Still fumbling around with wires and a prehistoric bike computer? It's time for a performance boost. Here are six ways to enhance your next ride, from the headlight-taillight combo Light & Motion Urban 500 to the data-collecting Garmin Edge 200 to the iBike Sports iDash Phone Booth, which you can buy as an all-in-one bike computer.

Outside picks the best hiking gear of June 2012, including the Helly Hansen Odin Fastpack.

Two-way radios might seem absurdly retro, but having an open channel of communication can be priceless on a multipitch climb or when trekking through rainforest in Costa Rica.

I spend a lot of time exercising outdoors and I need a new heart rate monitor. What should I look for?

Outside picks the essentials for March, including the Arc'teryx Motus Crew.

A combined heart-rate monitor and GPS watch will supercharge your training. Motorola's Motoactv is one of the best on the market.

Outside picks the essential tech tools, including the OtterBox Defenders Series case.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Moving Comfort Rebound Racer Bra.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Casio ProTrek PRW-5000Y-1 watch.

A satellite-based text-messaging and tracking device

Cooling Agents: Our favorite ultralight gear for sweltering summer runs, including the Garmin Forerunner 610 watch.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Garmin Forerunner 210 Watch.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Garmin Edge 800 GPS bike computer.

Seven performance-boosting devices to give you an edge.

Good physiological data helps you make the most of shorter training sessions, because you know exactly how hard you're working.

We gave the three newest top-tier navigators a head-to-head test.

I'm looking for a GPS unit for the backcountry but it would also be nice if I can use it on the roads sometimes. Does such a combo exist? What are the top three? MJ Arvada, CO

In a tech-assisted misadventure, our man finds the most difficult line between two points

Probably the easiest to use right out of the box, the waterproof eXplorist 500 is also a pocketful of power. After a quick off-trail jaunt (exactly 1.44 miles) on a local hill (676 feet up, from car to summit cairn), I graphed my hike’s vertical profile in brilliant color right…

A safe bet for ocean adventurers, LOWRANCE’S IFINDER PRO ($209) accepts marine charts made by market leader Navionics. The huge three-inch diagonal gray-scale screen looks sharp—even when viewed in bright sunlight. Minor bummer: It’s waterproof, but only when stuffed into the included plastic pouch.

From the school of “one less device” comes a GPS-enabled mobile camera phone. Sign up at www.nextel.com ($10 a month) and download a dozen or so map or aerial-photo “tiles” from Trimble Outdoors—covering your intended travel area—onto a compatible Motorola phone. I followed my position on a hilly ramble, even…

Garmin took a page out of Apple’s book with the Oregon 400t, the first handheld GPS unit with a touchscreen and an icon-based interface. The result is the most user-friendly and intuitive GPS unit we’ve tested. The touchscreen keyboard makes entering info a cinch—something testers really appreciated when temperatures…

1. Eliminate extra gadgets: The Crossover is the first unit on the market with outdoor, marine, and advanced vehicle capabilities all crammed into a single lightweight unit. Even with the broad functions, the Crossover is simple to use, thanks to an intuitive, icon-based menu system paired with one of…

Stay Connected When you pair Delorme’s full-featured GPS (topo maps, aerial photos, 3.5 gigs of memory) with the companion Spot transmitter, something very cool happens: In addition to sending standard Spot messages (“I’m OK,” “SOS”), you can also type 48-character text messages to friends, Twitter, or Facebook. Annual subscription starts…

This wrist-top GPS manages a knife-edge feat: It’s equal parts cool and geeky. Sporting the X9i, I launched out on a run from my hotel room in downtown Buenos Aires. Within minutes, the 12-channel GPS receiver had locked on to satellites and was displaying my speed and distance. When…

BEST FOR BEGINNERS Never used a GPS before? Check out the refreshingly straightforward Venture. On day hikes and quick overnighters around British Columbia’s southern Coast Mountains, testers with limited GPS knowledge found the cell-phone-size Venture’s simple menu system the most intuitive to operate. Its relatively big (1.3-by-1.7-inch), bright color screen…

