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Gear



Summer 2014 Winning Gear Testers Announced!

Meet the two latest additions to our gear-testing team! Kim and John will be joining our team at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City.

Gear Hall of Fame: Ultralight

When you’re ready to shave pounds from your pack, it’s time to invest in ultralight gear. Here’s a look at some of our all-time favorite featherweights.

Gear Hall of Fame: Kids' Gear

Want to get your kids to love the outdoors? Outfit 'em the right way.

Hall of Fame: Camp Food

The best bars and snacks we've ever tasted. Who ever said camping means compromising?

Gear Hall of Fame: Electronics

The best trail gadgets of all time.

Gear Pro: British Columbia Gear Testing

An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at a BACKPACKER gear testing trip.

Gear Review: Boom Movement Swimmer Speaker

High quality sounding bluetooth speaker is easy to secure on various sites.

Gear Review: Power Practical Lithium 4400 Battery Bank

Battery pack has enough power to charge many devices.

Gear Review: Dell Venue 7 Tablet

Durable tablet has plenty of storage.

Gear Review: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Smartphone

Phone is able to handle the most vigorous explorations.

Editor's Choice GoPRO Hero3+ Black Edition Camera

A Backpacker favorite just got even better.

Gear Review: VuVantage VuPackPole Camera Accessory



Gear Review: Olympus TG-2 iHS Camera

Previous Editor's Choice camera now has better focus range.

Gear Review: Nikon 1 AW1 Camera

Waterproof camera is ready for any adventure.

Gear Review: Sony NEX-5T Camera

Easy to use camera takes quick and clear shots.

Gear Review: Fitbit Force Pedometer

Powerful pedometer tracks miles and calories burned and sends data graphs to mobile devices.

Gear Review: Fitbit Force

Powerful pedometer tracks miles and calories burned and sends data graphs to mobile devices.

Gear Review: Bushnell SolarWrap 250 Battery

Solar powered lithium battery recharges efficiently.

Gear Review: Text Anywhere

Satellite network allows texting in the most remote locations.

Gear Review: Old Town Saranac 146 Canoe

Durable and easy to manuver canoe at the right price.

Gear Review: NRS PackRaft Paddle Boat

Lightweight packraft is also durable.

Gear Review: Dagger Katana Kayak

Kayak with plenty of gear space also maintains high speeds.

Gear Review: Pyranha Venture Jura Sea Kayak

An innovative sked and rudder hybrid feature allows this kayak to navigate a straight course and easy turns.

Gear Review: Oru Kayak

Permanent creases make this folding sea kayak a reliable standby.

Gear Review: Kokatat TROPOS Otter Paddling Jacket

Waterproof paddling jacket also keeps sweat under control.

Gear Review: Keen Class6 Sandal

Super light sandal provides excellent traction and protection.

Gear Review: Watershed Westwater 80L Dry Bag

This dry bag keeps gear perfectly dry in the wettest circumstances.

Gear Review: Hala Nass Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard

Inflatable paddleboard is light enough to carry on any exploration and steady enough to withstand choppy waters.

Gear Review: Astral's Camino 200 kayaking vest

Mesh padding and vent ports makes this vest perfect for summer kayaking.

Gear Hall of Fame: Kitchen

Hands down, the best camp cookware of all time.

Be a Greener Backpacker

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we rounded up some of the most eco-friendly gear you can own. Bonus: a primer on Leave No Trace principles you can share with friends and family. Text by Stasia Callaghan.

Gear Hall of Fame: Socks

The BACKPACKER editors pick the pairs that have stood the test of time.

Gear Review: L.L.Bean Low Rider Rocker

Collapsible rocking chair is a comfy addition to any camp.

Gear Review: NEMO Mezzo Loft Luxury 30

Compact sleeping bag is a cozy and warm delight.

Gear Review: PackTowl RobeTowl

Microfiber water-absorbent robe is worth the investment.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors JavaMill

Hand crank grinder provides a very tasty coffee.

Gear Review: Grub Hub Mesa 1

Easy to pack kitchen includes sink, stove, and space for eight guests.

Gear Review: Exped SynMat 12

Large sleeping pad is comfortable and luxurious.

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow

Curved pillow provides excellent comfort.

Gear Review: Eureka Taron Basecamp 6

Spacious and luxurious while still able to face any weather, this tent is ready for any adventure.

Gear Review: Aquapac 40L Upano Waterproof Duffel

Comfortable waterproof duffel is ready for any adventure.

Gear Review: Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 100L

Tough duffel is ready for world-wide travel.

Gear Review: Eagle Creek Morphus 30

Bag is able to hold personal and adventure gear in many different ways.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Lightweight Exp. Duffel Medium

This lightweight duffel can hold it's own.

Gear Review: REI Wheely Beast Wheeled Duffel – 34”

Durable wheeled duffle bag can withstand any terrain.

Gear Review: Bollé Aravis Sunglasses

Flexible sunglasses that are ready to face any adventure.

Gear Review: Switch Axo Sunglasses

Magnetic interchangeable lenses for easy switch outs.

Gear Review: Tifosi Duro with Blue Clarion Mirror Lens Sunglasses

Bargain priced sunglasses with interchangeable lenses.

Gear Review: Smith Optics ChromaPop Ignitor Lens Sunglasses

Non-prescription sunglasses that still enhance vision.

Gear Pro: Pack Some Power

Don’t get stuck with a dead smartphone or headlamp on your next weekend trip. Pack one of these and always have spare juice.

Gear Pro: Are You Our Next Gear Tester?

We're recruiting for 2014!

Gear Pro: Why Review Expensive Gear?

Readers often ask why we review such pricey equipment. Here's the answer.

Outfit Yourself for a Day Hike

Everything you need for a typical spring day hike.

Gear Pro: Weekend Hike Essentials

These 7 items make a killer kit for your spring weekends.

Gear Pro: Breaking In Your Boots

Learn how to get comfy in your new footwear.

Hall of Fame 2014: Bags & Pads

Smart design and quality construction never go out of style.

Readers' Choice Award: Merrell Belay Hiking Pants

Technical hiking pants that fit a woman's curvy figure.

Readers' Choice 2014: Eastern Mountain Sports Traverse

A dependable, year-round shelter from Eastern Mountain Sports.

Readers' Choice Award: Big Agnes King Solomon Sleeping Bag

A luxurious two-person sleeping bag.

Readers' Choice Award: Vaude Cheyenne 500 Sleeping Bag

A supremely comfortable bag for mild-weather backpacking trips and car camps.

Readers' Choice Award: Asolo Vertex GV Hiking Boots

Quintessential backpacking boots - high-cut, durable, and can handle rugged terrain.

Readers' Choice Award: Mountainsmith Haze 50 Backpack

A durable, ultralight pack that's affordable.

Readers' Choice Award: Gregory Maya 18 Backpack

This frameless little pack is a great all-arounder for bike commuting and dayhikes.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Insulation

Stay warm with a little extra insulation in these performance proven jackets.

Gear Pro: The Newest Insulation Trends

The latest in down and synthetic blend technology.

Gear Pro: External Frame vs. Internal Frame

A reader asks: Why did external frame packs go out of style?

Gear Pro: Sleep Warmer

A reader asks: How can I keep the whole family warm?

Gear Pro: StrongVolt Portable Electronics Charger

We're keeping an eye on this new form of portable power.

Gear Pro

Weekly gear advice, tips, and fixes from gear editor Kristin Hostetter.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Badasses of OR

Bonus of an outdoor trade show? It attracts all kinds of top outdoor athletes. We caught up with a few of these all-stars, and even convinced some to share their favorite gear finds with us.



Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Looking Out for the Ladies

We're thankfully long past the era when "women's gear" meant "shrink it and pink it." But some companies invest more energy than others in designing for female needs. Our scout rounded up three brands that are putting in the effort.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: How To Go Bigger

Our scout has her eyes set on climbing Mt. Blanc in the Matterhorn, so today she scoped out her ideal kit for tackling a big mountain. Bonus: All her picks are trail-ready for backpackers too.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Pocket Full of Power

Electronics in the backcountry: You're bringing them anyway, so you might as well keep them juiced. We found the latest in pocket power solutions.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: All Wool, All The Time

Meet three new layering options and a futuristic new fabric.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Drink Up

This year brings new backcountry toys for imbibing your beverage of choice, whether it be coffee, wine, beer, or liquor.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Your First Touring Boots

Thinking of making the transition from resort skiing to alpine touring? These beginner-friendly boots will help ease the way.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: How To Walk On Water

Stay steady on ice or snow with these new traction devices and winter-ready poles.

What's Up With Down?

Insulation innovation didn't stop with water-resistance. We tracked down two new trends you don't want to miss.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: The Glove Revolution

We found gloves inspired by those at the hardware store, and ones that let you text from the chairlift.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Sleep Warm While Winter Camping

A beginner's guide to the types of gear you need to stay toasty all night.

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Transcendental Boots

Versatility is the name of the game in shoes for Fall 2014

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Backcountry Bindings That Will Change Your Life

The Diamer Vipec 12 and G3 Ion provide improved safety features, lighter weight, and a more resort-like feel

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: How to Gear Up For Ski Touring



Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014: Splitboarding 101

Think backcountry touring is just for skiers? Think again.

A Snowshoe For Every Journey

Whether you stick to the trails or get to the backcountry this winter, the right snowshoe will help get you there.

BACKPACKER READER REPORTER TEAM WINTER OUTDOOR RETAILER SHOW 2014

Four lucky readers are heading to Salt Lake City with the BACKPACKER team to check out the latest gear at the 2014 Winter Outdoor Retailer show, January 21-25.

Gear Pro: Staying Warm 2.0

Readers share their best winter comfort tips!

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Ski Boots

The right ski boots can make or break a day on the slopes or in the backcountry.

Gear Pro: Pack Fixes

Reinforce fraying pockets with a few simple tricks.

Gear Pro: Quick Zipper Fix

Get your zipper back on track with an easy DIY repair.

Gear Pro: Boot TLC

Give your favorite pair a little love. Two easy steps and they’ll be good as new.

Meet Saveria Tilden

Saveria won a spot on our reader reporter team for the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Meet Joel Nyquist

Joel won a spot on our reader reporter team for the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Meet Kristin McLane

Kristin won a spot on our reader reporter team for the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Meet Eric Hanson

Eric won a spot on our reader reporter team for the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Meet the BACKPACKER Reader Reporter Team

Four lucky Backpacker readers scored a trip to the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, January 21-25, 2014. Meet the lucky reader reporters!

Gear Pro: Patching a Down Jacket

Your puffy jacket (or sleeping bag) fixed in 10 minutes!

Gear Pro: Portable Tunes

6 wireless speakers that will fit in your pack.

Gear Pro: How I Stay Warm

These are a few of my favorite things.

BACKPACKER's Gear Hall of Fame

Out of the thousands of products we've tested over the years, these 10 have stood up to the toughest conditions the backcountry has to offer. In doing so, these inductees deserve to be called timeless.

30 Under $30: Holiday Gifts That Won't Break the Bank

Our Gear Editor drops some bargain buying knowledge for every backpacker on your list.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Sugru Repair Kit

A quick-fix for practically any gear in need of repair.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Rab Strata Hoodie

Stay warm and dry in the backcountry with this breathable synthetic.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: The North Face Thermoball Hoodie

A synthetic puffy that rivals the weight and warmth of down.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Outdoor Research Lodestar Gloves

Keep your hands warm and dry while working in any weather.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Mammut Alpine Rider Helmet

A helmet to handle both warm and cold weather conditions.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Fits Pro Ski Sock

Socks so comfortable, you won't want to take them off.

Gear Review: Dynafit TLT6 Performance Ski Boot

A featherweight boot with impressive downhill performance.

Gear Review: Salomon Quest Max BC 120 Ski Boots

Ski boots featuring a flexible, 44-degree walk mode.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Power Practical Powerpot V Charging Station

Charge your gadgets while cooking your grub.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Factor MX/Shiva MX Ski Boots

Touring boots with downhill toughness built in.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe

A timeless axe that picks into ice with ease.

Gear Review: Dynafit Mercury TF Ski Boots

Boots to steer you through tricky snow and slush situations.

Gear Review: Rossignol Alltrack 130 Pro Ski Boots

Performance boots built for the best backcountry excursions.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: DPS Wailer 99 Skis

Skis built to take on the slopes and tackle backcountry snow.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Scarpa Freedom SL Ski Boots

A ski boot with standout performance and style.

Gear Review: Rossignol Xium World Cup Classic C2 Nordic Skis

Classic skis made with the same burly material found in climbing helmets.

Gear Review: Salomon S-Lab Skate Cold Nordic Skis

Fly downhill with these Nordic skate skis.

Gear Review: Mammut Light Pump Mat EXP Sleeping Pad

A lightweight, inflatable pad that resists compression.

Gear Review: Exped Downmat XP 9 Sleeping Pad

Withstand glacial nights with this 700-fill down pad.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Dream Sleeping Pad

A thick, soft pillow top to keep you cozy at night.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Gloves and Mittens

Keep your digits warm & functioning with these mittens and gloves.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Polarmax H1 Micro Long Sleeve Crew/Bottom

Comfortable, lightweight layers that perform as good as they feel.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Dynafit Mercury Softshell Jacket & Pants

A lightweight pant and jacket combo that packs a punch for a fraction of the price.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Bergans of Norway Glittertind 55 and 70 Pack

A comfortable, all-season pack you'll want to keep on your back.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Dynafit Mercury Softshell

A softshell that saves your skin from windy, winter weather.

Gear Review: Grivel 360 Ice Screw

Longer, yet still manageable, screws to give you a mechanical advantage.

Gear Review: Mammut Rescyou Crevasse Kit

An all-inclusive rescue kit that's easy to operate.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Aspect Harness

A cushiony, comfortable harness without the added bulk.

Gear Review: Singing Rock Kappa Helmet

A well-ventilated, comfortable design for all skull sizes.

Gear Review: Grivel G10 Crampon

Spikes built with extra security for all your alpine adventures.

Gear Review: Beal Unicore Tiger 10MM Rope

A rope you can confidently rely - and rappel - on.

Gear Review: Leatherman Hail + Style PS

A multi-purpose tool for making snowshoe binding adjustments.

Gear Review: Tubbs Xpedition Snowshoes

Easy to get into so you can focus on getting out.

Gear Review: Northern Lites Quicksilver Snowshoes

A simple, lightweight design with barely-there comfort.

Gear Review: Komperdell Alpinist Snowshoes

Snowshoes that stay a step above the snowy slush.

