Staff Picks

| May 24, 2011 | 1 Comment

We’re not as hard-core a group as some rough-and-tumble teams, but here at Women’s Adventure, we do have the chance to try lots of fun summer gear that we think you’d like to know about. Whether you end up doing morning laps around your local reservoir on a SUP or cooking camp meals for your family (like we did), these products that became our faves could be a good fit for you, too.

GSI Outdoors

GSI Outdoors Crossover Kitchen Kit

Always at a loss for kitchen tools, editor Kristy Holland thinks the eleven-piece Crossover Kitchen Kit is an easy answer to one of her camp-cooking dilemmas: “With such an awesome assortment of camp stoves in our line-up, I needed the prep tools to go with them,” she says, “and I get in big trouble when I steal the spoons and tongs from my kitchen at home.” The kit includes more than just serving utensils: a large pivot spoon, spice shaker, squeeze bottles, a cutting board, and even a nonstick-friendly scrubby all fit into the crescent-shaped case. ($35;


ZYM Rival Sport Drink Tablets

Hydration with everything you need in a tasty tablet. ZYM’s electrolyte tablets are stevia-sweetened, caffeine-free, easy-on-the-stomach and packed with B vitamins. The special ingredient: Rhodiola rosea is a fatigue fighter, and cycling editor Susan Hayse gave Rival top marks for hydration on and off the bike: “I keep a tube with me so I’m never without that B-vitamin boost,” she says, “and the natural sweetener won me over. It’s a nice, light flavor and keeps me sipping.” ($10 for a tube of 10 tablets;

Native Eyewear

Native Eyewear Chonga

“Fresh and comfortable, lightweight, with good coverage, but not
too big,” is how publisher Sue Sheerin describes Native’s Chonga, her favorite of the sunglasses we tested. Anti-slip nose-cushions keep them in place and with interchangeable lens options, these glasses can easily transition between Sue’s tennis tournaments and her trail time. “I’ve been wearing them for everything,” she says, “they’re hip, but not too hip.” (Polarized: $109;


Adidas Tarushi 2”

A short-short that’s meant for the beach, the 2-inch Tarushi’s soft micro-fiber fabric feels great against skin and the 2-inch-thick waistband gives it a flattering fit that hits near the hip. “I loved the drawstring,” says our sales team’s Anne Blichfeld. “I’ll be wearing these all summer between kayaking and wakeboarding.” ($40;


Keen Cabo Flip

Simple, fun, classic, and comfortable: all the key elements of a footwear favorite. This flipflop’s brushed sole is soft yet non-slip and the bright straps’ coconut-shell detail made this shoe a perfect fit for tropical beaches, and an uplifting surprise during desert downpours, too. Arch support kept us comfy in them all day. ($30;


Columbia Triton Time Long Sleeve Rashguard

Sun protection doesn’t have to be an issue when you’re SUPing. These slim-fitting rashguards have UPF 50 so you can enjoy a worry-free day on the water. Aside from flatlock seams, a stretchy fit, and hot colors, it was a small detail that put this top at the top of our list: we’d been bragging about the great fit long before noticing the stay-put gripping hemline treatment. ($45;


Brunton Restore

Electronic battery life and the backcountry (especially smart phones in combination with GPS apps): Not exactly a match made in heaven. But Brunton’s portable, solar-powered charger helped keep our electronics going for on-the-beach phonecalls and post-hike GPS recharges at camp. Weighing in under 8 ounces, the safety factor of reliable power is well worth the price of carrying this rugged unit around. Charge it up—2 hours plugged into the wall or a day’s worth of sunshine—and pack it along. ($125;


Patagonia Women’s Sunshade Hoody

A technical hoody with casual flare, the lightweight polyester in this UPF 30 cover-up was a clear winner for associate editor Jennifer Olson who sported it on sunny spring mornings in Colorado and in 80-degree Cayman Islands afternoons. “It was easy to slipover my swimsuit, it never felt wet, and I was covered, sun protected, and casual at the same time,” she says. ($59;


Bic Sport Jungle SUP Paddle 170-210

When you have one board—or in our case six—and a lot of paddlers who want a turn, paddle size can be a problem. If it’s too short, a paddle won’t give you power and if it’s too long, you’ll struggle with your stroke. That’s why one of our shortest SUP testers, Elizabeth Melton on our ad sales team, loved this easy-adjusting paddle from Bic Sport. “It was comfortable to handle and super lightweight,” she says of the 29-ounce paddle that adjusts to suit short and tall paddlers. “It made testing boards much more fun.” ($199;

Category: Gear

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Written by the dedicated, hard-working Women's Adventure staff and their very generous team of volunteer writers. Want to lend a hand at making this splendid magazine even more splendid? Contact us at and let us know!

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