Gear of the Year: Best Outdoor Gear for 2013

first_imgClick to enlargeClick to enlarge1. Petzl Tikka XP2 HeadlampVersatile lighting options for a wide variety of conditions are essential in the backcountry, and this headlamp has it all. With one high-output LED, one red LED, five lighting modes, and a wide angle lens, the Tikka XP2 can cover up to 68 meters and provides 190 hours of lighting in economic mode. The two strobe settings are ideal for urban environments where visibility is crucial to nighttime bicycle commutes.$55; petzl.com2. Klean Kanteen Insulated 20oz mugNeed your homemade chili to keep nice and hot while you’re out shredding the slopes? Wouldn’t it be nice to have that smoothie stay cold while you’re out on a midday trail run? With this heavy duty insulated mug, you can do both. This stainless steel thermos keeps hot things hot (for up to six hours) and cold things cold (for up to 24).$30; kleankanteen.com3. Alite Monarch Butterfly ChairAfter a long day of backpacking, it’s nice to be able to get off your feet. Weighing in at 21oz, this lightweight chair lets you do just that while not having to lug around heavy, bulky alternatives. The aluminum frame balances on two legs, which allows you enough stability to sit on uneven ground and also rock forward and back. The tent-pole design breaks down to fit into a small stuff sack, so you can take it with you anywhere.$70; alitedesigns.com4. Casio PAG240 WatchAn upgrade to the Pathfinder line of watches, the PAG240 offers the same Triple Sensor functionality as the former models but is now powered by the sun. When you’re in remote locations, it helps to be able to look down at your wrist and have an altimeter, barometer, thermometer, compass, sunrise/sunset information, and the time of day literally at your fingertips in one sleek, compact design.$250; casio.com5. Sea To Summit Alpine II Sleeping BagSleeping at higher altitudes or in the dead of winter requires a bag that can provide serious warmth. The Alpine II is filled with Ultra-Dry Down™ at 850+ loft, which means you’ll be able to stay toasty at night without having to lug a bulky bag during the day. The smaller opening around the face ensures that your body heat does not escape, and the tapered box where your feet rest is designed with your foot’s natural angle in mind.$640; 6. Adventure Technology HerculesMost kayakers do more than just run steep creeks or surf big waves. Most like to dabble, a little waterfall huck here, some McNastys there. If you’re a dabbler, then the Hercules is for you. Designed for the boater who spends a lot of time running rivers but likes to stop and play along the way, this versatile paddle is balanced for optimal all-around performance and is available in both carbon fiber and fiberglass. Think of it as the little black dress of kayakers.$230; atpaddles.com7. Showers Pass Refuge JacketA true do-it-all jacket, the Refuge is ideal for everything from bicycle commuting to shredding the slopes. The seam-taped, fully waterproof jacket has easy-access vents to prevent overheating, reflective trim for safe cycling on busy streets, and an adjustable hood large enough to cover any helmet. The jacket also includes an audio port in the chest pocket and a drop-down tail to protect against road spray and wet chairlifts.$279; showerspass.com8. Hobie Polarized Segundo SunglassesHobie’s high-tech lenses allows you to see all colors vividly. No more washed-out monochrome views; with the Segundo, you’ll forget you’re wearing shades.$190; hobiepolarized.com9. The A.T. GuideThru-hiker David “AWOL” Miller’s trail companion is the essential resource for any A.T. trek, whether a day hike or a thru hike. It includes mile-by-mile elevation profiles and icons indicating water, shelters, and scenic vistas, along with 72 maps of towns and resupply points.$15; theatguide.com10. GoLite Malpais Rain JacketAt a mere 6.7 ounces, this incredibly light three-layer rain shell also blocks wind and rain. Remarkably, it also breathes well, thanks to a permeable proprietary membrane. You won’t get better protection from the elements in under seven ounces. $125. The one thing that typically makes or breaks an adventure is the gear you bring (or don’t). What if you only have one opportunity to paddle that gorge or summit that peak? Do you want to spend the trip miserably wet from a faulty rain shell or completely frozen from inadequate base layers? We work hard to live for the moment, that brief period of time when the weather, the view, the smell of fresh air, the sweat on our brow, the sun on our cheeks, absolutely everything is just right. But more often than not, we find ourselves amid some not-so-perfect conditions. So when Mother Nature takes a turn for the worse, when fate deals its capricious hand, don’t slump back to base camp. Be prepared with these 16 great products that work where you need them, when you need them.Best Outdoor Gear 2013:1. Arcteryx Atom SV Hoody For temperatures and climates that demand more than a fleece mid-layer, this synthetic hoody is the way to go. Its moisture- and wind-resistant outer fabric also makes this jacket durable and warm enough for use as an outer layer. The underarm panel is designed to be breathable when you’re active, warm when you’re not.