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Press Releases

Backpacker Magazine Names The 2018 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 13, 2018 

Backpacker Editor's Choice 2018 Award logo

Twelve manufacturers are honored as recipients of the 2018 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.

This year’s Editors’ Choice awards mark a special milestone. “Twenty-five years ago, the BACKPACKER gear team launched an awards program that established a new benchmark for researching, testing, and reviewing the outdoor industry’s most innovative products,” says BACKPACKER Editor-in-Chief Dennis Lewon. “The Editors’ Choice Awards have earned the trust of readers and the respect of brands over the last two and a half decades, and they’re still the gold standard. That’s because no other magazine or website conducts field testing as rigorously or impartially as the crew led by our Gear Editor, Eli Bernstein. Our core testers each have years of backcountry experience and expertise.”

To celebrate that history, BACKPACKER is adding a new award this year: The Editors’ Choice 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame award, given to products that have continually proven their quality and value, and rank as the best gear BACKPACKER has seen over the past quarter century. More Hall of Fame winners will be announced throughout the year.

Lewon and Bernstein formally presented the awards during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Denver. This year’s winners include: LOWA Renegade GTX Mid (Editors’ Choice 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame award), Gregory Baltoro 65 / Deva 60 (Editors’ Choice 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame award), Big Agnes Insulated AXL Air, La Sportiva Trango Tower GTX, Tecnica Forge GTX, Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60, Helen Knows Best Extreme Weather Lip Balm, Fjällräven Abisko Trekking Tights, Jetboil JetGauge, Garmin VIRB 360, and Guppyfriend Washing Bag.

The Editors’ Choice Gold Award—bestowed on products that have sustained years of best-in-class performance—goes to the Garmin Oregon Series and the Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Cushion.

The BACKPACKER Editors’ Choice Awards are the 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.

The complete list of BACKPACKER 2018 Editors’ Choice Award winners will be officially announced to the general public in the magazine’s Spring Gear Guide, on newsstands March 13, 2018

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. 


Sharon Houghton 303.253.6412,