With plenty of gear at our disposal this year, there are a handful of pieces that stand out as winners. They were the bikes that stuck around longer than the allotted test period or jackets that made it into the back of the Subaru as a permanent fixture of every day adventures. That’s the standard and these are the winners of the 2016 Gear of the Year.

Bontrager Aeolus 3 TLR Disc Wheelset

Tons of wheelsets come in for testing throughout any given year, but none have performed quite as well as the Bontrager Aeolus 3’s. With a 19.5mm internal width and tubeless-ready out of the gate, these roll like champs and slice through the wind while reducing road chatter. Read the review…

 

BMC Roadmachine 02 Ultegra

The new Roadmachine is an unbelievable bike that lives up to the hype. The beauty of the Roadmachine is how well it does everything without needing any gimmicks. It’s a straight-up Swiss rocket that delivers a smooth, yet responsive ride and happens to have disc brakes. Look for this one under the BMC Pro Team this season. Read the review…

 

SRAM Red eTap

After many years of development, SRAM’s Red eTap is currently the “most wanted” piece of kit on the planet. This wireless groupset shifts so well and feels so good, I’ve been soured on every other groupset on the market — really. Read the review…

 

Scott Road RC Shoes

Dual BOA laces and comfortable uppers make these excellent companions for long days in the saddle. Couple that with a stiff racing sole and every pedal stroke will propel you forward. Read the review…

 

Hincapie Rosdel Kit

Hincapie really delivered with the Rosdel kit. The whole deal fits well on long rides and offers excellent visibility to stay safe on the roads. Read the review…

 

3T Exploro

This bike is unreal. I mean, it’s a straight-up road bike, but can be configured to accept 2.1 mountain bike tires. Crush it on your local road climb, then head out on the trails or gravel for all-day adventures. The Exploro truly blew my mind. Read the review…

 

Westcomb Stratum Zip Pullover

Polartec’s PowerWool, coupled with premium Canadian design and craftsmanship, make the Stratum one of the best midweight layers available. Plus it’s incredibly soft. Read the review…

 

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker with SpeedValve

The NeoAir Trekker with SpeedValve gets bonus points for innovation *and* durability *and* comfort *and* American manufacturing. What more could you want? Read the review…

 

Outdoor Research Uberlayer Jacket

2016 saw many good active insulators hit the market, but for my money the Uberlayer is the best of the lot at this point. It’s a midweight that can replace a puffy but breathes better than a puffy every could. Read the review…

 

Cotopaxi Inca 26L Backpack

This highly-functional daypack has a ton going on to make it so awesome. Cotopaxi does a ton of philanthropy in addition to making some great gear. The Inca 26L is a great pack that has proven itself with tons of storage and excellent versatility. Read the review…

 

Mountain Hardwear Supercharger

In the Northwest, moisture is a reality. So the Supercharger’s coupling of hydrophobic down and strategic synthetic insulation in an ultralight package is a winner for shoulder-season ascents where big warmth is needed. Read the review…

 

Altra Superior 2.0

Sticking with what works, the Altra Superior 2.0’s don’t stray that far from the original, but still manage to deliver improvements on all levels. These were used to tackle the Castle Peak 100 Ultra and deliver excellent grip on all manner of dirt. Read the review…

 

Redesigned Arc’teryx Alpha SV

This one is a duh. The Alpha is widely regarded as the best alpine shell available. We get an ultralight, minimalist shell that’s as strong and as light as possible. It’ll set you back a pretty penny, but it’s also made in Canada. Not bad, eh? Read the review…

 

Outdoor Research Realm Jacket

Outdoor Research Realm Jacket Review

I was pleasantly surprised by the Realm. I didn’t have big expectations for the AscentShell fabric but it proved its worth on multiple outings in the Cascades. Plus, it looks really good. Read the review…

 

Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover

Patagonia revised their already-stellar Nano Puff lineup with what they call “change for good.” Using new PrimaLoft Gold Eco for a lighter environmental impact, the Nano Puff Pullover now delivers more performance in a friendlier package. Read the review…

 

Thule Stir 35

Thule is continuing their foray into the world of backpacks and 2016 saw new, fresh designs coming from the company. While we didn’t love their heavy haulers, their daypacks quickly became our go-to for functionality, durability and style. Read the 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.

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