1. Zoic's Black Market ($69; zoic.com) quickly became our go-to shorts. The reasons: plenty of pockets, a loose but not baggy fit, and, most important, an inner short with a super-comfy chamois.
Mountain biking apparel
2. Thanks to its street-smart style and semi-fitted cut, Pearl Izumi's long-sleeve Launch jersey ($80; pearlizumi.com) proved to be just as popular.
3. Cannondale's water-resistant Morphis jacket ($110; cannondale.com) has a nifty trick: The removable sleeves are attached with magnets, so you can take them off in one pieceand one fluid movementon the fly.
4. With heat-moldable footbeds, carbon-reinforced soles, and removable toe spikes, Bontrager's RL Mountain shoes ($140; bontrager.com) are ready to rumble.
5. Kona's Chevron gloves ($30; kona.com) fit great right out of the gate, thanks in part to snugging Lycra gussets on the pointer and middle fingers.
6. Lazer's Nirvana helmet ($140; lazerhelmets.com) didn't rub any tester the wrong way. It was ventilated enough for the hottest rides, and the headband fit system proved super-secure and easy to tweak via a wheel on top.
7. While there are definitely cheaper shades out there, none offered up as crisp a viewor repelled mud and sweat as wellas Oakley's new Split Jackets ($200; oakley.com).
8. Osprey's new Raptor 14 hydration pack ($99; ospreypacks.com) has a slew of smart features, but we especially liked the super-slick helmet attachment and the semi-rigid, big-mouthed, easy-to-clean bladder.