CONTACT
Pacific Outdoor Equipment PR:
Jake Cook (406-586-5258 x205)
jake@pacoutdoor.com

Backpacker PR:
Alissa Neil (212-431-4411)
alissa@alissaneilpr.com
Jocelyn Nubel (212-431-4411)
jocelyn@alissaneilpr.com

Pacific Outdoor Equipment Named
Backpacker 2007 Editors’ Choice Award Winner

The industry’s most coveted award honors
the best new gear and essentials for outdoor enthusiasts

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, January 27 – Pacific Outdoor Equipment’s Eco Thermo sleeping pad has been honored as a recipient of a 2007 Backpacker magazine Editors’ Choice Award, the most prestigious award in the outdoor industry, given annually to products in recognition of their outstanding innovation in design, materials and/or performance.

Backpacker Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Dorn and his staff of editors and testers presented Pacific Outdoor with the award at the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 27h.

The Backpacker Editors’ Choice Awards, bestowed annually since 1993, honor the products that Backpacker editors have chosen as the best of the year based on months of trail testing by teams of highly experienced hikers and climbers. With no set categories for the awards and no set number of recipients, the products and the testing process drive the award categories.

The Eco Thermo was one of only 16 innovative products that have been honored with a 2007 Backpacker Editors’ Choice Award and one of 2 products to receive an Editors’ Choice Green Award.

Based in Bozeman, Montana, Pacific Outdoor Equipment employs outdoor enthusiasts who not only help design the gear but also play a part in testing its functionality and durability in the surrounding mountain ranges. The company uses a simple mantra, “good gear equals less waste” to guide all decisions about product development.

“This year’s winners withstood the most rigorous testing process yet,” said Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Dorn. “Our test team started off with 49 new products, narrowing them down to a final 20 after months of trail-testing. The finalists were then taken on extreme outdoor adventures from Oregon in a streak of epic weather to a wind-whipped day at Mt. Hood. Those that survived have earned the distinction of becoming the 2007 Editors’ Choice Award Winners.”

Dorn continues, “Backpacker’s Green Award, now in its fifth year, was the first of its kind in the industry. We created the category to acknowledge companies and specific products for their efforts in developing more renewable materials and manufacturing processes that help lower our impact on the planet as a community and industry. Honorees represent innovative products and techniques that not only aim to do good for the environment, but really work – and work well!”

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive an Editors’ Choice Award. We know the difficult conditions that the testers put each product through and are honored to have been selected as a recipient,” said Pacific Outdoor’s General Manager, Greg Garrigues. “The Green Award from Backpacker will help further the message that sustainable gear cannot only help preserve the outdoors in which we play, but also be truly functional.”

The Backpacker Editors’ Choice Awards are the gold standard against which all outdoor products are measured, and are a seal of approval that can help put an outdoor company or product on the proverbial map. Each year at the Outdoor Retailer show, retail buyers use the awards announcements as a must-buy shopping list, knowing that their customers will be asking for these products in the spring.

Since their inception 17 years ago, the Backpacker Editors’ Choice Awards have come to be regarded as the most sought-after award for outdoor equipment and apparel found in the industry. The impeccable outdoor credentials and rigorous field-testing standards of the Backpacker staff guarantee that these awards are an undisputed mark of quality for the companies and products selected.

All winners must excel under extensive field-testing conducted by Backpacker’s team of editors, who take hundreds of new products every year into the backcountry to put them to the test. This rigorous process ensures that the performance of the winners is truly worthy of distinction and meets the guiding principle behind the program: gear that is of real value to the readers of Backpacker magazine, who are very active, long-term outdoor enthusiasts.

The complete list of Backpacker 2007 Editors’ Choice Award winners will be officially announced to the general public in the magazine’s April issue, on newsstands March 13th.

The Eco Ether utilizes bamboo based fiber fill for Air-loft Thermo insulation and undyed bamboo fabric. This sustainable natural fiber in conjunction with purchases for renewable energy sources allows Pacific Outdoor to manufacture the outdoor industry’s first carbon neutral sleeping pad. The mummy shape helps reduce weight and every sleeping pad includes a Green Tag.

About Backpacker:
Backpacker brings the outdoors straight to the reader's doorstep, inspiring and enabling them to go more places and enjoy nature more often. The authority on active adventure, Backpacker is the world's first GPS-enabled magazine, and it's the only magazine whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear, and survival tips they publish. Backpacker's six regional editions offer accessible, close-to-home getaways with detailed, tear-out maps to dozens of nearby hikes, as well as practical tips on day hikes, camping and the best gear information available. This combination provides outdoors enthusiasts with the tools they need to make active outdoor travel and backcountry experiences an everyday reality. Backpacker's Editors' Choice Awards, an industry honor recognizing design, feature and product innovation has become the gold standard against which all other outdoor-industry awards are measured. Published by Rodale Inc., Backpacker has a circulation of 340,000, is published 9 times a year, and last year was a recipient of a coveted National Magazine Award for editorial excellence. Backpacker's companion web site, www.backpacker.com, is updated daily and features more than 30,000 hikes, a searchable and comprehensive database of outdoor gear with reviews (www.gearfinder.com), a special section for female hikers, and an all-new map and GPS center.

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