Head to Toe – The Best Full Men’s & Women’s Mountain Bike Kits of Summer 2024

Head to Toe – The Best Full Men’s & Women’s Mountain Bike Kits of Summer 2024

Featured Image: Courtesy of Aspen Snowmass

Summertime means three things; backyard barbecues, baseball and biking. The first two are optional, the last one is not. Whether you’re a season berm-lover who lives for downhill, a single track junkie who wants nothing more than a long ride away from everyone, or this is your first season testing the waters, we welcome all comers to the official FREESKIER head-to-toe kit build-out. We know that, while it seems minimalistic, there are a few key components that every great rider needs. The bike is just the start. Your wallet says no, but your heart says yes.

As an expensive but relentlessly fun hobby, mountain biking requires a bit of homework in order to have a good time. Part of that means looking through the necessary gear, from shades to shoes and everything in between. While there are so many great products on the market, the FREESKIER Editors have organized our favorite pieces into full Women’s and Men’s kits. Below you’ll find our top selections for helmets, sunnies, jerseys, gloves, pants, socks, shoes and packs. We’ve broken down the details and included clickable links so you can purchase items that stand out. Of course, we always recommend heading into your local bike shop and asking around, but we think this will serve as a great starting point. Happy trails. Long live long rides.

Women’s Full Kit


POC – Kortal Race Mips

POC has been a staple in the helmet game for two decades. They’ve used their extensive knowledge to engineer the Kortal Race Mips helmet. As we all know, skiing and biking are quite different, and your head can endure a variety of impacts when on dirt. Your ski helmet isn’t designed the same, and won’t protect as well. That’s why it’s important to have a bike-focused helmet. The POC Kortal Race Mips helmet has several features that we find enticing. First is the Extended Protection Zones. The helmet, “covers more of the temples and is thicker around the back of the head to give extra protection in zones where many impacts occur,” according to POC.

The Patented Breakaway Peak is another excellent edition. The peak, or visor on the helmet’s front, is designed to come off when impacted. That way your neck is less vulnerable to harsh whiplash if the peak were to catch on the ground, a tree branch, a rogue tiger or any of the above. Finally, the ventilation system in the Koral Race helmet is a thing of beauty. The vents run along the top of the helmet and are designed to be uninterrupted by sunglasses or a goggle strap that’s secured along the sides. Even if you’re in hairy terrain, you’ll stay calm, cool and collected.


Julbo – Frequency

An often overlooked but crucial part of the kit, your sunnies are the barrier between you and your primary connection to the outside world. The Frequency glasses from Julbo deliver a wide panoramic view that blocks the oncoming sun and even bugs as you zoom over the hillside and back again. Julbo’s Reactiv Photochromic lens is a game changer, as it automatically adjusts to the current UV light conditions. They’re shatter and scratch-resistant as well. With glasses this good, free shipping and a lifetime warranty are simply the cherry on top.


Wild Rye – Holly Jersey

Made from a merino wool and polyester blend, the Holly Jersey from Wild Rye is the ultimate combination of practicality and style. The merino wool keeps this long-sleeved jersey durable and odor-resistant, while the mesh paneling along the sides adds breathability. It sports a very loose fit, which is a great feature because it allows for elbow padding and other body protection, such as a back protector. Take it biking. Take it running. Take it to the couch. You’ll be comfortable in this one wherever you roam.


Oakley – All Mountain MTB Gloves

You never think you’ll need them… until you do. Gloves are an essential piece of any good bike kit. Once you annihilate the palms of your hands after a good spill, you’ll understand. Or you can grab the All Mountain MTB Gloves from Oakley before that happens and have protection from scrapes aplenty. This full-finger glove is made of nylon and spandex for mobility and durability. And in the fall when the temps drop, you can keep them on when you scroll through the weather thanks to the touchscreen compatible finger tips.


