(Inga Hendrickson)
2021 Summer Buyer’s Guide

The Best Mountain Running Gear of 2021

Top-notch gear for wrangling singletrack adventures


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BioLite Headlamp 750 Light ($100)

(Courtesy BioLite)

BioLite’s newest headlamp goes up to 500 lumens, with a 750-lumen burst and a red safety light in back that’s easy to activate midstride. It’s also remarkably comfortable for such a powerful device, with a soft, wicking band and an ergonomically curved battery pack.

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Goodr Mach G Sunglasses ($35)

(Courtesy Goodr)

Who says running shades have to be expensive and dorky? The Mach G marries classic aviator design with UVA-protective lenses and sturdy plastic frames that are light, grippy, and strong enough to stuff into hydration-vest pockets.

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Ultimate Direction Fastpack 20 Pack ($150)

(Courtesy Ultimate Direction)

Between the roll-top main compartment, three stretch pouches, a dedicated phone sleeve, and six pockets on the shoulder straps (plus compression straps and pole holsters), this20-liter run-hike crossover fits enough for a huge day or an ultralight overnight. The 2021 update has a more breathable mesh-foam back panel.

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Coros Apex Pro Premium Multisport Watch ($500)

(Courtesy Coros)

In 2019, the original Apex earned a place in the Buyer’s Guide for being rich with features— heart-rate monitor, barometric altimeter, training analysis—yet simple to use. The new version gets better, with a touchscreen and 40 hours of battery life in GPS mode.

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Brooks Chaser Five-Inch Shorts ($58)

(Courtesy Brooks)

Finally, high-coverage shorts that have real cargo capacity but don’t chafe or stifle. The updated Chaser 5” retains the soft poly-spandex blend we love, now with a notched leg that yields an airy, thigh-skimming fit. Three waistband pockets fit keys, earbuds, snacks—even gloves.

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On Cloudultra Shoes ($180)

(Courtesy On Cloudultra)

The Cloudultra was made for going long and fast. Two layers of light, stiff olefin foam with air channels in between make for a protective and stable ride. Flip a plastic toggle at the instep to loosen the laces when your feet swell.

Men’s Women’s

Ultimate Direction Ultra Jacket ($190)

(Courtesy Ultimate Direction)

The Ultra is all about details. Our favorites: flip-out hand mitts and slits in the hood and arms that funnel air across the body, even when you’re wearing a hydration vest.

Men’s Women’s

Leki MCT Superlite Poles ($200)

(Courtesy Leki)

These fixed-length foldable carbon poles weigh just about a third of a pound. A new strap combines the brand’s hallmark quick-release system with the molded cork grip of a hiking pole, so you get efficient power transfer and long-distance comfort.

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Rabbit EZ Tee Perf Short Sleeve Shirt ($45)

(Courtesy Rabbit)

The secret to the EZ Tee Perf’s greatness is in the fabric: a poly-spandex blend that’s perforated like old-school gym shorts and softer than any other running tee we’ve tried. It’s impossibly breathable without feeling slippery.

Men’s Women’s

From Summer 2021 Buyer’s Guide Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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