Editors' Choice Awards 2009

The best new gear. That's what earns our seal of approval, and only after months of hardcore testing. This year, we subjected dozens of products to heinous trail conditions from Alaska to Wales. In the end, 18 survived to take our top honor.

We have a new high bar in gear testing: Wales in November, where the spectacularly wet and windy weather is matched only by the magnificently craggy scenery. From the Pembrokeshire coast to the peaks of Snowdonia, we carried our Editors' Choice finalists into the worst Welsh conditions–after months of testing on trips from the Sierra Nevada to Spain. The damage: three tents destroyed, two leaky boots...and one of the strongest groups of winners ever.

SLEEPING BAG: MontBell UL Spiral Down Hugger #1

GPS: Garmin Oregon 400t

(Garmin Oregon 400t Video Review)



HEADLAMP: Mammut X-Zoom

TRAIL SNACK: Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews

CAMP FUN: Gibbon Slacklines

BACKPACK: REI Flash 65

(REI Flash 65 Video Review)

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VIDEO CAMERA: Sanyo Xacti VPC-E2

TENT: Sierra Designs Lightning XT 4

(Sierra Designs Lightning XT Video Review)

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SLEEPING PAD: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir

(Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Video Review)

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CAMERA: Nikon Coolpix P6000

LANTERN: Black Diamond Orbit

(Black Diamond Orbit Video Review)

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BACKPACK: Osprey Sprint Series

MEAL: PackIt Gourmet Austintacious Tortilla Soup

BOOT: Kayland Zephyr

(Kayland Zephyr Video Review)

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BOOT: New Balance 1500 Rainier

Editors' Choice Green Award

TENT: Big Agnes Salt Creek Recycled

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Editors' Choice Gold Award

COFFEE MAKER: MSR MugMate

LUGGAGE: The North Face Base Camp Duffel

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ON THE SCENE VIDEOS

See what the Backpacker editors had to endure to bring you the best gear of 2009.

Editors' Choice Trip 2009: Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Witness the world's worst weather as the BACKPACKER staff tackles wailing wind, slippery crags, and zero visibility in the high peaks of Wales' Snowdonia National Park.

Editors' Choice Trip 2009: Brecon Beacons, Wales

Follow BACKPACKER Editors on a misty mountain hop through steep slopes, huge waterfalls, and fog-shrouded vistas in Wales' Brecon Beacons National Park.

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Editors' Choice Trip 2009: Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, Wales

BACKPACKER Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Dorn shows you how to get the most out the British Isles' best seaside trek, the 186-mile Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.

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Editors' Choice Trip 2009: Climbing Mount Snowdon

Rocky Mountain Editor Steve Howe tackles a different kind of mountain in this video. Join him as he battles howling winds on the highest peak in Wales.

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