Feathered Friends sleeping bag reviews

Backpackers on the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon.

The Best Backpacking Gear of 2022

By Michael Lanza

The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. The Wonderland Trail. The Teton Crest Trail. Yosemite. The Grand Canyon. Glacier National Park. The Ruby Crest Trail. The Pasayten Wilderness. Yellowstone. The Wind River Range. The North Cascades. Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. The High Uintas Wilderness. The Tour du Mont Blanc. These are just some of the numerous places where I’ve tested the backpacking gear you see reviewed at The Big Outside. I treat gear roughly in places that are hard on outdoor gear and apparel so that I can give you brutally honest and thorough, field-tested opinions that help you make the best gear choices for your adventures.

And that’s exactly how I came up with these picks for today’s best backpacking gear.

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A backpacker on the John Muir Trail overlooking the Cathedral Range in Yosemite National Park.

The Best Backpacking Gear for the John Muir Trail

By Michael Lanza So you’re planning to thru-hike the John Muir Trail and making all of the necessary preparations, and now you’re wondering: What’s the best gear for a JMT hike? Having thru-hiked the JMT as well as taken numerous other backpacking trips all over the High Sierra—mostly between late August and late September, which I consider that the best …

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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 $459, 1 lb. 5 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)

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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Near high base camp below Mount Whitney's East Face.

Review: Gear For Climbing Mount Whitney

By Michael Lanza

For our spring ascent of the Mountaineers Route on California’s 14,505-foot Mount Whitney—highest peak in the Lower 48—my 15-year-old son (in lead photo, above, approaching our high camp below Whitney’s East Face) and I used technical gear that you would use on many classic snow and glacier routes up peaks from Cascade Range volcanoes like Shasta, Hood, and Rainier to Mount Olympus, the Tetons, and the Alps. Here are my from-the-mountain observations about the gear that got us up and down Whitney, including backpacks, a mountaineering tent and boots, climbing hardware, super warm sleeping systems, and technical apparel.

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