Tag Archives: camping gear reviews

Gear Review: 5 Camping Essentials

June 26, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

There’s a 10 essentials list for hiking and backpacking—but what’s absolutely essential for camping? Put on my list of essentials these give items that add convenience and comfort: a super bright lantern; a lightweight, collapsible chair and small table; a soft-sided, highly portable cooler; and a tiny charger to resuscitate your phones. They will become staples of my trips ranging from car camping to rafting. 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 →

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 →

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Flash 3 Tent

April 1, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Sierra Designs Flash 3

Sierra Designs Flash 3

Three-Season Tent
Sierra Designs Flash 3
$400, 4 lbs. 15 oz. (tent and poles only)
sierradesigns.com

Backpacking with my kids amplifies a challenge any backpacker faces: finding a tent that provides good living space and stability without being a burdensome weight or filling your backpack. My kids are young enough that they carry just personal gear (bag, pad, clothes, snacks, water). So on a recent overnight trip with my kids in the Needles District of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, without my wife or another adult to share the family food and gear load, I took the Flash 3 for a test drive and was blown away by the amount of space it has for a sub-five-pound, freestanding shelter. Continue reading →

Gift Guide: Top 25 Picks in Outdoor Gear & Apparel

November 21, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Gregory Contour 70

Gregory Contour 70

By Michael Lanza

Looking for a gift idea for a hiker, backpacker, climber, skier… or maybe something special to suggest to someone shopping for you? I test a lot of adult and children’s outdoor gear and apparel every year for Backpacker Magazine and to review in this blog, and friends and readers ask me regularly for advice on buying gear.

So here’s my annual list of my top 25 favorite new pieces of outdoor gear and apparel—with links to my original reviews of these packs, boots, tents, jackets, and other gear—plus a new backcountry food my entire family loves, and a terrific book for traveling families. If you’re dreaming of big adventures in 2014, get busy prepping your gear for it.

Continue reading →

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