By the Dirt Rag staff
This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.
That’s not how we roll. Instead, we asked each staffer to select two items that they had experience with and would wholeheartedly recommend to fellow a mountain biker. Real riders, honest recommendations, realistic prices—the way it should be.
Each day for the next two weeks we’ll be sharing a different staffer’s choices for their favorite gear of the year. Today’s picks are from Online Editor Adam Newman.
Pearl Izumi sun protection – $20 arms, $40 legs
For the fair-skinned among us, protection from the sun isn’t something to mess around with. Sunscreen can do the job for a few hours, but when I’m out riding all day, I need something that won’t sweat off. I wore these sun sleeves, and sometimes the leg covers, on long rides this summer and can’t recommend them enough. Once they’re on you forget they’re there, and don’t feel any extra warmth. I’ll trade getting a few funny looks for other cyclists for a painful burn—or worse—any day. They’re available in white or black, for your arms or legs.
Timbuk2 Race Duffel – $139
I was always carrying my mountain bike stuff around in an old backpack until I got this bag. Now I don’t know how I did it. With large pockets on either end for your clean or dry clothing, a huge center section that can swallow helmets and shoes, plus detachable backpack straps, it’s a great way to keep your gear organized and accessible. There are two external water bottle pockets, and if your gear is slimy, the TPU liner is waterproof and easy to clean. Available in small or medium, in black or green.
Lazer Solid-State photo-chromatic glasses – $90
After meeting someone who lost his sight in one eye mountain biking – it involved a crash and a stick, don’t ask—I vowed to never ride without eye protection again. Too many sunglasses I found were too dark for riding under a woody canopy, but clear lenses didn’t offer any protection from glare. These shades from Lazer adjust to the lighting conditions quickly enough that I never even notice the transition. I can see well in the bush and still get some comfort when the trail pops out into the sunshine. It’s nice not having to think about which glasses to grab anymore. You can even fit a prescription lens adapter.