Expert, Field-Tested Reviews of the Best Hiking and Backpacking Gear
I tested and reviewed gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. On this page, you’ll find links to all of my reviews by categories, lists of my top picks, and my expert tips on how to buy the best gear for your needs.
Best in Class Gear
Don’t have time to read through multiple reviews? No worries, I’ve done the hard work for you. Here are my reviews of the best backpacking packs and tents, jackets, and other gear.
Make your next backpacking trip better with my “Top 5 Tips for Better Ultralight Backpacking.”
How Much Should You Spend?
Lots of us have to live within a budget. All of us want to get the best value. Experience has taught me when to find gear at the lowest prices, and when it makes sense to spend less or spend more on gear. Read these three articles for insights that will save you money and make you happy about what you buy.
What do you really need for backpacking? See my “Essentials-Only Backpacking Gear Checklist.”
Reviews by Gear Category
The numerous links below will give you menus of my reviews in each category, listed in order of the most-recently posted.
Get the right pack for you. See my “Gear Review: The 10 Best Packs For Backpacking”
and my “5 Tips For Buying the Right Backpack.”
How to Buy Gear
How do you choose the right pack, tent, boots, sleeping bag, and other gear for your needs? That depends on the type of hiking and backpacking you do. The stories linked below will help you make the best choices when buying gear.
Plan your next great backpacking adventure using my downloadable, expert e-guides.
Click here now to learn more.
See also my Ask Me: Gear page, where you’ll find a menu of all Ask Me posts about gear.
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