FIELD & STREAM 2005 BEST OF THE BEST AWARDS

This year, seven of our field editors looked through the thousands of new products offered by the outdoor industry, tested hundreds of them, and finally came up with a list of the 22 best. These are Field & Stream's Best of the Best.

Simms Hard-Bottom Roller Bagwww.simmsfishing.com

[BRACKET "Gear Bag"]
SIMMS HARD-BOTTOM ROLLER BAG
Having schlepped piles of gear in and out of trucks, lodges, and airports for more than four decades of travel, I hereby pronounce Simms' Hard-Bottom Roller Bag to be the best piece of fishing luggage ever designed. My sample has about 10,000 miles on it so far this year, and I still smile whenever I grab the handle.

The 34x16x13-inch bag has big 3¿¿-inch wheels that easily handle rough boat docks and sidewalks. Designed to remain upright when tilted on end, it has an extendable handle for easy hauling. Its lower half-enclosed by the molded hard bottom-has a protected compartment that can hold half a dozen multipiece rods, up to a four-piece 9¿¿-footer. The storage area is so rigid that I've carried rods in their cloth bags without metal tubes, which saves considerable space. Another large bottom section is sized to fit wading boots, and a third takes your vest, waders, and other gear. The soft upper portion has two clear-covered expanding sections that hold clothing for a week's fishing. This bag is so well organized that even the Transportation Security Administration has yet to screw up the contents of mine during inspections. If only that were the case with my standard duffel bags. $300; 866-585-3570; simmsfishing.com -J.M.