camping gear reviews

Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Insulated Air Mattress

Review: Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Insulated Air Mattress

Insulated Air Mattress Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Insulated Air Mattress $180, 17.3 oz. (regular) Sizes: five unisex and two women’s-specific sizes backcountry.com What makes us sleep well in the backcountry? I contemplated that question after numerous, very peaceful nights of deep slumber on a river trip and a separate backpacking trip last spring, both in southern Utah. Certainly, …

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

Review: 24 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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Backpackers at night with headlamps in a campsite in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, Yosemite National Park.

The 5 Best Headlamps of 2021

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. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose which one to buy? Price? Brightness? 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 Sierra Designs Cloud 800 35-Degree sleeping bag.

Review: Sierra Designs Cloud 800 35-Degree Sleeping Bag

Ultralight Sleeping Bag Sierra Designs Cloud 800 35-Degree $300, 1 lb. 7 oz. (men’s regular) Sizes: men’s regular and long (35- and 20-degree), women’s available in 20-degree version backcountry.com Mummy-style sleeping bags deliver high efficiency for their weight because they trap heat so well—but can sometimes feel like they’re trapping you inside, too. Backpacking quilts mimic the feeling of sleeping …

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A campsite at night by the Colorado River at Hance Rapids in the Grand Canyon.

Ultralight Backpacking Tents: How to Choose One

By Michael Lanza Switching from a standard backpacking tent to an ultralight tent can shave pounds from your total pack weight—which for many backpackers will be the biggest step they can take toward a lighter pack. But it can be confusing to sort through the various ultralight tents out there, and the specs on them can look like a big …

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