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Apparel



Gear Review: Salomon Tour Hardshell

Favorite all-season shell

Gear Review: Redington SonicDry Crew/Pant

Baselayers that move with you.

Gear Review: Icebreaker Tracer/Rush Tights

These do-it-all midweights worked overtime for our testers, performing well both alone and layered under shell pants.

Field Test: All-Purpose Trail Clothes

Our crew of Grand Canyon rangers spent 520 days in the backcountry to find the best three-season wardrobe.

Tech Talk: The Science Behind Synthetics

The differences between nylon and polyester workout gear.

Gear Review: Trail Shorts & Hiking Tops

Two his-and-her options for trail shorts and tops.

Gear Review: Merrell Ngeo Crew

This super soft synthetic crew shirt has excellent wicking and quick-drying properties.

Gear Review: GoLite Koli Wool Baselayer Shortsleeve

A stink-free wool baselayer that's perfect for multiday backpacking trips.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Voodoo Pants

The Voodoos cast a three-part spell of comfort, durability, and function.

Gear Review: Marmot Stride Jacket

This souped-up windshirt is the latest iteration of the DriClime.

Gear Review: Grivel G10 Crampons



Gear Review: Kahtoola K-10 Hiking Crampons



Gear Review: Kahtoola MICROspikes



Gear Review: Kako Diamond Grip Icetrekkers



Gear Review: STABILicers Lite



Editors' Choice 2013: Eddie Bauer First Ascent Accelerant Jacket

Discover extreme versatility: You'll find a reason to wear this mid- and outer layer 12 months a year.

Gear Guide 2013: Shells

Stay dry and warm with core protection for any weather.

Gear Review: Millet Tech Stretch Top

Warm and snug, this baselayer from Millet will keep you happy at any altitude.

Gear Review: SmartWool Lightweight Crew Baselayer

Experience all of the comfort with none of the smell with this SmartWool baselayer.

Gear Review: Kühl Raptr Pants

Trek everywhere with assurance with the durable and stylish Kühl Raptr Pants.

Gear Review: Three Essential Socks

Find the best socks for any occasion and preference.

Gear Review: The North Face Verto Micro Hoodie

This hybrid hoodie from North Face will keep you comfortable in changing conditions.

Gear Review: Merino Midlayers

Get year-round versatility for travel, trail, or town.

Gear Review: Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody

A versatile fleece midlayer that performs like outerwear.

Gear Review: Rab MeCo 250 Long Sleeve Zip Tee

An ultralight turtleneck that is 65 percent merino and 35 percent Cocona polyester.

Gear Review: SmartWool PhD SmartLoft Divide Full Zip

A versatile jacket that's comfy in temps from 20 to 60.

Gear Review: Icebreaker Sierra/Cascade Long Sleeve Hood

A mideweight merino layer perfect for on or off the mountain.

Gear Review: Ibex Scout/Alana Full Zip

A low-bulk merino sweater that can handle cardio workouts.

Gear Review: Rab Generator Alpine Jacket

A jacket revered by a search-and-rescue team.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Dome Beanie

A slim, 100-percent polyester skull cap.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Hardshells

Stay protected from the elements with these nine hardshell picks.

Gear Review: Wild Things Alpinist Hardshell Jacket

A super breathable hardshell that also offers great protection.

Gear Review: Millet Davai GTX Hardshell Jacket

A jacket burlier enough for a BASE jumper.

Gear Review: Patagonia Troposphere Hardshell Jacket

A shell that offers winter-worthy protection at a year-round weight.

Gear Review: Marmot Speed Light Women's Hardshell Jacket

A great fitting, great performing jacket for the ladies.

Gear Review: The North Face Split Hardshell Jacket

A lightweight hardshell for under $200.

Gear: Ultralight Layers

Stay comfortable and carry less with these versatile, all purpose pieces.

Gear Review: 3 Sweet Deals

Get performance summer apparel for less.

Gear Review: Ultralight Layers

Stay comfortable in summer and beyond with these lightweight, high-performance pieces.

2012 Father's Day Gift Guide

Skip the new wrench sets and the flowery ties. Give the man on your list something that he’ll really be stoked about. We’ve got a slew of great dad-tested gift ideas starting at $20

Trail Running Apparel: Jacket, Shorts, Hydration Pack

These three key pieces will keep you comfortable on the trail.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Alpha SL Hybrid

A do-it-all hardshell for wilderness warriors who want four-season versatility in a light, packable, and impeccably cut package.

Gear Review: First Ascent MicroTherm Down Hoodie

A featherweight, 800-fill puffy

Editors' Choice 2012

From a smart-and-light pack to a groundbreaking backcountry communicator, here are the 12 products that passed the ultimate gear challenge.

Gear Guide 2012: Balega X Athlete Multisport Crew Socks

These socks use a fabric that promotes airflow without sacrificing comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: FITS Performance Trail Socks

Manage moisture with these lightweight, low-cuff socks.

Gear Guide 2012: Cabelas E.C.W.C.S. Thermal Zone Polartec Power Dry Baselayers

These no-bulk baselayers provide warmth when you need it and breathability where you don't.

