Backpacking Light awards two types of honors for products that meet stringent criteria for performance:
The Guide's Gear Award is Backpacking Light's highest honor. It represents those products recommended by the guides and instructors of Backpacking Light's Wilderness Trekking School, and represents gear that offers exceptional performance, light weight, durabilty and value.
The Guide's Gear Award may be affiliated with gear manufactured and/or distributed by Backpacking Light, or it may be affiliated with gear from third party vendors. It is not an editorial award, although our guides and instructors do consider editorial opinions when selecting gear worthy of the Guide's Gear Award. In addition, the dGuide's Gear Award will not be given to premarket or otherwise "new" products that have not stood the test of time. Most important, the Guide's Gear Award represents those products that our guides and instructors use on a regular basis, not only on their Wilderness Trekking School courses and expeditions, but also during their own personal use.
When evaluating performance, we more specifically look at the performance:weight ratio of the product. Guide's Gear Award are given to products with the highest performance:weight ratio when compared to products of similar weight.
Durable products provide good long term value and are easier on the environment. They should also be expected to last for several expeditions, and can be relied upon not to fail in the field. Consequently, Guide's Gear Awards are given to products that provide an exceptional durability:weight ratio, and an exceptional durability:value ratio.
This award is given for products that have been formally reviewed by Backpacking Light in its Product Review Program and has received its highest rating. It is reserved for those products that represent the best in class. More information about this rating can be found in our statement on editorial review ratings.
This award is given for products that have been formally reviewed by Backpacking Light in its Product Review Program and are products that represent a good balance of value, performance, and weight. More information about this rating can be found in our statement on editorial review ratings.
Use of the Guide's Gear, Highly Recommended, and Recommended logos is subject to restrictions and requires express written permission from Backpacking Light. Please contact us for more information.
Use of these logos may be accompanied by a quote from the article, not to exceed 50 words. If the usage and quotation is online, please link back to the review. If the usage is in print, please reference www.backpackinglight.com.
If you are a Wilderness Trekking School Guide or Instructor, or a graduate of a WT3-EXT course, you may nominate products for a Guide's Choice Award using the form below.