The Summer MTB Gear You Don’t Have — Yet.

Our summer 2024 gear picks, including a stainless-steel Camelbak water bottle, armless sunglasses, sheep-skin gloves, and maple syrup hydration.

As Will Smith once sang, “Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind.”

But not if you’re a mountain biker! No, summer is the time to hit the trails, breathe in fresh mountain air, and pedal until the sun sets. Whether you’re packing the car for the third after-work ride of the week or gearing up for a weekend getaway, these fun items may not make you faster on the trail but they’re sure to deliver smiles for miles.

Ombraz Cammina Sunglasses

  • Price: $145 – $160
  • Buy from Ombraz

If you’re going to be spending time around the water this summer, the Ombraz Cammina sunglasses are a great choice thanks to their armless, strapped design. We’ve also found they’re more comfortable than traditional eye wear with hard plastic arms that can interfere with a bike helmet.

The Cammina is one of the newest styles from Ombraz with an angular, vintage look that stands out from the pack. Bonus: they’re lightweight too, which we’ve found is much appreciated on longer days in the saddle.

Fox Flexair 50th Limited Edition Gloves

We don’t get excited about mountain bike gloves often, but the Fox Flexair 50th Limited Edition gloves are pretty unique — and awesome. This limited-edition version of the popular Flexair glove features a neoprene cuff and a sheep-leather palm that is incredibly comfortable with excellent bar grip.

These tight, form-fitting gloves don’t offer a lot in the way of protection. Instead, they’re designed to be lightweight and breathable for summer riding with a gloveless, mechanic’s glove feel. Hopefully this edition isn’t too limited; the Flexair 50th is a winner!

Roka Havana Sunglasses

  • Price: $190 – $225
  • Buy from ROKA

Roka describes the new Havana sunglasses as “retro-inspired, teardrop aviator” style eyewear, and buyers can choose from four different frame colors including the Bourbon frame shown here. We’re consistently impressed with the quality of Roka eyewear, from the lenses to the frames, and of course the style.

You can also order the Havana sunglasses with custom prescription lenses online.

Untapped Mapleaid Hydration

Some drink mixes can taste chalky or artificial, but not Mapleaid Liquid Drink Mix —it goes down as smooth as syrup! And that’s because it IS syrup, maple syrup to be exact, straight from Vermont. Mix a single-serve packet with 12oz of water for 80 calories of refreshing on-bike hydration to stay fueled on long, hot days.

Untapped Mapleaid is made from just maple syrup and sea salt, plus a bit of fruit juice for the flavored versions. With 250-300mg of sodium, it’s not just a tasty drink, it’s also full of electrolytes.

Topo Designs Mountain Gear Bag

We’re always looking for better ways to pack our gear for summer day trips, and the Topo Designs Mountain Gear Bag is our current favorite. The flat bottom and semi-rigid construction makes it easy to pack and to unpack without the bag constantly folding onto itself.

And talk about size! It’s just right for packing shoes, a helmet or two, clothes and a towel for after the ride, snacks, and more. Everything stays organized thanks to two internal mesh sleeves, two external cinch sleeves, and a front zippered pocket with key loop. Includes a shoulder strap for keeping hands free, or just grab the sewn-in handles and go!

Bonus: Add on a Topo Designs Rover Pack Micro ($29, above right) to keep your phone or point-and-shoot within reach. This bag is the perfect size for small snacks and keys too, and you can attach it using the included carabiner or attach it to a belt with the build-in loops.

Tyre Glider Bike Tire Lever

  • Price: $14.99
  • Buy from Amazon

Build a better tire lever, and the world will beat a path to your door. OK, maybe that doesn’t apply to tire levers, though we’ve found the Tyre Glider is a pretty handy tool to have around. Admittedly, there’s a bit of a learning curve if you’re used to basic tire levers, and we had to watch the instructional video a couple of times before getting the hang of it.

Installing a tire on a rim with the Tyre Glider is quick and easy: just hook it and slide! Removing a tire takes a little more effort — and faith that you’re not damaging the bead — but it seems to be especially helpful for tires with a tight fit.

Pearl Izumi Summit Pro Gloves

If you ride narrow, tree-lined trails all summer like we do, the Pearl Izumi Summit Pro gloves are a great choice. The D3O knuckle protection wrapped in ripstop fabric will goad you into riding faster and brushing the sides of the trails closer than ever before while the Clarino palm will keep your hands firmly on the grips.

A top-side hook and loop closure ensures a secure fit and silicon grippers on the fingers are great for braking. We found the gloves to run a bit large so if you’re on the fence between sizes, we recommending ordering the smaller size.

Camelbak Podium Stainless Steel Water Bottle

  • Price: $35.00 – $40.00
  • Buy from Amazon

The Camelbak Podium is a popular water bottle choice thanks to its simple design and quality, leak-proof nozzle. The Podium Stainless takes the design to a whole ‘nother level with double-walled, stainless steel construction that keeps cold drinks cold for up to 14 hours.

Unlike other stainless steel water bottles we’ve tested, the Camelbak Podium features a flexible straw so you don’t have to turn the bottle up to drink. And like the original, it’s easy to open and close the valve to avoid accidental leaks.

Because it’s a heavier than a normal bottle, we’re reserving this one for casual summertime rides and trips in the car. And thanks to the stainless steel liner, our iced tea with lemon tastes great every time!

ODI X D3O Vanquish Grips

  • Price: $44.95
  • Buy from ODI

The ODI Vanquish grips are made with D30 compound technology. They are set to reduce twice the vibration over standard compounds without adding bulk or extra hardware. This helps with hand fatigue on longer rides and reduces all those vibrations that get transferred over to the rider.

The multi-layer grip pattern offers excellent anti-slip grip and comfort. These grips use ODI’s well-known single lock-on clamp system that secures them in place. These grips have a diameter of 32.75mm and 135mm length. They are made in the USA and offered in D3O orange, gray, and black.

Skida Hat

  • Price: $48
  • Buy from Skida

Flat bill hats are fine, but for venturing afield outdoors, this hat from Skida is our choice. Sure, it’s made from technical breathable and water-repellant materials, but it also looks damn good thanks to its five-panel construction and medium-length, curved brim.

Choose from more than 25 (!) patterns, including the Party Wave version shown here. We’ve found the Skida hat works great for covering helmet hair after a ride and even just wearing around town.

Flylow Mission Bike Gloves

The Flylow Mission Gloves are lightweight and breathable for those hot summer days. The back is made of nylon, and the palm side is made of suede. Tiny laser perforations in the palm allow for great ventilation, and the Flylow logo doubles as a functional silicone grip on the palm. The thumb and forefingers also have a small silicone grip that is touch-screen compatible. I would like to see a bit more silicone grip on the forefingers for added grip at the brake lever. 

If you’re looking for more protection in a glove, these might not be the best choice. The Mission Gloves in size Small fit like a glove (pun intended) and I found them to be true to size. There are two colorways available: Marine (pictured here) and Black.