Tag Archives: backpacking gear reviews

Gear Review: The 5 Best Backpacking Tents

November 27, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL2 mtnGLO tent

Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL2 mtnGLO tent

By Michael Lanza

Looking back on many of the backpacking tents I’ve tested and reviewed at this blog, I realized this: They’re all weird. But I mean that in a good way. That is, none resemble the kind of tent most of us pitched in the backcountry even five or 10 years ago. The main reason is that the goal of making gear more lightweight isn’t “the new thing” anymore—it’s how everyone thinks, and it has transformed the world of backcountry gear, especially tents.

The other reason is that, in the very competitive marketplace of backpacking shelters, designers are innovating fast to find ways to distinguish their products from the constellation of choices out there. You’ll see that trend in each of the five singularly outstanding tents listed below. Continue reading →

November 25, 2015 Backpacking The Narrows, Zion National Park.

Buying Gear? Read This First

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By Michael Lanza

Are you in the market for a new pack or boots for hiking or backpacking, or a new tent or sleeping bag? How do you find something that’s just right for you? What should you be looking for? How much should you spend? These are questions I’ve heard from many friends and readers over the years as they’ve waded through the myriad choices that are out there. Here are my five top tips for buying gear that’s right for you, gleaned from lessons I’ve learned from two decades of testing and reviewing gear and helping people find gear they love. Continue reading →

November 24, 2015 Backpackers, Pacific Crest Trail near Cloudy Pass, Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Ask Me: Should I Buy a Larger Backpack If It’s Not Much Heavier?

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I stumbled upon your blog and have enjoyed reading your advice. I am currently deciding between the Gregory Baltoro 75 and 65. I have always had a 65L pack and was looking to upgrade to a new pack this year. When I compared the two packs I found that there was only four ounces difference in weight from the 65L to the 75L. So I am thinking about going to the 75 even though my gear fits in a 65L pack fine. Is there any reason not to go to the larger pack?

Idaho Falls, ID Continue reading →

My 10 Most-Read Gear Reviews

November 22, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Osprey Atmos AG 65

Osprey Atmos AG 65

By Michael Lanza

Other than my home page, the link clicked most often at The Big Outside is my Gear Reviews category—and individual gear reviews consistently rank among the most-viewed stories at my blog. So I like to periodically post a list of my reviews of outdoor gear and apparel that are the most popular with you, The Big Outside’s readers. Sifting through my blog’s analytics data, I produced this top 10 list of the most-read gear reviews at this blog, with a link to my original review of each item. As you’re shopping for specific outdoor gear or clothing, check this out to see what’s popular with your fellow outdoor enthusiasts and fans of The Big Outside.

Continue reading →

November 21, 2015 Death Canyon Shelf, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Looking For Reviews of the Best Gear? Look Here

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By Michael Lanza

I take a bit of a different approach to testing and reviewing outdoor gear at The Big Outside. I don’t try to blanket my readers with reviews of every new piece of gear hitting the market—I can’t do it, but frankly, a lot of it is mediocre and not worth recommending. Instead, I find the best backpacks and daypacks, backcountry tents and footwear, bags, outdoor apparel, and other gear that I actually want to use and would recommend to friends. After two decades of testing and reviewing gear, including many years as a field editor and lead gear reviewer for Backpacker magazine, I think I have a pretty good eye for what outdoor gear and apparel performs well and what’s not worth your money.

That’s what you’ll find at my Gear Reviews page—only reviews of products I would recommend to my closest friends. Continue reading →

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