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Tantalizing new evidence prompts an ambitious search for Amelia Earhart by a group that can't seem to quit

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Lafuma Xmotion Leather Low hiking shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Teva Forge Pro Event hiking shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Scarpa Terra GTX hiking boot.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Keen Red Rock Low hiking shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Merrell Covert shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Montrail Mountain Masochist Mid GTX boot.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Vasque Taku GTX boot.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Garmont Zenith Mid boot.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Columbia Master of Faster Low hiking shoe.

Because great adventures start with dependable kicks.

At first glance, this hauler might seem born out of Lockheed’s Skunkworks, but relax: Our Gear of the Year pack will get you there and back in a flash. A matchless mesh suspension setup saves aches and ounces, while the main compartment smartly stows as much or as little as…

BEEMER ON YOUR BACKThe all-mesh suspension design not only kept me dry on a two-hour uphill slog, but also held the bag snug against my back as I ducked under trees. The top-loading maw swallows everything except a sleeping pad (lash it on the sides or top), while the segmented…

NEED FOR SPEEDAt slightly less than two pounds, this no-frills climbing bag doubles as an elegant overnighter. Handy compression straps cinched my sleeping pad and poles to the outside without a lopsided feel—but the Speed holds just over 1,800 cubic inches, so you’ll want to leave the frying pan behind.

CRAG BAG PLUSTapering like an inverted missile nose cone, this two-pound-ten-ouncer is one sweet summit-poacher. The main chute easily gulps down a stove, fuel, clothes, and a tightly compressed sleeping bag. The front hopper accepted my Nalgene and a couple of energy bars, while exterior diagonal lash points secured my…

Huge, heavy boots are a thing of the past. If your normal routine involves short outings, mellower trails, or lightweight packs, steer toward low-cut, breathable, flexible trail shoes. If stuffed packs, over­nighters, or craggy summits are more your style, consider stiffer trail shoes or boots with taller, more supportive…

Long Haulers Of all the full-on backpacking boots we tested this year, none was as comfy as Timberland’s Washington Summit. While it’s tall and rigid enough to handle loads north of 45 pounds, even our most blister-prone tester, who normally avoids big boots like giardia, was wooed by its athletic-shoe…

Mud Control Tromping through sludgy puddles on the Appa­lachian Trail, the Moraga’s combination of a waterproof upper and snug-fitting gusseted tongue easily kept slop at bay. That was to be expected. What really impressed us was its bite. The Moraga’s toothy outsole shed the glop and provided plenty of stability…

A Stiff and Stout Day Hiker Some light hikers feel comfy at first, only to prove mushy after several weeks of testing. All the more reason to appreciate the up-front honesty of Oboz’s superstiff Contour. Sure, break-in time is longer, but that extra rigidity translated to a secure and stable…

Most Versatile You can certainly find less expensive day hikers out there, but you’d be hard-pressed to find any as versatile and sturdy as the Thunder. Testers reported this lightweight hiker was comfy and reliable during every stage of the review process—right out of the box, on day hikes, and…

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