April and May are synonymous with transition, and as I see more and more signs of spring, my material uses tend to change as well. It can be a tricky time of year. My skis are slowly migrating to the bottom of my closet, but it’s not quite the time to get out my bikes and swimsuits. Below are a few favorites I’ve been turning to lately as I navigate weather and conditions that run the gamut from winter to summer on a day-to-day basis.
1. MSR DynaLock Explore Backcountry Poles
Mud season means varied terrain, so I never head to the trails without poles. After 4 knee surgeries, I don’t like to take risks! Recently I used this collapsible set from MSR which I love for its packability and strength. Crafted from aluminum, there are two DynaLock mechanisms that allow for easy adjustment on the fly. I find them handy when trying trails that still have patches of icy snow. They come with powder and trekking baskets, so they can be used all year round. $110, msrgear.com
In April, the snow finally melted enough that my yard was no longer a giant mud pit, which means garden games are back! Sure Cornhole and Bocce are standard, but for a new variety I recently tried TowerBall, a 360 degree tossing game. It’s easy to play, portable, and 100% weatherproof. Ideal for groups of all ages, it includes a collapsible tower, 8 soft hackey balls and a backpack. $190, towerball.com
3. Saucony Jazz ’81 runners
Spring means ditching my clunky boots for lighter, more fun shoes. These Saucony classics are colorful, iconic and have 40 years of runner and sneaker fan approval. Saucony builds the shoe with a few technological upgrades such as premium suede and a molded EVA footbed for long-lasting comfort. Available in a variety of styles and colors for women and men. $80, saucony.com
4. Rab Valiance Waterproof Down Jacket
As much as I wish I could hang up my heavyweight, we’re not there yet. For this season, I love this 800 waterproof and windproof jacket from Rab. It is warm, durable and able to withstand unpredictable weather. I find myself keeping it close by for early season camping, get-togethers in the park, and for those chilly, forced outdoor dining experiences we all dream of. Available in sizes and colors for women and men. $385, rab.equipment/us/
5. Otterbox Elevation Mug 14
Whether you’re sitting on the deck or hitting that first rock, a new coffee mug is always a welcome companion. The Elevation has a durable stainless steel construction with an internal copper liner for added temperature control. The 14 oz size is perfect for coffee as well as a chilled container for wine while you take the dog for a walk at happy hour. Although not fully waterproof, the Elevation has an enclosed lid for spill-resistant transport. Available in a variety of great colors. $25, ottorbox.com
Meg Simon is an Aspen-based freelance writer, graphic designer and founder of Simon Finch Creative. She can be contacted at [email protected].