GreatOutdoors staff share some of their favorite gear from the north face apex bionic season just wrapping up. When the ultimate in function (weatherproofness, usability) is at a premium this GORE-TEX PacLite shell is always my go to piece. On the Haute Route I rarely needed to break it out, but it was a confidence builder to have this highly packable port-a-shelter at the ready. An ultralight and minimalist design, this Elixir Jacket doesn't sacrifice utility to get there; maintaining a deep dual-pull adjustable hood, dual slash napoleon pockets that are perfect for skin stashing, and double-separating Torso vent zippers beneath the sleeves to get the heat out.MSR Reactor Stove SystemThis revolutionary backpacking stove has reset the threshold for wilderness stove performance. The MSR Reactor's novel radiant burner boils water in under three minutes even at 12,000 feet. The pot and stove together create a system that it is virtually impervious to wind, and the heat exchanger (as opposed to an open flame) positively sips fuel, making it the most efficient backpacking stove Ive used. An internal pressure regulator means that an almost empty canister burns as hot as a full canister. And at 21 oz for the stove and its integrated 1.5 liter pot, theres no weight penalty for the outrageous boil times north face jackets for men. Everything, including the canister, fits into the pot for easy stowage in the pack North Face Outlet..Black Diamond Speed 40 PackLightweight, simple, fail-safe, and versatile was the mantra while doing the Haute Route.This Black Diamond 40 liter pack met all the criteria, and was the perfect flexible size. The harness and belt system at first glance seemed too light, but the proof was in the usingperfect. Essential was the ability to compress and expand the pack as gear and food supplies expanded.