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Pete F's Picks - VPO Canmore

1. Five Ten Guide Tennie

One of the most long standing approach shoes on the market is now improved for 2014. The most marked improvement is the sole unit. Five Ten are still using their stealth rubber yet in the new model we have gained a climbing zone at the front of the shoe meaning this shoe is now more precise improving performance on the rock. The boys at Five Ten have also added larger toe rand and a protected heel cup which will add to the durability of the shoe.

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Babz's Picks - VPO Canmore

1. Prana’s Kara Cuffed Jean

Although it’s not new for 2014 They are one of my favourite pieces in the store, in fact I own 5 pair in different colours! With enough stretch for climbing and yoga this also makes them a super comfy every day all the time pant that looks sharp. Another reason for these being a favourite of mine is their ability to fit a wide range of body types. Because they are designed with a cuff, depending ones height the cuff can either be made longer or shorter or rolled out completely to be tucked into boots. I’m not surprised we sell out of these every season!

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Pete R's Picks - VPO Canmore

1. Petzl Djinn Axess Quickdraw

Petzl has done it again. The brand new Djinn Axess Quickdraw is Petzl’s response to making a more affordable draw for the sport climbing world. The Djinn is a close second to the Petzl Spirit quickdraw, which has been a favourite in the climbing world for years. The only downside I can find with this draw when compared to the Spirit is that is slightly heavier (107grams vs 93grams). Aside from that, they perform very similarly. The biners have the same action, which has always been excellent. The Djinn also has the same STRING to hold the rope-side biner in place (much better than competitors). The 16mm Nylon sling is said to be very durable – time will tell, but they do feel quite burly and are easy to grab when the pump is too much. I’m sure these draws will fit in quite nicely in the sport climbing world, they’re essentially just a more affordable version of the Spirit.

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2. Prana - Men's Camino Shirt

This is simply the best shirt ever made. I think there is a little bit of Chris Sharma's sweat in the fabric. As soon as I put it on I felt stronger by at least a full number grade, so naturally I booked my ticket to Barcelona. I was in Rodellar before I knew it and warmed up on 14a. As someone who usually onsites 12a, this shirt was a a huge upgrade. My forearms grew and somehow, my hips became more flexible as well. It's absolutely the best shirt that your money can buy, especially if you want to step into the next level of climbing. Prepare yourself for at least 5.14 climbing. I think this could be the one that allows climbing to get to the next level. 5.16 anyone?

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Tam's Picks - VPO Canmore

1. Mountain Hardwear Optic 3.5 VUE

This year Mountain Heardwear has come out with a tent that is completely changing the classic idea of a backpacking tent by placing the doors on adjacent sides of the tent, rather than opposite each other. This means a full 120 degree view of your surroundings, allowing you to soak up the spectacular alpenglow on the mountains while bug-free inside your tent. These unique doors also making getting into and out of your tent much easier, always a challenge in 3 person tents. No more clambering over your sleeping companions in the middle of the night! Excellent comfort, lightweight, very liveable. Best tent of 2014.

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David's Picks - President

1. DPS - Wailer 112 RPC PURE3 186cm Skis

I'm late to the wide-plank, rocker boards party. I'm 207 old school- I like to feel the skis reverse flexing and carving. But I'm loving these carbon 112 Wailers, as totally different as they are.

The solid tails jet if I lean on them. The tips do not collapse when I come down hard, or too far forward. In soft snow, the floatation lift from the wide rocker up front is smooth and elegant and connects solidly all the way under my feet to the tail. In uncut snow, these Wailers are straight line stable at any speed, but they turn like butter in the trees.

The ultralight carbon fiber slices away the weight, I can feel the nap of my skins like I'm barefoot. Cheating gravity on the way up, but lots of ski there coming downhill. Maybe now I can keep up with my pals as we tour for new lines.

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Christina's Picks - VPO Nanaimo

1. Patagonia - Tin Shed Rider Boots

Sexy, stylish comfort pretty much sums these boots up. Even the hardiest of adventurers wants to look stylish when she is hanging around town!

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2. Big Agnes =- Helinox Chair One

Big comfort can come in a small package! The Big Agnes Chair one packs up to the size of a loaf of bread and sets up quickly and easily to provide absolute comfort whether you are on the backpacking trail or exploring the coastline in a kayak. Sitting on a foamie will become a distance memory once you try this bad boy out!