Gear Guide 2012: Duofold Champion Varitherm

These baselayers deliver great moisture management and a skin-tight fit.

Gear Guide 2012: Polarmax TransDRY Cotton Underwear

Water-repelling fabric allows for these cotton briefs to wick moisture and keep you dry.

Gear Guide 2012: Helly Hansen Odin Quick-Dry Pant

With custom sizing and smart features these quick-dry pants are a must-have.

Gear Guide 2012: Patagonia ULW Merino Crew Socks

Prevent blisters with these liner socks.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Hardwear Rifugio Trek Shorts

These shorts are made to handle heat with a barely-there feel.

Gear Guide 2012: Stoic Microlith Softshell Pant

Keep comfortable in warm or cold with these no zip pants.

Gear Guide 2012: The North Face Think About It Jacket

This full-zip jacket combines protection and warmth to create a great go-to jacket for staying warm.

Gear Guide 2012: Women's Gear

From a pack that accommodates curves to two sports bras that go the distance, we've rounded up our favorite women's gear of the year.

Gear Guide 2012: Icebreaker Sprite Racerback Bra and Moving Comfort Serena

Whether you're looking for all-day comfort or maximum support, we found two backpacking-friendly sports bras

Gear Guide 2012: Terramar HotTotties Thermolator Pro Crew and Tight Baselayers

HotTotties is Terramar's women's-only line, and it emphasizes femme-specific fit details–this top and bottom set is no exception.

Gear Guide 2012: Arc'teryx Palisade Capri

Short pants that offer a blend of performance and style.

Editors' Choice 2012: Kühl Liberator

Zip-off pants? Yes, thanks to convertibles that finally bring form to the function.

Gear Guide 2012: Charts

All the great gear specs you're used to seeing in the Gear Guide - now in an easy-to-print digital format.

The World's Best Performance Shirts

We tested more than 100 samples to find the best tops that breathe, wick, resist wear and tear, and keep you looking smart wherever the trail takes you.

Gear Review: MontBell Wickron T

A super soft tee that feels like cotton but is really a quick-dry performance synthetic

Gear Review: SmartWool Teller/Cortina Tech Tee

A wool/poly blend that dries fast and doesn't feel itchy

Gear Review: White Sierra Kalgoorlie Long Sleeve Shirt

This long-sleeve top with UPF 30 keeps you cool and burn free.

Gear Review: Ibex Ace/Ciara Button-down Shirt

This stylish button-down shirt is loaded with performance features

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Motus Crew SS

This t-shirt was voted our "best synthetic"

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: An iPhone case that's photo-taking friendly

Sea to Summit makes a fingers-friendly, waterproof iPhone case, and Arc'teryx unveils a new hoody to covet.

Reader Extreme Makeovers: Layering Systems

This reader's wardrobe was letting her down on the trail. We outfitted her in some comfy boots with a versatile clothing layering system.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man/Woman Jacket

Warning: Wearing this jacket will encourage complete strangers to pet you.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Editors' Picks

The editors of Backpacker and Climbing weigh in on their favorite pieces of gear and gadgets.

Editors' Picks with Senior Online Producer Katie Herrell

A cozy hat and a cozy jacket for our always-cold staffer.

Editors Picks' with Senior Editor Shannon Davis

This hard-charging editor needs gear that can stand up to long, hard days.

Editors' Picks with Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter

Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter with her favorite gear picks for 2011.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Patagonia Fezzman Short Sleeved Shirt

A shirt that does dayhike and "meet the parents" equally well.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Gloves & Mittens

Keep your digits warm through any cold-weather outing.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Touchtec Sensor Glove

Thanks to specially treated leather on the palms and fingertips, these gloves are gadget friendly...but still warm.

Gear Review: SCOTT Roam

A versatile helmet that can cover deep freeze to shoulder season.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Mt. Baker Modular Mitt

Two-layer insulated mitts lined with both synthetic fill and fleece.

Gear Review: Shredalert Smith Rock Micro Beanie

A great lightweight lid for any cool weather outing or high-rpm activity in deep cold.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Enforcer Waterproof Gloves

Great winter climbing gloves thanks to a Gore-Tex lining and EVA padding across the knuckles.

Gear Review: Chaos Spruce Recycled Cashemere Hat

An 80-percent recycled cashmere hat delivers a bit of backcountry luxury.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen HH Dry Balaclava

Made with Helly Hansen's Lifa material, this balaclava wicks and dries super quickly.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Venta LT Gloves

Leather/softshell gloves that weigh less than a Clif bar.

Gear Review: SmartWool Reversible Training Beanie

This 100-percent merino cap will be your go-to three-season and winter-workout hat.

Gear Review: Stoic Forge Gloves

These all-purpose gloves cost less than $90.

Gear Review: Fjällräven Skare Softshell

A 93-percent nylon, double-woven cap that is extremely lightweight and low profile.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Roj Headband

A super wide ear band with a brim that blocks sun while encouraging air flow.

