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’ll be sharing a different staffer’s choices for their favorite gear of the year. Today’s picks are from General Manager and Photographer Justin Steiner.
Wingnut Packs – $65 to $245
Wingnut’s Hyper 3.0 pack is my go-to pack when I’m not testing something else, and the same can be said for nearly half the Dirt Rag staff. My love for Wingnut revolves around their Low Rider pack positioning, which places the packs weight on low on your hips, rather than high on your shoulders. If that isn’t enough, they’re made in the US from quality, waterproof sailcloth.
RxGoggle – $145
RxGoggle’s optical docking vision correction system is by far the best solution I’ve found for goggle wearers. From my experience, contacts dry out, while wearing glasses and goggle is pain in the ass—not to mention the risk of breaking your glasses in a crash. RxGoggle’s offers adapter to fit most major goggle brands. $145 gets you the adapter with your prescription lenses installed. When it’s time to update your prescription, send in you old lenses and adapter and the new setup costs just $100. Made in the USA.
2×2 Moto Rack – $298
When I reviewed 2×2’s Motorcycle Bike Rack just last issue, I fell in love with the ability to combine pedaling and motoring. This US-made, off-the-shelf solution is the perfect gift for the two-wheeled junkie in your household. Can be fit to nearly any make and model of moto without permanent modification. 2×2 also sells a golf bag rack so you can carry your clubs on two wheels too.
Pelican 1015 Micro Case – $22
Sure, you can keep your fancy smartphone dry inside a plastic baggy, but I’ve always been worried about crushing mine in a crash. Pelican’s 1015 case offers me the peace of mind that it’ll keep my phone dry and in one piece. I’m able to put my phone, small money clip, and car key inside all at once. It’s a nice stocking stuffer that might just save hundreds of dollars in the right situation. Pelican also offers the i1015, which offers a water resistant external headphone jack for $40. Molded and assembled in the US.
Cartecay Bike Shop Changing Kilts – $70
A changing kilt may seem like a strange Holiday gift, but consider just how many pasty-white bum sightings you’ll be sparing. We discovered Terry Palmeri’s changing kilts on our Georgia two years ago, read that story in issue #149. Palmeri hand makes all her kilts out of 100 percent cotton flannel. Spending $70 for a kilt might seem steep, but you’ll get years of use out of it, and it’s a whole lot cheaper than a fine for indecent exposure. I’m at a loss when I forget to pack my Palmeri kilt. Handmade in the USA.
The North Face Indylite Jacket – $99
The North Face’s Indylite Jacket is made of 2.5-layer HyVent mini-ripstop material, which has a wonderfully light feel. This jacket is said to be water-resistant, but turns away water better than anything I’ve worn lately. With it’s mesh underarm panels and cape vent back panel, the Indylite wears very light, indeed. Perhaps best of all, this jacket zips into its own back pocket for storage—just toss the tiny-for-a-jacket bundle in your pack for a rainy day. This one is well worth the asking price.