Tag Archives: camping gear reviews

March 29, 2015 Cas9-127 Camp, Dome Glacier, day 4, Ptarmigan Traverse, North Cascades

5 Tips For Buying a Backpacking Tent

In Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   5 Comments

By Michael Lanza

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 a tent you’ll love. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Air Mattress

March 6, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Air Mattress

Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Air Mattress

Insulated Air Mattress
Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Air Mattress
$170, 1 lb. 5 oz. (regular, including stuff sack)
Sizes: small (66×21.5×2.5 ins., $170, 1 lb. 4 oz., packed size 5×9 ins.), regular 72×21.5×2.5 ins., packed size 4.5×9 ins.), large (79x25x2.5 ins., $190, 1 lb. 9 oz., packed size 4.5×10 ins.)
seatosummit.com

I like to hike long days when I backpack, so I want the lightest gear that does the job. But I also like a comfortable air mat to sleep on after a 20-mile day. Those objectives of comfort and low weight sometimes conflict. But on a four-day, 86-mile backpacking trip in northern Yosemite National Park in September, I slept just about as well as I do in my bed at home on a Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated air mat, which weighs under a pound and a half and packs down to about one-and-a-half times the size of a liter bottle. Continue reading →

December 7, 2014 Trekking in the Dolomite Mountains, Italy.

Gift Guide: My Top 25 Picks In New Outdoor Gear and Apparel

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

By Michael Lanza

It’s that time of year again, when you’re shopping for the right something for a special someone… or you want to give a special someone the right suggestions for a gift for you. Either way, check out my annual list of top 25 favorite new pieces of outdoor gear and apparel, with links to my original reviews of these jackets, packs, boots, tents, and other gear. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp

September 30, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp

Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp

Ultralight Tarp
Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp
$199, 12 oz. (large)
Sizes: Large 10 ft. x 10 ft./3x3m, medium 6 ft. 6 ins.x8 ft. 6 ins./2×2.6m ($169, 9.5 oz.)
seatosummit.com

When rain began falling while a friend and I were sleeping under the stars in Yosemite National Park’s Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, we grabbed our gear, pitched this tarp in just a few minutes, and had dry shelter for the night. Besides using the Escapist Tarp on that four-day, 85-mile, backpacking trip, I camped under it with my son in Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve, where the tarp held up well throughout a windy night. For late-summer and fall trips where I won’t encounter bugs, there’s no need to carry the weight and bulk of a tent. The Escapist tarp provides a sturdy, spacious, and durable ultralight shelter from rain, acts as a wind break, and on calm nights will keep you a little warmer than you’d be sleeping under the stars because it traps some warmth. Continue reading →

August 5, 2014 Redfish Valley, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Ask Me: Tips on Sleeping Bags For Backpacking With a 4-Year-Old… and For Her Parents

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures   |   Tagged , , , ,   |   1 Comment

Dear Michael,

I’m hoping you can help me out with a backpacking question I have. I’m looking for a sleeping bag for my daughter for summer backpacking trips in the Northwest. She will be four this summer. We’ve backpacked with her before, but this is the first year she’ll be too big to sleep in our bags. Backpacking with a kid means so much stuff, plus for at least part of the time, I’ll be carrying her, meaning my husband is stuck with a lot of gear. The biggest problem is the sleeping bag. All of the bags I can find out there are big enough for much older kids. I really only need a small bag that will last her a couple years and keep her warm. Any ideas on something that could work for her? Continue reading →

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