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Royal Robbins Garb
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Before you disregard Royal Robbins clothing as preppy street garb, remember the man who made the brand. Robbins completed more than 30 first descents from Chili to California, including Devil’s Postpile of the San Joaquin, an overnighter that is tough by today’s Class V standards.

Coleman Exponent FastBack Kayak
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The Paddling Life crew loves surprises and nothing surprised us more this summer than the Coleman Exponent FastBack Kayak ($345).

Safety First - Four-Piece Werner Powerhouse
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Even if you break down, you still want power. That’s our philosophy and that’s why it’s easy to stick a Werner Powerhouse four-piece ($230) in the back of your boat.


Baja Boat Review 'Orama
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For Paddling Life's review of a flotilla of Necky sea kayaks in Baja, click above...

Whitewater Schwagathon
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Paddling Life’s Joe Carberry recently visited Portland, Oregon on a field-testing trip and the water was gushing. Bloated waterfalls and steep waves were par for the course, as were cold hands and ice-cold beer. Click here for a run down of the latest and greatest gear he thoroughly used and abused.

Paddling Life Fish Kayak Review
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It’s a good time to be a paddle (or pedal!)-powered angler. Long gone are the old days when a cutting edge fishing machine sported a milk crate in the back. That tacky-looking box ‘borrowed’ from Mega Grocery Mart was ideal for holding a foursome of cut-down PVC pipe sections (aka rod holders) and an old 5-gallon bucket. Not sexy, but effective. But there's a new fleet of boats in town. Click to read more.

Kokatat Women’s GORE-TEX Meridian Dry Suit
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Kokatat’s highly regarded GORE-TEX Meridian dry suit ($1,000) is specifically designed for kayakers, and now, women. In 2006, the Meridian was redesigned to offer a more comfortable fit for the ladies. New features include self draining punch-through neck and wrist neoprene over-cuffs, zippered pocket with key lanyard, and dual-adjustable overskirt which incorporates “hook & loop” compatible neoprene for easier adjustment. This design is available with or without drop seat and GORE-TEX socks. Dry suits are no longer just luxuries. They’re a necessity for cold-water paddling. Sizes: W’s S-L, XLS. Colors: Mango and Plum

Katadyn Vario
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Katadyn has always been at the top of the water filtration heap and now with their new Vario ($80), the Swiss-made company ups the ante indefinitely. A ceramic disc protects the primary filter for longer use in dirtier water conditions. Giardia be-gone baby. This stylish-looking filter’s flow can be adjusted with a simple turn. Replaceable carbon cores keep water fresher and tasting like you’re actually drinking straight from the mountain stream. The carbon also reduces chemicals and pesticides and can be replaced so you’ll get maximum life from your pump and each one lasts up to 500 gallons. As is standard now-days, this tool attaches to any Nalgene-type bottle for easy water collection. And weighing only 15 ounces, it’ll be hard to notice the Vario in the back of your boat. Dehydration is bad. Clean water is good. Don’t get caught being thirsty.

Palm Torrent Drysuit
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Drysuits are a boaters best friend. Palm does it up right with the Torrent ($600). This baby has a form fit that’s flexible where it needs to be with no underarm seems to avoid ware. Latex neck and wrist gaskets seal the deal and built in booties keep your little piggies from freezing during a cold day out. The Ti zips create a bomb-proof seal and hold up to the wear and tear of the everyday boater. Plus you’ll look like a million bucks without spending near that much.

Patagonia Rio Frio
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When looking for an innovative eco-conscious pfd, check out the new Rio Frio ($120). The Rio Frio, made with PVC-free foam, is designed with a two-tiered waist belt system that secures the vest directly to a paddler’s body, along with front cinch buckles and a separately adjustable waist belt that completely removes the likelihood of the vest riding up.

Princeton Tec Quad Headlamp
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Small, but still powerful! At a total weight of only 96 grams, the Quad ($30) is the lightest in Princeton Tec's line of regulated-LED headlamps. Four ultra-bright LED’s power from inside a tough waterproof housing that will survive severe impacts and water submersions up to one meter. Weight conscious users will love the Quad's sophisticated circuitry that allows the use of lithium AAA batteries.


