GearGear News

Summer 2012 Gear of the Year

After months of torture-testing the latest crop of outdoor gear, we've compiled a list of our 14 favorite items, from the REI Igneo sleeping bag to the Blue AC1 road bike

Summer 2012 Gear of the Year (Photo: Inga Hendrickson)
Summer 2012 Gear of the Year

Outside is excited to unveil its Gear of the Year awards for summer 2012, featured in the summer Buyer's Guide, on newsstands now. Editors and evaluators spent several months torture-testing the latest crop of rugged cameras, tents, shells, boats, packs, and just about every other piece of gear you need to play outdoors this summer. This year’s edition features expanded stand-up-paddleboard coverage as well as the guide’s biggest bike section ever: in addition to the season’s best road and mountain bikes, apparel, and accessories are top-rated touring, freeride, and commuter bikes and apparel. Along the way, professional athletes, like long-distance backpacking specialist Andrew Skurka, dispense tips and advice on everything from buying your first stand-up paddleboard to how to prepare for an endurance-mountain-biking event.

The winners in the 14 Gear of the Year categories are…

TENT: Easton Kilo 3
SHELL: Outdoor Research Axiom
BACKPACK: Eddie Bauer First Ascent Alchemist 40L
TRAIL SHOES: Danner Crater Rim
ROAD-RUNNING SHOES: New Balance Minimus Zero Road
CAMERA: Canon PowerShot G1X
LUGGAGE: Tumi Ducati Due Porte
SUNGLASSES: Oakley Radarlock
MOUNTAIN BIKE: Stumpjumper Expert FSR Carbon 29er
BOAT: Sterling Reflection

The Outside summer Buyer’s Guide not only highlights the very best in adventure gear, from sports equipment, tools, and gadgets to footwear, outerwear, and sunglasses, but also calls out the best values in each class. This year’s issue contains over two dozen Killer Values—as well as 170 products under $150—in everything from mountain-bike shoes to waterproof cameras. Organized according to sport and activity, the summer Buyer’s Guide is the ultimate resource for product reviews, technology, news, and tips.

Now in its 17th year, our annual summer Buyer’s Guide reaches over 1.3 million frequent gear purchasers. It is on newsstands all summer, until July 30, and available on Outside magazine's iPad app, Outside+ Magazine.

From Outside Buyer's Guide 2004
Filed To: Summer Buyer's GuideGear of the Year
Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson