Every time we start combing through mountains of gear to bring you the best, we're reminded of the old maxim that gear ain't cheap (OK, maybe that's not a maxim, but it's true). Especially not good gear—the kind of stuff that you're still using five or 10 years down the line, when it's old enough to morph into a cred-giving status symbol that shows how long you've been skiing (they aren't shaped?!) or biking (loving the steel steed, man) or backpacking (hells yeah, external frame pack!). It's fun to look at brand-new shiny objects every season, but it's also nice to have a trusted friend along on your every adventure.
This list is full of such gear—top-performing jackets, boots, packs and watches that your favorite athlete will be relying on for years to come. We hope you really love them, cause you'll need to fork over some serious coin. No gingerbread-scented candles and reindeer sweaters here. Just good quality gifts.