What New Gear Do You Want Reviewed?

With so much new gear debuting each year, tell us your top picks for outdoor gear tests and reviews.

A new waterproof-breathable membrane? An ever-illuminating headlamp? A super-efficient stove?

What noteworthy, new outdoor gear do you want to see independently tested and reviewed here at Trailspace?

What outdoor product would you like to see well used and then reviewed by fellow backcountry hikers, climbers, runners, paddlers, and skiers?

Tell us below what promising, new-for-2013 backcountry equipment and apparel you'd like to see tested and reviewed by Trailspace's volunteer Review Corps, whether you read about it in our Outdoor Retailer coverage, saw it on a Best Gear of the Year list, or heard about it from a friend.

What makes you eager to see if its claims hold up, before you spend money on it next season or year? 

Our Review Corps is made up of community members who take the time to test samples of noteworthy backcountry gear in the field, typically before the product is available at stores. They then share their results (the good and the bad) in in-depth reviews for the benefit of the outdoor community. (See a list of Recent Review Corps Reviews, with more tests in progress right now.)

We want to devote our volunteer testers' valuable outdoor time to promising new gear that you, our fellow backcountry enthusiasts, are also interested in. So, if you're eager to know more about a particular, notable piece of gear, outdoor gear trend, or technology, please suggest it for a Review Corps review in the comments below. 

And if there are specific types of gear or outdoor brands you'd like to see more reviews of, let us know that too. We'll consider their newsworthiness, value, interest level, and sample availability for Review Corps testing and review in coming months. 

If you think you've got what it takes to be one of our Review Corps gear testers, read more about the program, testing, and qualifications at www.trailspace.com/about/review-corps.html We're planning to add more qualified members from our outdoor community to Review Corps later this year.

What are your top picks for 2013 gear reviews? Tell us below or send an email to reviewcorps@trailspace.com.

Filed under: Gear Reviews


0 reviewer rep
3 forum posts
October 29, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT)

I'd like to see someone review the Emberlit Stove. It was a Valentine's day gift from last year that I only got to use once before getting caught up in relocating to PA and life in general. As far as I can tell it burns like a dream but it's my first camping stove and I honestly don't know what to look for in a good stove. 

508 reviewer rep
20 forum posts
October 29, 2012 at 10:38 p.m. (EDT)

I want to see reviews of the new DriDown, DownTek, and other water repellent down pieces. I'm wondering if the treatments affect the natural performance of the down and also if the long-term durability of the treatments are as claimed by the manufacturers. That may be further down the road as more people adopt the technology.

The Thinker
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
November 1, 2012 at 2:12 p.m. (EDT)

Hello all,

I've been backpacking for 25-years.   I have always used a tent but, thinking about going to a hammock.    I'm looking at the Clark NX-150 Jungle, any suggestions?



Rob R
940 reviewer rep
780 forum posts
November 1, 2012 at 11:37 p.m. (EDT)

I agree with seeing some hammock testing.

2,170 reviewer rep
2,143 forum posts
November 2, 2012 at 7:22 a.m. (EDT)

@ Sebasian,

I'm a Review Corp Member and I'll have a review ready to post of a Downtek sleeping bag hopefully by next week. I've been testing it for a while now.

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
848 reviewer rep
3,902 forum posts
November 2, 2012 at 10:13 a.m. (EDT)

Thanks for all the comments so far. This type of feedback is always helpful and welcomed.

@PeanutEcho, thanks for bringing the Emberlit to our attention. At your suggestion, I've added a brand page and started product pages for the Emberlit on Trailspace: https://www.trailspace.com/gear/emberlit/ 

I hope others will offer more feedback on it too.

@Sebastian, we agree that there's a lot of interest in the many hydrophobic down bags and jackets coming out. As Patman mentioned, we've got them on our radar too. Thanks!

@The Thinker and Rob, thanks for the hammock feedback. We'll be sure to give more consideration to those testing opportunities going forward too.

@The Thinker, we have some user reviews of the Clark Jungle hammocks here: https://www.trailspace.com/gear/clark/

You can also ask for specific gear advice in our Gear Selection forum.

62 reviewer rep
312 forum posts
November 2, 2012 at 4:58 p.m. (EDT)

Hello Alicia

If possible I would like to see the new Altra packs from Arcteryx reviewed (your site links almost exclusively to a photo). They have apparently changed the suspension and the zip design and we are holding off upgrading our heavy Bora packs until they prove worth it. Or even a comparison with the new Black Diamond pivoting suspension?

Also, the new single skin tents from Rab are interesting, and I imagine one day the problem of condensation might just be 'fixed' with such designs used lower and warmer than present?

All the best, Jon.

