Tag Archives: backpacking gear reviews

Gear Review: Osprey Exos 58 Backpack

July 21, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Osprey Exos 58

Osprey Exos 58

Backpack
Osprey Exos 58
$220, 55L/3,356 c.i., 2 lbs. 8 oz. (small, fits torsos 16-19 ins.)
Sizes: unisex S-L (M 58L/3,539 c.i., fits torsos 18-21 ins., L 61L/3,722 c.i., fits torsos 21-23 ins.)
ospreypacks.com

When Osprey introduced the Exos pack series in 2008, it immediately became a leader—and helped redefine how we think about backpacking. It showed us that a backpack weighing under three pounds can serve the needs of everyone from weekenders to longer-distance backpackers and thru-hikers, and it gave ultralighters an option to the minimalist rucksacks that fill that category (which are “minimalist” both in weight and comfort). Success is a tough act to follow, and revising a popular product is risky. As a longtime fan of the original Exos packs, I took the new Exos 58 out on a seven-day, hut-to-hut trek on the Alta Via 2 through Italy’s Dolomites and concluded that Osprey has taken something that was very good and made it lighter and better. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800 Sleeping Bag

June 17, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800

Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800

Two-Season Sleeping Bag
Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800 (30° F)
$330, 1 lbs. 12 oz. (reg); $350 (long)
Sizes: men’s regular and long, women’s regular ($370)
sierradesigns.com

It’s a chilly morning in the backcountry and the last thing you want to do is exit your warm sleeping bag to step outside. With the Mobile Mummy 800, you don’t have to—you can wear your sleeping bag outside to fire up breakfast or take care of other business. Although the concept of a wearable sleeping bag that converts to a long down jacket isn’t new, Sierra Designs has achieved a nice kind of perfection with the Mobile Mummy. Continue reading →

May 22, 2014 New Hance Trail, Grand Canyon.

Ask Me: Which Boots Do You Recommend for Backpacking, Heavier or Lighter?

In Ask Me, Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

Michael,

This is a great, straightforward review [of the La Sportiva Thunder III GTX boots]. I was just looking at these boots and I am strongly considering them based on your review. I am torn between these Thunder III GTX and the La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX. Perhaps you can provide some insight or guidance based on your experience with both boots. My primary activity will be backpacking, carrying 30 to 40 lbs., 10 to 15 miles per day in south-central Alaska. The terrain is just about as mixed as you can get: sharp rocks, sand, mud, roots, tundra, steep alpine, scree, creeks, etc. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Oboz Bridger Mid BDry Boots

May 15, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Oboz Bridger Mid BDry

Oboz Bridger Mid BDry.

Boots
Oboz Bridger Mid BDry
$160, 2 lbs. 8 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 8-12, 13, 14, women’s 6-11
obozfootwear.com

How much should you expect from boots that weigh just two-and-a-half pounds and cost just $160? I wondered that as I set out in these boots on an overnight backpacking trip in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in late March. Carrying up to about 50 pounds—including gear and food for my two kids and me plus, at one point, 13 liters of water—I honestly was ready for my feet to feel a bit sore and beat up by day’s end. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of support and performance delivered by boots at this weight and price. Continue reading →

April 29, 2014 Cas9-127 Camp, Dome Glacier, day 4, Ptarmigan Traverse, North Cascades

5 Tips For Buying a Backpacking Tent

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

There are a lot of tents out there. How do you choose between them? Backpackers come in different sizes and have different needs and preferences in a tent. In testing scores of backcountry tents over the past two decades, for reviews in Backpacker Magazine and this blog, I’ve seen the best and the worst—and gotten a sense of what to look for in a tent and how to help people pick out one they like. Here are my five simple tips for finding the tent that you’ll love. Continue reading →

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