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The Whitewater Research & Safety Institute (WRSI) teamed up with the Johns Hopkins University Engineering and Public Health schools, to make the safest multi-impact helmet on the market. The resulting helmet, the Current, has four layers of protection, but is still lightweight, and, because WRSI wanted people to actually use their helmets, reasonably priced.$80-100; www.wrsisafety.com

Summer Gear List: Paddling

All the gear you need to get out on the water this summer whether you're kayaking, SUPing, or tubing.

Sunglasses are one of the few purchases worth making for purely narcissistic reasons. Sure they’ve got to protect my eyes. But what’s the point if they don’t look good while doing it? Based on that superficial motive, you might consider the new Revo Square Classic if you’re in the market for springtime stunner shades. The bombproof glass lens will stand up to abuse, and the classic styling is perfect for all things spring like zipperlining slush bumps, parking lot beer drinking, and pond skims.$209; revo.com

6 Pieces of Gear for Spring

Spring skiing is a scene. You gotta look, feel, and ski the part.

Mother bought me this jacket for Christmas and I’ve worn it every ski day since, rain or shine, backcountry or lifts, Utah, Colorado, Montana, Idaho. It kept me dry, blocked the wind, and looked wicked stylish while doing so. It took a lot of abuse this season but I’m pretty confident it will continue to do so for years to come. www.flylowgear.comKevin Luby, Associate Editor

Our Favorite Gear of the Year

We get to try out a lot of gear around here, but the stuff we truly love can be rare and hard to come by. These are the goods, from boots to barbecue sauce, that we abused the heck out of this winter. We like this stuff a lot, and there's a good chance you might too.

I loved the Langes I grew up in, but they hurt my shins. Last spring I stepped into a pair of Super Blasters. Wow, Langes have changed. The gel-padded tongue completely eliminates the Lange bang of old. But the coolest innovation is the third-buckle walk-mode switch. Flip it open for easy hiking, skinning, or base-village pub crawling. And the sole is also grippy for traction on the bootpack. [$580; langeski boots.com]  —Ben Rifkin

Best Gear: 101 of our Favorite Things

This is our stuff. We own it, use it, and believe in it. We think you'll like it, too.

Weighing in at 13 oz., the Super Cell is an excellent choice for the backpacker or outdoors person that wants a super light Gore-Tex waterproof jacket.  The jacket is helmet compatible, and provides the classic Patagonia styling and quality that we have come to love over the years.  $249

Next Year's Summer Gear

Last week, gear companies were all at the Outdoor Retailer trade show showing off the summer gear they'll be releasing a year from now. Our guy on the floor got a sneak peek at the coolest gear coming out in 2012. Take a look.

GSI’s BPA-free cookware fully accommodates two people’s eating needs. At just 20.7 ounces, this lightweight set includes two insulated mugs with lids, two bowls, two telescoping foons, and a hard-anodized pot with strainer lid. All cookware, fuel, a stove, and utensils fit inside the pot. Nonstick coating makes cleanup easy, the Pinnacle-series aluminum pot distributes heat evenly for perfectly cooked English muffin pizzas, and Teflon radiance technology prevents scratches. Our favorite feature? The waterproof storage bag doubles as a camp sink.  $60; gsioutdoors.com

Summer Gear List: Backpacking

When you’re out in the woods for an extended period of time the gear you pack is important. Here’s what we bring on backpacking trips.

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.

2013 Snowbird Ski Test Sponsor Tout

Gear We Trust

The equipment we use and abuse at our two ski tests.