Tag Archives: hiking gear reviews

Review: Best New Hiking Daypack of 2017, the Exped Skyline 15

August 9, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Exped Skyline 15 daypack.

Exped Skyline 15 daypack.

Daypack
Exped Skyline 15
$129, 2 lbs. 5 oz.
One size
moosejaw.com

Daypacks come in many sizes and designs these days, some for multi-sport use, some more specialized. But real technological innovation happens rarely in that market. Now comes Exped’s new Skyline 15, which, with one simple adjustment that takes a few seconds, essentially shape-shifts between two different types of pack. To see whether it really measures up to its promise, I took it out for a true test on a rugged dayhike in New Hampshire’s White Mountains on a day of hot temperatures and humidity. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Komperdell C3 Carbon Power Lock Trekking Poles

August 2, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Komperdell C3 Carbon Power Lock trekking poles.

Komperdell C3 Carbon Power Lock trekking poles.

Trekking Poles
Komperdell C3 Carbon Power Lock
$150, 1 lb./pair
backcountry.com

I know: Choosing trekking poles can feel a little like picking out the best straw from a dispenser in a restaurant—they all kind of look the same. But poles are not straws, of course; they differ, and finding a pair you like does depend on how you’ll use them. Taking the C3 Carbon Power Lock poles on a five-day, 80-mile backpacking trip in the North Cascades National Park Complex and a three-day, 40-mile hike in Utah’s Dark Canyon Wilderness (and my wife used them on a nine-day trek of the 105-mile Tour du Mont Blanc) convinced me that they compare favorably against more-expensive, top-performing, all-around trekking poles for dayhikers, backpackers, and climbers. Here’s why. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Oboz Crest Low BDry Hiking Shoes

July 19, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Oboz Crest Low BDry.

Oboz Crest Low BDry.

Hiking Shoes
Oboz Crest Low BDry
$150, 2 lbs. 5 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s US 8-14
backcountry.com

Finding one ideal shoe or boot to cover your feet for dayhikes in any conditions, and crossover to light backpacking, poses a real challenge. Finding one that achieves those lofty objectives at a relatively affordable price can feel like winning a lottery. Encouraged by its design and price—and having plenty of experience with other Oboz models—I wore the new Crest Low BDry on outings ranging from dayhikes in humid, hot Costa Rican rainforest to a three-day, 40-mile backpacking trip in May in Utah’s Dark Canyon Wilderness. I found much to recommend them and a couple of minor nitpicks. Continue reading →

Gear Review: The North Face Ultra Gore-Tex Surround Mid Hiking Boots

June 21, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
The North Face Ultra Gore-Tex Surround Mid boots.

The North Face Ultra Gore-Tex Surround Mid boots.

Hiking Boots
The North Face Ultra Gore-Tex Surround Mid
$190, 2 lbs. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s 5-11
backcountry.com

The heat and humidity fell onto us like a wet blanket; I broke into a sweat just lacing up my boots for the dayhike of 3,740-foot Cerro Chato, a dormant volcano with close-up views of its larger and more-famous neighbor, Arenal Volcano, in Costa Rica’s tropical Northern Lowlands. And yet, I wanted waterproof-breathable boots for Costa Rican trails notorious for slick mud. The crazy-steep path up Cerro Chato would not only challenge us physically, it would challenge the breathability of The North Face Gore-Tex Surround Mid boots. It would also help me assess whether these very lightweight mid-cuts are the answer to chronically wet hikes in persistently hot, humid conditions—which you don’t have to go to Central America to find, as any hiker in the Eastern U.S. can confirm. Continue reading →

Gear Review: 6 Favorite Hiking Daypacks

June 14, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   3 Comments
Exped Skyline 15 daypack.

Exped Skyline 15 daypack.

By Michael Lanza

What do you need a daypack for? That’s really the critical question to consider when choosing from the dozens of widely varying choices out there today, which range all over the map in terms of volume, weight, carrying capacity, features—and cost. Some are very specialized, others built as all-purpose dayhiking sacks, but still designed with an eye toward making them stand out from a crowded field.

I’ve picked out six favorite daypacks I’ve tested and reviewed at The Big Outside—all different enough from one another to offer you clear choices. Continue reading →

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Grand Canyon Hiker