The gear our editors cherished again in December

December 2020 was an emotional month, a reflection on an emotional year. External editors hobbled towards the light of January with a mixture of hope and exhaustion. Here’s the gear that got us across the finish line – and that we’ll continue to use in 2021.

Kari Traa Long Sleeve Undershirt (from $ 75)

(Photo: Courtesy of Kari Traa)

Every time I step out the door this winter, I wear an undershirt made of 100 percent wool by Kari Traa. These are some of the warmest base layers on the market. They are also soft, stretchy and offer a good balance between sporty and feminine. Tops range from $ 75 to $ 120 depending on your preferred style, and you can bring along a pair of matching leggings. If you sleep in them after a long day with snowshoes and then keep wearing them for the next two days (yes, guilty), no one will notice thanks to their odor resistance. – Tasha Zemke, editor

Fitbit Inspire HR Fitness Tracker ($ 85)

fitbit-inspir-hr_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy Fitbit)

I bought a used fitness tracker last month after seeing how bleak my average daily steps were over the year based on what my iPhone recorded on the Health app. While I had maintained my goal of getting active every day with HIIT workouts, strength training, and weekend hikes, my 2020 step average was well below my 2019 average, along with the knowledge that walking is rich in health benefits , caused me to take more walks around the block. But then I realized that I would keep pulling out my phone to see how many steps I would take arrived or what time it was, and while I was at it I might as well check to see if I had a new email – and so on and so forth. When I finished looking at my phone, my lunch break was over and I felt like I hadn’t really enjoyed the walk. Despite years of resistance, I finally collapsed and entered the world of fitness tracking watches with the Fitbit Inspire HR. And you know what? I fucking love it. – Jenny Earnest, Audience Development Director

Liberty Women’s Duck Bib Overalls ($ 45)

liberty-duck-bib-Overall_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy Liberty)

It’s strange to say that a piece of workwear is flattering, but these overalls are. The straight-cut legs are slim enough to add to a feminine silhouette (as feminine as non-fashionable overalls) while allowing you to crouch, kneel, and crawl around on all fours without constriction. Thanks to the generous inner seam and leg openings, they also fit well over chunky work boots. The cotton fabric is smooth and not overly stiff, but tough enough to feel durable. It also provides good insulation when worn over leggings or tights in winter weather. A zippered pocket can hold a phone and other essentials, while the back pockets can hold tools and other items. These are so cute, comfortable, and functional that I use them on my work-from-home uniform as well as washing bikes, moving heavy things, and camping in cold weather. – Gloria Liu, feature editor

Combine the label Organic Thermal Boxy Crop Top ($ 98) and Wide Leg Pant ($ 138).

mate-the-label-loungewear_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy Mate the Label)

I spent more days in December than I’d like to admit wearing cream-colored Mate the Label loungewear from head to toe. I have the Organic Thermal Boxy Crop Top and the Wide Leg Pants, both of which are made from medium-weight 100 percent organic cotton. Slouchy and comfortable, but still modern and cute, this set quickly became my winter uniform that I hardly ever leave the house. I’m not ashamed to admit I paired it with a long coat and hat for those infrequent errands too. – Abbbie Barronian, Associate Editor

Buy top buy pants

Hypervolt Go massage gun ($ 199)

hypervolt-go_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy Hyperice)

The year of quarantine meant both a lot more sitting (at my desk, on the couch) and a lot more stress-related exercise. It is no surprise that I have succumbed to a litany of strange pain as a result. The Hypervolt Go was a lifesaver. I’ve tested many full size mega massage guns over the years, but this miniature tool is the one I get the most because it’s easy to use and can be turned on and toggled between three power settings with a single button. The flat head is perfect for buffing up disgruntled IT ligaments, lower back pain, and sore shoulders without accidentally going overboard, which is easy to do with some of the more aggressive attachments from other companies. – Ariella Gintzler, co-editor

Hurom Celery and Greens Horizontal Slow Juicer ($ 499)

horizontal-juicer_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy of Hurom)

With a lot of hope – and fully aware that it couldn’t happen – I recently signed up for a 50-mile race and committed myself to a try from edge to edge to Grand Canyon in 2021. While overwhelmed with the exercise regimen ahead, I’m confident that thanks to Hurom’s Celery and Greens Horizontal Slow Juicer, I can wrap up a healthy breakfast daily. I’ve been using it between four and seven mornings a week since August. It is so easy to work that I make juices for the whole family with my three year old daughter every morning at 5am. Not only is it excellently able to get every last drop of celery stick, but with its minimal pieces and the included cleaning brush, it’s also very easy to maintain. – Joe Jackson, Gear Guy

Rossignol BC 65 skis ($ 275)

rossignol-nordic-skis_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy Rossignol)

Is there anything better than new skis? Rossi’s BC line of all-metal, waxless classic cross-country skis has been a favorite for years among those looking for a little scruffy kick and glide. This season I treated myself to a new pair in the 53 millimeter underfoot Width (they’re 65 at the top) that are sturdy enough for the backcountry but thin enough to be used on groomed trails. They have been leaning against a wall in my home since September when I was impatiently waiting for enough snow to baptize them, and this month I finally got my chance. My new favorites have smooth glides, good grip on the incline, solid speed on the descent, and edges that work well on narrow trails with gentle curves. Snow slide season is back, baby. – Karen Larsen, editorial assistant

Skida Alpine headband ($ 22)

skida-alpine-headband_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy of Skida)

In theory, I don’t mind exercising indoors, but during the pandemic, I’ve found that sweating outside improves my mood a lot more. So I dare to ride my bike every day or to run despite the winter weather. Before I got the alpine headband, my ears always ached. I have a 90 percent occlusion of my ear canals – a result of years of surfing in cold water – and the pervasive air of the high desert that passes by makes them ache. Caps and hats with ear flaps always ride up, especially under my helmet. Not so with this headband. It’s made of a super soft microfleece inner material and a poly-spandex outer material that protects my sensitive limbs. It’s thick enough to keep my head and ears warm while releasing unnecessary heat upwards. I wear it every day. – Will Taylor, Gear Director

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