Tag Archives: hydration pack reviews
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 →
By Michael Lanza
Choosing a daypack for hiking can seem simple—until you see the dozens of choices out there today, which range all over the map in terms of volume, weight, carrying capacity, features, and cost. Before buying, consider what you need a daypack for. How much stuff will you carry? That partly depends on where, when, and how far you hike. What kind of pack design suits your dayhiking style: low- or high-capacity? Lightweight and minimalist, or with an assortment of pockets and features? Built for hard abuse, or mostly for cruising good trails?
The six daypacks in this review stand out as the best available today—and they’re all different enough from one another to offer you clear choices to help you find the right pack for your dayhiking adventures.
Plus, right now, you’ll find some of them at sharply reduced sale prices.
Exped Skyline 15
$129, 2 lbs. 5 oz.
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 →
Osprey Talon 22 and Tempest 20
$110, 20L/1,220 c.i., 1 lb. 11 oz. (men’s S/M)
Sizes: men’s S/M and M/L, women’s XS/S and S/M
Daypacks are a little like flavors of ice cream—there’s something for everyone’s taste, and they vary so greatly that you can get to feel like one isn’t nearly enough. So how do you find the right model when you want a quiver of one daypack for all purposes? In pursuit of the answer to that enduring philosophical conundrum, I carried Osprey’s Talon 22 on a dayhike to the highest point in California’s Death Valley National Park, 11,049-foot Telescope Peak, and on dayhikes during a family trip to Costa Rica, including the crazily steep and rugged peak Cerro Chato. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
If you’re super fit and strong, young, hike with a pack of any weight 50 or 100 days a year, and have never known any sort of injury or ache in your body, then don’t bother reading this article. But for everyone else, knowing how to find the right backpack for your activities and your body will make a world of difference in your enjoyment when carrying that pack for hours a day on a trail or up and down a mountain. The following tips reflect what I’ve learned about finding the right pack from hundreds of days testing all manner of daypacks, backpacks, climbing packs, and ski packs for more than two decades. Continue reading →