Top Gear for Hiking and Biking

By Foot

It’s fall. The best time to enjoy those crisp, blue mornings hiking out on Colorado’s trails. So slip into our picks for best hiking gear of the season and get out there before the snow flies.

1. Puffy: Montbell Superior Down Parka

There are tons of insulated jackets out there, so how to choose just one for hiking and backpacking trips this fall? Weighing in at just 8.7 ounces and beefed up with lofty 800-fill Power Goose Down, this puffy topped our test. It’s light and compactible enough to hide away in your pack, but offers up all the warmth you need when things get chilly. $159;


2. Poles: Black Diamond Alpine FLZ

It seems silly to have two sets of poles: one for trekking and one for skiing. No fear. Simply swap out the baskets here depending on the season. Either way, these are some impressive sticks. BD’s Z system makes it easy to deploy them or pack them away, and they weigh in at just one pound, five ounces per pair. $140;


3. Women’s Hiker: La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX

We loved Sportiva’s men’s Core GTX so much we gave it a Peak Gear Award in June, so it’s no surprise this lower women’s version impressed our female testers. It’s also built with Gore’s Surround technology, which breathes and provides waterproofing through the whole shoe, and it hits the ideal balance between comfort and support. $180;


4. Men’s Hiker: Oboz Firebrand II BDry

The Firebrand II is that shoe you most want to take on a road trip since it does just about everything well. The beefy sole sticks to slickrock but will also crush through dirt. It has a low profile, but it provides plenty of stability. And, it looks casual enough to hang out at the brew pub. $140;

Oboz.Firebrand II

5. Shirt: Stio Buckhorn

If you like to fly the flannel, this will be your new go-to shirt. That’s because the Buckhorn (which Stio claims is worn by all its Jackson-based employees) is lined with a warm layer of micro-fleece that cuts the autumn chill. $165;


6. Pants: Ternua Taupo

Spanish brand Ternua has just begun to bring its stylish technical apparel over from Spain to the U.S. We were impressed by these Schoeller hiking pants that felt light enough for fall hikes but could also work for nordic ski tours in winter. Look for them coming soon.


7. Socks: Fits Light Hiker Rocky Mountain National Park

Fits partnered with The National Park Foundation to help support one of our favorite stomping grounds, Rocky Mountain National Park, with this light sock that combines wool and nylon for a comfy feel and … well, fit. $20;


8. Pack: Deuter 28L Airlite

Combining airy mesh and a light frame system, this day pack gives the best of both worlds— it allows airflow over your back (and the shoulder and hip straps are also built from breathable mesh) but it still has the structure to haul bigger loads without getting all floppy. In fact, it was light enough to serve as a pack for bike trips, too. $119;

Studio für Werbefotografie Augsburg/Würzburg/Hamburg. Professionelle Photographie in den Bereichen Image, People, Stills, Industrie & Architektur.

By Wheel

Whether you plan on commuting to work this fall or racing in mud and cold in ’cross season, we have the gear that will help you do (or get to) the job.

1. Jacket: Smartwool PhD Propulsion 60

Meet your new favorite cold-weather training layer. Smartwool put just enough merino insulation in the front of this top to ward off the cold while providing stretch fabric in the sleeves that won’t impede your rapidly moving bod. That made for the ideal insulator for high-output activities ranging from ‘cross riding to fast-paced hiking. $260;


2. Shirt: ThreadsmithS Cavalier

You know cotton kills, but damn does it feel good against your skin. Well, Australian brand Threadsmiths has created a technical cotton in this tee. A hydrophobic nanotechnology application shucks off water and spills that would otherwise stain, making it the ideal shirt for the transition from bike commute, to office, to bar. $55;


3. Cyclocross: Giant TCX Advanced Pro 1

With a handcrafted composite frame that tips the scales at just over two pounds, five ounces, this is the machine that can help get you to the podium. Add in hydraulic disc brakes and Ultegra Di2 1×11-speed electronic shifting, and this baby handles like butter. At under five grand, it’s reasonably priced for a race bike, but if that’s still too rich for you, the Pro 2 model rings in at $2,700 without the electronic shifting. $4,500;

TCX Advanced Pro 1_Comp&White

4. Energy: Further Fuel + Caffeine

We are going to warn you right now: It is too easy to gobble down this stuff, so try to stick to the recommended three chews per day. That serving will provide you with 1,200 mcg of B12, 750 mg of L-Tyrosine and 150 mg of Essentra, plus a jolt of caffeine equal to a cup of coffee. $15:

further fuel packaging with caffeine

5. Cargo Commuter: Xtracycle EdgeRunner 24D

Got a lot to haul to work in those new bike lanes all the drivers are complaining about. With a sturdy-but-not-too-heavy Chromoloy steel frame and a 20-inch rear wheel that gives this station wagon of cruiser bikes extra stability, the utilitarian EdgeRunner can haul up to 250 pounds of gear (or three kiddos). $1,999;


6. Pack: Green Guru Ruckus 30L

It’s easy to get behind a responsible company like Green Guru. After all, the Boulder-based brand uses upcycled bicycle inner tubes and waterproof truck tarpaulin fabric to craft this urban cool pack. But the real sell is how well the pack carries everything you need for the office and keeps it protected from splashes and storms. $150;


7. EBike Commuter: Faraday Porteur 5

Sure you have heard of eBikes. Perhaps you have even hopped aboard one and become a convert once you felt how smoothly they operate, but the price has long been a barrier to actually purchasing one. You may want to reconsider that stance: Faraday set out to build affordable eBikes and this 39-pound, belt-drive, five speed beauty, powered (when you want it) by a pedal-assist motor that will last for about 20 miles of riding, could be first eBike you buy. $2,799;


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