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Gear Institute Announces the Best Outdoor Gear of 2014

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Expert testers select Best in Class Award winners in 45 outdoor product categories

Santa Fe, NM (December 18, 2014) – The Gear Institute, the nation’s largest web-based network of expert outdoor gear testers, today announces the winners of the prestigious “Gear Institute Best in Class Awards,” honoring the best outdoor products to hit the market in 2014.

The Best in Class distinction is being awarded to 45 outdoor products that achieved the highest Gear Institute Rating in their respective categories. This year, the Gear Institute’s team of 53 experts tested 362 products in more than 45 categories—from skiing to running, backpacking to fishing—using objective testing criteria, extended field test periods, head-to-head comparisons of similar products, and laboratory data.

“We strive to conduct the most trustworthy and credible field testing of outdoor products for consumers,” said Gear Institute Co-founder and Executive Editor Justin Nyberg. “We use an expert team, test popular products head-to-head against each other, and base our awards on pure performance in the field—nothing else.”


The Gear Institute Rating is increasingly recognized as the most dependable, transparent, and consumer-friendly online rating system for outdoor gear. The Gear Institute Rating is a numerical score that evaluates a product’s overall performance based on carefully selected objective criteria, allowing consumers to directly compare the performance, value, and durability of similar outdoor gear products at a glance.

Here is a sampling of the Best in Class Award Winners for 2014:

Skiing: Best Men’s Powder Ski

Best Women’s Powder Ski

Best Backcountry Skis

Running: Best Road Running Shoes

Best Trail Running Shoes

Jackets: Best Protective Softshell Jacket

Best Aerobic Softshell Jacket

Best Waterproof Jacket

Camping: Best Car Camping Tent

Best 3-person Backpacking Tent

Best Sleeping Bag

Backpacks: Best Ski Backpack

Best Weekend Backpack

Best Day Backpack

Fishing: Best Wading Boots

Best Dry Rod

For a full listing of the 45 Best In Class Award Winners of 2014, please visit:


More about Gear Institute:

Gear Institute is an online network of the best outdoor gear testers in America, dedicated to providing consumers with the most credible, objective, and helpful gear reviews and advice on the web. Guides, veteran product testers, and top-level outdoor athletes put each product through extensive field testing against comparable products to provide gear buyers with clear, trustworthy, consumer-friendly comparisons of high-performance outdoor gear. To learn more, visit:

Media Contacts: Inside Out PR

Erin Brosterhous


Paige Boucher