For over a decade, BACKPACKER has sent a team of expert gear testers to a far-flung wintery zone for an intense week of ski touring, camping, and debate to bring you the season’s best products with our annual Editors’ Choice Awards.
“It’s always challenging,” said Gear editor Eli Bernstein. “Winter camping is rarely easy, but this year threw us another curveball: the inability to safely undertake a group backcountry trip.”
To meet the challenge, BACKPACKER adapted by leaning on its team of more than 100 testers and category managers who hiked, climbed, and skied through whiteouts and over muddy trails while editors in the Boulder, Colorado, home office in vetted their picks on individual trips around the state.
Bernstein and the rest of the crew determined six deserving winners of the coveted awards.
“These products represent the best the industry has to offer in terms of keeping outdoorspeople warm, safe, and confident on cold-weather adventures,” said Bernstein.
“We’ve never doled out awards in pre-designated categories, nor do we aim to fill a quota for number of awards,” said editorial director Shannon Davis. “BACKPACKER awards an Editors’ Choice based solely on that special, intangible quality where innovation, ergonomics, weight, price, design, utility, and plain old cool factor come together in just the perfect way.”
Fall 2020 Editors’ Choice Award Winners
Click through the slideshow to see the winners.
The North Face Summit L3 50/50 Down Hoody
“This versatile puffy is the most breathable down jacket we’ve ever tested.”
Appalachian Gear Company All-Paca Sleeping Bag Liner
Add 15°F of soft, stretchy warmth to your bag for less than $100.
NEMO Kunai 3-4 Season Backpacking Tent
This do-it-all tent has the strength to handle winter storms yet is light and breathable enough for year-round use.
SCOTT Superguide Freetour
No matter what type of terrain you’re in, this ski will keep you confident and in control.
Seirus MagneMitt Summit
A unique design means you won’t have to sacrifice dexterity while wearing these mittens.
G3 Via Carbon
“Simply put, the best ski pole we’ve ever used for backcountry ski tours.”