Tag Archives: hiking gear reviews

Best New Gear of the Year: My Top 10 Favorites

July 8, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
MRS FlyLite

MRS FlyLite

By Michael Lanza

I’ve tested an untold number of new backpacks, boots, tents, jackets, and other outdoor gear and apparel over the past two decades, and I’ve seen the good, bad, ugly (the fishnet long underwear probably took first place in that category)—and the best of the best. So just as I posted not long ago a list of the 10 most-read gear reviews at The Big Outside by you, my readers, now I present my personal picks for my 10 favorite, new pieces of outdoor gear and apparel this spring and summer—the most innovative, top-performing, best-value stuff that’s worth spending your hard-earned dollars on. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Marmot Aquifer 24 Daypack

June 26, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Marmot Aquifer 24

Marmot Aquifer 24

Daypack
Marmot Aquifer 24
$129, 14L/1,465 c.i., 1 lb. 11 oz, (without Hydrapak reservoir, included)
One size
marmot.com

Wear a daypack for enough hours and you will know—maybe better than you want to—whether you love it, like it, or might chuck it off a cliff. I hauled Marmot’s Aquifer 24 hydration pack on a couple of ultra-hikes on opposite ends of the country, in very different terrain and climates: a 17-mile, 6,800-foot, 15-hour, June dayhike over four summits in the Northern Presidential Range in New Hampshire, and a 25-mile, roughly 4,000-foot, 12-hour, late-May dayhike off the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, to take a full measure of the Aquifer’s comfort and functionality. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX and Acrux FL Hiking Shoes

June 19, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe

Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe

Hiking/Approach Shoes
Arc’teryx Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe
$270, 2 lbs. 3 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s (Acrux FL GTX, $220) 5-12

Arc’teryx Acrux FL
$190, 1 lb. 14 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s 5-12
arcteryx.com

Is it possible for a shoe to be everything you need in backcountry footwear—and if so, what’s that worth? Those are the questions raised by Arc’teryx’s new Acrux2 FL GTX Approach Shoe and Acrux FL—both very “Arc’teryx” in their shoot-for-the-moon design and price. In pursuit of answers to those questions, I took both out on hikes intended to put the claims about these shoes to the test: ultralight backpacking the very rugged Royal Arch Loop in the Grand Canyon in the Acrux2 FL GTX, and dayhiking 17 miles through New Hampshire’s Northern Presidential Range, and Zion’s steep and scrambly Angels Landing, in the Acrux FL. Continue reading →

May 26, 2015 Trekkers outside a teahouse on Nepal's Annapurna Circuit.

Ask Me: What Pack Do You Recommend for Hut Treks?

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

Hi Michael,

Hope all is well. I’m looking for your opinion on a 30-liter pack. I am going to Nepal in October on a 15-day trek. I think this would be the perfect size for me, because also I like a little bigger daypack for my hikes in the White Mountains. I have an older Gregory Z30, and I just tried on the new one and like the new details, plus I sweat really badly on hikes. As always thank you in advance, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Mike
Everett, MA Continue reading →

Review: Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

May 22, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

Hybrid Insulation Jacket
Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody
$185, 10 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL, women’s XS-XL
outdoorresearch.com

On cool mornings in May while backpacking the Grand Canyon’s Royal Arch Loop, and in late March on a five-day, family backpacking trip down Paria Canyon on the Utah-Arizona border, I did something unusual: I started the day’s hiking wearing the same jacket I had worn while in camp, OR’s new Deviator Hoody. From cool-weather hiking to skate-skiing in winter, I liked the Deviator as a next-generation, hybrid insulation piece whose versatility is limited only by your creativity in thinking about your layering system. Continue reading →

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