Shred Ready Freestyle Audio MP3 Package
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Shred Ready (SR) has teamed with Freestyle Audio to bring your music to the river. Their Can-Can earflaps and submergeable MP3 player make it possible to rock out while you rip. The SR MP3 package includes a 512 mb waterproof MP3 player and the SR Can-Can earflaps ($200). The MP3 player is compatible with a PC or Mac, has a fully charged battery life of 40 hours and no moving parts. SR is offering a special Holiday Combo of a Phly or Super Scrappy helmet and MP3 package for $274.95. Rap, rock or country, may the river bounce where you are.

Pelican i1010 Waterproof iPod case
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This is it, music-lovers: your answer to the “listen to Britney’s latest or go boating” conundrum. Pelican now produces the i1010 ($35), which pampers your player in a bulletproof hard-plastic shell with ample padding. We got our grubbies on one right away, and didn’t fret about subjecting our test iPod to an afternoon of Maytagging. This is the most robust iPod case on the market--the only drawback is that unlike competing cases from OtterBox and H2Audio, you can’t control your player with the case shut.

Wave Sport Habitat
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Creek boaters need a home. Wave Sport brings them a downriver ecosystem with the Habitat($1,000)--one of the company’s more anticipated releases. Clean boofs, soft landings and solid edging for easy eddy turns are just a few of the Habitat’s more reliable assets. Robert Pearson and the WS design team have brought the beef and backed it up with incredibly comfortable outfitting and new safety features. Don’t believe us? Check the roto-molded bow pillar that gives the boat strong structural stability and acts as a step out in case of a pin. The roto-molded seat gives the boat additional structural integrity. And a safe boat equals a habitually-happy boater. 74—74 gallons, length 8', width 25", depth 13.5"; 80--80 gallons, length 8'4", width 25.5".

Wilderness Systems Ride 135
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The Ride 135 ($800) is a modified version of its predecessor The Ride and will definitely maintain its popularity with anglers. You can stand and cast from the platform and the new deck design gives easy access to gear. The rod guides molded into the deck hold rods in place and out of the way. The deck has been revamped for a look similar to the Tarpon series sit-on-tops and features a large bow hatch with a rubber cover and a large rear tankwell. A higher seat makes for a much drier ride to boot. An optional anglers’ package includes a rudder, a flush mounted rod holder, a Scotty console rod holder, and an anchor. Length: 13’4, Width: 32”, Weight: 64 lbs, Cap.: 400 lbs., $800.

GSI Outdoors JavaPress
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No need to neglect your morning buzz when you’re roughing it. Gourmet coffee or tea can be easily brewed using GSI Outdoors' stainless steel JavaPress ($39.95). The carafe has double-walled insulation that includes a highly durable micro-foil stainless steel screen, a double-walled lid for heat retention on cold mornings, and a pour/plunge indicator arrow on thermally insulated lid. No Starbuck’s in sight, no worries.

Big Agnes - Crystal Sleeping Bag
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Get cuddly with the Crystal sleeping bag ($149) from Big Agnes. This 30-degree, comfort sack pairs PrimaLoft with 650 Fill Goose Down for a lightweight and packable bag that stays warm even when wet. Weight won’t be a problem either. At just 2 lb. 10oz, this thing’s lighter than canned soup. The Crystal also features an integrated pad sleeve, ensuring that sleeper(s) never roll off the cushion—even after a good party. Weight: 2lb 10oz.

Aire Ocelot and Jaguarundi
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Getting down the river and having a good time is never mutually exclusive. So in the name of fun, AIRE has redesigned its Ocelot ($1,799, pictured) and Jaguarundi ($1,999) catarafts. The Ocelot excels as a whitewater play boat and can be easily rigged for one or two people to carry a medium load of gear on multi-day trips. It also sports more rise in the bow and stern with rubber ergo handles and a frame chafe strip. The increased kick has made the Ocelot faster, easier to maneuver and better at punching through mammoth hydraulics—just ask Mark Cramer, a Triple Crown veteran who consulted on the redesign. The Jaguarundi has also received a lift in the bow and stern, along with the updated rubber handles and chafe strips. The Jaguarundi is Aire’s premiere boat for another kind of fun: wilderness tripping.

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