American Gear Guide's Top Picks 2020
This is our favorite gear, the top American made equipment that earns our Editor’s Choice and Best Buy Awards.
We have spent countless combined hours testing and perfecting our gear choices, this is what works best for us and our personal preferences. Keep in mind that certain gear choices like boots are incredibly personal. What fits our feet and is best for us may not necessarily be the best for you so be sure to try on footwear. We hope that our positive experiences (and the lessons learned from negative ones) will help others discover exceptional outdoor gear for getting out and enjoying our world.
Regarding our Best Buy And Editor’s Choice Awards: The Best Buy is awarded to gear that presents the greatest value for the price. Editor’s Choice is given to the highest quality gear, period.
- Best Men’s Backpacking Boots (Editor’s Choice) – Danner Crag Rat USA
- Best Women’s Backpacking Boots (Editor’s Choice) – Danner Mountain Light Cascade
- Best Men’s Light Hiking Boots (Best Buy) – Keen Durand Mid II WP Men’s
- Best Women’s Light Hiking Boots (Best Buy) – Keen Durand Mid II WP Women’s
- More details on – Best Boots
Water Bottles & Purification
- Best Personal Water Filter – Sawyer Micro Squeeze
- Best Group Water Filter – Platypus GravityWorks
- Best Chemical Treatment – Katadyn Micropur MP1 Tablets
- Best Metal Water Bottle – Liberty Bottleworks
- Best Collapsible Water Bottle – Platypus 2L Platy
- Best Water Reservoir – MSR Dromedary
- More details on – Water Bottles
- More details on – Best Water Filters
- Best Down Jacket – Feathered Friends Helios
- Best Lightweight Down Jacket – Feathered Friends Eos
- Best Hardshell Jacket – NWT3K Custom Snow Jacket
- Best Hardshell Pants – NWT3K Custom Snow Pants
- Best Hiking Socks – Darn Tough Micro Crew Socks
- Best Skiing and Boarding Socks – Darn Tough OTC Padded Cushion Socks
- Pillow – Hyperlite Mountain Gear Stuff Sack Pillow
- Compass – Brunton Truarc 3 Compass
- Fabric Repair Tape – McNett Gore-Tex Fabric Repair Kit II
- Food Storage – Ursack Major Bear Resistant Bag
- First Aid Kit – Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 Medical Kit
- Multi-Tool – Leatherman Wave Plus
- All Around Pocket Knife – Kershaw Knockout
- Stuff Sacks – Hyperlite Mountain Gear Stuff Sacks
- Lightweight Travel Book – Waterproof Paperwhite Kindle (Not made in USA)
- Bear Spray – Frontiersman Bear Spray
- Sunglasses – American Optical Aviators
- Hammock – Hummingbird Ultralight Hammock
*Note that this equipment is made in the USA but some may contain a few imported materials, however we don’t want the perfect to be the enemy of the good. We take more satisfaction in locally produced gear and find the quality of our top gear picks to be superior compared with top name brands produced overseas.
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