Tag Archives: backpacking tent reviews

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 →

January 6, 2016 Bailey Range and Mount Olympus, Olympic National Park.

A Preview of This Year’s Best New Gear, Part 1

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By Michael Lanza

Thinking about buying a new backpack, daypack, tent, or other outdoor gear? Last August, I spent a couple of days wandering the floor of The Salt Palace in Salt Lake City—a convention center you could fit a few Wal-Marts inside—at the Outdoor Retailer Show, ogling the best of the new products for hiking, backpacking, climbing, and other outdoor activities that will hit the market this winter and spring. 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

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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 →

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 →

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 →

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