Tag Archives: backpacking boots reviews

April 4, 2017 Timberline Trail, Mount Hood, Oregon.

Are You Still Wasting Money on Outdoor Gear?

In Gear Reviews, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

We all love getting out dayhiking, backpacking, climbing, trail running, paddling and doing other favorite activities. We need the right gear and apparel for it. That stuff costs money. So we have to make choices over what we need, what’s the best product among myriad models available, which of them are a good value, and what we can afford. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned about making those choices over more than two decades as a professional gear tester and reviewer, and explain why now is an ideal time to be gear shopping. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Asolo Thyrus Gv Boots

March 29, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Asolo Thyrus Gv

Asolo Thyrus Gv

Backpacking Boots
Asolo Thyrus Gv
$235, 2 lbs. 5 oz. (US men’s 8.5)
Sizes: US men’s 8-14, women’s 6-11
rei.com

I need a reason to wear leather boots, because they usually involve tradeoffs for their benefits: They tend to be too hot and heavy, especially for summer backpacking, when I often wear lightweight, synthetic mid-cut boots or low-cut shoes (depending on how much weight I’m carrying). But the Thyrus Gv felt so shockingly light for a leather boot, with a design that seemed to promise better breathability than is typical, that I decided to take them out on a five-day, 80-mile backpacking trip in the North Cascades National Park Complex in September—slogging long, sunny days through wet terrain, the best test of any leather boot. And these boots delivered on the promise in their design. Continue reading →

Shopping For Gear? Here Are the Best Deals on the Web Right Now

November 27, 2016  |  In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Gear Reviews, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Osprey Atmos AG 65

Click on this photo for a great price now on the Osprey Atmos AG 65 backpack.

By Michael Lanza

Readers often ask me for suggestions on good-quality gear for hiking and backpacking that’s affordable. They want to get outdoors, and they’re on a budget, but they don’t want gear or clothing that will fall apart on their second day using it. Right now’s your chance to score great deals, because many online retailers are holding holiday sales, with some of the best backpacks, tents, jackets, sleeping bags, boots, and other gear (much of which I’ve reviewed) available at big savings. Frankly, it’s arguably the best time of year to buy quality gear that rarely goes on sale. You’d be crazy not to take advantage of it.

I’ve scoured the websites I like and assembled below links to my recommendations for the gear I’d buy and suggest to friends. My advice: Grab it now, while it’s available at these prices. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Keen Aphlex Mid WP Boots

November 3, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Keen Aphlex Mid WP boots, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Keen Aphlex Mid WP boots, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Lightweight Boots
Keen Aphlex Mid WP
$160, 2 lbs. 3 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 6-15, women’s 6-11
backcountry.com

Lightweight, mid-cut boots at this price make up a competitive category of hiking footwear, and quality varies significantly. Many models are, frankly, made for first-time boot buyers and bargain shoppers who make a choice based on a couple of simple criteria: Whether the boots feel good (often achieved with plenty of foam padding, which doesn’t necessarily translate to good performance) and have any kind of waterproof-breathable membrane (a high-demand feature for hikers). To see whether Keen’s Aphlex Mid WP rose above all that mediocre chatter, I wore them on a two-day, 34-mile backpacking trip in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in mid-October, hiking long days with plenty of elevation gain and loss. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Garmont Trail Guide 2.0 GTX Boots

October 12, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Garmont Trail Guide 2.0 GTX.

Garmont Trail Guide 2.0 GTX.

Backpacking Boots
Garmont Trail Guide 2.0 GTX
$220, 2 lbs. 7 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: US men’s 7-13.5
moosejaw.com

Most boots designed for backpacking aren’t flashy in their design or technology—making it a challenge to distinguish them from one another. But some stand out for subtle reasons, a fact I was reminded of while wearing the Trail Guide 2.0 GTX on a three-day, roughly 23-mile, mid-August backpacking trip with my teenage son in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, carrying up to about 40 pounds in my pack. They delivered all that I usually look for in a backpacking boot, with a nice fit and a midweight package that doesn’t compromise on support or durability. Continue reading →

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