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Molly’s 10 Pieces of Outdoor Gear That Have Lasted 10+ Years

by | Sep 16, 2023 | Gear, Women Specific

There are some pieces of gear that are great for a couple of seasons… and then, there are pieces of cycling kit, running apparel and outdoor gear that have stood up to over 10+ years of hard, hard use. We wanted to pay homage to a few of the pieces that we’ve used over and over again over the years—that, despite its age, is still going strong. These are also great gift ideas for those hard to buy for athletes in your life. I tried to keep the list to things that are still available (pour one out for Timbuk2’s customizable bags and backpacks!) and things that I’ve used for at least several years, if not over a decade—there are tons of great pieces that I’ve gotten recently, but this list is just about longevity. So, here we go!

1/ Lululemon Align 7/8 Tights

I write about these tights all the time. They’re not run tights, they’re more for yoga/everyday life, but I think they’re the best for running. They’re high waisted and stay in place, but unlike lululemon’s ultra-compressive run tights, these have a ‘naked’ fit (the brand’s words, not mine) that make them much less restrictive. They’re not the warmest tights, but they stay in place, don’t have any weird seams, and hold up to a ton of washes, dries and long runs. I’ve run 100 miles in them—and they last forever.

 

2/ Velocio LS Ultralite Full Zip Jersey

Another basic I’ve had for over a decade in the original slate gray. I’ve had iterations of it in burnt orange, black, and now, a gorgeous light sandy color called Moonrock, but the slate gray from 2013 is still going strong. Get the current version—the Ultralite—in a few colors including Moonrock here.

3/ Velocio Bibs

There are a lot of pieces from Velocio that I love, but none quite as much as their basic black bibs. I still have the original pair I reviewed back in 2013 and they still hold up after hundreds of hours on the bike. Love their other stuff too (Luxe Bib Tights are AMAZING for fall/winter riding), but in terms of gear that I’ve actually had for around a decade, the bibs are impossible to beat. If you’re on a budget, the Core collection is super reasonable—but the Luxe is worth the extra $$! Get them here

 

4/ Lululemon Speed Up Short

For me, the Speed Short is hard to beat when it comes to running shorts. These things just fit. And they’re durable! I finally had my first-ever pair that I bought in 2012 give up the ghost on me—the elastic finally lose its stretch—but it took A LOT of wear and tear before that happened. (Honorable mention to Tracksmith Summit Shorts, which are also quite comfy—but I’ve only had mine for 3 years, so I can’t quite confirm their ability to last a decade yet!)

5/ Outdoor Research Women’s Offchute Pants

I got these pants well over a decade ago (2010 or 11, I believe) and they’re still my snowpants. I don’t do a ton of trekking around in the snow, but for skiing, sledding, hanging out in the snow, whatever, they’re still the pants that I use, and they basically look new. Get it here

6/ Outdoor Research Floodlight Jacket

Again, over a decade in, this plain black winter jacket remains the only deep winter jacket that I need. The hood is so cozy, and the jacket itself is ridiculously well-built. I wear this to walk DW in the snow, and actually stay warm despite -40 F temps up here in the winter. Get it here

7/ Gore packable raincoat

This raincoat has been through everything with me and it’s so worth the spend. I’ve had it for years, it’s been all over the world, it packs into a saddle bag, it’s great for riding and running, and it’s been through the washer AND dryer and still works great. They don’t make the exact model anymore but this is a close one

8/ Ortlieb Messenger Backpack

We’ve had this for 12 years and it’s still the bag we use to schlep heavy groceries. Peter also now uses it for rucking and puts 40 pounds of weights in it to walk around—so when I say this is sturdy, I really, really mean it. Get it here

9/ Cheap Black Handkerchief

I’ll never get tired of running with a bandana as a headband or around my neck as a buff. For around $1-2, you can’t go wrong. This is a trait I picked up from the Hurford men, who all work outdoor/physical jobs and never left home without one of these on hand. (Get one here.)

10/ My Dad’s Triathlon Shirt

This polyester cotton blend triathlon tank top that my dad got as a bonus for subscribing to Triathlete Magazine in 1985 is by far my favorite piece of clothing that I own. It’s the thing I’d save from a burning building (after Peter and DW). Despite 38 years of use, this shirt is still my absolute favorite tank top to train in, and it’s obviously hugely sentimental for me.

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