Finally, someone noticed MP3 players are going everywhere hikers go and made a unit up to the task. The TrailAudio is water-resistant and has a 'biner attachment for hanging it off your shoulder strap. And Highgear engineers say it shouldn't stutter at high altitude because it has flash memory instead of a hard drive. Beyond that, it's a sweet, light little unit with a ton of memory (512 MB); easy file transfer (just drag and drop); no fancy software to learn; up to 15 hours of playtime on a single AAA battery; an FM receiver; and voice recording. Our tester loved everything but the headphones; Highgear says they're including regular ear buds this spring. (Also available in a 256 MB version, $180.)
Weight: 3 oz.