Gear Review: Faber Sommet Snowshoes

A snowshoe with extra grip to keep you stable on all slopes.

Gear Review: Atlas Fitness Snowshoes

A snowshoe to support you through ski-like snow terrain.

Gear Review: Montane Tourbillon Event Stretch Gaiter

The ultimate tall, tough gaiters for the shoulder season.

Gear Review: Fits Pro Ski Sock

Editors' Choice 2013 Winner. Long-term comfort assured.

Gear Review: MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoes

Snowshoes built to tackle tough, backcountry terrain.

Gear Review: Wolverine Merino Xtreme Hiker Sock

Cushy winter socks that side-step being bulky or stuffy.

Gear Review: Lorpen T3+ Polartec Light Ski Sock

A sock with double the layer of Polartec power.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Stamina Gaiters

A beneficial hiking shoe-addition to help buffer snow, slush, and debris.

Gear Review: Sauce Chill Toque Hat

A go-to beanie that sheds winter snow and moisture.

Gear Review: Columbia Noble Falls Trapper Hat

A hat that's durable for the long, multi-day haul.

Gear Review: Buff Wool Balaclava Headwear

A super-thin model that can fit under your helmet or stand up to cold on its own.

Gear Review: Pret Cynic/Lyric Helmet

A vented helmet so comfortable you'll forget it's on.

Gear Review: Kind Dark Chocolate Chili Almond Bar

A sweet-and-spicy trail mix combo.

Gear Review: Mammut Alpine Rider Helmet

Editors' Choice 2013 Winner. Protection adjustable for spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Gear Review: Spyder Nordwand Pants

Comfortable pants built to handle all backcountry conditions.

Gear Review: MaryJanesFarm Ginger Sesame Rice

A vegan rice that serves as a savory addition to any meal.

Gear Review: Millet Touring Neo Hardshell Pants

A light hardshell pant with superb breathability.

Gear Review: Packit Gourmet A Shepherd's Cottage Pie

A filling comfort food for cold camp days.

Gear Review: Adventure Appetites Heady Cake and Bake

A pancake mix packed with savory-sweet deliciousness.

Gear Review: Kovea Booster+1 Stove

A stove that can switch between fuels in a snap.

Gear Review: Stanley Classic 20-oz. One-Hand Vacuum Mug

A push-button lid makes sipping from this mug hassle-free.

Gear Review: Thermos Stainless King 16 oz. Food Jar

A jar to keep your meals hot when the weather is not.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Tablespoon

A super-tough spoon that can stand up to years of scraping.

Gear Review: Patagonia Untracked Hardshell Pants

These ski pants have seemingly bulletproof durability and loose, freeride styling.

Gear Review: Dynafit Cho Oyu Skis

If you spend most of your time touring to technical peaks and then carefully etching your way down them, the Cho Oyu is your choice.

Gear Review: Dynafit Mercury Softshell Pant

Editor's Choice 2013 Winner. Innovative softshell fabric for a bargain price

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Valhalla Softshell Pants

Softshell pants to withstand gnarly weather

Gear Review: Dakine Kodiak Gloves

A tough, badass glove that is warm as can be

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Lodestar Gloves

Editors Choice 2013 Winner. Comfortable and capable gloves to fit high-exertion trips

Gear Review: Seirus Heattouch Hyperlite Gloves

Affordable battery-powered warmth

Gear Review: Black Diamond Fever Mittens

Leather mitts that stand up to the single digits

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Grub Glove

Don't settle between mitten or glove

Gear Review: Rab Alliance Gloves

Double layered warmth and protection

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Hardshells

Beat the elements with armor-like protection.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Softshell

Wind is no match for these versatile jackets.

Gear Review: Patagonia Knifeblade Softshell

Classic softshell for any winter sport

Gear Review: Millet Rock + Ice WDS Softshell

Keep cool on hard-charging tours

Gear Review: Big Agnes Shovelhead Puffy

A jacket that packs some serious heat without being a heavyweight.

Gear Review: Fjallraven Abisko/Nikka Softshell

A simple yet rugged cotton softshell.

Gear Review: Eastern Mountain Sports Fader Softshell

A wind-blocking nylon softshell jacket.

Gear Review: Crux Plasma Puffy

A jacket built to bring the heat in any winter weather.

Gear Review: Montbell Plasma Puffy

A lightweight jacket designed to keep you warm - in the loftiest way possible.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Halogen Hoody

A breathable jacket built to withstand all kinds of cold weather.

Gear Review: Columbia Zonafied Softshell

Complete Insulation with added hardshell-style wind and water proofing

Gear Review: Dynafit Mercury Softshell

Editor's Choice 2013: High-level performance without the price.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Dawn Patrol LT Softshell

All-weather defense in a light and stretchy softshell.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Fortrez Softshell

A midlayer that pinch-hits as outerwear.

Gear Review: Rossignol Soul 7 skis

A winning powder ski has to do more than just float through the feathers.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Aspect skis

If you're like some of our staffers, you appreciate the uphill as much as the downhill. For that brand of skiing, choose the Aspect.

Gear Review: The North Face Kichatna Shell Jacket

Armor for tall hikers

Gear Review: Adidas Outdoor Terrex Advanced Shell Jacket

Unique features fit for the cold

Gear Review: Voormi High-E Hoodie

A pullover made with Rocky Mountain wool to keep you warm.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Beta LT Shell Jacket

Brawn without the bulk

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Compulsion 3L/Snowtastic Hardshell

The Swiss Army Knife of Hardshells

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Sleeping Bags

Hit snooze no matter what.

Gear Review: Montane Alpine Endurance Event Hardshell

Alpine climbers' all-time favorite

Gear Review: Flylow Lab Coat Hardshell

For style, form, and function

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Footwear

Get the right footwear for every adventure.

Gear Review: Mammut Lanin/Larain Hardshell

A hardshell that's powder ready and made for the skier that likes to earn her turns.

Gear Review: Nemo Canon -40 Sleeping Bag

A bag built to wrap you in a world of warmth - sans sweat.

Gear Review: Dynafit Patroul GTX Hardshell

Outstanding lightweight shell with serious breathability

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 0 Sleeping Bag

A bag with down-like features for a fraction of the price.

Gear Review: Salomon Tour Hardshell

Favorite all-season shell

Gear Review: DPS Wailer 99 skis

When 90 percent of our test crew argues over who gets to ride a certain ski, we know we've found excellence.

Gear Review: Mountain Equipment Snowline SL Sleeping Bag

A lightweight bag built to battle cold temps.

Gear Review: Line Sick Day 95 skis

Skis for less-than-optimal backcountry conditions.

Gear Review: Asolo Eiger GV Boot

The Eigers are so much more nimble and maneuverable than other mountaineering boots for big summits in snow and cold.

Gear Review: Vasque Arrowhead UD/Sakadia UD Boot

Featuring 200 grams of Thinsulate, a dimpled mylar reflective liner, and a fleece collar.

Gear Review: Chaco Hinterland Mid Boot

More concerned about comfort than cold? If you don nott need winter insulation, this is your boot.

Gear Review: Salomon Fellraiser Trail Runner

The 8mm deep lugs bit into the muddiest, steepest terrain.

Gear Review: Adidas Outdoor SlopeCruiser CP Boot

Supportive, street-looking, lightweight and waterproof kicks.

Gear Review: Treksta Alta GTX Boot

Wear the midweight Alta GTX, which provides unmatched grip on frozen terrain.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Eyewear

See better in all conditions with these sunglasses and goggles.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Baselayers

Boost next-to-skin comfort with 12 top picks.

Gear Review: The North Face Aleutian 3S Sleeping Bag

A bag low on price and high on comfort.

Gear Review: REI Radiant Long and Wide Sleeping Bag

A bag built with more wiggle room in mind.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Electronics

Stay connected while off the grid.

Gear Review: Terramar Smartsilk Crew/Tights

Made from a lightweight, body-mapped fabric, these baselayers excelled in all conditions.

Gear Review: Lowe Alpine DryFlo LS Top 120 Baselayer Top

An odor-resistant 100-percent polyester knit top.

Gear Review: Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Hoody

A midweight baselayer with year-round performance.

Gear Review: Westcomb Sphere Baselayers

These ultrawarm layers will keep you outside longer.

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.

Gear Review: Craft Warm Crewneck

A high-wicking baselayer for aerobic movers.

Apps for the Trail

Upgrade your digital trip planning and recording.

Gear Review: DeLorme inReach SE Two-Way Messenger

Receive messages from off-the-grid locales.

Gear Review: Brunton Power Essentials Solar Kit

A power pack and solar panel for backcountry juice.

Gear Review: Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell Portable Speakers

Wireless speakers with great sound.

Gear Review: Pentax Optio WG-3 Digital Camera

A camera built for adventure races.

Route Planner: Rand McNally Foris 850 GPS

The first GPS unit from maps maker Rand McNally.

Gear Review: Sony DEV-50V Digital Recording Binoculars

A pair of binoculars that doubles as a video camera - with the added bonus of 3D.

Gear Review: Garmin Oregon 650 GPS

This is one of the most powerful--yet compact--GPS units we've ever tested.

Gear Review: Smith Approach Max Slideshows

Lightweight shades with maximum ventilation.

Gear Review: Oakley Style Switch Sunglasses

A no-budge sunglass with interchangeable lenses.

Gear Review: POC Cornea NXT Photo Goggles

An all-purpose lens combined with fog-free performance.

Gear Review: Zeal Penny Lane Sunglasses

If you want one pair of shades that are both stylish and functional the Zeal Penny Lane fit the bill.

Gear Review: Julbo Suspect Sunglasses

A lightweight, single-lens, do-anything frame with great coverage and durability.

Gear Review: Oakley Airbrake Snow Goggles

Goggles sporting easy-change lenses - even with gloves on.

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Tents

Find refuge in these lightweight picks

Fall Gear Guide 2013: Backpacks

Make easier miles in these tester favorites.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Akto Tent

Packed, the Akto scrunches to the size of a six-pack-of-bagels.

Gear Review: Exped Orion III Tent

Three-person space at a weight comparable to many two-person winter tents; that's the Orion III.

Gear Review: Brooks Range Propel 2D Tent

The Propel 2D includes 5 poles and the shelter only weighs 3 pounds.

Gear Review: Easton Torrent 2P Tent

Many two-person tents fill up fast with gear and humans, leaving scant move-around space. Not so with the Torrent 2P.

Gear Review: Crux X2 Storm Tent

"This tent is built like a brick house."

Gear Review: Fjallraven Akka Endurance Tent

In places with ferocious weather, there's nothing better than a lot of protected space for cooking and storing gear.

Gear Review: Gregory Targhee 45 Backpack

A pack with plenty of easy-to-access storage.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Equipment Anthem Backpack

A compact pack stuffed with stability.

Gear Review: Tarptent Scarp 1

This an ultralight, compact, one person tent.

Gear Review: Tarptent Scarp 1

This an ultralight, compact, one person tent.

Gear Review: REI XT 85 Backpack

A big-load capacity pack that's big on comfort.

Gear Review: Tarptent Scarp 1

This an ultralight, compact, one person tent.

Gear Review: Osprey Kode 32 Backpack

A pack perfect for backcountry skiing or snowboarding.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Khamski Backpack

A backpack built to handle all outdoor activities.

Gear Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Ice Pack

A lightweight, indestructible ice pack for all conditions.

Gear Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Ice Pack

A lightweight backpack for ice climbing.

Gear Review: Outdoor Edge Fish & Bone Knife

A portable knife made for cleaning fish.

Fly Fishing Gear

Four products to help you catch your dinner.

Gear Review: Redington Sonic-Pro Ultra Packable Waders

Fishing waders that pack down to the size of a cantaloupe.

Gear Review: Orvis Clearwater Fishing Rod & Encounter II Reel

An affordable fly fishing rod/reel combo from Orvis.

Gear Review: Patagonia Sweet Pack Vest

A versatile fishing vest from Patagonia.

Tech Talk: Trailproofing Headlamps

Learn what a headlamps IP code is. Plus, three more multifunctional lights.

Field Test: Headlamps

Seven ways to light up the night.

Gear Review: Fenix HL30 Headlamp

A bargain headlamp that's still powerful and durable.

Readers' Choice Awards - Your Gear Preferences!

Let your voice be heard! In our January 2014 issue, we will reveal the results of this short survey, designed to capture the personality, passion, and penchants of you...our amazing readers!

Drink Up: Hydration and Purifying Gear for the Trail

Stay hydrated on the trail with these innovative filters and containers.

Gear Review: Platypus Sprinter X.T. 35.0

A hearty hydration pack that's also water resistant.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen H2 Flow Jacket

A versatile, hoodless jacket.

Gear Review: Alite Mayfly Chair

A packable, comfortable camp chair that's not tippy.

Gear Review: Oboz Traverse Low Hiking Shoes

Low-cut hiking boots that are grippy in all conditions.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Jacket

A bargain rain jacket that's actually breathable.

Pamper Your Feet

Boost comfort with these three sock, shoe, and insert options.

Gear Review: Scarpa Kailash GTX Boot

A new and improved version of a boot we've long loved.

Field Test: Big-Trip Boots

Tackle rugged peaks, haul mighty loads, and thrash through the backcountry. These seven boots will support and protect you through it all.

Gear Review: The North Face Verbera Hiker GTX Boot

Excellent cushioning in a long-trail hiker.

Gear Review: LOWA Focus GTX Mid/Focus GTX QC Boot

An ideal boot for technical terrain that requires precise footing.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Navigating the Latest In GPS

Reader Report Jon Bausman takes you inside the latest in GPS navigation at the Summer OR Show, whether you're a purist seeking an inexpensive option or a tech-lover searching for the newest gadget.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: High-Tech Tools

Backpacker Reader Reporter Whit Vogel digs up a few pint-size multitools, watches, and a headlamp that will turn heads.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Hydration Big and Small

Reader Reporter Shey Kiester quenches her thirst for new H20 accessories.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Oh I Would Walk 500 Miles...

