National Geographic Adventure Names Gear of the Year!

In what has become a yearly ritual, National Geographic Adventure has released their picks for the Gear of the Year, with 35 items earning that distinction for 2010. Each of the items incorporates great design and technology to improve their functionality in the field, while making our lives easier in the process.

Amongst the items that make the list are the Kistwar Jacket from The North Face, which earns kudos for being a versatile piece of gear that can be used all over the mountain, whether you’re climbing, hiking, or skiing. Gerber’s Ultimate Knife gets a nod as well, and not just because it’s endorsed by Bear Grylls, and the Earthmate PN-60 from DeLorme and SPOT continues to garner attention for its ability to keep us in contact with friends and family even while on the go.

Of course, there are plenty of other great items on the list as well, including a point and shoot camera from Canon (Powershot S95) and a DSLR from Nikon (D3100), as well as the popular Vibram’s FiveFingers Bikila “barefoot” running shoes. As someone who has been using the Bikila’s for a few months now, I can attest to how fun they are to run in.

There are a couple of other very intriguing pieces of kit that caught my eye. For instance, the new Tikka XP headlamp from Petzl seems really interesting, which seems like an odd thing to say for a headlamp. But this one incorporates some very cool technology that allows you to use the lamp’s rechargeable battery system with special software that runs on your computer, to accurately set the light so that it burns at the right level to maximize battery life for what ever activity you are doing. Seems like an ingenious design and I’d love to test one.

As is typical with these kinds of lists, there is far too much great gear for my wallet to handle. But, if you’re in the market to upgrade some of your gear items, and you’re looking for suggestions, this is a great place to start. You’ll find everything from packs to gloves to sleeping bags on the list, but be warned, you’re also likely to find some things you didn’t even know you needed or wanted. Gear lust is in full effect here!

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