Once again, the holiday season is right around the corner. That time of year that we buy things for those that we love and for ourselves if there’s nobody that loves us. We’ve done gift guides in the past- but this year I figured I’d focus on the stuff for those that like to get down that road less traveled.
So here it is. In no particular order. Or some particular order. Or just get them a bottle of booze. Or a gift certificate to your LBS. Or a lump of coal.
Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion seat bag. $170.00 CAD
I haven’t used any of Porcelain Rocket’s gear, but the craftsmanship looks amazing. This newly designed bag uses a seat collar supported frame, weighs in at 14oz. complete and can pack 5-14L of gear. PR is really pushing the limits as far as bikepacking gear. The new bag Scott is developing for the Jones Loop Bar looks AMAZING!
Made in Calgary, Alberta. Canada.
Cleaveland Mountaineering Everything Bag $50-$60 depending on attachment method.
I haven’t used this personally, but it looks like a good option, or alternative to the Salsa Anything Cage and the numerous bags to fit said cage- if you’re looking for one. If you don’t have the 3 braze-ons, if you have a suspension fork, say- it can attach with the use of a few P-clips. It’ll allow you to hold more stuff on your bike. Keep in mind that you’ll likely want to distribute the weight evenly, maybe have one on either fork blade- otherwise your steering will be affected.
Made in Grand Junction, CO
EH-Works Essential Tool Roll $44.00
I’ve been using one of these for about 6 months and it’s a handy way to pack your tools in a neat little package. And it looks like a burrito, and burritos are good. There are different sizes for those that need to put more in, but I’ve got the essential and it has more than enough room for a trip into the woods (though a Surly fatbike tube won’t fit in it.)
Made in Seattle, WA.
Soto Helix Coffee Maker $20.00
Just about any self respecting cyclist likes coffee. This handy little unit folds flat and will use a #2 cone filter to give you a fix in the woods. made from 18-8 heat treated stainless steel, it comes with a storage bag and 10 filters.
I wanted to put some more accessories for enjoying coffee outside, but on second thought, I didn’t. Though I love my coffee more than many things, when packing for a trip- I am ok with grinding at home. I can get by for a few days without fresh ground coffee. I’d rather skip the grinder and bring more whiskey.
King Cage Oliver Cage (fits a Stanley flask) $22.00
If you don’t know about King Cage, you should. They’ve been around since 1991, and make some rad stuff for your bike. Also check out the BARBELL. Because any bike ride worth going on is worth bringing a flask on.
Made in Durango, CO.
DeLorme Inreach Explorer $379.95
Yeah, it’s expensive. No, it’s not made in the US. But if your loved one goes out of cell phone range very often, this can give some serious peace of mind. You can send and receive text messages from it, and the location can be pinged, so folks can track the unit as it’s in the woods. I got one last year and it’s been great. I think there are some improvements that could be made with the mapping software, but it’s the best thing I’ve seen so far. Way more versatile than the SPOT system (having not used, one- it should be noted.)
If your boo likes adventure on two wheels, then this is a great gift. The maps they offer are top notch, and they give great advice in their magazine that comes out nine times per year.
A good lighter can save your ass. An alternative would also be a magnesium and striker style starter, but if you want a little more civilized and a little less cave-man, just get them a good lighter. I still use a Zippo- but it’s mostly because I don’t have a better lighter. The lighter fluid evaporates over time, even when not being used. Then it doesn’t work when you need it most. A hot flame that won’t blow out in the wind is pretty damn nice- and this little mamma jamma has a lanyard so it won’t get lost.
Stem CAPtain Thermometer $25.00 (Or a clock, or a compass!)
It’s kinda novel, but also practical. Stuff that is good to know. More than a few times I have wondered the temperature on the rides I’ve been on- a clock keeps you on time, and a compass can be handy if you know how to use it. They also have things like picture frames so your sweetheart can put a picture of you in it, or a bottle opener so they can drink more beer.
Based in Boulder, CO. Made… somewhere.
Velo Ink Frame Decals $8.99 for 4 custom stickers.
I got some of these last year- but now that I’m married, we’ve got a few more bikes with the family name on them. Mine have the US flag and the Alaska flag, but they’ve got a whole bunch of options. They are a great way to personalize the bike, helmet or whatever else.
Made in Belfast, Maine.
Jones H-Bar $125-$425
My aluminum Loop 710’s were one of the best upgrades I’ve made to the Fatback. They allow for lots of hand positions and a ton more mounting options for lights, gadgets, even a new Porcelain Rocket bag for the void.
The bars are available in aluminum, titanium and now carbon. Aluminum is just fine for me- but I’m sure some folks would be really into some fancy materials.
Made in Medford, OR
Outdoor Research Helium Bivy Sack $169.00
I’ve been using an OR bivy sack for over 10 years and totally love it. In warmer climates I like to use it with a hammock. The helium is their lightest bivy sack, weighing 18oz. It looks like it’s more of a 3-season shelter, but according to my calculations- that’s 3/4 of the year!
Mission Workshop Faroe Merino Wool Pullover $185.00
Merino wool is awesome. It’s harvested from unicorns and keeps your body temperature regulated because of magic. It’s not cheap- but this is a garment that will last you quite a while. I like the hood, just in case my hat isn’t warm enough. It comes in black.
Made in San Francisco, CA.
Kokopelli Renegade Packraft $660.00
Kokopelli is pretty new on the scene (started in 2012) and I just heard of them the other day. They are on here because they are offering a raft that looks comparable to an Alpacka at a lower price. This is a double chamber raft and weighs more (7lbs 12oz) than my Alpacka Denali Llama, but it comes with a spray skirt and an NRS inflatable packraft floor that can also be used as a sleeping pad. They also have some pretty crazy looking paddles. I’m curious how these rafts are- I’d love to try one out. Also to note: I have a Klymit LiteWater Dinghy, which is quite a bit cheaper, but isn’t for much moving water.
Made in Denver, CO.
MSR DragonFly™ stove $139.95
I have had this stove for many years and it’s worked great. I like how adjustable the flame is. A cheaper alternative is the ever popular WhisperLite ($90.) They are solid, reliable and easy to use. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer liquid fuel stoves to the canisters (which you can’t fly with.) With these stoves, you’ll always be able to find something to burn.
Made in Seattle, WA.
So there it is. Or some of it. Some of it is better than some of the other stuff. Maybe I forgot some stuff, but there is a lot of stuff for sale in the world- so stuff it. And happy holidays- go ride your bike.