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The Hottest Gear for Summer

We beat these toys to death out in the field and they came out shining.

Columbia Trail GrinderBest Overnight Pack: Columbia Trail Grinder

This simple-yet-versatile 3,000-cubic-inch pack did it all—we used it as a carry-all day hiker with the family, filled it with climbing gear, and stuffed it full for a quick overnight.

The North Face El Lobo 65 Best Backpack: The North Face El Lobo 65

Victim of the recession? Why not take advantage of your newly found free time and head out into the wild? This big, smart hauler sure makes it easy thanks to a suspension system that actually moves forward as you swing your arms.

Marmot Matterhorn Best Mountaineering Pack: Marmot Matterhorn

This smart, light pack was designed to work in conjunction with a climbing harness, making it ideal for big mountaineering trips ranging from traverses in the Indian Peaks here in Colorado to Liberty Ridge on Mount Rainier further afield.

Gregory Miwok Best Daypack: Gregory Miwok

Simply the most versatile day pack we have tested for everything from a dawn-to-dust mountain bike epic in Moab to a mellow multi-hour hike with the kids up in Wild Basin.

ospreyexos34_clip_fix-copyBest Fast-and-Light Pack: Osprey Exos 46

We frankly were shocked how well a pack this light (an anorexic 1 pound,14 ounces!) carried gear. Its Airspeed Suspension combines tight, stretched mesh with an aluminum skeleton to create an airy pack that’s still stable enough to haul climbing gear.

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 Tent Best Fast and Light Tent: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 Tent

This is not the tent for back-in-the-woods snuggling with your significant other. It is the absolute best choice for a lightening-speed power trip into the backcountry. This one-person, free-standing, three-season shelter weighs in at an unbelievable 1 pound, 14 ounces, making it a more versatile and effective choice than most bivy sacks for serious adventures.

Nemo Losi3 Best Tent: Nemo Losi3

This versatile tent has garnered a lot of awards from national mags and we hate to jump on the bandwagon, but it deserves all the praise it’s garnered. At 5.9 pounds, it provides a ton of space (50 square feet) and it sets up in a snap.

Kelty Shiro 4 Best Car Camping Tent: Kelty Shiro 4

There’s no subtlety to the castle-sized Shiro. But that’s what we liked so much about it. The central room is big enough to stash bikes, and the two side pods are like mini-tents, making the tent ideal for two couples or a family (kids in one room, partents—and privacy—in the other).

GoLite Adrenaline 20 Best Sleeping Bag: GoLite Adrenaline 20

Forget your cushy, car-camping cuddly. Here’s the bag for serious fast-and-light assaults on a technical peaks—this center-zip, 800-fill down, 20-degree baby weighs a mere 1 pound, 13 ounces.

xtreme sports ID Best Rescue Device: xtreme sports ID

Forget the expensive PLD or other hi-tech rescue device, register this simple wristband online and rescuers can call in for all your vital information.

Black Diamond Apollo Best Lantern: Black Diamond Apollo

The Apollo, which runs on rechargeable batteries, sheds enough light for car camping, yet is small and portable enough to haul on a backpack trip. We’ll never use a propane lantern again.

Rab Momentum Best Shell: Rab Momentum

Summer in the Front Range can be hot—it can also be incredibly unpredictable. That’s why we like a shell like this that you can jam down into your bag and forget about it until the wind picks up or a t-storm rolls in and you’re glad to have the three-layer event protection this light 12-ounce jacket provides.

Somnio Best Road Runner: Somnio

Meet the world’s first customizable running shoe. It’s no gimmick. When you buy a pair of Somnios, the store fitter can adjust them for your personal gait by customizing footbeds, inserts in the sole and varus wedge angulation. The result? No more need to spend hours trying on ten pairs to find the perfect shoe.

OpedixBest Support: Opedix

This support shirt was designed to prevent and help to heal from injuries for sports ranging from running to paddling. We have to confess, we even like to wear it at our desks while hunched over our laptops. No matter how you use it, it noticeably helps your posture.

LaSportiva WildcatBest Trail Runner: LaSportiva Wildcat

Comfy-yet-supportive, thanks to a solid heel stabilizer and breezy mesh construction, the Wildcat has been our out-the-door shoe of choice for gut-busting runs up in the steep, rocky Flatirons. These things feel so good underfoot, in fact, that  that we’ve taken to wearing them as everyday kicks around the streets, too.

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