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Gear Picks of the Year: Mountain 

Perfect gear for the mountains: trail runners, jacket, mountain bike, watch, more.
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: Mountain - Gear  |  Trend  |  Destination

1. The Trail Runners
GoLite Sun Dragon

A revolutionary concept, the Sun Dragon ($95; takes the usual soft EVA midsole and uses it in an outsole of 12 flexible and independent lugs. The result is the most comfortable and responsive trail runner we've seen in ages.

Photo: Trail runner

2. The Shell
Editor's Pick: Best Value

Columbia Faster and Lighter  
Recently the market has seen a slew of insanely light jackets, but in the backcountry you need outerwear that hits the sweet spot between wind-blocking ultralights and pricey waterproof breathables. Case in point: the Faster and Lighter ($180; The eight-ounce seam-taped garment is luxuriously soft, breathes like a dream, and sheds water as well as shells twice the price.

Photo: Jacket

3. The Video Camera
Elmo SUV-Cam  
The smallest, most weatherproof video camera on the market, the flash-memory SUV-Cam ($1,200; isn't IMAX quality—just 704 x 480 pixels—but it's a no-brainer if you want to post your helmet-cam heroics on YouTube.

Photo: Video camera

4. The Mountain Bike
Editor's Pick: Best Innovation

Santa Cruz Nomad X9 AM  
Simply put, this bike ($4,100; reframes the definition of a "cross-country" suspension ride. A 30-pounder (914-kilogram) with six inches (15 centimeters) of travel that ascends like an Otis elevator? That's like a monster truck that can race the Indy 500. Awesome.

Photo: Mountain bike

5. The Training System
Polar RS800sd watch and adiStar Fusion shoes and shirt  
Apparel and electronics working together to help you train—that's the latest from Adidas and Polar. Sensors in the Fusion shoes ($120; and shirt ($65) transmit speed, distance, and heart rate to the burly RS800sd ($489), which in turn displays training zones, elevation, calories burned, and cadence.

Photo: Watch

6. The Rope
Petzl Nomad

The new 60-meter Nomad 9.8mm ($210; is the company's first foray into ropes, and a darn good one. Thicker than the ultrathin ropes of late (without being too heavy), the Nomad will stand more abuse, handling rock and alpine routes with equal grace. It is marked at the midpoint and six meters from each end so you don't rappel yourself into space.

Photo: Rope

7. The Daypack
Editor's Pick: Best Comfort

The North Face Neutron 32 
Any daypack can carry a peanut-butter-and-honey sandwich, but can it handle a long haul as well as the front-loading Neutron 32 ($109; Probably not. The molded-foam back panel, stiffened shoulder straps, and wide hip pads carried 25 pounds (11 kilograms) better than any other day-tripper we tried.

Photo: Backpack

Photographs, from top: Courtesy of GoLite; Courtesy of Columbia; James Westman; Courtesy of Santa Cruz; Courtesy of Polar; James Westman; Courtesy of North Face

Cover: Adventure magazine

Best of Adventure 2007 Home Page >>

Adventurers of the Year >>

Lifetime Achievement: Biologist George Schaller >>

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Outdoor Sports Trends >>

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