Tag Archives: backpack reviews

February 3, 2016 Rockwall Trail, Kootenay National Park, Canada.

Ask Me: How Can a Small Woman Find a Backpack That Fits?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   6 Comments

Hi Michael,

My fiancée has begun backpacking, and we’re in the market for a pack. But she’s tiny, five feet and just 100 pounds, and finding a waist belt small enough has been an issue. I’m thinking she needs a 50- to 55-liter pack. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Dave
Worcester, MA Continue reading →

January 28, 2016 Osprey Aura AG 65

Ask Me: What Do You Recommend For a Versatile, All-Purpose Backpack?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hello Michael,

I saw your gear reviews on your blog and I want to ask which backpack you’d recommend for long trails for a man: Osprey Xenith 75 (or 88) or Gregory Baltoro 75? Normally I take from 15 to 25 kg (30 to 50 lbs.). And I need this backpack for trips up to approximately 12 days—from short weekend trips with tent to 14-day trips. It would be nice if the backpack has a lot of pockets. For speed and technical routes I have a 35-liter Deuter Guide without any extra pockets, but for long treks I need more space for my wallet, phone, headlight, etc.

Best regards,
Emil
Lodz, Poland Continue reading →

December 15, 2015 Backpacking the Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier National Park.

Why and When to Spend More on Gear, Part 1: Packs and Tents

In Gear Reviews, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

You need a new backpack or backpacking tent. You’ve read some reviews. You’ve winnowed your short list to a handful of possible choices—and are looking at a significant range of prices. That’s when you struggle with the question any consumer would consider: Why should I spend more?

Over the course of two decades of testing and reviewing gear, I’ve learned what qualities separate the expensive from the moderately priced from the cheap—and when it’s worth spending more, and when it’s not (and the answer depends on what type of gear or apparel you’re buying). Before you spend another dime, read on. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Osprey Atmos AG 65 and Aura AG 65 Backpacks

December 9, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   25 Comments
Osprey Aura AG 65

Osprey Aura AG 65

Backpack
Osprey Atmos AG 65/Aura AG 65
$260, 4 lbs. 11 oz. (men’s medium)
Men’s Atmos AG 65 sizes: S-L
S 62L/3,783 c.i., fits torsos 40-48cm/16-19 ins.
M 65L/3,967 c.i., fits torsos 46-53cm/18-21 ins.
L 68L/4,150 c.i., fits torsos 51-58cm/20-23 ins.
Women’s Aura AG 65 sizes: XS-M
XS 60L/3,661 c.i., 4 lbs., fits torsos 14-17 ins./35-43cm
S 62L/3,783 c.i., 4 lbs. 2 oz., fits torsos 16-19 ins./40-48cm
M 65L/3,967 c.i., 4 lbs. 4 oz., fits torsos 18-21 ins./46-53cm
ospreypacks.com

A backpack is a little like a relationship: It’s hard to tell what it’s going to be like when you first meet, and then you get to know each other much better over time. But in that sense, the Atmos 65 is different from most packs I’ve tested over the past 20 years: It felt very different, in a good way, the first time I put it on, and that positive first impression bore out as I carried it backpacking with my family for four days on the Rockwall Trail in Canada’s Kootenay National Park in August, on two hut treks in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park in March, and on a family ski trip to a backcountry yurt in Idaho’s Boise Mountains in January. It has also been the most-read, single gear review at The Big Outside for the past several months—a testament to the popularity of the men’s Atmos AG and women’s Aura AG series. Continue reading →

Best New Gear of the Year: My Top 10 Favorites

December 2, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment
MRS FlyLite

MRS FlyLite

By Michael Lanza

I’ve tested an untold number of new backpacks, boots, tents, jackets, and other outdoor gear and apparel over the past two decades, and I’ve seen the good, bad, ugly (the fishnet long underwear probably took first place in that category)—and the best of the best. So just as I posted not long ago a list of the 10 most-read gear reviews at The Big Outside by you, my readers, now I present my personal picks for my 10 favorite, new pieces of outdoor gear and apparel—the most innovative, top-performing, best-value stuff that’s worth spending your hard-earned dollars on. Continue reading →

← Older posts