Gear Review: Ibex Tuck Softshell Jacket

A weather-resistant softshell that has strong moisture and odor control.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Snowtastic Jacket

A softshell jacket made for skiing

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Savage Softshell Jacket

A softshell with full-length side zips for great ventilation

Gear Review: Sherpa Adventure Gear Lobutse Softshell Jacket

A softshell jackets that's not too heavy, warm, bulky, or expensive

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Venta MX Hoody

A softshell with a hood that's ready for any weather condition

Gear Review: Marmot Zion Waterproof Softshell Jacket

Breathable and supple with the waterproofness of a hardshell.

Gear Review: REI Centre Peak Softshell Jacket

A softshell that's weather resistant and super breathable.

Gear Review: Rab Fusion Softshell Jacket

The ideal jacket for high-effort pursuits in wet snow and drizzle

Gear Review: Patagonia Super Alpine Bibs

Bibs built for the worst of conditions.

Gear Review: REI Mistral Hiking Pants

Made for cold-weather hikes and cruiser snowshoe tours where ski pants seem like overkill.

Gear Review: MontBell U.L. Down Inner Pants

Five-ounce down pants that provide instant warmth after bone-chilling hikes.

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Trail Model Rain Jacket

Absolute rain protection in a well-priced package

Gear Review: Stoic Vaporshell Hardshell Jacket

This shell is a good lightweight option for when you hit showery weather and need solid waterproofness and breathability.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Paladin Hardshell Jacket

A super durable jacket for the multisporter

Gear Review: Rab Stretch Neo Jacket

A super breathable jacket for those foggy, humid hikes

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Beta FL Hardshell Jacket

A streamlined shell that achieves a low weight-to-performance ratio without scrimping on features.

Gear Review: Mammut Felsturm Half-Zip Jacket

Winner of our 2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Ampato Jacket

A jacket that combines packablity, breathability, and durability, all at a great price.

Gear Review: Patagonia Super Pluma Jacket

This hardcore shell has everything you need to weather a monster blow without weighing you down

Gear Review: Adidas Terrex Swift 3in1 Jacket

A convertible jacket that doesn't compromise

Gear Review: Mammut Eiger Extreme Nordwand Jacket

A jacket made for a mountaineer

Gear Review: Icebreaker Spring Boxer Brief and Pace Hipster

Don’t muck up the performance of your pants by wearing cotton undies underneath.

Gear Review: Mammut Moench Zip Tee

This baselayer fits like a cycling skin suit without looking like underwear

Gear Review: Patagonia Merino 3 Midweight Hoody

You’ll get your money’s worth out of this spendy but multifunctional merino hoody

Gear Review: Mammut Eisfeld/Eismeer Softshell Pants

Tough, weather-resistant, and stretchy, these pants are also supremely breathable.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Dry Revolution Pant



Gear Review: SmartWool Lightweight Asymmetrical Zip Baselayer

This midweight merino top sports a hidden 7-inch diagonal zip

Gear Review: Beyond RoughRider/Steel Pants

Beyond creates custom-made trail clothes at a remarkable price.

Gear Review: Columbia Omni Heat Half-Zip Baselayer

With Columbia’s Omni-Heat technology you get the warmth of a much thicker baselayer from a thin fabric

Gear Review: Injinji Performance Series Orginal Weight Mini-Crew Socks

Toe socks that give you the benefits of barefoot running with the comfort of socks.

Gear Review: Craft Concept Piece



Gear Review: Fox River Cirrus/Sierra Socks

A sock made for those in-between days.

Gear Review: Fox River Mammoth Ski Socks

These lightweight ski socks are warm, snug, and boot bang friendly.

Gear Review: Darn Tough True Seamless Mesh Socks

A seamless sock that's blister proof.

Gear Review: Dakine Chester/Cheyenne Shirt

It looks like a button up, but is amazingly functional in the backcountry

Gear Review: FITS Hiker Crew Medium Socks

These super cushy socks provide all-day comfort.

Gear Review: REI Merino Wool Hoodie

This fine-gauge merino feels like my coziest pajamas.

Gear Review: Backcountry Skirts

Three skirts for conquering the backcountry with a dash of feminine style.

Gear Review: Patagonia Lightweight Sun Hoody

This polyester jersey is loose and meshy while still being a great sun barrier.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Vigor Jacket

An extremely lightweight and tough jacket that's only $70.

Gear Review: Patagonia Nine Trails Jacket

This hoodless Patagonia jacket is extremely breathable.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Shadowland Jacket

A windproof jacket with a warm, brushed tricot lining.

Gear Review: GoLite Kenai Jacket

This waterproof, windproof jacket loves crappy weather.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Celeris Jacket

A great jacket for trail runners at only five ounces.

Gear Review: Tilley TWP1 Waterproof Hat

A fully-featured topper, the Tilley TWP1 waterproof hat has enough style to satisfy even the snobbiest hiker.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Gnar Hoody

Throw the 800-fill Sierra Designs Gnar Hoody for a cozy extra layer.

Gear Review: Empire Canvas Works Wool Blanket Shirt

A retro-looking (albeit heavy) coat that stands up to wintry weather and hard work.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: CAN'T GO WRONG

Socks to hats to sports bras–the essential gear for any female hiker.

