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Spring Gear That's Been Put to the Test: Part 1

Geartested.net's picks for the season.

It is starting to get warmer and now there are fewer and fewer excuses to not go outside. High quality outdoor gear is better and more affordable than ever. For some outings you will be okay with a water bottle and a snack, but some others require more delicate planning.

Before you go on any type of more intense trip, it’s a good idea to know what you are getting into, and what gear you will need. These are the top spring gear picks to help you have fun outdoors.

  • Native Eyewear | Dash XP – The Dash XP feature a lens that wraps around a little bit more than the original Dash. The lenses are polarized so they are safer for your eyes and more comfortable to wear. People always ask me if they should spend over $100 on sunglasses or buy the drugstore kind. The answer always is more expensive glasses will be clearer and safer for your eyes. Think of these glasses as sunscreen for your eyes. They retail for $109.
  • Krieg Cycling | Benny Bag – Krieg, famous for its customized rock climbing chalk bags, took the same precision work and edgy style to the cycling market. These are one of the best saddle bags money can buy, they are also inexpensive at $22. The Benny will fit an entire bike repair kit. If you don’t know what to bring on a ride check out our video.
  • Diamondback Cycling | Podium 4 – Diamondback makes affordable bikes for the serious beginner cyclist. These bikes are not the kind of thing you would see in a big box retailer. The Podium 4 is an entry level aluminum road bike. The aluminum frame can put up with all of the abuse a beginner cyclist puts its bike through. Outfitted with an Ultegra Group Set (the mechanical parts on your bike) the Podium 4 retails for $1,500, not so expensive when you look at some other bikes.
  • Deuter | Race X Air – The Race X Air is a hydration pack mainly aimed at the cycling market, but is great for all outdoor sports. Whether you are taking a hike or riding a 100-mile mountain bike ride, the Race X Air will serve you well. It features a strap and frame system that is contoured to the curve of your back, making it easier and more comfortable to carry. This pack retails for $69 and is worth every penny.
  • Acli-Mate Formulations | Endurance Formula – Acli-Mate started out making drinks that combated the ill effects of altitude sickness. Earlier this year, they launched their first endurance formula. This product when drank during exercise will get rid of and prevent fatigue, while providing you with vitamins and carbs. A tub of 35 servings goes for $32.
  • Dahlgren Footwear – All of Dahlgren’s socks are made from Alpaca and are the softest most comfortable socks I have ever worn. They have a bunch of models so look to see which ones best fit your needs and sizing.
  • Vasque | Scree Mid Ultra Dry –The Scree boots are among the best hiking boots on the market today. They feature a sole made from Stealth Rubber, the same sole that is on rock climbing shoes. The Arc Tempo last makes your foot go  into an athletic position so you can be more agile and balanced on those tricky areas.

John Giuffre is the founder and editor of Geartested.net, a site that reviews sports clothing and equipment. Giuffre is a sophomore at West Essex High School.

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