Just a little over a month after Backpacker magazine announced the winners of the 2003 Editors' Choice Awards, the press release avalanche from companies winning recognition continues.
Editors' Choice Award recognizes a product for "outstanding innovation, design, materials and performance." Jon Dorn, executive editor for Backpacker magazine, told SNEWS that Backpacker doesn't establish categories for the awards and has no set number of recipients. Backpacker happily grants any number of awards to those products that get singled out after months of field-testing and evaluations by the editors.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the awards, and the introduction of a new award category, the Editors' Choice Green Award, created to recognize companies for developing environmentally conscious products. The inaugural Green award was given to the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program, which has seen 13 million shoes recycled in 10 years.
Editors' Choice Award winners were:
Montrail Excelerace XCR; Marmot Oracle Jacket; Mountain Hardwear Spectre SL; Garmin Rino; Ultralight Adventure Equipment P-2 Pack; Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone and Vapor Trail; MapCard; AntiGravityGear Pot Cozy; Pertex Endurance; Dancing Light Gear Tacoma-For-2 Ultralight Shelter; Exped Sirius Extreme; and Brand Dynamics Clever Toothbrush.
Editors' Choice Gold winners, for what Backpacker refers to as "time-tested performance" went to: Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Pads and the Silva Ranger CL
SNEWS View: Backpacker Editors' Choice Awards have become the award and recognition manufacturers covet most. PR machines crank into high gear once an award is granted and in short order, advertising placement and company literature begins to carry the "Backpacker Editors' Choice Award winner" proclamation. Why? Two words -- integrity and reputation. And we're talking about the reputation and quality of the staff as much as the testing process. Backpacker's Editors' Choice Awards are about quality of product and are not influenced by advertising dollars in any way. And no, the product doesn't even have to be popular to get recognized. Last year, a SmartWool garment was given recognition, and until that point, SmartWool reps were practically begging retailers to give the company's base layer a chance. Suffice it to say, they're not begging anymore. No magazine we know of tests as efficiently or as thoroughly as Backpacker, yet another reason the awards carry such weight. Yes, the tests are still subjective and no, they are not perfect, but of all the magazine's reviewing product currently, it is our belief that Backpacker has earned its place atop the stack as the best, most credible game in town.