Mapping Maven This super-powerful GPS takes personal navigation to a new level. Testers were shocked by how eyeblink-fast it updated location on its gorgeous 4.3-inch screen—as if the satellites were just overhead—and how easy it was to enter a destination and then find arrival times, elevation, traffic alerts, and, of…

If you thought real GPS navigation was beyond your budget, you haven’t seen the cell-phone-size 210. It’s not the only player in its price range, but it stands out for its internal 22MB memory—essential for digital mapping. The 210 ships with a built-in North American base map that shows…

ASK MORE FROM YOUR PHONE Some friends and Web sites give great directions; others, not so great. So why not get the info straight from the pros? With a subscription to a third-party GPS application like TeleNav ($10 per month), the 8703e smartphone becomes a full-featured on-road navigator, providing onscreen…

The great communicator gets better in 2006, with a radio range extended to 14 miles. In case you missed the earlier versions, the Rino is a fully functioning GPS and a two-way radio in one unit. While hiking in the Grand Canyon, we could split up on a whim…

WILDERNESS-READY Two unique features make the Onix the year’s best GPS for the backcountry. The first is a layering function that lets you view different kinds of information—compass, waypoints, and map, for example—on the display together, eliminating the need to continually scroll between screens. The second—and even cooler—feature is the…

With unlimited expandable memory (through an SD-card reader/writer slot) and a market-leading 3.5-inch full-color screen, the XL’s raison d’être is onscreen mapping. After a road trip through the interior of British Columbia—with detailed maps uploaded—it was demoralizing to go back to a smaller screen. When I traveled by bike,…

The MAGELLAN SPORTRAK TOPO ($269) is the first GPS sold with pre-installed elevation maps of the entire country. The six-ounce waterproof unit holds 108 megabytes of contours and elevations (along with 16 megs of memory for personalized mapping), and renders them sharply on the gray-scale screen.

The Atlas MNS is the quickest responder of the bunch. Flip it on and, before you can say “lost,” it locks on to satellites and starts kicking out coordinates. Scroll between pages and the dual processor pulls up weather, altitude, and navigational data almost instantly. Signal acquisition also shines…

FOLLOW THAT VOICE Calling HP’s Travel Companion a GPS unit just isn’t fair. The 4.3-inch screen is huge, and 3-D technology means maps can be viewed topographically or at street level—making for foolproof (and fun) navigation. On the road, mate it with a Bluetooth cell phone and it doubles…

Basic navigation is available in everything from cars to phones these days, but Garmin’s palm-size powerhouse GPSmap 60CSx takes a sophisticated GPS—once found only in the hands of explorer-engineers—and puts it in every traveler’s pocket. With the unit’s intuitive interface, Garmin has simplified use for beginners while simultaneously incorporating…

TOUGH ON THE TRAIL The rubberized 400t was born for serious backcountry time, and you won’t find a more user-friendly or durable handheld GPS. A funky, do-it-all wheel replaces the usual array, making for easy one-hand navigation (non­existent in most handhelds). It’s also tricked out with a three-inch, backlit color…

I launched into my daily bike commute with the Legend C in my pack’s outer mesh pocket and locked on to six satellites. Every 30 seconds, the receiver silently dropped a digital bread crumb on the tack-sharp map. Out on the streets, the feature is a novelty, but in the…

Unlike many of its juice-sucking peers, GARMIN’S 5.4-ounce GPSMAP 60C ($482) keeps its brilliant 256-color screen powered for an impressive 30 hours. With its fast processor, flipping through the brilliant, high-resolution screens is as easy as cruising around your Mac, and the USB simplifies connections.

From the school of “one less device” comes a GPS-enabled mobile camera phone. Sign up at www.nextel.com ($10 a month) and download a dozen or so map or aerial-photo “tiles” from Trimble Outdoors—covering your intended travel area—onto a compatible Motorola phone. I followed my position on a hilly ramble,…

Call SUUNTO’S X9 ($699), the first GPS watch that’s more serious navigation tool than cyborg fashion statement. The integrated satellite receiver shows lat/long coordinates, stores waypoints, and delivers ETA and distance predictions for your destination.

There's the gear you want, and there's the gear you need. After much internal debate, we present the 25 products every guy should own.

Page 2