By the time a new piece of outdoor gear gets to your local sporting-goods store, we’ve probably already shot it, cast it, or worn it. Repeatedly. In our annual search for the Best of the Best Award winners, we test hundreds of products in a yearlong process that involves taking them into the field to see if they stand up to the rigors of the sporting life. The following 106 items didn’t win an award, but they more than proved that they belong on any outdoorsman’s wish list. Some are innovative, others are great values, and a few are proven favorites. All of them will make your days in the woods and water better.
Buyer’s Guide 2004
A round-up of the finest gear out there.