Check out the innovative outdoor kit and boundary-pushing brands that made The Great Outdoors Gear of the Year Awards shortlists for 2021.
Across nine categories, The Great Outdoors Gear of the Year Awards recognises the best outdoor gear on the market: innovative and exciting products that – to put it simply – just do their jobs brilliantly. Our expert panel of judges have shortlisted the best footwear, clothing, equipment, camping and tech products, and rewarded the kit that has pushed the boundaries in terms of innovation and sustainability. We’ve also picked out the best overall brands for both innovation and sustainability.
The shortlists have now been selected and the winners will be announced in November 2021.
Congratulations to all the brands and products which made the shortlists.
There are two parts to The Great Outdoors Awards. This article announces the shortlists for the Gear of the Year Awards, which reward the best and most innovative items of outdoor gear released that year and are selected by expert judges. The corresponding part, the Reader Awards, are nominated and voted by our readers and the outdoor public at large.
The Great Outdoors Gear of the Year Awards: the complete shortlist
Boots, trail shoes, approach shoes, sandals.
- Keen Ridge Flex Waterproof – a sturdy hiking boot with an innovative flexing panel at the forefoot
- Inov-8 ROCFLY G 390 – a cushioned boot with the world’s first graphene foam midsole (out October 2021)
- Zamberlan 2095 Brenva Lite GTX Vegan Walking Boot – a leather-free, cruelty-free boot for mountain hiking
- Topo Athletic Trailventure Waterproof – a boot for fast and light hiking with some innovative features
- Black Diamond Mission XP Leather – a non-membrane approach shoe with a good rocker for hiking
From waterproof and windproof jackets to socks – and everything in between.
- Páramo Velez Jacket – a lightweight, high performance jacket using Nikwax Analogy technology
- Jack Wolfskin Blizzard Fleece Jacket – an eco-friendly fleece jacket made from recycled PET bottles
- Finisterre Biosmock – a garment described as ‘climate positive’ through the use of re-generative practice
- OMM Core Hoodie – a new concept in insulation featuring a Primaloft synthetic plume sewn onto a single layer fabric mesh
- Montane Fireball Jacket – a warm, insulated, hooded jacket suitable as a mid-layer or outer
- Artilect Boulder125 Crew – new base-layer technology, featuring an ultralight Nuyarn 125 merino wool
Rucksacks, walking poles, winter hardware, accessories, and more.
- Black Diamond Soloist and Soloist Finger Gloves – a technical, waterproof glove with impressive eco credentials
- Jetboil Stash – a fast, light and compact camping stove
- Vaude Wizard 24+4l Hiking Backpack – a day pack primarily made of recycled materials
- Montem Ultra Strong Poles – sturdy aluminium trekking poles with EVA foam grips
- Mountain Hardwear Alpine 28 – a stripped-down alpine climbing pack made from Dyneema
Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats.
- OMM Mountain Core 125 – an ultralight sleeping bag with a fleece-like interior
- Rab Women’s Solar 2 – a three-season sleeping bag with a women’s specific design
- Sea to Summit Etherlight Extreme – a thick, warm and comfortable sleeping mat with Air Sprung Cell technology
- Robens Icefall Pro 600 sleeping bag – a well-priced sleeping bag featuring Robens’ down-mimicking MicroThermo Ball synthetic insulation
- Alpkit Polestar – a one-person, three-season tent pitched using trekking poles
- Sierra Designs High Route 1 3000 – a versatile yet durable tent configured with trekking poles
- Vaude Lizard Seamless SUP 1-2p – a backpacking tent with a unique seam-sealing technology designed to increase waterproofing
GPS devices, smartphones, outdoor watches, and other weird-and-wonderful gadgets.
- Alpkit Flare – a thin, light and waterproof USB solar panel for off-grid adventures
- Coros Vertix 2 – a smartwatch designed to provide ‘unrivalled GPS accuracy’
- Black Diamond Alpine Avy Safety Set – an ultralight avalanche safety kit for alpine adventures
- Exped Widget Pump – an electric inflation pump with built-in lamp and powerbank
- Elliot Brown Mountain Rescue Watch – a stylish timepiece that has helped raise almost £10,000 for mountain rescue teams
- Polar Grit X Pro – A smartwatch with an ultra-long battery, new navigation tools and always-on outdoor features
New breakthroughs in outdoor gear that make a real difference.
- PrimaLoft Cross Core Technology – the use of a temperature-blocking aerogel (originally developed by NASA) to improve insulation’s warmth while reducing weight
- Sea to Summit Telos TR2 Tent – a cleverly-designed tent with impressive head room
- Atom Packs The MoEP50 – a fully-featured yet ultralight (910g) pack for long-distance hiking
- Rab Generator Alpine Jacket – an insulated, weather-resistant jacket featuring PrimaLoft’s Gold Insulation with Cross Core Technology
- Fjällräven Tree-Kånken/Pine Weave – an eco version of the iconic Kånken backpack, made from an innovative, wood-based fabric called Pine Weave
- Marmot Warmcube Featherless Hoody – a warm, synthetic jacket with an interesting cube-shaped design
- Sierra Designs Night Cap – a zipperless sleeping bag filled with fully recycled synthetic insulation
Many brands are becoming more sustainable. This category includes both products and brand initiatives.
- adidas TERREX MYSHELTER collection – a collection of eco-friendly products featuring recycled materials and insulation made from plastic harvested from oceans
- Nikwax – the waterproofing brand best-known for its washing and re-proofing products
- Montane Pac Plus XT Jacket – a waterproof jacket made from 100% recycled Gore-Tex Paclite Plus technology
- Rab Arc Eco Jacket – Rab’s first jacket utilising 3-layer Pertex Shield Revolve, which is made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester
- BAM 73 Zero Denim – activewear jeans made from sustainable bamboo
Best brand: innovation
Awarded to gear brands which have been innovative in the way they operate, and have helped to push industry practice forward.
Best brand: sustainability
Awarded to gear brands which which have demonstrated an impressive overall commitment to sustainability, environmental protection or conservation.