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March 2008 Perfect System: Northwest

Pack
ARC’TERYX Naos 55

With waterproof fabric, welded seams, and a roll-top closure, the Naos (Maia 50 is the women’s version) is not only rainproof, it’s dunkproof. That, plus a stable, comfortable ride with a weekend-plus load earned it an Editors’ Choice Award (4/06) and endeared it to all wet-weather hikers. $499; 4 lbs. 10 oz. (M); three sizes per gender; arcteryx.com

Hat
Outdoor Research Nimbus Sombrero

This may not be the coolest-looking hat on the planet, but Northwest hikers need waterproofing before style. A CoolMax headband pulls sweat off your brow, and a thin layer of closed-cell foam keeps the brim umbrella-stiff. If you want to raise the roof for a bit more light, snap up one or both sides. $40; 4 oz. (L); orgear.com

Shell
ARC’TERYX Theta AR

In certifiably horrendous weather–from the soaking showers of the Olympics to the wet snowstorms on Mt. Rainier–the Theta AR justifies its price tag. The Gore-Tex Pro Shell has excellent breathability and bomber durability, plus the jacket is beautifully cut for a comfortable fit that doesn’t sacrifice performance. The extra long hem covers your butt, and the articulated hood moves with every head swivel. $450; 1 lb. 4 oz. (men’s M); men’s and women’s sizes; arcteryx.com

Pants
Sierra Designs Crest Convertible Pant

Durable nylon and a touch of spandex give the Crests just the right blend of weatherproofing and stretch. They dried quickly after a brush-thrashing hike along the wet Snoqualmie River Trail. The slash-style pockets are accessible when you’re wearing a hipbelt. $80; 1 lb. 4 oz. (38″); men’s and women’s sizes; sierradesigns.com

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