Our 2018 “Gear of the Year” Picks

Hunters love gear. Backcountry hunters, even more so. And we, at Exo Mtn Gear, are no exception.

Although we have most of our gear lists dialed and aren’t necessarily always tinkering with what’s new — in favor of sticking with what is tried in true — we did want to highlight some of the gear that we would recommend if you are looking to expand or upgrade your kit. We created three price-point categories and simply picked the gear in that price category that is our favorite, most used, or a recent release that we have been really enjoying.

We also discussed these items further on the Hunt Backcountry Podcast, Episode MM 21

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Our Picks at $0-$50

Steve’s Pick — Darn Tough Socks. After 8 years and thousands of miles, Steve has yet to wear out a pair. If he does, Darn Tough offers a lifetime warranty. Steve’s second choice: Sawyer Squeeze Filter

Mark’s Pick — DIY Food Container/Cozy. Mark built an insulated container to hold a day’s food in his Exo Mtn Gear pack lid, and that same container is then used to re-hydrate his DIY dehydrated entrees at night. Materials used: Ziploc Twist ‘N Loc container, Reflectix Insulation, Duct Tape to hold it all together.


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Our Picks at $50-$150

Steve’s Pick — Prana Stretch Zion Pants. Steve’s old go-to, but still a stand out piece of gear. “It cracks me up that a yoga company produces a pant that does better than any hunting pant I have ever put on.” Steve’s second choice: First Lite Wick Hoody.

Mark’s Pick — First Lite Klamath. Perfect fit, crazy comfort, and solid warmth for the weight — this piece performed incredibly well this year. Mark liked it so much he had to buy another one in a solid color for casual wear.

Our Picks at $150+

Steve’s Pick — InReach Mini. “I don’t care who you are, or what your financial status is…just buy it.”

Mark’s Pick — Benchmade Altitude. Light in weight, high in performance. And price. You can find it below retail, but it still isn’t cheap. It is, however, an item that will flat-out perform and last for a lifetime. In the long run, you get your value and more out of it. Mark’s second choice: Katabatic Gear Quilt.

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