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Gear Picks of the Year: Forest
Perfect gear for the forest: backpack, trail runners, tent, digital cameras, shells. 
Text by Steve Casimiro, with gear recommendations from Adventure's Retail Advisory Board

Gear Picks of the Year for Six Environments:

Desert  |  Forest  |  Mountain  |  Road Trip  |  Snow  |  Water

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Best of Adventure: Forest - Gear  |  Trend  |  Destination

1. The Overnight Pack
Editor's Pick: Best Value

Gregory Z 55  
At three and a half pounds and 3,350 cubic inches (54,897 cubic centimeters), the tough, top-loading Z 55 ($189; is the smartest, most versatile pack out there. Take it for a single night or the whole Pacific Crest Trail.

Photo: Backpack

2. The Light Hiker
Asolo Contour XCR  

No piece of trail footwear is more essential than the light hiker, and no light hiker is more essential than the Contour XCR ($120; A Gore-Tex membrane, an aggressive tread, and an incredibly well-designed midsole place this shoe in best in breed.

Photo: Trail runner

3. The Tent
Sierra Designs Asp  
"Fast and light" too often means "small and tight," but not with the two-person, three-season Asp ($319; At 34 square feet (3 square meters), backpacking tents rarely come this livable and spacious—not under five pounds (2 kilograms), anyway. Near-vertical mesh walls lend a palatial, airy feel, and dual doors boost your sense of freedom.

Photo: Tent

4. The Field Camera
Editor's Pick: Best Innovation

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-N2 and Sony GPS-CS1
Find that waterfall again? Pair the ten-megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-N2 ($450; with the wireless GPS-CS1 data logger ($150) and you'll link GPS points to every shot you take.

Photo: Digital Cameras

5. The Sticks
Snow Peak Chopsticks 
Nothing dresses up backcountry ramen like the unpretentiously named Chopsticks ($20;, which feature white ash bottoms that slide into hollow stainless steel tops. At one ounce a pair, they're light enough to take on your thru-hike.

Photo: Chopsticks

6. The Flashlight
SureFire Kroma
Is this thing legal? The Kroma ($299; is like a pocket laser: The five-ounce (142-gram) torch pumps out 50 blazing lumens, has additional red and blue beams, and is virtually indestructible. Battery time is a bleak 90 minutes on high but lasts a strong eight hours on low.

Photo: Flash light

7. The Softshell
Editor's Pick: Best Comfort

Marmot Gravity  
With a market awash in cheap softshells, what makes one stand out? The details: Velcro cuffs, a microfleece collar, and a water-repellent finish that won't wash away. They're all in the Gravity ($160;, the best we found.

Photo: Jacket

Photographs, from top: Courtesy of Gregory; Courtesy of Asolo; Courtesy of Sierra Designs; James Westman; Courtesy of Snow Peak; Courtesy of Kroma; James Westman

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