• The Barebones Forest LED Rechargeable Lantern, in Antique Bronze. (Photo: Barebones Living)

The staff at Canadian Geographic tested more than 30 pieces of gear over the course of 2016. From backpacks to electronics, we put some of the top gear on the market to the test and published our reviews online.

For last minute gift ideas, or to stoke your Boxing Day discount desires, we asked our reviewers to each share their favourite tested item of the year.

The Barebones Forest LED Rechargeable Lantern

The Barebones Forest LED Rechargeable Lantern, in Antique Bronze. (Photo: Barebones Living)

By Nick Walker, managing editor

Gone are the days of the kerosene lantern, and with them the tricky procedure of pre-burning and replacing mantles, not to mention the need to pack extra fuel. But that classic, rugged aesthetic lives on (albeit with some modern upgrades) in the Barebones Forest LED Rechargeable Lantern. This is an excellent blend of modern practicality and timeless design suited to all kinds of outdoor scenarios.

Read the full review.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2 Tent

The Ghost UL 2 tent from Mountain Hardwear. (Photo: Mountain Hardwear)

By Sabrina Doyle, new media editor

Weighing less than a kilogram, this two-person tent was designed with the backcountry hiker in mind and is Mountain Hardwear’s lightest offering. Setting up the main structure was intuitive and easy. In the morning, the book and clothes I’d laid on the floor were bone dry, despite the fact that it was a dewy morning and I’d neglected to lay down a ground sheet. If you need a versatile shelter that doesn’t take up much room (both packed in your bag and set up in a meadow) then the Ghost UL 2 is a solid bet.

Read the full review.

Carhartt Women's Amoret Quilted Coat

The Carhartt women’s Amoret Quilted Coat. (Photo: Carhartt)

By Alexandra Pope, social media editor

Prior to me really putting it through its paces, the most appealing feature of this coat was its lightweight construction, which is quilted and lined with cozy flannel for added warmth without the bulk. It’s cut longer in the back and has an adjustable interior drawstring at the waist, so it’s flattering on a variety of body shapes, and the large front and side pockets can easily accommodate a phone, keys, sunglasses and gloves without ruining the sleek silhouette, making this a practical choice for the style-conscious urban adventurer.

Read the full review.

Mountain Hardwear Hotbed Flame 20° Sleeping Bag 

Mountain Hardwear Hotbed Flame 20° Sleeping Bag. (Photo: Mountain Hardwear)

By Michela Rosano, associate editor

This sleeping bag is warm. The Hotbed Flame’s Thermal Q insulation maintains loft and its vertically welded Lamina (proprietary) construction eliminates cold spots to keep campers toasty, even when temperatures dip below zero (Its T-Comfort rating is -2 C; its T-Limit rating is -7 C.). I also appreciated the sleeping bag’s mummy cut, which could be easily adjusted using the single-handed draw cords and fit my tall (5'10") frame.

Read the full review

Nikon 1 J5 mirrorless camera

The Nikon 1 J5. (Photo: Nikon.ca)

By Javier Frutos, art director

The camera has a sleek, retro design, but is lightweight with all the bells and whistles of today’s photo technology. As a traveler and photographer, I like to travel light but still have the opportunity to take high quality images. This was a perfect camera to carry around for that purpose. I was also traveling with my large full-frame camera, but when it came to capturing those impromptu moments, this camera was always hanging around my neck ready to go. Though compact, the 1 J5 was still able to take tack-sharp images in jpeg and RAW format.

Read the full review.

MEC Alite Designs Meadow Mat

The MEC Alite Designs Meadow Mat. (Photo: mec.ca)

By Sara Black, education coordinator

I found myself using the Alite Designs Meadow Mat all the time. It’s great to use as a picnic blanket, especially when you need to take a break from driving to stretch your legs. Because of its durable poly-fabric construction, which comes in three fun prints, I was able to sit on the damp grass or a rocky beach and not worry about getting wet or ripping the fabric.

Read the full review.

What products should we test in 2017? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or send us an email, editor@canadiangeographic.ca.