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The Best Reusable Water Bottles To Ditch Single-Use Plastics

The Best Reusable Water Bottles To Ditch Single-Use Plastics

It’s not hard to make a decent insulated water bottle. Rarely do I find one that can’t keep a cold drink cold or a hot drink hot, and very few fail spectacularly at keeping liquid inside them. What sets reusable water bottles apart these days are their forms and features: better lids, tougher finishes, and small design flourishes. Some are just nicer to use, easier to sip from, and more ergonomic to hold. Others will fare better on the trail, dangling from a pack.

No matter where or when you’re using one, a reusable bottle is a good idea to cut single-use plastics out of your life. The same goes for non-insulated water bottles, whose main function is not to leak. I tested a variety of reusable bottles from numerous brands. Below are the ones I liked (and a few I didn’t).

On the go? Be sure to check out our other buying guides, like the Best Face Masks and Best Travel Mugs.

Updated October 2021: We adjusted stock and pricing, and we also added a pick to our honorable mentions.

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The 12 Best Electric Bikes for Every Kind of Ride

The 12 Best Electric Bikes for Every Kind of Ride

The concurrent crises of the coronavirus pandemic and climate change have prompted many of us to rethink how we live our daily lives. For millions of Americans, that included hopping on an ebike, whether we rented one from a bike-share or bought our own. 

For years, electric bicycles were bulky, inconvenient, expensive machines whose usefulness (and battery life) was limited. Slowly, that has changed. Ebikes are now lighter, more attractive, and more powerful than ever. You don’t need to be physically fit to ride one. It gets you outside, reduces fossil fuels, reduces congestion, and it’s fun

Over the past few years, my fellow Gear writers and I have tried almost every kind of electric bike, from the best heavy-duty cargo bikes to high-end mountain bikes. We’re always testing new bicycles, so if you don’t see one you like now, check back later (or drop me a note!). Once you get one, check out our favorite biking accessories, bike locks, and gear for a bikepacking adventure.

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Updated August 2021: We’ve reorganized our guide for clarity, added new models like the LeMond Prolog, added a list of honorable mentions, and removed older models.

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Best Tents for Campers, Backpackers, and Families

Best Tents for Campers, Backpackers, and Families

Camping is intense! No, really. If you’re going camping, you probably need a tent. Hammock lovers might disagree, and we love sleeping under the stars when weather permits. But most of the time, finding and preparing adequate shelter for yourself, your family, or your pets is a non-negotiable step toward being comfy in the great outdoors. 

But which tent should you pick? There are as many kinds of tents as there are ways to go camping, and they range widely in price and in features. To help you figure out the best tent for your next adventure—whether you’re getting away for the weekend with the family or soloing Mt. Whitney—we have our favorite picks from years of testing tents to find the perfect shelter for everyone.

Don’t see anything you like? Don’t forget to check out our other buying guides, like the Best Rain Jackets or the Best Barefoot Shoes. 

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

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The Best Running Gear for Hot Summer Days

The Best Running Gear for Hot Summer Days

As the runner’s rule of thumb goes, you should always dress like it’s 20 degrees warmer than it is. That’s why you see racers in singlets and shorts when it’s 45 degrees out: Once your furnace gets going, winter turns to spring and spring turns to summer.

But what do you do when it’s already summer? When a heat wave sets records seemingly every month, and when the humidity rises along with the temperature, making the ambient air feel like an oppressive sweater? Well, for one, you reset your expectations. You’re going to be slower, and everything’s going to feel harder. You should also think a little more about your running gear—make sure you have enough water and are as comfortable as possible.

There’s no across-the-board truism for running in the heat, and acclimatization is a hell of a drug: Some folks don’t leave the house without enough water for an overnight camping trip, while some camels can happily lope along under the blazing sun for an hour without noticing. Either way, make sure you’re prepared, from the best shoes to sunscreen to hydration packs. Anything to stay off the dreadmill, right?

Be sure to check out our fitness tracker picks and our favorite trail running shoes.

Updated July 2021: We removed older picks, like Supergoop sunscreen, and added new ones, like the Coros 2 and UE Fits.

Lyft’s Revamped Bike-Share Ebike Is Sleek—and Beefy

Lyft’s Revamped Bike-Share Ebike Is Sleek—and Beefy

The Lyft ebike’s display between the handlebars will show basic ride data (like speed and battery level) and has a speaker to announce instructions for unlocking and parking. But the company says it’s toying with other uses, such as navigation.

That brings us to the next big improvement: connectivity. Unlike current ebikes in Lyft’s fleets, the new model is equipped with Wi-Fi and GPS. For riders, the bikes are easier to locate using the street map in the app, especially in markets where the bikes are dockless. But the new connectivity features also allow Lyft to issue firmware updates over the air, whether it’s to remedy bugs or add new features. It can even track stolen bikes or monitor the hardware in real time for any physical tampering. Shambat says none of this data is shared with third parties.

There are safety sensors embedded throughout the bike too, and these can report problems such as dead batteries, broken cable locks, or faulty brakes to the servicing team. This is important, especially considering that Lyft had to recall hundreds of ebikes out of its fleets in 2019 after dozens of riders were injured from brake malfunctions.

“They’re all talking to each other,” Shambat says. “We want to know how things are going, and so we’re constantly monitoring.” 

Despite the bulkier size, the new ebike still fits in existing docking stations. Select stations will soon become electrified to recharge the bikes when they’re docked, but most will still see service teams swapping batteries when needed. The much-improved range on the updated models means batteries won’t need to be swapped as frequently. 

None of this means standard pedal bikes are going away. Cities restrict the number of pedal-assist bikes available in a fleet. For example, Lyft says New York City allows only 20 percent of its fleet to be electric: roughly 4,300 out of 22,000 bikes. These limits could increase as ebikes gain popularity.

Ebike Boom

Since the US went into lockdown in early 2020, electric bike usage has surged. Ebike sales grew by 137 percent in 2020 over 2019, according to the NPD Group. Samantha Herr, executive director of the North American Bikeshare Association, says ebikes are in higher demand in bicycle-share programs too. 

“In our 2019 shared micro-mobility state-of-the-industry-report, we did see that ebikes were being used more intensively in systems than traditional bikes,” Herr says. “We also saw that 15 percent of bike-share bikes were ebikes, and about 28 percent of cities with bike-share systems in North America include ebikes. We’re absolutely seeing those numbers increase.” (The 2020 report will arrive this summer.)

With restrictions on long-distance travel and uncertainty about the safety of public transit during the pandemic, cities closed streets for automobiles and opened them up for bikes and other methods of micro-mobility, like electric scooters. 

“It was a really positive impact,” Herr says. “We can see that there is a groundswell around the kind of rapid response that happened during Covid, and there is this momentum of making more of these changes permanent. It just kind of sped up something that was already happening.”

But ebikes are still a relatively new mode of transportation in many areas across the US, and that does introduce new issues. Namely, accidents. Jennifer Dean says automobile drivers and pedestrians aren’t used to accurately gauging the speed of electric bikes. 

“You can’t judge accordingly if you’re going to make an attempt to cross the road in front of what you think is a traditional bicycle, or you’re making a right or left turn in an automobile and that bike is coming a lot faster than you’re expecting,” Dean says. “So we’re seeing injuries, and those injuries are related to a lack of awareness by road users.”