The Most Influential Gear of All Time, Part III: 1981-2012

We’ve scoured the gear archives and the history of sport across continents and eras to compile our first attempt at an authoritative list of the 100 most important outdoor inventions ever

The most influential gear ever, from 1981 to 2012     Photo: Outside Online

This is part three of our three-part list of the 100 most influential outdoor products ever created. (View part one: 860 B.C.-1960, part two: 1961-1980, or return to the introduction and complete list.) Scroll through using the navigation bars at the top and bottom of this page to read more about the history and development of each product and, in many cases, see original images we've obtained directly from the patent holders, or select a specific item from the list below. Tell us about your favorites and which you couldn't possibly live without.

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