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Perfect Gift: Sporting Goods

Looking for holiday gift ideas for the athlete in your life?

Outside magazine Executive Editor Mike Roberts, an authority on outdoor gear, has a few suggestions ranging from bikes to water bottles:


  • Elektra Gigi women's cruiser: $500
  • Trek Allant commuter bike: $500
    Both bikes have the kind of high-end features that would have cost $800 or $1,000 a few years ago. Today, you can find them both for about $500. Sure, you can find cheaper bikes than these, but you won't find much better value.


  • Bern Watts helmet: $90
    The holy grail of helmets, this is the first helmet we've seen that truly works for any sport," Roberts says. "Right now it's tricked out for snowsports with insulation, but that easily pops out and it becomes perfect for biking, climbing, skateboarding, even whitewater paddling. It's the only helmet you need."

    Water Bottles:

  • Nathan Steel 700ml Flip Straw Bottle: $25
  • Nalgene Stainless Steel Backpacker: $30
  • Sigg 100 Year Bottle: $30
  • Kor One Hydration Vessel: $30
  • Snowpeak Titanium Round Flask: $115
    A great gift idea. If they seem expensive, think about the money you'll save on buying $2 bottles of water at the store. Plus, if you're worried about BPAs from plastics, all these are BPA-free.

    Digital Cameras:

  • Pentax Optio W60: $270
  • Olympus Stylus 1050 SW: $300
    Roberts says these 10 megapixel cameras are really fantastic and offer a lot of bang for your buck. The Pentax is waterproof; you can take it down to 13 feet and snap underwater pictures. Both cameras can handle dirt, sand and even freezing.

    Running Shoes:

  • Pearl Izumi SyncroSeek III WRX: $115
    Any serious runner takes his shoes seriously, and it's tough to find a quality running shoe for under $100. Roberts says these trail runners have a unique softshell material that lets them breathe, which has been a problem for trail runners.
  • Newton Motion AW Trainer: $175
    These winter road runners are highly water resistant and look at the sole are like winter tires. They won't slip on wet pavement. A unique shoe for the price.


  • Leatherman Skeletool CX: $60
    Perhaps the greatest stocking stuffer. Roberys says every guy wants this sleek, updated version of the Leatherman with all your essentials tools, and incredibly lightweight.


  • Eurosocks: $25
    These sport-specific socks are great for athletes. They have padding right where you need it, they're tough, and they wick moisture from feet. They make them for skiing, snowboarding, biking, running, and more.


  • Nidecker Snowboard: $349
    This high-performance snowboard won our "Killer Value" award. Most top boards like this cost more than $400. Plus, the Nidecker is made with recycled p-tex, so it's also green.
  • Oakley Gretchen Bleiler Mane Jacket and Pant: $280/$210
    Women's snowboard apparel is more stylish than it used to be. Roberts says the technical jacket will keep you warm and dry on the slopes and you'll look hot, too.
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