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UPDATE: VIDEO of Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter on the Today Show

On Saturday July 3, BACKPACKER's gear editor will show of some great summer camping gear on the Today Show.

UPDATE: VIDEO - Watch Kristin's excellent Today Show performance.

DOUBLE UPDATE:  GEAR LIST - A list of the Hot Summer Camping Gear (including prices and websites) Kristin talked about on the show.

For all those Kristin fans out there ( and there's a lot of you - we read the emails and comments) tomorrow she'll be showcasing the latest in summer camping gear on the Today Show on NBC. Kristin is scheduled to go live at 8:40 EST so program your Tivos accordingly. And if you watch, let us know how she did ... we'll be watching the women's Wimbledon final and then the Tour de France Prologue since they aren't showing the Weekend Today Show here in Boulder.
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Friday, July 02, 2010 in: Gear Test
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Meet our Reader Gear Testers!

BACKPACKER recently selected a group of readers to help with our dirty work. Meet them, then suggest some gear they should test.

Well, meet two of our awesome gear testers! We'll be unveiling all our testers over the next few months as they come in and out of the wilderness from assignments. Today we're introducing Merrill McCauley and Dan Larson. Merrill is going to be our tech guinea pig, testing out all the bells and whistles that are outdoor gadgets these days. Dan falls into our "thruhiker" testing category because he has some epic journeys planned for this summer. Look for reviews from these testers in our January Readers' Choice issue...and poke through their bios and a video from Dan below. Then, leave a comment about the kind of gear you want to see these guys pummel. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 in: Gear Test, Gear
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Gear Test: Rock-It Portable Vibration Speaker System

This innovative device is a light-and-loud way to bring tunes out on the trail.



At the end of a hard day's backpack, it's natural to want to unwind around a fire with a cold drink and your favorite tune. But let's face it—your off-key rendition of "Born To Run" isn't going to cut it.

That's where the Rock-It Portable Vibration Speaker System comes in. This neat little device consists of a miniature amplifier, a cable to connect to your iPod or MP3 player, and a sticky "pod." This pod adheres to pretty much any surface and translates your music into vibrations. The vibrations transform whatever you've stuck it to into a booming speaker. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 in: Gear Test
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Gear Test: Sexy Hotness Sleeping Bags, Cheesecake, & the Entire Editors' Choice/Gear Guide Issue

It has been a busy week in gear land, as we put the entire 2010 Editors' Choice issue online, and broke a few internet records with a cheeky sleeping bag review.

If you've only been trolling the BACKPACKER blogs lately you may have missed a few great gear items we've rolled out on the GEAR channel the last two weeks:

We're proud to say people can't get enough of this photo slideshow for a pair of ALITE Sexy Hotness Sleeping Bags. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 in: Gear Test
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Gear Test: Soto Pocket Torch Update

This super lighter won an Editors' Choice Award this year, but has been tough to find—until now

Soto's Pocket Torch has been a recent BACKPACKER editor favorite: In wet and windy weather, it lights up like a flamethrower—even after getting submerged in puddles of water. Best of all, you don't need any specialized fuel: Simply pop in any cheap gas-station-style lighter (no Bics, though). We dug it so much we gave it an Editors' Choice Award this year. Here's our video review:



There's only one problem: Until now, it's been nearly impossible to find. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 in: Gear, Gear Test
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Gear Test: Powder Day

BACKPACKER takes Black Diamond's new skis for a backcountry powder spin


The rumors are true: Working at the BACKPACKER salt mines isn't all sweat and toil. When the planets align just right, you just might get to spend your Friday afternoon outside the office, up to your thighs in sweet powder snow.

Executive Editor Dennis Lewon and I found ourselves in that exact situation last Friday, when we broke free of our desk shackles and deadlines to try out some of Black Diamond's new line of powder and backcountry skis. But the fine folks from Backbone Media, who helped arrange the test, knew that no average ski hill would do. Instead, they lined up a cat trip up Colorado's Jones Pass with Powder Addiction. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 in: Gear, Gear Test
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Gear Test: Editors' Choice Videos Are Live

See our Gear Guide picks in action in the Swiss Alps

While subscribers already have their greasy, gear-loving mitts on BACKPACKER's Gear Guide for 2010, those of you who just grab it at the airport have to wait another week or so. Never fear, though: We've got exclusive videos of the BP's Editors' Choice Winners in action in the Swiss Alps on our Editors' Choice 2010 blowout page.

Here's Contributing Editor and world-renowned mountaineer John Harlin dishing about our new favorite pack, the Arc'Teryx Altra:



After the break, Rocky Mountain Editor Steve Howe talks about our favorite new hybrid boots, the Salomon Wings Sky GTX: Read Full Story...
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 in: Gear, Gear Test
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Gear Test: Stoic Bombshell

Backcountry's house brand delivers an epic winter softshell

A few months ago we dropped word that Backcountry.com planned to launch a new house brand called Stoic, a technical category built around "core gear users helping create gear for other core gear users." After a winter's worth of thrashing about the mountains in the Stoic Bombshell ($259), we're happy to report that they've lived up to the challenge: The Bombshell is a dynamic, breathable, tough-as-nails winter shell with features and style to boot.

The Bombshell is built from a stretchy, 3-layer proprietary waterproof/breathable fabric, and while it feels thick, it's actually relatively light for a fully weatherproof winter shell. At 1.75 lbs., it won't double as a summer backpacking jacket, but you'll appreciate the extra armor in a winter gale. When a surprise blizzard blasted Steamboat's frontcountry, the Bombshell's 20K-rated waterproofing shed snow, meltwater streaming off a lift, and even slush sprayed from a passing car without letting in a drop. Fully welded seams make for some of the most leakproof but easy-moving zippers I've used. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, February 03, 2010 in: Gear, Gear Test
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Off To OR

BACKPACKER heads to the biggest gear conference in all the land


Outdoor Retailer's Winter Market
tradeshow should be in full swing about now—which means half of the BACKPACKER crew will land in Salt Lake City just in time to hit the parties before getting the scoop on all the latest n' greatest outdoor gear.

Expect a few adventures in between: Last year, BACKPACKER editors skied, ran in the Wasatch Wobble trailrunning race, and even busted out a few hikes while bringing you video footage, first impressions, and must-have lists from the show floor.

Keep following the Daily Dirt, our Facebook and Twitter feeds, and outdoor industry partner SNEWS to get all the beta on the gear you'll want most in 2010.

—Ted Alvarez
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 in: Gear Test, Gear
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Gear Test: Float-testing A Tent

Contributing Editor John Harlin reveals groundbreaking tent-testing technique...in his swimming pool.

At BACKPACKER, we're no strangers to unconventional testing techniques (watch Gear Lab to see what we're talking about). But BP contributing editor John Harlin raised the bar: After experiencing moisture on the floor of this tent while testing it in Alaska's Brooks Range, he wanted to determine whether it came from floor leakage or condensation.

His scientific method? Throw it in his pool, of course:



(Check out one more photo out after the jump.) Read Full Story...
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 in: Gear Test, Gear, Weird and Funny
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