Personal Gear & Apparel

LED Flashlights

The SureFire L1 Lumamax and the Tektite Expedition Star take Best Buy honors. Incandescents may not pale in comparison, but they're fading fast.

Binoculars: 7×50, Waterproof, With Compasses

Optical acuity was very good across the board, but the devil's in the details. Steiner and Fujinon are still superb - at great cost. West Marine and Nikon share Best Buy honors.

Foul Weather Jackets

The Henri Lloyd Rapid Coastal takes top honors among the coastal jackets, followed by the Best Buy, Ronstan's Inshore. Of the offshore jackets tested, we liked the Gill Atlantic best.

Glove Up!

There's a big market these days for "exam" gloves—the kind that used to be reserved for doctors and dentists, but are now used...

Compact Binoculars

For onboard back-ups and excursions ashore, a set of good compact binox are almost required. Nikon fielded a strong team—their Mountaineers are a Best Buy. But the race is also to the Swift.

LED Lights: Low-Power, Long Life

The revolution continues. LEDs serve a growing range of uses on board.

Marine Watches

Casio's Sea Pathfinder 40 gets top honors for functionality, readability, and price - but it's not for the slim-wristed. Higher-quality watches lack some functions we like.

Seaboots Under $100

You should be able to keep your feet warm, dry, and on deck for a reasonable price—and you can.

Cold-Weather Gloves

In freezing temperatures we field-tested 12 pairs of cold-weather gloves from different sports to see which ones keep hands warmest, yet still offer a bit of dexterity.

Brinkmann, LSI, Optronics Shine Bright in Spotlight Test

Sixteen lights from six manufacturers.

Doing ‘The Ditch’ Capt. Frank’s Way

Be aware that a less-experienced sailors report of a great anchorage with plenty of depth, or statements like We ran aground here! don't do you much good if they fail to include basic info such as their boat's draft, state of the tide, etc. Other sailors' facility reviews should also be taken with a grain of salt. For example: The dockmaster hates Algerian Snaggle-tooth Poodles (like our Fluffy), so were never coming back, and you shouldnt either!