0 reviewer rep
2 forum posts
November 2, 2012 at 7:43 p.m. (EDT)

Would like to see some reviews on Salomon Synapse Mid CS Pro hiking shoes. These shoes are  now available and carry 2 yr warranty compared to the 1 yr warranty on regular Synapse shoes. Looking for a solid mid hiking shoe that is light weight and non-goretex so they will dry out quicker if they get wet. The Merrell Moab's don't fit me well and the Keen Alimosa shoes I had for only 100 miles are tearing up. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!


Bill S
4,419 reviewer rep
6,010 forum posts
November 2, 2012 at 9:01 p.m. (EDT)

Hello Alicia

Also, the new single skin tents from Rab are interesting, and I imagine one day the problem of condensation might just be 'fixed' with such designs used lower and warmer than present?

All the best, Jon.


I believe the "new" Rab tents are Integral Designs tents. Rab bought Integral about a year ago, with most of Integral's products now bearing the Rab label. Look through the discussions here on Trailspace and you will find that many of us have and really like our ID gear - tents, bivies, jackets, etc etc. Evan still runs tthe Integral operations in Calgary, though they fall under the Rab Colorado offices.

Rab has dropped several of my personal Integral Designs products. OTOH, my son has some Rab gear and finds it top quality.

1,422 reviewer rep
1,344 forum posts
November 3, 2012 at 9:17 p.m. (EDT)

How about this new raingear for the review list? https://www.trailspace.com/articles/2012/07/26/rab-westcomb-event-dvl.html

It almost sounds "too good to be true" ... lightweight, breathable ... AND keeps you dry?  Really?

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
848 reviewer rep
3,902 forum posts
November 7, 2012 at 10:46 a.m. (EST)

Thanks for the continued feedback, everyone.

@pathloser, thanks for the suggestions. You're right that there are new, updated Arc'teryx Altra packs coming out in 2013 (FYI, current volumes are 62L65L,75L). The Black Diamond pivot suspension is interesting too. We'll keep both of those in mind.

Bill is correct that Rab bought Integral Designs in 2010 (Rab's parent company also owns Lowe Alpine). I'll have to check to see how ID shelters were incorporated and/or updated into the Rab line.

@rebeldawg63, the Salomon Synapse Mid CS Pro looks interesting. I've just made sure we have its product page up for user reviews, and I sent out a tweet to our Twitter followers requesting feedback in a review from anyone who's used it yet.

@bheiser, yes. Very interesting, I agree. we're looking into the Westcomb Focus LT Hoody.

0 reviewer rep
2 forum posts
November 7, 2012 at 8:48 p.m. (EST)

I hate having cold feet while trying to enjoy winter activities. 

Someone told me about thermacell heated insoles foot warmers. Three power settings, from 'off' to high temp to keep feet warm.

What else is there to keeping feet warm? I've tried most everything and willing to try more.


12 reviewer rep
3 forum posts
November 9, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. (EST)

Kuiu is coming out with some new boots. A heavy mountaineering type and a somewhat lighter backpacking boot. Kuiu designed them and Zamberlain constructed them. I would like to see reviews of these boots when possible. Thanks, Realbuff

0 reviewer rep
2 forum posts
November 11, 2012 at 5:01 a.m. (EST)

Ordered a pair from here giantnerd.com/salomon-synapse-mid-cs-pro-men at a pretty good discount and rec'd shoes in 5 days. Worth mentioning is they can be had around $100 this weekend "BLACK" code takes off an extra 10 percent!

Have not gone out on the trail yet but just wearing around town seems like a very good fit. I have purchased several Salomon shoes and these seem to feel a slight bit snugger in the toe box but I have fixed that by tightening the laces differently when pulling them from the top only. They have great traction and comfortable ride. First impressions are very positive and will post a review later after testing.

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
848 reviewer rep
3,902 forum posts
November 12, 2012 at 9:04 p.m. (EST)

Here's an update on the Rab and Integral Designs shelters integration, straight from Rab:

Currently, there is identical product sold under both the Integral Designs and Rab names. Once the new/updated products hit stores next Feb, they will be titled “Integral Designs by Rab” and then in future seasons SS-14 and beyond, the products will just be called Rab. At that time, the Integral Designs name will completely disappear.

You can still find product under the ID name, but that will begin to change next February. Of course, some retailers may continue to sell older ID product in their inventory.

You may still be able to find a few of the Rab Summit SuperLite Bivis or Rab Summit Mountain Bivis. Although those shelters will be replaced with the Integral Designs by Rab product as of February.

472 reviewer rep
324 forum posts
November 14, 2012 at 5:27 p.m. (EST)

Greetings all,

I would like to see a review of Aclima Woolnet Underwear. They may be hard to find in North America, but are quite common in Europe, particularly Scandinavian countries where they are made. I have tried practically every baselayer out there with varying degrees of disappointment, but have found Aclima to be the best, so far, for my particular need, which usually involves extreme cold.

