Ultrarunning

Strange but true: It feels good to run all day. Prep yourself with this go-far gear.

ultrarunning

1. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Anorak // Weather insurance is not like life insurance: In this case you want as little as possible. Make it the four-ounce Ghost, which squashes down smaller than a grapefruit but repels light rain or a stiff breeze. $85; mountainhardwear.com

2. Patagonia Airius T-Shirt // This quick-drying, breathable poly-nylon shirt eliminates nightmare chafing with flat seams in key zones—where your pack straps hit and between your arms and sides. $46; patagonia.com

3. GoLite Mesh Cap // Get 2.5 ounces of portable shade with this mesh cap. It has an inner sweat liner and a glare-beating brim. $20; golite.com

4. Dean Karnazes Signature Edition Sole // Heat-moldable, alignment-correcting footbeds add critical long-mileage support. Bonus: A portion of the proceeds goes to Karno Kids, a foundation that addresses childhood obesity. $50; yoursole.com

5. Nathan Sports HPL #020 // Think of it as a moving aid station, on your chest. The superlight (six-ounce) HPL has room for essential stuff—pickles, M&Ms, shell, etc.—and two liters of liquid. Independently moving shoulder straps keep sloshing to a minimum. $80; nathansports.com

6. Sugoi Vulcan // Mesh paneling and lining on these shorts keep you cool. And you can cram up to six gel packets into the three back pockets. $38; sugoi.com

7. The North Face Arnuva 100 TR // Thanks to a shock-damping polymer in the heel and forefoot and a unique rear-foot compression cage, the Arnuva absorbs impact better than standard trail runners. And you'll bless the roomy toe box when your feet swell. $110; thenorthface.com

Triathlon

Stay ahead of the pack with this go-fast gear

triathlon

1. Zoot Sports Zenith // By using 2mm rubber and adding 3mm panels in key areas, this wetsuit offers superior insulation and buoyancy without compromising flexibility. $600; zootsports.com

2. Zipp Speed Weaponry 343 // Ride the middle ground between deep-section rims and shallow climbing wheels. The 343 delivers low weight and aerodynamics, with a more shallow-profile front wheel and a deeper rear. Available in clincher or tubular. Clincher, $1,950; 744 grams (front), 884 grams (rear); zipp.com

3. Profile Design Lightning Stryke // Unique aero-bar extensions emanate from a single point, reducing material and offering a strong aero position. $180, 375 grams; profile-design.com

4. Specialized TriVent Shoe // Key ingredients: breathable mesh uppers, two-strap security, a pull-on heel hook, and silver bottoms that reflect the pavement's radiant heat. $160; specialized.com

5. Fuel Belt Helium 4 // Refuel without breaking stride: This reflective hydration belt gives you instant access to 32 ounces of fluids stored in four hand-size eight-ounce bottles. $45; fuelbelt.com

6. Selle San Marco Aspide Triathgel // This seat's tried-and-true design now has a thicker nose, with plenty of gel, for ultimate comfort while in the time-trial position. $200, 185 grams; sellesanmarco.com

7. Orca Killa Tri Suit // Choose this one-piece when wetsuits aren't allowed. It acts like a second skin, allowing moisture to escape while repelling water. $275; orca.com

8. Giro Advantage 2 // With this ventilated lid descended from pro models, you'll blur by competitors in good style. $150; giro.com

Climbing

Seven reasons your climbing this year will be better than last

climbing gear

1. Black Diamond Demon Pack // Consider this a sleek reincarnation of the classic, durable klettersack. It easily fits a rope, a rack, and all sundries. $120; bdel.com

2. Edelrid Eddy // This auto-locking belay device feeds rope smoothly, accepts cords down to 9 mm, and features an emergency lockout so your belayer can't drop you. The drawback: It's heavier than a Petzl GriGri—and twice as expensive. $140; edelrid.de

3. Black Diamond VaporLock // Weighing just 1.8 ounces, this locking 'biner offers the same smooth action and high strength ratings as the company's standard models, but with about a third less heft. $14

4. Five Ten Dragon // This soft, radically downturned lace-up fits much better than its previous iteration with Velco and is perfect on steep rock, thanks to the generous slathering of sticky Stealth HF rubber. $130; fiveten.com

5. Flashed Ronin // Get over the sticker shock. This pad's revolutionary innards—it employs 432 extremely durable independent cells of air—justify the price. It packs down small enough to avoid airlines' oversize-baggage fees. $410; flashed.com

6. Petzl Fuse 9.4 // No need to worry about kinking up your new rope first time out. The Fuse (and the company's entire new line of ropes) is unspooled in the factory and shipped in a mountaineer's coil. Brilliant! $210 for 60 meters; petzl.com

7. Scarpa Spectro // Designed by climbing-shoe ace Heinz Mariacher, the Spectro is a semi-stiff high-performance edging shoe that's as precise as any shoe out there, without the pain caused by foot cramping. $125; scarpa.com

Open-Water Swimming

Who needs a boat when you can cross the ocean under your own power?

