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May 17th, 2006 Erika-leigh Goodwin | Outdoors
 

Great Gear

Goods from Northwest-based companies for those of us who like to do it outside.

     
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1. DRAFT DODGERS

When you're riding on the trail, there are a couple of key rules: (a) if you keep pedaling, you can probably roll over it; and (b) dehydration is for suckers. To help you remain sucker-free and prove yourself tech-savvy in one fell swoop, Dakine has developed the Drafter hydration pack. While it has a 700-cubic-inch capacity and a 70-ounce Flowlock reservoir, the Drafter is sleek and weighs in at only 1.8 pounds. With an organizer pocket and a place for a full-face helmet, this bag ensures you can bring all of your necessities on the trail. ($69.95, 2714 NW Thurman St., 222-3276.)

2. AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT

For those who prefer a natural landscape for their runs, there is Keen's Humboldt. This shoe is simplicity at its best. Keen uses dense EVA foam in the heel for stability and multidirectional lugs on its sticky rubber sole for grip. The Humboldt's upper is synthetic and mesh, which makes for breathability and drainage so you can just plow through those puddles. At just under 11 oz., the shoe's crazy light and, don't forget, vegan-friendly. The Humboldt is available in men's and women's sizes. ($99, Nordstrom, 701 SW Broadway, 224-6666 and other locations.)

3. SPRINKLER-PROOF

In REI's own line of products, one in particular screams Portland. The Ultra Light Jacket may be the perfect two-in-one for spring jackets. The Ultra Light is rolling in features but is surprisingly lightweight and packable. Made of REI Elements® nylon and a waterproof/breathable polyurethane coating, it is perfect for Portland's spring showers or as a light shell for a mellow day hike. The Ultra Light has an adjustable hood that zips off and stows in the collar, which happens to be lined with microfleece for the "comfy factor." It also comes with a stuff sack and is easily packable. Ideal if you want to stay dry, look good and use the savings for booze. The Ultra Light is available in men's and women's sizes and a variety of colors. ($125, REI, 1405 NW Johnson St., 221-1938.)

4. RUBY SLIPPERS

Portland's own (well, now Washington County's own) Columbia Footwear has fashioned this shoe with versatility in mind. The Vermillion is rugged like an approach shoe and is as comfortable as a loafer. It's water-resistant, and the mesh upper increases airflow. The Vermillion's gusseted tongue helps keep your foot locked snugly in place while the rubber toe cap adds protection from "stubbies." ($60, Columbia Flagship Store, 911 SW Broadway, 226-6800.)

5. SLICE O' LIFE

The Sportsman's Warehouse employs people who take part in every sport it caters to, especially hunting. These guys have sliced more animal fat than Star Jones' plastic surgeon. Sportsman's Warehouse also has Portland's largest selection of Columbia River Knife and Tool knives. The K.I.S.S. is the perfect everyday knife, designed to help you through when life throws you a curve ball—nipping off that annoying T-shirt tag or cutting yourself free from duct-tape restraints. The K.I.S.S. is a two-piece knife and money clip. There are three models to choose from, with varying blades, all of which are stainless steel and lock in place. The smaller version of the K.I.S.S. is called the P.E.C.K. (snicker). Its size makes it handy for crafts, such as fashioning holes in one's spendy designer jeans. (K.I.S.S. $35, P.E.C.K. $25, The Sportsman's Warehouse, 9401 SE 82nd Ave., 777-8700.)

6. SAY NO TO CRACK

The Epiphany Short will revolutionize running as we know it. Thanks to technological advances from Brooks Running, I will no longer have to stop pumping my arms to pull my shorts out of my heinie. A part of Brooks' Equilibrium line, this short has a Revelation Stretch woven shell (wedgie-fighter) and a wicking polyester liner. It is like a smooth barricade between you and "swamp ass." The Epiphany's male counterpart is the Revelation Pacer. (Epiphany Short $36, Revelation Pacer $32, Fit RightNorthwest, 1207 NW 23rd Ave., 525-2122.)

7. TIGHT SHORTS

Yoga addicts will revel in Nike's new Guru No Sew Short. These babies are seamless. Do you know what that means? No chafing, no binding. Imagine doing "downward dog" without your yoga shorts doing "up the bum." The Guru No Sew is made of a Dri-FIT/spandex blend, which helps improve fit and wick moisture. (WW does not endorse cottage-cheese thighs in spandex.) The short is available in dark obsidian, skyline blue and vintage purple. ($40, www.niketown.nike.com.)

8. NIKE WHO?

Adidas' latest Supernova Cushion is so light you may forget you're wearing shoes. The Supernova Cushion has a molded Ortholite antimicrobial moisture-wicking sock liner and an open nylon mesh upper to help keep feet dry. Adidas 3-D TORSION provides support in the arch, and another exclusive Adidas technology, adiPRENE, in the heel responds to the cushioning needs of your moving foot. But Adidas doesn't stop there. When you buy a pair of adiStar or Supernova running shoes, test them for 28 days wherever you want. You can send them back if they don't become your new favorite shoes. ($85. Visit www.adidas.com/testrun28 for more information.)

9. BAR PICKUPS

Just when you though life couldn't get any better, Luna Bar brings out new flavors. Caramel nut brownie, peanut-butter cookie, cookies-and-cream delight and iced oatmeal raisin. If you're just waking from a coma, Luna Bars are designed specifically with women in mind. Luna Bars are 100 percent natural and have 23 minerals and vitamins, including antioxidants. They're perfect before a workout or when you have no time for lunch. Luna Bars give you exactly what a girl needs (in a nutrition bar), and with flavors like peanut-butter cookie they can hardly go wrong.

Clif Bar has a little something new as well: Clif Nectar, an entirely organic fruit-and-nut bar sans trans fats, soy, wheat, dairy or gluten. Yum. And if that isn't enough, there's now a nutrition bar for the little people—children, not dwarves. The ZBar is 95 percent organic and chock-full of vitamins and minerals. The people at Clif Bar were nice enough to leave out things like hydrogenated oils, trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup. (Luna Bars and Clif Bars can be found virtually everywhere, from Whole Foods and Wild Oats to the espresso bar at Nordstrom for around $1 per bar).

 
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