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Dry January App, Feature-Heavy Helmet, Odd HOKA, and More Emerging Gear

2023 wraps up with innovative bike helmets, cold-weather running gear, and an app that helps you get 2024 started off right.

a man looks at his watch while running in the cold(Photo/Tracksmith)
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The winter solstice is behind us, and hopefully wherever you are, you’ve got snow. As we wind down the year, this week’s Emerging Gear column is potentially home to the very last gear to hit the market … before we ring in 2024. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out, though!

We’re definitely bookmarking some of these new releases for right-now winter vibes, and a few for later when the weather changes.

Athletic Brewing Company ‘Track Record’ App

two phones showing Athletic Brewing Company's app

Dry January — wherein some go-getters decide to cut out the booze for 30 days — is an increasingly popular way to start a new year. The benefits are well-studied, plus it gives you a chance to try Athletic Brewing Company’s delicious range of nonalcoholic beers. To help you get started, Athletic Brewing Company developed the Track Record app.

It helps you track your progress, gives you a built-in community to keep you honest, and (of course) lets you order fresh NA brews straight from the interface. Try the Hazy IPA; it’s amazingly delicious.

HOKA Ora Primo Recovery Shoes

a pair of shoes

There’s no doubt that HOKA makes comfy shoes that take the pressure off knees and feet on long runs. The brand has also made some — let’s call them interesting — stylistic decisions with its footwear over the years. Does HOKA’s Ora Primo fall into the “interesting” category? That’s gonna have to be up to you.

What I can tell you is the recovery-focused shoes have insulated uppers, elasticized laces, and a knit collar. So they are almost certainly comfortable! $139 gets you access to these bad boys if you act fast.

Matador ‘Arctic White’ Packs

A matador pack

Too many travel packs prioritize style over functionality. Matador’s fresh, wintery color scheme for its line of travel packs manages to be steezy to the extreme while retaining well-considered, jet-set-friendly features.

Take the SEG45 Travel Pack. With five front-facing zippers, 45 L of storage, plenty of daisy-chain webbing for external gear storage, and a backpack/duffel bag conversion capability, the SEG45 can go anywhere you can. And look good doing it.

Matador has extended the color scheme to its Speed Stash (a daisy-chain-friendly phone pouch) and GlobeRider45 (a travel pack that leans more toward the rugged side of the style spectrum). Check them out!

Fox Dropframe Pro Helmet

A Fox Dropframe Pro Helmet

Chilly white and creams seem very much in vogue at the moment, and it’s easy to see why. The aesthetic certainly looks fresh on Fox Racing’s recently updated Dropframe Pro helmet.

Changes to the line include extended ear coverage, MIPS technology, a new three-position adjustable visor, and an upgraded vent profile with built-in eyewear storage. Cheek pads, an antimicrobial liner, a magnetic closure chin strap closure, and an under-visor GoPro mount — you’ll pay a premium for all those features ($280), but keeping your brain from sloshing inside your skull the next time you go OTB is worth it. And if the winter styling doesn’t match your kit, no worries — Fox has eight more colors on tap.

Tracksmith No Days Off Collection Layers

One highlight of Tracksmith’s annual No Days Off (NDO) collection is the upgrade of winter layer options. Cold-weather running can be one of the best workouts — if you have the right gear. One that caught our eye, besides the new Downeaster Hoodie, is the NDO Wind-Block Mockneck ($168). For that price, it had better block wind, be extra cozy, and be a staple layer all winter.

The partial merino wool construction likely helps with the warmth, while a secondary layer sewn on top of the wool honeycomb design should mitigate that icy breeze. As for the sculpted, ice-covered hairdo on display in the photo at the top of this story … may I recommend a hat?

Limited-Edition Patta Danner Light

Danner’s team-ups are always worth an inclusion in Emerging Gear thanks to thoughtful picks in collaboration partners combined with interesting design choices. In the case of the Limited-Edition Patta Danner Light, Danner brings the trusty Vibram outsole, classic boot design, and made-in-America construction the brand is known for.

Meanwhile, Patta’s contributions include colorful CORDURA side panels paired with suede leather uppers.

Overade LIFE Urban Helmet

The head protection needs of an urban commuter are slightly different than those demanded by downhill riders. There’s precious little call for a turn signal in the woods, but in the city, it can be the difference between getting to work on time and a visit to the ER.

Overade’s LIFE helmet includes turn signals in addition to front and rear lights, a brake light, a magnetic strap buckle, and a removable visor. It’s all designed with what Overade calls “a French touch.”

The early access price on Kickstarter is $99, but that price won’t last long. Get one now, and it should be at your door in May 2024.

a woman ride a bike in the company of two dogs

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