Tag Archives: hiking shoes reviews

January 7, 2016 Dana Glacier from White Rock Lakes area, Ptarmigan Traverse, Glacier Peak Wilderness.

A Preview of This Year’s Best New Gear, Part 2

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By Michael Lanza

Thinking about buying a new tent, boots, or a shell jacket or insulation for the outdoors? Last August, I spent a couple of days exploring the Outdoor Retailer Show, checking out the best of the new products for hiking, backpacking, climbing, and other outdoor activities that will hit the market this winter and spring. In this story, I cover some of the most interesting new apparel, shoes, and boots, plus a sleeping bag and pad for this spring, many of which I’ll test and review later at The Big Outside. Continue reading →

December 23, 2015 Hiking above Columbine Lake, Sequoia National Park.

Ask Me: Seeking Breathable Boots For Carrying a Heavy Backpack

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Michael,

You answer a lot questions from people who want lighter footwear so maybe you won’t mind another. I grew up carrying heavy packs in big, burly boots. Most of my gear was built up over the years with backcountry hunting in mind. I’ve steadily cut the weight of my gear down over the years out of necessity. I have an ultralight pack the first two or three days of a hunt, and then if luck is with us on us, I add 100 pounds of game carried out over as many as three trips. For this reason, my boots have never made the same journey towards lighter that my other gear has. I’ve always worn a burlier waterproof boot that can cushion my feet and give stability for going back and forth with heavy loads over mixed terrain. Continue reading →

December 16, 2015 Backpackers on the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia National Park.

Why and When to Spend More on Gear, Part 2: Rain Jackets, Boots, and Sleeping Bags

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By Michael Lanza

You need a new rain jacket, or a pair of boots, or a sleeping bag—or more than one of those major outdoor gear expenditures. You’ve read some reviews. You’ve winnowed your short list to a handful of possible choices—with a significant difference in prices. That’s when you struggle with the question that pushes the frugality button in all of us: Why should I spend more?

As I wrote in the first story in this two-part series, over the course of two decades of testing and reviewing gear, I’ve learned what qualities separate the expensive from the moderately priced from the cheap—and when it’s worth spending more, and when it’s not (and the answer depends on what type of gear or apparel you’re buying). Before you spend another dime, read on. Continue reading →

Best New Gear of the Year: My Top 10 Favorites

December 2, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 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—the most innovative, top-performing, best-value stuff that’s worth spending your hard-earned dollars on. Continue reading →

November 25, 2015 Backpacking The Narrows, Zion National Park.

Buying Gear? Read This First

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By Michael Lanza

Are you in the market for a new pack or boots for hiking or backpacking, or a new tent or sleeping bag? How do you find something that’s just right for you? What should you be looking for? How much should you spend? These are questions I’ve heard from many friends and readers over the years as they’ve waded through the myriad choices that are out there. Here are my five top tips for buying gear that’s right for you, gleaned from lessons I’ve learned from two decades of testing and reviewing gear and helping people find gear they love. Continue reading →

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