Reader Reporter Evan Pederson searches for what's new below the knee.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Action Accessories

Backpacker Reader Reporter Whit is on a mission to look for the wackiest accessories around.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Heroes in a Hardshell

Reader Reporter Jon Bausman takes you inside the best ultralight, softshell, and technical hardshells for 2014.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Adventure Wear for Adventure Women

Reader Reporter Shey Kiester shovels through duds for the best in women's digs.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: A Man's Vest Friend

Evan looks for stylish baselayers and functional vest that might take the place of an old favorite.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: The Perfect Pack

Reader Reporter Shey Kiester seeks out the most versatile and innovative daypacks and expedition bags.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: The Lighter Side of Tent City

Reader Reporter Jon Bausman finds that Tent City offers a field of tents for every adventurer.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: A Range of Stoves & Cook Sets

Reader Reporter Whit Vogel sparks up conversations about 2014 backcountry cooking products.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Sleep On It

Reader Reporter Evan Pederson ignores the Salt Lake City heat and climbs into this season's new sleeping bags.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Fly Fishing 101

Reader Reporter Whit Vogel seeks out a lesson in fly fishing and finds a few ladies to show her the ropes.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Wacky and Wild Ways to Move at Demo Day

Reader Reporter Shey Kiester gets down and dirty testing out the latest and greatest modes of transport.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: What's SUP at the OR Show?

Jon Bausman takes you inside for a first-timer's perspective on stand-up paddleboarding (SUP).

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013: Evan Hunts for Treasure

Magellan sponsors a geocaching treasure hunt and Evan searches for what's new at Day 0 of Outdoor Retailer.

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.

Smartphone Photo Accessories

Outfit your phone for better backcountry pictures.

Gear Review: Costa Del Mar Cat Cay Sunglasses

Full-coverage lenses that let zero light seep, but shades that don't overwhelm a small face.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear ThruWay 50 Backpack

A light 50-liter pack with minimalist suspension.

Gear Review: Lighter1 Bear Bin

A bear canister with a built-in cooking pan and bowl -- for you, not the bear.

Gear Review: Soto WindMaster

A versatile stove that works great in windy conditions.

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



BACKPACKER'S Year of the Reader Contests May

Our year long 40th anniversary celebration continues with a chance to win an epic Kilimanjaro trek and other great prizes.

Field Test: Big-trip Packs

We tested a slew of load monsters to find the best in comfort, support, and organization.

Troubleshoot This: Soaked Sleeping Bag

Dry out your sleeping bag so it will keep you warmer longer.

Get a Grip

5 ways to boost traction on snow-covered, early-season routes.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Equipment Cosmo Headlamp

Bright and light describe this rugged headlamp from Black Diamond Equipment.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX Boots

Hike confidently with these sticky-soled boots from La Sportiva.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Bellyache Mountain SL 17 Sleeping Bag

Lightweight and affordable, this bag will keep you warm and dry in a variety of weather.

Gear Review: Salomon Mont Baron WS Hoodie

This breathable hoodie is ideal for high-elevation or high-intensity trips.

Gear Review: MSR Reactor 1.0 Stove

An integrated burner, pot, and heat exchanger sized for solo hikers.

Pack Upgrades

3 great ways to store accessories, water, and food.

Gear Review: Field Test More Packs

Find the best pack for your needs with these four field-tested models.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Shaka 70/Lani 60

Hike hard in hot weather with this well-ventilated pack from Mountain Hardwear.

Gear Review: Osprey Volt 75/Viva 65

Enjoy big pack performance with this light-weight bargain pack from Osprey.

Gear Review: The North Face Conness 70/65

This adjustable pack from The North Face provides all-day comfort, even with a heavy load.

Fix It: Easy Backpacking Gear Repairs

Master these easy repairs to save on shop costs and replacement gear.

Backpacking Gear Maintenance Tips

Extend the life of your pack, sleeping bag, and tent with these tips.

Create Tyvek Treasures

Stay warm and fight the rain with three simple projects using this waterproof/breathable material.

Build It: Make an Efficient Alcohol Stove

Use extreme-distance hiker Andrew Skurka's plan to construct an ultralight, ultracheap cooking system.

Easy Money: Where to Find Gear Savings

Whether you're buying maps or park passes, there are easy ways to save a few bucks.

How to Buy (and Sell) Used Gear

Save and make money with these tips from experts at the country's best secondhand gear shops.

Rent or Own? Making Gear Choices

Don't (always) shell out for specialty gear.

Shop Smart: Buy This, Not That

What to choose when buying water bottles, batteries, water treatments, and midlayers.

Shop Smart: Smart Gear-Buying Habits

Four handy tips for getting the most for your money.

Easy Money: Save Money on Gear

By shopping strategically, planning smart, and maintaining your gear, and making easy repairs you can save big. These 75 tip are here to help.

Editors' Choice 2013

From a bomber ultralight tent to the best GPS watch we've seen, here are the 15 products that passed the ultimate field test.

Gear Guide 2013: Backpacks

Treat your back to the perfect load-hauler.

Gear Guide 2013: Mid Duty Boots

Tough, ankle-protecting boots that can carry a load.

Gear Guide 2013: Light Duty Boots

Low profile shoes that can take a beating.

Gear Guide 2013: Trail Runners

Go light and fast with these trail running models.

Gear Guide 2013: Boots & Trail Runners

Find the perfect kicks for going fast and far.

Gear Guide 2013: Tents

Find the right shelter for every budget and trip.

Gear Guide 2013: The Ten Essentials

Don't get caught without these trail-tested must-haves.

Gear Guide 2013: Food

Get fueled with tasty backcountry meals.

Gear Guide 2013: Kitchen Gear

Cook better - use the best tools.

Gear Gude 2013: Paddling

Float away with the best boats and watersport accessories.

Gear Guide 2013: Women's Gear

Our female testers found this year's best products.

Gear Review: Moving Comfort Vero Sports Bra

The adjustable Moving Comfort Vero has three adjustments, accommodating a variety of sizes.

Gear Review: Wenonah Royalex Spirit II Canoe

Paddle through any conditions with this durable canoe from Wenonah.

Gear Review: Immersion Research Long Sleeve Zephyr Paddling Jacket

Stay dry and comfortable with this breathable paddling jacket from Immersion Research.

Gear Review: Nux Breathe T-Back Sports Bra

Small-chested women rejoice: this moderate-compression racerback resists chafing.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Airpurge Dry Compression Sacks

Combine all the benefits of a dry bag and compression sack and you get the Airpurge Dry Compressions Sacks from Outdoor Research.

Gear Review: Bending Branches Sunrise Glass Kayak Paddle

Go lightweight with this adjustable kayak paddle from Bending Branches.

Gear Review: Isis Aurora Shell

This Isis bargain shell will keep you dry in hours of downpour.

Gear Review: Perception Expression 11.5 Sea Kayak

Get flexibility for a bargain with this sea kayak from Perception.

Gear Review: Patagonia Women's Capilene 4 Expedition Weight Bottoms

Leg insulation built for a woman's curves.

Gear Review: Kokatat Maximus PFD

Re-think your preconceptions with this comfortable PFD from Kokatat.

Gear Review: Innova Swing II Inflatable Kayak

This inflatable kayak from Innova combines storage benefits and a hard-shell-like deck.

Gear Review: Sperry Top-Sider SON-R Sounder Shandal

Grip and draining combine in this hybrid shoe from Sperry Top-Sider.

Gear Review: Wilderness Systems Zephyr 160 Sea Kayak

This sea kayak from Wilderness Systems gives you the comfort and storage space necessary for a multi-day journey.

Gear Review: MSR Trail Lite Duo System Cook Kit

Make more while carrying less with this compact cook kit from MSR.

Gear Review: Baladeo G-Series 52G Cutlery Set

These lightweight utensils from Hyalite Equipment are functional and fashionable.

Gear Review: Olicamp Vector + XTS Stove Combo

Never take more than you need with this compact cookstove from Liberty Mountain

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Soft-Sided Bottle Set

Never be at a loss for flavor when using this bottle set from GSI Outdoors.

Gear Review: Optimus Vega Stove

Feel like you have an entire kitchen in your arsenal with this versatile stove from Optimus

Gear Review: Skirt Sports Adventure Girl

Embrace your femininity on the trail with this oh-so-flattering skirt. Pockets included.

Gear Review: Ahnu Montara Boot

Comfy and fun, the Ahnu Montara Boot will keep you stabilized while hiking and stylish in the town.

Gear Review: ExOfficio Women's Dryflylite Long-Sleeve Shirt

ExOfficio brings modesty, sun protection, and breathability with this women's shirt model.

Gear Review: Isis Active Boy Shorts

Flexible and supportive: Isis Active Boy Shorts also double as spontaneous swim gear.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Harmony Pants

Fashion and function: these quick-dry pants can withstand cold, thorns, and dog loving with a comfortable waistband.

Gear Guide 2013: Climbing Gear

Crag-tested picks from the editors of Climbing magazine

Gear Review: Starbucks VIA Refreshers Very Berry Hibiscus Drink Mix

These aptly named Refreshers from Starbucks provide a flavorful energy kick to get you back on the trail.

Gear Guide 2013: Basecamping

Kick back with luxe gear for car and boat trips.

Gear Review: Skratch Labs Raspberry Exercise Hydration Mix

These fruit infused drink mixes from Skratch Labs are the all-natural energy boost you need during a hard summit push.

Gear Review: Hiya Green Tea

Enjoy staying hydrated with this cold-brewed green tea from Hiya.

Gear Review: Sahale Snacks Pomegranate Pistachios

Step aside, GORP. This flavorful nut mix from Sahale Snacks is taking trail snacks to a new level.

Gear Review: PocketFuel Pineapple Coconut

Go nuts over these flavored spreads from PocketFuel.

Gear Review: Mooney Farms Bella Sun Lucí Sun-Dried Julienne-Cut Tomatoes

These sun-dried tomatoes from Mooney Farms are great on-the-go or to add flavor to a meal.

Gear Review: Just Tomatoes Etc! Freeze-Dried Strawberries 'N Bananas

This freeze dried fruit from Just Tomatoes is great on its own or as an add-in.

Gear Guide 2013: Eyewear

Protect your eyes with versatile shades.

Gear Review: Honey Stinger Vanilla Organic Energy Gel

Quick energy is the hallmark of these energy gels from Honey Stinger.

Gear Review: Clif Shot Bloks Chocolate Cherry

Stay energized the natural way with these fruity sweet Shot Bloks from Clif.

Gear Review: Packit Gourmet Poblano Corn Chowder

Spice up you adventure with this poblano corn chowder from Packit Gourmet.

Gear Reivew: Packit Gourmet Pizza Margherita Wrap

This pizza-inspired flavor-packed filling from Packit Gourmet will become whatever you make it.

Gear Review: Packit Gourmet Curried Mango Chicken Salad

This cold-water-prep chicken salad from Packit Gourmet will keep you fueled and on the trail.

Gear Review: Backpacker's Pantry Cuban Coconut Black Beans and Rice

Bring the fruity flavors of the tropics to the backcountry with this vegan meal from Backpacker's Pantry.

Gear Review: Adventure Appetites Basil Pistachio Penne

This rich pasta from Adventure Appetites combines many exciting flavors - smoked salmon, black olives, and sun dried tomatoes to name a few - into one satisfying backcountry dish.

Gear Review: Quaker Real Medleys Summer Berry Instant Oatmeal

Spice up a backpacker's staple with this berry oatmeal from Quaker Oats.

Gear Review: Packit Gourmet West Memphis Grits Soufflé

Bring southern comfort food into the outdoors with these mildly spicy and cheesy grits from Packit Gourmet.

Gear Review: Stonelick BLU Crashpad

Don't break the bank or yourself with this affordable crashpad from Stonelick.

Gear Review: BlueWater Flash Harness

This adjustable, comfortable harness from BlueWater is a bargain to share with the whole family.

Gear Review: Scarpa Force X Rock Climbing Shoe

Stay comfortable without sacrificing performance with the Scarpa Force X Rock Shoe.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Equipment Vapor Helmet

Stay protected without being weighed down wearing this ultralight helmet from Black Diamond Equipment.

Gear Review: Mammut 10.0 Sensor Rope

Feel secure with this Mammut rope with built-in safety features.

Gear Review: Dog Gear

Provide the best for your dog with these canine-specific items.

Gear Review: d.light S10 Solar Lantern

Let nature fuel your light with this solar powered lantern from d.light.

Gear Review: Highgear WeatherPort Weather Station

Stay safe with this handheld weather station from Highgear.

Gear Review: SOG Folding Bladelight Knife

This flashlight/knife combo from SOG allows for use at all times of day - or night.

Gear Review: Lodge 15” Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet

Backcountry food just got better with this light-weight skillet from Lodge.

Gear Review: Helinox Chair One

Take a seat wherever you go with this compact seat from Big Agnes.

Gear Review: Pelican ProGear MC Elite Cooler

Keep food colder longer with this sturdy cooler from Pelican ProGear.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot

Get a good night's sleep with this luxury cot from Therm-a-Rest.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Mirage 4 Tent

Camp in comfort with this spacious and weatherproof tent from Sierra Designs.

Gear Review: Revo Guide Extreme Sunglasses

These multi-featured shades from Revo will keep you seeing clearly during high-altitude exertion.

Gear Review: adidas Swift Solo Sunglasses

These versatile shades from adidas provide no-slip comfort coupled with clear, natural colors.

Gear Review: Costa Tuna Alley with 580G Green Mirror Lens Sunglasses

View the world with clarity wearing these copper-tinted lenses from Costa,

Gear Reivew: Smith PivLock V2 Sunglasses

Get great coverage in a light-weight, zero-fog package with the Smith PivLock V2.

Gear Review: Tifosi Dolomite 2.0 With Smoke Polarized Fototec Lens Sunglasses

Experience all of the benefits of sunglasses with no change in natural color with these shades from Tifosi.

Gear Review: Ryders Cypress Sunglasses

Get great vision at all light levels with these killer deal shades from Ryders.

Editors' Choice 2013 Gold Award: Snow Peak Titanium Double Wall 450 Mug

Drink from the sweetest camp cup on the planet.

Editors' Choice 2013: Adventure Appetites Reindeer Gouda Scramble Wrap

This breakfast is so good, you'll forget it's camp food.

Editors' Choice 2013: Sweetwood Cattle Company Beef Jerky

This small-batch, baked (not dehydrated), Colorado-made protein snack is a cut above the rest.

Editors' Choice 2013: Garmin fenix

Stay found and stay fit with this best-in-class GPS watch.

Editors' Choice 2013: Pentax K-30 DSLR Camera

This weather-sealed DSLR is immune to the elements.

Editors' Choice 2013: Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS

Shoot high-quality pics with a rugged point-and-shoot.

Editors' Choice 2013: Black Diamond Equipment ReVolt

Recharge the batteries or swap them out with standard AAAs; you'll never be in the dark.

Editors' Choice 2013: Big Agnes Scout UL2 Tent

This is the lightest two-person shelter on the market that offers big-storm and bug protection for less than $300.

