With 2015 coming to a close, it’s time to reflect on the best gear we’ve seen this year. These are the items that we still use or dream of using every day. After a full year of testing, here is the best gear of 2015.

Orbea Orca M-Team

Orbea Orca M-Team Review

Redesigned for 2015, the Orbea Orca M-Team felt immediately comfortable. This World Tour frameset is not only fast and responsive, but it is also a civil handler with a quiet ride. Read the Orca review…

 

Bontrager Velocis Road Shoes

Bontrager Velocis Road Shoes Review

This year, Bontrager revamped their road shoe line — adding BOA lacing technology to more shoes than ever. The Velocis offers all the goodness of a top-shelf road racing shoe, but at a much lower price point. Read the Velocis review…

 

Patagonia Long Haul Western Shirt

Defying common logic, the Patagonia Long Haul Western Shirt is actually quite comfortable for ultrarunning. It breathes quite well and offers versatile style for on/off the trail. Read the Long Haul review…

 

Salomon Snowcross CS Running Shoes

Salomon Snowcross CS Review - Running in Corner Canyon

When the snow and trail conditions are right, there’s not better option than the Salomon Snowcross CS trail running shoes. With grippy, studded outsoles and built-in booties, these live in the back of the Subaru all winter for impromptu snowy trail runs. Read the Snowcross review…

 

Bontrager Flare R Light

Bontrager Flare R Review

From the day the Flare R taillight arrived, it went on the current test bike. It has then subsequently been on every ride since — and why not? It blinks so brightly, it can be seen at midday and perhaps provides just a little bit of extra visibility on busy streets. Read the Flare R review…

 

Louis Garneau Course Wind Pro Jersey

Climbing American Fork Canyon in Jan 2015

With Polartec Wind Pro, the Course Wind Pro Jersey cuts the wind while maintaining a high level of warmth — more than you’d imagine. But, it’s not just warm, it sheds rain and snow with aplomb. Read the Course Wind Pro review…

 

Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

If you’re someone like me who runs warm no matter the conditions, this piece is essential. If not, and you’re simply looking for a versatile piece that’s suitable for crag climbing, mountaineering and all sorts of challenges, you’ll be hard pressed to find something more comfortable. Outdoor Research has designed a winner, and it’s earned a prominent place in my gear closet. Read the Deviator review…

 

Rab Muztag Jacket

Rab Muztag Jacket Review

Frankly, if it rains in the Pacific Northwest there’s a good chance that the jacket I’m wearing will wet out by the combination of sweat and rain. So, why not have a lightweight jacket that dries quickly and, for those rare times when the rain is only moderate, will still keep me dry? More generally, the Muztag is an excellent offering for anyone seeking an exceptionally breathable shell to take into the mountains, provided it’s not monsoon season. Read the Muztag review…

 

MSR Windburner Stove

MSR Windburner Stove Review

The Windburner is a stove that makes a lot of sense. Wind has long been an enemy for hungry folks trying to melt ice or cook dinner, and MSR’s design thoroughly solves the wind problem. Read the Windburner review…

 

Sierra Designs Tensegrity 1 FL Tent

Sierra Designs Tensegrity 1 FL Tent Review

Sierra Designs continues to impress with their lineup of innovative tents and gear. This time, the remarkably light Tensegrity 1 FL shines as a full-featured single-person shelter. You will need trekking poles to pitch this tent, but if that’s part of your hiking kit already, the Tensegrity 1 FL is one of the most livable one-person tents on the market. Read the Tensegrity 1 FL review…

 

Smith Overtake MIPS Road Helmet

Smith Overtake MIPS Helmet Review

It’s not an overstatement to say that Smith’s Overtake has taken the helmet world by storm. It’s become my go-to lid for both road and cyclocross endeavours, and the peace of mind that comes with having a helmet designed with such a high premium on protection is enormous. Fortunately, Smith didn’t stop there and it’s also competitive in every category, even if it doesn’t lead in all categories. No doubt it’s the sort of thing that you can promote as necessary protective gear when friends and loved ones start asking about what to put beneath that Christmas tree. Read the Overtake MIPS review…

 

Monki Bars Bodyweight Training System

monkii bars line and plug

For hikers, campers, and trail runners, there’s really no excuse to avoid strength training anymore.  The monkii bars bodyweight system should be in every serious outdoor fitness enthusiast’s workout repertoire. Read the Monkii bars review…

 

Topo Runventure Trail Running Shoes

Topo Runventure, in cleaner times

The Topo Runventure trail runners combine the core values of minimalism – lightweight and flexible materials, anatomic foot shape, and a relatively flat platform – with modern shoe construction that allows high performance for high intensity or long duration activity.  Read the Runventure review…

 

Santa Cruz Stigmata CC

scStigmataAF

The Stigmata is a bit of a journeyman in that it can do a little bit of everything, but that’s what makes it so much fun. Yes, it can be your only bike — even if you spend most of your time on the road. But, if you want for adventure, the Stigmata won’t let you down. Hit some gravel or a local CX race without skipping a beat. Read the Stigmata review…

 

Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 Trail Running Shoes

Pearl Izumi Trail N2 V2 Review

Yes, it’s OK to talk about cushioning again. The new Trail N2’s offer excellent cushioning and overall comfort with the smooth stride of a rockered sole. Great traction, excellent comfort and supreme breathability put the N2’s on the short list. Read the EM Trail N2 review…

 

About Author

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.

3 Comments

  1. You have one of the best if the not the best gear review websites out there… Always honest and appreciate that you actually provide a thorough, thought out review. So thank you from all of us that enjoy visiting your site daily!

    On a side note. You reviewed some pretty awesome Mountain Bikes this year. To be honest, I’m surprised that one didn’t make the list…

    • Thanks for your kind words and loyal readership! This year was a bit thin on MTB’s, but some good ones for sure. Just not any this year that were GOY worthy.

      Last year was packed with the SC Tallboy and Yeti ASR Carbon. Those have set a high bar!

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