Flylow – Tia Pant

These biking-specific pants offer immense value to any rider. From overgrown summer brush to cold fall flurries, a pair of pants is a great piece to have in your biking wardrobe. The knee area is articulated, with extra room to fit knee pads. The bottoms are elasticized, so they’ll cling to your ankles and not onto your chain. Moisture-wicking and quick-drying, this nylon pant ensures that your prepared for any conditions that you might find on the trail.


Smartwool – W Bike Celestial Print Ankle Socks

You won’t find a better option on the market. Smartwool is a fan favorite, and while we love them for their dependable ski socks, they know how to make a damn good sock for biking, too. What a concept! Less is more with this one. This is a thin, breathable ankle sock that is made of primarily merino wool, yarn and nylon. You won’t even notice it’s there, and that means it’s doing its job perfectly. Plus there are stars on the print, and if you don’t like that we don’t know how to help you.


Adidas – Five Ten Freerider Pro Canvas

You might not have expected to see a product from Adidas on this list, and we don’t blame you. There are plenty of other brands that hold a stronger position in the mountain bike market, but that shoe has earned its spot. The Five Ten Freerider Pro Canvas shoe is a castle for your feet. These are not clip-in shoes, which is an important distinction to make. A clipless system offers many benefits, such as being able to bail from your bike when in the air and, let’s be honest, usually a more comfortable shoe. But don’t be mistaken, your feet won’t go slipping off your pedals with these on.

Using pedal-gripping Dotty tread, these are certified flat-pedal classics that will keep you connected as you hug a tight berm or give a steezy whip mid-air. And say goodbye to beat-up toes. The impact-resistant toe box ensures that the next time you crush your foot into a rock mid-pedal, you’ll shrug it off without hesitation. This cult classic is our top Women’s shoe pick for good reason.


Deuter – Pulse Pro 5 Hip Bag

Don’t lose yo sh*t! That’s our favorite lesson from Confucius. He may not have said exactly that, but it’s close enough. And it’s very applicable when you’re on the go. Whether you’re hot lapping downhill at your favorite resort or you’re on a 15-mile single-track haul sweating out the demons, you’ll want the Pulse Pro 5 Hip Bag from Deuter to keep your goodies safely secured.

This 5-liter bag weighs only 1.17 pounds and has many useful features. In addition to the lightweight and nimble design, we like this bag thanks to the front tool pocket, (pictured above,) compact hip pockets and the storable mesh straps that can hold extra gear. And, if a water bottle isn’t your style, it even has room for a hydration pack. Small but mighty, the Pusle Pro 5 is your best friend on the trail.

Photo: Courtesy of Mt. Bachelor

Men’s Full Kit


Sweet Protection – Bushwhacker 2Vi Mips

Perhaps the most important part of your kit, your helmet needs to be a thorough choice. The level of excellence in the field is incredibly high, and there aren’t very many wrong choices. That being said, there are certainly the right ones. With that, we give you the Bushwacker 2Vi from Sweet Protection. The Norwegian brand has made huge waves in recent years, gaining a massive foothold in the North American market. They did this by collecting a stellar team of athletes, creating accurate and appealing marketing, and of course by producing some of the best goods money can buy.

This helmet is designed to be as versatile as it is durable. From the high deserts of Utah to the thick forests of California, you’ll be cool and, more importantly, protected. The Bushwhacker 2Vi features a combination of Mips and Sweet Protection’s own 2Vi system. Mips is a rotational management system found in many helmets, which pivots around your head in the event of an impact. It can help transfer energy that would otherwise go right to your dome. 2Vi is an integrated system for Mips that is unique to Sweet Protection. It adds extra comfort and protection without sacrificing weight or volume. That’s a true win-win situation right there. Add in the adjustable Occigrip Turn-dial System for a customizable fit and you’ve got one of the best products around.


