Tag Archives: ultralight backpacking gear reviews

Gear Review: The 5 Best Headlamps of 2018

October 6, 2018  |  In Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Clockwise from top left: Petzl Actik Core, Princeton Tec Vizz, Black Diamond Spot, Petzl Bindi, and Black Diamond Storm headlamps.

Clockwise from top left: Petzl Actik Core, Princeton Tec Vizz, Black Diamond Spot, Petzl Bindi, and Black Diamond Storm headlamps.

By Michael Lanza

How do you choose which headlamp to buy for hiking, backpacking, climbing, trail running, and other outdoor activities? Price? Brightness? Design and range of lighting modes? Go with a brand you know and trust? I’ve tested dozens of headlamps over the years. Here are my freshly updated picks for the five best models of 2018. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Princeton Tec Vizz Headlamp

October 4, 2018  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment
Princeton Tec Vizz

Princeton Tec Vizz

Ultralight Headlamp
Princeton Tec Vizz
$50, 3.2 oz. (including three AAA batteries)
nrs.com

Long a favorite headlamp of mine for backpacking or climbs or dayhikes that somehow stretched into the wee hours, the Vizz received an update in 2018 that made it the brightest three-ounce headlamp I’ve reviewed (three ounces being the standard in ultralight headlamps these days). The new Vizz still stands out for versatility and ease of use: You don’t need a Ph.D. in electronics to operate it. I’ve used it on numerous trips from Sequoia National Park, Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness, and Idaho’s White Clouds Mountains to, most recently, Glacier National Park with the 2018 version of the Vizz, and still consider it one of the best. Here’s why.
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Gear Review: Petzl Bindi Ultralight Rechargeable Headlamp

October 3, 2018  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Petzl Bindi ultralight headlamp

Petzl Bindi ultralight headlamp.

Ultralight Rechargeable Headlamp
Petzl Bindi
$60, 1.2 oz./35g
moosejaw.com

To get a backcountry headlamp that’s crazy ultralight, you have to ditch all superfluous parts, stripping it down to only what’s essential—the light and housing. With the rechargeable Bindi, Petzl created a super-ultralight headlamp by shrinking the housing and dropping two elements that comprise much of the weight of many three-ounce headlamps on the market today: the batteries and head strap (the latter replaced with an adjustable, stretch cord). The result is an uber minimalist light that weighs barely more than an ounce and fits in a closed fist, but proved very functional on predawn mornings and dark evenings in camp on a six-day backpacking trip in Glacier National Park in September. Continue reading →

Review: Gossamer Gear The One Ultralight Backpacking Tent

September 25, 2018  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Gossamer Gear The One ultralight backpacking tent.

Gossamer Gear The One ultralight backpacking tent in Glacier National Park.

Ultralight Backpacking Tent
Gossamer Gear The One
$300, 1 lb. 6 oz.
gossamergear.com

When the wind blew strong gusts on some nights during a six-day, north-south traverse of more than 90 miles on the Continental Divide Trail in Glacier National Park in September, I wondered out of self-interest how well Gossamer Gear’s The One would stand up to them—given its tall profile, lightweight materials, and design that utilizes trekking poles for pitching. As it turned out, I had no reason to worry. The One not only held up well, it demonstrated why it is quite possibly the best solo ultralight tent on the market today. Continue reading →

Review: Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket

September 20, 2018  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket.

The Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket in Glacier National Park.

Down Jacket
Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket
$309, 11 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
featheredfriends.com

From lunch stops at mountain passes buffeted by cold, autumn’s-around-the-corner winds in Glacier National Park in September, to cool mornings and evenings in camp on that six-day Glacier backpacking trip and a four-day August trip in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, the Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket persuaded me that it’s hands-down one of the very best puffy jackets on the market—and an incredible value at its price. I don’t offer such praise casually or very often. But there are few pieces of outdoor apparel or gear on which your money would be more wisely spent. Read on to learn why. Continue reading →

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