trail-running gear reviews

The Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell.

The Best Ultralight Hiking and Running Jackets of 2020

By Michael Lanza You’re out on an all-day hike in the mountains, or a long climb or trail run, or backpacking. The weather forecast looked pretty good before you set out—but no one shared that memo with the wind that just started hammering your summit ridge, or the spitting rain and hail now pelting you as you contemplate the sudden …

Read onThe Best Ultralight Hiking and Running Jackets of 2020

The Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket.

Review: Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket

Ultralight Rain Jacket Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket $159, 6 oz. (men’s medium) Sizes: men’s XS-XXL, women’s XS-XL backcountry.com When the cool mist got heavy enough that I needed more than a base layer on the first morning of a five-day backpacking trip on the Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park, I pulled on my Helium II Jacket and …

Read onReview: Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket

Backpackers using headlamps at a campsite in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, Yosemite National Park.

The 5 Best Headlamps of 2020

By Michael Lanza A headlamp is unquestionably essential gear for hiking, backpacking, climbing, trail running, ultra-running and ultra-hiking and other backcountry activities. But with the many choices out there, how do you choose which one to buy? Price? Brightness? Design and range of lighting modes? Go with a brand you know and trust? This review cuts through the information overload …

Read onThe 5 Best Headlamps of 2020

BioLite Headlamp 330

Review: The BioLite Headlamp 330

Rechargeable Headlamp BioLite Headlamp 330 $60, 2.4 oz. backcountry.com Few headlamps combine the attributes of being super ultralight, rechargeable, very bright, and having a long enough burn time (or charge duration) for a multi-day backcountry trip, but that’s exactly what you get with the BioLite Headlamp 330. For multiple backpacking trips this summer—including four days on Nevada’s Ruby Crest Trail, …

Read onReview: The BioLite Headlamp 330

The North Face Flight FutureLight Jacket

Review: The North Face Flight FutureLight Jacket

Ultralight Rain Jacket The North Face Flight FutureLight Jacket $280, 8.5 oz. (men’s medium) Sizes: men’s XS-XXL, women’s XS-XL backcountry.com When The North Face billed its Flight FutureLight Jacket as the most breathable rain shell the brand has ever brought to market, that naturally caused a stir in the outdoor industry—and made me eager to put it to the test. …

Read onReview: The North Face Flight FutureLight Jacket