Tag Archives: hiking gear reviews

March 12, 2019 The North Face Chimera 18 daypack.

Gear Review: The North Face Chimera 18 Daypack

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Daypack
The North Face Chimera 18
$100, 18L/1,098 c.i., 1 lb. 1 oz.
One size each in men’s and women’s models
Moosejaw.com

For many dayhikes, the best daypack is one that’s light, carries only what you need without superfluous capacity, and remains mostly unnoticeable on your back. I carried The North Face’s new and interesting Chimera 18 on several hikes, including a 21-mile, 10,500-vertical-foot, rim-to-rim dayhike across the Grand Canyon, and came away very impressed by its comfort with more weight than expected for a 17-ounce pack, plus its stability and surprising versatility for a range of hikers. Continue reading →

March 6, 2019 Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork trekking poles.

Review: Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

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Trekking Poles
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
$130, 1 lb. 2 oz. (140cm)
Men’s and women’s models, adjustable
Moosejaw.com

Sometimes it’s the subtle design features that distinguish one model of trekking poles from another. From winter dayhikes in New England and Idaho on trails that ranged from icy and snowy to dry, to a six-day, 94-mile backpacking trip through Glacier National Park, Black Diamond’s new Trail Ergo Cork poles excelled in nearly every measure of adjustable sticks designed for all-season, all-mountain use. Here’s why. Continue reading →

February 5, 2019 Boise Mountains, Idaho.

Review: The Best Gloves For Winter 2019

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By Michael Lanza

Looking for winter gloves that keep your hands warm and dry and are made with quality to last for years? As a professional gear reviewer who gets cold hands easily and spends many days outside in winter, from skiing in all of its forms to bike commuting, trail running, and working outside, I’ve used many types of gloves. I’ve learned a lot over the years about how to select gloves and which models perform best for specific uses. This review covers the best gloves I’ve found for winter, in several styles and degrees of warmth, for outdoor recreation as well as doing any kind of work outside. I’m confident you’ll find a pair here that meet your needs. Continue reading →

January 9, 2019 A backcountry skier in the High Sierra above Lake Tahoe.

Review: The Best Winter Hats of 2019

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By Michael Lanza

Do you love getting outdoors in winter? If so, then you know that, just like the rest of your body, your noggin needs protection from cold temperatures, wind, and precipitation at this time of year. But just as with your body core and extremities, how much insulation your head needs depends on ambient conditions like temperature and wind as well as your activity level—how much heat your body is producing. And it sometimes seems there are as many choices in head wear out there as there are heads.

Look no further. This review covers the best winter hats for all kinds of outdoor recreationists, including Nordic, backcountry, and downhill skiers, runners, snowshoers, fitness walkers, climbers, bike commuters, and others who stay active outdoors in the cold months. And if you’re simply looking for a warm hat at a good price, you’ll find those in this article, too. Continue reading →

December 12, 2018 Backpacking the Fisher Creek Trail, North Cascades National Park.

Review: 22 Essential Backpacking Gear Accessories of 2019

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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. Many years of field-testing gear have refined my sense of what I like on certain types of trips and what I will not do without anytime.

Here’s my freshly updated list of essential backpacking accessories, ranging from basics like my favorite stuff sacks, camp kitchen gear, water filters, and bear canister, to great values in a headlamp and knife, and what I sit on in camp and lay my head down on every night I sleep on the ground. You’ll find many of them available at discounted prices right now. Continue reading →

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