100% – Glendale 

Keep it one hundred. The Glendale shades from 100% will help you do just that. Protect your face and eyes with a frame and lens combo that you can trust. First, we have a Grilamid TR90 frame which is composed of nylon-based thermoplastic. All that fancy lingo means it’s damn near impossible to break and will help protect the tender regions of your face should you go down swinging. Check the end of the arms and you’ll find adjustable temple tips so you can dial in your perfect fit. The standard lenses offer scratch-resistant coating and the HYDROIL coating repels water, dirt and oils.


Spyder – Olson Long Sleeve

Out of all the items we’ve selected, the Mens Olson Long Sleeve Jersey from Spyder might offer the most bang for your buck. This laid-back top offers everything you want in a mountain bike jersey. Plus, it comes in two great colorways. Made from 100% recycled polyester mesh, you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting high-quality technical apparel that helps reduce environmental waste in the process. The baggy fit leaves ideal space to fit elbow pads and a back protector underneath without feeling tight or constrained.


Norrøna – fjørå Mesh Gloves

Norrøna has roots stretching all the way back to 1929, when a young Norwegian explorer set off on a new quest; to find durable outdoor products that could withstand the brunt of a winter in the far North. Over the last century, they’ve nearly perfected this craft through hard work and turmoil. All that is to say, they can sure as hell make an excellent pair of gloves. The fjørå Mesh Gloves stick to the brand’s minimalist style with maximum performance. Breathable and lightweight, they are ideal for warm days when you still want to keep your paws protected from sun and dirt alike. Made from Clarino, they are built of man-made fibers that are perforated at a microscopic level. It’s a perfect material for moisture management and will keep your hands comfortable no matter how uncomfortable your ride gets.


Curious Creatures – Sun Dog Pant 

These stylish trousers are a recent iteration from Curious Creatures. Building off of their past models, this new version of the Sun Dog Pant is as practical as it is stylish. They describe it as being the perfect pant for, “berm bois and dirt dawgs,” so you better believe they can hold their own on the downhill. They run fairly true to size, with extra room built into the knees to allow knee pads underneath. Primarily made of polyester fabric, they are durable while remaining breathable. They include tons of features worth fawning over, such as two secure zippered thigh pockets, one secure back pocket, an adjustable drawcord at the waist and a hanger loop at the back.


Darn Tough – Light Hiker Micro Crew Lightweight

It’s Darn Tough. It’s Vermont. It’s never a bad choice. Recently redesigned, the Light Hiker Micro Crew is a gem, and speaks to the importance of noticing the little things. You might not think twice about a pair of socks, but that’s probably because you haven’t tried on a pair of Darn Tough. Their products are known for having incredible longevity, which is a life and money saver when it comes to socks. Think about how many times you’ve bought cheaply made socks and noticed a hole in a matter of weeks. That won’t happen here. Mesh panels on the top of the foot will keep you cool, while a cushion over the Achilles will keep you comfortable. You can trust that a pair of Darn Tough’s will live up to their name.


Giro – Latch Shoe

You might know Giro for their outstanding helmets, but it’s time to start paying attention to their shoes. This flat-pedal shoe has a redesigned sole with a flat profile. No surprise there. Giro’s engineers brewed up Track Rubber, a new elastic compound that has as much grip as durability. Next they added Mute Foam, a composite in the midsole that mitigates vibration and chatter, allowing you to stay planted on your pedals no matter how rocky the road may get. Find it in four unique colors and a variety of sizes.


Dakine – Syncline 12L Bike Hydration Backpack

We come now to the unsung hero of the kit. The protector and keeper of snacks and water. The tool-carrying, ride-extending, ultra-useful item that no rider should travel without. Of course, this is the trusty backpack. But today we bring you not just any backpack, but THE backpack. The Syncline from Dakine is a 12-liter bag that balances between roomy and compact. It has pockets and stashes galore so you can bring tools and bars on the long road ahead, without being weighed down by extra space or material. There’s room for a hydration pack so you won’t have to stop for water as you pedal into the sunset. We recommend this workhorse for the avid biker looking for long adventures into the middle of nowhere. If that doesn’t sound like a good day, we’re not sure what does.

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