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.

Editors' Choice 2013: Zamberlan 230 SH Crosser Plus GTX RR

Get no-compromise lightweight boots that perform like heavyweights.

Editors' Choice 2013: LifeProof iPhone Case

Protect your phone from anything, no bulk required.

Editors' Choice 2013: Sierra Designs Flash 2 Tent

Score a tent that has it all: low weight and impressive durability, plus ample living space and solid storm protection.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Mini Hozuki Lantern

Improve every camp night with this little big light.

Editors' Choice 2013: NEMO Nocturne 15 and 30 Spoon Sleeping Bags

This bag's revolutionary shape delivers maximum roll-around comfort with minimum weight.

Editors' Choice 2013: Asolo Reston/Athena Boots

Enjoy goat-like agility with midweight support.

Gear Guide 2013: Shells

Stay dry and warm with core protection for any weather.

Gear Guide 2013: Electronics

Enhance any trek with these cameras and gadgets

Gear Review: Apple iPad Mini Tablet

Make lasting memories in style with the Apple iPad Mini.

Gear Review: Google Nexus 7 Mini Tablet

Personalize your maps on the go with the beginner-friendly Google Nexus 7.

Gear Review: Braven 625s Multi-use Speaker

You don't have to stop the music with this multi-use speaker from Braven.

Gear Review: MTM Special Ops Silencer Never-Fail Watch

Never lose track of time with the burly and feature-heavy MTM Special Ops Silencer watch.

Gear Review: Lezyne Phone Wallet

Take your essentials with you wherever you go with this smart storage case from Lezyne.

Gear Review: Pelican Elite Case i1075 Portable Office

Never be more than a click away with this portable office from Pelican.

Gear Review: Solio Classic2 Solar Charger

Stay plugged in off the grid with the Solio Classic2 solar charger.

Gear Review: Nikon D3200 Entry-Level DSLR

Shoot like a professional with minimal experience using this entry-level DSLR from Nikon.

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: Adventure Medical Kits SOL 2-Person Emergency Bivvy

Stay safe and comforted in an emergency with this bivvy for two from Adventure Medical Kits.

Gear Review: Leki Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles

Get a grip - more comfortably - as you hike with these trekking poles from Leki.

Gear Review: KINeSYS SPF 30 Alcohol-Free Spray Sun Protection

Play outside without fear using KINeSYS SPF 30 Alcohol-Free Spray sunscreen.

Gear Review: Columbia Freeze Degree Half Zip Sun Protection Shirt

Long sleeves in the sun? You'll stay cool with this 1/2 zip from Columbia.

Gear Review: Tilley T5MO Organic Cotton AIRFLO Hat Sun Protection

Stay covered in the toughest of conditions with this Tilley hat.

Gear Guide: Outdoor Research Womens Squadron Cap

Stay cool and covered in all weather with the Outdoor Research Women's Squadron Cap.

The North Face Outdoor Exploration Intern

TNF is looking for an energetic intern available to work on an exciting upcoming event with North Face athletes. Deadline for applications is April 16, 2013, so do it now!

Gear Review: SOG PowerAssist Multitool

Do it all with this easy-access, customizable multitool from SOG.

Gear Review: Gerber Bear Grylls Paracord Fixed Blade Knife

Feel confident in the outdoors with this all-purpose knife from Gerber.

Gear Review: MSR Aquatabs Water Treatment

Go ultralight while staying healthy with the MSR Aquatabs.

Gear Review: Platypus GravityWorks 4.0L Water Treatment

Spread the joy of clean water with this group-friendly filtration system from Platypus.

Gear Review: SteriPen Ultra Water Treatment

Get clean water fast with this easy-to-use SteriPen Ultra.

Gear Review: PowerBar Energy Blasts Extra Food

Enjoy your extra calories with PowerBar Energy Blasts.

Gear Review: Trimble Outdoors Elite Mapping Software

Get a trip planner, online, and print maps in one bundle from Trimble Outdoors.

Gear Review: Suunto MC-2 Global Compass

Get to your destination quickly and reliably with the Suunto MC-2 Global.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits SOL Fire Lite with Tinder-Quik Fire Starter

Keep warm in a storm with this light-anywhere fire starter from Adventure Medical Kits.

Gear Review: REI Backpacker Plus Extended First Aid Kit

Be prepared for trips of all lengths with this first aid kit from REI.

2013 Adventures NYC



Gear Review: More Tester Picks Shoes

Perfect your stride with this myriad selection.

Gear Review: Mammut Mercury Advanced GTX Heavy Duty Boots

You'd never expect this model's protection by looking at it's ultralight weight.

Gear Review: More Tester Picks Shells

Find your ideal shell with these myriad reviews.

Gear Review: Wild Things Custom Wind Pro Hoody Softshell

Make a statement with this custom softshell from Wild Things.

Gear Review: Marmot Nabu Softshell

The waterproof Marmot Nabu bridges the gap between softshell and hardshell.

Gear Review: Rab Zephyr/Solar Softshell

The Rab Zephys/Solar pairs a multitude of features with one low price.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody Softshell

Explore off the beaten path with this durable softshell from Arc'teryx.

Gear Review: Mammut Ultimate Light Softshell

Be ready for all weather conditions with the Mammut Ultimate Light.

Gear Review: adidas Outdoor Terrex Zupalite Softshell

This ultralight adidas softshell excels in everything from daily life to daring ascents.

Gear Review: Westcomb Crest Hoody Softshell

For cold weather activities, check out this softshell from Westcomb, a minimalist in price and weight.

Gear Guide 2013: Sleeping Pads

A good sleeping pad completes your sleeping bag - here are five great ones.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Enchainment Softshell

The sky is the limit for this weather-resistant softshell from Outdoor Research.

Gear Review: Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Parka Hardshell

What do you get when you make a down jacket water resistant and increase its loft? The Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Parka Hardshell.

Gear Review: Millet Alpine Xcelerator Hardshell

This well-rounded hardshell from Millet suits the most varied of lifestyles.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Transonic Hardshell

Choose the Outdoor Research Transonic for breathability in the worst of conditions.

Gear Review: Salomon Veyrier Stretch Jacket Hardshell

Freedom of movement defines this hardshell from Salomon.

Gear Review: Patagonia Torrentshell Hardshell

Spend less with this all-around performer from Patagonia.

Gear Review: Montane Minimus Smock Hardshell

Go minimalist with the Montane Minimus Smock.

Gear Review: Marmot Micro G Hardshell

Stay snug in a storm with the Marmot Micro G.

Gear Review: Westcomb Focus LT Hoody Hardshell

Breathability and ultralight combine in this hardshell from Westcomb.

Gear Review: Bergans Helium Hardshell

The breathability of this hardshell from Bergans provides comfort in all conditions.

Gear Review: Rab Myriad Hardshell

For comfort in Myriad conditions, look no further than this hardshell from Rab.

Gear Review: REI Flash Insulated Air Sleeping Pad

Features abound in this three-season sleeping pad from REI.

Gear Review: Exped DownMat Lite 5 Sleeping Pad

Stay warm with this down-lined inflatable sleeping pad from Exped.

Gear Review: Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad

Save money and reduce bulk with this summer sleeping pad from Klymit.

Gear Guide 2013: Sleeping Bags

Our team spent 516 field nights picking the best bags for all seasons -- so you'll never risk a sleepless night.

Gear Review: Mammut Alpine Mat UL Sleeping Pad

Get more for less with this durable foam pad from Mammut.

Gear Guide 2013: Winter Bags

Stay warm in sub-freezing temps with these sleeping bags option.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SL Sleeping Pad

Take the comfort of your bed outdoors with the Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SL.

Gear Guide 2013: Three-Season Sleeping Bags

Year-round, well almost, sleeping bag comfort.

Gear Guide 2013: Summer Sleeping Bags

Find your perfect backcountry bed for when the temps are balmy.

Gear Review: More Tester Picks Sleeping Bags

Find the bag that fits you best with this plethora of reviews.

Editors' Choice 2013: Marmot Plasma 0 Sleeping Bag

Go light without sacrificing warmth with the Marmot Plasma 0.

Gear Review: Kelty Ignite Down DriDown 0 Sleeping Bag

Keep warm and dry at a bargain with the Kelty Ignite DriDown 0.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Cal 13 Sleeping Bag

Water-repellent down keeps this ultralight Sierra Designs bag drier and loftier than the competition.

Gear Review: Marmot Xenon 15 Sleeping Bag

Sorry men, this lofty and warm Marmot Xenon 15 is only available for women.

Gear Review: NEMO Strato Loft 25 Sleeping Bag

Perfect for car camping and shorter hikes, the NEMO Strato Loft 25 provides the best in roomy backcountry comfort.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest Antares Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bag and pad are combined in this ultralight model from Therm-a-Rest.

Gear Review: Exped UltraLite 500 Sleeping Bag

Whatever tough adventures you dream up, the Exped UltaLite 500 is up to the challenge.

Gear Review: GoLite Z10 Sleeping Bag

Pack small without sacrificing warmth with the GoLite Z10.

Gear Review: Millet Dreamer Composite Sleeping Bag

Waterproof and warm, this hybrid Millet is an excellent bargain.

Gear Review: Eastern Mountain Sports Mountain Light 15 Sleeping Bag

This all-around bag from Eastern Mountain Sports boasts an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Shoestring SL 22 Sleeping Bag

This synthetic bag from Big Agnes is as breathable and lofty as down.

Gear Review: The North Face Hightail 2S Sleeping Bag

The North Face Hightail 2S offers unparalleled loft in a roomy, waterproof bag.

Gear Review: REI Flash Sleeping Bag

This hybrid bag from REI provides the best in comfort and waterproofing.

Gear Review: LaFuma Lightway 45 Sleeping Bag

Save money without sacrificing quality with the LaFuma Lightway 45.

Gear Review: Brooks-Range Cloak 30 Sleeping Bag

Think outside the bag with this minimalist blanket from Brooks-Range.

Gear Review: Oboz Wind River II Heavy Duty Boots

Strengthen weak ankles with optimal support and comfort.

Gear Review: Lowa Camino GTX Flex Heavy Duty Boots

Pack on the pounds and strap on the Lowa Camino GTX Flex model: These tanks can take it.

Gear Review: Ecco BIOM Hike 1.1 Heavy Duty Boots

Podiatrist-designed Ecco BIOM Hike 1.1 saves the day for those with pronation tendencies.

Gear Review: Crispi Ascent Plus GTX Heavy Duty Boots

Feather-like ankle support and heel stability come with these Crispi Ascent Plus GTX heavy duties.

Gear Review: Salewa Hike Trainer GTX Mid Duty Boots

From scrambling to hiking, this killer deal provides ample protection.

Gear Review: Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX Mid Duty Boots

Bear those heavy-packed trips with stable strides by way of Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX support.

Gear Review: Patagonia Drifter A/C Mid Waterproof Mid Duty Boots

You'll never want to take off these comfortable Patagonias.

Gear Review: AKU Transalpina GTX Mid Duty Boots

Ditch the insoles with the built-in support of the mid duty AKU Transalpina.

Gear Review: Salewa Wildfire GTX Light Duty Boots

The support, flex, and grip of these Salewas will keep your stride solid.

Gear Review: Millet Rock Hopper Light Duty Boots

Scramble narrow edges without killing your feet: flat-footed stability for a killer price.

Gear Review: Asolo Reston/Athena Light Duty Boots

This Asolo model wins best light duty for its impressive stability.

Gear Review: Merrell Proterra/Vim Sport Light Duty Boots

Breezy shoes perfect for a heated hike where sandals just wont cut it.

Gear Review: Five Ten Aescent Light Duty Boots

These light duty kicks will bust you up scrambles with its impressive grips.

Gear Review: Salomon XT Wings 3 Trail Runners

Secure and light: This fantasy turns reality with the Salomon XT Wings 3 model.

Gear Review: Saucony Xodus 3.0 GTX Trail Runners

Fang-ridden soles keep runners on their feet in the muddiest terrain with this Saucony model.

Gear Review: Asics Gel-FujiTrainer 2 Trail Runners

Gel patch-induced comfort make Asics' lightweight model a tester favorite.

Gear Review: New Balance Minimus 1010 Trail Trail Runners

A barefoot profile and barefoot weight, yet cushioned for rocky trails.

Gear Review: Scarpa Spark GTX Trail Runners

Water-resistant and light, hit the trail with no rainy day excuses.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Trail Runners

These slip-resisting kicks allow for a bold increase of your trail-run stride.

Gear Guide 2013: Three-Person Tents

Comfy for three (or spacious for two!), these three-person tents are backcountry ready.

Gear Guide: More Tester Tent Picks



Gear Review: NEMO Bugout 9X9 Tent

Bugout lets you congregate for blissfully insect-free meals and card games.

Gear Review: The North Face Kings Canyon 4 Tent

Few four-person tents best this blend of livability, low weight, and reasonable cost.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Lago 2 Tent

This versatile, two-person shelter handles high-altitude summers and winters with equal aplomb.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 3 Tent

If low weight is your prime tent priority, put this shelter at the top of your shopping list.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Anjan 3GT Tent

A sturdy shelter that's under five pounds.

Gear Review: Bergans Compact Light 3-Person Tent

A tent that is ideal for regions that see plenty of rain and wintry weather year-round.

Gear Guide 2013: Two-Person Tents

Double up in these two-person tents.

Gear Review: REI Half Dome 2-Person Tent

The perennial BACKPACKER favorite gets an upgrade with better ventilation.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Mountain Shelter LT Two-Person Tent

It's not often that the lightest shelter in our test is also the cheapest and biggest.

Gear Review: Marmot Pulsar 2 Tent

A long drip line and spacious headroom let's you enjoy the inside, and the outside, no matter the elements.

Gear Review: GoLite Imogene UL 2 Tent

A low-weight, low-cost two-person, freestanding tent

Gear Review: Eureka! Midori 2-Person Tent

An affordable two-person tent that can handle real weather.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Slater UL2+ Tent

A 96-inch-long, two-person tents suits every height.

Gear Guide 2013: One-Person Tents

Lightweight, but sturdy tents for the solo camper.

Gear Review: The North Face Mica FL 1 Tent

Deluxe features and headroom for a relatively low weight.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear SuperMegaUL 1

A lightweight tent that doesn't skimp on weather protection.

Gear Review: Big Sky Soul Solo Tent

A freestanding tent that tarp lovers will love.

Gear Review: More Tester Picks for Packs

Check out these additional tester picks.

