Tag Archives: camping gear reviews

Gear Review: Sea to Summit X-Pot Set 31

August 26, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments
Sea to Summit X-Pot

Sea to Summit X-Pot

Collapsible Cook Set
Sea to Summit X-Pot Set 31
$100, 1 lb. 6 oz.
Set includes a 2.8L X-Pot with lid, two X-Bowls, two X-Mugs, all collapsible
seatosummit.com

At Helmet Falls camp on the first night of a four-day, 34-mile, family backpacking trip on the Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park in the Canadian Rockies, a group of backpackers cooking near us looked at my X-Pot set and one asked, “What is that and who makes it?” When I answered him, he responded, “I gotta get one of those. Or I’m going to watch which bear locker you put your food and cooking gear in later and take it.” I was pretty sure he was kidding—but not entirely certain. The collapsible X-Pot cooking set is sure to change the way we think about cooking systems for backpacking, and many backpackers will covet it. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Kelty Dualist 20 Sleeping Bag

July 24, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Kelty Dualist 20

Kelty Dualist 20

Three-Season Sleeping Bag
Kelty Dualist 20
$150, 3 lbs. 1 oz. (regular)
Sizes: regular and long ($160)
kelty.com

Outfitting yourself with good-quality backpacking gear when you’re on a budget can be a challenge, especially core gear like your pack, boots, tent, and sleeping bag. That’s why I wanted to test out Kelty’s competitively priced Dualist 20 on a weeklong rafting trip down Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River, where I discovered this dual-insulation bag delivers a lot of value for its bargain-basement price. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Exped SynMat Hyperlite Air Mattress

June 3, 2015  |  In Uncategorized   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Exped SynMat Hyperlite with Schnozzel Pumpbag UL.

Exped SynMat Hyperlite with Schnozzel Pumpbag UL.

Insulated Air Mattress
Exped SynMat Hyperlite
$169, 14 oz. (medium, including stuff sack)
Sizes:
Medium (72×20.5×2.8 ins., packed size 3.5×7.5 ins.)
Medium wide ($179, 72×25.6×2.8 ins., packed size 4×7.5 ins.)
Long wide ($189, 77.6×25.6×2.8 ins., packed size 4×8 ins.)
exped.com

How light and compact can an air mattress get and still deliver a comfortable night’s sleep on the ground? Under a pound for a full-length, insulated air mat, I discovered after using the SynMat Hyperlite on backpacking trips on the 34-mile Royal Arch Loop in the Grand Canyon, the 41-mile Timberline Trail around Mount Hood, the 34-mile Rockwall Trail in Canada’s Kootenay National Park, and a weekend of camping at Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve. Continue reading →

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 , , , , , ,   |   6 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 →

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