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Best Gear of 2016

Happy New Year from GearGuide!

It’s time take our annual reflection on the great gear we had the privilege to try and review in the past year. A few products stood out from the rest, as always. These items scored a nine or better on our ten point scale. And they were consistently chosen for use even after they completed the initial tests. Below is that list in alphabetical order for running, biking, skiing, travel and more.

Adidas Response Astro Pant

The Adidas Response Astro Running Pants stand out because of their running specific features. The legs taper to zippered ankle. Inseam hits right above the ankle so as to not drag on the ground. Storage is accommodated with three pockets — two on the side seams and one on the right rear, all zippered. A few reflective accents and a drawstring waist complete the offering. About $55 at Amazon. Read more.

Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Hybrid Jacket

The Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Hybrid Jacket won us over with its solid detailing and perfect combo of stretch and insulation. It uses high-tech Primaloft Silver lofting. The sleeves and back are a combination polyester/spandex stretch fabric. It includes a storm hood that conceals in the jacket collar. Three pockets line the exterior including two handwarmers and a napoleon pocket with a headphone port. The IgniteLite Hybrid Jacket kept us warm down into the 30s. Available at Eddie Bauer. Read more.

Knog Blinder ARC Headlight

Knog is an Australian manufacturer that’s delivering some very impressive, robust and innovative products. The Blinder ARC 640 sits at the top of their line and provides a wide 640 lumen beam for use on your handlebars or mounted on your helmet. We liked the Knog ARC 640’s wider elliptical beam and the way Knog is building the Bluetooth charging connections into their devices. Instead of requiring a cable connection, all the Knog products we tested have a small tab that inserts directly into a charger. Pretty slick. MSRP is $129. Available on Amazon. Read more.

Nike Lunar Glide

Nike definitely took it up a notch or two with the LunarGlide 7. It’s more comfortable, lighter weight and frankly better looking than its predecessor. The ride improves with a less firm EVA midsole and cushy Lunarlon across the forefoot. The only missed opportunity for improvement is the outsole that doesn’t quite cut it on the wet or trail. If you’re a road runner looking for a well-turned-out trainer or weekend racer, the Nike LunarGlide 7s are hard to beat. Find them at Amazon. Read more.

Whyte T-130 RS Mountain Bike

We’re sold on the consumer-direct model. We’re also sold on the Whyte T-130. This machine really delivers. Price-wise, it’s a real value. And it comes with just about every bell and whistle including 1×11 transmission, dropper, high-end fork, tubeless-ready tires and much more. Our demo was a 2016 kit and the company made a number of component swaps for 2017. They arrive in the US in limited quantities, so if you’re serious about finding a consumer-direct ride, visit Whyte Bikes. Read more.

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