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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Get This Gear: Essentials From A to Z

We tested more than 500 products–stoves, clothes, cameras, filters, tech tools, knives, and meals–to find these proven performers.

by: The Backpacker Editors, Courtesy Photos

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L
M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ

Mountain Hardwear Xenon Stretch Mountain Hardwear's Xenon Stretch have burly Cordura on the lower section for durability and stretchy Gore-Tex Paclite on the upper for breathability. Fit is trim and snug. $85; 11 oz.;

Upgrade storm-day fun with the three-in-one BagGames, a packable (but full-size) game of checkers, chess, or backgammon. $15; 15 oz.;

Gear repair book
Shameless endorsement: Fix almost any hiking equipment with Don't Forget The Duct Tape, by our gear editor. $8;

Gloves Kombi Windbreaker Fleece Three-season Kombi's Windbreaker Fleece are workhorse gloves that are perfect for all but the wettest trips. During a nine-hour day with windchill near freezing, they kept our tester's digits toasty. An adjustable wrist cinch seals out drafts, and a leather palm and thumb improve grip. $25;

Winter Think of Black Diamond's Pursuit like a softshell jacket for your hands. The water-resistant Schoeller 3XDry shell blocks bitter wind and allows hands to breathe no matter how hard you're working, while the removable WoolWeight Liner adds warmth (and can be worn solo in mild conditions). The Pursuit's wrist gaiter cinches snugly, and leather grips provided the dexterity one Colorado tester needed to futz with tele bindings. Pursuit: $99; 4.2 oz. Liner: $40; 2 oz.;

All-around favorite The touchscreen Garmin Oregon 400t earned Editors' Choice honors this year for its unmatched blend of user-friendliness and advanced features. $599; 7 oz.;

Best onboard maps Delorme's PN-40 serves up detailed topos, color aerial photos, and city maps; an annual fee of $29 gives you full access to Delorme's rich library. Loaded with features that expert users will love, this unit has a 24-channel GPS chip that quickly locks onto satellites; it collected accurate tracklogs even under stormy clouds and snow-covered spruce trees in Rocky Mountain National Park. $400; 7 oz.;

Get the portable, dishwasher-safe Cobb Pro Grill for car camping and river trips. Nine briquettes is all it takes to bake, roast, smoke, fry, steam, boil, or grill your favorite foods. The nonstick surface is perfect for dogs, burgers, or sautéed veggies. "It's smaller than a beach ball, but can cook up enough food for a van-load of hikers," said one tester after a trailhead feast near Colorado's Mt. Elbert. The base stays cool, so you can safely move it around camp. $100; 10 lbs.;

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

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Reader Rating: Star Star Star Star


Dec 28, 2010

What an excellent list you've put together. Honestly, this is by far the best essential gear list I have seen online so far. I am going to be buying several things off this list as both presents for others and treats for myself. So thank you for sharing this!<a href="">.</a>

Nov 13, 2009

Are you kidding me with the $30 chopsticks?? I thought this magazine was about appreciating outdoors, not marketing a bunch of needless crap.

Lost Keys
May 27, 2009

I use the nite ize s biner as a key chaine. I hook it to my belt loop. Numeros times my keys have fallen off. I usually can hear the sound of keys hitting the ground. On a recent end of Fly fishing adventure. I turned the car around to do a final check for any forgoten equipment. The metalic reflection came from the ground. I got out and there was the nite Ize S-biner. BackPacker Editors award and all. Spring not strong enough!

May 16, 2009

How many backpackers do you know that carry $600 binoculars? Get real.

May 14, 2009

I'm really surprised to see MSR's quick 2 system at the same time that GSI's dualist system is not mentioned yet it has the 2008 editor's choice and lighter than MSR's. This really makes me question the credibility of the whole backpacker's site that I have always had it as a flagship.


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