0 reviewer rep
76 forum posts
November 15, 2012 at 1:50 a.m. (EST)

I'm not completely sure of the release date but I would really like to see a review of the Westcomb Focus LT Hoody when it hits the shelves.  Curious to see if a jacket advertised that light has any sort of durability

1,711 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
November 15, 2012 at 8:42 a.m. (EST)

Good suggestion Tulley, to add to the lightweight/durability subject when it comes to jackets how about Mountain Hardwear's new Ghost Whisperer which claims to be the lightest full feature down jacket anywhere?

andrew f. (leadbelly2550)
5,732 reviewer rep
2,049 forum posts
November 15, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. (EST)

to take Rick's point a little further, how about a comparison test of lightweight down jackets? we could add the feathered friends helios, the western mountaineering flight jacket, marmot's zeus jacket.....

1,711 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
November 15, 2012 at 12:40 p.m. (EST)

@leadbelly- I like where this is going. "A goose down smack down."

denis daly
271 reviewer rep
1,879 forum posts
November 15, 2012 at 5:28 p.m. (EST)

@leadbelly and Rick. Like the idea of compairing all those jackets because of winter kit is what I am working on....

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
848 reviewer rep
3,902 forum posts
November 15, 2012 at 6:24 p.m. (EST)

Thanks for all the thoughtful suggestions. We'll consider them all.


1,559 reviewer rep
443 forum posts
November 15, 2012 at 9:46 p.m. (EST)

I nominate the Golite Bitteroot hooded down jacket. Pertex Quantum GL, 150gram 850 fillpower, 13 oz, plus Golite's unique direct business pricing model. Is the direct online model mean a better value relative to performance and price of competitors?

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
848 reviewer rep
3,902 forum posts
November 16, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. (EST)

Since there's a lot interest in the new water-resistant down technology, I wanted to highlight two of the newest Review Corps reviews for hydrophobic down sleeping bags:

Also, if you're ever curious, you can see the running list of published Review Corps reviews on the righthand side of the Review Corps info page.

@Tulley, we're also looking into a review of the Westcomb Focus LT Hoody. Thanks!

136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts
November 18, 2012 at 10:04 a.m. (EST)

I will be providing 2 reviews in the near future. One is a full video review as well as a write up about the High Peak Enduro 4 season tent and it's capabilities. I bought this tent for $75 brand new, and find that most of High Peak's prices are well below more well established competitors.

The second will be given after black Friday when I have had the chance for one more use of some new boots I got. As people know from my frequent rantings about good deals, I always want to find brands that are cheap prices, but still give great products. At a Marshall's department store I recently stumbled across a boot company I'd never heard of before. Khombu. Supposedly they are the official boot for the USA Olympic Ski Team, and the brand's tag claims that they were initially designed for comfortable use in the Khombu ice fall. They were only $35 - for hiking boots that claim to be rated for -20F, that's dang cheap.

I've used them once, and will use them again this friday, which should give a good enough initial first impression.

1,379 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts
November 18, 2012 at 5:37 p.m. (EST)

Bigfoot7 said:

I hate having cold feet while trying to enjoy winter activities. 

Basic chemical toes warmers work fairly well, although since they rely on oxygen to work, you have to be careful your boots aren't laced too tightly.

I have a pair of ThermoSoles, with the battery in the sole, which I've used a few times. Self regulating using a computer chip to conserve power. They've worked well so far. Just haven't got enough to do a good review on them. Keep your eyes open for it.

0 reviewer rep
2 forum posts
November 19, 2012 at 1:06 p.m. (EST)

Thanks Peter. I'd heard about those and wanted to see how they did in real world before investing in some. I'll keep my eyes peeled for your review.



0 reviewer rep
76 forum posts
November 20, 2012 at 12:39 a.m. (EST)

@ Rick - Pittsburgh  Oooh I love the idea of : "A goose down smack down."

Could include Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer, Marmot Quasar, and the similar jackets from Patagonia, Montbell, Feathered Friends etc

25 reviewer rep
35 forum posts
December 6, 2012 at 1:42 a.m. (EST)

hello all!

please review and test in the real world.... the Blue "InReach" by delorme... in particular Bluetooth connectivity, disconnect and reconnect with Evo4g?!

did all the updates... got pissed off by "tech support"

so I returned it to REI... good as gold!

still I got SCREWED by the yearly subscription service!

I wrote a scathing report some time ago... but now am wondering if maybe I might have been a little harsh? truthful but harsh!

would really like to hear other peoples thoughts.

last week {Thanksgiving!} it might have been nice to have when transmission blew up. in my own backyard... {Sheep mountains Las Vegas Nv} 44 miles from highway,@ 6000`

it would have been nice to comfort my wife....to let her know that we were semi prepared{one full backpack, food, water etc...} and hiking home... no cellular reception...cold night in the truck... hiked 10/44 miles... getting ready for second cold night when LVMPD SAR found us! so VERY THANKFUL ! 

The realization that we may never see our truck and gear again, as we walk away... tow bills, impounds etc... and it will be a couple days hiking out!

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