Gear Review: REI Crestrail 70 Multiday Pack

For big, big loads (think parents or mountaineering) this pack is ideal.

Gear Review: Gregory Contour 70 Multiday Pack

The more you pack, the better it will carry.

Gear Review: Osprey Xenith 75 Multiday Pack

Clever features, plentiful pockets, and easy-access side zips have earned this pack "best organization."

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Altra 65 Multiday Pack

Best all-around: this pack will melt into your body and accomodate any quick-access needs as it supports over 50 pounds.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Lariat 65 Multiday Pack

Mountainsmith Lariat 65 is a big-load bargain pack that'll last.

Gear Review: Bergans Helium 55 Multiday Pack

Light weight and load-bearing: Try this clean-design, ultralight pack.

Gear Review: Kelty Fleet 55 Multiday Pack

Cure for back sweat takes the form of pack with the Kelty Fleet 55.

Gear Review: Granite Gear Leopard V.C. 46 Multiday Pack

This pack's balance and close-fit is made complete with it's most exhaustive compression system.

Gear Review: Exped Lightning 45 Multiday Pack

This pack will fine-tune fit, carry 50-pound loads, and ease the burden with its ultralight weight.

Gear Review: Deuter ACT Zero 50+15 Multiday Pack

With incredible load distribution, this pack's easy on the shoulders.

Gear Review: Boreas Sapa Trek Multiday Pack

This "best travel pack" can check as luggage, keep your electronics dry, and accomodate your travel needs.

Gear Review: Vaude Brenta 35 Daypack

Don't judge a pack by its price: this pack's a loaded bargain.

Gear Review: Columbia Silver Ridge 35L Daypack

Tough fabric, compact, and room to spare. What more could you want?

Gear Review: High Peak USA Alpinizmo Rapid 35 Daypack

Anywhere, any activity, this pack will carry your goods from bushwacking in Arizona to climbing Mt. Sneffels with an ice axe.

Gear Review: Outdoor Products Amphibian Weather Defense 20 Daypack

In constant downpour, the impermeable thermoplastic, PU-coated nylon material of this pack kept our tester's gear bone-dry.

Gear Review: Grivel Gamba 30 Daypack

Best-in-class air circulation keeps sweat off your back while maintaining stability, ideal for intense dayhikes.

Gear Review: Mammut Trion Light Daypack

This Mammut pack hugs your back for balance while maintaining freedom for movement, creating the ideal alpine pack.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Equipment Bolt 24 Daypack

Stability for heavy loads from a stiff nylon framesheet allow for minimal rubbing and improved balance with this "carry-anything workhorse" daypack.

Gear Review: Patagonia Black Hole Daypack

Durable, efficient, comfortable, surprisingly roomy, this pack survived 200 trail miles and 200,000 air miles and landed its spot as "best all-around."

Gear Guide 2013 Table of Contents

412 trail-tested products

America's Best Used Gear Stores

We tallied your votes: These are the country's top 10* gear stores. (And tips for getting the most bang for your buck when you visit.)

Make a Sleeping Bag Liner

Add 10-degrees of warmth to your sleeping bag with this simple DIY project.

Gear Guide 2013: Charts

Hundreds of pieces of outdoor gear from all the major outdoor retailers - now in an easy-to-print digital format.

Gear and Go Tour

In celebration of our readers, we have designed a second tour (in addition to our popular Get Out More Tour) that will launch in 2013, the GEAR and GO TOUR.

Field Test: Tough Waterproof Cameras

These six cameras can take it all and still bring home your hero shots.

Gear Review: Merino Midlayers

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

Gear Review: Helle Dokka Knife

You'll never have to buy another knife after the 3.3-inch triple-laminated Helle Dokka.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Seedhouse 3 Tent

A lightweight tent that can handle 30-mph windstorms...and kids.

Gear Review: The North Face Verbera Backpacker GTX

A burly boot that doesn't beat up your feet.

Gear Review: Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody

A versatile fleece midlayer that performs like outerwear.

Gear Review: Black Diamond EXL Backpack

A 20-liter pack that offers all-day comfort.

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.

Upgrade Your Camera

Improve and protect your photos with these three accessories.

Gear Review: Nikon Coolpix AW100 and FujiFilm Fine Pix XP150

Two point-and-shoot cameras that maps & GPS lovers will appreciate.

Gear Review: iON Air Pro WiFi POV Videocam

The Air Pro is the quickest, most responsive point-of-view camera we've tested.

Gear Review: Pentax WG-2

A camera that withstood a 13-mile Tough Mudder race...clipped to the racer's waist.

Gear Review: Panasonic Lumix TS20

A compact (read: lightweight and highly packable) camera that's under $200.

Gear Review: Olympus Tough TG-1

A rugged waterproof camera with great image quality.

Got Problem Feet?

An expert bootfitter can help. Here's how Phil Burgess of Ski Stop in Westwood, MA, a certified fit expert, helped one editor overcome a chronic and debilitating fit problem.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Boots on the Ground

Katy Welter searches out her favorite new footwear among hundreds of pairs on the OR Show floor.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: The Ideal Backcountry Ski Setup

Gerben Scherpbier is on a quest for the ultimate backcountry ski gear, and versatility is key.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: A Tester's Wishlist

Becca Stubbs explores the floor in search of the gear she'd most love to run through the wringer.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Best in Snow...Gear

Snow is falling in the mountains around Salt Lake, so Dave Harding hits the floor with one thing in mind: ski accessories

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Foraging for Winter Cooking Gear

Katy Welter seeks out winter cooking gear and finds the latest innovations put to new use.

Outdoor Retailer 2013 for Under $35

Amid $900 jackets and $3,000 tents, Gerben Scherpbier finds new backpacking gear for under $35.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Packing Up New Options

Becca Stubbs searches for this year's best haulers for around town and on the trail.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Packs To Combat Zombies (And More)

Dave Harding tracked down more of the show's coolest new haulers, from ultralight ski packs to ones that'll help you prepare for the zombie apocalypse.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: The Hottest New Clothes

Gerben Scherpbier scours the show floor for the warmest winter layers from head to toe.... and then he throws axes.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Charge!

More people are bringing electronics into the backcountry, and those devices need POWER. Dave Harding checks out some fun new ways to recharge.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Things That Go Blink in the Night

Katy Welter covers electronics debuting at the OR Show.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Hard Goods on a Big Floor!

Becca Stubbs is on a quest for the warmest of next year's sleeping bags, pads, and tents.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Snow Running at the All Mountain Demo

Backpacker Reader Reporter Katy Welter gears up and tries out a new sport: snowshoe running.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Let the Madness Begin!

Becca Stubbs tries sweet skis and some high-tech new safety gear at the Outdoor Retailer 2013 All Mountain Demo Day.

How to Read EN Ratings 



Outdoor Retailer 2013: May I Have Seconds Please?

Backpacker Reader Reporter Gerben Scherpbier just couldn't get enough of the gear at the 2012 OR Summer Market, so he's back for another go.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Getting Ready with Ice Axes and Avocados

Backpacker Reader Reporter Becca Stubbs shares stories about her path into the outdoors and some unconventional gear use.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: All Tuned Up!

Our newest gear tester, Dave Harding, is packing his bags and waxing his skis in preparation for this winter's Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Appreciating Winter Gear Preshow

Backpacker Reader Reporter Katy Welter leaves oddly balmy Chicago for the Northeast's cold and snow, and gains a new appreciation for winter gear.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Pro vs. Joe at the All Mountain Demo

Dave Harding reports on challenging big-mountain skier and professional guide Dean Cummings to a beacon search race.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: Hunting Grounds

At the All Mountain Demo, Gerben Scherpbier glimpses beacon search wonderland.

Gear Review: Patagonia Alpine Guide Pants

Softshell pants built for years of abuse.

Gear Review: Oboz Arete Trail Shoes

High-performance trail shoes that look good on the street.

Gear Review: Rab Generator Alpine Jacket

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

Gear Review: Eddie Bauer Expedition Drop-Bottom Duffel

A slick drop-bottom feature sets this tough, smooth-rolling duffel apart.

Gear Review: Terramar TXO 1.0 Body-Sensors Crew

This baselayer has excellent wicking and quick-dry performance.

Field Test: Two-Person Tents

Whether you seek maximum storm protection, minimum weight, or highest value, we've found your perfect shelter.

Four Field-Tested Two-Person Tents

Check out these four two-person tents, all under $300 and 5 pounds.

Gear Review: Marmot Traillight 2 Tent

68-denier ripstop polyester on the canopy and fly make this tent a burly one.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Archer 2 Tent

A tent that can handle any and all weather conditions.

Gear Review: First Ascent Stargazer 2 Tent

The First Ascent Stargazer is a highly livable shelter for backpackers who spend tons of time in wet weather.

Reader Survey: The Best Used Gear Shops

Vote for your favorite used gear shop!

Meet the 2013 BACKPACKER Reader Reporter Team

Meet the four lucky readers -- two guys and two gals -- who will scouring the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market for the greatest (and weirdest) new gear!

Backpacker Book Recognized by 2012 National Outdoor Book Award

Backpacker Magazine's Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair written by Kristin Hostetter and published by FalconGuides Takes Home Gold Medallion

Meet the Gear Testers: Dennis Lewon

Backpacker Editor Dennis Lewon prefers solid design over shaving weight.

Meet the Gear Testers: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Elisabeth has been testing gear since she was a BACKPACKER intern.

Meet the Gear Testers: Julie Ellison

As excited as she gets about new gear, Climbing's Gear Editor knows that the best gear is the items that she comes back to again and again.

Meet the Gear Testers: Jon Dorn

BACKPACKER's former Editor-in-Chief says that his best tester quality is his clumsiness.

Meet the Gear Testers: Jackie McCaffrey

When it comes to gear, Jackie believes in comfort.

Meet the Gear Testers



Meet the Gear Testers: Bob Woodward

Bob has been testing gear for 50 years.

Meet the Gear Testers: Nancy Prichard Bouchard

Nancy believes you get what you pay for.

Meet the Gear Testers: Allison Woods

When it comes to gear, tester Allison believes in open-mindedness and innovation - just don't forget about designing gear for the ladies.

Expert Panel: Instant Upgrades



Gear Picks by Kristin Hostetter

For BACKPACKER'S Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012, Kristin tested tons of gear. Here are a few of her special favorites.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Food

Fuel the biggest cold-weather adventures.

Gear Review: Petzl Lynx Crampon

Crampons that switch between automatic and semi-automatic, for all boots and situations.

Gear Review: Climb X High Mountain Axe

A high-performance axe for an unbeatable price.

Gear Review: Mammut El Cap Helmet

An hip and multifunctional helmet for all uses.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Aspect Harness

The Aspect will take you anywhere a harness needs to go.

Gear Review: Salewa Pro Guide Boot

A solid mountaineering boot that handles distance.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Mountaineering

Go high with gear picked by the editors of Climbing magazine.

Gear Review: The North Face Radish Mid Layer Softshell

A killer softshell that performs both as an outerlayer and a midlayer.

Gear Review: Stoic Microlith Softshell Pullover

A softshell and baselayer in one.

Gear Review: Sage Quest Insulated Softshell Hoody

This angler-worthy jacket keeps your torso toasty and your arms free.

Gear Review: Rab Baltoro Guide Jacket Softshell

Warm and fuzzy on the inside, durable on the outside.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Salvo Softshell

Mediating breathability and weather-proofing, the Salvo does exactly what a softshell is supposed to.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Alakazam Softshell

This breathable softshell combats weather like the best hardshells do.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Racing Light Softshell

This sleek softshell was built for speed and temperature regulation.

Gear Review: Icebreaker Kodiak Hood/Arctic Hood Softshell

Feel good, look good, and perform at your best in this high-tech merino softshell.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Softshells

These versatile jackets repel wind and wet.

Gear Review: Yaktrax XTR

A bomber traction device that's durable and versatile.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Mini Hozuki Lantern

A light and packable miniature lantern.

Gear Review: Granite Gear Air Zippditty Ditty Bags

Ultralight, oblong, zippered sacks to help you keep all your traveling gear organized.

Gear Review: Hydro Flask 24-ounce Narrow Mouth Stainless Steel

Keeps coffee hot for over 24 hours, and water cold for more than 48!

Gear Review: Osprey Ozone 28"/80L Roller Bag

A lightweight, rolling duffel bag with plenty of compartments to keep you organized.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Snow Peak Starter Kit

A dining kit made for ultralight soloists.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: CamelBak All Clear UV Water Purification System

A fast, integrated, and rechargeable water purifier.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Honey Stinger Caffeinated Lime-Ade Energy Chews

A tester favorite for their smaller-than-average size and a mix of quick- absorbing organic sugars.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Gregory Border 25

A perfect pack for the world traveler.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Survival Strap Bracelets

Carry an emergency essential with you at all times.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: MyTopo BACKPACKER Pro Maps



Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance & Repair

This 200-page bible teaches you how to repair any item in your pack, with step-by-step instructions and full-color photos.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Gear Aid Seam Grip Field Repair Kit

A two-ounce, packable kit to quickly mend your pad, tent, bag, or shell in the field.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Want to find the ideal gift for every hiker on your gift list? No matter your budget we've got you covered.

Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Night Ize BugLit

A bright, bendable LED light that weights less than an ounce.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Sierra Designs Ymir 55 Backpack

A pack made for multi-day ski touring.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: First Ascent Katabatic Tent

A stable, light, livable, four-season tent.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Vasque Snow Junkie UD Hiking Boot

The midcut Snow Junkies are for people who like their cold-weather adventures light and fast.

Gear Review: Hestra Spring Ergo Grip Glove

The perfect spring skiing glove.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Boldog Glove

The perfect glove for those who demand everything.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Luminary Glove

Enemies: Wind, sweat, water. This gloves fights them all.

Gear Review: The North Face Work Glove

There is little these hearty gloves can't handle.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Superlight Mitt

Warm doesn't have to mean weight.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Gloves

Need your hands? You need these.

Gear Review: Columbia Triple Trail II Pants

These bullet-proof pants are unbreakable.

Gear Review: First Ascent Nail Driver Pants

Durability and insulation in a mobile and comfortable pant.

Gear Review: Sherpa Adventure Gear Saba-Tek Pants

Sherpa agains delivers quality pants at a great price.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: La Sportiva Storm Fighter GTX Pants

These Gore-Tex beauties will restore your faith in hardshell pants.

Gear Review: The North Face Enzo Shell Pant

From snow to rain, backcountry to lifts, these pants do it all.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Pants

Tame winter's worst with five all-purpose pants.

