ACTIVE Best of 2015: Triathlon
Best Helmet: Bell Star Pro$280 1 of 10
Say goodbye to those classic pointy aero helmets that look more 'alien' than 'triathlete.' Bell's Star Pro combines impressive aerodynamics, comfort and performance in a sleek and (somewhat) traditional looking helmet. The vents can be shut to improve aerodynamics with a slide of the button, and the wide magnetic eye shield protects your eyes while also improving vision.
Best Cycling Shoe: Shimano TR9$200 2 of 10
The TR9 is Shimano's elite triathlon racing shoe, designed to optimize power transfer and save precious seconds on the bike leg. The inside out T1-Quick strap makes transitions and adjustments on the fly easier, and the 3D mesh upper was breathable and soft enough for a pleasant sock-free experience. Comfortable, stylish and efficient--look no further than the TR9.
Best Running Shoe: Hoka Clifton 2$130 3 of 10
The redesign of Hoka's ultra-popular model, the Clifton 2, features an updated upper in a more lightweight package. Although it's one of the stranger-looking shoes on the market, the Clifton 2's ride is unparalleled--especially on concrete dominated runs. We were exceptionally fond of these on long base mile training runs--afterward, our legs felt fresher than with any other pair of shoes we've tested.
Best Accessory: XLAB Gear Box Kit$60 4 of 10
There never seems to be a perfect solution for storing gear on the bike. XLAB's newest offering solves this problem flawlessly with a two-compartment container designed to keep a multi-tool, speed chuck, CO2 cartridges, a patch kit, two tire levers and a tube in a compact and noise-free package. The Gear Box Kit fits into a bottle cage, so it frees up space in your jersey (or tri kit) pockets, too.
Best Wetsuit: Roka Maverick Pro Fullsuit$799 5 of 10
We found the Maverick Pro Fullsuit to easily be the most comfortable wetsuit we've tested. Roka claims it's the fastest wetsuit on the planet, and while we don't have our own data to back up this claim, it certainly feels fast. The shoulders are uninhibited throughout the entire freestyle arm cycle and the multi-panel construction adds buoyancy in all the right places. We can't wait to see what the 2016 refresh will bring.
Best Eyewear: Oakley Jawbreaker$220 6 of 10
Seen on the faces of Mirinda Carfrae and Sebastian Kienle, the Oakley Jawbreaker has taken the endurance scene by storm. The oversized lenses have a throwback Scott Tinley feel, and the adjustable temples work well on the run and over helmet straps. The Prizm lenses are the biggest draw--they accentuate shadows and the contours of the road while providing protection from the sun.
Best Technology: Garmin Edge 520$300 7 of 10
So we know you can't swim and run with this device, but as a cycling training tool, nothing has impressed us more. Between the Strava live segments, indoor trainer control, live tracking and automatic uploads, the Garmin Edge 520 has all the features you can think of housed in an aerodynamic and reliable package.
Best Nutritional Product: GoMacro MacroBars$30, Pack of 11. 8 of 10
GoMacro's MacroBars are a delicious and simple alternative to the popular energy bars currently on the market. Not only are they organic and high in protein, but they are gluten free, vegan and GMO free. Added bonus: The sweeteners are made from organic brown rice, not processed corn syrup--perfect for long-lasting energy. We couldn't find a flavor we didn't like.
Best Saddle: ISM PS 1.0$225 9 of 10
ISM has created anatomical and comfortable saddles designed to preserve blood flow, eliminate numbness and improve performance. And with a new naming system, it's even easier to find the right saddle for your needs. The PS 1.0 is the most comfortable saddle we've tried, and it works flawlessly especially for iron-distance events.