In The Open 2014 – The Gear That Gets Us There

“In The Open 2014” consists of the gear we choose, use and abuse every time we step out the door. It is the gear we love and need. The gear we’d recommend. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and we have by no means tested or tried every great piece of gear out there. This is simply what we love. And we hope it helps you “gear up” for your next big adventure.

Please share gear that you love in the comments section below and come back later this week as we are have a “Giveaway a Day” of our favorite gear. 🙂 So you too are ready for a year “In the Open.”


Deuter ACTZero50+15Deuter ACT Zero 50+15

Deuter is onto something here: They are making excellent packs at even better prices. For $185, you can have a backpack which you can use for climbing approaches, long day hikes, and week-long trips. It carries loads comfortably and has all the features you need, with nothing you don’t.


Deuter ACTLite45+10Deuter ACT Lite 45+10 Women’s

The SL is Deuter’s version of a woman specific fit. I found it incredibly comfortable. Sits on my hips without rubbing or bruising on the hip bones. Shoulder straps are narrower = very comfortable on my shoulders. I’d highly suggest this pack just for this reason.


Lowepro Photo_Sport_Family_2013LowePro Photo Sport AW Series

This is my go-to adventure bag. A small compartment with room for my DSLR camera and 1 extra lens + large cargo area up top for extra layers, food, etc. Also hydration system compatible and very comfortable.


Deuter JuniorDeuter Junior

One backpack for your school aged kids that works for everything. Large opening big enough for text books but mash pockets and rugged fabric great for day hikes.




cobra_hoodie_hero_1Chrome Industries’ Cobra Merino Hoodie

I love this hoodie. For some (most?) people $160 on a hoodie will seem outlandish. And, if you want one to just sit around the house in, it is. However, this is not just a basic hoodie. It is functional beyond its peers and performs better than most technical jackets. And it looks sharp. As long as it holds up (only time will tell), I’d drop the cash on it.

IO Merino Chaser women-merino-wool-baselayer-heavy_weight-long_sleeve_tee-10-216-01-fIOMerino Baselayers

Merino is our new best friend. And IOMerino claims to have the softest merino on the market. I can’t say I have experienced anything contrary to that claim. Their merino is super soft and high performing.


snowshoeing through aspen glades, Dog lake, Wasatch RangePatagonia Piton Hybrid Hoodie

This is by far the most use, most worn, most comfortable piece of clothing I own. In every season. Period. After a year’s worth of abuse from climbing, snowshoeing, skiing, running, and casual wear, the fleece still performs and looks like new.


stonewear designs cross backStonewear Designs Dryflex Double Cross Tank

A super cute fitness tank that actually provides chest support adequate for jogging? Yup! Great for walking, hiking, climbing, running, biking and as a baselayer for skiing in the winter. What it is not good for? Not sure…


nuu-muu ruu-muu active dressesNuu-Muu’s Ruu-muu for cycling

I wore the dress over jeans to church, switched into my bike shorts and went on a ride. Talk about versatile! Could be worn to work, out on a lunch ride, or to meet your girl friends! SO VERSATILE!



 Mittens ducksdayElbow Mittens from Ducksday or Stonz Wear

Every parent hates mittens that won’t stay on. We’ve found our solution in “elbow mittens” a mitten that comes further up the arm. They stay on. They are warmer. Not sure I can ever go back to normal mittens…



5ten camp 4 womens5Ten Camp Four Women’s

Quite simply, these shoes saved my life this summer when we got into some “off route” class 5 scrambling on Crestone Needle (Sangre De Cristo Range, CO). I love them for hiking, backpacking and scrambling. The traction is fantastic, with good support and a rugged exterior that I am sure will out last me.


flash 2.0 mad rockMad Rock Flash 2.0

When I first got these climbing shoes I thought, “Ugh Oh. They are far to comfortable to actually perform like I want them too,”  And I have been wrong. They are comfortable AND have worked well on everything I’ve thrown at them: slab, sandstone, granite crack, etc.


mad monkey 2.0Mad Rock Mad Monkey 2.0 for Kids

Quite simply, these are the shoe we have and will continue buying for our kids. They come with an adjustable heel which allows you to customize the fit to your child and they are the best priced kid’s climbing shoe on the market.


Hi-Tec Kid's hiking shoe - full resHi-Tec Kid’s Hiking Boots

Hi-Tec has a whole host of kid’s hiking shoes with all the performance and design of an adult shoe. My favorite part is the “Big Fit System” that essentially grows with your kid.



Stonz Winter BootsStonz Snowboots for kids

These snowboots are rated down to -58 degrees F!  A buckle around the ankle allows you to tighten if necessary. But my favorite part? They are still lightweight. Much lighter than any other pair of snow boots I’ve tried.




NiteIze Buglit mini LED lightNiteIze BugLit

This little LED “buggy” looking light is my newest favorite piece of gear…for all sorts of outdoor adventures. This small light can be clipped on the outside of a pack. With 4 mold-able legs, it can be attached anywhere, hung from a tent, fastened on handle bars, or used as a book light. And it is bright! I could see clearly 12-15 feet ahead of us, sometimes more. The best part? It weighs almost nothing and the kids can spend hours playing with it.

21oz-Orange-Zest HydroflaskHydroflask

This is our go-to bottle for keeping cold things cold and hot things hot. I belive they are the best vacuum insulated bottle on the market. Just know this: they aren’t only water bottles, they are travel mugs, thermos, and beer grawlers too. And if you are looking to store food, well they make a whole line of food containers too.


kelty salida 4Kelty Salida 4 Lightweight Tent

This tent truly is a four-man tent. In fact, with three of our people being kids, we could easily fit my husband and the dog in the tent as well. Making it a 5 man plus one large dog tent! And it weighs in at 6 lb 8 oz. Sure, there are a few tents lighter (by only 1 lbs.) but very few family tents are that light!


Insulated Air Core Rectangular-srBig Agnes Insulated Air Core Pad

This is a great pad across the spectrum of ages. I used it all summer. But it’s also a secret bullet for kids whole wiggle so much they cannot stay on a pad or in a sleeping bag. The air chambers create a “cradling” effect, that keeps the kids in place all night long.

Tubbs snowshoes for whole family

Tubbs Snowshoes for the whole family!

Tubbs Storm Snowshoes for Kids

Narrow frame allows the kids to walk “normally” and the tapered frame helps them to not step on their own feet. They are also not to heavy, though if you want even lighter snowshoes go for the Flex series.



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