Staff Picks

Gear

Gadgets, gear, and gotta-have-it stuff that our staff fell in love with for Spring.

TRAIL RUNNING

New Balance

New Balance 2 in 1 Woven Short

These moisture-wicking, figure-flattering shorts and inner compression briefs offer full coverage that doesn’t ride up, plus reflective detailing, a 4-inch inseam, and an emergency ID tag sewn into the iPod-ready zippered back pocket. “I feel exposed in other running shorts,” says assistant editor Jennifer Olson, “but I’ll even do yoga in these.” ($45; shopnewbalance.com)

Brooks Versatile

Brooks Running Versatile EZ LS
Subtle feminine details-a print along the rear neckline and flattering princess seams-combined with an antimicrobial and moisture-transferring polyester made this running top a stand-out among the running shirts we tried. Man-stink protection in a ladylike top that transfers moisture and controls temps on variable days when you’re warming up and cooling off in one run. ($32; brooksrunning.com)

CYCLING

Shimano

Shimano SH-WR81
With a foot-warming custom fit at your local dealer, these race-ready bike shoes make the jump from off-the-shelf to one-of-a-kind. The fit after the vacuum-sealing session is, according to editor Kristy Holland, “more like underwear than footwear.” Carbon soles are lightweight (Kristy’s size 41s weighed in at 10 ounces each) but stiff for efficient power and stable riding. ($300; bike.shimano.com)

bontrager

Bontrager Commuting Wool WSD Top
Though it’s not a strictly performance-oriented top-we sweat, but didn’t hammer in it-this 100-percent merino polo-style 3/4-sleeve-length shirt is our top pick for commuter wear. The subtle reflective details and merino’s wicking-warmth performance won points for functionality but we credit the offset buttons for pushing it into our top picks in the cuteness department. ($80; bontrager.com)

Vis 360

Light & Motion Vis 360
Cycling editor Susan Hayse calls it the “Geek Factor Award,” and insisted it go to Light & Motion’s Vis 360, a new helmet-mount light that let her extend test rides without sacrificing visibility. The 110-lumen front spotlight, side-facing amber accents, and rear blinky come in a 4.5-ounce package that mounts easily onto any helmet, re-charges via USB, and warns you of expected battery life with a color-coded flashing indicator light. ($169; bikelights.com)

CAMPING

LavaCakes

Packit Gourmet Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes and Baking Set
Nothing says comfort like a couple of steaming cupcakes and a new appreciation for what’s possible when it comes to camp cooking. Packit Gourmet’s baking set includes six silicone baking cups and a steamer that turned gooey chocolate batter-and chilly sleep system testing nights-into our new favorite wilderness treats. ($6 and $20; packitgourmet.com)

Last modified: June 24, 2013

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