The best gear of 2010 — that’s a tall order to fill. At Gear.com we’ve been out testing gear all year long, and we’ve found some exceptional pieces of gear that have made the top of our list. But this is about choosing the best. So here they are, after having been tested and tried in the field, the best gear picks of 2010. Whether you get them for someone for Christmas, or you treat yourself by using some of that cash you get in Christmas cards from Mom & Dad, they’re sure to please. Below are our first ‘Editor’s Choice’ awards for 2010.
It’s evident that Patagonia’s former chief, Perry Klebahn, left a transformative footprint on Patagonia. User-led design thinking rules the day at Patagonia. Simplicity and function to the point of elegance. To the point where you wonder why you can’t live without a piece of Patagonia gear after you’ve used it a few times. That’s the way I am with my Patagonia Tsali trail running shoes, and the Nano Puff Pullover is no different. It is an insulating layer for the ultra weight- and space-conscious. And even if you don’t think much about space and weight, you’ll soon realize how valuable those characteristics are because all of a sudden you find that you get more days of use out of a piece of gear if it makes itself easy to bring along. A fatter puffy won’t keep you warm if you opt to leave the bulky thing in your closet most days. As stated by one tester, Eric Miller, “I love this jacket. It provides just enough insulation to keep you comfortable when it gets cool.”
Read Eric’s full review of the Nano Puff Pullover here.
This is one camera that you see mounted on the helmet of every ripper at Snowbird on big days. It can shoot more than 4 hours of 1080p video, and can run 2.5 hours on a single charge. Turn it on and off at the start of each downhill run, and you’re good for most of the day. The great thing is that you slap it into iMovie or whatever and it’s easy to edit (as opposed to Flip’s lame clunky interface — speaking from experience). The thing is, HD point-of-view (POV) video takes anyone right there with you. Get good light, good snow, and you may be the next sensation. As Adam said in his review, “For all those amateurs out there ready to “Go Pro”, I believe this camera will bring you to the next level. It can’t promise sponsors or face time with Sage, but it can deliver some serious HD footage of your mediocre skills. I’ve been playing with this camera for a couple weeks now and I had different results. Pretty much every company wants to sponsor me and all the TGR skiers are trying to ping me on twitter, sorry guys, no time. I wish.”
Read his full review here.
Goggles that don’t fog are always an elusive species for me. Smith and POC goggles have generally treated me right. But nothing has been perfect. Or if you find some that are fog-free, they sometimes won’t fit with a helmet. Well, Jason has found a Scott goggle that is a combination of both and they haven’t left his head for a year. Seriously — I haven’t seen him wear another pair of goggles since he got the Fix goggle from Scott. As Jason said, “Sweaty hikes, long traverses at Alta and hard-charging runs in deep powder… nothing has phased them. Fog-free goggles? Decidedly so thus far.”
For more info, read Jason’s full review here.
If Jason has kept the Scott Fix Goggle glued to his head for a year, I’ve done the same with the POC Skull Light XP ski helmet. I tend to flop between different helmet brands. I’ve had a number of Boeri and Giro helmets, and at least two models of Smith. But the POC Skull Light XP is the best-fitting helmet I’ve ever found for my dome. It has a material that feels snug without pinching — the inner circumference of the helmet is practically cylindrical, so it doesn’t give me pressure points like others. With many other helmets, I’ve had to get it so large so to avoid the forehead pinch that within a month or two it has compressed to be a sloppy fit. Not the POC helmet. I also like having a visor — gives your head more of a baseball cap look than a bowling ball look. My only real gripe? The visor can sometimes catch the wind like a sail. But hey — it’s removable, so if you don’t like it then take it off and you’ll still have the best-fitting helmet around.
Read my full review here.