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Backpacker Magazine – April 2005

Gear Reviews: Editors' Choice 2005

New Zealand is pretty to look at, but harsh on gear--making it just what we needed for our Kiwi challenge.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Innovation ain't worth bugger all if it pikes out in a pinch. That's why we took the finalists for our 13th annual best-gear awards to New Zealand: We knew the South Island's legendary storms and rugged topography would help us peel back the last layers of hype and determine which hot new outdoor designs really work. Herewith, the survivors-13 products that raise the bar for pack, boot, tent, and high-tech performance plus two tried-and-true Gold Award winners and our Green Award winner that managed to keep mother nature in mind with each step.

Gregory G Pack
This ultralight weekender stabilizes any load

Salomon GCS Pro
Be cool in fastpacking's finest footwear

MSR Hubba Hubba
Meet The new benchmark in lightweight, THREE-season shelter

Contact 3.0 Hiking Package
Satellite broadcasting gets light, cheap, and trailworthy

EMS Summit TL Rucksack
This versatile midsize is the sweetest deal of the year

Raichle Mt. Trail XT GTX
Slip into the most comfortable all-leather backpacking boot you've worn in years

Snickers Marathon Bars
Keep going-and going-with our favorite new trail snack

The North Face Catalyst 60 & 75
Not going light? Experience a revolution in big-load comfort

Alpacka Rafts
These Boats are so light they redefine where you can paddle

Garmont Trail Sport Junior Boots
Young hikers deserve performance shoes

Evernew Slick Non-Stick Titanium Cookware
Your ultralight kitchen is now complete

New Balance Ultra Arch Support Inserts
Pamper your feet with The most supportive footbeds we've tested

Garmin Foretrex 101
Get started-or get simple-with the best GPS deal

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