Tag Archives: Arc’teryx gear reviews

August 31, 2017 Nevada Fall, Half Dome, and Liberty Cap from the John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park.

Ask Me: What Gear Do You Suggest For Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hello Michael,

I read your article about ultra-backpacking and how you did the John Muir Trail in seven days. I am planning on doing it, but would like to know, for an ultralight backpacker, what items did you use for tent, sleeping bag, etc.? And any feedback or thoughts that you have that would be beneficial for me would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Joei
Covina, CA Continue reading →

Ask Me: The Best Hiking Shoes For Zion’s Angels Landing

June 1, 2017  |  In Ask Me, Gear Reviews, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Hikers on Angels Landing in Zion National Park.

Hikers on Angels Landing in Zion National Park.

Hi Michael,

My wife and I really enjoy your website and excellent gear reviews. Thank you! We are headed to Zion National Park in September and looking for footwear for the Angels Landing hike. Can you recommend approach/hiking shoes that won’t wear our feet out on the way up and provide great traction for that last half-mile up the narrow spine to the summit? I would consider a mid-cut for ankle support if they were light enough, otherwise low-cut is fine. Continue reading →

The 5 Best Rain Jackets for the Backcountry

May 10, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Patagonia Pluma Jacket.

Wearing the Patagonia Pluma Jacket on the Tour du Mont Blanc.

By Michael Lanza

Shop for a rain jacket for the backcountry and you’ll see shells for adults ranging in price from under $100 to over $600, in weight from less than half a pound to over a pound—and just as huge and confusing a range of opinions on them from reviewers and consumers. I’m going to make the choice simple for you. I’ve tested dozens of rain shells over the past two decades, at all price points, from many brands you know and don’t know. Hiking through soaking rains all over the world has shaped what I look for in a jacket.

Here are my picks for the five best rain jackets available today, ranging in price from $275 to $425—with great deals available right now on some of these top-performing shells. I think you’ll find one of them is just right for you. Continue reading →

April 5, 2017 Osprey Aura AG 65

Gear Review: The 10 Best Backpacking Packs

In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   12 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Backpacks come in many sizes and flavors for a reason: so do backpackers. Some of us need a pack for moderate loads, others for heavy loads, while still others want a pack designed for lightweight or ultralight backpacking. Some prefer a minimalist design, others a range of features and access. Everyone wants the best fit and comfort they can find, and almost everyone has a budget.

I looked at all the backpacks intended primarily (if not exclusively) for backpacking that I’ve tested and reviewed at The Big Outside, and selected for this article 10 top performers that stand out for reasons that make each appeal uniquely to a certain type of backpacker, including kids of all ages. I think one of them will be perfect for you—possibly even more than one if, like me, you prefer different packs for different kinds of trips. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Arc’teryx Bora AR Backpacks

March 7, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Arc'teryx Bora AR 50 backpack.

Arc’teryx Bora AR 50 backpack.

Backpack
Arc’teryx Bora AR 50
$499, 50L/3,050 c.i., 4 lbs. 13 oz. (men’s regular)
Sizes: men’s and women’s regular and tall
backcountry.com

The 9.6 miles and 3,000 vertical feet from Junction Camp to Park Creek Pass in North Cascades National Park seemed endless and relentlessly steep at times, when a friend and I hiked it on the second morning of a five-day, 80-mile backpacking trip in late September. The thunderous waterfalls, views of glaciers and jagged peaks, and golden fall color in the larch trees validated the harshness of that ascent. But for me, that climb and that trip’s long days were softened mostly by the carrying comfort of the new Bora AR 50 backpack—which, not surprisingly, given the brand, deploys some cutting-edge technologies to justify a stout sticker price. Continue reading →

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