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2011

Whether you're shopping for your wife, mom, girlfriend, or BFF we've done the heavy lifting for you with 40 picks that are sure to make her Mother's Day.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Outdoor Research Solar Roller

Fool-proof sun protection for her noggin

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Moving Comfort Alexis Sports Bra

Finally–a flattering sports bra

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Prana Burnout Headband

Say goodbye to hat head

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Montbell Alpine Light Down Parka

Maximum warmth for minimum weight

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Dahlgren Hiking Socks

Plushly padded socks for all-day comfort

Mother's Day Gift Guide: The North Face Venture Jacket

An eco-friendly jacket that performs and won't break the bank

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Mountain Hardwear Super Power Hoody

This mid-weight fleece is ultra-comfy, stretchy, and warm.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Mammut Ultimate Hoody

A featherweight softshell with the biggest pit zips you've ever seen

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Patagonia Multi Use Skirt

A cute, comfy, and functional hiking skirt

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Horny Toad Tranquil Hoody

A comfortable, cute, easy-to-wear top

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Smartwool Lupine Striped Hat

A densely knit merino wool that fits and breathes well.

Gear Review: Icebreaker Beast 150 Boxer Brief with Fly

A wool boxer brief for him (even if he hates wool).

Gear Review: Patagonia Switchback Bra

A sports bra with a very supportive wraparound design.

Gear Review: Stoic Merino Boy Boxer

A little bit of spandex helps these boy boxers (for her) stay in place.

Gear Review: Patagonia Tropic Comfort Hoody

A long-sleeved shirt built for hot and sunny weather.

Gear Review: Dahlgren Backpacking Sock

Socks that stay plush through heavy miles.

Gear Review: Bridgedale X-Hale Light Hiker with NanoGLIDE Socks

Socks with friction protection in all the right places.

Gear Review: Darn Tough Vermont True-Seamless Socks

Socks that promise no blisters–and deliver.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Muru Short

Shorts that move but aren't baggy.

Editors' Choice 2011

From a bargain ultralight tent to perfect-fit boots, here are 14 products that passed the ultimate field test.

Gear Review: The North Face Leonidas Jacket

A stretchy, three-season jacket

Gear Review: GoLite Malpais Jacket

A ridiculously light shell that also blocks wind and rain.

Gear Review: Marmot Ether DriClime Jacket



Gear Review: Stoic Welder Lo Jacket

The perfect three-season jacket.

Gear Review: Rab Boreas/Aurora Pull-on Jacket



Gear Review: REI ecoSensitive Revelcloud Jacket

PrimaLoft, DWR-treated Pertex Quantum, and recycled polyester make this a warm and eco-friendly puffy jacket.

Gear Review: Montbell Alpine Light Down Parka

A hooded, 800-fill down puffy.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Cohesion Stretch Pant

Lightweight and durable shell pants.

Gear Review: Kuhl Renegade Pants

Styled like cotton pants, but built to work out.

Gear Review: Lorpen Kids Light Hikers

Merino/synthetic socks that will make kids' feet happy.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Hurricane Accelerator Shell

A hooded, seam-taped, DWR-treated rain jacket for kids.

Gear Review: Patagonia Kid's Capilene 3 Midweight Crew Baselayer

For outdoor kids, a baselayer that will keep them dry and warm.

Gear Review: Rab Aeon Print T-shirt

A polyester performance t-shirt that's worth every penny–and we're giving away four! Read on to win!

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Echo Cap

A stretchy, superbreathable sun hat.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Downpour Wide Brim Rain Hat

A storm shell and umbrella for your head

Gear Review: Chaos Dri-Release Multi-Tasker Pro Balaclava

A versatile balaclava made of a blend of fabrics.

Gear Review: Stoic Welder Gauntlet Mitt

A 100-percent wool-lined glove that heats hands instantly.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Arc Gloves

A great all-purpose glove for high-output activities.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Backstop Gloves

Gore Windstopper covers the back of the hand from cuff to fingertips.

Gear Review: Ibex Shak Lite Half Zip Baselayer

A heavyweight baselayer that's soft and fitted, and stretch and warm.

Gear Review: WinterSilks Long Sleeve Silk Wool Crewneck and Pant Baselayers

This 70/30 silk/wool baselayer keeps you warm while also wicking.

Gear Review: Patagonia L/S Polarized Tee Baselayer

A 100% polyester t-shirt that feels just like cotton.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Pace SS Baselayer

A polypropylene/polyester blended baselayer that wicks away sweat.

Almost Editors' Choice

5 near-perfect pieces of gear in our 2011 Editors' Choice testing

Editors' Choice 2011 Green Award: The North Face Venture Jacket

Get total weather protection for half the gas.

Editors' Choice 2011: Rab Boreas/Aurora Pull-On Softshell Jacket

Get a softshell that's so light and versatile, you won't leave it behind on multiday treks.

Gear Review: MontBell Thermawrap BC Jacket

A light, warm, synthetic layering piece ideal for damp conditions and active pursuits.

