Tag Archives: hiking gear reviews

March 22, 2015 Zeacliff, White Mountains, N.H.

Ask Me: Time to Ditch the Old, Heavy Boots For Lighter Footwear?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hi, Michael,

I’ve got a pair of Asolo Yukons that I’ve used for nearly 20 years. They are comfortable as can be and offer great ankle support, but at age 52 I’m wondering if I should part with my beloved Yukons and invest in a modern, lighter boot. I’ve heard that every pound on the feet is like five pounds on the back, and as my joints age and my stamina diminishes, I’ve thought it might be wise to buy new. I do mostly dayhikes with a few two-night backpacking trips a season, typically carrying about 20 to 25 pounds. We hike in the White Mountains of N.H., which typically means rocky and wet! I’d love your thoughts on whether to stick with these high-quality tried-and-true Yukons or ditch them for something lighter.

John
Easton, MA

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Gear Review: Scarpa Zen Pro Mid GTX Boots

March 20, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Scarpa Zen Pro Mid GTX

Scarpa Zen Pro Mid GTX

Hiking/Scrambling Boots
Scarpa Zen Pro Mid GTX
$199, 2 lb. 4 oz. (men’s Euro 42/US 9)
Sizes: men’s Euro 40-47, 48, women’s 36-42
scarpa.com

On an October hike and scramble up 9,860-foot McGown Peak in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, involving about 3,500 vertical feet and 11 miles round-trip, about half of it off-trail, I put these new boots through every test from scrambling third-class rock to hiking at a fast pace on forest trails. And the Zen Pro Mid GTX passed with flying colors, proving itself an outstanding, all-mountain boot. Continue reading →

March 18, 2015 John Muir Trail at Thousand Island Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness, High Sierra, California.

Pro Tips For Buying the Right Boots

In Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Boots are the most important piece of hiking or backpacking gear you will buy: You can live with a mediocre pack or a cheap tent (as many of us have), but poorly fitting boots are often a trip ender. Trouble is, boots are also the most difficult piece of gear to get right. Getting a good fit is only the first step, and a good retailer should help you do that. (Don’t settle for a mediocre or poor fit in boots—if they don’t feel good, they aren’t.) The questions I get most often from readers focus on which type of boot to buy. Here’s what I’ve learned from two decades of testing and reviewing scores of shoe and boot models of all kinds. Continue reading →

February 19, 2015 Sahale Arm, North Cascades National Park.

Ask Me: Which Boots Cross Over Well From Dayhiking to Backpacking?

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Hi Michael,

I was wondering if you would recommend these Aku SL Sintesi Mid GTX boots for an average day of hiking as well as backpacking. I’m about to retire a pair of Merrells I’ve had for six years and my biggest complaint was that they were one dimensional, I took them backpacking, but they weren’t really sturdy enough. I am looking for a good, all-around boot that I could wear in intense, mountainous/snowy conditions or on a casual day of hiking with the family. I think I’ve narrowed down to these: Salomon Quest 4D GTX, Vasque St. Elias, and the Oboz Bridgers that you also reviewed. Any suggestions? Continue reading →

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Flow 35L Dry Pack

January 16, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Sea to Summit Flow 35L Dry Pack

Sea to Summit Flow 35L Dry Pack

Waterproof Backpack
Sea to Summit Flow 35L Dry Pack
$200, 2 lbs. 4 oz.
One size
seatosummit.com

We reached the first, deep pool of water that we had to swim across in the narrow canyon called the Subway, in the backcountry of Utah’s Zion National Park. I tucked my expensive camera gear inside my new Sea to Summit Flow 35L Dry Pack, with my food and extra clothing—and hoped this pack would prove true to the company’s claim of being infallibly watertight. (I did put my camera gear inside another dry bag first, of course.) Then I dropped into the frigid pool—wearing a dry suit—and kicked across it, floating the Flow. And yes, it did keep its contents completely dry—thankfully. But more than just a glorified dry bag with shoulder straps, it proved itself to be a solid and comfortable pack for hiking all day, too. Continue reading →

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