Gear Review: Dynafit PDG Ski

A special ski for fitness freaks who like to earn their descent, even when inbounds.

Gear Review: Salomon Rocker2 115 Ski

The perfect ski for those who like to access their backcountry with a lift.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Current Ski

This ski cannot be overpowered.

Gear Review: Dynafit Baltoro Ski

An outstanding touring ski you'll never want to take off.

Gear Review: Scott Powd'air Ski

This ski is all about edges, but loves powder too.

Gear Review: Ski Trab Volare

This ski will go everywhere you go and more.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Komperdell Carbon Expedition Vario 4 Poles

These lightweight poles will serve you well on all of your multisport outings.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Black Diamond Carbon Megawatt Ski

A wide ski that weighs nothing.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Scarpa Alien Boot

The most comfortable alpine touring boot we have ever encountered.

Gear Review: Rottefella NTN Freedom Binding

The gold standard for New Telemark Norm (NTN) bindings.

Gear Review: Scarpa Terminator X Boot

High performance telemarking boots that work in traditional and NTN binding setups.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Prime/Swift Boot

When taking your ski boots on a long trip, you don't want you feet to hate you.

Gear Review: Plum Guide Bindings

What's the point of feather-weight skis and boots if the bindings aren't super light as well?

Gear Review: Garmont Cosmos/Celeste Boot

These boots will power through whatever conditions nature decides to throw at you.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Ski Gear

Read about our favorite new boots and bindings, then choose a ski from the seven winners to create your ideal setup.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: First Ascent BC MicroTherm 2.0 Jacket

An outstanding winter performance combo.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Sierra Designs Tov Jacket

Warm, high-tech, and fitted for optimal winter performance.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: L.L. Bean Ultralite 850 Puffy

The ultimate bang-for-buck ratio jacket.

Gear Review: The North Face Polar Hooded Fleece

This fleece will keep you warm, light, and unrestrained.

Gear Review: Mammut Eigerjoch/ Biwak Jacket

This coat redefines what warm means.

Gear Review: SmartWool MerinoMax Full Zip Midlayer

This midlayer will go with you on any adventure requiring more than short sleeves.

Gear Review: Stoic Luft 60 Anorak Pullover

A bullet-proof pullover that doesn't add pounds.

Gear Review: Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody

This insulated hoody keeps performing, even when conditions are at their worst.

Gear Review: Marmot Variant Hoody

The perfect jacket for when your hardshell is just too much.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Incandescent Jacket

A versatile and lightweight puffy you won't be disappointed by.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Insulation

If these heat-makers don't keep you from freezing, nothing will.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Headwear

Keep your noggin' warm or protected with these three hats and two helmets.

Gear Review: Bollè Synergy Helmet

An all-weather helmet with a unique double venting system.

Gear Review: Bern Macon Carbon Fiber Helmet

A helmet that's tough, but that you can forget you're wearing.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Dome Beanie

A slim, 100-percent polyester skull cap.

Gear Review: Dale of Norway Weatherproof Hat

A classic Norwegian wool hat with Teflon-treated yarn for enhanced water resistance and the windproof Gore liner.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Aria/ Transcendent Beanie

"It's a parka for your melon!"

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: Hi-Tec Hard Rain WP Hardshell Jacket

A sub-$100 jacket that provides excellent rain protection with decent breathability.

Gear Review: Patagonia Troposphere Hardshell Jacket

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

Gear Review: adidas Terrex Skyclimb Hardshell Jacket

The comfort of a softshell with the protection of a hardshell.

Gear Review: Columbia Ultrachange Hardshell Jacket

A 3-in-1 system that also works great as separate pieces.

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 Review: Outdoor Research Mentor Hardshell Jacket

A great all-around jacket that handled a month straight of wet weather and rough hiking.

Gear Review: Victorinox Day Packer Knife

One simple blade that gets the job done.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip Coffee Maker

Java-lovers rejoice: drip coffee in the backcountry.

Gear Review: MSR MicroRocket Stove

A stove so compact it's almost not there.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Ti Double 450 Colored Mug

The best vessel you ever splurged on.

Gear Review: BioLite CampStove

Going where no stove has gone before, this wood-burner also charges your electronics.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Kitchen

Bring home cooking to the outdoors with these backcountry innovations.

Gear Review: Smartphone and Tablet Apps for Map Lovers

Three apps for map lovers of all tech denominations.

Gear Review: Magellan eXplorist 310 North America GPS

A perfect starter GPS unit, with a great price and minimal drawbacks.

Gear Review: Brunton Sustain2 Battery

Your electronics will never run out of juice with this portable battery charger.

Gear Review: Magellan Switch Series GPS

This GPS is perfect, however you get from A to B.

Gear Review: Suunto Ambit Watch

The sleekest, best GPS watch yet.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Navigation

Never get lost with these navigation tools.

Saved by...An Emergency Blanket

10 ways to use a survival blanket

Saved by...A Sock

7 more reasons to pack an extra pair

Saved by...Cell Phone

Dead battery? No reception? No problem. Find plenty of survival gear inside your phone.

Saved by...Dental Floss

A string, several strands, and even the box can all come in handy.

Saved by...Tampon

Don't cringe. Tampons were used by battlefield medics to plug bullet holes as early as World War I. Use them to...

Saved by...Skin Care

How to start a fire and treat minor wounds with basic toiletries

Saved by...Trash

Turn your trash into life-saving treasure

The Survival Issue: Saved by a Sock

"Improvise, adapt, and overcome." Bear Grylls and his crew lived by this mantra while filming episodes of Man vs. Wild. Here's how hikers can adopt it.

Gear Review: Tubbs Mountaineer Snowshoes

A basic, affordable snowshoes for the newbies.

Gear Review: TSL 438 Access Snowshoes

For those who prefer vertical to distance, the 438 is your snowshoe.

Gear Review: Crescent Moon Gold 13s Snowshoes

A woman-specific shoe that will keep your toes warm.

Gear Review: Easton Backcountry 25 Snowshoes

The perfect snowshoe for the those who just want to take a hike over snow.

Gear Review: Atlas Run Snowshoes

The name says it all - these shoes let you run.

Gear Review: Redfeather Alpine Snowshoes

These shoes will always get you through, regardless of the situation.

Gear Review: GV Mountain Extreme 830 Snowshoes

These burly monsters will not let you sink, period.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Socks

Banish blisters with these cushioned models. Bonus: A gaiter and camp shoe for all your winter trips.

Gear Review: Dahlgren Multisport Compression Socks

Thin, graduated compression knee-highs that that keep the blood moving in your legs.

Gear Review: Darn Tough 1/4 Length Cushion Hiking Sock

High enough to keep debris out, but low enough that it won't cause overheating on warm days.

Gear Review: Timberland Radler Camp Insulated Booties

Camp booties that are light enough for multiday trips, yet warm and grippy enough to leave the hut.

Gear Review: Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiter

This winter-ready gaiter keeps it all out: snow, slush, and sideways sleet.

Gear Review: Fox River VVS LV Ski Sock

These socks have just the right amount of cushion and warmth.

Gear Review: SmartWool PhD Mountaineering Sock

A blend of nylon and merino makes these socks durable and fast-drying.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Snowshoes

Stay afloat this winter with these worthy snowshoes.

Gear Review: Anon M1 Goggles

When conditions change, these goggles can trade lenses while they are still on your head.

Gear Review: Julbo Trek Sunglasses

These mountaineering sunglasses keep perspiration away.

Gear Review: Salomon X-Tend XCESS8 Goggles

A great, dependable pair googles for a price you can swallow.

Editors' Choice Snow Awards 2012: Smith I/O Goggles

Our Editors' Choice award winner resists fog like no other.

Gear Review: Native Eyewear Trango

Our favorite interchangeable-lens sunglasses are also stylish and affordable.

Gear Review: Bollé Rainier Sunglasses

For changing conditions, look no further than these specks by Bollé.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Eyewear

Seeing is important. Looking good is nice too. Do both with these sunglasses and goggles.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Baselayers

Even if no one else can see it, you are going to notice the difference with these worthy baselayers.

Gear Review: MontBell Zeo-Line M.W. High Neck Shirt Baselayer

The best baselayer for the money.

Gear Review: Toast Heated Clothing Baselayer

Finally, a baselayer that holds hand-warmers for ultimate warmth.

Gear Review: Patagonia Capilene 4 Expedition Weight Zip-Neck

When you want something thick to keep you warm, this baselayer has you covered.

Gear Review: Mammut Alpine Underwear Long All Year

You'll be feeling just right below the waist with this intricatly fitted long underwear.

Gear Review: Wild Things Power Stretch 1/4-Zip Hoody Baselayer

If you like going up and down snowy mountains, you're going to like this simple baselayer.

Gear Review: Polarmax Light Weight Tech Silk Men's Crew Baselayer

The most affordable baselayer that still get the job done right.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Cabela's E.C.W.C.S. Thermal Zone Baselayer

Our top pick for baselayers in 2012.

Gear Review: Nau M2 Hoody Baselayer

We're still counting the uses for this versatile hoody for any layer.

Gear Review: The North Face Wool Base Layer One Piece

Stay warmer and bunch-free in this worthy one-piece baselayer.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Phase AR Zip Neck Long Sleeve and Bottoms Baselayer

This layer raises the bar in moisture wicking technology.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Cameras

Bring back better images and video with these adventure-worthy cameras and accessories.

Gear Review: Photo Editing Apps

Get two smart apps that do spiffy editing tricks.

Gear Review: Cotton Carrier Camera Vest

Never miss a shot with this quick-draw vest system.

Gear Review: Pentax K-30 DSLR Camera

"This is the best adventure DSLR ever made for its price."

Gear Review: Olympus OM-D Camera

Old-school sturdiness fused with iPhone-generation usability made the OM-D our pick for tech-savvy hikers.

Gear Review: Nikon Coolpix 510 Camera

A point-and-shoot with advanced hiker-centric chops

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Footwear

Climb, hike, or run with snow-ready shoes.

Gear Review: Vasque Snowburban/Pow Pow UD Winter Boot

A high-cut winter hiking boot at home on steep slopes and deep snow.

Gear Review: Keen Bryce WP Hiking Boots

Low-cut hiking boots with plenty of support.

Gear Review: Scott eRide Icerunner Trail Running Shoe

Winter trail runners that stick

Gear Review: adidas Terrex Softshell Mid Hiking Boots

Ultralight, cold-weather speed hikers

Gear Review: Danner Roughhouse Mountain Boot

A Gore-Tex-lined boot that handles big loads and deep snow.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Omega GTX Hiking Boot

A shoulder-season boot that goes the distance in any terrain.

Gear Review: Scarpa Rebel GTX Carbon Mountaineering Boots

One of the world's lightest mountaineering boots designed by climbing phenom Ueli Steck.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Tents

A lightweight shelter for any storm.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Mountain Guide Tarp

This lightweight shelter served as a basecamper, a day shelter for a climbing party, and a winter mess tent.

Gear Review: The North Face Bastion 4 Tent

If you value elbow room over ounces on your winter treks, this is your four-person tent

Gear Review: Exped Pegasus Tent

The next best thing to a hut

Gear Review: L.L. Bean 2-Person Backcountry Dome

A tough, spacious two-person tent for under $400.

Gear Review: Brooks Range Invasion Tent

This tent is so small and light, you'll barely notice it in your pack–until you need it.

Gear Review: Easton Expedition 2P Tent

Carbon poles with monofilament connectors make this tent light and cold-weather friendly

Gear Review: Hilleberg Soulo Tent

A go-anywhere solo tent that's spacious for one.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Backpacks

A load hauler for every winter activity for ski touring to expeditions.

Gear Review: CamelBak Gambler Hydration Backpack

For sidecountry hikes and day tours from huts, the Gambler offers the next best thing to no pack at all.

Gear Review: Pieps Alpinist Pro Backpack

A climbing-oriented ski pack that combines high performance and low weight

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear BMG 105 Backpack

A fully-featured, 105-liter pack made for the long haul.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Quintic 28 Backpack

A ski daypack that's extremely stable

Gear Review: Mammut Spindrift Lite 30 Backpack

A lightweight pack that doesn't skimp on features

Gear Review: Gregory Alpinisto 50 Backpack

Made for mountaineers who need overnight capacity or who carry huge day loads

Gear Review: Black Diamond Covert AvaLung Backpack

A pack that holds your gear and could save your life thanks to BD's AvaLung breathing device.

Gear Review: Marmot Backcountry 30 Backpack

The ultimate snow sports daypack

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012: Sleeping Bags



The Science Behind Water-repellent Down

Will water-repellent down bags make synthetic insulation obsolete?

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Talus Ts I Sleeping Bag

An ultralight bag that breathes

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Zissou 15 Sleeping Bag

A water-resistant down bag made with Sierra Designs' DriDown.

Gear Review: First Ascent Igniter 15 Sleeping Bag

A packable synthetic sleeping bag with an extremely durable DWR shell

Gear Review: REI Polar Pod +10 Sleeping Bag

A budget-friendly shoulder-season bag

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Wraith -20 Sleeping Bag

Cross a super-warm bag and a weatherproof bivy and you get the Wraith.

Gear Review: Mammut Sphere Alpine Winter Sleeping Bag

This ultralight sleeping bag packs small but lofts quickly for a warm night.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012

261 reviews and camping tips

Meet the Gear Testers: William Rochfort

William feels an obligation to share the outdoors with others, and good gear is how you get them there.

Meet the Gear Testers: Tanner Jackson

Tanner likes to think of himself as a tester and guinea pig for real-world accidents.

Meet the Gear Testers: Steve Howe

If you're looking for experience in the outdoors, Steve Howe is your man.

Meet the Gear Testers: Shelby Carpenter

When it comes to gear, Shelby believes in weight, comfort, and function.

Meet the Gear Testers: Molly Loomis

Molly believes in ditching the frills, shaving weight, and giving gear a real beating.

Meet the Gear Testers: Merrill McCauley

Tester Merrill believes in quality, well-built gear that won't fail on you when it counts.

Meet the Gear Testers: Kelly Bastone

Tester Kelly has tough standards, and it takes a lot to convince her that something new can replace what she already has.

Meet the Gear Testers: Gerben Sherpbier

President of Dartmouth's Outing Club, Gerben considers the practicality of gear and has a soft spot for the tall folks.

Meet the Gear Testers: Dan Nelson

A long-time tester, Dan is tough as nails and scrupulous with gear.

BACKPACKER'S Year of the Reader Contests

We're gearing up for some massive giveaways in 2013 to celebrate BACKPACKER's 40th anniversary.

