Backpacker Announces Recipients of 2008 Editors' Choice Awards at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, January 23, 2008

The editors of Backpacker magazine today announced the recipients of their 16th annual Editors' Choice Awards, the most prestigious honor in the outdoor industry. The awards were presented at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City during the Outdoor Retailer Show.
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Boulder, CO — The editors of Backpacker magazine today announced the recipients of their 16th annual Editors' Choice Awards, the most prestigious honor in the outdoor industry. The awards were presented at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City during the Outdoor Retailer Show.

Backpacker's Editors' Choice Awards, given annually since 1993, honor top new products that demonstrate cutting-edge innovation, performance, and overall value. The selections are based on up to 12 months of trail testing by Backpacker editors and official testers, many of whom have decades of backcountry experience. This year's testing took Backpacker teams to some of the most challenging environments on the planet, from the craggy summits of the Tetons to Greenland's ice cap to the blazing red rock canyons of Utah. As always, the vetting process culminated with a weeklong field test where award finalists are subjected to hardcore performance and durability trials; this fall, eight editors convened for a hike in Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Great Sand Dunes National Park.

In all, 17 innovative products made this year's list, each winner redefining its product category through outstanding design and performance. The honorees include one winner of the Editors' Gold Award, for long term excellence, and two winners of the first-in-the-industry Editors' Green Awards, given for eco-friendly breakthroughs.

The Backpacker Editors' Choice Award winners for 2008 are:
Big Agnes Cyclone chair kit
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 tent
Gregory Baltoro/Deva backpacks
GoLite Adrenaline Series sleeping bags
Everlite EL8 Solar Headlamp
SPOT Satellite Messenger personal locator beacon
GSI Outdoors Dualist cookset
Nite Ize S-Biner
Scarpa Kailash GTX boots
Westcomb Specter LT Hoody rain shell
Rab Latok Alpine Jacket
MSR HyperFlow water filter
REI Quarter Dome T3 tent
Mammut Lucido TX1 headlamp

The Backpacker Editors' Choice Gold Award winner is Marmot's line of 850 fill sleeping bags, and the Editors' Choice Green Awards go to the Marmot Catalyst Jacket and the Mountainsmith Phoenix.

"These selections show that designers in our industry are really pushing the envelope in producing lighter, tougher, and smarter products,” says Backpacker editor-in-chief Jonathan Dorn. “As we found in field-testing, they're making it easier and more comfortable for anyone to get involved in trail activities. We're also thrilled to honor the leadership of Marmot and Mountainsmith in sustainable gear development. The attention that manufacturers are paying to renewable materials is good news for hikers and the places we play.”

Adds gear editor Kristin Hostetter, who has spearheaded Backpacker's Editors' Choice testing for more than a decade: “This is an outstanding crop of products that should enjoy the same sterling track record as our past winners. Readers and retailers trust Backpacker's picks more than any other magazine's because our testing is unrivaled in its duration and intensity. Our unofficial gear-testing motto—we break stuff so you don't have to—says it all.”

The complete list of Backpacker 2008 Editors' Choice Award winners will be officially announced to the general public in the magazine's April issue, on newsstands March 11th.

About Backpacker:
Backpacker brings the outdoors to reader's doorsteps, inspiring and empowering them to get out and enjoy nature more often. The authority on active adventure, Backpacker is the world's first GPS-enabled magazine, and the only magazine whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear, and survival tips they publish. 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.

Backpacker is published by Active Interest Media (www.aimmedia.com), has a circulation of 340,000, and is published nine times per year. In 2006, the magazine won a coveted National Magazine Award for editorial excellence. Backpacker's award-winning website, www.backpacker.com, is updated daily and features more than 3,000 hikes, a searchable and comprehensive database of outdoor gear (www.gearfinder.com), special sections for beginners and female hikers, the most active community forums in the outdoor space, and a wealth of trail tips, videos, and GPS know-how.


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