Tools that make it impossible to take a bad picture.

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(Courtesy Pentax)

Pentax KP ($1,100)

Stop shooting vacation photos on your iPhone and use this lightweight 1.5-pound box instead. The 24.3-megapixel APS-C sensor captures bigger, richer files than your cell, making for better prints. Plus, the KP has a massive ISO range—up to 819,200—for crisp low-light shots. It can snap seven frames per second and has a weather seal to keep you firing in rain and snow. You’ll need a fast lens to get the most out of this Pentax, but it’s a setup worth building out.

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(Courtesy Canon)

Canon EOS M6 ($779)

At 4.4 inches wide, this camera is too small and too powerful to not pack along on every trip—be that an evening hike or an all-day ride. You get a robust 24.2-megapixel sensor that snaps seven frames per second, plus an autofocus system that’s whip fast. It doesn’t come with a viewfinder, so we recommend adding Canon’s EVF-DC2 ($250) so you’re never stuck trying to use the LCD screen in variable light.

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(Courtesy Nikon)

Nikon D7500 ($1,250)

If you like the feel of a DSLR, the D7500 is a great deal for the price. The 20.9-megapixel sensor performs exceptionally well in low light, and the camera borrows some subject-recognition autofocus features from the company’s flagship D5, so action shots are always crisp. Bonus: after you’ve linked the camera to your mobile device to share photos on Instagram, the D7500 has a low-power Bluetooth setting that keeps the two devices permanently connected.

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(Courtesy Sony)

Sony a9 ($4,500)

Sony just launched its campaign to take over the sports-photography world. The a9 shoots a mind-blowing 20 frames per second, or a half-dozen more than any Nikon or Canon. The camera also comes with a lightning-fast auto-focus that makes 60 adjustments per second to ensure you stay locked on your subject, whether he’s launching off a cliff or carving up singletrack. All that power comes in a package that weighs only 1.8 pounds—nearly half as much as you’d expect from a DSLR with similar chops.

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(Courtesy Lumix)

Lumix GH5 ($2,000)

Built for moviemakers, Panasonic’s flagship camera houses a 20.3-megapixel four-thirds sensor, which is smaller than a full-frame sensor and easy to squeeze into a compact body. Designed to handle dust, rain, and even freezing temperatures, the GH5 shoots beautifully smooth 4K footage at 60 frames per second, thanks to five-axis image stabilization. For the real video junkies, options like shooting in 4:2:2, ten-bit video, and Vlog Gamma give this camera more color range than anything in its class.

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(Courtesy DJI)

DJI Phantom 4 Advanced ($1,199)

Up until now, DJI’s lower-end drones have been fun and easy to fly but strapped with low-grade cameras. The new Phantom 4, however, gets a 20-megapixel camera with a large one-inch sensor that shoots 4K video at 60 fps and high-res photos that look good on a screen and as prints. The camera comes with sweet additional features like full aperture control and a mechanical shutter. As for the drone, well, it’s still totally fun and easy to fly.

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Fitness

The Best Packs of 2018

Load them up, kick them through the snow—these haulers will serve you well no matter what. (Charles Dustin Sammann) Mystery Ranch Saddle Peak ($229) We demand a lot from our packs: they need to accommodate a variety of loads, move with us, and carry comfortably on our backs. Until pack makers design the one that can do it all, we’re left weighing pros and cons. Of all the packs we tested this year, the Saddle Peak demanded the fewest compromises. Mystery Ranch—based in Bozeman, Montana—designed it to tame the local Bridger Bowl Ski Area. There

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Fitness

The Best Snowsports Helmets of 2018

Just remember one thing: it’s all about fit. (Charles Dustin Sammann) Petzl Sirocco ($130) Stop thinking of helmets as accessories. They are crucial tools that have gotten so many major upgrades in the past few years it’s hard to keep track of them all. Take the new Sirocco. Weighing in at about a third of a pound, Petzl’s new lid is the lightest one we’ve ever tested. It’s also one of the most breathable, with an astonishing 24 vents. “I forgot I was wearing a helmet!” exclaimed one tester after summiting Mount Shasta on an

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Fitness

The Best Goggles of 2018

Cylindrical lenses that strike the perfect balance between performance and price. (Charles Dustin Sammann) Oakley Fall Line ($190) Old-school goggle lenses were formed flat and then bent to fit goggle frames, inducing headaches by warping the light and forcing your brain to make sense of the distorted images. Then early iterations of lenses thermoformed on a cylinder (no need to bend them) took over the high end, only to be replaced with top-dollar spherical lenses that mimic the shape of the human eye. But recent refinements in how cylindrical lenses are built—less distortion for less