Meet the Gear Testers: Cameron Martindell

Tester Cameron is as meticulous as they come.

Meet the Gear Testers: Becca Stubbs

Becca is president of the Hiking Club at the University of Colorado - Boulder.

Meet the Gear Testers: Annette McGivney

Southwest Editor Annette has been testing gear since 1990. She is on the trail every day.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2012 Recap Day 3

On the third day of the 2012 Summer Outdoor Retailer show, our reader reporter team found some great boots and essentials for under $20.

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2012 Recap Day 2

On day two of the Summer 2012 Outdoor Retailer show, our reader test team tackled ultralight, three-season hiking, and breathability.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Final Picks

Our Reader Reporter gravitated to the products she most looks forward to coveting in the coming year and selling in her job as an REI employee. See her picks for food, drinks, kids' packs, zipperless tents, and more.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Meeting New Brands

On his final day at the show, our Reader Reporter Gerben got introduced to some new brands, and put together his money-is-no-object hit list of favorite gear.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Core Gear Wish List

Set loose on the floor today, our Reader Reporter assembled his list of dream items he'd love to have in his kit. See his top picks for tent, pad, bag, pack, and other key essentials.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: These are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Our Reader Reporter Erica takes one last tour to gather a wish list of her favorite items at the 2012 Summer Market.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Foot Fetish

Our Reader Reporter was on the hunt for midweight hikers, minimalist shoes, and trail runners.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Triple Challenge

Today our Reader Reporter Lisa went hunting for items that not only cost less than $20, but were eco-friendly and made in the USA. She pulled in a surprisingly large haul of accessories, including water bottles, headbands, lights, and a new backcountry toilet system.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Essentials Under $20

Our bargain-hunting Reader Reporter found high-quality accessories for less than a Jackson.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Boot Bonanza

Our Reader Reporter's mission for the day: find the best new mountaineering boots, sandals, and low-cut hikers.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Light and Long-lasting

Our Reader Report looks to balance light weight with affordability and durability with his report from the first day on the show floor.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Hot, Sweaty and Smelly No Longer

This northeast native Reader Reporter searches for the best in three-season hiking warm and outer layers.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Three-Season Hiking From The Inside Out

Staying cool, smelling fresh, packing light, and looking good come together in this Summer OR hiking ensemble assembled by our Reader Reporter.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP) 101

Our Reader Reporter checks out all the basic gear you need to get started with the hot new sport of stand-up paddleboarding, including socks, a board, and a paddle.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Paddlesport Goodies

Our Reader Reporter made a splash with the paddling and watersport accessories she found at Demo Day, including a paddle, a rain-proof pack, and an accessory to make your paddleboarding a breeze.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Ski Boards and Knives, oh my!

Our Reader Reporter finds herself on the cutting edge of a new sport, and then finds a literal cutting edge.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Fired up

It's demo day! From gadgets that charge your phone while you cook to sandals that move with your toes, see what our Reader Reporter scouted out at Jordanelle State Park.

Gear: Car Camping

Ultra Luxe
Load the trunk this Labor Day with weight-is-no-object comfort gear.

Gear Review: Kelty LumaSpot Lantern



Gear Review: REI Camp Kitchen



Gear Review: Eureka Curvy Low Rider Chair



Gear Review: Sierra Designs Yahi 4

A car camping tent that's spacious, but easy to set up and carry.

Gear Review: Primus FireHole 300

A souped up camp kitchen

Gear Review: Brunton Resync

A wallet-size battery pack

Gear Review: MontBell Highland

A warm, packable down sweater at an affordable price.

Gear Review: Boreas Lagunitas

A dayhike/bike/travel/commute pack

Gear Review: Scarpa Tech Ascent

The ultimate boot for the long approaches and class 3+ scrambles.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Anjan 3

An alpine tent that's light, compact, and brawny enough for storms.

Gear Review: Sweet Dreams

Boost comfort and convenience–and your zzzz’s–with these three sleeping accessories.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm

A sleeping pad that's light enough for summer yet warm enough for winter.

Gear Review: Slumberjack Lone Pine 20

A $90 starter sleeping bag.

Gear Review: Western Mountaineering Alder 25

A lofty, hoodless, semi-rectangular down bag.

Gear Review: L.L.Bean Katahdin PrimaLoft Synergy 20

A synthetic sleeping bag with warm, generous cut.

Gear Review: Columbia Reactor 25

A synthetic bag with a Omni-Heat liner.

Gear Review: Feathered Friends Osprey 30

A pricey, but super light, sleeping bag

Gear Review: First Ascent Karakoram 20



Field Test: Three-Season Sleeping Bags

Upgrade your bed: No matter what your budget or performance preferences, our testers found the perfect bag for all your spring-through-fall trips

Expert Panel: Instant Upgrades

We asked a few of our favorite pros how to fix some common backcountry annoyances

Master Class: Lighten Your Pack

Drop 5, 10, or 15 pounds (or more!) by packing smart, planning ahead, and fine-tuning essentials.

September 2012 Table of Contents



Meet the Gear Testers: Kristin Hostetter

BACKPACKER's fearless gear editor since 1994, few (if any) know outdoor gear like Kristin Hostetter.

Get Live Updates From Outdoor Retailer!

Get live updates on the latest and great gear starting on January 22, 2013.

2012 Winners of the Gear Tester Contest

BACKPACKER announces the winners of the Summer 2012 Gear Tester Contest

Expert Panel: Instant Upgrades



Gear: Eyewear

High summer is no time to go without shades. These models will protect your eyes no matter where your adventures take you.

Gear Review: Smith Gibson

Frontcountry looks meet backcountry performance with these shades.

Gear Review: Julbo Tensing

With vented wrap-around sidewalls, dark lenses (5 percent VLT), and a face-hugging frame, the Tensing provided high-altitude sun protection rivaling heavier, spendier mountaineering models.

Gear Review: Zeal Zeta

Full-coverage lenses without the huge frames.

Gear Review: Spy Quanta

These sunglasses will stay in place and won't mist up, even during your most difficult hikes and climbs.

Gear Review: Dynafit Feline Superlight

A lightweight trail runner that hits a sweet spot of precision, comfort, and protection.

Gear Review: Coleman Sportster II

This tank-tough stove is easy to use and boils water fast, even in below-freezing temps.

Gear Review: MSR SureLock TR-3

A trekking pole that's easy to adjust on the fly.

Gear Review: Gerber Dime

A 10-piece multitool that weighs only 2.3 oz.

Gear Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter Pack

A backpack made for ultralighters who travel in wet climates

Field Test: Do-it-All Boots

Upgrade your footwear: We found seven models that can take you from dayhikes to thru-hikes, and from desert to rainforest to peaks.

Gear Review: Improve Fit, Boost Comfort

These after-market insoles control motion, fill excess volume, and more.

Gear Review: Keen Alamosa Mid GTX

Comfortable, sneaker-like feel with a roomy toebox.

Gear Review: LOWA Scorpio GTX Mid

Flexible support and instant comfort; great for trips with lighter loads.

Gear Review: Chaco Tedinho Waterproof

This supple leather boot has top-notch shock absorption and nearly an inch of arch support.

Gear Review: Scarpa Moraine Mid GTX

Running-shoe-like comfort, fit, and breathability.

Gear Review: Merrell Chameleon4 Mid Ventilator GTX

For hikers in blazing climates who need well-ventilated, waterproof protection and all-terrain traction.

Gear Review: Vasque Talus UD

Testers prized these all-leather boots for their tenacious traction, superior comfort, and midsole support.

Gear Review: Salewa Mtn Trainer Mid GTX

Named the best all-around boot by testers because of its unusually strong combination of protection, support, and nimbleness.

Gear: Ultralight Layers

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

Gear Review: Ultralight Layers

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

Survival Lab Knife Test--The Final Cut

Can your keychain knife hack through rope? Wood? Bone? Didn’t think so. We tested 14 packable blades to find the toughest, most versatile survival tool for hikers.

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

Gear: Stanley Ninteen13 One-Hand Vacuum Mug

Multitasking dads will love this easy-sipping cup.

Gear: Otter Box iPad 2 Reflex Series Case

What’s better than having an iPad? Not having to worry about what’ll happen to it when it gets into little hands.

Gear: Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro

A rugged battery pack that will let him stay charged up and connected.

Gear: Eton Rukus Solar Sound System

Turn an iPod into a campground sound system.

Gear Guide 2012: Waterproof iPhone Case

Protect your valuables on your next paddling trip with this iPhone case.

August 2012 Table of Contents



Gear Guide 2012: One-Person Tents

Find lightweight shelter for every budget and weather scenario.

Gear Guide 2012: Two-Person Tents

Find lightweight shelter for every budget and weather scenario.

Gear Guide 2012: Three-Person Tents

Find lightweight shelter for every budget and weather scenario.

Gear Guide 2012: Four-Peson Tents

These four-person tents offer outstanding space-to-weight ratios and high performances in foul-weather.

Gear Guide 2012: Sleeping Pads

Sleep comfortably on your next adventure with one of these great sleeping pads.

Gear Guide 2012: Summer Sleeping Bags

These bags are ideal for summer backpacking trips, each offering lightweight comfort for warmer temps.

Gear Guide 2012: Three-Season Sleeping Bags

7 new bags perfect for your spring-time adventures.

Gear Guide 2012: Winter Sleeping Bags

Ready to endure all the elements, these bags offering warmth and protection for winter camping.

Trail Running Apparel: Jacket, Shorts, Hydration Pack

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

Gear Review: Patagonia Fore Runner Trail Runners

A perfect balance between traditional and barefoot running shoes.

Gear Review: Vibram Five Fingers Spyridon LS Trail Runners

A barefoot runner made for trails.

Gear Review: Hoka One One Mafate Edition Trail Runners

Trail runners that are ultracushioned...and unique to look at.

Gear Review: Hi-Tec V-Lite Infinity HPI Trail Runner

A trail runner that's light but stable

Buyer's Guide: Trail Runners

An in-depth guide to the technology, top products, and latest skills, plus how to get in shape faster to see more trail.

Gear Guide 2012: Rip & Equips

Don't go shopping until you've read these comprehensive guides to buying and fitting the right pack, boots, bag, and tent.

Rip & Equip: Backpacks

Finding a great fitting backpack is the key to happy backpacking. Plus, learn how to keep your pack looking and feeling like new.

Rip & Equip: Tents

Tips on buying the right tent for your backpacking style. Plus, cleaning and repair advice.

Rip & Equip: Boots

First: Buy the right boots. Second: Keep them in tip top shape with these tips.

Rip & Equip: Sleeping Bags

Mummy or semi-rectangular? Sleeves vs. clips? Choose the right sleeping bag and keep it in top shape with these tips.

Gear Review: Patagonia Air Flow Cap



Gear Review: FITS Light Hiker Quarter

The unusually deep heel pocket in these socks contours to feet perfectly, and doesn't bunch.

Gear Review: Patagonia Merino 2 Lightweight

This tee is naturally breathable, resists odor, and feels as soft as cotton.

Gear Review: Stoic Thrive

Stretchy poly fabric and and a gusseted crotch provide killer freedom of movement in these comfortable shorts.

Gear Review: First Ascent High Route

Get the sun-protection of a collared, long-sleeve shirt with the versatility of a button-down and the comfort of a tee.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Odin Isolator

This versatile shell offers puffy-jacket warmth and wind protection in a light and compressible package.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Gamma SL Hybrid

These multi-season pants will keep you dry while providing outstanding freedom of movement.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Axiom

This versatile, all-weather shell is comfortable in mild temps and on high-effort outings.

Gear Reviews: Versatile Layers

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

Gear Reviews: Ultralight Packs

Cut weight and boost comfort with the best new ounce-shaving load haulers—tested and rated by tough-on-gear Grand Canyon National Park rangers.

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: The North Face Phoenix 3 Tent

A single-wall tent is roomy enough for three adults

Gear Review: Millet Touring WDS Glove

Thin softshell gloves with Gore Windstopper

Gear Review: First Ascent MicroTherm Down Hoodie

A featherweight, 800-fill puffy

Gear Review: Keen Ambler Mesh Lightweight Hiking Boots

A perfect lightweight hiker for people with a wide forefoot

Gear Review: Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack

A versatile pack that can be pared down or bulked up depending on your load and the terrain.

Gear Review: ZPacks Exo

The lightest ultralight pack we tested.

Gear Review: Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus FS Backpack

A roomy and comfortable ultralight bag.

Gear Review: Osprey Exos 46 Backpack

An "ultralight" pack that can handle up to 40 pounds.

Gear Review: GoLite Jam 50 Backpack

A top performing pack that's only $160.

June 2012 Table of Contents



Gear Pro's Guide to Spring Cleaning

Get your gear ready for hiking season with these tips from gear editor Kristin Hostetter.

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: Climbing Equipment

A lightweight, crag-tested collection for new climbers

Gear Guide 2012: Paddling Equipment

Top picks and values for backcountry lake and rivers

Gear Guide 2012: The Ten Essentials

Get prepped with this core gear.

Spring Showers Rain Shell Giveaway April 16-20, 2012

Don't let the rainy season of spring keep you off the trail. Enter to win a rain shell a day and hit the trail in style.

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: Dynafit Broad Peak Trekking Poles

These adjustable poles use a glove-friendly locking mechanism that helps to create a responsive feel.

Gear Guide 2012: Leki Micro Stick Trekking Poles

The Micro Stick collapses easily for great packability.

Gear Guide 2012: Helinox Featherlite Trekking Poles

Durable and lightweight, these poles offer an impressive strength-to-weight ratio.

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: Hardshell Jackets

Core protection for any weather and environment

Gear Guide 2012: Softshell Jackets

Stay dry and comfortable on the move with these breathable softshells.

Gear Guide 2012: Trail Runners

Hit the trail running with these lightweight, all-terrain shoes.

Gear Guide 2012: Adventure Medical Kits Escape Bivvy Blanket

Using a waterproof and breathable fabric, the Escape Bivvy provides comfort and insulation.

Gear Guide 2012: Elemental Herbs Zinc Sunscreen

Using pure zinc oxide, Elemental Herbs sunscreen protects you from the solar radiation and the sun's harshest rays.

Gear Guide 2012: Bridgford Ready To Eat Sandwiches

For emergency calories or just an easy-to-pack meal, Bridgford sandwiches are easy to carry and can keep for up to three years.

Gear Guide 2012: Outdoor Research Revel Convertible Cap

The Revel offers two domes for maximum versatility.

