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SNEWS® has chosen to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year in many ways, and one is recognizing 25 years of innovation. So, we have established a Readers’ Choice Award to help identify 25 of the most innovative outdoor products from the last 25 years — ones that were real game-changers and category starters. We culled editor’s choice awards, product reviews, interviewed veteran gear editors, and poured through the SNEWS and Backpacker magazine archives to arrive at a Top 50 list. Now, the rest is up to you, our SNEWS readers.
It will only take two to three minutes of your time to vote for your Top 25 products by clicking here. And results are pouring in! Click here to see how your favorite products are faring in the vote and who’s been writing in what suggestions (choose the “SNEWS Top 50 Products 25th Anniversary Survey” from the list). As of noon on April 8, with only seven days left to register a vote, Smartwool socks and Leatherman multitools are tied in the No. 1 spot with 60 percent of the votes, followed closely by Crazy Creek chairs, Patagonia Capilene, the Jetboil stove, the Teva Original sandal, Nalgene Lexan water bottles, and Powerbar, all registering more than 50 percent of the votes.
We’ve even provided a place where you can write in a product or two that you may feel we missed in our zeal to recognize innovation. And we’ve been getting a lot of write-in votes (Arc’Teryx’s Theta jacket is an apparent favorite) — as well as phone calls and emails from PR folks eager to be sure their company’s products are recognized. At this point, there’s only one way — go online and vote! This really is entirely up to you.
In addition, we want to know what you think the Top 5 materials and supplier innovations are over the last 25 years too — you know, things like waterproof zippers, welded seams, etc. In this category, as of April 8 at noon, Arc’Teryx waterproof zippers were leading with 76 percent of the vote followed closely by Gore Windstopper with 69 percent and Primaloft One with 53 percent.
Your Top 25 products — the ones that garnered the most votes overall — will be featured in our 2009 SNEWS Outdoor Summer magazine that will be sent to subscribers and distributed at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in July. The top five will find their place on the cover of that magazine for full honors. Your vote really counts…don’t delay. Responses must be in by April 15. Click here to vote now.