$250; arcteryx.com2. Smartwool Ridgeway HatFor those who like to hit the ski bar after a long day on the slopes, style and function are everything. This beanie has a tightly woven knit and full liner made entirely of Merino wool to keep your head warm even when the flakes start falling. The groovy stripes are sure to stand out in a sea of monochromatic melons.$40; smartwool.com3. Patagonia Capilene 3Even when your rain shell fails you and you’re drenched to the bone with half a day of hiking yet, you can count on these base layers to keep you warm. Made from a stretchy double-knit polyester fabric, both the top and bottom layers are designed with comfort in mind. Offset seams mean you can wear a pack comfortably for days without any irritation, and the Polygiene® permanent odor control will keep you feeling fresh and clean, no matter how greasy you really are.$65 top, $55 bottom; patagonia.com4. Mountain Hardwear ChockstoneFor those long days on the rock, you need pants that provide protection from any type of element. The air-permeable stretch fabric on the Chockstone has a high resistance to abrasion, but is also finished with a coat of DWR (Durable Water Repellent) to help shed moisture from light rain. This fabric also provides UPF 50 sun protection and a Micro-Chamois™ lining at the waist helps you stay comfortable when you’re in the harness for hours on end.Pant: $125; mountainhardwear.com5. Darn Tough Mountaineering SockBlizzards, freezing rain, blinding downpours: you name it, this sock can handle it. Made with extra heavy terry loop padding in the foot and shin, this beefy sock won’t wear out under pressure and provides maximum warmth. The streamlined fit and invisible seams help avoid debilitating blisters, while the fine gauge Merino wool lets your feet breathe and your socks dry fast. Did we mention these babies have a lifetime warranty?$25; darntough.com6. Marmot Ridgerock JacketWhen it’s rainy and cold, it sucks, no matter if you’re at 10,000 feet in the Alps or at 3,000 feet in the Blue Ridge. For a reliable shell that keeps you dry when you need it and lets you breathe when you don’t, check out this GORE-TEX jacket. The Angel-Wing Movement™ design doesn’t restrict your range of motion and prevents the shell from riding up your backside. It packs down to just over one pound, which is considerably light given its 100% seam-taped two-layer construction.$275; marmot.com7. MSR Hubba Hubba  When you see that storm front quickly approaching on the horizon, you want to be able to set up a shelter fast. The Hubba Hubba is the perfect solution for weight-conscious backpackers who appreciate an easy-to-assemble freestanding tent. With two doors, two large vestibules, and 40 inches of headspace, this three-season tent is great for everything, from extended alpine expeditions to car camping.$330; Kinivo BTH240 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones (not pictured)                                                                                                                                                                                        Kinivo’s top selling on-ear wireless headphones use an exceptional integrated rechargeable battery, which blast up to 10 hours of active audio. To recharge, simply plug the headphones into the included micro-USB charging cable and connect to your PC or wall outlet. It also provides crystal-clear conversations and hands-free calling via a built-in noise cancelling microphone – all housed in a stylishly slim, foldable design. The headphones handled trail runs and long hikes superbly—as well as the drive to and from the trailhead. $30. last_img read more

Semi Ajayi: Playing against Brazil has Boosted My Confidence

first_imgWest Bromwich Albion defender Semi Ajayi admitted his confidence has received a boost after helping Nigeria secure a 1-1 draw against Brazil last Sunday.The 25-year-old was handed a starting role in the encounter, partnering William Troost-Ekong at the heart of the Super Eagles defence.The former Rotherham United defender shone in the game, keeping the star-studded attack of the South Americans at bay to help the West Africans secure a famous draw against the five-time world champions. Ajayi, who returned to West Brom on Tuesday after the international break, is looking to carry on with the impressive showing for the Baggies.“I’m feeling really good. The Brazil game went really well. I’ve given myself a lot of confidence coming up against the big stars. Hopefully, I can carry that form into our league game on the weekend,” Ajayi told the club website.“You want to play against the best players and test yourself. If you can come out of that with a good performance and a good result then that is even better so the trip went really well.“I don’t really focus on their names, it is more about what they do on the pitch. I felt like myself and my team-mates dealt with their threats really well and it is something we can take a lot of pride from.”Ajayi has quickly settled in at the Hawthorns since his summer switch from Rotherham United, becoming a key member of Slaven Bilic’s squad.The utility defender has made 12 appearances for the Baggies and capped his fine defensive displays with two goals which helped his side climb to the summit of the Championship log.