Tag Archives: hiking gear reviews
$50, 3 oz. (with 3 AAA batteries, included)
On dark nights and early mornings from New Hampshire’s Presidential Range to Idaho’s Boise Mountains and New Zealand’s Kepler and Dusky tracks, and other trips, I needed a headlamp that was very light, reliable, versatile, and above all, bright. Vitchelo’s V800 met all of those standards, plus proved itself to be reliable and distinctly simple to use. Continue reading →
Water Filter Bottles
Aquamira Frontier Flow Filtered Water Bottle
$50, 7 oz.
20 oz./0.6L bottle capacity (with filter)
$35, 8 oz.
22 oz./0.65L bottle capacity (with filter)
Treating water in the backcountry has always been time-consuming—until now. From long dayhikes on and off-trail in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains and Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness to a four-day, 34-mile backpacking trip on the Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park in the Canadian Rockies, I used both of these bottles to obtain treated, drinkable water by simply bending down, filling the bottle in a creek, screwing the cap back on, and then immediately sipping from a straw—that’s it. Continue reading →
Arc’teryx Velaro 24
$175, 1 lb. 10 oz.
One size each in men’s and women’s models
I tend to be hard on gear, but especially daypacks, and rain or snow has never struck me as a reason to abort hiking plans. I also like daypacks that are lightweight without compromising on comfort or a basic degree of organization. Given those standards, I was intrigued by the Velaro 24’s nearly watertight and seemingly bulletproof design, and took it out on hikes from a rainy eight-miler with my family in Canada’s Yoho National Park to a 12-hour, roughly 14-mile and 5,000-foot, mostly off-trail dayhike and scramble in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, to see how it would measure up. Continue reading →
$210, 2 lbs. (men’s Euro 42/US 9)
Sizes: men’s Euro 41-47/US 8-12, 13, 14, women’s Euro 36-41/US 6-10.5
In their early days, approach-style shoes were basically rock-climbing shoes for easy routes that you could walk short distances in with marginal comfort. They have since evolved greatly into something designed more for hiking comfort and performance than for climbing. Much as I like climbing, that’s a smart evolution, in my opinion, because that turns them into all-mountain shoes ideal for hiking and scrambling long days in difficult, off-trail terrain—a task for which lightweight, low-cut hiking shoes can get trashed, and burlier boots are often too heavy and hot. (For skilled climbers, some approach models are also sticky and nimble enough for easy fifth-class routes.) But there’s still a tension between conflicting objectives with approach shoes: balancing walking comfort against design elements that protect your feet better, but can also make shoes heavier and hotter. With the low-cut Magix, Asolo seemed to take a shot at achieving that delicate balance, so I took them on several hikes, including a 12-hour, roughly 14-mile and 5,000-foot, mostly off-trail dayhike in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, to test whether they could deliver. Continue reading →
Leki Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles
$200, 1 lb./pair (without storage sack)
From a four-day trip backpacking the Rockwall Trail in Canada’s Kootenay National Park, and a seven-mile, 2,300-foot dayhike on the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park, to a rocky and often steep, 17-mile, 6,800-vertical-foot dayhike over the four summits of the Northern Presidential Range in New Hampshire, and an approximately 27-mile dayhike on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River Trail (and other dayhikes of up to 10 miles during a six-day rafting trip on the Middle Fork), the Leki Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles repeatedly demonstrated their usefulness and versatility. Continue reading →