Greatest Gear for 2014: ‘Best in Show’ Award Winners

Super Light ‘Houdini’ Shell — Clip this featherweight emergency rain jacket to your climbing harness (or put it in a backpack) and you can forget it’s there… until the rain starts. At that point, unfurl the slim package (it’s the size and shape of an eggplant) to reveal a waterproof shell with a hood to keep you dry.

Patagonia impressed our team with this 6.4-ounce jacket (men’s size medium), called the Alpine Houdini. It has a laminate membrane to keep it watertight (10,000mm water column rating) and windproof when the afternoon storms rock in to try and wreck your hike or climb.

—Editors and reporters Stephen Regenold, Sean McCoy, Jason Magness, Chelsey Magness, John Peacock, Sam Salwei, Patrick Murphy, and Amy Oberbroeckling contributed to this report.

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.