Tag Archives: hydration pack reviews

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

The Best New Hiking and Backpacking Gear of 2017

In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

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 6 Best Hiking Daypacks of 2018

December 5, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   3 Comments
The best new hiking daypack of 2017, the Exped Skyline 15 daypack.

The best new hiking daypack of 2017, the Exped Skyline 15 daypack.

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.

Continue reading →

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: Osprey Talon 22 and Tempest 20 Daypacks

May 17, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Hikers testing the Osprey Tempest 20 on Telescope Peak, Death Valley National Park.

Hikers testing the Osprey Tempest 20 on Telescope Peak, Death Valley National Park.

Daypacks
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
backcountry.com

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 →

April 9, 2017 5 Tips For Buying the Right Backpack

Top 5 Tips For Buying the Right Backpacking Pack

In Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   6 Comments

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 →

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