This is the season of giving. Which, for better or worse, means it’s also the season of stuff.
So to send off 2016, we rounded up the five gear articles you (our readers) liked the most this year.
5. Jelly’s bulletproof skateboards
No one on the Shoulders of Giants team has ever had to block a bullet with the deck of their longboard… yet.
But we were still hooked by Jelly Skateboards: a California company that sells longboards and shortboads made clear bulletproof glass. They admittedly have something of a gimmick, but that gimmick results in a durable ride with unheard-of shock absorption. And the boards look really, really cool.
Stewart Moore featured the company in October—you can read his piece here.
4. A new take on flat pedals
Mountain bike orthodoxy holds that flat pedals are for beginners, and that serious riders choose to clip in.
The folks at Pedaling Innovations swim against that current. They claim that the use of flat pedals helps riders of all abilities develop better agility and more efficient pedal strokes.
Shoulders of Giants Founder Kevin Linderman tested out the company’s flat pedals for himself back in September.
3. Alaska-approved hiking pants
Generally speaking, pant reviews aren’t considered red-hot web content. But this one proved to be.
It came to us from Renee Howard, who spends her years hunting, fishing, climbing, biking, and all-around surviving in the Alaskan backcountry.
She’s the genuine article. So when she told us the Keb Technical Trekking Pants were the only pants she’d even need, we listened. And so did our readers.
Renee published her review in early October.
2. Snowboards for greenies
As a group, snowboarders are pretty connected to the natural world. But we can’t say the same for their gear.
The environmental impact of snowboard manufacturing has long been the industry’s dirty little secret. The folks at Niche Snowboards hope to change that. Their boards are made largely from recycled materials, and are built around sustainably-sourced wood cores.
Stewart Moore profiled the company back in September.
1. The SoG base camp
The Shoulders of Giants base camp was popular long before we published anything about it.
Built around founder Kevin Linderman’s Toyota Tunda, our mobile base camp comes with us to every race, festival, or event we go to. And everywhere it goes, it draws a crowd.
In response to popular demand, Kevin broke it down piece by piece in November.
Did you love a gear feature of ours that wasn’t on this list? Have an idea for a feature you’d like to read in 2017? Email [email protected] to let us know.