Editor’s Choice: The Best Gear of 2013

Editor’s Choice: The Best Gear of 2013

After a full year of adventures and gear flogging, there are always a handful of items that become staples. These are the ones that are still in the back of the Subaru or hang on the garage wall at the ready. This is the 2013 FeedTheHabit Editor’s picks for Gear of the Year.

 

Best Mountain Bike: 2014 Niner RIP 9 Aluminum

Niner RIP 9 Al - 2013 Gear of the Year

No question, this bike blew us completely away. It accelerates like an XC machine, and descends like a banshee. The best part is that the all-new aluminum frame is more affordable than ever. Read the 2014 Niner RIP 9 review…

 

Drivetrain: SRAM XX1

SRAM XX1 Drivetrain - 2013 Gear of the Year

This year, our take on mountain bike drivetrains was changed forever. The front derailleur is dead to us. We don’t want to see another one for as long as we live. Thanks to SRAM XX1 and X01, we won’t have to cumber ourselves any longer with that now-useless contraption. Read the SRAM XX1 review…

 

MTB Fork: RockShox PIKE RCT3 140 29er

RockShox Pike RCT3 Fork - 2013 Gear of the Year

Back and in black, the all-new RockShox PIKE 140 fork offers outstanding performance with stealthy black looks. The suspension quality is, might we daresay, class-leading. Oh yes they did. Read the 2014 RockShox PIKE 140 29er review… 

 

Road Bars: Zipp Service Course SL-70 Ergo

Zipp Service Course SL-70 Ergo - 2013 Gear of the Year

Zipp calls their new Service Course SL bar lineup the “bike fitter’s bars” because they further extend the cockpit fit while maintaining proper stem lengths. We called the new SL-70 Ergo the best aluminum bar on the market, with good reason. Read the Zipp Service Course SL-70 Ergo bars review…

 

Mountain Bike Bars: Truvativ Jerome Clementz BlackBox Bars

Truvativ Jerome Clementz BlackBox Bars - 2013 Gear of the Year

At a cool 750mm width, these special-edition BlackBox low riser bars is as close as you’ll get to transforming yourself into the Enduro World Cup Champion himself. These bars offer supreme control with an added measure of chatter reduction. Read the Truvativ Jerome Clementz BlackBox bars review…

 

Road Biking Jacket: Sugoi RSE NeoShell Jacket

Sugoi RSE NeoShell Jacket - 2013 Gear of the Year

The star of the show is the Polartec NeoShell laminate, which puts the all-new RSE jacket into a class by itself. Breathability AND waterproof do go hand-in-hand in this awesome cycling shell. Read the Sugoi RSE NeoShell Jacket review…

 

Endurance Road Bike: Trek Domane 6.2

Trek Domane 6.2 - 2013 Gear of the Year

In the short stint we spent on this bike, the performance was nothing short of spectacular. Strava PR’s were topped — all in the comfort of the IsoSpeed Decoupled seat tube. Read the Trek Domane 6.2 review…

 

All-rounder Road Bike: Specialized Tarmac SL4

Specialized Tarmac SL4 Expert - 2013 Gear of the Year

When it comes to an all-around performer, the Tarmac is hard to beat. Having ridden this in both the S-Works Red edition and SL4 Expert, it’s safe to say that this bike may just be the best in the peloton. Read the Specialized SL4 Expert review…

 

Wheels: Bontrager Race X Lite TLR Wheelset

Bontrager Race X Lite TLR Wheelset - 2013 Gear of the Year

Going tubeless was a revelation for us this year. We could not believe the improvement in comfort and grip — all by ditching the tubes. The RXL wheels with TLR kit is an affordable alternative to shelling out for a set of carbon clinchers. Read the Bontrager RXL TLR Wheels review…

 

Headlamp: Black Diamond ReVolt

Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp - 2013 Gear of the Year

The BD ReVolt is eco-friendly, compact and actually brighter than the similarly sized Spot model.  We hate using batteries for headlamps anymore and if lamps like the ReVolt become the norm, we’ll never have to. Read the Black Diamond ReVolt review…

 

Ultralight Shell: Sherpa Adventure Gear Imja

Sherpa Adventure Gear Imja Jacket - 2013 Gear of the Year

This lightweight wonder has found itself in our back jersey pockets (road and MTB) so often, we should just keep it there. The protection offered by the Imja is outstanding and it weighs next-to-nothing. Love this jacket. Read the Sherpa Adventure Gear Imja Jacket review…

 

Technical Shell: Rab Myriad

Rab Myriad Jacket - 2013 Gear of the Year

Sporting Polartec NeoShell, the Rab Myriad breathes with aplomb and its technical features won us over in the backcountry. Read the Rab Myriad Jacket review…

 

Puffy Jacket: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket - 2013 Gear of the Year

Built with all the latest advancements in natural down insulation, the Ghost Whisperer set the bar high early in the year and maintained that position in spite of a smattering of challengers. Read the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Jacket review…

 

Sunglasses: Smith Pivlock V2 Photochromic

Smith Pivlock V2 Photochromic - 2013 Gear of the Year

The photochromic lenses on the new Pivlock V2’s makes these shades the most versatile on the market. Head out in the dark and the lenses are clear. As the sun rises, the lenses react instantly. Read the Smith Pivlock V2 Photochromic review…

 

Winter Boots: Teva Chair 5

Teva Chair 5 Winter Boots

The Teva Chair 5 winter boots are the most comfortable winter boots we’ve worn. You could dance in these things while still maintaining outstanding grip and warmth. Well done, Teva! Read the Teva Chair 5 review…

 

Trail Running Shoes: Pearl Izumi Trail N1

Pearl Izumi N1 Trail - 2013 Gear of the Year

We ran these shoes all over the Wasatch and even in rainforests in Puerto Rico and they always kept us smiling. The rockered soles are easy to love and the ultralight design makes for effortless running.  Read the Pearl Izumi Trail N1 review…

 

Water Filration: Platypus GravityWorks

Platypus GravityWorks 4L Water Filter - 2013 Gear of the Year

Never has clean water been so easily obtained in the backcountry. Just hang it up and go about your business. Then come back to pure drinking water for the next leg of your trip. Read the Platypus GravityWorks 4L review…

Written By

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground. Follow Jason Mitchell on Google+.