3 Rugged, Outstanding and Comfortable Fall Outdoor Gear Choices
On the heels of Fall’s chilly weather, we bring you 3 Outstanding Outdoor Gear Choices to help you stay dry, release fish and feel comfortable after a long, wonderful day on the water or in the woods. They embrace common sense designs with total comfort and will help you through a giant striped bass migration, an epic hunting season and a few good hours around a woodstove.
Muck Boot Company Men’s APEX LACE-UP Multi-Purpose boot
I have two basic needs for boots: that they be all day comfortable and absolutely waterproof. Over the years, I have owned several pairs of Muck boots and they’re now first choices for rainstorms, fishing from a boat, yard work and going to work. My first mistake when testing the APEX was that they were so comfortable right out of the recyclable box, I neglected to take copious notes. In hindsight, I didn’t need to. APEX boots are rugged, sturdy in situations slick and thick, warm, waterproof and breathable. If you love the outdoors, Muck Boot Company has designed a total homerun.
Last summer, I sat in on a conference call to learn about the newest Muck designs. Their design ideas are firmly entrenched the commonsense pillars of high quality, fair pricing and total reliability. That’s how a corporation should respect their customers, especially those who love inclement weather. With the APEX boot, Muck built in a dual density footbed for comfort, a layer of odor control, wrapped it all in 3mm Neoprene for warmth in sub-freezing temperatures and kept the weight at 1.5lbs each. They fit well and with a smart lacing system and stretchy upper, you can lighten up as you break them in over time. The rear loop is big enough to be helpful. Apex boots are clearly high tech, reliably waterproof, and sublimely stylish so we don’t have to change boots when pavement turns to mud, which is where they really shine.
Available in Black with orange trim. Rugged, secure, breathable, waterproof. Starting at $160.00 www.muckbootcompany.com
3 outstanding outdoor gear choices has to include something for the boat and kayak
EGP S2 Slider fishing net
I tested the Standard sized EGO extension handle net, which was perfect for reaching over the side of center consoles or kayaks. Quickly I understood that complementing its sturdy construction and two-year warranty, there was real magic in the black button. When pushed, the net and handle base move in opposite directions but the weight stays balanced and it never feels overloaded. It is just plain cool and innovative without being gimmicky.
Years ago, anglers realized that woven nets rubbed off trout’s mucus layer which kept pathogens from penetrating and often harbored antibacterial properties. Using a rubber net avoids tearing away that layer, thus protecting fish while decreasing instances of snagging hooks and slowing a release. Brilliant.
With a handle extension of 29”-60” and 17”x19” hoop, one of 19 mesh and hoop types available, the handle coating is soft but feels absolutely strong. When retracted, the net holds up to a thirty-pound fish, and when fully extended, a twenty pounder.
The feature I appreciated the most was the way that wide hoop design allowed me to bring a striped bass to the edge, safely (for the fish and me) release a hook and then roll the net over to release her. Striped bass are a beloved game fish here in the Northeast and I want to safely release everyone I catch. Want more?
The slide handle accepts several important tools, like a boat hook, deck brush and lure retriever. If you make one addition to your fishing gear, an EGO S2 Slider net needs to be top of that list.
Available in red and black. Strong, retractable, adaptable, wicked cool. Starting at $109.99 www.egofishing.com.
XTRATUF Sharkbyte 2.0 deck shoe
The bright side of an impending snow shoveling season sees us sitting comfortably by a woodstove fire in a pair of Sharkbyte deck shoes. While “deck shoe” sounds quite summer-ish, there’s no reason to relegate them to a cold plastic tote with shorts and ugly party shirts. Sharkbytes will be enjoyed all year long.
I love the use of BIOLITE material, which does require a recycling circle with a bioreactor landfill that recirculates its leachate but that withstanding, XTRATUF has also included REPREVE Our Ocean upper made from high grade fiber and resin sourced from bottles at high risk of entering the ocean. As we keep extending our human footprint, it’s encouraging to know XTRATUF recognizes we are not in charge of but merely part of a large ecosystem and that now is the time to incorporate design and manufacturing changes. Cheers to all of that. Sharbyte’s are so comfortable and weightless, I kept forgetting to take them off before going everywhere. They are warm weather deck shoes, casual out for dinner shoes and the right choice for every minute out of winter boots. With a comfortable fit, light weight (about a 1/4 pound) and a fun bonus of putting some bounce in your step, you might be tucking away your favorite slippers for a pair of Skarbytes that will take you from the recliner to the mailbox to the store, no matter the season.
Available in blue and white. Immediately comfortable, light, environmentally constructed. Starting at $85.00 www.xrtratuf.com/home