All the Gear We're Currently Using to Ride, Climb, Run, and More
Staying fit in the middle of winter is hard. This stuff makes it easier.
We're using the upcoming President's Day holiday—and all the sales that come with it—as an excuse to round up some of our favorite gear for staying active. Here's all the stuff we're currently obsessed with.
Garmin Fenix 5 ($584)
For physical types, I think the Garmin Fenix the best smart watch on the market. I have used the run tracking and training functions for my NYC marathon training, and it was outstanding. The dual GPS and Glonass systems ensures you get tracking quickly, and the heart rate monitor is very good. My two favorite features are the Training Effect (aerobic and anaerobic) and the Training Status (Productive, Recovery, Peaking, Unproductive etc). I also used the watch to track skiing days, and it shines there as well: It tracks number of runs, distance traveled, total descent, average speed, maximum speed, and more. You turn it on once, and it figures out when you are skiing versus on the lift. On top of all that, it looks great. Note that the Fenix line is a more lifestyle play for Garmin, so if you are going for absolute performance, the Forerunner 935 is half the weight and has all the same features.
Specialized S-Works Enduro 27.5 ($8,500)
The S-Works Enduro is the top Enduro model for Specialized, and it is nothing short of outstanding. The carbon fiber frame makes it very light, and all the components are top notch—particularly the Ohlins suspension. We tested it in both downhill and trails and it was handled both terrains with ease. It's a very smooth and light climber; the suspension doesn't bounce. And it is precise and very fast downhill. The Command Wu seat post is also a nice addition that angles up when you lower the seat. The only bummer is the frame shape makes it very difficult to put on a traditional bike rack. That's probably not reason enough to stay away from this fantastic enduro weapon.
Thule Subterra Carry-On & Travel Backpack
This combo of carry-on and travel backpack is outstanding. They are individually excellent pieces of luggage. But they can be combined in one efficient traveling apparatus where you never have to check a bag again. I am also a big fan of the design. The Thule Subterra Carry-On 36L features an internal compression panel that allows you to pack a ton in there. And the Carry-on Duffel 40L can be used as a shoulder bag or a backpack. It has a sleeve in the back to be able to slide it on top of the other carry on. A powerful traveling combo.
Altra Torin IQ ($198)
Altra Torin IQ, Men's Road Running Shoe was my go to shoe for marathon training, and on race day and it made me an Altra convert. Altra running shoes are my new top pick because they feature everything I look for in a running shoe: wide toe box, zero drop between heel and toe, flexible soles. But they are also very comfortable and give me very few blisters. Out of the Altra line up, I love the Torin IQ because it also provides a bit of cushioning for the longer runs and it is a smart shoe: it tracks your foot cadence so you can optimize toward 180 steps/minute and shows you if you have any imbalances. This is how I learned that I was favoring my left side, which could lead to injuries. I corrected this with single-leg exercises and the shoes confirmed that all was back to normal after a couple of weeks. Highly recommended
Sweet Protection Grimnir TE Helmet ($409.95)
The Grimnir helmet from Sweet Protection is amazing. It's Sweet Protection's top of the line helmet, and is the pro model for legendary rider Terje Haakonsen (which says a lot). It is made of pre-preg carbon fiber which makes it very strong (plus, it looks cool). It's also super comfortable, with a smooth fit, at least for my head. The comfort comes from quality materials all around, including the chin strap. The ear flaps keep my ears warm and comfortable without compromising the hearing. This model is equipped with MIPS, a technology we see more and more in motorcycle helmets, that reduces rotational forces during a crash. The Grimnir will be my go-to helmet going forward.
La Sportiva Katana Lace
The Katana lace is a new iteration of a legendary La Sportiva shoe, and is a fantastic all around climbing shoe. While you could potentially find a better shoe specialized for bouldering, or another one specialized for sports climbing, the Katana lace would be my pick as a one-shoe quiver. It's a high-performance shoe that feels at ease in all situations: challenging edging, heel and toe hooking, smearing, and more. It is also relatively comfortable for a high-performance shoe.
Midland X-Talker T71VP3 Two-Way Radio ($79.99)
The Midland x-talker T71VP3 two-way radio has become our go-to walkie. On car shoots we need to have clear, open communication between driver and camera car, and the Midland has done a bang-up job. Their range lasted for the entirety of Monticello Motor Club (around 2 miles) and Lime Rock Park (around 1.5 miles) with no break-ups. Off-roading in the woods, where radio transmission signal could be interrupted by trees, our mic’d up host, with the included ear/mic piece, always came in loud and clear. The monoliths of New York City were the one problem that gave us a few break-ups, but overall these things are pretty bulletproof for a good price.