Gear Review: MontBell Tachyon Anorak Jacket

An extremely light and extremely packable windshell.

Gear Review: GoLite Demaree Canyon Jacket

A packable puffy with a sleek, athletic fit.

Readers' Choice Issue: Reader-Rated Gear

Our official test team logged more than 2,337 miles and 263 nights in the backcountry to find the best gear for every type of hiker.

Reader Rated: Dayhiking Gear

Dawn-to-dusk adventure ahead? Prepare for anything with this versatile system.

Gear Review: Stoic Welder Hi Softshell Jacket

It's a stretchy winter softshell completely coated in high loft, fuzzy lining. Need we say more?

Gear Review: SCOTTEVEST Fleece 5.0 Jacket

Has 24 pockets to keep all your gadgets in place

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Virtuoso Puffy Jacket

This puffy has high-end weatherproofing and an insulated, versatile hood

Gear Review: REI Endeavor Pants

These four-way stretch, double-weave polyester pants are comfortable and quick drying.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Alibi Jacket

A stretchy softshell jacket that is perfect for dayhikes

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Fusion Pant

If your winter gear closet includes skis, snowshoes, snowboards, and sleds, you need only one pair of drawers: the men's Sierra Designs Fusion Pant.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Under $25

Don't break the bank with these gift ideas for the adventurous types.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: REI Sahara T-Shirt

Made from 50% recycled polyester (and 50% virgin poly) the Sahara has a relaxed fit, a soft cottony feel, and no-fuss styling.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: The North Face E-Tip Glove

Here is a lightweight glove ideal for 3-season hikers, cross-country skiers, cold-weather cyclists, or runners who want to stay connected to their gadgets.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: I/O BIO Contact 1 Boy Short and Top (Sports Bra)

Active ladies need active undies, and this ensemble fits the bill and still looks cute.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Bison Tap Cap Belt

Drop one of these utilitarian, yet cool-looking, belts into any guy's stocking and he will love it.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Bison Tap Cap Belt



Gear Review: Multi-Use Shirts - Icebreaker Superfine 200 Top, First Ascent Cloud Layer 1/4 Zip, Columbia Leadout Shirt

Just because you can't be in the backcountry everyday doesn't mean you can't dress for it.

Gear Review: SOLE Exhale Slippers

Ditch your hiking boots for these fleece-lined slippers and relax.

Gear Review: Flylow Tough Guy Gloves

Gloves that are rugged and cheap.

Gear Review: Columbia Carabineer Gloves

Gloves made with thermal-reflective Omni-Heat lining.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Virago Mitt

Tuck chemical handwarmers in these mitts for long-lasting heat.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Pistolero Gloves

Tough gloves that still let you use your fingers for delicate tasks.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Alpha SV Gloves

The best gloves for wet and cold we tested.

Gear Review: TSL Trek Short Gaiter

These zippered gaiters keep out crusty debris.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Salamander Gaiter

These gaiters thrive in wet, wet conditions.

Gear Review: Black Diamond FrontPoint Gaiter

Made for ice climbers–perfect for anyone who needs tough, tall gaiters.

Gear Review: Point6 Ski Light Sun Sock

Ski socks that protect shins from boot bang.

Gear Review: tekoMERINO Evolution Midweight Sock

Multi-season socks with tons of cush.

Gear Review: Wigwam Weather Shield Sock

Bargain socks that are warm and resilient.

Gear Review: Lorpen Trekking/Expedition Polartec & Primaloft Sock

Perfect fit and great performance

Gear Review: Smith Vantage Helmet

The most comfortable helmet in our test.

Gear Review: Grivel Air Tech Helmet

An ultralight helmet with 16 vents.

Gear Review: Grivel Air Tech Helmet



Gear Review: SmartWool Lupine Hat

A merino wool beanie for temps down to 25°.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Hat for All Seasons

A two-in-one hat that keeps out cold and precipitation.

Gear Review: Sugoi RSE Windblock Cap

A cap that lives up to its name

Gear Review: Chaos Adrenaline Multi-Tasker Pro Balaclava

A full-face balaclava

Gear Review: MontBell Neige Down Cap

A winter ball cap that's filled with down.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Radiant Hybrid Beanie

A barely there beanie for high-octane workouts.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Verglas Pants

Softshell pants that are waterproof, breathable, and abrasion resistant.

Gear Review: Marmot Alpinist Pants

Lightweight bibs that turn into pants with a zip.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research TrailBreaker Pants

Breathable softshell pants for skiers that log logs of vertical.

Gear Review: Flylow Magnum/Bella Donna Pants

Ski or snowboard pants that won't get shredded.

Gear Review: First Ascent Rainier Storm Shell Pants

Ultralight shell pants that protect from snow and cold.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Phase AR Zip Neck

A new fabric makes this synthetic zip-t odor free.

Gear Review: SmartWool NTS Microweight Crew

A superthin merino layer that is deceptively durable.

Gear Review: Ortovox Supersoft LS Zipper

The softest baselayer we've tested...ever.