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3. Icebreaker - Skyline Hooded Coat

This has quickly become my favorite jacket! It's warm, fits well and looks just as good with a pair of leggings or jeans as it does with dress pants. This is a must have for everyone from the business professional to the female adventurer who wants the features of a technical jacket when she is around town but wants to look stylin' at the same time. Pair this up with the aforementioned Tin Shed Rider boots from Patagonia and you have the makings of an outfit that is guaranteed to turn heads!

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Jess's Picks - VPO Revelstoke

1. DPS - Yvette

A crowd pleaser for all ages and abilities. From our lifelong skibums to first seasoner's, these ski's do the work for you. Easy to turn but happy to go straight and will plow through hard crud but float in fluffy powder... We dare you to have a bad day on these babies.

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2. Arc'teryx - Atom SV Hoody - Womens

With a large range of stylish colours to choose from you will be cute and comfy walking the streets, on the ski hill or ski touring. A perfect layering peice, or can stand alone... but dont be suprised if you don't tuck it away for the summer, this is a favourite all year.

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3. Yoga Jeans

Finally a pair of fitted jeans you dont want to take off as soon as you get home. A perfect mix of function and fashion, style and performance, and amazing colour selections!

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Kim's Picks - VPO Red Deer

1. Icebreaker - Skier+ Over the Calf Socks

These socks are so warm and breathable! Keeps your feet the perfect temperature they should be and dry, making them a great sock for any season. They are anatomically correct (so make sure that your left sock is on the LEFT foot!) for arch support and longevity... Did I mention that they are guaranteed FOR LIFE!?

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Carl's Picks - VPO Vancouver

1. MSR - PocketRocket Stove

I've had a Pocket Rocket for close to 10 years now and it hasn't let me down! It has survived camping trips, climbing trips, canoeing trips and even music festivals! Being pocket-sized and only 85g, I hardly notice it in my pack and I take it with me everywhere I go! It's nice to know that in less than 3.5 minutes, I can have a cup of tea to warm me up! Everyone who enjoys the great outdoors should have one of these and, being so affordable when compared with other stoves, why wouldn't you?!

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2. Helle Knives

The triple laminated stainless steel blades of the Helle knives are really built to last, and the curly grained birch handles are beautifully accompanied by pieces of leather and stag horn that make them true works of art! When I first got my Helle knife I was almost too scared to take it camping with me in case I would damage it! However, my excitement to use it outweighed my fear to break it and, after three years of putting it to the test, the blade is still razor-sharp and the handle is still a pleasure to look at and hold! A perfect gift (thanks Dad!) and one that can be passed on from one generation to the next.

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Mike's Picks - VPO Nanaimo

1. Patagonia - Insulated Better Sweater Hoody - Mens

The warmth of a down jacket with the look of a sweater. This is a great peice for hanging out around town, walking the dog or as a warm layer on the hill.

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Olivia's Picks - VPO Nanaimo

1. Arc'teryx - Thorium AR Hoody - Womens

Nothing beats down insulation for keeping you warm and cozy on cold winter days. This jacket features lightweight 750 fill grey goose down, with strategically placed durable Coreloft insulation in the shoulders and wrists. The fit is what I love most about this jacket finally a down jacket that doesn't make you look like the Michelin Man ;-)

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Mark's Picks - VPO Abbotsford

1. Rab - Zephyr Jacket - Mens

Great jacket for a multitude of conditions. An outer layer in the summer for sun protection and wind resistance, or a midlayer in cooler conditions with wind resistance and good wicking ability. Using the thicker DWS fabric on the shoulders and arms Rab has adds durability and water resistance, and using SWS in the body allows you to keep the jacket on while conditions change. From hiking in the summer to ski touring in the winter, the Zephyr jackets is one of the first pieces I grab.

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2. Arcteryx - Atom LT Hoody - Mens

Referred to around the shop as the ultimate West Coast jacket, the Atom LT is the most frequently worn jacket I own. Take just the right amount of warmth, add wind and water resistance along with breathable side panels and the result is the perfect jacket for BC weather. I originally bought the jacket for a trip to China as a warm midlayer, but it quickly became my go-to piece for pretty much everything.

