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We Have a Winner! REI Claims ‘Ultimate Outdoor Showdown’ Title

The votes are in and GearJunkie's second-annual bracket — with a rivalry twist — has its victor! Look back at our favorite match-ups.

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With the dust barely settled from GearJunkie’s second annual Ultimate Outdoor Showdown bracket, REI reigns as the victor, just edging out Garmin in this week’s finale.

It’s all in good fun, but the March Madness-style bracket gives readers the chance to choose their favorite outdoor brands. And REI — with co-ops scattered across the country, adventure travel across the globe, and gear for everybody — took home the most votes, round by round.

But this year’s bracket offered up more than just a hard-fought final round. For the last 2 weeks, readers weighed in on their favorite rivalries and crowned champs in various categories.

On its way to the championship round, Garmin proved its tech superiority, taking down Spot and GoPro. YETI beat out Stanley and Hydro Flask to settle which insulated vessel was number one. Meanwhile, Gerber proved your favorite knife company, ousting Benchmade and Kershaw.

The hunt crowd uplifted Sitka over KUIU and First Lite. And in the camp category, Teva edged out Chaco, Thule upended Yakima, and Kuhl proved sneaky good, earning its way to a standoff against the eventual champion.

But the closest match-up of them all came in the final four. After thousands of votes were cast, Patagonia lost to REI by just six votes — no doubt bulletin board material for next year!

Thanks to all our awesome readers and followers for taking part. Hopefully, you had as much fun voting as we had making this year’s bracket. And if you know who you’d like to see next year, be sure to follow and let us know on Instagram!

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