As the snow melts (finally!), our thoughts turn to heading into the great outdoors – and all the great new stuff we’ll need to enjoy it. There's tons of gear coming out in the next few months and we’ve already run in, hiked with, rode on, drove in, listened to and played with most of it. In fact, our team of nearly two-dozen testers has been using (and abusing) all the new offerings to come up with this list of the very best stuff.
Contributors: Matt Berical, John Brandon, Berne Broudy, Ezra Dyer, Greg Emmanuel, Michael Frank, Tobey Grumet, Jason Heaton, James Martin, Dan Nelson, Seth Porges, Carl Rose, Doug Schnitzspahn, Josh Sens, Jeremy Spencer, Ryan Stuart, Erik Sofge, Basem Wasef
The North Face Tadpole 2
As its name implies, this tent is at home in the water. A pair of testers took the Tadpole to the wettest place we could find — the Queets Rainforest in Olympic National Park. For 4 nights, with nearly 3 inches of rainfall, the Tadpole stayed bone dry. Large mesh walls eliminate the threat of condensation, while its taut-fitting fly sheds water efficiently. Inside, the steep walls and high ceiling ensured that a pair of hikers had plenty of room to move around. [$289; thenorthface.com]