trail-running gear reviews

Leki MC 12 Vario trekking and running poles.

Review: Leki MC 12 Vario Trekking and Running Poles

Trekking and Running Poles
Leki MC 12 Vario
$250, 15 oz./pair (men’s 110-130cm pair, without stuff sack)
Sizes: men’s 110-130cm, women’s 100-120cm
backcountry.com

If you think that nerding out on the “performance” aspect of trekking and trail-running poles just goes too over the top for you, don’t bother reading any further. But if you’re a serious hiker, trail runner, or backpacker who likes the idea of light, strong, adjustable, and very packable poles designed to help you conserve energy and possibly even move faster and go farther, you need to know about Leki’s innovative MC 12 Vario.

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Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 trail-running shoes.

Review: Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 and Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX

Trail Running/Hiking Shoes Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 $145, 1 lb. 4 oz. (US men’s 9) Sizes: US men’s 7-15, women’s 5-11 backcountry.com Hoka One One Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX $170, 1 lb. 10 oz. (US men’s 9) Sizes: US men’s 7-15, women’s 5-11 backcountry.com Comfort can prove an elusive quarry with footwear, especially for dayhikers and trail runners who …

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

The 5 Best Headlamps of 2021

By Michael Lanza

A headlamp is unquestionably essential gear for hiking, backpacking, climbing, trail running, ultra-running and ultra-hiking and other backcountry activities that sometimes push into darkness. But with so many to pick from, 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 to help you pick the right headlamp for your adventures.

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The North Face Hyperlayer FD Short-Sleeve Crew and Flylow Hardcastle Short in the Grand Canyon.

The Best Base Layers, Shorts and Socks for Hiking and Running

By Michael Lanza

Let’s admit it: We don’t always take our base layers as seriously and we do our outerwear and insulation—or packs, tents, boots and other gear, for that matter. But this under-appreciated first stage in a layering system for the outdoors really sets the table for how comfortable you’ll be. Base layers that don’t perform well probably won’t kill you, but misery isn’t a good companion. This is what we wear against our skin. It matters.

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The Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell.

The Best Ultralight Hiking and Running Jackets of 2021

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 …

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