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Backpacker Magazine – March 2008

March 2008 Perfect System: Rocky Mountains

by: The Backpacker Editors, Photos by

GoLite Xanadu 2+

Don't worry about pitching this single-wall shelter on high, exposed ridgelines where the views are great and the wind strong. The freestanding Xanadu is both light and stable, and two huge mesh doors (plus vents at both ends) eliminate condensation. Setup requires a little futzing: Insert two crossing poles into interior corner grommets, then crawl in and secure the poles in place. The floor plan is best for hikers shorter than 6 feet. $450; 4 lbs. 2 oz.;

La Sportiva Onix GTX-XCR

This waterproof shoe achieves above its weight class, making it a favorite of fast-and-lighters who need support and durability in a shoe that won't slow them down. The Onix provides ankle stability on talus, yet its sensitive fit still feels nimble. Super-grippy soles cling tight to steep, slick slopes. $130; 2 lbs. 5 oz. (men's 42);

Base layer
Icebreaker Flight T Lite

This lightweight shirt feels cool
on scorching days, and its body-hugging cut helps wick perspiration. Yet the merino wool also traps body heat, which is great on gusty summits and cool mornings. $55; men's and women's sizes;

Osprey Atmos 50
This ultralight pack defines year-round versatility. In summer, stash river-crossing shoes in the pack's stretchy exterior panel; in winter, the pocket secures an avalanche shovel. The air-flow suspension circulates a breeze between your back and the pack–a blessing during long, hot summit bids. The women's version is called the Aura 50. $199; 3 lbs. 1 oz. (M);

The North Face Paramount Convertible Pant

These nylon pants deliver utmost versatility with three modes (full-length, capris, and shorts). After a whole summer of hard use, the Paramounts showed no sign of wear. $65; men's and women's sizes;

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