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The industry’s most coveted award honors the best new gear

and essentials for outdoor enthusiasts

Backpacker Magazine editors hike in the Andes Mountains of Colombia. // Photo: Bleakney

Backpacker Magazine editors hike in the Andes Mountains of Colombia. // Photo: Bleakney

Boulder, Colorado, March 1, 2017 – Eleven manufacturers are honored as recipients of the 2017 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 performance.

The annual Backpacker Editors’ Choice Awards honors the products that Backpacker editors have chosen as the best of the year. With no set categories for the awards and no set number of recipients, the products and the testing process drive the award categories.

Backpacker Editor-In-Chief Dennis Lewon and Gear Editor Scott Yorko formally presented the awards during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City. This year’s winners include: Arc’Teryx Bora AR Roto-G, Big Agnes Copper Spur (GOLD), Columbia OutDry Extreme ECO (GREEN), Good To-Go Oatmeal Breakfast, Helinox Chair Zero, Katadyn BeFree, Mountainsmith Slingback Chair, Rab Kinetic+, REI Co-op Magma 850 Sleeping Bag, Sea to Summit Traveling Light Ultra-Sil Travel Day Pack (GOLD) and Voormi River Run Hoodie.

Backpacker gear reviews set the benchmark by which all others are measured,” Lewon says. “That’s because no other magazine or website conducts field testing as rigorously or impartially as the crew led by our new Gear Editor, Scott Yorko. Our core testers each have years of backcountry experience and expertise. Under Scott’s leadership and the diligent work of our gear team, they put new products through punishing abuse in the toughest terrain and worst weather. Our transparent process has earned an unrivaled level of trust from readers, retailers and manufacturers. The result? Best-in-class reviews that lead consumers to best-in-class gear.”

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, 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. All winners must excel under extensive field-testing conducted by Backpacker’s team of editors, who take hundreds of products 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 active, long-term outdoor enthusiasts.

The complete list of Backpacker’s 2017 Editors’ Choice Award winners will be officially announced to the general public in the magazine’s April Spring Gear Guide issue, on newsstands March 7th.

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 only outdoor media whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear, and survival tips they publish.


| Sharon Houghton 303.253.6412 | |