gear / season’s top 50
Democracy reigns, at the polls and here at The Voice. Submissions to our gear call were down by 28 percent from last season, reflecting a more cautious approach to product launches and disruptions in the supply chain due to the pandemic. Still, we had plenty to choose from. We culled the list down to the 60 products that intrigued us most, then put it to a vote among three different user groups: consumers drawn from a pool of superfans of Backpacker (our sister publication), a panel of retail shop owners, and our own staff of gearheads. Everyone voted on each product, assigning a ranking of 1 (not interested) to 10 (very interested). We tallied the numbers to assign ranks. Here
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are the top three picks from each voter group: RETAILER First: Patagonia Downdrift Jacket. Second: Fernweh Food Adventure Meals, Good To-Go Chicken Pho, Sea to Summit Telos TR2, and Vapor EZ Lick Portable Dog Bottle (four-way tie). Third: Backcountry Access Dozer 2H Shovel, and Cusa Coffee Dirty Chai (tie) CONSUMER First: Ignik Outdoor Heated Sleeping Bag Liner. Second: SOL Fuel-Free Lighter. Third: Good To-Go Chicken Pho, Helly Hansen Elevation Fleece Shield, Sea to Summit Telos TR2 (three-way tie) STAFF First: Sea to Summit Telos TR2. Second: Granite Gear Perimeter. Third: Ignik Outdoors Heated Sleeping Bag Liner
1) Sea to Summit Telos TR2 (see p. 37) $499 THE PROMISE Sea to Summit debuts its first tent, obliterating typical space and condensation issues. THE DEETS This two-door, two-vestibule, double-wall, freestanding tent has a radical new pole design, conceived in partnership with Jake Lah of DAC poles. The angle of the brow pole is inverted to push the body of the tent farther out from the floor, creating higher entrances (3 feet) and steeper sidewalls (no more mesh in the face). With 28 square feet of internal space and 19 square feet of vestibules, this tent is roomy. There are vents on the bottom and top that enhance cross ventilation. 2) Ignik Outdoors Heated Sleeping Bag Liner Available Now! $100 THE PROMISE Never sleep cold again. THE DEETS Any old liner will add warmth to a bag, but this is the industry’s first to actively heat it up via a 5-volt USB or 12-volt power source. Three modes and two zones (feet and core) turn up the temperature using patent-pending conductive carbon fiber technology
woven through the fabric (no bulky wires). The reflective layer facing the body directs the heat upward, not into the ground. The outer polyester layer is soft to the touch and machine washable. Available
Now! 3) Fernweh Food Company Adventure Meals $13.50 THE PROMISE Meet the new kid on the backcountry food block. THE DEETS After years of making her own meals for bike- and backpacking tours, Ashley Lance launched Fernweh (which means “far-longing” in German). Made from ingredients harvested at peak season, the debut offerings include Mushroom Pot Pie, Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl, and Southwest Stew. Cool: You can choose your packaging, either a compostable cook-in bag or a reusable muslin sack.
4) Good To-Go Available Now! Chicken Pho $8 THE PROMISE Your takeout go-to comes camping. THE DEETS This Vietnamese chicken noodle soup is spiced up with lime, scallions, cilantro, and jalapeño. A single serving delivers a protein bomb of 27 grams.
PHOTOS BY COURTESY
12/21/20 2:21 PM