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Fitness

The Best Recycled Gear of 2018

Even outdoor gear deserves a second chance. (Courtesy Woolrich) Woolrich Civil War Gettysburg Wool Blanket ($115) These thick 1800s-era blankets were  first issued to Union soldiers to keep them warm. The modern version is still tough as nails, but now it’s made of 80 percent wool gathered from the cutting-room floor. Buy Now (Charles Dustin Sammann) ShotzSki Shot Ski (From $175) No après-ski throwdown is complete without a shot ski. Our favorite maker, ShotzSki has a host of recycled planks to choose from (fat, skinny, old, and new). Pick a design

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Fitness

The Best Winter Hats of 2018

It’s true: your head loses around 7 to 10 percent of your body’s heat—whether you’re spending winter nights in the desert high country or riding Colorado’s lifts—if it’s not well insulated. Still, though you should keep your dome swaddled, there’s no reason not to look good while doing so. (Courtesy Snowshed) Snowshed 3-Season Helmet Beanie ($35) Top of our list for high-output winter activities is the 3-Season Helmet beanie from up-and-coming Chicago company Snowshed. It’s made from fine merino wool and  fits nicely into your pocket. We wore the 3-Season beneath our bike and ski

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Fitness

The Best Sunglasses of 2018

Wherever your cold-weather escape trajectory leads, these best-in-class shades improve the view. (Courtesy Sunski) Sunski Plover ($58) Sunski, as ever, delivers quality and style that could easily cost twice as much. The Plover’s synthetic lenses are both polarized and mirrored—often premium upgrades. We put the optics to the test on a relentlessly sunny weekend on and next to the Pacific, where inferior lenses would have left our eyes fried. Buy Now (Courtesy Spy) Spy Cyrus Whitewall ($130) Aggro, loud, some screamingly unnatural red-orange color—you may not love such things in your

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Fitness

The Best Après Shoes of 2018

Comfy, classy shoes for ski-beat feet. (Courtesy The North Face) The North Face ThermoBall Traction Bootie ($60) This PrimaLoft-insulated kick was like a puffy jacket for our feet. The North Face also slapped on a lugged rubber outsole that had mind-blowing grip even while we were drinking beers on parking-lot ice. Bonus points: that outsole is made from recycled materials. Buy Now (Courtesy Vans) Vans Remedy Boot ($160) Vans ventures away from its home in Southern California and toward the wintry north with this boot that features a durable galosh-like lower

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Fitness

The Best Après Tailgating Gear of 2018

Win the parking lot post-ski scene. Tembo Tusk Skottle Kit (Courtesy Tembo Tusk) Tembo Tusk Skottle Kit ($275) The skottle—think a shallow wok with legs—makes an ideal grilling surface for post-pow steaks and veggies. Invented by South African farmers who repurposed old disc harrows from tractors, the propane-fueled cooking tool has gained popularity among U.S. overlanders because of its simple design and giant grilling surface. Buy Now (Courtesy Patagonia) Patagonia Iron Forge Hemp Canvas Double Knee Pants ($79) Ditch your crinkly, uncomfortable ski pants for these soft, warm, nearly indestructible work

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Fitness

The Best Gloves of 2018

Care for your digits. Arc’teryx Rush SV ($275) Arc’teryx debuted the Alpha glove a couple of years ago, with a revolutionary build: it sealed the membrane stitches with waterproof tape, making the Alpha the most weatherproof glove we’ve ever tested. The Alpha has now been upgraded to the Rush, with a removable quick-drying liner. Think of it as hard-shell armor for your hands. Buy Now Black Diamond Helio ($200) Versatility was on full display during a ski tour in Crested Butte, where the three-in-one Helio proved to be our

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Fitness

The Best Winter Camping Gear of 2018

Survive a night (or two or three) in the snow. (Courtesy Mammut) Mammut Trion Light 38 Pack ($160)  Mammut’s Trion lets you jam in gear for days in the backcountry but is optimized for fast-and-light summit bids. Removable hip pads and top pouch slim things down when ounces count. Buy Now (Courtesy MSR) MSR Remote 2 Tent ($800) The Remote 2’s spacious, 33-square-foot interior and cavernous vestibule made waiting out a storm almost pleasant. The burly composite poles held steady in 30-mile-per-hour winds. Buy Now

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Fitness

The Best Watches of 2018

Rugged, refined timepieces for nights out, the depths, and, yes, even space. (Courtesy Luminox) Luminox Navy SEAL 3500 ($375)  Luminox took the perennial favorite Navy SEAL model and gave it an update, with a less cluttered dial and the minor flourish of a red second hand. The 3500 is a remarkably tough piece of horology for such a reasonable price; the carbon-compound case is a perfect combination of lightweight and durable, and the luminescent markers will glow for up to 25 years. Buy Now (Courtesy Nixon) Nixon Station Chrono Leather

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