Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2009

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FALL/WINTER GUIDE GUIDE 2009

Ear to the Gear

Sleeping bag ratings are notoriously inconsistent, but your cold nights will end soon. Learn why, then get a sneak peek at an exotic new jacket insulation, an update on BPA-free bottles, a super cathole trowel, and monitoring green claims. Plus, gear design advice from Peter Whittaker.

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Cold Comfort

You're not a bear, so don't hibernate this winter. Enjoy the fourth season's stunning scenery with our 108-tip guide to choosing the right gear, building a snow cave, navigating in a blizzard, and much more. By Kelly Bastone

Gear Lab

Ever wonder what would happen if you chucked a hiking boot in a churning cement mixer? Wonder no more. We concocted extreme durability tests that revealed the sport's toughest packs, tents, bags, and boots. By Ted Alvarez

APPAREL

Hardshells

Stay dry all year with our 9 trail-tested picks.

Softshells

Expand your comfort zone in 5 versatile tops.

Insulation

Boost warmth in an ultralight or ultra-fat puffy.

Baselayers

See the latest hoodie, bargain crew, & more.

Pants

Tough, warm, waterproof: we tested all types.

Hats & Gloves/Mittens

Need heat? Start with your head and hands.

Socks, Gaiters, & Booties

Keep your feet dry and blister-free anywhere.

HARDWEAR

Packs

Load up for a day, a month, or avalanche terrain.

Tents

We tested dozens–and review 7 worth buying.

Boots

Go light and stay warm with our comfort picks.

Sleeping Bags

Stop the shivers, whether it's 20°F or -40°F.

Ski Gear

Find your perfect tele, AT, or Nordic setup.

Snowshoes

Serious design upgrades mark our 9 favorites.

Mountaineering

Stay safe with a versatile axe, helmet, & more.

ACCESSORIES

Optics

Cut the glare with shades, goggles, & binocs.

Navigation

Our map editors rate iPhone apps and GPS's.

Cameras

Tested: a HD videocam, DSLR, & helmet cam.

Kitchen

Upgrade your stove, pot, lighter, mug, & flask.

Winter Essentials

Found! A five-ounce sled that fits in your pack.