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Kelly's Picks - VPO Nelson

1. Smith Optics - I/O Goggles

I love the IO for its amazing Fog-X permanent anti-fog technology, optically correct lenses, easy interchangeable lenses, amazing comfort on my face and perfect fit with my helmet. They are an all-around superb goggle in my mind. I can see definition better while riding and never having the frustration of blinding fog while I’m out having fun. Plus, I can barely feel them on my face.

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2. Ibex - Hooded Indie - Womens

I love this versatile piece of apparel. At work, in the mountains, or even a night out. It is a wonderful shirt that you can use casually, or as technical layering for backcountry adventures. To top that it is 100% Z-Que merino wool and made in Canada!

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3. Mammut - Sensor 10mm Superdry Duodess

I love this rope because of its extra safety feature. With both visual and sensible markings on the end and middle of the rope allow the belayer and the climber to know how much rope is out by feel and by sight, so you can look up at the climber. For the sport climbing that I love to do I believe it is the perfect diameter for me. Super durable, but not so thick that it’s grabby. As an added bonus it is an amazing color of blue.

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Caitlin's Picks - VPO Vancouver

1. Black Diamond - Primrose SA Harness - Womens

This harness is incredibly comfortable and the adjustable leg loops are great for those who have thunder thighs! Ladies who are cyclists, skiers, snowboarders, etc... this is your harness! It has a great fit and there are no points that dig into your legs because of the adjustability.

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2. Chaco - ZX2 Yampa, River - Womens

I have been LIVING in these sandals this summer! They have also seen quite the mileage in Thailand and Cambodia, and have also been on some hikes in BC. The arch support is incredible and once you figure out how the strapping works, the fit is perfect. Hiking, walking, or working all day at VPO Vancouver - there is zero back pain because arch support is that good!

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Karsten's Picks - VPO Millstream

1. Petzl - Nao Rechargable Headlamp

Being someone who pushes the limits of weekend excursions well beyond dusk, I am pretty enamoured by the Petzl Nao. It is bright enough to illuminate a 30m wall for climbing well into the night, and provides enough distance for trail runs or even night-time mountain bike rides. Reactive lighting tecnology measures reflection and automatically dims and diffuses the light, meaning no fiddling with buttons every time you look down at a map. USB charging means that you can charge it en route to your destination. Spare Lithium-Ion batteries are readily available and inexpensive, so its even a viable option for longer trips!

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2. Osprey - Variant 37

The Osprey Variant 37 is hard to beat for an alpine climbing pack. It performed wonderfully on my trip to the Bugaboos last summer. It carries enough gear for long alpine style ascents where you need to be prepared for everything... but also strips down enough to climb well on vertical walls, without the bulk of all the bells and whistles. It provides a nice balance of light weight and durability, and of course famous Osprey "All Mighty Guarantee"

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3. Icebreaker - Seeker Shorts - Mens

The new Icebreaker Seeker short is nothing short of amazing. It strikes a perfect balance between function and form. They look great, they are cozy, and they are wool!

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Michael's Picks - VPO Medicine Hat

1. Salomon - Quest 4D GTX - Mens

Why does this boot sell well year, after year, after year? Simple: it's light; it's waterproof; it's breathable, it's affordable, it's durable, and most importantly, it fits more feet than any other boot on the market. It's narrower heel cup locks you in and prevents blistering, while the roomier toe box and higher-volume height accommodates all but the widest feet. Lastly, its biomechanics just make you want to keep walking, and walking, and...

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2. Patagonia - Houdini Jacket - Womens

Aptly named, this magical jacket does everything well. No, that is not a cliche. This my personal favorite. It weighs almost nothing, and packs into its Napoleon pocket. It is virtually windproof. Its hydrophobic textile repels water like few other textiles, yet is staggeringly tough and rip-resistant. However, it breathes like nothing else. Whether trail running, mountain biking, skinning up, or taking the chill off a windy day, this is my go-to piece. And at $119, it punches way above its weight.

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3. Patagonia - Guie Pant - Mens

Nothing is as versatile as soft shell. It's tough, water repellent, wind resistant, and much more breathable than waterproof textiles. Patagonia has this pant dialed. It fits like its tailored. It boasts Polartech Powershield with ultra durable cuffs to protect from crampons, has a smart aluminum belt buckle, and they stretch with you. From hiking to hunting to ski touring, this pant will deliver.

