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Field Notes: North Face Propel Sleeping Bag, Asolo Power Matic Boot, Lanterns, and Vargo Titanium Sierra Pot

The latest word from our testers

Boots
Asolo Power Matic 500 gv

Go ahead and shoulder the heaviest pack on the roughest terrain: These boots can handle it. The Power Matic is one of the burliest hikers we’ve tested, with soles that are so protective and stiff you could walk on a bed of roofing nails and not feel a thing. Underfoot, Asolo uses three layers of polyurethane: a full-length bed for protection, an underheel cup to absorb shock, and a two-thirds-length shank to support the arch. After a big-load trek on Vermont’s Long Trail, our tester said, “These full-grain leather hikers provided more ankle support and sole stiffness than I’ve ever experienced in a hiking-specific boot.” Soft leather between the upper and lower tongue panels and at the ankle laces enhances forward flex, and the high ankle cuff is made from a supple leather that never chafes. Pulley-style laces cinch tightly, a Gore-Tex liner kept out all moisture, and the Vibram sole gripped well in wet and dry terrain. High rubber toe and heel rands protect the leather from off-trail bashing. These bomber boots take time to break in–give them at least a week of dayhikes–but after that you’ll be set for years. Best for hikers who weigh more than 200 pounds and who have medium-volume to medium-width feet. $280; 4 lbs. (pair of men’s 8.5); men’s sizes 7-12, 13, 14. (877) 888-8533; asolo.com. Reader service #108

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