camping gear reviews

A campsite on the Dome Glacier., on the Ptarmigan Traverse in Washington's Glacier Peak Wilderness.

5 Expert Tips For Buying a Backpacking Tent

By Michael Lanza The choices in tents for backpacking seem to get better every year, with lightweight models continually getting lighter and other advances that make tents sturdier and more livable without adding weight. But with all the options out there, how do you choose? The answer is simpler than you might think: It comes down to understanding the key …

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Feathered Friends Hummingbird UL 30 sleeping bag.

Review: Feathered Friends Hummingbird and Egret UL Sleeping Bags

Ultralight Sleeping Bags Feathered Friends Hummingbird UL and Egret UL 30/20 $429, 1 lb. 6 oz. (men’s regular 30-degree) Sizes: men’s regular and long, women’s small and medium featheredfriends.com Sleeping bags often look very much alike—until you spend a night inside one and carry it in a backpack. That’s when the differences emerge, and besides price, those differences generally fall …

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Feathered Friends Snowbunting EX 0 sleeping bag.

Review: Feathered Friends Snowbunting EX 0 Sleeping Bag

Winter Sleeping Bag
Feathered Friends Snowbunting EX 0
$619, 2 lbs. 12 oz. (regular)
Sizes: regular and long ($644)
featheredfriends.com

On chilly nights of camping, nothing’s more popular than a fat sleeping bag. When sleeping outside in winter—or wintry temperatures—the Snowbunting EX 0 has become my bag of choice. Most recently, I slumbered peacefully and quite comfortably through three December nights without a tent outside a backcountry yurt in Idaho’s Boise Mountains—one of those nights dropping into the single digits Fahrenheit, and another featuring several hours of snow falling intermittently directly onto my bag, inside which I remained quite warm and dry. Super warm and well built, at a moderate weight, this bag functions well, depending on the user, for trips in temps from around its 0-degree rating to around freezing.

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Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite air mattress.

Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Air Mattress

Insulated Air Mattress
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite
$195, 9 oz. (regular, 20×72 inches, in its stuff sack)
Sizes: small (20×47 ins., $140), regular (20×72 ins.), large (25×77 ins., $210)
backcountry.com

As I was loading my backpack at the start of a six-day, 74-mile backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon, I smiled as I held the stuffed Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite air mattress in my hand; call me a gear geek, but unusually small ultralight backpacking gear just has that effect on me. One of my hiking mates glanced over and said, “Is that your air mattress?!” Yea, it’s that tiny. And if you’re serious about reducing your pack weight—as any backpacker should be—you should be taking a serious look at the NeoAir Uberlite. Here’s why.

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Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 32F/0C sleeping bag.

Review: Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 32F Sleeping Bag

Ultralight Sleeping Bag Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 32F/0C $360, 1 lb. 1 oz. (regular) Sizes: small, regular, long backcountry.com Why spend more money on a sleeping bag? Logical question, of course. But for any backpacker eager to shave a pound or more and significant gear volume from his or her backpack, an ultralight down bag offers one of the best ways of …

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