Green Gear Guide

By Jenny Willden

When it comes to gear, green is the new black. Companies in the outdoor industry are following the trend and pushing to go green and help the planet by following sustainable practices and using recycled materials. Join the revolution by purchasing eco-friendly items when you get new gear. This guide is a small sampling of our favorite earth friendly finds, but check your favorite local sporting goods store to see more.

Keen Irving Bag
Made from woven 100% recycled rice paper, this unique bag is perfect for carrying around town, shopping and more. It even features interior and exterior zippered pockets to protect small items. Fill it up; you’ll be surprised how much it can haul. $40

Keen Harvest Mary Jane
This colorful, funky shoe’s upper is crafted with reclaimed rice paper which makes each pair one of a kind. The footbed is made from recycled polyurethane and renewable cork and is covered in natural canvas for a comfortable fit with or without socks. Great for all day wear, these shoes have awesome arch support and will score you lots of compliments. $70

Bridgedale Bamboo Socks
Available for men and women in high and low cut styles, this sock is soft, silky and well-cushioned. Plus, it stays stink-free, even after days of wear, because of bamboo’s antimicrobial properties. Bamboo and Coolmax® fabrics wick moisture to keep your feet dry during running, hiking or any activity. In addition to making this eco-friendly sock, Bridgedale supports the Plant a Boo™ campaign that helps fight global warming by increasing bamboo cultivation. $13.95

Kelty Saunter Bag
Great for use while biking or walking, this retro bag is made from eco-friendly materials like recycled polyester and vegetable tanned leather. It comes with a shopper tote that packs up small and features an internal organizational sleeve. $79.95

Craft Leave Your Car Ride Your Bike Jersey
Developed to promote the benefits of cycling as part of your daily routine, this 100% recycled polyester jersey is the first of its kind from Craft. The jersey is available for men and women and features three rear pockets with a fourth zip pocket for use while riding. $74.99

FEW T-Shirts
This New Zealand-based company now makes organically sustainable tees from 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton or 100% organic cotton. These tees stand out and show off the sights and sounds of New Zealand with native graphics and sayings. $28

Guyot Designs MicroBites
This mini version of Guyot Designs utensils is a 5-in-1 set containing a spoon, fork, knife, spatula and spreader. They weigh less than an ounce and can withstand temperatures up to 450°F. MicroBites carry 25 pounds of verified green house emissions reductions, which makes them not just carbon neutral, but carbon negative. $4.95

Primus EtaPower™ MF Stove
Boil water fast (in 2–3 minutes) with this stove which, along with its preheating coil and pots with built-in heat exchangers, allows it to consume half as much fuel and energy as other comparable stoves. The environmentally friendly EtaPower™ MF can be used with LP gas and liquid fuels, such as white gas, gasoline, kerosene and even diesel. Primus buys carbon offsets for every EtaPower™ MF stove sold, making it a carbon-neutral product. But don’t plan to take the EtaPower™ MF on your next 20-mile backpacking trip, weighing in at over 2 pounds (with accessories) it’s best for short trips and camping. $190

Big Agnes Diversion Insulated Air Core Recycled Pad
Camp in comfort with this recycled sleeping pad made from Climashield HL Green 100% recycled synthetic insulation and 100% recycled polyester shell fabric with a recycled aluminum valve. This pad is not self-inflating, but inflates quickly by blowing into a valve and is thicker, more comfortable and more compact than self-inflating pads. Also, if you frequently roll off your pad in the night, use it with a Big Agnes sleeping bag which all contain integrated pad sleeves. Stuff sack and repair kit included. $89.95–$99.95

Sierra Designs Wicked Hot 45 Sleeping Bag
Enjoy summer camping in this unisex bag made from PrimaLoft® Eco, an earth friendly insulation composed of recycled plastic soda and water bottles. Rated to 45°, this ultralight bag stuffs down small so you can fit it in any pack. It also features straps on the back to keep you on your sleeping pad and has a zipper that goes all the way around the foot box so you can unzip the bag into a comforter. $179

Dakine Project Blue Recycled Surf Packs
These gender-specific packs, Oceana (girls) and Recon (guys) are constructed with 100% Polyethylene Terephthalate, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. The packs also feature recycled buckles and use a non-toxic waterproof fabric backing. Though there’s no surfing in Utah, you’ll still find loads of reasons to use this pack, like taking it to the lake or pool. It features a seam sealed wetsuit (or swimsuit) pocket, an insulated cooler pocket for drinks and storage space. With the sale of each pack $2 will be donated to the Surfrider Foundation, which helps protect oceans, waves and beaches. Oceana $75, Recon $70

