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11/12/2015 by Brian Eagen

Best Outdoor Gear of 2015

Each year brings new innovations in outdoor equipment; designers, engineers, and outdoor-lovers alike pour their hearts into making gear lighter, more comfortable, and more useful. Innovations aren’t always earth shattering; more often they are a fine tuning of an already great idea. Here are the seven pieces of gear that I am most excited about from 2015.

Best Outdoor Gear of 2015 pano
Sea to Summit X-Pot

Sea to Summit X-Pot: $39 to $59

Innovative use of Materials

I'm not a big believer in gadgetry when it comes to cookware, however, the Sea to Summit X-Pot might be an exception to that rule. The X-Pot combines an aluminum base with silicon walls to form a collapsible cooking pot. This clever pot turns one of the bulkiest items into almost nothing, which is perfect for a backpacking trip.

Patagonia Nano Air Hoody

Patagonia Nano Air Hoody: $299

Breathable Insulating Layer for Active Days

Jackets are tricky business. On one end of the spectrum they are fully wind and waterproof, and on the other they are breathable for high-energy activity. The Patagonia Nano Air Hoody falls on the breathable side, and offers superb mobility and plenty of warmth. If you’re looking for a warm layer that you won’t have to shed once your activity rate goes up, then this one can’t be beat. Toss on a rain jacket when you’re standing still to really maximize the insulation value.

Jetboil Mini Mo

Jetboil Mini Mo: $129

Integrated Boiling and Cooking

Jetboil is no stranger to innovating gear. Their classic integrated stove is a highly loved item, but now they’ve downsized it and added an even better simmer control with the Mini Mo. The precise simmer control broadens your cooking abilities and makes your backcountry meals even more delicious.

BioLite NanoGrid

BioLite NanoGrid: $99

Overhead Lighting and Charging

BioLite loves to wrap numerous uses into one. The NanoGrid is a phone charger, lantern, and overhead lighting all-in-one. Chain together overhead lights to illuminate a large portion of your campsite.

Princeton Tec Sync

Princeton Tec Sync: $29

Fully Features with Low Price Tag

It’s common nowadays to see red light, spotlight, and floodlight features in a headlamp. What’s uncommon is the low price tag that comes with all these features in the Sync. This is the perfect headlamp for the budget-conscious.

Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Sleeping Pad

Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Sleeping Pad: $169 to $189

Adjustable Comfort while Sleeping

If you’re someone who dislikes sleeping on hard pads, the Comfort Plus is for you! Sea to Summit designed this sleeping pad with two independent air chambers. Now you can blow one up nice and firm for rough ground while leaving the top softer for added comfort.

Osprey Atmost AG & Aura AG Backpack

Osprey Atmos AG & Aura AG: $229 to $259

Effortless Backpacking with Perimeter Frame

Perimeter frame backpacks are slowly becoming more prevalent, and Osprey is leading the way with their Anti-Gravity design. The Atmos AG and Aura AG carry decently heavy loads with fantastic distribution. I love Osprey for a variety of reasons (fantastic warranty, solid gear, cutting edge design) and I’d highly recommend an Atmos AG or Aura AG for your next multi-day backpacking pack.

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Well, there you have it! Seven exciting pieces of gear that have hit the markets in the last year. As with any gear, the true test will be how these items hold up to time and future competitors. Did you pick up something new this year? Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

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