For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
Every month our staff does lots of triathlon and triathlon-adjacent things. Yes, we test new gear, but we also have old favorites and secret tricks and things we’re loving right now. That’s why each month we share our favorite tri-related things and members get a chance to win one of our editors’ picks.
This month, members can win an amazing Moonfab Moonshade that attaches easily to your car to provide a tent-like pop-up. Enter by April 15 and a winner will be picked at random. Check back next month for new picks.
mountainFLOW Bike Wash + Degreaser
Full disclosure: I usually only wash my bike before I take it in to the mechanic, much in the same way I do an annual Hail Mary floss before dental appointments. But while stocking up on spare tubes and GUs, this cardboard bottle caught my eye. Yes, you read that right: a cardboard spray bottle. The packaging is in line with mountainFLOW’s eco-friendly ethos, which uses plant-based, biodegradable mixtures for things like chain lube and bike wash. Environmentally-friendly gear is something I’ve been seeking out lately (like buying a used bike instead of new), but I had never really thought about the chemicals in bike degreasers until now. Long story short, I’ve got a clean bike and a slightly cleaner conscience.
– Susan Lacke, digital editor
This is one of those gadgets you’re not sure what to expect from—and you pack it for an evening hike and it “surprises and delights,” as they say. Since Daylight Saving Time came in, I’ve done many an early evening hike with this rechargeable lantern, which has a range of different lighting modes (cool and warm white; candle flicker; single color; multicolor). You can use it as a standard lantern (granted, it’s a bit bigger than your average headlamp) or as an ambient light. I’ve used it as both, with the 500 lumens providing ample lighting if you’re looking for pure function—or you can simply use it to set a cool fireside-type feel. It’s lightweight, versatile, and durable (I’ve thrown it in my backpack with dog leashes and all sorts)—and it continues to impress me.
– Emma-Kate Lidbury, managing editor
This is one of those things you didn’t know you needed until you got it and now you can’t live without it. I’ve had a vehicle awning attached to my car for years (a Yakima Slimshady, which is also awesome),and the additional shade for super-sunny or super-rainy days has been a lifesaver more than once. Having a parking lot basecamp at races not only gives you some excellent refuge, but it’s also a great way to make friends. The only downside with a permanently mounted roof rack system is a lack of flexibility when your parking position is less than ideal (which it often is). Sometimes you can’t find a spot with open space on the side of your awning; sometimes the parking area is so full you can’t open it at all.
The reason I took interest in the Moonshade was because you could attach it to either side of your car, it wasn’t permanently mounted, and you could even pitch it on trees, fences, or poles (though your success rate with this may vary). It packs up to about the size of a yoga mat, weighs a little under 10 pounds, and pops up to 9′ x 7′ of coverage. Better yet, it pitches with a peaked roof, helping to shed water better than the flat-top awning I have permanently affixed to my car. It comes with a few suction cup attachments, but you can also buy magnets, rail anchors, adhesive attachments, and even eyebolts to help affix it to different base mounting points.
– Chris Foster, executive editor
MEMBERS: Enter to win your own Moonfab Moonshade.
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2
I know, I know, it’s not trendy to like Nike shoes. But the reality is: While training for a marathon last month, I tried a number of “supershoes” and (at least for me) these are just the fastest, plain and simple. It’s a fact that can’t be ignored.
I’ll caveat this with I train and race triathlon almost exclusively in Hokas. I’ve got Hokas for tempo, for trail, for tempo trail, for recovery, for racing. And when it comes to triathlon, particularly long-course triathlon, where the bigger issue is limiting breakdown, I never found any advantage from the Nike supershoes. My unscientific theory is it has something to do with how I run off the bike v. in a pure running race, along with the mixed surfaces and many turns of tri. I will also caveat by noting that with advances from every brand to compete in the supershoe department, which one works best for you now depends more on you, your stride, your needs. It’s just that, for me, man, these really really work. Upgrading my old 4%s to this newest version suddenly made it feel like I was the fastest person in the world; I should probably just become a pro runner.
– Kelly O’Mara, editor-in-chief
RELATED: What Makes Super Shoes Super?