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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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GSI Outdoors Dualist
Party of two? Your cookware is ready.

If the makers of matryoshkas–Russian nesting dolls–ever applied their skills to cooking utensils, the result would look much like the Dualist. The nine-piece cookset simply disappears into itself. The 1.8-liter hard-anodized alloy pot has a clear plastic lid with tiny pasta-straining holes, and a sturdy, rubber-coated handle clamps the whole package together inside the storage sack. The sack doubles as water hauler or mixing bowl. Nested in the pot you’ll find color-coded bowls, insulated cups, and sipper lids for you and a partner. Plus, there’s space left over for a mini canister stove and standard-size fuel can. Add a couple of sporks, and you have a deluxe kitchen for two that weighs only 1 pound, 4 ounces. $50; also available in a one-person version (Soloist, $30); (800) 704-4474; gsioutdoors.com.

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