National Geographic Announces 2014 Gear of the Year – Spring/Summer Edition

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For all of those gear hounds out there looking to get their fix, National Geographic has announced their selections for the 2014 Spring/Summer Gear of the Year. As usual, the list if filled with plenty of products that we’ll all lust over, while trying to figure out how we’ll pay for it all. The list includes something for just about every outdoor athlete, from backpackers, to climbers, to mountain bikers, and more.

Some of the items of interest include the first ever mountain biking helmet from Smith Optics. The lightweight helmet actually has an eye-catching sense of style, as well as being designed for safety and comfort. Barebones has introduces a great looking camping lantern lit by LED light, and with a built-in USB port for recharging other devices. Sierra Designs earns a spot on the list with its newly designed, and super comfortable, Backcountry Bed 800 sleeping bag, while Mountain Hardware gets a mention for its new South Col 70 backpack, which stands out from the crowd thanks to the fact that it is waterproof.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 20 great gear items that earned the distinction of being called “Gear of the Year” by Nat Geo, including a kayak, a bike, some running shoes, cameras, and more. If you’re in the market to upgrade or add gear to your collection, you’ll want to check out the list for some suggestions. Not all of it is overly pricey either, as many of the options are quite affordable. Take for example the new Loke Jacket from Helly Hansen, which is a water and wind proof shell with a price tag of just $100. That’s an incredibly good deal from a company that knows how to create tough outdoor apparel.

Head on over and check out the entire list here. Be warned, your wallet might be a bit lighter afterwards, but you’ll be a happy camper. Literally and figuratively.

Kraig Becker