Tag Archives: hiking gear reviews

December 27, 2017 Boise Mountains, Idaho.

Review: The Best Gloves For Winter 2018

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By Michael Lanza

I love getting outdoors in winter, especially skiing in all of its varieties—climbing up and sliding down mountains in the backcountry, skate skiing, resort skiing with my family, and touring on gentler terrain in the forest. Problem is, I have the worst fingers for being outside in sub-freezing temperatures: My Raynaud’s disease is so bad that my fingers turn white and numb even when I’m chopping vegetables that are still cold from the fridge. That’s made me picky about gloves. I’ve tested many over the years, and I use different models depending on the activity and temperature. Here are the best gloves I’ve found for winter. Continue reading →

Gear Review: MSR Lightning Explore 22-inch Snowshoes

December 20, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
MSR Lightning Explore Snowshoes 22-inch.

MSR Lightning Explore Snowshoes 22-inch.

Snowshoes
MSR Lightning Explore 22-inch
$280, 3 lbs. 15 oz. (men’s), 3 lbs. 11 oz. (women’s)
Sizes: men’s and women’s 22-inch and 25-inch, men’s only 30-inch
backcountry.com

Here’s the thing about snowshoes: This isn’t rocket science. In fact, it’s not even bicycle science. The basic concept of the snowshoe has been around for at least 4,000 years. But while today’s models essentially resemble the footwear worn by ancient Eurasian hunters and others who were trying to mimic the oversized feet of snowshoe hares, they employ modern materials and designs, and they differ in purpose and details that affect performance noticeably in the backcountry. And that’s exactly where the Lightning Explore 22-inch snowshoes, um, float above the competition. Continue reading →

December 18, 2017 A backpacker at Park Creek Pass, North Cascades National Park.

The Best New Hiking and Backpacking Gear of 2017

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By Michael Lanza

Every year, I field test a lot of new gear and clothing for three-season hiking, backpacking, climbing, and winter backcountry activities. Much of it’s pretty good. But to be honest, only a small number rise to the level of excellent, either for technical innovation or simply coming at a task from a new angle that makes their performance superior to others. On those rare occasions, gear can actually make the experiences we seek better in some small way. For this article, I’ve picked out the best pieces of new outdoors gear and apparel that came out in 2017. Continue reading →

Gear Review: The 5 Best Headlamps of 2018

December 12, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Clockwise from bottom: Petzl Actik Core, Black Diamond ReVolt, Princeton Tec Sync, Black Diamond Spot, Princeton Tec Vizz.

Clockwise from bottom: Petzl Actik Core, Black Diamond ReVolt, Princeton Tec Sync, Black Diamond Spot, Princeton Tec Vizz.

By Michael Lanza

How do you choose which headlamp to buy for hiking, backpacking, climbing, trail running, and other outdoor activities? Price? Design and range of lighting modes? Go with a brand you know and trust? I’ve tested dozens of headlamps over the years. Here are, in my opinion, the five best models on the market today. Continue reading →

December 12, 2017 Trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Holiday Gift Guide 2017: 35 Great Outdoors Gifts

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By Michael Lanza

If you’re shopping for a gift for someone who loves the outdoors—or even for yourself—look no further. This list covers the top-performing products and best values I’ve found among the outdoor gear and apparel I’ve field tested over the past 12 months, including jackets, backpacks, a tent, a sleeping bag and air mattress, headlamps, trekking poles, climbing harnesses, and a pile of other stuff in a wide range of prices. Plus, many of them are available at deeply discounted sale prices right now, and you’ll find links to those sales below.

You just may finish all of your holiday shopping right here. Continue reading →

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Grand Canyon Hiker