Gear Review: Icebreaker GT 260 Pursuit/Express Legging

Baselayer bottoms that you can wear solo.

Gear Review: Merrell Ashby Zip T

A bargain layer that's pretty and tough.

Gear Review: Dale of Norway 180 Short Sleeve Crew

A short-sleeved baselayer for year-round wear.

Gear Review: Sherpa Adventure Gear Khushi Top

A built-in neck gaiter for her and a built-in hoody for him give this shirt head and neck protection.

Gear Review: Patagonia Capilene 3 Midweight T-Neck

Patagonia updates this perennial favorite making it lighter, faster-drying, and softer then previous Capilene layers.

Gear Review: I/O Bio Merino Pilot Suit

A full-body baselayer (a.k.a. pilot or "union" suit) that's as warm as they come.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Verglas Hybrid Baselayer

Nordic skiiers and runners will love this moisture moving layer.

Gear Review: Merrell Raven/Falconry Tri-Therm Jacket

A three-in-one jacket system...that works.

Gear Review: Patagonia R1 Full-Zip Jacket

This lightweight fleece jacket has been a long-time tester favorite.

Gear Review: REI Antifreeze/Davos Jacket

-20°? No problem for this bargain heater.

Gear Review: Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody

A super warm jacket that compresses down to softball size.

Gear Review: Columbia Heat Elite Jacket

Columbia's "Omni-Heat" increases insulation by 20 percent over standard fill.

Gear Review: The North Face Redpoint Vest

A core-warming affordable, functional vest.

Gear Review: Montbell ThermaWrap BC Jacket

A versatile jacket that blends in anywhere.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Gravitor/Sooka Jacket

A waterproof ski jacket that's warm as well.

Gear Review: Canada Goose HyBridge Jacket

A hybrid softshell/puffy jacket.

Gear Review: Rab Infinity Jacket

A water resistant, down-filled force field.

Gear Review: Westcomb Skeena Hoody

A weather-resistant shell that's as warm as a sweater.

Gear Review: Marmot Up Track Jacket

This wind resistant yet breathable softshell is great for layering.

Gear Review: Salomon XT Wings II Softshell Jacket

An ultralight softshell that wicks.

Gear Review: Rab Exodus Jacket

A midweight softshell that's multiseason.

Gear Review: The North Face Kishtwar Jacket

This softshell provides maximum breathability and weather protection.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen EkoLab Rapide

This eco-friendly jacket is everything you'd expect from a midweight softshell.

Gear Review: Columbia Turn-'N-Go Softshell Jacket

A bargain softshell that's cozy and great for aerobic activities.

Gear Review: Westcomb Cruiser Jacket

One pound of all-purpose protection

Gear Review: The North Face Lockoff Jacket

A good looking jacket with plenty of storm protection.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Mantra Fusion Jacket

A versatile ski shell at a great price

Gear Review: Rab Kinetic Rain Jacket

An ultralight hardshell jacket for under $150.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Axial/Emporia Jacket

A versatile hardshell that's lightweight and breathable.

Gear Review: Mammut Adrenaline Jacket

Reinforced shoulders and three-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric make this jacket super tough.

Gear Review: First Ascent BC-200 Jacket

An all-conditions jacket that's under $200.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010

255 gear reviews and cold-weather tips!

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Pandra LS Henley



Gear Review: Core Concepts Whiskey River Hybrid



Gear Review: Craft Big Logo Cap

For those times when a little skull cap just want do, but you still want a hat that wicks and breathes.

Gear Review: Pistil Clover

A stylish hat that packs small and combats camp hair.

Gear Review: Polarmax Acclimate Merino Wool Pants

Three-season wool and polyester pants.

Gear Review: Obermeyer UG Pro-75 Tight

Warm, light fleece pants.

Gear Review: Women's Active Bottoms

For those times on the trail when serious hiking pants are overkill.

Gear School: Merino Wool

This all-natural wonder fabric keeps you warm, cool, and stink-free.

Gear Review: Kenyon Eco-Therm Base Layer

Recycled polyester and bamboo makes this a super green baselayer.

Gear Review: Hot Chillys PeachSkins Performance Wear Base Layer

A fuzzy top that never smells.

Gear Review: Wickers Softsilk Thermal Base Layer

Lightweight and fast drying

Gear Review: Outlast Mid-Weight Base Layers

Outlast fabric regulates your body temperature for you.

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Goose Down Jacket

For the cost, you won't find a warmer down jacket.

Gear Review: Merrell Charade Puffy Jacket

A synthetic puffy that turns into a neck pillow.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Isotope Nano Rain Jacket

The lightest jacket in our under-$100 test.

Gear Review: Columbia Hail Tech Rain Jacket

A cold-weather rain jacket that's $90.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Vancouver Rain Jacket

A $100 jacket which doesn't skimp on features.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Rampart Rain Jacket

Ventilation on this jacket is top-notch.

Gear Review: MontBell Thunder Pass Rain Jacket

The most bomber shell in our test.

Gear Review: Craft proCOOL Tee with Mesh

A t-shirt with air conditioning.

