Tag Archives: backpack reviews

July 19, 2016 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 →

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry Climbing Pack

July 13, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry

Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry

Climbing Pack
Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry
$300, 70L/4,270 c.i., 3 lbs. 13 oz. (S/M)
Sizes: S/M & M/L (75L/4,575 c.i.)
backcountry.com

On a four-day, April ascent of the Mountaineers Route on California’s 14,505-foot Mount Whitney with my 15-year-old son, I carried this pack with over 40 pounds inside for the two-day hike to our 12,000-foot high camp, and then stripped it down to carry much less weight on our nine-hour summit day. I call it the Transformer of climbing packs. Its minimalist weight, modularity, and feature set make it, in many ways, ideal for multi-day, technical climbs. There are also compromises with a pack this light, which some climbers will find acceptable, others maybe not. Continue reading →

July 5, 2016 Besseggen Ridge, Lake Gjende, Jotunheimen NP, Norway

Video: How to Load a Backpack

In Backpacking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   7 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Wonder why I’m smiling in the above photo? Well, sure, two friends and I were hiking the incredibly scenic Besseggen Ridge in Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park; that had something to do with it. But the other big factor was that I was comfortable—and how well my pack carried had a lot to do with that. And how I loaded it greatly affected how well it carried on my back. In this four-minute video, I’ll show you how to properly load a backpack to make your trail miles much more enjoyable. Continue reading →

May 26, 2016 Near high base camp below Mount Whitney's East Face.

Review: Gear For Climbing Mount Whitney

In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

For our spring ascent of the Mountaineers Route on California’s 14,505-foot Mount Whitney—highest peak in the Lower 48—my 15-year-old son (in lead photo, above, approaching our high camp below Whitney’s East Face) and I used technical gear that you would use on many classic snow and glacier routes up peaks from Cascade Range volcanoes like Shasta, Hood, and Rainier to Mount Olympus, the Tetons, and the Alps. Here are my from-the-mountain observations about the gear that got us up and down Whitney, including backpacks, a mountaineering tent and boots, climbing hardware, super warm sleeping systems, and technical apparel. Continue reading →

Gear Review: REI Traverse 70 Backpack

May 11, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
REI Traverse 70

REI Traverse 70

Backpack
REI Traverse 70
$239, 4 lbs. 13 oz. (men’s medium, including rain cover)
Sizes: men’s S (66L/4,028 c.i., fits torsos 17-19 ins.), M (70L/4,272 c.i., fits torsos 18-20 ins.), L (74L/4,516 c.i., fits torsos 19-21 ins.)
rei.com

Much as I really prefer carrying a light backpack, I have many times hoisted a pack weighing 50 pounds or more, because sometimes that’s the price of a worthy adventure. With no water available along the route of my family’s late-March, overnight backpacking trip into the canyon of Utah’s Dirty Devil River—except the heavily silted river, which would strangle any filter—we had to carry all we’d need for two days. And guess who’s the family porter? As I loaded 15 liters of agua into the Traverse 70, I did some quick math: the liquid weight alone reached just about 32 pounds. With gear, food, and clothes, my pack tipped the scales at nearly 50 pounds. That’s a pretty good test for a pack that weighs under five pounds empty. Continue reading →

← Older posts