Judges of the 2018 The Great Outdoors Awards

The judges of the Great Outdoors Gear of the Year Awards are some of the most experienced and renowned people in the industry. 

Our panel consists of Chris Townsend, Judy Armstrong, Mike Parsons, Emily Rodway and Alex Roddie. They will be assessing the best new clothing and equipment launched this year, looking for the most innovative products.


Mike Parsons

Mike has over 40 years of hands-on gear-making experience in the outdoor equipment trade. He has wide-ranging mountain sport skills including mountaineering, ski-nordic, alpine and mountain biking. He is the co-founder of OutdoorGearCoach. http://www.outdoorgearcoach.co.uk/about-us

Judy Armstrong

Judy has been testing gear for  The Great Outdoors since 2005 but has been hillwalking and mountaineering for 30 years. Originally from New Zealand, Judy lives in the North York Moors National Park and also has a base in the French Alps.

Chris Townsend

Chris has written 20 books on the outdoors, including the award-winning The Backpacker’s Handbook. Among his walking achievements, he was the first person to complete a continuous round of all the Munros and Tops and the first to walk the 1600-mile length of the Canadian Rockies. Chris has been reviewing gear for The Great Outdoors since 1991.

Emily Rodway

Emily has edited The Great Outdoors magazine since 2011 and launched The Great Outdoors Awards back in 2012. Based in Scotland, she enjoys hillwalking, trekking and backpacking and has crossed Scotland one and a half times (long story…) as a participant in The Great Outdoors Challenge.

Alex Roddie

Alex Roddie is The Great Outdoors’ Online Editor and a regular feature writer. A reformed climber with a background in Scottish winter and alpinism, he loves nothing better than long-distance lightweight backpacking in wild mountain landscapes, particularly the Scottish Highlands and Swiss Alps.