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Get This Gear: Essentials From A to Z

We tested more than 500 products–stoves, clothes, cameras, filters, tech tools, knives, and meals–to find these proven performers.
Gear Guide Essentials 200x170Gear Guide Essentials 200x170
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L
M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ


The nylon ExOfficio Nio Amphi Convertible did it all on a 40-mile fall trek in Peru, where conditions ranged from cold rain to sweltering heat. A loose cut in the legs and seat provide great mobility, and they’re quick-drying and breathable but as soft as cotton, with an integrated belt that prevents sagging under a pack’s hipbelt. $80; 13.4 oz. (m’s L);

Peanut butter
Single-serving packets of Justin’s Organic Nut Butters are the best thing to happen to trail lunches since, well, maybe ever. Available in three peanut and three almond flavors. $6-$10 for 10;

Personal locator beacon
Here are 10 ounces that could save your life: the smallest, lightest, GPS-enabled PLB available. ACR’s MicroFix transmits on a robust 5 watts of power for reliable signaling from all but the narrowest slot canyons and densest timber. Once activated, it puts out a constant rescue signal encoded with your GPS location for 24 hours (before the rechargeable batteries die). As with all PLBs, the signals are received by the international COSPASS-SARSAT system of satellites, and rescue calls are coordinated by a federal agency. PLBs offer the most reliable transmission of any satellite beacon or phone system, but there’s no messaging capability aside from an urgent call for help. $540-$600 (street price); 10 oz.;

Add at-home snoozing luxury for the weight of a candy bar by stuffing a jacket into Therm-a-Rest’s microfleece Trekker Pillow. $11; 2.3 oz.;

Puffy jackets
DOWN The 800-fill Mountain Hardwear Nitrous is the perfect lightweight insulation for 40F nights or for layering under a shell in subfreezing conditions. The collar zips to the chin and the sculpted cut is thermally efficient; the combination effectively seals in warmth. The jacket stuffs to softball-size. $220; 9 oz. (w’s M);

SYNTHETIC For nasty weather, we like GoLite’s Reverb. It’s not ultralight, but with moisture-phobic synthetic fill, watertight zippers, and a waterproof shell, it has kept us warm and dry through spitting snow and bitter alpine wind. Long pit zips and a detachable powder skirt make it a great ski jacket, too. $250; 1 lb. 11 oz. (w’s M);

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