BioLite product reviews

A backpacker hiking the Highline Trail past Elbow Lake in Wyoming's Wind River Range.

25 Essential Backpacking Gear Accessories of 2023

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. Nearly three decades of field-testing gear—including the 10 years I spent as the lead gear reviewer for Backpacker magazine and even longer running this blog—has refined my sense of what I like on certain types of trips and what I will not do without anytime.

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The Biolite Firepit+

Review: BioLite Firepit+ Portable Backyard Fire Pit and Grill

Portable Backyard/Camping Firepit and Grill
BioLite Firepit+
$300, 20 lbs./9kg

Many of us learned a lot about what we liked during the pandemic and many of those newly discovered or rediscovered likes have stayed with us—like sitting out in the back yard to eat and socialize. We realized (or were reminded): Hey, it’s nice sitting out here! That included evenings when cool temperatures might have previously driven us indoors. So we sought ways to heat our domestic outdoor spaces. Enter the BioLite Firepit+, a more civilized and controllable evolution of the old stone-ringed (sometimes smoky and not very heat-efficient), backyard fire pit.

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Backpackers at night with headlamps in a campsite in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, Yosemite National Park.

The Best Headlamps of 2023

By Michael Lanza

A headlamp is unquestionably essential gear for hiking, backpacking, climbing, trail running, ultra-running and ultra-hiking and other backcountry activities that sometimes push into darkness (whether intentionally or not). But with so many to pick from, how do you choose which one to buy? Price? Brightness? Weight? Design and range of lighting modes? Go with a brand you know and trust? This review cuts through the information overload to help you pick the right headlamp for your adventures.

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The Biolite Headlamp 425.

Review: BioLite Headlamp 425

Rechargeable Ultralight Headlamp
BioLite Headlamp 425
$60, 2.75 oz./78g

What does the ideal backcountry headlamp look like? Many of us who find ourselves in wild spaces well before dawn or after dark might describe that headlamp as light, bright enough to see what lies at least 200 feet ahead of you (especially when off-trail), with a versatile set of lighting modes and brightness levels, easy to use, and rechargeable with sufficient juice to last several days. BioLite’s Headlamp 425 checks all those boxes and impressed me with its performance on backpacking trips in the Wind River Range in late summer and on a section of the Arizona Trail along the Gila River and in Arizona’s Aravaipa Canyon in the first week of April.

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The Biolite Headlamp 325.

Review: BioLite Headlamp 325

Rechargeable Ultralight Headlamp
BioLite Headlamp 325
$50, 1.8 oz.

Look for an ultralight headlamp built for backcountry use that’s under two ounces and $40 or less and you’ll find very few choices—with the BioLite Headlamp 325 arguably the best among them. Then consider that it sports a basic but functional set of lighting modes, cranks out enough brightness and lasts long enough on a full charge for backpackers, dayhikers, trail runners, and other backcountry users, and this slim light will look pretty good to many people who log significant hours on the trail.

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