Gear Review: Handful Bra

Found: A flattering, supportive, non-chafing sports bra.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Momentum Running Glove

Top-shelf summer weight gloves with the added bonus of a touchscreen trapdoor for your index fingers.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Men's Power Stretch Tights

Toasty, stretchy tights you don't have to hide.

Gear Review: ARC'TERYX Rampart Pants

Need pants you can wear for two weeks straight and still be presentable? Slip into the Rampart from ARC'TERYX.

Gear Review: First Ascent Mountain Guide Lite Pants

The fit, the fabric, and the details make these pants shine.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Men's Ravine Long-Sleeve Shirt

A backcountry performance top that performs as good as it looks.

Gear Review: Man-Pris

Our tester took a pair of Patagonia Borderless Messenger Shorts (a.k.a Capris) on the trail, begrudgingly. But he came back a happy man.

Gear Review: The North Face Men's Paramount Peak Convertible Pant

This upgrade to The North Face's tried and true convertible pant makes the grade.

Gear Guide 2010: Essentials A to Z

Having the right boots, packs, bags, and tents is never enough. Here, a roundup of all the other "essential" pieces of gear you'll want in the great outdoors.

Gear Review: Cloudveil Run Don't Walk Boxers

Winter skivvies at their finest.

Gear Review: Isis Henna Hipster Underwear & Day Bra

These chafe-free undergarments also wick away moisture.

Gear Review: Patagonia Active Boxer Briefs & Ibex Zepher Boxers

Underwear for the outdoorsy man.

Gear Review: Woolrich Topo/Sunrise Bluff Sun Shirt

This button-down sun shirt has a high collar and UPF 30 fabric.

Gear Review: Sport Science Shortsleeve Rainbow Tee

This hiking shirt blends hippie style with technical attributes.

Toughest Gear: Beyond Clothing Steel Shock

Proof that clothes that fit better last longer.

Toughest Gear: Patagonia Regulator Series

Fleece sturdy enough to satisfy an Argonaut.

Toughest Gear: ThorLo Classic Hiking Socks

These socks have padding that won't quit.

Toughest Gear: Feathered Friends Helios Jacket

This Feathered Friends puffy jacket stays fatter than a StayPuff marshmallow.

Toughest Gear: Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket

This Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket is overkill when you need it.

Toughest Gear: Fox River X-Static Liner, Chaco Sandals, and MSR Dromedary

No stink sock liners, rough & tough sandals, and a puncture-proof water bag.

Toughest Gear: Mountain Hardwear Transition Jacket

The toughest, most versatile windshirt around.

BACKPACKER Editors' Toughest Gear

Thirty indestructible gear picks from two decades of hardcore field-testing.

Gear Review: Lorpen TCXS

Long-lasting socks that will keep your feet warm and dry.

Gear Review: Merino Icebreaker Hiker Light Crewe

These midweight hiking socks can stand up to serious miles.

Gear Review: Point6 Outdoor Tech Medium Cushion Mini

Stretchy socks that never sag and always feel plush, even after big miles.

Gear Review: Injinji Performance Crew

These five-toes socks squelch blisters.

Gear Review: Injinji Performance Crew



Gear Review: Marmot Big Wall Short

Light, tough shorts ideal for hiking and hanging.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Tactician Short

Super-comfy quick drying shorts for hiking, riding, or climbing.

Gear Review: Millet 350

This lightweight shell is mountain ready.

Gear Review: White Sierra Tempest Tek Jacket

Total rain protection at a happy, happy price.

Gear Review: Merrel Norgate

A do-it-all rainshell with a roomy cut.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Flex Down Jacket

This stretchy-baffled down jacket traps mega heat for serious warmth.

Gear Review: GoLite Tumalo Pant

Breathable rain-rebuffing pants that pack tiny

Gear Review: Marmot Rockstar Pant

Stretchy fabric and a clean, comfy cut make these hiking pants super-versatile.

Gear Review: Smartwool Neck Gaiter

A cozy cocoon for your neck and face

Gear Review: Patagonia Simple Guide Jacket

A streamlined softshell that packs up small and cuts the wind

Gear Review: REI's Sahara Convetible Pants

Hiking pants that are as tough as your kids

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Boys' Epic

An affordable kids' rain jacket that can handle serious weather

Gear Review: Merino Wool Buff

A versatile head accessory that morphs from hat to gaiter to balaclava to pony-tail holder

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Quasar

A comfy cap for hot days

Gear Review: Pistil Tulip

A cozy and cute wool hat

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Torsion Glove

Nimble gloves for cold weather hiking

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Seta Strapless Running Gaiters

Minimalist gaiters to keep out dirt and debris

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Delta LT Zip

A super-versatile, fleecy layering piece

Gear Review: Dublin Dog collar

The most rugged, stink-proof dog collar we've found

Gear Review: Nikwax Down Proof

Boost the performance of your down gear

Gear Review: Sugio MidZero Zip Jersey

A midweight base layer for cool to cold weather hiking

Gear Review: Kombi Bamboo 4-Way Stretch 1/4 Zip-Neck

A lightweight layering piece make of bamboo

Gear Review: I/O Merino Contact Long-Sleeve Crib

A superlight wool base layer that shines 12 months a year

Gear Review: Columbia Silver Ridge Crew

A tee-shirt designed for super-hot weather

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Softshells

Whether you're skiing, snowshoeing, running, or hiking this winter, grab one of these softshells.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Hardshells

These six hardshell jackets will keep you covered in any weather.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Baselayers

From shorts to tops, we've got your core coverings.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs BTU Parka

This shell-puffy combo comes with a shorter fit for climbers.