Locals Have More Fun T-shirts
Show off your local pride with shirts from this Park City-based company that uses organic cotton for green tees that feature fun graphics and sayings. Also, this organic cotton has a low environmental impact because it replenishes soil fertility and reduces the use of toxic fertilizers. The water-based ink used is non-toxic and free of lead, heavy metals and chemicals. This ink embeds the print in the shirt, not on top of it, so you don’t feel the print on the shirt. $23

Aladdin Recycled and Recyclable Snack Container
Say goodbye to plastic baggies with these handy dandy snack containers. They’re made from eCycle®, which is a BPA-free mix of recycled plastics. On average eCycle® contains 95% recycled plastics, including 25% post consumer content. There’s a two-way lid for big or little snacking, and two containers nest together easily and fit in a purse or backpack. $6.99

Aladdin Recycled and Recyclable 16 Ounce Travel Mug
Ditch the paper coffee cup and replace it with this mug made from BPA-free eCycle®, which contains 100% recycled food grade polypropylene. The mug is car cup compatible for easy travel and is dishwasher and microwave safe. $9.99

Merrell Lynx and Boulder T-shirts
Stay dry and fresh during your workout with fitted workout shirts constructed from polyester and Cocona®, a sustainable fabric made of coconut shells that is naturally moisture-wicking and odor resistant. The shirts offer 50+ UPF protection to keep you from getting sunburned and are available for women (Lynx) and men (Boulder). $40

Merrell Zoe and Balance T-shirts
Workout this summer in style with Zoe (women) and Balance (men) shirts made from 58% pima cotton and 42% recycled polyester. The shirts feature Opti-Wick™, which wicks moisture from your skin and keeps you dry, even in the hottest summer weather. $34

tekoPOLY™ Low Socks
Keep your feet cool and dry during summer activities with these lightweight socks made from recycled polyester, nylon and Lycra. They’re good for biking, running, walking and cross training and offer comfort stretch zones and strike zone cushioning in the footbed. Teko strives to reduce their carbon footprint by using minimal packaging from recycled materials and following other sustainable practices. $11.95

Merrel CP Paragon Support Shoe
Perfect for runners with minimal pronation, this lightweight shoe offers flexible support and breathability without weighing you down. The shoe’s rubber compounds provide traction on dry trails, but because of the shoe’s mesh upper they’re not a good choice for muddy or wet trails, unless you enjoy soaked socks. There’s also an anti-friction fabric in the footbed lining that controls the movement of the foot during impact to avoid blisters. This lining contains over 50% recycled fibers, which use half the energy and water to produce that virgin materials use. Available for men and women. $90

O’Keeffe’s Life Out There Cream
Heal dry, cracked skin in a few days with this water-based cream, guaranteed. It contains Glycerin, which pulls in moisture and locks it in and octyldodecyl stearate, which helps the product absorb more quickly and completely. Jars for this and all O’Keeffe’s products are 100% recyclable. Also, the jar’s shrink band will soon be made of a corn-based material instead of the industry standard plastic. Lastly, O’Keeffe’s production facility is pollutant-free. $6.25

Terrasoles Olympus Shoes
Cute, colorful and ready for anything, this Mary Jane is made of 100% recycled microfiber fleece and mesh. It has an elastic strap to hold the shoe on your foot and a flexible, molded outsole for extra cushion and comfort. The removable footbed is soft, thick and squishy; you’ll feel as if you’re walking on marshmallows all day. $55

Terrasoles Rio Sandals
Take these men’s shoes to the lake, walking or even the office. They’re made of tumbled leather and 60% organic cotton and offer protection, stability and a bungee with a toggle for an adjustable fit. Though airy and comfy, these shoes do tend to run big so try them on before buying. Like all Terrasoles shoes, the packaging is recycled and printed with soy ink. $64.95

Terrasoles Lobo Sandals
Made from 100% cotton canvas with nubuck leather straps, these sandals are great for wearing after a summer hike or bike ride. Unlike most sandals, they provide enough cushioning and support to wear all day from the unique midsole that’s made of cork, recycled rubber and latex. These sandals are packaged on a plastic hanging hook instead of in a box to reduce waste. The only downfall of the Lobo’s is that they don’t come in half sizes and it can be difficult to find an exact fit. $55

New Balance Nbx
Sleeveless Running Tank

Stay fresh on long summer runs (or even backpacking trips) in this semi-fitted, odor resistant tank made from Cocona®, which is a natural fabric from coconut shells that has benefits like softness, evaporative cooling and UV protection. The top also features 360º reflectivity for safety during morning or evening workouts. Men’s styles are also available. $38

New Balance Nbx-Treme Crop Top
This sports bra stays put, fits comfortably and provides maximum support during high impact activities. It’s made from a mix of Cocona®, nylon and spandex and works to keep you dry by moving sweat from skin to the outside for quick evaporation. It also absorbs odor and will continue smelling clean, even after multiple uses. $45

New Balance 70 Shoes
The first shoe in New Balance’s launch of eco-friendly products, the upper is composed of 75% recycled polyester and synthetics made using fewer solvents than traditional materials, and the uppers were cut to reduce waste by fitting together like puzzle pieces. The outsole is packed with rice husk fillers to reduce the amount of rubber and petroleum used, and the shoe is held together with water-based glue. No paper stuffing or wrapping is used in the packaging. These shoes, which are made for men and women, are comfortable, light and great for summer adventures. $80

ExOfficio Soytopia Underwear
Pack less on trips with these quick drying, nature friendly soy underwear. They’re naturally odor resistant and moisture wicking so you’ll stay fresh all day. Wash them in the sink and they’ll be dry and ready to wear the next day. $22

ExOfficio Soytopia Skirt and Men’s Satellite Short Sleeve Cricket Tee
Made from eco-conscious soy stretch jersey, these items are lightweight, odor resistant and offer sun protection. The skirt has a mesh inner pocket that holds your cash and small items when you don’t want to bring a purse. The men’s shirt is made from a blend of soy and organic cotton for a soft feel. Both items are great for summer travel and recreation. Women’s shirts are also available in this collection. Skirt $55, Shirt $50

Freestyle Boiler Solar Watch
Freestyle’s first solar-powered watch can get a year of power from a single charge, but since you’ll wear it outside sometimes, it will have power forever. Also, Freestyle offers a lifetime warranty so your watch should keep ticking as long as you do. It’s water resistant to 100 meters and comes with a backlight, Chrono, Alarm, Timer and Dual Time features. This watch’s only negative is that it’s a bit heavy. $115

PrAna E.C.O. Sticky Yoga Mat
This earth friendly yoga mat has natural anti-slip materials and is made from Thermal Plastic Elastomer foam, which contains no heavy metals or PVC. The mat’s reversible and has a two-sided textured surface. $44

PrAna Chakara™ Sabin Racer Top and Cabo Capris
Chakara™ fabric, a poly developed by prAna from recycled plastic is combined with a small amount of spandex for flattering, green workout clothing. Using this fabric reduces energy consumption and cuts CO2 upwards of 75% from traditional methods. PrAna’s popular Sabin Racer Top, which is perfect for yoga and pilates, comes in Chakara™ and features a built-in bra. The Cabo Capri, also in Chakara™ is fitted and has a cute decorative belt for a stylish look. Shorts, pants and other tanks are available in this fabric, but currently no men’s styles are available. Top $46, Capris $65

PrAna Mahdia Katie Top
This yoga tank is made from organic cotton that is tie-dyed by hand with low impact dyes. The colors are then steamset, which minimizes the amount of water used. The top features a built-in shelf bra and decorative printing at the hem. Other items are available in this collection and each features unique colors and decorative designs. $52

K. Bell Organic Socks
Made from an organic cotton blend, these ankle socks are perfect for working out, biking, running and more. They’re soft, breathable and wick moisture to keep feet dry during intense activity. $4

Stonewear Designs Shorts
The “V” dropped waistband allows this classic exercise short to sit just below the waist and has side vents for easy movement. Composed of 90% organic cotton jersey and 10% spandex for a stretchy, flattering fit. $38

Stonewear Designs Headband
Keep your hair out of your face while exercising with this headband made from organic cotton and spandex. All headbands coordinate with Stonewear Design’s tank tops and are reversible and stretchy. $16

Crescent Moon Snowshoes
Snow may be the last thing on your mind now that summer’s in full swing, but get these amazing snowshoes now and save them for the first snowfall. Known for having the best binding on the market, Crescent Moon snowshoes also feature a distinctive tear-drop shaped frame that keeps you floating, no matter where you take them. They’re also the greenest snowshoes on the market and contain no PVC (vinyl), which can pose long term health and environmental threats by releasing toxic chemicals into the air. The company uses 100% wind power and recycles almost everything they use. For recreational snowshoeing, women should try the Silver 13 and men the Silver 9. If you want to race, try the Gold 12, which are lighter and designed for running. Silver 13 $170, Silver 9 $175, Gold 12 $229


About Author

Jenny Willden is the Managing Editor of Outdoor Sports Guide and a self-proclaimed gear and grammar nut. She's a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Adventure Travel Trade Association. A lover of adventure and travel, she's happiest when riding horses or snowboarding in Utah’s mountains. Follow Jenny’s exploits on Twitter @jennywillden or Instagram @jlwillden.

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