Tag Archives: backpacking gear reviews

Gear Review: The Best Gear Duffles

February 4, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Osprey Transporter 95

Osprey Transporter 95

By Michael Lanza

Whatever your outdoor sport—backpacking, climbing, whitewater rafting or kayaking, backcountry skiing, etc.—a sturdy duffle for organizing, hauling, and protecting your gear and clothing is invaluable. Not only does it eliminate the risk of damaging an expensive backpack by using it as your luggage, a good duffle has more capacity and is built to suffer the indignities of getting tossed into jet, train, and bus baggage compartments, being strapped onto a roof rack, sled, snowmobile, or pack animal, and exposed to rain and snow.

I subjected the four duffles and two convertible pieces of luggage reviewed here to perils ranging from cross-country and intercontinental flights to the environmental hazards of a multi-day wilderness float down Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River, and numerous long-distance, family car trips. Besides passing the durability test, all of them demonstrated unique strengths for different styles of adventure travel. Continue reading →

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 →

Review: Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket

January 15, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket

Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket

Breathable Insulated Jacket
Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket
$299, 1 lb. 2 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
outdoorresearch.com

The explosion in breathable-insulation garments has changed the way we think about insulation in the backcountry. But in an increasingly crowded field, some jackets still rise above. I wore OR’s new Uberlayer Hooded Jacket for numerous days of backcountry skiing—including, at times, as an outer layer while skinning uphill—and as a middle layer skiing downhill both in the backcountry and for hours at a resort And I wore it in temperatures ranging from around freezing to wind chills below zero Fahrenheit, and came away convinced this is a jacket you could legitimately use into the backcountry every month of the year. Continue reading →

January 14, 2016 Campsite, Squaw Canyon, Needles District, Canyonlands National Park.

Ask Me: What Are the Best Tents For Backpacking With Kids?

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

Michael,

Thanks for the great stories and tips for family trips. I came across your blog as I was scoping out a family backpacking trip in the Sierra for this summer. We are taking another family out backpacking that has done a number of dayhikes, but has not been backpacking before, along with a 20-year-old, foreign-exchange student who, while fit, has also not been backpacking. The boys on the trip will both be eight—they will carry no more than eight to 10 pounds in a decent daypack (our son has an Osprey Jet that has worked well for the past couple of years). Bottom line is that I expect that I will carry some extra weight. Our tent is a Black Diamond Vista—a great tent but heavy for the Sierra in August. Any thoughts on three-person, three-season tents that are relatively durable and lighter than the Vista? I was looking at the Big Agnes Copper Spur as a potential option but figured I would ask you, with all of your experience. Continue reading →

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