Gear Review: Rab Ascent Jacket

The super warm Rab jacket has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Synchronicity Jacket

Mount Hardwear combines a puffy with a shell in their Synchronicity jacket.

Gear Review: MontBell Permafrost Light Ultralight Jacket

This featherweight MontBell jacket is perfect for moderate winter temps.

Gear Review: Cloudveil Endless Down Jacket

This 700-fill down jacket was an instant tester favorite.

Gear Review: Patagonia Merino 4 Zip-Neck Baselayer

You could live in this Patagonia merino baselayer for weeks.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Banff Body Suit

When it's extra cold, don this full body baselayer by Outdoor Research.

Gear Review: Ibex Balance Runner Shorts

Worn as underwear, or solo, these "runner shorts" are a versatile bottom base layer.

Gear Review: Icebreaker Longsleeve Velocity Zip Baselayer

This Icebreaker top is great for trail running and other high aerobic activities.

Gear Review: First Ascent Bat Hang Hoodie

This First Ascent top works as a baselayer and a jacket.

Gear Review: Columbia Mountain Tech Long Sleeve Top

This athletic baselayer feels like cotton but works like high-priced synthetic, for only $35.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2009 Table of Contents



Mount Hood Gear Checklist--Courtesy of John Harlin

BACKPACKER contributing editor John Harlin III first summited Mt. Hood at age 11 and has climbed the peak in every season. Here, he gives you his gear checklist for hitting the mountain right.

Women's Fall Gear 2008

Our female testers pick their favorite gear for fall hikes.

The Denali Test: Gear for America's Highest, Coldest Peak

Our tester spent 18 days climbing, camping, and evaluating gear on America's highest, coldest peak. If his picks made it there, they can make it anywhere.

Extreme Layering: All-Purpose Clothing

For all-purpose performance year-round, this layering system works overtime through any weather.

Extreme Layering: Rainy-Weather Clothing

Don't let a crappy forecast keep you home for the weekend. Just pack this deluge-tested system.

Extreme Layering: Hot-Weather Clothing

From the Grand Canyon to sunshine-pounded Colorado peaks, stay cool and comfortable with this ultralight system.

Extreme Layering: Cold-Weather Clothing

Our testers faced raging blizzards, pounding hail, frigid temps, and 60-mph winds to select these top clothes.

Extreme Layering: Clothing for all Weather Conditions

Wild weather coming? We've devised a perfect system for every condition.

2008 Apparel Guide: The Outtakes

We couldn't fit all of our reviews in one spot. Here, read the outtakes.

3 Ways To Save: Ultralight Dayhiking

Save weight, your feet, and money with these three pieces of ultralight gear

Kids' Stuff



Rain Shells

From $500 to under $150, Backpacker has found the best rain shells for blowing snow or driving rain.

Puffy Jackets

Made with down or synthetic fibers and paper-thin shells, these puffy jackets weigh less, loft higher, and pack much smaller than fleece.

Trail Tops

These eight trail tops wick sweat, look great, and fit great. Wear them for a run or a week-long trek.

Gear-Buying Tips

Before shopping for gear it's important to plan a budget, do your research, and prioritize.

Gear: Clothing

Clothing is gear that's just as important as a tent or sleeping bag. We'll help you choose wisely.

Exclusive Online Content: Layer Up

Ward off the chill of cooler temps with these Backpacker-tested base layers and shells

Apparel Review: Marmot Kids DriClime

Don't let your kid board the bus underdressed this winter

Jacket Review: REI Mistral II

Comfortable, water-resistant fabric earns points lost from this jacket's boxy fit

Apparel Review: Arc'Teryx Ether Crew Short Sleeve

A little extra money buys a lot of extra wear with Arc'Teryx's latest T

Apparel Review: More For Your Money

Budget shopper or big spender? We have the perfect three-season layering system for you.

Apparel Review: Eider Diko Racing T-Shirt

A bargain base layer designed to maximize wicking and enhance layering

Trail Accessories Review: AntiGravityGear AT Mapdana

The Harry Potter hat for AT hikers: a bandanna that doubles as the key to the trail.

Apparel Review: Teko Socks

These Editors' Choice Green Award-winning socks are soft on the planet-and your feet

Time To Treat: When to Repair Gear

How do you know that your gear is crying out for help? Consult our handy list of signs and solutions.

Apparel Review: Arc'Teryx Switchback Pants

Look chic when you head for the alpine life.

Gear Rx: Clothing

Everyone knows good outdoor clothing is expensive. See if you can save your old hiking apparel.

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