We rely on quality gear for our many hours outside, with animals, doing physical work and play, in the weather, under all sorts of conditions. We need clothing and equipment that will hold up as much as we do. Here’s a selection that we will review soon for riding, running, camping, or simply scooting out to the barn for your horse’s last call. A wide range of products for our wide range of scrutinizing readers.
And you thought Camelbak was just about hydration packs? Think again. The company has brought color, creativity, and high function to the competitive market of reusable drink ware. We like where they’re headed.
The assisted-opening Leek remains a favorite for horse owners and riders. It’s slim and pretty, has a belt clip, works reliably day in, day out. Win one on our podcast.
This Texas company hand-sews stunning shirts for the best arena looks. Made mostly of cotton, the Western style shirts work equally well for a night on the town. Learn more about Rhea Scott Follett’s gem of a shirt company here.
The company doesn’t like the words “corporate responsibility.” Instead, they declare: We are social and environmental justice action-takers who make shoes to make a difference — from access and inclusion to creating a lighter footprint on the planet.
We’ve added three Keen styles to our summer reviews. We think they are fantastic for all your away from the barn activity: Hiking, trips to town, hitting the food truck after a post-pandemic concert.
We like Keen’s Greta Chelsea
(at right) as a great alternative to muck boots.
just might be the town shoe to spruce up your chore run. Cute and comfy.
The Sunshadow Long Sleeved Hoody
features UPF 50 protection, is light and versatile for those long, sunny rides. Fits compactly in a tiny corner of your saddle bag, ready for whatever the day brings.
MultiBev by Camelbak
The California outdoor company offers tough clothing, always with an eye on functionality and durability. Oh, and its gear always looks pretty spiffy, too.
We think these colorful, well-constructed hiking tights might be just the thing for navigating hills of sagebrush and juniper here in the southwest. But then, they might just fit the bill in the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire, too. They feature tough fabric at the knees and buttocks yet they feel as comfortable as less reinforced tights. Bring on the briars!
Thank you, Patagonia, for not punishing us with huge scoop neck tees or the oppositde: crampy crew necks. As necklines go, this t-shirt finds that happy medium. Plus, its blend may be ideal for temperature variations, when our days start in the 40’s and peak in the 80’s. Love the color selection, too.
Ah, the wonders of wool. This top is mostly wool, so it breaths and suits our active days. It also touts odor control, always a good feature. We don’t mind smelling like horsesh*t, but do mind smelling stinky ourselves. Am I right?
Be aware, the fabric here is thin, soft and semi-transparent. Amazingly insulating but breathable, too. Don’t wear a black bra underneath unless you’d like folks to see it.
Pack Out Hike TIghts
Own Less. Do More. That’s the motto for this new company which takes recycled plastic from 30 bottles to make one fun, artsy, utilitarian towel. Use the big towels for your picnic. Use the hand towels for your horse. We dig ’em. Oh, and check out their Festival Blankets, too.
We review the Challenger 6 ATR:
a shoe that needs no break-in time. It’s best for gravel roads and off-road trails. As comfortable and supportive as they get. Cushioning proved worthy for 25-mile weeks. Could it handle more? Yes.
Fun Fact: more than any other shoe brand, Hoka offers most styles in lots of color schemes, so there are multiple ways to jazz it up.
Aside from the comfort and durability of Hokas, we also love the Hoka blog, which has features on running ambassadors from around the world, including Pippa Middleton and Uzo Aduba. Read more here
A perennial favorite. This Canadian company hand sews its boots with a dedicated crew in Saint Tite Quebec. Snip toes. Square toes. Roper heels. Buckaroo heels. Exotic hide. Cowhide. You name it. Pick out your style here
What’s in your saddle bag?
Cell phone, check. First aid mini-kit, check. Whistle, check.
Outdoor Pantry’s Beef Stew and Jerk Chicken – excellent camping and glamping options
And for those of us going on longer excursions, we must surely have a delicious meal or two from Outdoor Pantry. Try their Cuban Chicken and Lime Rice Bowl (right) or Savory Beef Stew. Freeze-dried means it’s light. Outdoor Pantry means it’s delish – definitely not your typical freeze-dried meal. Outdoor Pantry is not afraid to spice things up and its ingredients and recipes are a big shelf-step above your usual brands’ offerings.