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Todd's Pick - VPO Medicine Hat

1. Exped - Synmat 9 - Long Wide

The synmat series from exped is totally worth the investment. Described in two words "Bomb Proof ". For an outdoor enthusiast, think of it like sleeping on your mattress at home compared to the other matts thats are like crashing on your buddies futon. It's not only comfy to sleep on but well designed. All the fitting are rubber so no broken plastic fittings in the -25 its rated for. The outside baffles are taller and wider than the inner ones to help keep you centered. Integrated hand pump so no condensation from breath on those ice days. I've used this on + 30 days and not over heated. I'm 6' tall and 190 pounds I use the 9 long and wide which gives me extra length at the bottom. Major thing I've noticed is on multi day trips I'm not as exhausted when I wake up in the morning. Worth the money do not regret this purchase.

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2. Cascade Designs/MSR - Quick 2 Pot Set

Most efficient set I've used for cooking. I can fit my entire eating and prepping kit in this set with no extra bits loose. I nest a MSR, size medium, deep dish plate on the bottom of the big pot, small pot in next. In small pot I put 2 MSR insulated mugs. In 1 mug I can fit the micro rocket and the piezo striker with lid on cup . In the other cup I fit a 6 spice storage gizmo from GSI. In the other half of the small pot I fit the 3 piece alpine utensil foldable cooking kit from MSR and 2 sets of foldable eating utensils from MSR. Another deep dish plate upside down over the pot and then the pot lid. The Talon handle keeps everything in even if it gets turned upside down in your pack. Perfect kit to help make gourmet meals in the back country. All parts are open fire safe except the handle. BOMB PROOF

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3. Black Diamond - Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

I purchased these poles 3 years ago and they are still in great shape. Used these on the Inca trail in Peru and they didn't bend and the clamps never once moved on me. I'm 6 feet tall 190 lbs. and they support my weight no problem. There great for gently hikes to help keep a rhythm or for coming down some steep scree after a hard scramble. Cork is a nice touch if you use them on hot days so you don't get sweaty palms. On the whole great pole, light, easily adjustable and a little easier on the wallet than carbon fibre poles.

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4. Osprey - Hydraulics Reservoir

If you've ever used a water reservoir in your pack and when its half empty you feel a big brick like lump at your lower back this reservoir fixes that. It hard to tell in the pic but there is a plastic rigid spine molded to the reservoir. So when it gets low it keeps the water distributed evenly over the the entire reservoir. Plastic bag filled with water not good, rigid ass kicking exoskeleton reservoir very good. Comes with a magnet built in on the bite valve that connects to a matching magnet that weaves into your chest strap on your pack. The hose over time gets memory in it and you can just flip the hose after use towards the magnet on your chest and it will latch on. The wide opening cap makes it easy to fill. I've used other types that have a zip lock type closure with a clip that goes on after and the twist cap design is way easier to use.

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5. Salomon - XR Mission - Mens

I'm a letter carrier and this has been my favourite summer shoe in 5 years . I put on about 10 - 12 km a day so these shoes have been put through the paces. I usually pound through a pair of shoes in 3- 4 months I'm on month 5 and they still have lots of cushion and tread left on them. There is a harder rubber on the heal and under knuckle area of the big toe, where I drag my foot and pivot on my toes which has helped them last so long. Have used them on the trails as well and no issues. I even got 3 of my co workers into them. Lacing system sucks the heal in and nice wide toe box. No blisters in first week of wear which is rare. Highly recommend

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Taylor's Pick - VPO Medicine Hat

1. Mountain Hardwear - Fluid 26L

This pack is really comfortable with supportive straps and a wide hip belt. Perfect size for day hikes/trips. The numerous pockets make organizing it easy, with an added bonus of the hydration pocket. Can even strap a helmet into the front pocket. Overall great pack!

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2. Cascade Designs - Trail Lite, Regular - Shady Glade

Comfortable mat that fills up fast on its own, no real need to fill it up manually. Folds back up easily and neatly, and small enough to pack.

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3. Black Diamond - Primrose SA Harness - Womens

The thick padding on the legs and especially the hips makes this harness feel like it's not even then. Lots of sturdy gear loops for any climbing gear you need. Easy to do up the straps, no loosely hanging extra straps to get in the way.

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