Gear Reviews

Backpackers watching sunset at a campsite in Titcomb Basin, Wind River Range, Wyoming.

The 7 (Very) Best Backpacking Tents of 2021

By Michael Lanza A good backpacking tent not only makes your trips more comfortable by keeping you warm and dry in foul weather—it’s critical safety gear and one of the heaviest and most expensive items you’ll carry. But how do you choose from the many models out there, which come in a huge range of designs, weights, and prices? Whether …

Read on

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 trail-running shoes.

Review: Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 and Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX

Trail Running/Hiking Shoes Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 $145, 1 lb. 4 oz. (US men’s 9) Sizes: US men’s 7-15, women’s 5-11 backcountry.com Hoka One One Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX $170, 1 lb. 10 (US men’s 9) Sizes: US men’s 7-15, women’s 5-11 backcountry.com Comfort can prove an elusive quarry with footwear, especially for dayhikers and trail runners who pile …

Read on

Backpackers at night with headlamps in a campsite in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, Yosemite National Park.

The 5 Best Headlamps of 2021

By Michael Lanza A headlamp is unquestionably essential gear for hiking, backpacking, climbing, trail running, ultra-running and ultra-hiking and other backcountry activities that sometimes push into darkness. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose which one to buy? Price? Brightness? Design and range of lighting modes? Go with a brand you know and trust? This review …

Read on

The Osprey Atmos AG 65 backpack at the Maze Overlook in Canyonlands National Park.

The 10 Best Backpacking Packs of 2021

By Michael Lanza Backpacks come in many sizes and designs for a reason: so do backpackers. Some of us need a pack for moderate loads, others for heavy loads, and still others for lightweight or ultralight backpacking. Some prefer a minimalist pack, others a range of features and access. Everyone wants the best possible fit and comfort, and almost everyone …

Read on

A backpacker hiking the Dawson Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

How You Can Tell How Warm a Down Jacket Is

By Michael Lanza While sleeping bags have temperature ratings, with down jackets and other insulated jackets, there exists no easy way to determine how warm any specific garment will be without wearing it outside. But despite the absence of a precise metric for gauging the warmth of down and synthetic puffy jackets, there are ways to assess a specific jacket’s …

Read on