Gear Reviews

The Osprey Exos 58 in Glacier National Park.

The 10 Best Backpacking Packs of 2020

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 …

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The Osprey Archeon 70 backpack on the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier.

Review: Osprey Archeon 70 and Archeon 65 Backpacks

Backpack Osprey Archeon 70 and Archeon 65 $340, 68L/4,150 c.i., 5 lbs. 8 oz. (men’s S/M) Sizes: men’s S/M and L/XL, women’s XS/S and M/L backcountry.com Large backpacks may seem to some backpackers like the outdoor industry’s Ford Edsel—reflecting a style from a bygone era—and the clean, old-school, utilitarian look of Osprey’s Archeon series perhaps engenders that reaction. But don’t …

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Backpackers in upper Titcomb Basin, Wind River Range, Wyoming.

The Best Ultralight Backpacks of 2020

By Michael Lanza Do you need an ultralight backpack? Many backpackers might answer “no” when their answer should logically be “yes.” These packs aren’t just for thru-hikers. Typically weighing roughly between two and three pounds empty, ultralight packs have support for carrying 25 to 35 pounds—making them ideal for more than just ultralight backpacking. For many backpackers, that represents the …

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MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person backpacking tent.

Review: MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Backpacking Tent

Backpacking Tent MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person $450, 3 lbs. 8 oz. backcountry.com In exposed, windy campsites on backpacking trips in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness, Nevada’s Ruby Mountains, and Hells Canyon, the Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent not only passed that test of its sturdiness, it displayed the subtle reasons why it’s so comfortably livable for a midweight, three-season, freestanding …

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The Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell.

The Best Ultralight Hiking and Running Jackets of 2020

By Michael Lanza You’re out on an all-day hike in the mountains, or a long climb or trail run, or backpacking. The weather forecast looked pretty good before you set out—but no one shared that memo with the wind that just started hammering your summit ridge, or the spitting rain and hail now pelting you as you contemplate the sudden …

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