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Product review: 6 gift ideas for the outdoorsy person in your life
With the right gear, you can be prepared for just about any weather conditions. - photo by Grant Olsen
THE GREAT OUTDOORS The first major storms of the season have finally arrived and its beginning to look a bit like Christmas. Of course, its yet to be seen whether this will be a mild winter or if it will have enough of a wallop to help with our snowpack problems.

With the right gear, you can thrive in the outdoors regardless of the conditions. This article looks at six diverse outdoor products that might be a good fit for your next adventure or a good Christmas gift for that outdoorsy person in your life.

LifeStraw Go with 2-Stage Filtration

PRICE: $49


Water purification has progressed light years beyond the iodine tablets of my youth. You no longer have to settle for murky, foul-tasting water. And real-time purifiers like the LifeStraw are helping to lead the innovation.

The new LifeStraw Go 2-stage filtration system adds a replaceable carbon capsule to the standard technology already in use in other LifeStraw systems. The carbon capsule reduces chlorine and organic chemical matter, while also eliminating bad taste and odor. It will last for up to 100 liters of use.

Of course, the existing LifeStraw system is impressive in its own right. Using advanced hollow fiber membrane technology, it removes waterborne bacteria and protozoa, 99.9999 percent of waterborne bacteria (including E-Coli) and 99.9 percent of waterborne protozoan parasites (including Giardia and Cryptosporidium). And with the included BPA-free bottle, you get to take your purified water with you anywhere you go.

Kelty Redwing 50 Reserve

PRICE: $159


Kelty packs usually offer a heightened level of utility and the Redwing 50 Reserve is no exception. It has a deceptively large interior and a U-shaped zipper that makes it easy to open and organize. And the PerfectFIT suspension system allows for on-the-go adjustments, which is always appreciated.

Additional features include an RFID-blocking pocket, locking zippers and durable metal buckles. Theres also a dual-use hydration port and laptop sleeve, ensuring the pack is versatile enough for whatever you need it for. There are also suspension loops for an ice axe or trekking poles, as well as a removable waste belt.

This pack simply looks cool, with 600D recycled PET fabric that gives it a retro feel. And the fabric it isnt purely aesthetic, because its durable enough to survive a hunt in the Book Cliffs or a hike to the Grandaddy Basin.

DMOS Stealth Shovel

PRICE: $99


Whether youre a backcountry snowboarder building jumps or a motorist stuck in a snowdrift, a shovel can be a valuable tool. The trouble is, most snow shovels are too bulky to easily carry around.

Enter the Stealth Shovel. Made by DMOS, its a portable shovel that packs small and only weighs about 3 pounds. Folded down, it's not much bigger than a toaster. So you can easily throw it into your backpack or store it in your trunk.

The shovels head is made from 2.5 mm aircraft quality aluminum alloy, giving it the toughness necessary to bite into snow and ice. The 1.6 mm telescoping handle goes from 18 to 56 inches, allowing for customization for the task at hand. And because the Stealth Shovel is designed to be more robust than an avalanche shovel, it wont bend or warp under stress.

Geigerrig 1600 Tactical Pack

PRICE: $200


The hydration pack market is getting increasingly crowded, with brands like CamelBak, TETON, DAKINE, Deuter and Osprey Packs. More and more adventurers are discovering, however, that some of the worlds best hydration packs are made right here in Utah. Geigerrig is based out of Ogden and has introduced significant innovations to the industry.

Their 1600 Tactical Pack weighs about 3 pounds and has a large reservoir that can easily be removed for cleaning. Simply throw it in the dishwasher and it'll be totally safe as long as it's on the top shelf, making it easier than ever to keep your hydration system running smooth.

As the packs name suggests, it also has 1,600 cubic inches of capacity, courtesy of two large stowage compartments. Its built stouter than other packs. Made from 500D Cordura fabric, it has the durability to take on the most extreme conditions. The ergonomic straps are padded, so even when youre lugging a full load of water it wont put too much pressure on your shoulders. Other great features include a great ventilation system, bedroll straps on the bottom of the pack and an insulated drink tube.

Costa Del Mar Saltbreak Sunglasses

PRICE: Varies by retailer


Costa Del Mar sunglasses are known for being comfortable and functional, and the Saltbreak are no exception. They have a medium fit that can accommodate most head shapes (lens size: 64mm/39mm; temple length: 119mm; DBL: 14mm). The heavy-duty TR 90 nylon frames have integral hinges and are super sleek.

Of course, most people buy Costas for the lenses, not the frames. The lenses provide 100 percent UV light blockage and their complete polarization eliminates reflected glare so effectively that it saves your eyes a lot of strain. You can choose between plastic or glass lens options. The plastic versions are lightweight and impact-resistant. The glass versions are a bit heavier, but give you the greatest clarity.

These sunglasses are functional to the core, rather than being preoccupied with aesthetics. The frame is designed to stay snugly in place without putting too much pressure on your temples. So theyre perfect for fishing trips on the river or spending a day on the lake.

Thule Sapling Elite

PRICE: Varies by retailer


There are lots of child carrier options out there, but none are more comfortable than Thules Sapling Elite. It has a breathable back panel with awesome padding. The design distributes the pressure and airflow, so you wont get a sore, sweaty back. Plus, the load stabilizer straps allow you to adjust the weight as you go. And its easy to make torso and hip belt adjustments, so multiple adults can use the pack with minimal hassle.

And the comfort isnt simply for the parents. The pack has a height-adjustable seat that kids are happy to use. Inside are removable stirrups that let children rest their legs or readjust their position. And with the dual access design, you can load your child from the top or the side.

The pack provides plenty of storage space, with mesh pockets, a hydration reservoir sleeve and a large compartment for diapers or other items. The hip belt pockets keep essentials close at hand. And one of the coolest features is the included mirror that lets you keep an eye on your child.
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