Wednesday, November 15, 2023

RoadTrailRun 2023 Holiday Gift Guide for Runners Part 6: Poles, Lighting, Sunglasses

Articles by Dominique and Sam Winebaum, Sally Reiley, Jeff Valliere, Jeremy Marie, Ben David, Mike Postaski, Renee Krusemark, Marcel Krebs, & Markus Zinkl

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners Part 6: Poles, Lighting, Sunglasses

The RTR team went to town this holiday season to bring you this holiday gifts guide. The ideas kept on coming as we pondered great ideas for runners, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts, most tested over many miles in all conditions during 2023.

We ended up with well over 60 gift ideas (with mini reviews) across 12 categories for the runners in your life! See links to the other gift guides at the end of this article

Products in the guide are identified as review samples (RS) or personal purchases (PP)

Purchases at links in the article to our affiliate partners and on our site help support RoadTrailRun and are much appreciated.

Happy Holidays!


Marcel: Excellent carbon running poles featuring the very effective LEKI shark grip for optimized power transmission. It’s the perfect training partner for the more fragile LEKI Superlite poles and also a very good racing option on its own for more technical terrain. RS

Mike P: I actually broke one of my Superlite poles (RTR Review) in training and ordered the slightly beefier FX.ONE (non-superlite) as a replacement. They are a bit heavier and thicker, but definitely more sturdy and probably a better option at least for training. I used them in the very rugged Grossglockner Ultra Trail 100K and they survived - and helped me survive!

Leki UltraTrail FX.ONE


REI members, log in and use coupon code GEARUP23 at checkout to save 20% on this item thru 11/20.

FLEXTAIL Gear - Zero Pump ($42,99 w/o Battery, $49,99 w/ Battery)

A little helper for your outdoor adventures

The ZERO PUMP is a compact and lightweight outdoor pump designed for backpackers, weighing only 1.2oz and measuring 1.02 * 2.95in.

The ZERO PUMP lived up to its promise of being easy to use during my outdoor adventures. Its compact size proved to be a significant advantage, easily fitting into my backpack without adding unnecessary weight. Despite its small form, the pump demonstrated remarkable power, outperforming other pumps I've used in the past.

Available at Flextail


UltrAspire Lumen 600 Waist Light ($160)

Mike P: I highly recommend a waist light for any dark night trail running, and especially for overnight ultra racing. The amount of light output you get, plus the depth perception and shadow casting can make vision almost as good as during the day. I used UltrAspire’s Lumen 800 for several years, before receiving the 600 this season. I prefer the 600 now as it only uses a single battery up front which is easier to manage and also feels better in terms of weight distribution. The light control is also up front as well as an integrated charger port. I have the 3.0 version which uses micro USB, but the newer 4.0 now uses USB-C.  The UltrAspire’s waist belt / front panel combination is just right - no bounce at all, nicely flexible and doesn’t feel like it’s squeezing your midsection. RS

Shop for UtraSpire Lumen 600 Waist Light


Running Warehouse SHOP HERE

Backcountry SHOP HERE


Stoots Concept 

Jeremy My go-to headlamp for…anything that requires a headlamp. Made in France with high quality LED choices, combined focus and wide lighting, very good run times, no nonsense operations, and sturdy (aluminum-based) waterproof construction. All sold at a very fair price considering the quality and engineering behind them  I have had one for 6 years now which still runs like new, and the one I gave to a friend of mine is even older and still runs perfectly. PP


Julbo Density REACTIV 0-3 High Contrast ($250)

Sam:  I have long been a huge fan of Julbo’s Reactiv photochromic lenses and have used many models so equiped. And please don’t laugh as I wear them ‘over’ my prescription eyeglasses so light weight and a fit close enough and secure enough is key.  The new lighter frame and thinner lens Density are by far the best fitting “over’ sunglasses I have ever worn. Of course without extra “layers” they are lighter yet.

Their thinner than previous lenses and wide format provide an extremely clear uninterrupted view when worn in front of my eyeglasses as there is no lower or side framing

And of course, if worn as intended, even clearer. 

I always choose the highest possible light transmission in a photochromic lens for use at dawn/dusk and in the woods and here the 0-3 High Contrast lens (3d from the bottom below) transmits  86% in low light conditions and 4% in bright sun, the widest range of any Julbo Reactiv lens. 

I find far less of a need to take them on and off in and out of forests in rapidly changing light conditions than even earlier Julbo Reativ.

A clear evolution forward in super light weight, durable, high performance shades, the added benefit of photochromic Reactiv makes them the best sunglasses I have ever worn. PP

Shop for Julbo Density

Backcountry SHOP HERE


Smith Pinpoint RX ($278 and up)

Jeff V:  If you are looking for a prescription pair of sunglasses , with a prescription lens and not just an insert,  that can pull double duty as an everyday stylish pair of shades and just as easily take on just about any sport or activity, the Pinpoint RX is a top choice.  They are super light on the face, snug and secure with a quality build and superb Chromapop optics that bring out contrast and definition, especially handy for trail running. RS

Pinpoint RX is available at Smith Optics HERE

Koo Nova Sunglasses $200

Jeff V: Featherweight with frameless a wrap-around shield design and Zeiss lens for the highest optical quality, the Koo Nova is high quality, durable and provides an unobstructed field of vision for cycling and running.  The Italian company is somewhat new, but is catching on in the pro cycling world and running world as well. RS Review

Nova available at Koo HERE

Dynafit Ultra Pro Sunglasses ($220)

Jeff V: The Ultra Pro are large offering maximum protection for those looking for glasses with full coverage in windy conditions, above treeline, backcountry skiing, cycling, etc…  At 31 grams, the Ultra Pro are not the lightest, but they still feel light and comfortable on the face. They are very secure and frameless on the lower half delivering exceptionally good unobstructed visibility.  One of the main draws is the photochromic lens that varies from 75% light transmission (or VLT) to 15%, so basically just about clear and clear enough for use in the dark and when fully dark at 15%, they are dark enough for all but the most blinding glacial high altitude conditions. RS Review

Ultra Pro Sunglasses available at Dynafit SHOP HERE

Thanks for checking out RoadTrailRun's 2023 Gift Guides (more below) & for considering shopping for your gifts at our many partners

Happy Holidays!

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners Part 6: Poles, Lighting, Sunglasses HERE

Road Trail Run 2023 Holiday Gift Guide for Runners Part 5: 

Packs, Race Vests, Hydration, Filtration, Nutrition, Non Alcoholic Beer HERE

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners Part 4 : Run Jackets, Vests and Pants HERE

Gift Guide 3 : Books/Podcasts/Subscriptions, Recovery and Form Tools, Recovery Shoes, Insoles HERE

Gift Guide 2 : Run Socks, Hats and Gloves HERE

Gift Guide 1: GPS Smartwatches & Music, Run Tops and Shorts-17 Gift Ideas HERE

Some samples were provided at no charge for review purposes, others were personal purchases. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!

RoadTrailRun Official Store Custom Fractel Caps and Bucket Hats
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Limited Release! SHOP HERE
$5 off now through Dec. 3 with code: RTRHolidays23


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