BACKPACKER Magazine Names The 2020 Editors’ Choice Award Winners

The industry’s most coveted award honors the best new gear and essentials for outdoor enthusiasts
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Boulder, Colorado, March 20, 2020 – The manufacturers below are honored as recipients of the 2020 BACKPACKER Editors’ Choice Awards, 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 Editors’ Choice Awards honors the products that BACKPACKER editors have chosen as the best of the year for the Spring/Summer season. With no set categories for the awards and no set number of recipients, the products and the testing process drive the award categories.

BACKPACKER Editorial Director Shannon Davis and Gear Editor Eli Bernstein formally presented the awards during the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Denver.

Spring 2020 Editors’ Choice Award Winners

  • Mountainsmith Zerk 40b
      • A favorite pack for minimalists and long-trail dreams
  • Gregory Paragon 48 / Maven 45
      • Legendary backpack suspension and slick features with an affordable price tag
  • Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail Tee 
      • As soft as your favorite old T, as technical as any other out there, and made of recycled materials
  • Rab Phantom Pull-On 
      • The lightest and perhaps only full-service shell you need
  • Exped FlexMat Plus
      • The last word in affordable, worry-free sleeping pads
  • Giorgio’s Savory Wild Portabella Jerky
      • Mushroom jerky (you read that right) that’s a refreshing break from the usual
  • Climate Neutral (Editors’ Choice Green Award)
      • This new independent nonprofit is undertaking the largest carbon foot-printing exercise in the history of mankind to create a community of Climate Neutral Certified brands. Backpacker is jumping on board, too.
  • MSR Dromedary (Editors’ Choice Gold Award) 
      • Simply stated, the toughest water hauler we’ve ever tested
  • National Parks Annual Pass (Editors’ Choice Gold Award)
      • Since its inception in 2004, it’s the best bargain in all-access outdoor exploration

BACKPACKER continues to set the bar by which all other outdoor gear awards are measured,” Davis says. “No other test team takes field testing as rigorously or impartially as we do. Our core testers and editorial staff have decades of backcountry experience and expertise which we put to use on a collective 6-month quest to determine the all-star products. 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 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.

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About Backpacker:

BACKPACKER ( brings the outdoors straight to our readers’ doorsteps, inspiring and enabling them to Get Out More. 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.