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Backpacker Editors’ Choice 2008

The year's best packs, boots, tents, jackets, and sleeping bags. Period. Plus, a never-die headlamp, a life-saving beacon, a back-saving ultralight chair, and more innovative, trail-tested gear.
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Spot

Mammut Lucido TX1
Be the brightest hiker on the block with this laser-like headlamp.

Need a spotlight for sketchy routefinding in the pitch black? This compact, lightweight headlamp looks like many other mini lamps on the market, but its search-and-rescue brightness is in a class by itself. On "spotlight" setting, the Lucido blasts a tight, square-shaped beam nearly 350 feet into the darkness. It also has high and low "flood-light" settings for easy night hiking and camp duty (45 and 22 feet, respectively). Three blinking red LEDs on the back of the water-resistant battery housing make it perfect for bike commuting, adventure racing, or low-visibility alpine settings. So how does it do on batteries given its unmatched output? We left the TX1 on the high-beam spotlight setting for a week and still had enough light at the end to perform close-up camp tasks. Significant dimming occurred by the third day of running 24/7, but that only brought it down to the brightness level of a typical micro LED headlamp on new batteries. $80; 4.9 oz (with three AA batteries); (802) 985-5056; mammutusa.com.

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