Mountain Hardwear WindStopper Torch Jacket wins Backpacker magazine Editors' Choice Award

Mountain Hardwear has been honored as a recipient of a 2006 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award for its welded construction, WindStopper Torch Jacket. This is the sixth Editor's Choice award that the company has received since 1997.
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RICHMOND, Calif. (April 6, 2006) – Mountain Hardwear Inc., a leading mountaineering and outdoor equipment and clothing company, has been honored as a recipient of a 2006 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. This is the sixth Editors' Choice award from Backpacker that the company has received since 1997. In addition to the Torch Jacket Mountain Hardwear has also received awards for their Ethereal Parka, the Mountainwear Packpant, the Bat Ray awning, Quantum sleeping bags, and the Spectre SL sleeping bag.

Backpacker Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Dorn and his staff of editors and testers presented members of Mountain Hardwear's design team who were instrumental in creating the innovative jacket with the award at the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 28th. 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.

Mountain Hardwear's Torch Jacket was one of 15 innovative products that have been honored with a 2006 Backpacker Editors' Choice Award. Made from a stretch Gore® Windstopper® Softshell fabric with proprietary welded seam construction, the Torch Jacket is a weather-protective softshell that maintains it stretch even at the seams. “Thanks to the welded seams, the Torch is functionally waterproof and it is breathable enough to wear while hiking – for hours, even all day” said Backpacker Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Dorn.

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. 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.

About Mountain Hardwear:
Mountain Hardwear designs, sources and markets high-end mountaineering and outdoor equipment, apparel and accessories. Mountain Hardwear was established in 1993 by a group of outdoor industry veterans and is based in Richmond, Calif. The company distributes its products through specialty outdoor and sporting goods retailers in the United States and 30 countries worldwide. Mountain Hardwear has won numerous product and customer service awards since its inception. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company. For more information about Mountain Hardwear, visit the company's Internet home page at www.mountainhardwear.com.

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 325,000 and is published 9 times a year. 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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