This practical, sturdy headlamp pumps out 250 lumens and weighs 2.9 ounces. The Cosmo is surprisingly feature-rich considering its affordable price tag: it has three different output settings, a red light mode, and can be dimmed or brightened with the touch of a button. It’s one of our Gear Guy’s favorite gifts.
Recovery Tools Under $35 to Make Your Muscles Less Mad
Climbers: if you’re spending a lot of time on the hangboard, your digits need love. This tiny massager provides 360 degrees of pressure as you roll it up and down your overworked phalanges. Pro tip: keep it hooked on your keys, so you can massage on the go or when you’re stuck in traffic.
Tight shoulders? Work the small end of the hook into the sore muscle and pull slightly, kneading the tissue into submission. Choose from two hooks and three other knobs so you can dial in the angle and pressure.
“This torturous-looking device is my go-to tool for relieving pain and relaxing stubbornly tight muscles,” wrote tester Aleta Burchyski. “With one or two consecutive daily uses, I feel more mobile and free of discomfort for a few days.”
There are gentle massage tools, and then there’s the Beastie Ball, which is designed to dig deep into a specific trouble zone. Use it on the floor or with its base, which adds even more pressure. It’s great for big muscles, like the glutes or quads, which can be tough to dig into with lesser tools. But use it against the wall and it’s good for more sensitive areas like the middle of the back.
Imagine a foam roller that doesn’t move—that’s the idea behind the curve ball. Set it on the ground (or wall if you want lighter pressure) and dig it into the tissue that needs work. It’s less pin-pointed than the Beastie Ball, but does the trick for your shoulders and lower back. The X is firm, but they make a softer version if you’re looking for less pain.
Trigger Point makes some of the best foam rollers, but the MB5—a five-inch round, dense foam ball—delivers a deeper tissue massage than your typical roller. Set it on the ground and roll out your glutes, lower back, calves and quads. It’s like a complete lower body massage.
Black Diamond’s Spot 325 has all of the traits that made the original Spot so popular (red night vision, multiple power settings, IPX8 waterproof rating) but in a smaller package that weighs just three ounces. It’s not rechargeable (it requires 3 AAA batteries, which come included), but its 325 lumens at the highest setting are plenty bright for early morning trail runs and evening sends.
Editor Maren Larsen called this bag “the best gift she’s ever received.” While the original version of the Lamina she tested is discontinued, this is the newest model. “The inside feels like a cloud wrapped in silk sheets, thanks to the polyester-taffeta lining,” she wrote. Read her full review here.
These gloves raised nearly $225,000 when they debuted on Kickstarter in 2016. Contributor Jakob Schiller is a big fan. "With a waxed and baked leather outer, waterproof-breathable membrane, and Thinsulate insulation, they're great for frigid resort ski days while being breathable enough for long backcountry missions," he wrote.
These gloves live in columnist Jakob Schiller’s car at all times. “The leather palm is tough enough for putting on chains or sawing wood but supple enough for riding a bike,” he wrote. “Wool on the back lets your hands breathe, and a wool lining inside keeps your digits warm, even when it’s below freezing.”
This polyester mask comes in a kit that includes a three-pack of filters and a protective storage pouch. It’s finished with an antimicrobial treatment that the brand says will diminish after 30 washes. One tester said the wire over the nose “gives a secure fit without feeling like Darth Vader.”
Our Gear Guy called the Lowball the only Yeti product you actually need. “I’ve been using this tumbler almost every day since August 2015, and after four and a half years of heavy use, it still works just as well as the day I got it,” he wrote.
Our testers Elizabeth Miller and Justin Nyberg called the Griffin “the most dynamic and customizable big-load hauler we’ve seen.” That’s what made this multi-day pack worthy of a Gear of the Year award in 2019. “If you often find yourself stopping to fiddle with the fit of your pack, the Griffin can solve that for you,” they wrote.
Columnist Graham Averill rounded up his favorite headlamps back in 2017, and some models on his list still hold up today, like the 280-lumen Inova STS. Averill liked its “swipe-to-shine interface that works just like your iPhone: slide your finger across the top of the headlamp to turn it on and adjust the brightness.”
The Daylite doesn’t come with a bladder, but there’s storage aplenty: 20 liters in the main compartment plus an exterior pocket. The sleeve in the main compartment can house a reservoir you buy separately, or it’ll accommodate a tablet or small laptop if you’re just using it for commuting. If you’re extra thirsty, two side bottle pockets boost the Daylite’s water-carrying capacity.