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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

Nite Ize S-Biner
Don’t ask yourself if you need this useful little widget. The question is: How many?

Few things rival duct tape and super glue in the cost-to-versatility department. To that short list, add these S-shaped, double-gated carabiners. We used them to:

  • Attach (and quickly detach) water bottles, GPS units, solar panel, camera bags, and sandals to our packs
  • Rig guylines and deadman anchors
  • Temporarily fix ripped tent fly corners
  • Clip a bear bag to a rope
  • Hang a headlamp from the tent ceiling
  • Lock zippers together on baggage
  • Note: The biggest size holds up to 75 pounds. $2-$3.50; 5 sizes, up to 1 oz. each; (800) 678-6483; niteize.com.
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