You won’t find one piece of mediocre gear in Backpacker. With hundreds of testers putting products to hard use all over the world, our process is simply too stringent for gear that doesn’t perform at the highest level. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few pieces that outshine the rest. After months of hiking, climbing, camping, and paddling this gear
through all imaginable conditions and terrain, we narrowed the list down to a few stars to bring on our trek through Colombia’s Páramo de Ocetá. After five days of backpacking through a unique alpine grassland at 12,000 feet, we crowned these eleven products with our highest award.