backpacking gear reviews

The North Face Hyperlayer FD Short-Sleeve Crew and Flylow Hardcastle Short in the Grand Canyon.

The Best Base Layers, Shorts and Socks for Hiking and Running

By Michael Lanza

Let’s admit it: We don’t always take our base layers as seriously and we do our outerwear and insulation—or packs, tents, boots and other gear, for that matter. But this under-appreciated first stage in a layering system for the outdoors really sets the table for how comfortable you’ll be. Base layers that don’t perform well probably won’t kill you, but misery isn’t a good companion. This is what we wear against our skin. It matters.

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A backpacker hiking in rain on the Dusky Track in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

5 Expert Tips For Buying a Rain Jacket For Hiking

By Michael Lanza Choosing a waterproof-breathable rain shell for hiking, backpacking, climbing, or other outdoor activities can seem daunting. Prices range from under $100 to over $500, and weights from less than half a pound to over a pound. Some are loaded with features, others so minimalist they seem like a glorified trash bag. You’ll also find the full gamut …

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Backpackers hiking the Titcomb Basin Trail, Wind River Range, Wyoming.

The Best Trekking Poles of 2021

By Michael Lanza One of the most immutable truisms about hiking is this: Backpackers, dayhikers, climbers, mountain runners, and others who start using trekking poles almost never hit the trail without them again. No matter how much weight you’re carrying—from an ultralight daypack to a godawful heavy monster backpack—you will lessen your chances of an accidental fall and your leg …

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A backpacker on the Fisher Creek Trail in North Cascades National Park.

Review: 22 Essential Backpacking Gear Accessories of 2021

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. A quarter-century of field-testing gear—as the lead gear reviewer …

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The Osprey Atmos AG 65 backpack at the Maze Overlook in Canyonlands National Park.

Review: Osprey Atmos AG 65 and Aura AG 65 Backpacks

BackpackOsprey Atmos AG 65 and Aura AG 65$270, 65L/3,967 c.i., 4 lbs. 11 oz. (men’s medium)Sizes: men’s S-L, women’s XS-Mospreypacks.com A backpack is a little like a relationship: It’s hard to tell what it’s going to be like when you first meet, and then you get to know each other much better over time. But in that sense, the Atmos …

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