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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In Focus: March 2009

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in focus 2009
The three-in-one Glacier to Glade Parka from Columbia gives you some options when you’re out hiking around. The insulating liner snaps out so you can sport just the waterproof breathable shell if that’s more comfortable. If you’re still on the warm side, undo the pit zips. When the mercury takes a dip, the shell-and-liner combo keeps you from freezing. Wear the liner by itself on cold, dry days and you’ll still stay warm. Estimated Street Price: $229. Contact: Columbia, (800) 547-8066, www.columbia.com.
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The performance-oriented, lightweight Cruz backpack from Hydrapak is designed with 420D ripstop fabric and an ergonomic harness system with extra padding in the shoulder straps and waist belt. Other convenient features include accessible pockets on the shoulder straps and waist belt, a new suspension-padded back with an airflow channel and zippered access to the reservoir compartment. The backpack comes in red or blue with a 70-ounce hydration pack. List Price: $79. Contact: Hydrapak, (510) 632-8318, www.hydrapak.com.
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Hike into the backcountry with the Lowa Ranger GTX boots on your feet. Top-notch arch and heel support keeps you comfortable, while the Gore-Tex® waterproof lining helps your feet stay dry. Lowa’s proprietary Vibram MVS outsoles are sticky and stiff enough to handle difficult terrain but remain easy to walk in. The leather boots can handle a load of 40 to 60 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $220. Contact: Lowa, (888) 335-LOWA, www.lowaboots.com.
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Rest comfortably even in cold, wet weather while on a backpacking trip using the EcoPro 15 synthetic sleeping bag from Marmot. The bag is built from recycled fabric and insulation, which is 80-percent recycled soda bottles. The polyester shell is made from 100-percent postconsumer materials. The hood cinches tightly, the two-way zipper provides enhanced ventilation, and the bag won’t take up too much room in your pack. List Price: $165. Contact: Marmot, (888) 357-3262, www.marmot.com.
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