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The Denali Test: Gear for America’s Highest, Coldest Peak

Our tester spent 18 days climbing, camping, and evaluating gear on America's highest, coldest peak. If his picks made it there, they can make it anywhere.

Baselayer | Midlayer | Headwear | Puffy Jacket | Pants | Stove | Tent | Snowshoes | Sunglasses | Sleeping Bag

Stove
MSR XGK EX

When your only source of water is your stove, it has to be reliable and rock out enough BTUs to melt pot after pot of snow daily. This updated version of the venerable XGK is still king, and it performed flawlessly on Denali during two and a half weeks of hard use. The wide pot supports and foldout legs are much more stable than older models; the redesigned pump is easier to maintain; and the flexible fuel line is more durable than the old rigid one (and also packs easily into circular pots). It’ll burn anything from unleaded to diesel to jet fuel. And it sips white gas, considering the output; on Denali, cooking and melting for two, it averaged 10 ounces of fuel a day. Traditionalists will appreciate the two things that haven’t changed: The XGK is still loud, and it’s still too hot for simmering. $150; 13.2 oz (burner and pump). msrgear.com. Reader service #112

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