for years to come. He’s sporting the pullover with snaps, while I’ve got the zippered jacket, which has an extra zippered chest pocket.

Price: $62-90
Buy it here: Men’s | Women’s

Vuori Ponto Performance 1/2 Zip Hoodie

Vuori Hoodie

This brand creates performance apparel with an emphasis on surf, fitness, sport and art. This comfortable, well-made long sleeve features a hood, partial zipper, kangaroo pockets and heather colour effect. Lightweight and soft, the fabric is a high-performance stretch knit made to be quick-drying and moisture-wicking. The Mahogany Heather is the perfect colour option for cool spring morning beach runs and chilly evening hikes.

Price: $108-155
Buy it here:

Cotopaxi Teca Half-Zip Windbreaker

Alison sports a Cotopaxi jacket on a hike

This reliable windbreaker comes in funky colours—you’ll recognize the bold colour-blocking as Cotopaxi’s signature look. Ultralightweight and ultra-packable, it packs into its own zip front pocket for easy storage. The DWR finish helps it shed wind and offers light precipitation coverage. It features a kangaroo pocket and a hood. My only word of caution: it also keeps sweat inside, so don’t wear this on high out-put adventures. Made from repurposed materials, it’s a bright, fun layer to wear while recuperating at the windy summit or relaxing at the breezy campsite this spring.

Price: $80
Buy it here:

Mammut Abula IN Hooded Jacket

Mammut jacket

Still fighting the lingering chill of winter where you live? This cozy recycled puffer jacket features a regular fit, with a slightly cinched waist and PFC-free DWR. Whether you’re relaxing at a campsite in the mountains or trudging through spring snow, this insulated jacket is a smart choice for chilly spring outdoor adventures. This is a bluesign® product, meaning it minimizes chemical use for less impact on people and planet, and it is a vegan, wash-and-wear alternative to down.

Price: $229
Buy it here:

MEC Wanderwall Pants

Alison's sports the MEC Wanderwall pants on a trail.

I’m so happy with these lightweight adventure pants, I want to wear them everywhere—from the campground to the hiking trail to the local brewery post-adventure. The perfect springtime pants, they offer good coverage while remaining breathable and comfortable. The fabric features a DWR for protection against spring showers and two deep front pockets easily fit a phone, wallet or flashlight. The elastic cuff helps keep out dirt and pesky bugs. I adore that they come in short, long and regular sizes. The colours are cute and ultra-wearable, no matter where your adventures lead you.

Price: $80
Buy it here:

Smartwool Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer Crew and Bottom

Smartwool base layer top

On my first spring camping trip, I ended up sleeping outside on a hammock. As I snoozed beneath the stars on a mild April evening, I was snug and comfortable in these merino wool base layers. For ultimate comfort, the seams are flat locked to minimize chafing, the bottoms feature a mid-rise waist to reduce sagging, and the wool is surprisingly soft. The layers are designed to fit snug and follow the contours of the body for next-to-skin warmth. Made from 100 per cent merino wool, you don’t get better base layers than these.

Price: $119-140
Buy it here: Crew and Bottom

Cotopaxi Tech 5-Panel Hat

A woman sports the a Cotopaxi five-panel hat

This one-size, unisex cap will keep the sun out of your eyes and off the sensitive skin of your scalp. Breathable and adjustable, it features a soft-structured, low-profile design. The five-panel hat is flexible and floppy rather than stiff and immoveable. The lid sits between a baseball cap and a flat brim hat, while being mouldable to fit your preference. Made from 100 per cent recycled polyester in a Fair Trade Certified™ Factory, Cotopaxi is committed to sustainably made gear you can feel good about buying.

Price: $35
Buy it here:

adidas Soulstride Ultra 

Adidas shoes are worn on a hiking trail

adidas TERREX’s new Soulstride Ultra sneaker features lightweight construction and enhanced cushioning in this ultimate trail shoe. Trail runners will love the breathable mesh upper and energy-boosting tech. As I’m training for a trek in Peru, I love wearing these runners for stair-based trails and inclined walks—I appreciate the comfortable padding around the collar and tongue and the curved rocker shapefor a smooth stride while I tackle the Coquitlam Crunch and Grouse Grind. 

Price: $180
Buy it here:

Kathmandu Trailhead Stretch Jacket

A woman sports a Kathmandu jacket

Featuring mechanical stretch fabric for full range of motion, fully seam-sealed waterproofing and recycled polyester, this jacket keeps you dry, comfortable and happily adventuring despite spring showers. You won’t get wet from rain or sweat thanks to the breathable ngx™2.5 fabric. As one of our favourite brands to hit Canadian retailers, certified B-corup Kathmandu has thoughtfully designed, sustainably made products. Bonus: at only 265 grams, it’s a lightweight, packable layer.

Price: $189.95
Buy it here:

Smartwool Hiking Socks

Smartwool hiking socks

We ask a lot of our feet—they carry us up mountains while we stuff them into last season’s hiking boots. A good sock can mean the difference between a great adventure and going home early with cold, soggy, uncomfortable feet. Treat your toes right with Smartwool. Avoid blisters and give your feet the protection they deserve with these cute light cushion mountain moon crew socks. Made with 57 per cent merino wool, nylon and spandex, these socks feature a Virtually Seamless™ toe for enhanced comfort, Indestruawool™ technology for extended durability and advanced body-mapped mesh for better breathability.

Price: $30
Buy it here:

Portable Film Projector

Campground movie setup using a projector

Up your camping game with a portable projector. We spent a night at a campground and watched The Emperor’s New Groove. We tied a white sheet to the front of our tent, popped some Jiffy Pop, roasted s’mores and kept the film volume low as to not disturb other campers. It elevated our experience and ‘movie night under the stars’ is now something I’ll plan for future camping trips. (PS. You will need to plug in the projector—our BLUETTI AC70 made that easy!)

Price: $86
Buy it here:

Hornet Air Horn Bear Deterrent

WoodsCan air horn

Because a bear’s hearing is twice as sensitive as ours, the Hornet air horn can be an effective, yet harmless, bear deterrent. Extremely loud, it can startle a bear over 60 metres away. Use it in the wilderness or in your backyard for bears, cougars or coyotes. Recharge it 500 times. Also use it for boater safety.

Price: $130-140
Buy it here: