The end of winter can be terrible. Melting snow causes mud, which clings greedily to dogs, bikes, shoes and tires, creating a mess in your car and home. At the same time, warming air temperatures cause wind, which blows dust into your eyes and makes the days colder than they should be. To help ease the spring wind, I’ve put together a whole list of gear that makes this season a little more tolerable.
Orvis Grid Recycled Water Trapper Rug ($170)
I have young children and two naughty dogs, so the only way to keep my house even remotely clean in the spring is to forcefully insist that everyone wipe their muddy, wet feet. this carpet when they enter through the front door. The tough fibers still pick up dirt, and even after a year of heavy use, there’s no fraying. A waterproof construction kept snow from seeping in and marring my wood floors, and its rubber backing ensures the mat doesn’t slip. I love that you can choose from nine different colors. Bonus points for Orvis for constructing the rug from recycled materials.
WeatherTec Floor Mats ($60+)
If you track the mud on the normal cloth floor mats that are stocked on most cars, you have to wait for that mud to dry, then kick it, then rinse the mats, then wait for the mats to dry – all an utter pain in the ass. That’s why I invested in plastic floor mats from MeteoTec. Even if they’re covered in mud, it washes off immediately with a quick hose spray and the mats dry in minutes. WeatherTec manufactures perfectly measured models for many of the latest cars. If you’re like me and drive an older car (I have a 2002 Tacoma), you can get the adjusted versionwhich isn’t as nice but still does the job.
Buff EcoStretch ($20)
Temperatures are everywhere in the spring. It’s freakishly hot one day, then a version of winter returns the next. That’s why I always carry a buff, whether I’m skiing, running, hiking or just watching my kids play football. When it’s cold, I pull it up over my ears and around the bottom of my chin and wear it under my trucker hat. When the weather warms up, I put it back around my neck. I opt for the regular, non-merino version because I’ve found the material retains its stretch longer and doesn’t wear out as quickly.
Julbo Fury Reactiv 0-3 Sunglasses ($220)
Big-lens sunglasses seem like overkill, until they’re not. Try cycling into the wind on a dusty day with regular sunglasses and you’ll quickly see the benefit of shades that protect your entire field of vision and keep flying debris out. Reactive Fury is my favorite pair in this style, as the darkness of the lens changes with the brightness of the sun. I can wear them for running when it’s cloudy and they’re not too dark, and I can also wear them on a bluebird backcountry ski day and finish the afternoon without eye strain.
Ruffwear Dirtbag Seat Cover ($90)
My 20 year old Toyota has leather seats that are already beaten and wash fairly easily. Still, there are times in the spring when my dogs get so muddy at the dog park that I want an extra layer of protection. This seat cover is quick to install (just minutes) and the waterproof fabric never leaks, even when dogs are soaked. After a big adventure, I take it out, shake off the mud and let it dry in the sun, which is usually enough to keep it pristine. It’s also machine washable if you think it deserves a thorough cleaning.
Soap in Seconds ($19)
I’m new this product but I am now obsessed. It’s the perfect way to wash your hands after loading muddy dogs in the car or trying to clean up my mountain bike. If you’re unfamiliar, Soap in Seconds is like hand sanitizer, but it gets dirt off my fingers better and isn’t full of hand-drying alcohol.
I have one of those in all my cars at all times, and I mostly use them for clearing snow. But they’re also great for scraping mud off my kids’ shoes and brushing dry grass and mud off my dogs. If used gently, the brush will also clean mud off a bike before it gets sprayed.
Men’s Breeze Free Fly Jacket ($128)
Traditional, old-school windbreakers are great for spring gusts, but nylon doesn’t breathe well and lacks stretch. Constructed with 14 percent spandex, Free Fly Breeze changes that: it’s stretchy, comfortable and never impedes my movements. Made from a more breathable polyester, it cuts out the chill from a cold wind but doesn’t immediately make me overheat when blowing on the trail or commuting on my bike.
Astorflex Bitflex Boots ($215)
Chelsea boots have a style moment, but they’re also a great utilitarian option for spring, as the ankle-high construction is ideal for walking in rain showers or on muddy trails. They wash off easily and any abuse adds a beautiful patina to the exterior. I have tested many different pairs but I love them the Astorflex version for two main reasons: the distressed, eco-friendly Italian leather has a zero-day break-in period, and the rubber soles don’t track through mud but still provide good grip.