“It’s a joy to be involved in. Everyone is on the same page, the manager has got us singing off the same hymn sheet. He is very detailed in the way he tells us how he wants us to play and everyone has taken it on board and it has been a joy to be a part of and to watch. Some of the forward play at times has been breathtaking,” he continued.“I’ve been over the moon to come straight into the team and settle in. The lads have welcomed me really well and the fact that the team has been winning as well has made it even easier for me to settle. It’s been a really, really positive environment for me to come into and long may it continue.“I’ve been happy with how I have played. There is still definitely more to come from me. The start has been really good and I just need to kick on now.“Slaven talks to me daily, he is always giving me pointers on how I can improve or little bits of information that he thinks could help me that I may not have seen. I am always picking his brains for things I can learn. He has been really, really good with me.“I’ve been going into every game thinking we are going to win, no matter who we play against. A big part of that is down to the form we have shown here. We have been nearly faultless. We have got one defeat and even that defeat we played really, really well.“The fact that the performances have been really good and consistent is giving me the confidence to know that when I step on the pitch it is likely that we are going to continue.“As they say the league table doesn’t lie. After 11 games, almost a quarter of a way through the season now, the fact that we are where we are can only be on merit and it’s important that we don’t get too carried away now.“We just need to take every game one by one and make sure we keep the levels that we have already achieved so far.”Ajayi will hope to maintain his form for West Brom when they take on Middlesbrough today.Iheanacho Architect of His Downwards in Career-EkpoLeicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho has come under severe attacks from retired midfield maestro and former Nigeria international Friday Ekpo for being the ‘architect’ of the problems militating against his career.Iheanacho, 23, has seen his stocks fallen drastically after going from being one of the world’s most highly rated talents following his remarkable triumph with the Golden Eaglets squad that won the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup to languishing on the Foxes bench.The former Manchester City attacker missed Nigeria’s bronze-winning party to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament and has not featured for even a single minute for Brendan Rodgers’ side in the Premier League this season.Ekpo however believes that several suitors would have been willing to take on Iheanacho and guarantee him regular playing time but his insistence on staying at Leicester City could only have been influenced by his love for money.“Iheanacho is still young but age is gradually catching up on him. He needs a club where he would be playing regularly,” Friday Ekpo was quoted by Brila as monitored by“To me Iheanacho is the architect of his misfortune. He should be more interested in playing the game than chasing after mega bucks.“If he moves to Besiktas, his value would drop and he is not going to the club to grab automatic shirt.“He is still going to fight for regular place because Besiktas is not a small club in Turkey,” Ekpo said. 10th Korean Ambassador’s Taekwondo Championship Ends in StyleThe 10th edition of the Korean Ambassador Championship which kicks off on October 17, at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos State, came to a close on Friday.Several prizes including gifts of equipment were won by medallists, with the star prize of new flat television screens dished out to the best male and female athlete.In his remarks, Ambassador Lee In-tae of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea said one of the reasons his country is promoting Taekwondo in Nigeria is to promote the Korean culture in Nigeria and helped the country developed its athletes.“The Ambassador’s Championship is part of our efforts to promote Taekwondo in Nigeria and to help Nigerian athletes to improve their skills so that they can compete on the global stage,” Lee In-tae said.With the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, the Ambassador said the experience garnered from the championship would help beat other competitors in Tokyo and become Olympic medalists.“Taekwondo has helped strengthened the mutual relationship between Korea and Nigeria.As more Nigerians practice Taekwaondo, they are eager to study the Korean culture,” he noted.Lee In-tae concluded by thanking the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports development, and the Nigeria Taekwondo  Federation for making the championship possible.El ClasicoFears over Civil Unrest Force Postponment of  Barcelona, Madrid ClashThis month’s El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid has been postponed because of fears of civil unrest.The match was scheduled for 26 October but there have been days of protest in Barcelona after nine Catalan separatist leaders were jailed on Monday.Both Barcelona and Real Madrid disagreed with calls to switch the game to Madrid.The clubs have proposed Wednesday, 18 December as a new date.Manager Ernesto Valverde had said Barcelona were against switching the game to Madrid as they visit Slavia Prague in the Champions League on 23 October, three days before El Clasico had been scheduled.And on Friday the club issued a statement saying their “desire” was to play the match as originally scheduled because they had the “utmost confidence” in the fans who they say “always express themselves in exemplary fashion” at the ground.Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane was asked about the postponement in a news conference on Friday and said “we will be ready to play on the date told by the right person”.“We will adapt to what we are asked,” he addedLa Liga made the postponement request because of “exceptional circumstances beyond our control” as more protests are expected in Barcelona on the day of the match.Protests have continued into a fifth day in Spain’s Catalonia region with protesters clashing with riot police.Hundreds of thousands of people waving pro-independence flags and chanting “freedom for political prisoners” took part in marches across Catalonia on Friday. At least 96 people have been hurt across the region.Catalonia is a semi-autonomous region in north-east Spain and in a referendum on 1 October 2017, declared illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court, about 90 per cent of Catalan votes cast backed independence. Turnout was 43 per cent.The nine separatist leaders were convicted of sedition over their role in the referendum and handed jail sentences of between nine and 13 years by Spain’s Supreme Court.Chisora to Partner Joshua Ahead of Ruiz Jr’s RematchAnthony Joshua and Derek Chisora will lock horns in sparring as they both prepare for high-stakes heavyweight fights.Next Saturday Chisora meets David Price while Joshua aims to avenge defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in a rematch on December 7.Joshua criticised sparring partners for leaking “false allegations” in the build-up to his first fight with Ruiz Jr so has set about identifying a higher quality of boxer to help him get ready for the rematch.“He’s sparring Chisora. That is great sparring for both,” promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports.“The difference in this camp is the quality of sparring – replicating Ruiz Jr’s style. It is a unique style and not many people can do it.“I’ve seen pictures of Ruiz Jr – he looks lighter but I don’t know if they were photo-shopped!“There are plenty of hard rounds of sparring to go but AJ is a good place, he’s just turned 30.”Joshua and Chisora both came through the same Finchley amateur gym but are not regular sparring partners.Chisora revealed plans to spar last week, and his manager David Haye explained: “For both of their respective fights, they are ideal sparring partners for each other.“If any heavyweight can mimic Ruiz Jr’s pressure, it is Derek. If anyone can mimic Price’s long-range jab, it is AJ.”Joshua “struggled” to prepare with sparring partners that replicated Ruiz Jr before the first fight because his then-challenger came in as a replacement for Jarrell Miller.“First time around we only had four weeks, and three weeks of sparring,” Hearn previously said. “We found guys but probably not the guys we really wanted.”Joshua denied rumours that he was hurt in sparring prior to the first fight with Ruiz Jr.He told AJ: The Untold Truth: “You bring someone into your training camp to do them a favour, you’re paying them, nothing like [the knock-down rumour] in that nature has happened, you beat them up in every round, then they go and do an interview.“It just happens all the time in boxing, there is just a lot of envy.”American Timothy Moten, unbeaten in five fights, has also sparred Joshua during camp for the rematch with Ruiz Jr.Bulgaria Coach Balakov Resigns Following Racist ChantsBulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov has resigned four days after England’s Euro 2020 qualifying win was overshadowed by racism from home supporters.Monday’s match in Sofia was stopped twice because of racist abuse directed at England’s black players.   However, after the match Balakov, 53, said he “didn’t hear anything”.“I am no longer national team coach,” Balakov told Bulgarian media after a meeting of the Bulgarian Football Union on Friday.According to reports from Bulgaria, the whole board of the Bulgarian Football Union, including president Borislav Mikhailov, has resigned.“The performance of Bulgaria’s men’s national team in recent months has been described as unsatisfactory, which is why Krasimir Balakov resigned,” a statement from the organisation said. Bulgarian authorities have so far identified 16 suspects and made 12 arrests following the England game.Four supporters received fines and two-year bans on Thursday, with others remaining under investigation. “I wish success to the next coach, the situation is not rosy at the moment,” said Balakov.“I have never been a coach in such an atmosphere.“I tried to pick up the players in the locker room. There was no rebellion. “The players were so mentally stressed by what was happening on the pitch that they lacked the energy to rebel.”Balakov said on Monday night: “I was concentrated on the game.“I didn’t actually hear anything but I just talked to the English press downstairs and I told them that if this is proven to be true, then we have to be ashamed and we have to apologise for it.“But, once again, first it has to be proven to be true.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more