IN THE GARAGE
Lexi Dowdall’s Pick: Boardworks Inflatable Stand-up Paddle Board, $1,099
For the adventurous traveler, consider the SHUBU Inflatable Stand-up Paddle Board by Boardworks. This is a great way to get started paddlboarding, and an inflatable board costs much less and is significantly easier to travel with than a regular board.
Julia Van Raalte’s Pick: Rossignol Savory 7, $699
This is a brand new ski that would be a great soft-snow addition to any quiver, or an awesome one-ski quiver if you ski mostly soft snow. Ultimately, it’s a fun, playful, lightweight ski that can rip. My dream touring set-up would be the Savory 7 with Dynafit TLT Radical bindings.
Thomas Neilson’s Pick: Dagger Mamba 8.6, $1049
Over the past five months, the Dagger Mamba 8.6 has become my favorite boat for almost all kinds of whitewater. It surfs glassy waves well, handles superbly in big water, and is still one of the best boats I have paddled on steep and technical creeks. For larger boaters looking for one of the best performing boats out there, the Mamba 8.6 should be at the top of your list.
Noah Bodman’s Pick: Canfield Yelli Screamy frame, $650
The Yelli Screamy was the first review I wrote for Blister—it’s still kicking, and every time I get on that thing I find my happy place. It’s a 29er that likes to be thrown with reckless abandon down rocky trails and it makes hucking to flat almost seem like a good idea. Plenty of companies have jumped on the “aggressive hardtail 29er” bandwagon, but the Yelli is still the original, and I dare say the best.
Thomas Nielson’s Pick: Sweet Protection Wanderer helmet, $139
The Wanderer does a great job protecting your dome on the river, but it comes in at a slightly lower price-point than some of Sweet’s other helmet offerings. It low profile enough to satisfy avid playboaters, but still provides sufficient coverage to protect die-hard creekers.
Mike Thurber’s Pick: MHM Flatiron 42, $249
This is a great gift for the young backpacker on your list. A full-featured weekend pack with an easily-adjustable suspension system that will fit your kid for years to come. (Review to come.)
Jane Koopman’s Pick: Kokatat Meridian Gore Tex Dry Suit, $1,050
This dry suit simply makes paddling in cold water more enjoyable. Durable and made by a well-respected company, the Meridian will keep your favorite paddler warmer, drier, and happier during cold paddling seasons.