Tag Archives: backpacking gear reviews

July 11, 2018 The trail to Spider Gap, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Ask Me: An Essentials-Only Backpacking Gear Checklist

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Hi Michael,

Can you provide a good, basic gear list for three-season backpacking? Thanks.

Jody
Cibolo, TX Continue reading →

July 3, 2018 A campsite in Titcomb Basin, in Wyoming's Wind River Range.

Gear Review: The 5 Best Backpacking Tents of 2018

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By Michael Lanza

Time for a new backpacking tent? There’s hardly been a better time to get one. Whether you prioritize weight, living space, performance in foul weather, or unique features, tents for backpacking have seen great innovation and variety. In the competitive outdoor industry, designers keep making shelters that are lighter, stronger, and in many ways more livable.

For this article, I’ve picked out the five top-performing backpacking tents I’ve field tested and reviewed at this blog. I think you’ll find at least one that’s perfect for you—plus you’ll find some at great sale prices now (and links to those online retailers below). Continue reading →

June 28, 2018 Timberline Trail, Mount Hood, Oregon.

Are You Still Wasting Money on Outdoor Gear?

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By Michael Lanza

What if every time you laid down money for hiking, backpacking, or other outdoors gear, you always knew exactly what you needed and were invariably satisfied with your purchase for years afterward? What if you knew every time whether it was smarter to spring for the pricier piece of gear or go for the cheaper model? What if you always knew when and where to find the best gear at rock-bottom sale prices?

Read on to learn how you can become that expert gear buyer—just in time for ongoing gear sales at many online retailers. Continue reading →

June 27, 2018 Slingfin 2Lite Trek ultralight backpacking tent.

Gear Review: Slingfin 2Lite Trek Ultralight Backpacking Tent

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Ultralight Backpacking Tent
Slingfin 2Lite Trek
$329, 2 lbs. 6 oz.
slingfin.com

The world of ultralight backpacking tents can sometimes resemble a sort of Galapagos Islands of backcountry shelters, where odd-looking species evolve along a track (that probably defies some basic rules of evolution) toward competing goals of becoming stronger and incrementally larger while becoming lighter. Looked at from that perspective, the 2Lite Trek from Slingfin—a small company co-founded by a former Mountain Hardwear designer—doesn’t depart radically from traditional tents, other than pitching with trekking poles. But a unique design allowed it to stand up to winds of 30 to 40 mph in the Grand Canyon and Idaho’s City of Rocks. It’s also relatively roomy and featured for a two-person tent weighing under 2.5 pounds.

If a light pack on the trail is priority one for you, read on. Continue reading →

June 26, 2018 Backpacking the Fisher Creek Trail, North Cascades National Park.

Review: 22 Essential Backpacking Gear Accessories of 2018

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By Michael Lanza

Sure, your backpack, boots, tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, and other backpacking gear matter a lot, and you should put serious thought into your choices when buying any of them. But little things matter, too. Various necessary accessories, convenience items, and small comforts accompany me on backcountry trips. Many years of field-testing gear have refined my sense of what I like on certain types of trips and what I will not do without anytime.

Here’s my freshly updated list of essential backpacking accessories, ranging from basics like my favorite stuff sacks, camp kitchen gear, water filters, and bear canister, to great values in a headlamp and knife, and what I sit on in camp and lay my head down on every night I sleep on the ground. You’ll find many of them available at discounted prices right now. Continue reading →

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Grand Canyon Hiker