Improving rider safety has been a hot topic lately, a brands compete to provide better protection from injury.
That competition is great for riders. There’s never been more, or better options for helmets, lights, and other protective apparel to choose from. At the same time, improvements in storage options are great for short rides, or for getting well “out there” into the backcountry on your next bike packing adventure. Here’s some of the standouts from Sea Otter 2019 in Monterrey, California.
Smith drops new helmet and bright Sunburst option
Smith Forefront 2 is designed to work with the brand's Squad XL goggles, with space to adjust the visor and get the goggles off your face when they're not needed.
The Forefront 2 removes a small section of Koroyd protection to provide better ventilation
Smith was also showing off its new Trace road and XC helmet at Sea Otter
Smiths XL goggles in the limited edition Graham Agassiz colourway
With matching Aggy edition jersey from Dakine
Smith had its full line of helmets at Sea Otter in an eye-catching, limited edition Sunburst colourway that looked very ready for the summer heat. The Forefront 2 offers more protection, while the new Trace will suit XC racers and roadies alike. For more on the Forefront 2, check out our video review of Smith’s new helmet.
RELATED: Enter to win a pair of Smith Reverb and Smith Lowdown 2 sunglasses
Lazer sets its sights on the trail
Lazer Impala is the higher end option, following the Coyote
The Impala comes with the option for full MIPS protection. Tougher material around the brim keeps the helmet safe when resting on rocks and dirt
An integrated breakaway GoPro mount can be used for camera's, lights, or whatever else you want to attach to the top of your head. Velcro makes sure the attachment comes off safely and esily in the case of a crash
The plastic insert is designed to tear away, not poke through the top of the helmet into the riders head. The Impala is reinforced in this area to provide support.
A three position visor combines flexibility and protection
Lazers ATS system adjusts fit around the whole head, not just the back. It also can carry a small integrated rear light for riding home in after dark.
Lazer's simpler Coyote was launched earlier this year.
Lazer is well established in the road bike market, but the company has clearly done its research for the new Impala mountain bike lid. MIPS protection, an adjustable visor, Lazer’s ATS fit adjustment system, and a novel breakaway GoPro mount are just some features, along with a range of clean colour options. The Impala has 22 vents to keep you cool, lightweight straps, tougher material around the brim to keep the helmet safe, as well as a space to attach a rear light for the ride home.
EVOC – Race light hips and mini-packs
A new enduro race hip pack uses lightweight Airo Flex material to keep goods secure and comfortable
Smaller pockets line the back of the bag, with room for tools, snacks, and other minimal essentials
These pockets velcro shut to keep snacks safely secured during your race run
THere's a designated pump strap as welll
EVOC's frame bag comes with plenty of straps, which you can place on any part of the bags frame to match your fancy carbon fibre mountain bike's unique frame shape
There's space for tools, and a small pouch for keys.
EVOC's top tube bag also comes with all the straps you could possibly need to keep it secure on your frame
And has a small portal for a USB cable so you can charge lights, bike computers or anything else you want on long rides
Velcro straps can be moved around on the bag to better fit your frame
EVOC has been around for 10 years as a company, and now produces a wide range of innovative bags and storage options for cyclists, as well as for winter sports. At Sea Otter, EVOC followed up it’s Danny MaCaskill designed Neo bag with some smaller options with attention to detail. Every good rider knows the key to staying on trail at speed is all in the hips. EVOC’s lightweight enduro race belt will keep your hips free to move during your next race run, while holding enough snacks to refuel for longer rides.
Ortlieb Atrack bikepacking backpack and stealth bags
Ortlieb now makes its Atrack backpack in a bikepacking specific design
The Attrack bag zips along the spine, keeping the zipper clean from much
A simple, quick two cinch system opens and closes the bag, securing the flaps while riding
It opens in a duffel style, for easy access to all your gear
A limited run of murdered-out all-black bags will be offered this season
The three bag line will launch worldwide simultaneously
But when it's gone, it's gone for good. Like a bikepacker into the night
The venerable German pannier producer has been making bike packing gear for four years now. The German facility, which produces almost all of its materials and bags completely in house (buckles come from a partner company that is all the way from across the street), as it has for 30 years now.
Extending the bike packing line. Including a new, lightweight version of its Atrak bag, using lighter fabrics and with optional attachments for various styles of helmet, and lighter waist straps to help prevent chafing. For riders that want weight off the bike, it’s a unique approach to a bag, no matter what your outdoor pursuit. The bag opens along the spine, using a clever waterproof system. Easy access pockets on the side keep what you need within reach, while the main pocket remains clean and safe. The design lets you put the bag down without clogging the zipper or getting much on the shoulder straps. Ortlieb’s Atrack comes in 25, 35, and 45L options.
Dakine keeps you organized on the road
Internal dividers and pockets keep you organized while on the road
A special, tougher envelope lets you store your pedals without risking the rest of your gear
Dakine had more than the Aggy edition gear on display. It’s travel duffel opens into a wide, divided space to organize your gear, helmet and other essentials for a weekend or riding. There’s separate pockets for pedals, muddy shoes, and even a fold out changing pad to stand on to keep your feet clean when you need to get your gear off quick at the trail head.
Knog gets lit
Knog has expanded from mini-lights to full on bar lights for commuting or trail riding.
Two sizes cover a range of riding uses, and are packed with more novel features than you'd expect form a bike light.
The cobber features 330-degree light coverage and comes in two different sizes for front and rear
Knog is expanding its light options with the PWR and Cobber light systems. The PWR is an adjustable ranges, available in options up to 2000 lumens. The line features interchangeable batteries, which can be removed easily for charging, or to use as an extra power source while out in the back country. The Cobber focuses on visibility, offering 330-degree coverage to keep you safe from vehicles approaching from the side, not just from behind. The Cobber comes in three sizes, and in a front or rear light. Knog’s stepped up bike light will be available in singles, or as a front/rear pair.