Tag Archives: kids outdoor gear reviews

November 21, 2016 Below the East Face of Mount Whitney, High Sierra, California.

The World’s Best Holiday Gift Guide: 40 Top Picks in Outdoor Gear and Apparel

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By Michael Lanza

If you’re shopping for someone who loves the outdoors this holiday season… or, ahem, for yourself… look no farther. I’ve compiled my annual list of the best outdoor gear and apparel that I’ve used over the past 12 months. Two decades of gear testing has given me a pretty good eye for quality, I think. This list includes super values in jackets, backpacks, a tent, a sleeping bag and air mattress, trekking poles, climbing harnesses, snowshoes, rechargeable lanterns, a headlamp, knives, kids’ gear and apparel, and a pile of other stuff, as well as some neat stocking stuffers, and a huge range of prices. Plus, many of them are available at sale prices right now (I’ve indicated those below). You just might get all of your holiday gift shopping done right here. Continue reading →

November 20, 2016 Osprey Aura AG 65

Gear Review: The 10 Best Packs For Backpacking

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By Michael Lanza

Backpacks come in many sizes and flavors for a reason: so do backpackers. Some of us need a pack for moderate loads, others for heavy loads, while still others want a pack designed for lightweight or ultralight backpacking. Some prefer a minimalist design, others a range of features and access. Everyone wants the best fit and comfort they can find, and almost everyone has a budget.

I looked at all the backpacks intended primarily (if not exclusively) for backpacking that I’ve tested and reviewed at The Big Outside, and selected for this article 10 top performers that stand out for reasons that make each appeal uniquely to a certain type of backpacker, including kids of all ages. I think one of them will be perfect for you—possibly even more than one if, like me, you prefer different packs for different kinds of trips. Continue reading →

Review: Marmot Boy’s and Girl’s Guides Down Hoody

November 9, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Marmot Boy's Guides Down Hoody

Marmot Boy’s Guides Down Hoody

Kids Down Jacket
Marmot Boy’s and Girl’s Guides Down Hoody
$140, 1 lb. 6 oz. (XL)
Sizes: boys XS-XXL, girls XS-XL
backcountry.com

When the long shadow of dusk fell and the temperature plummeted at our successive campsites at over 10,000 feet and at 12,000 feet during a four-day climb of the Mountaineers Route on California’s 14,505-foot Mount Whitney in April, my 15-year-old son zipped up his Boy’s Guides Down Hoody and stayed perfectly warm. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Gregory Wander 70 Kids Backpack

September 28, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Gregory Wander 70

Gregory Wander 70

Kids Backpack
Gregory Wander 70
$189, 70L/4,272 c.i., 3 lbs. 10 oz.
One size, adjustable
backcountry.com

There are a couple of groups of people who often have trouble finding a backpack that fits them and functions well: young teenagers and small adults, especially women. Gregory tackles this dilemma head on with the Wander pack series. So I had my 15-year-old son and a woman friend who’s short and slightly built test out the Wander 70 on backpacking and hut trekking trips—and both really liked it. Here’s why. Continue reading →

May 1, 2016 Backpacking The Narrows, Zion National Park.

Buying Gear? Read This First

In Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Are you in the market for a new pack or boots for hiking or backpacking, or a new tent or sleeping bag? How do you find something that’s just right for you? What should you be looking for? How much should you spend? These are questions I’ve heard from many friends and readers over the years as they’ve waded through the myriad choices that are out there. Here are my five top tips for buying gear that’s right for you, gleaned from lessons I’ve learned from two decades of testing and reviewing gear and helping people find gear they love. Continue reading →

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