Ryan Jordan

Favorite Gear: 2008

From: 2008 Backpacking Light Staff Picks

Every year, our staff identifies their favorite gear of the year. This "staff picks" article is consistently among the most popular we publish, and, as is the case when other people are invited to share about their favorite gear, one of the most engaging with our readership.

Here are my picks for 2008. Be sure to check out the rest from 15 of our other staff members.

2008 Staff Favorites - 1

Alpacka Packraft
taken me four years to put the packraft on my picks list, but now I'm
ready. The deal was sealed this year as I shared my other boats on some
great trips with friends and family. It's one thing enjoying a ride in
a packraft, it's quite another watching somebody else do the same. My
model of choice: the little Alpacka, with a spray deck (90 oz in blue)
and Sawyer Packraft Paddle (28 oz). Photo: Pacific Creek, Teton
Wilderness, July 2008.

Weight: 118 oz in specified setup
MSRP: $1100

2008 Staff Favorites - 2

Titanium Goat Vertex 8+ and Titanium Stove
so it's not my first choice for long distance hiking or SUL. But there
is something to be said about the benefits (social, practical, and
emotional) of having fire crackling in a wood stove inside your tent.
Who said car camping and backcountry base camping can't also enjoy
ultralight style? The tent with a carbon pole weighs about 5.5 lbs, and
the small titanium box stove will only set you back 2.5 lbs. Add 10 lbs
of gear and 10 lbs of food, and you're still tipping the scales sub-30
lbs with potential for extreme comfort and high class wilderness living.

Weight: 8 lbs for both
MSRP: $1300

2008 Staff Favorites - 3

Beartooth Merino Hoody
you've been waiting for this product to come to market, I've had the
privilege of wearing it all year. This is my absolute favorite piece of
clothing, period, if there is any possibility of temperatures less than
50 degrees.

Weight: 8 oz (size medium)
MSRP: $110