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 we’ve been sharing a different staffer’s choices for their favorite gear of the year. Today’s picks are from Stephen Haynes, the art director of our sister magazing Bicycle Times.
Eagles Next Outfitters single nest hammock – $55
Whether backpacking, bikepacking, or car camping, this little hammock should be on along for the trip. This nylon wonder has a weight capacity of 400lbs. and packs into a self-contained compression bag, which doubles an accoutrements bag when in sleep mode. Two carabineers on either end of the hammock attach to rope or webbing that (you have to supply this bit) you throw around a tree, anchor in a rock or whatever; I’ve seen people attach one side of the hammock to a car roof rack and the other to a tree— versatile! Sleeping in the hammock is great, especially if you dislike sleeping on the hard ground. With the addition of a sleeping bag and ENO’s rainfly, you’re good to go for three seasons of outdoor adventure!
Jeff Jones frameset – $750
As the name implies, Jones’ steel Diamond frame is a more traditional frame that utilizes his signature Spaceframe geometry, making for an incredible bike in a less expensive package. The Jones fork uses 135mm hubs, front and rear, and has clearance 29x 2.55 or 26x 4.7 fat tires. An upright riding position may have you shouting “I’ll get you my pretty!” but this All-mountain La-Z-Boy is comfortable, nimble, forgiving, and capable of doing much more than it’s subdued black finish would imply. Whether tearing up singletrack after work, or carrying you and your gear on a bikepacking trip, the Jones Diamond frame can do it all.