Open-Water Swimming

1. Nike Challenger II // Smoke-tinted lenses subdue the sun's glare, while a wide-view design allows enough peripheral vision to spot other swimmers. Plus, an adjustable nosepiece and wide head strap fit snugly with or without a swim cap. $13; nike.com

2. Quintana Roo HydroJohn // The sleeveless HydroJohn keeps your core toasty without restricting shoulder movement. Bonus: The 5mm neoprene padding in the hips and thighs lends extra buoyancy and helps improve form. $299; rooworld.com

3. Bodyglide Sun Screen Stick // Two-for-one protection: In addition to being SPF 25, this all-natural, unscented lube eliminates friction at chafing hot spots like under your armpits and around the neckline of your wetsuit. $9 (1.3 oz); bodyglide.com

4. TYR Pull Float // Take this to the pool and train your upper body by immobilizing your legs. $11; tyr.com

5. Finis zoomers z2 // Use these fins during pool sessions to promote a quick kick. $40; finisinc.com

6. Speedo XD Skin Jammer // You're training for a triathlon, but you'd rather not look like you're training for a triathlon. The Jammer's supersleek and stretchy nylon-based fabric is race-day fast, while its mid-thigh-length cut keeps you decent. $74; speedousa.com

7. TYR Aqua Shift Cap // A drag-reducing design (called Tripwire) helps your head slice through the water with less resistance. Tip: Get one in a bright color to increase your visibility in crowded waters. $12

8. TYR Streamline Training Board // Improve your kick and lower-body strength with this lap-swimming tool. $15

9. TYR Warmwear Cap // Made of silicone-coated Lycra and cut to cover your ears, the Warmwear is toastier than a traditional swim cap, making it a must-have for those chilly early-morning training sessions. $16

Safari

Just booked the wildlife trip of a lifetime? Get gear to match.

safari gear

1. Scotte 237D // Ernest Hemingway meets Bill Gates. With 33 pockets, this weather-shedding convertible jacket/vest stows binos, camera, field guides, iPod, GPS, multitool . . . you get the picture. $160; scottevest.com

2. Royal Robbins Extreme Expedition Long-Sleeve Shirt // With its ventilated back and 40+ UPF sun protection, this ripstop nylon shirt is perfect for Africa's intense heat. $60; royalrobbins.com

3. Brunton Eterna High Power Binoculars // Because these 15x51-power glasses have lightweight alloy frames, you get lion-size magnification in a two-pound package. $599; brunton.com

4. Red Oxx Safari Beanos Bag PR5.5 // This duffel's 2,400-cubic-inch size is compact enough to pass the strict restrictions of small bush planes, and the overbuilt bag won't crumple when it gets kicked around camp. $185; redoxx.com

5. Marmot PreCip Safari Hat // A wide brim protects from the sun, while waterproof-breathable PreCip fabric means you don't need to pull a hood on—and obstruct your view—in the rain. $38; marmot.com

6. UK 4AA eLED Zoom // A protective rubber sheath makes this high-intensity (and focusable) LED nearly indestructible in a fall. A mounting clip gives it hands-free utility. $59; ukinternational.com

7. Trek-Tech TrekPod // Thanks to a magnetic quick-release mounting system, this adjustable aluminum walking staff converts in seconds to a monopod or tripod for cameras and binoculars. $140; trek-tech.com

8. Gramicci Venture Q.D. Kick It Zip-Off Pant // Lots of pants are made with quick-dry nylon. These convertibles pass muster because they work well as shorts or pants, and the cuffs can also be rolled up and snapped at the knees. $70; gramicci.com

9. Samsung Pro815 // Take more dramatic (read: close-up) wildlife pics with the Pro815. Its 15x lens—equivalent to a 28–420mm telephoto lens—is one of the world's longest built-in optical zooms. $650; samsungcamerausa.com

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