2012 National Geographic Fall/Winter Gear Of The Year

mountain hardware ghost whisperer

With the fall now upon us in the northern hemisphere, and the winter season looming ahead, its time to start thinking about the gear we’ll need to ensure that we stay comfortable on all of our outdoor excursions. Thankfully, our friends over at National Geographic Adventure are always happy to share a few suggestions and with that in mind, yesterday they announced their selections for the 2012 Fall/Winter Gear of the Year Awards. As usual, the list is filled with fantastic gear that any outdoor enthusiast would love to have. Each of the items brings something new to the table and it is tough to decide exactly which ones to spend your hard earned cash on.

One of the more intriguing products that earned a place on the Nat Geo list is a pair of ski/snowboard goggles from Smith Optics that include a built-in heads up display that shows speed, location, altitude, temperature and a whole lot more. We’ve seen similar units in the past but a new developer kit is allowing programers to create new uses for these kinds of displays, which when connected to your smartphone via BlueTooth can do some amazing things.

Other interesting products include Mountain Hardwear’s new Ghost Whisperer down jacket, reportedly the lightest of its kind at just under eight ounces (226 grams). It isn’t the only jacket on the list however, as Sierra Design’s Gnar Lite is lauded for its use of new waterproof down fill. The Big Agnes McAlpin SL sleeping bag incorporates a competing type of waterproof down to provide plenty of warmth and comfort on backpacking trips and Garmin’s Fenix GPS enabled watch is also given a nod for its mix of good looks and functionality. BioLite’s Stove continues to garner plenty of attention for its ability to cook your meal while recharging your iPhone as well and I felt that it was one of the more revolutionary products that I saw at Outdoor Retailer in August.

This is just a sample of the products that made the cut on Nat Geo’s Gear of the Year list. There are also skis, boots, and more apparel that will be of interest as you prepare for the cooler seasons ahead. Just be warned, some of these items come with a hefty price tag, although when has that ever stopped us from picking up the best gear possible?

Kraig Becker