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Backpacker Magazine Announces the 2012 Editors' Choice Snow Award Winners

The industry’s most coveted award now honors the best new gear for the cold-weather season

Boulder, CO – L.L.Bean has been honored as a recipient of a 2012 Backpacker Magazine Editors' Choice Snow Award, the most prestigious award in the outdoor industry, given annually to products in recognition of their outstanding innovation in design, materials and/or performance.

Backpacker Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Dorn and his staff of editors and testers presented L.L.Bean with the award for its Ultralight 850 Jacket at the annual Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thursday, August 2, 2012.

In total, 12 manufacturers were honored as recipients of the Editors' Choice Snow Award. Using the same rigorous gear testing practices as the annual Editors' Choice Awards announced in the spring, the Editors' Choice Snow Awards are a prestigious honor in the outdoor industry, given to cold-weather-season products in recognition of their outstanding innovation in design, materials and performance.

This year's winners include: First Ascent BC MicroTherm Down Jacket, First Ascent Katabatic, Vasque Snow Junkie UltraDry, Cabela's E.C.W.C.S. Thermal Zone Base Layers, Sierra Designs Ymir 55, Sierra Designs Tov Jacket, Smith I/O with 5X Anti-Fog, La Sportiva Storm Fighter GTX Pants, Westcomb Shift Hoody/Fuse LT Jacket, L.L.Bean Ultralight 850 Jacket, Scarpa Alien, Black Diamond Carbon Megawatt, Komperdel Carbon Expedition Vario 4, and Bear Creek Country Kitchen Soups.

"There's no other magazine or Web site that conducts in-depth field-testing as vigorously or impartially as the crew led by Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter," says Backpacker Editor-in-Chief Jon Dorn. "With a core team that has several centuries of combined trail time and expertise in every backcountry discipline, Kristin puts products through an unprecedented level of real-world abuse in every terrain and weather imaginable, including snow and ice. Because of that, extending the coveted Editors' Choice Awards to account for the winter season allows us to lead consumers to even more products that show best-in-class performance."  

The Backpacker Editors' Choice Snow Awards are the seal of approval that can help put an outdoor company or product on the proverbial map. At this year's summer Outdoor Retailer show, retail buyers can use the awards announcements as a must-buy shopping list, knowing that their customers will be asking for these products in the fall and winter.

All winners must excel under extensive field-testing conducted by Backpacker's team of editors, who take hundreds of new products every year into the backcountry to put them to the test. This rigorous process ensures that the performance of the winners is truly worthy of distinction and meets the guiding principle behind the program: gear that is of real value to the readers of Backpacker Magazine, who are very active, long-term outdoor enthusiasts.

The complete list of Backpacker 2012 Editors' Choice Snow Award winners will be officially announced to the general public in the magazine's Fall Gear Guide issue, on newsstands September 30.

About Backpacker:

Backpacker (www.backpacker.com) brings the outdoors straight to the reader's doorstep, inspiring and enabling them to go more places and enjoy nature more often. The authority on active adventure, Backpacker is the world's first GPS-enabled magazine and Web site, and the only outdoor media whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear and survival tips they publish. Backpacker's Editors' Choice Awards, an industry honor recognizing design, feature and product innovation, has become the gold standard against which all other outdoor-industry awards are measured. And the magazine recently launched mobile media applications that allow users to text message hiking maps and directions to their phones. In the last four years, Backpacker has won five National Magazine Awards, the publishing industry's highest honor. In 2008, the magazine won the NMA for General Excellence, joining The New Yorker, Mother Jones, GQ, and National Geographic as top winners in their respective size categories. In 2009, it won three awards, including General Excellence Online. Backpacker has also won numerous other print, design and digital awards, and its writers have been recognized in prestigious contests and best-of-the-year anthologies.

About L.L.Bean, Inc.

L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. While its business has grown over the past 100 years, L.L.Bean still upholds the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. To celebrate the company's centennial, L.L.Bean is reigniting America's passion for the outdoors, with donations of nearly $3 million to organizations that engage young people and their families in outdoor recreation. Over the past 10 years, L.L.Bean has given nearly $26 million to local, state, regional and national conservation, human service, education and arts organizations. L.L.Bean products are rigorously tested, guaranteed to last and always shipped free The 200,000 sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at www.llbean.com, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Contact Information

For more information on L.L.Bean news items or to arrange an interview with one of our experts (topics range from outdoors to business), contact L.L.Bean Public Affairs at publicaffairs@llbean.com or 207-552-6072.