CamelBak Skyline 10LR
Camelbak’s ‘Lowrider’ packs maintain a low center of gravity by keeping the bulk of the load over the hips. The new 10-liter-capacity lumbar pack called the Skyline carries a reservoir horizontally along the waistline. As the reservoir empties it can be cinched down and stabilized with straps that run from the inside of the pack out onto the waist. Pulling the straps tightens the reservoir to the waist, stabilizing it against the wearer’s back.
The hose secures to the shoulder strap with a magnetic ‘tube trap,’ and the pack has external capacity for both a half-shell helmet and light armor. There’s a fleece pocket to keep scratchable items un-scratched as well as a larger overflow cargo pocket which includes a tool roll. The waist straps each have a pocket: one side is zippered while the other is easily accessed via an envelope-style closure. There’s also a women’s version called the Solstice, which has ergonomically curved shoulder straps which use a softer Velvetex lining to reduce chafing. Both packs will retail for $130 when they become available in early 2016 and are primarily made of 70D/210D Ripstop nylon.
Scott Vivo Plus Helmet
For $129, Scott’s extended-coverage Vivo Plus comes with MIPS technology, an internal dial fit system and a two-position adjustable visor. The outer polycarbonate is fused with the helmet's impact-absorbent foam liner, creating a lightweight and less bulky outer shell. Venting appears to be generous, especially in the front and rear.
Dakine Hellion Knee Pads
The Hellion promises comfort on the way up and protection on the way down. The front and sides are Constructed of 2mm AriaprenePro for breathability and mobility, as is the mesh back panel which is open behind the knee. Polygiene odor control technology claims to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria, keeping your knees from rotting away inside the pads and reducing the need for excessive washing, which can break down the materials.
When it comes to padding, the Hellion features a low-profile, 3D-molded, CE-certified knee protector constructed of DK Impact foam, which is paired with side padding and internal patella support. A Velcro strap at the top of the pad gives the Hellion a foothold on your thigh. MSRP: $75
100% Aircraft Helmet
100% has developed a strong presence in mountain biking, sponsoring athletes like Sam Hill and UCI champ Loic Bruni. The lightweight helmet is contained by a carbon/Kevlar composite shell with 25 ventilation channels. The Aircraft sports intelligent safety features such as easily removable lower pads and is compatible with inflatable emergency release systems.
The size large we have at the office weighed in at 2.4 pounds and includes a soft-shell travel bag. More details here. MSRP: $400
100% Brisker Gloves
This low-profile glove is engineered to keep you going fast in cooler weather. The insulates soft-shell top hand is intended to keep your paws warm on damp, cool days while the single-layer Clarino Palm and silicone-printed palm graphics help maintain dexterity. The microfiber interior should keep your hands from getting clammy, and the thumb and forefinger are stitched for touch-screen compatibility. MSRP: $29.50
Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch II
The latest iteration of Pearl Izumi’s X-Alp shoe, like pretty much every other new shoe these days, is aimed at trail and all-mountain riders. You’d be forgiven for mistaking these for running shoes, but they’ve got all the stiffness you’d expect from a mountain-bike shoe thanks to their carbon fiber-infused shank. The mesh/synthetic upper is secured with a single Boa dial, which is rubberized for grip and turns in either direction to tighten or loosen. The dial isn’t the only grippy part of these kicks: the rubber-lugged outsole looks like it will make a perfect companion for our next hike-a-bike mission, and the EVA run-shoe foam in the midsole should go a long way towards keeping your feet fresh for the downhill. The toe box provides some lightweight protection from rock strikes, though it doesn’t feel as burly as what some other similar shoes offer. MSRP: $160