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What to purchase when you want the BEST in outdoor gear

There are a lot of blogs, magazine articles and store associates recommending what to purchase when purchasing gear for outdoor, but the interesting thing is gold standard in outdoor gear do not change that much from year to year, more likely every decade or so when something revolutionary comes out.

To be clear, the gold standard does not imply that product is best product in its category. They are perceived as best product in its category by consumers like you and myself. They are usually one of the more expensive product in its category, though. In many instances, by purchasing best product in its category, you may be over outfitting yourself. For example, Arc’teryx Beta AR may be great shell jacket for climbing Mount Rainier in winter, but something like Arc’teryx Beta FL, which weighs 100 g less and not as stiff, may be better fit if you are climbing Mount Rainier in summer or any other mountains in lower 48 states.

Please note that this list is very USA centric since I live there and most outdoor gear that are available for purchase are from USA companies, designed for their USA consumers. If I live in one of European countries, Canada, Japan, AU/NZ or Korea then the list would change to reflect products available in those countries. Outdoor gear seem to be very localized — for example, you usually can tell where people are from by outerwear brand they are wearing.

This list can be very subjective, but I have tried to be objective in compiling this list. The criteria is used to compile this list is where there are multiple instances of outdoor gear “gold standard” was compared with comparable outdoor gear. An example of this would be “Ghost Whisperer vs …”. In addition, I have not provided any justification on why these products are considered as gold standard since I feel you should do your own research on these products yourselves before purchasing any of these products.

The following categories will be covered in Gold Standard in Outdoor Gear:

  • Outerwear
  • Camping
  • Camp Kitchen
  • Hiking
  • Winter Gear
  • Skiing

October 28, 2023

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