Adidas Korse GTX
Summerlike hikers with winter-ready warmth
Feet are the body’s thermostat–when they’re cold, you’re cold. So start at the bottom with these lightweight high-cuts, which were the ticket for me on February hikes in fresh snow. The Gore-Tex membrane is impermeable even in wet slop, and the 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation will keep feet warm down to 10°F (depending on your toes), but not to zero or below. The dual-density outsole–featuring rubber spikes that harden for better grip in freezing temps–shed snow that balled up on other boots we tested. Good midsole support makes the Korse a solid choice for winter day-hikes or overnights with pack weights of up to 35 pounds. Best for medium-volume feet; go up a half-size if you like to double up on socks.
Sizes: men’s 6-13½, 14
Weight: 3 lbs. (size 9)
Contact: (800) 448-1796; www.adidas.com
Backcountry Access Stash Alp40
A tricked-out hut pack with 5-star hydration
If you like the convenience of on-the-go drinking, but love the versatility and easy filling of a standard Nalgene bottle, the Alp40 is the pack for you. It comes with an insulated hydration tube that zips into the shoulder strap to prevent waterline freeze-up, and the hose leads to a Nalgene-compatible cap. Just fill your bottle with hots, and off you go. With a single stay and plastic framesheet, plus thin-but-soft shoulder straps and hipbelt, this top-loading daytrip/hut pack carried 30 pounds comfortably for 8 hours. The packbag is loaded with features: panel access, a huge front shovel-blade pocket, ski and ice tool carriers, and multipoint compression for hauling a snowboard. One minor omission: a sleeve for your Nalgene so the bottle isn’t floating loose inside the pack.
Size: 2,850 cu. in.
Weight: 3 lbs. 4 oz.
Contact: (303) 417-1345; www.bcaccess.com
©Matthew J. Reigner