Touch the Spirit

Window shopping is nice, but there's nothing like wrapping your fingers around the sharp, hard edges of a new pair of skis to spark the urge to give (or get). To help you savor the mood this holiday season we present the year's best bounty in all its lust-worthy forms. From the slickest bike to the toughest laptop, these are the gifts you'll want to have—a

Swiss Army's titanium-and-steel Ground Force 60/60 Chrono

TOUGH TIME: Swiss Army's titanium-and-steel Ground Force 60/60 Chrono. Click here for review

SLICK: Trek's Soho Commuter Bike

SLEEK: JVC's Everio GZ-MG30 Video Camera, Black Diamond's Spot Headlamp, Bakoda's Bentley Snowboard Multitool, Konica Minolta's DIMage X1 Digital Camera, and Swiss Army's Ground Force 60/60 Chrono Watch

FAST: Nordica's Hot Rod Top Fuel XBS Piston Controls Ski, K2's 6 Speeds and 6 Karat Poles, Giro's Streif Ski-Racing Helmet, Indigo's Snow Logic Shovel, and Brunton's Wind River Range

TOUGH: The Hummer Laptop

HARD: Grivel's X Monster Ice Tool, Surefire's U2 Ultra Flashlight, Garmin's Rino 530 GPS, Maverick's Speedball Seatpost, and Tag Heuer's Link Automatic Chronograph Watch

SOFT: Levi's 1880s Re-Issued "XX" Jeans

SMOOTH: Mammut's Transmission Hybrid Pro Jacket, The Balvenie 1971 Single Cask Scotch, Gregory's Diablo Currier Bag, and Blunderstone's Bloke 490 Boots

WET: Rip Curl's E-Bomb Wetsuit, Pentax's OptioWPI Digital Camera, Accent Paddles' Vision Series, and Sperry Top-Sider's Hydrofoil Sandals

AQUATIC: Wave Riding Vehicles Original Fish Surf Board, Chrome's Ivan Bag, Timex's Expedition E-Tide and Temp Watch, and Patagonia's Minimalist Board Shorts

Slick

Trek Soho
Trek's Soho

From the smartly concealed cables to the matte silver finish on its aluminum frame, Trek's nine-speed Soho is one handsome commuter. Disc brakes handle wet weather and a rubber bumper along the top tube provides lean-anywhere protection. Naturally, a stainless-steel coffee cup with bottle cage is included. $1,100; www.trekbikes.com








Sleek

JVC's Everio GZ-MG30 Video Camera, Black Diamond's Spot Headlamp, Bakoda's Bentley Snowboard Multitool, Konica Minolta's DIMage X1 Digital Camera, and Swiss Army's Ground Force 60/60 Chrono Watch

a) Homemade ski flicks just got a whole lot easier. JVC's Everio GZ-MG30 weighs less than a pound and stores more than ten hours of high-quality digital video on its hard drive (no tapes or discs!). A 25x zoom lets you catch your buddy's yard sale—from a safe distance. $900; www.jvc.com b) No, you don't have to look like a spelunker to see in the dark. Black Diamond's Spot headlamp delivers one watt of LED power in a tidy three-ounce package. $43; www.blackdiamondequipment.com c) From ratchet driver to bottle opener, Bakoda's Bentley is an indispensable snowboard tool in a pocket-friendly package. $35; www.bakoda.com d) Your friends won't know you were trembling when you snapped that grizzly pic, thanks to the antishake technology built into Konica Minolta's DiMage X1. It's also one of the sharpest point-and-shoots available, with eight-megapixel resolution. $500; www.kmpi.konicaminolta.us e) Tough out any adventure with Swiss Army's Ground Force 60/60 Chrono, which features a snazzy two-tone titanium-and-steel case. While you're out there, use the built-in tachymeter to navigate sans satellite. $575; www.swissarmy.com

Fast

Nordica's Hot Rod Top Fuel XBS Piston Controls Ski, K2's 6 Speeds and 6 Karat Poles, Giro's Streif Ski-Racing Helmet, Indigo's Snow Logic Shovel, and Brunton's Wind River Range

a) All-mountain skis always claim to do everything, but Nordica's Hot Rod Top Fuel XBS Piston Controls back it up with powder-perfect width, titanium-reinforced sidewalls for carving, and a binding system that keeps you balanced when the terrain gets out of control. $1,195, including bindings; www.nordicausa.com b) Chrome trim and leather grips make K2's 6 Speeds the sweetest-looking poles on the slopes. For her, get the 6 Karats, with faux-gem-topped handles for lift-line bling. $125; www.k2skis.com c) If you aspire to ski like a downhiller, get a brain bucket to match. Thanks to its wind-tunnel-tested design and input by pro skier Daron Rahlves, Giro's carbon-fiber-and-Kevlar Streif Ski-Racing Helmet will make you safer and faster. $150; www.giro.com d) A central rib makes the polycarbonate blade on Indigo's Snow Logic as stiff as metal. The slick integrated handle delivers a trim package and a quick setup when you need a shovel most—whether you're digging out an avalanche or building a kicker. $40; www.indigoequipment.com e) From tailgate to Timbuktu, Brunton's Wind River Range guarantees a hot brew in seconds. The aluminum-and-stainless stove cranks out 30,000 BTU under any conditions, and ceramic-coated burner heads offer flame control as precise as on your home range. $429; www.brunton.com

