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2013 About Hiking Readers' Choice Awards

The Best Hiking Gear for 2013

By

Thank you to everybody who voted in the 2013 Reader's Choice Awards, and congratulations to the winners! I've listed the winner in each category below, and you can still click through to view all the finalists in any individual category.

Reader's Choice FAQs

1. Favorite Hiking Trail: The John Muir Trail

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We wanted to know which trail just kept calling you back, no matter how many times you've walked it before. You declared the 215-mile John Muir Trail, in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, your favorite by a landslide.

See the final poll results

Read more about all five finalists

2. Best Daypack: CamelBak Rim Runner

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Daypacks walk a fine line between being big enough to carry everything you need, but not so large that they make you look like you're portaging gear to base camp. You chose the CamelBak Rim Runner, which combines a hefty hydration reservoir with plenty of room to stow gear for a dayhike, as the best daypack of 2013.

See the final poll results

Read more about all five finalists

3. Best Backpacking Pack: Osprey Ariel 65

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Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, camp stove and fuel, food, extra layers, headlamp, navigation, emergency kit... no matter how you slice it, a multi-day hiking trip means hauling a lot of gear. You said the Osprey Ariel 65 is the best large pack of 2013!

See the final poll results

Read more about all five finalists

4. Best Light Hiking Boots/Shoes: Merrell Proterra Vim Sport

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I love how lightweight footwear feels on the trail. Judging by all the votes, so do you! You voted the Merrell Proterra Vim Sport in as your favorite light footwear of 2013.

See the final poll results

Read more about all five finalists

5. Best Backpacking Boots: Vasque Breeze/Breeze 2.0

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While you can complete a short hike in almost any footwear, multi-day hikes require boots or sturdy shoes that combine great fit, comfort and protection without weighing a ton. You named the Vasque Breeze as your favorite boot for backpacking!

See the final poll results

Read more about all four finalists

6. Best Headlamp for Hiking: Princeton Tec Remix

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Nobody really means to go hiking in the dark... okay, some of us do. Whether your walk in the dark is accidental or intentional, you won't get far if you can't see where you're going. You said the Princeton Tec Remix does the best job of lighting up the trail.

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7. Best Water Filter/Purifier: SteriPEN Freedom

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Your body needs water but, at more than 8 pounds per gallon, hauling a full day's supply of drinking water on the trail isn't much fun. Not only are water filters and UV purifiers light and easy to carry from one water source to the next, they also prevent the tent-clearing graces of Giardia from visiting your camp. You choice a UV purifier -- the SteriPEN Freedom -- as your favorite!

See the final poll results

Read more about all five finalists

8. Best Backpacking Tent: Tarptent Double Rainbow

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Ah, there's nothing like a good night's sleep... until your tent blows down (with you in it!) or your tent-mate's elbow ends up lodged in your ribs. Staying upright, leaving you enough room to roll over (and maybe even sit up if you're lucky), and still being light enough to carry isn't too much to ask -- is it? We don't think so, and neither did you! You said the Tarptent Double Rainbow is the best backpacking tent of 2013.

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9. Best Backpacking Stove: Caldera Cone

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Fire... it's the secret to every hot meal or drink you enjoy on the trail. Carrying a light, portable camp stove with you is a lot easier and safer than scrounging for firewood and cooking over an open flame. Your votes were clear: The Caldera Cone stove system is the best backpacking stove of 2013!

View the final poll results

Read more about all five finalists

10. Best Hiking App: Weather Live

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Nowadays, phones are good for a lot more than making calls and sending text messages. They can even make your time in the backcountry easier, safer or more enjoyable. Five mobile apps made it into the finals, and you chose Weather Live as your favorite mobile app for hiking.

See the final poll results

Read more about all five finalists

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