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Our Favorite Camping Gear from Outdoor Retailer 2020

We’ll be the first to admit: Winter camping is a little bit masochistic. But these new pieces of gear are designed to make it a little more bearable, if not downright fun.


The North Face Assault 2P Tent

TNF Assault 2P

Waking up and crawling out of your tent to freshly fallen snow is one of the best parts of winter camping, unless that snow is inside your tent. The updated fast-and-light Assault 2-person from The North Face uses the same three-layer FUTURELIGHT membrane that the brand is putting in its technical shells. The hope? The moisture you exhale in your sleep will make its way up and out of the tent entirely, rather than refreezing to the inside of the body and raining down on you as soon as you wake up and shake the shelter. The carbon-fiber tent poles are pitched inside the single-wall body, making setup easy in bad weather and keeping the tent strong in tough alpine winds. But what really sold us is the minuscule pack weight: just 3 pounds, 3 ounces. $1,200; available on REI.com and in select stores beginning in fall


Mountain Hardwear AMG 75

Mountain Hardwear AMG 75

Hauling a lot of winter gear, either up a glacier or along a skintrack, has never been more comfortable, thanks to the new Mountain Hardwear AMG 75. A rotating hipbelt and strong-but-light aluminum frame make carrying heavy loads a breeze. The strong, 840-denier base fabric allows the pack to stand upright for easy loading and unloading at camp, and the pack easily carries avalanche safety tools and crampons (each in their own outside-accessible pocket). It also has adjustable ice-tool carries and A-frame or diagonal ski carries, plus deep pockets for pickets, wands or water bottles. $400; available on REI.com and in select stores beginning in spring


GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Pro

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Pro

Full disclosure: We included this in our summer Outdoor Retailer roundup as well, but the hype is still real, especially for its potential as a winter-ready car-camping stove when it does finally hit shelves. The reason? Two rip-roaring 11,000 BTU burners are capable of cooking up a storm, even in chilly weather. But what really sets this GSI stove apart is the gymnastics it does to pack down into a 1.4-inch-thick wafer for storage. Folding legs, a collapsible burner grate and circular burners keep it ultraportable without sacrificing cooking control. $95; available on REI.com and in most stores beginning in summer


Black Diamond Access Spikes

Black Diamond Access Spikes

You’ve gotta get to camp to enjoy camp, and, especially in shoulder season, having ample traction is key. The Access Spikes cash in on Black Diamond’s years of experience making crampons, but in a nimble-and-lightweight package. Fourteen 8mm, stainless-steel teeth claw into ice and snow, while a stretchy elastomer harness keeps the traction devices tight to your boots. Steel chains and reinforced eyelets are durable enough for longer hikes and use season after season. $74.95; available on REI.com and in select stores beginning in fall


Ignik Gas Growler and Heater-Stove

This 5-pound refillable propane tank will power your car-camping stove or any other propane appliance without the need for wasteful 1-pound bottles, which are difficult to recycle. Not only can the Growler keep your stove lit five times longer on one fill, but when you empty it, it’s easy to refill anywhere you can fill the larger, 20-pound tanks attached to your backyard grill. (Plus, the cost of that refill is far less than purchasing five individual 1-pound tanks.) Attach the Growler to Ignik’s Heater-Stove to make breakfast on the 4,000-6,000 BTU/hour cooktop or to safely warm your backcountry cabin. The Heater-Stove has a piezo igniter that makes starting it up simple, as well as a kill switch that automatically shuts it off if it’s tipped. $149.95 (Gas Growler), $139 (Heater-Stove); available on REI.com and in select stores beginning in spring


Snow Peak Pack and Carry Fire Kit

This fire pit from Snow Peak is entirely portable and can be deployed pretty much anywhere—that’s convenience we can get behind. The stainless-steel body is resistant to intense heat, and its rectangular shape means it can both hold more firewood and waste less of it. Trusses extending above the fire pit allow for an included grill, so you can cook on it, too. The included base plate below the fire pit prevents damage to the ground, and the whole package fits neatly into its own carrying case. $319.95; available on REI.com and in most stores now


Find more Outdoor Retailer trade show coverage here. Read about our favorite skis, boots and bindings and our favorite snow apparel and accessories.

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