trail-running gear reviews

Mammut Kento Light HS Hooded Jacket.

Review: Mammut Kento Light HS Hooded Jacket

Ultralight Rain Jacket Mammut Kento Light HS Hooded Jacket $219, 5.5 oz. (men’s medium) Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s S-XL moosejaw.com When the sky darkened with foreboding, black and gray clouds that suddenly obliterated the sharply angled peaks flanking the John Muir Trail in the Evolution Basin of Kings Canyon National Park, I pulled on the ultralight Mammut Kento Light HS …

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Backpackers hiking the Titcomb Basin Trail, Wind River Range, Wyoming.

The Best Trekking Poles of 2023

By Michael Lanza

One of the most immutable truisms about hiking is this: Backpackers, dayhikers, climbers, mountain runners, and others who start using trekking poles almost never hit the trail without them again. No matter how much weight you’re carrying—from an ultralight daypack to a godawful heavy monster backpack—using poles will lessen your chances of an accidental fall and your leg muscles and joints, feet, back, and body will all feel better, thanks to the reduced strain, fatigue, and impact on them.

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The Biolite Headlamp 325.

Review: BioLite Headlamp 325

Rechargeable Ultralight Headlamp
BioLite Headlamp 325
$40, 1.8 oz.
bioliteenergy.com

Look for an ultralight headlamp built for backcountry use that’s under two ounces and $40 or less and you’ll find very few choices—with the BioLite Headlamp 325 arguably the best among them. Then consider that it sports a basic but functional set of lighting modes, cranks out enough brightness and lasts long enough on a full charge for backpackers, dayhikers, trail runners, and other backcountry users, and this slim light will look pretty good to many people who log significant hours on the trail.

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Salomon ADV Skin 12 running hydration vest.

The Best Running Hydration Vests of 2023

By Michael Lanza

Some ideas are so obviously better than everything that came before that the new thing just takes off: Many serious runners now recognize that the smartest way to carry water on a run—plus clothing layers and food on longer trail runs—is in a lightweight, streamlined, torso-hugging hydration vest. This review spotlights the best vests for trail running—how they differ in fit, comfort, capacity, and details—and offers expert advice on choosing the right one for your runs and dayhikes.

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Knog Bandicoot 250 ultralight headlamp.

Review: Knog Bandicoot 250 Ultralight Headlamp

Rechargeable Ultralight Headlamp
Knog Bandicoot 250
$45, 2.1 oz.
knog.com

When I reviewed this headlamp’s predecessor, the Bandicoot, I thought it was the kind of new product that had the potential to upend an entire category. After using the more powerful and comfortable Knog Bandicoot 250 on a nine-day hike of nearly 130 miles through the High Sierra in August, mostly on the John Muir Trail, I still think this technology is a game changer.

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