Tough

Hummer Laptop

Get the Hummer of laptops, literally. General Motors partnered with military supplier Itronix to create this hardbody computer. With its magnesium-alloy case, shock-resistant 80GB hard drive, and integrated wireless and optional GPS capabilities, the Hummer Laptop is the ultimate go-anywhere machine for the chronically connected. And the high cost of unleaded can't touch it. $2,988; www.hummerlaptops.com





Hard

Grivel's X Monster Ice Tool, Surefire's U2 Ultra Flashlight, Garmin's Rino 530 GPS, Maverick's Speedball Seatpost, and Tag Heuer's Link Automatic Chronograph Watch

a) Swing Grivel's revolutionary X Monster ice tool because of how damn cool it looks, then dedicate yourself to mastering the mixed rock-and-ice routes at which it excels. $125; www.grivelnorthmerica.com b) Need light, not excuses? Surefire's indestructible U2 Ultra flashlight is made from hard-anodized aluminum, has a long-life LED bulb, and at 80 lumens is four times as bright as a two-D-cell torch. $270; www.surefire.com c) Find your way—and your friends—with Garmin's Rino 530, a GPS and two-way radio hard-wired together so you can beam the location of a backcountry stash to partners up to 14 miles away. $536; www.garmin.com d) You don't have to be a bike geek to appreciate Maverick's SpeedBall, a hydraulic seatpost that subdues the hardest hills with three inches of on-demand height adjustment. $220; www.maverickbike.com e) You may not play like Tiger, but at least you can sport his timepiece, Tag Heuer's Link Automatic Chronograph . Don't be fooled by the Link's precision beauty; its case is cut from a block of solid steel. $2,795; www.tagheuer.com

Soft

Levi's 1880s Re-Issued XX

Own a piece of denim history with Levi's 1880s Re-Issued "XX." The limited-edition 100 percent cotton jeans are an exact replica of the oldest known Levi's model, which dates from about a decade after the company's 1873 founding. The jeans have the same cut as the legendary 501 but were called simply "XX" for "extra, extra" strong. Fittingly, only 501 numbered remakes were stitched together, and they all come well broken-in. $501; www.levi.com





Smooth

Mammut's Transmission Hybrid Pro Jacket, The Balvenie 1971 Single Cask Scotch, Gregory's Diablo Currier Bag, and Blunderstone's Bloke 490 Boots

a) With Schoeller Nano-Sphere technology protecting its Teflon-like exterior, Mammut's Transmission Hybrid Pro repels everything from sleet to barbecue sauce. A zip-in vest boosts warmth on long lift rides. $450; www.mammutusa.com b) Take one glorious sip of The Balvenie 1971 Single Cask—an exclusive single-malt culled from just four barrels—and you'll realize it's not so much an expensive Scotch as a bargain trip to Scotland. $599; www.thebalvenie.com c) Go ahead, cram your computer and running shoes into Gregory's Diablo. Its molded back panel is always comfortable against the hip, the smooth soft-shell fabric stretches without deforming, and its genius shoulder strap adjusts one-handed for any load. $99; www.gregorypacks.com d) Clear out the shoe closet. Blundstone's Bloke 490 leather boots will see you through a road trip on Route 66, a weekend in the Adirondacks, or a night out in Greenwich Village. $140; www.blundstoneusa.com

Wet

Rip Curl's E-Bomb Wetsuit, PEntax's OptioWPI Digital Camera, Accent Paddles' Vision Series, and Sperry Top-Sider's Hydrofoil Sandals

a) Every square inch of Rip Curl's E-Bomb wetsuit is made with the company's exclusive E2 Superstretch Neoprene, so if you have flexibility issues, better take up yoga. $270; www.ripcurl.com b) Packing for Hawaii? Pentax, a pioneer in weatherproof digitals, has just released the OptioWPi, a six-megapixel model that lets you take pictures, and even video, as deep as five feet underwater. $350; www.pentax.com c) If you have the paddling chops to hit the local water with a head-turning blade, make it Accent Paddles' Vision Series, which uses a unique carbon-inlaid-fabric construction to deliver strength and style. $275; www.accentpaddles.com d) The soles of Sperry Top-Sider's Hydrofoil sandals may look as if someone squeezed two giant dollops of toothpaste onto them, but those blobs cushion the feet and grip the deck of a boat in even the wildest seas. $70; www.sperrytopsider.com

Aquatic

Wave Riding Vehicles Original Fish Surf Board, Chrome's Ivan Bag, Timex's Expedition E-Tide and Temp Watch, and Patagonia's Minimalist Board Shorts

a) Where California surfers go, others are sure to follow. So the rest of the country will soon be snatching up Wave Riding Vehicles' Original Fish, an updated spin on a classic design. The Fish excels on small-to-medium waves, and since the board is easier to surf than modern potato-chip-thin shapes, everyone wins. $550; www.waveridingvehicles.com b) Chrome's Ivan combines dunk-worthy construction—a waterproof liner and roll-top closure—with a design that finally elevates the drybag above rubber-sack style. $155; www.chromebags.com c) There are tide watches, and then there's Timex's Expedition E-Tide & Temp, which looks classy enough to wear with a dress suit as well as a wetsuit. Its fourth watch hand points to the next high tide, plus air and water temps, at the touch of a button. $120; www.timex.com d) Old-school style meets new-school fabric in Patagonia's Minimalist Board Shorts , made with soft, durable recycled polyester. $55; www.patagonia.com

More Gear