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I’ve only skied the Mastrale a hand full of times at demo days but in my opinion, it offers the best lightweight-to-downhill-performance ratio of any touring boot on the market. It’s an everyday boot for someone that prefers skin tracks over lift lines and wants to do more than swish turns in tennis shoe touring boots. Kevin Luby, assistant editor $599; scarpa.com  

Editors' Gear 2011-12

One of the perks of our jobs as editors is that a lot of shiny new gear comes through our office. It runs the gamut from baselayers that we barely ever take off to who-the-hell-came-up-with-that junk like spangled fur mittens. This is the gear that’s getting us really psyched this season. The stuff we personally use, because we think it’s the best.

Setting up camp for a few nights (or longer), but need a pack for a summit push? The Arc’teryx Cierzo 25 is a great choice. Super lightweight—one ounce shy of a pound—and minimalist, the unisex Cierzo can easily haul a down puffy, outer shell, lunch, a camera, sunscreen, climbing harness, extra pair of shoes and more. It has plenty of lashing options including ice-axe loops and a compression cord that wraps the entire bag and pulls the load close to your body. Plus, the entire pack stuffs into its top lid, compressing down to the size of a football. The thin foam frame sheet is removable to make it even lighter and less bulky—though you sacrifice back comfort—or, as the company touts, it can be used as an emergency sleeping pad. But it is a minimalist pack. That means neither an internal bladder hanger nor hose port, and no external water bottle pockets like you’d find on more full-featured packs. www.arcteryx.com; $99

Summer Gear List: Packs

Here are five packs—from multi-day schleppers to light and fast daytrippers— that’ll get you through the summer.

My younger brother and his fixed-gear bicycle recently moved to Harlem where he’s been perfecting his rolled-skinny-jeans-to-boat-shoes ratio and unearthing obscure Bon Iver remixes. He would probably grow a moustache if he could, but he can’t. Underneath his trappings of hipsterdom, though, he’s basically incapable of buying himself clothes. So I’m getting him this Reversible Flannel Jacket which is cool looking enough for New York (I guess. I live in Boulder, so I wouldn’t really know.) but won’t be out of place when he heads up to Jay either.-H.H. $149; http://www.patagonia.com

Editor's Holiday Gift Guide: Part Two

This holiday season, to help you find presents for the people in your lives, we're sharing what we're getting for the people in ours. Part Two: What editor Heather Hansman is getting for her wannabe-hipster brother, boozebag co-workers, and her mother, who may or may not currently be wearing leather ski pants.