Even a hard day chasing bird dogs or stalking elk isn’t enough to guarantee a good night’s sleep if you don’t have the right equipment. With the NEMO Flyer self-inflating sleeping pad ($120 to $140), you’ll have one less thing to worry about when the sun goes down. Enjoy a radical new hybrid design that combines the thickness of an air pad without losing the proven durability of foam—all while packing tightly and adding less than two pounds to your load. Nemo’s unique approach removes 60 percent of the foam one might see in comparable pads yet increases thickness by almost 300 percent when inflated, giving you more comfort without sacrificing length and width or adding bulk. A zero-profile, micro-adjustable valve makes for easy fine-tuning and fast inflation of this 3D-sculpted mattress, marking the difference between a comfortable week in the woods or coming home early. www.nemoequipment.com
No tool played a more vital role in the settlement of our nation than the trusty ax, a hardworking implement that traces its American roots back to the first blacksmith shop at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony of the early 1600s. While countless regional artisans created hundreds of different patterns, the state of Maine always led the way with more than 300 ax-making companies at the peak of production in the late 19th century. But by the 1960s, the advent of gas-powered chain saws brought this era of American craftsmanship to a close. Now, BRANT & COCHRAN is bringing it back with its Allagash Cruiser ($269), the only Maine wedgepattern ax being made today. Forged in its South Portland shop from 1050 carbon steel, this 2½-pound ax with a 28-inch Amish-turned hickory handle displays the same attention to detail one might expect from a fine fly rod or custom shotgun. Heirloom quality and highly functional, it’s the perfect companion for your hunting cabin or mountain retreat. www.bnctools.com
Given the popularity of his still much sought-after Edisto Oyster Knife, which debuted nearly a decade ago, one might say South Carolina’s CHRIS WILLIAMS (www.williamsknife.com) has the tasty bivalves to thank for much of his success. Little wonder he’s the guy who keeps engineering easier ways to eat them. With his new Oyster Grip ($20), Williams has created a heat- and moisture-resistant, no-slip, FDA-grade silicone mitt that allows you to navigate your way around an oyster table without any of the usual dangers associated with scalding heat, sharp edges, or beverage-induced shucking mishaps. Best of all, it washes clean with no residual smell or bacteria, making for easy storage. Available in a wide array of colors and customizable for your personal or corporate event, the Oyster Grip is the very tool you’ve been waiting for if you love the salty goodness but can’t abide the messy hazards that often come with digging into a bushel of steaming filter feeders. www.oystergrip.com
The Solo ($254 or $620 with X-Curve Frame) has been a foundational pack at Bozeman-based STONE GLACIER since its introduction in 2012. A recent redesign features an internal compartment that secures and provides easy access to your spotting scope while creating more room in the main partition for additional gear. At its core, however, the Solo remains the same bag as before, perfect for three or four-day trips to chase everything from eastern whitetail to western goats. There is easy access through a large, horseshoe-shaped main zipper that opens a single spacious compartment to allow for customization with all Stone Glacier accessories. Meanwhile, an external zip pocket across the top of the pack keeps necessities such as GPS devices, binoculars, knives, and game calls within quick reach. The Solo has a 3,600-cubic-inch main bag but includes a “load shelf ” that expands the pack’s carrying capacity to more than 6,000 cubic inches and is perfectly designed for hauling elk quarters, or an entire boned sheep or deer. The Solo weighs in at 4 pounds 9 ounces on a medium X-curve frame. To learn more about Stone Glacier’s backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, and technical apparel, visit www.stoneglacier.com.
Welcome to October, arguably the perfect month for casting to redfish along the shallow coastal marshes and tidal flats. HOBIE gets you into all the right places with its new Pro Angler 12 360 Series ($4,599), featuring innovative Kick-Up Fins that immediately retract upon impact with any obstacles, thereby letting you glide into spots that might otherwise prove inaccessible. The MirageDrive 360 steering system provides full-circle power and extreme maneuverability, while a rock-solid platform atop an extra-wide hull allows you to stand up and cast but still maintain stealth thanks to EVA noise-reducing traction pads. The super-comfortable, easily adjustable Vantage ST seat with BOA lumbar support encourages more hours on the water, plus there’s plenty of room to mount your rod holders and electronics along the 12-sided Hobie H-Rail bars. Storage space abounds, and a pivoting tackle-management system provides easy access while keeping you organized. Now all you need is a tailing tide. www.hobie.com
Finally, the ideal footwear for any watery occasion. With its new Pro Approach Shoe ($149), ORVIS has created an incredibly versatile, lightweight, and quick-drying companion that’s perfect for hiking to and from the stream, boating, wet wading, and stalking the flats. An integrated Ariaprene sock prevents debris infiltration and provides solid ankle support, while a nonmarking Michelin Outdoor Extreme rubber sole offers excellent wet traction and abrasion resistance. Seamless cage construction creates the perfect pairing of superior drainage and rugged durability, and at only 23 ounces, the Approach is lightweight enough for all-day comfort. There’s also a removable 3D-molded OrthoLite insole, plus an integrated hood that allows laces to easily tuck away. Hike in, fish, or kayak all day, and then wear them around camp in the evening. Rarely does one find a piece of outdoor equipment that does this many things so well. www.orvis.com