We Just Got a Sneak Peek of 2017’s Hottest Gear
Every summer, editors and writers gather for a week in Deer Valley, Utah, to preview the upcoming season’s bike gear. The event, dubbed PressCamp, grew this year to include previews of general outdoor kit. We spent mornings meeting with brands and afternoons ripping around the resort’s groomed trails and singletrack to test the product. Here are the eight items we’re most excited about.
Photo: 3T Exploro Bike ($4,200 for the frame and fork)
3T’s Exploro frame drew the most buzz at this year’s PressCamp, and it’s easy to see why. Like the Gear of the Year–winning Open UP, this is a drop-handlebar do-almost-everything bike. It can run 700c wheels and tires up to 40c, or 650b wheels with up to 2.1-inch mountain bike tires. It also stands out for its massive square downtube that the company says was designed for maximum aerodynamic performance. With a road race–leaning geometry, this isn’t the bike for your next bikepacking adventure, but if you’re gunning to stand on the podium of the next Dirty Kanza, it should definitely be on your short list. Mediums are available now, with the other three sizes showing up soon.
We’re fans of the low-riding bladder system CamelBak put in its Skyline 10LR pack because it carries so well on the trail. This year, the company added that system to its classic M.U.L.E. pack and redesigned the three-liter bladder so it has a significantly improved on-off lever, better lid, and bigger hose with 20 percent more water flow. Available in October along with the women’s-specific Lux pack.
We were surprised to walk into the Swiss Army meeting and see a single-blade knife sitting on the table. Long known for its iconic red multitools, Victorinox has jumped into the hunting knife game, and its first offering is beautiful. It features a locking, high-carbon, stainless-steel blade and a sleek, sustainably sourced Swiss walnut handle. The knife is available now and will be in our hiking kit all summer.
Altra began as a running shoe company but is stepping up its hiking game. Its Lone Peak runners are among the most popular hiking shoes on the Pacific Crest Trail. Now Altra is launching the hiking-specific Lone Peak 3.0 NeoShell Mid that uses the same wide, stable, zero-drop chassis as the Lone Peak runner but adds ankle support with a high top. We also like the NeoShell outer, which keeps the boot from wetting out. Available in July.
These bottoms have all the features you’d expect from a high-end bib—comfy chamois, pockets for storage, a great fit—as well as a little hip armor. The padding never gets in the way but is a nice addition in case you eat it ripping down a techy section of trail. Launching January 2017 in both men’s and women’s versions.
If you’ve long wanted one of Smith’s beautifully designed, Koroyd-infused road or dirt helmets but didn’t want to pay the premium price, you’re finally in luck. With the launch of the Rover trail (pictured) and Route road/commuter helmets, you get similar styling and safety features but at a more wallet-friendly price point. The helmets have smaller strips of Koroyd and are a little heavier than their more expensive counterparts, but they still offer plenty of protection, integrate well with Smith’s glasses, and are offered with or without MIPS liners. Available now.
The Robson is Sombrio’s smartly detailed take on women’s cutoffs. Meant for casual wear on and off the saddle, these shorts are made with a stretchy denim fabric and have a higher back for coverage and a midrise front for comfort. A rear strap secures a U-lock, while six pockets hold essentials. You can also roll up the legs for a hit of reflective piping when riding home at night. Available in February.
Fabric is known for its clever bike component redesigns (saddles, multitools, water bottles), and now it’s doing the same thing for lights. Unlike your typical commuter light that’s controlled with buttons, the new FL300 front light uses an easy-twist dial on the back to toggle between outputs (300, 60, or eight lumens and blink modes). It also has a strip of red LEDs so it can serve as a taillight. The battery lasts between two and six hours, depending on output. Fabric will also offer 500- and 150-lumen versions. Everything will be available in early September.