Gear Guide 2012: Columbia Solar Polar 1/2 Zip

Stay comfortable in hot temperatures with the Solar Polar.

Gear Guide 2012: Gerber Steady Multitool

The Steady is lightweight considering its dozen tools, including flexible tripod legs.

Gear Guide 2012: Black Diamond Icon Headlamp

The Icon uses a four-AA power source allowing for long lasting light and no drops in power.

Gear Guide 2012: SteriPen Freedom Water Treatment

Light, compact, and easy to use, the Freedom treats water in seconds with just a push of a button.

Gear Guide 2012: Wenger Fidis Lighter

This lighter produces flame with liquid fuel and a wick, providing you with fire even in windy conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Brunton O.S.S. 10B Compass

Simple, yet reliable, this compass is great for spot checks and map consults.

Gear Guide 2012: MyTopo/BACKPACKER Pro Maps

Get customized maps that give you turn-by-turn directions and campsite information all in one, easy to use and waterproof map.

Gear Guide 2012: Pocket Profile Maps

Waterproof maps pack in all the information you need for AT and JMT thru-hikers.

Gear Guide 2012: Adventure Medical Kits SOL Survival Medic

A compact kit that provides you with the survival essentials you need while you're on the go.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Softshells

Lightweight and durable, these softshells provide solid weather resistance.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Hardshells

Extreme weather protection and breathability make these hardshells great performers when it comes to rough conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Trail Bars

Snack smarter and pack a variety of energy bars to get the right boost at the right moment for optimal on-trail performance.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Drinks

From a morning cup of joe to easy-sipping fireside nightcaps, here are our staff’s most-requested trail beverages.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Dessert

Sweet treats to close a campside meal--and help you recoup after an energy-zapping hiking day.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Dinner

Hunger-sating (and quick to prepare) meals to cap off a long day on the trail.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Lunch & Snacks

Grab these quick-fix and fast-fueling trail meals on the go.

Gear Guide 2012: Food - Breakfast

Start your day with these tester-favorite and camp-ready breakfasts.

Gear Guide 2012: Food

Fuel more trail miles with our favorite new packable meals.

Gear Guide 2012: The North Face Alpine Project Shell

This shell's design enhances moisture transfer and provides both wind-proofing and water resistance, making it the most versatile.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Vapor Trail Hoody Shell

A stretch material allows for excellent range of motion while its overall cut leaves room for layering.

Gear Guide 2012: Fly-fishing Gear

An affordable starter kit for backcountry anglers

Gear Guide 2012: Arcteryx Gamma SL Hybrid Hoody Shell

The Gamma SL's design achieves optimum flexibility while creating a great fit.

Gear Guide 2012: Outdoor Research Mithrilite Jacket Shell

This multi-use shell demonstrates high performance weather protection with a breathable design.

Gear Guide 2012: Helly Hansen Odin Light Softshell

The Odin Light offers a unique design that focuses on versatility as well as comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Rab Scimitar Shell

This is the go-to shell for alpine activity providing great breathability and impressive weather protection.

Gear Guide 2012: Helly Hansen Odin FastPack Shell

With smart details and great versatility this shell delivers protection and breathability all in one lightweight package.

Gear Guide 2012: Stoic Stash Shell

This shell handles wind, rain and snow like a pro offering versatility and a great fit.

Gear Review: Westcomb Switch LT Hoody Shell

This shell was built to take on the toughest conditions with ease providing heavy-duty protection with superior breathability.

Gear Guide 2012: MontBell Versalite Shell

This featherweight shell is full-featured with ultralight wind protection and a relaxed cut.

Gear Guide 2012: REI Kimtah Shell

The Kimtah offers excellent weather protection and breathability at a bargain price.

Gear Guide 2012: Columbia Compounder Shell

The Compounder's design helps you stay completely dry and comfortable in the most wet conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Millet LTK Active Shell

This shell is great for the fast-and-light climbing crowd offering excellent breathability and low weight.

Gear Guide 2012: Montane Trojan/Athena Shell

If it's breathability you want, it's the Trojan/Athena that you need.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Hardwear Quasar Shell

Maximum protection and great breathability help make this shell a force against the toughest conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Outdoor Research Helium II Shell

Reliable weather protection in a light-weight package.

Gear Guide 2012: Patagonia Super Cell Shell

This shell can handle any kind of weather and is both protective and comfortable.

Gear Guide 2012: Scarpa Reflex Climbing Shoes

A shoe that easily transitions from gym to sport climbing to bouldering to multipitch routes.

Gear Guide 2012: Mammut El Cap Helmet

A super safe helmet that you forget you're wearing

Gear Guide 2012: Trango Smooth Quickdraws Carabiner

Big and beefy carabiners

Gear Guide 2012: Metolius Climbing Safe Tech Comp Harness

A harness that's great for both beginners and experts

Gear Guide 2012: Petzl Xion 10.1 Climbing Rope

Deemed a 'go-to workhorse rope' by the editors of Climbing Magazine

Gear Guide 2012: Old Town Saranac 160 XT Canoe

This budget-friendly boat made from durable thermoformed polyethylene offers a plush ride for everyday paddling.

Gear Guide 2012: Kokatat Aries Life Vest

The low-profile, adjustable PFD features soft, PVC-free foam, which molds around your body for custom-fit-like comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Wenonah Super Seat Canoe Chair

Keep your butt happy on long canoeing trips with this add-on seat.

Gear Guide 2012: NRS HydroLock Dry Bag

A giant roll-top and zip-top dry bag in one

Gear Guide 2012: Necky Looksha 17 Polymer Sea Kayak

A versatile 17x4 cruiser with plenty of storage space.

Gear Guide 2012: Waterproof iPad & iPhone Cases

Protect your valuables on your next paddling trip with these iPhone and iPad cases.

Gear Guide 2012: AIRE Outfitter II Inflatable Kayak

An inflatable kayak with multiday gear-carrying capacity and legit whitewater stability

Gear Guide 2012: Alpacka Denali Llama

A one-person pack raft

Gear Guide 2012: Nova Craft Prospector 17 Expedition Canoe

A 17-foot boat for paddlers who rank long-haul performance over short-course speed.

Gear Guide 2012: Electronics

Cameras, gadgets, and cases for the trail.

Gear Guide 2012: Sunglasses

Four pairs of shades that perform in the wild

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: Bargain Gear

$50 or less can buy you some nice gear. Here are our favorite finds.

Gear Guide 2012: Boots & Trail Runners

Go fast or go far–it all starts with your footwear.

Gear Guide 2012: Adventure Travel Gear

A duffel, shirt, and water purification system that make the life of an adventure traveler that much safer and easier.

Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Accessories

A colorful headlamp, hands-free camera harness, and a flask–all for under $50.

Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Stove

The Olicamp Xcelerator Titanium was a favorite for our ultralight AT thru-hiker.

Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Gloves

A lightweight glove and a mitten made for big peaks.

Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Gaiters

Two gaiter styles–one full-coverage and one ultralight–that cost $50 or less.

The Gear Pro's Repair Kit

Our resident expert, gear editor Kristin Hostetter, assembles the tools to save any trip.

Gear Guide 2012: Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Pads

Find the perfect sack for any budget or adventure.

Gear Guide 2012: Kelty Lowdown Camp Chair

A camp throne built for long-term schlepping and chilling.

Gear Guide 2012: Primus Profile Duo Camp Stove

This two-burner camp stove is half grill, half cooktop.

Gear Guide 2012: Osprey Poco Plus Kid Carrier

Haul your little one in this lightweight and customizable backpack kid carrier.

Gear Guide 2012: Kids' Gear

Our littlest testers give a thumbs-up to these field-proven products.

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.

Gear Guide 2012: Oboz Mystic Low B-Dry Hiking Boot

The shoe has less width in the heel and ball and more curve in the arch compared to men’s hikers.

Gear Guide 2012: Therm-a-Rest Women's NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

If you're 5'5" and under (or sleep curled up) this sleeping pad is a welcome, warm addition to the Therm-a-Rest line

Gear Guide 2012: Feathered Friends Egret Sleeping Bag

Even cold female testers found this bag a warm 20°s

Gear Guide 2012: Kelty Rally 45 Backpack

A pack made for curves that can easily haul 40-pound loads.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Athena Jacket

The Athena's attractively trim fit flatters ladies' curves better than any other rain jacket we tested this year.

Gear Guide 2012: Tents

Find lightweight shelter for every budget and weather scenario.

Gear Guide 2012: Backpacks

Find the perfect load hauler for any type of trip.

Backpacking 101

Learn the basics of backpacking - from what to pack, how to plan a trip, first aid, survival skills, what to eat, and basic how-to.

Gear Guide 2012: Heavy Duty Boots/Shoes

These heavy duty boots provide great stability, support and solid weather protection, allowing you to tackle any terrain in any condition.

Gear Guide 2012: Mid Duty Boots/Shoes

These mid duty boots offer a great fit with comfort and stability to help you conquer any terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: Light Duty Boots/Shoes

These light duty shoes and boots offer support and protection in one lightweight package.

Gear Guide 2012: Trail Running Boots/Shoes

Comfort, support and durability is something all of these trail running favorites offer.

Gear Guide 2012: Scarpa Kinesis/Mythos Pro GTX Boot

With a tough exterior and gentle inside, these boots protect feet from rough terrain while offering comfort and support.

Gear Guide 2012: Asolo Khumbu GV Boot

The Khumbu is an all-terrain mountain boot with a design that promotes comfortable walking for any kind of adventure.

Gear Guide 2012: Mammut Teton GTX Boot

This affordable, all-purpose boot provides a great fit and can handle all seasons and conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Crispi Nevada Legend HTG GTX Boot

Great support and stability for any cross-country exploration.

Gear Guide 2012: LOWA Khumbu II GTX Boot

A supportive and protective heavy-duty boot that keeps your feet cool with excellent breathability.

Gear Guide 2012: Danner Mt. Defiance GTX Boot

This boot offers serious protection and stability for a trustworthy support.

Gear Guide 2012: AKU SL Trek GTX Boot

This off-trail champ is both built tough and lightweight.

Gear Guide 2012: Timberland Radler Trail Camp Moc Shoe

Fold these fleece-lined sneakers in half and store easily.

Gear Guide 2012: Ahnu Mendocino Boot

Waterproof, breathable, and protective, this boot has it all.

Gear Guide 2012: Patagonia P26 High Boot

A thick spongy sole gives the cushion and arch support you need on long hikes or climbs.

Gear Guide 2012: Ryders Clamor Sunglasses

Bargain sunglasses that perform

Gear Guide 2012: Julbo Dust Sunglasses

Sunglasses made for hiking, climbing, and mountain biking

Gear Guide 2012: adidas Terrex Fast sunglasses

No-fog sunglasses that are built for the active user

Gear Guide 2012: Switch Tioga Sunglasses

Interchangeable lens glasses that both sturdy and easy-to-use

Gear Guide 2012: Backcountry Solutions Geek Pocket

A backpacker-friendly smartphone or GPS case that doesn't block signals

Gear Guide 2012: Mophie Juice Pack Plus Outdoor Edition

A bomber iPhone case that also recharges the battery.

Gear Guide 2012: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc

A top-performing GPS unit with photo-location capabilities.

Gear Guide 2012: Eton Raptor Solar Charger

An all-purpose survival tool or a bomber solar charger.

Gear Guide 2012: Highgear Axio HR Altimeter Watch

Track elevation, weather, and workout intensity with this powerful watch

Gear Guide 2012: Kodak Playfull Video Camera

A palm-sized video camera that still performs.

Gear Guide 2012: Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera

A DSLR camera that can handle a multitude of light and weather conditions.

May 2012 Table of Contents



Gear Guide 2012: Five Ten Pursuit Boot

This mid duty boot provides maximum stability to prevent ankle rolling on the most dicey terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: adidas Outdoor Terrex Fast R Shoe

The Terrex Fast R offers exceptional traction on all surfaces including ice, slush, mud, and scree.

Gear Guide 2012: Chaco Ponsul Bulloo Shoe

This shoe is ideal for river rats, but can handle any adventure with its gripping capabilities and overall protection.

Gear Guide 2012: Keen Alamosa Mid Shoe

This shoe offers a great fit and highly breathable mesh great for hot-weather hiking.

Gear Guide 2012: The North Face Havoc Mid GTX XCR Boot

With great lateral stability and all around protection, this boot can handle the rockiest terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: Teva Forge Pro Mid eVent Leather Shoe

All-leather, waterproof, and comfortable, these shoes offer a roomy fit that enhances its overall comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Salewa Firetail Shoe

Take on any kind of terrain with this versatile shoe that offers comfort, traction and durability.

Gear Guide 2012: Saucony ProGrid Outlaw Shoe

This shoe is built tough for the roughest paths, but offers a barefoot feel giving you comfort and breathability.

Gear Guide 2012: New Balance 110 Trail Shoe

This minimalist shoe offers great protection and stability.

Gear Guide 2012: Vasque Velocity 2.0 Shoe

With cushion and rough-trail protection, these shoes can take on any terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: Montrail Rogue Fly Shoe

This shock absorbing shoe offers cushion and support.

Gear Guide 2012: La Sportiva Vertical K Shoe

Handle slick surfaces with these featherweight shoes.

Editors' Choice Gold 2012: Lodge Cast Iron Camp Dutch Ovens

Feed the troops or go gourmet–these pots do both.

Editors' Choice Gold 2012: Kahtoola MICROspikes

Tackle slick terrain with confidence–and a light load.

Editors' Choice 2012: Feathered Friends Spoonbill

Couples camping just got a whole lot better–and lighter–with this down bag built for two.

Editors' Choice 2012: Kühl Liberator

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

Editors' Choice 2012: L.L.Bean Microlight FS 2

Score an ultralight tent for two—for less.

Editors' Choice 2012: inReach by DeLorme

Send and receive with the ultimate backcountry communicator.

Editors' Choice 2012: Boreas Buttermilks 55 & Lost Coast 60

Get everything you need and nothing you don't in one of these ultralight, ultracomfortable packs.

Editors' Choice 2012: Snow Peak SnowMiner

Get the right light on trail and in camp with this 2-in-1 lamp.

Editors' Choice 2012: Salomon Synapse Mid Hiking Boots

Fast and light and luxe: Get running-shoe comfort and hiking-boot stability.

Editors' Choice 2012: Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter

Ultralight, affordable, and idiotproof. What's not to like?

Editors' Choice 2012: MSR WhisperLite Universal Stove

The ultimate stove: anywhere, anytime, any gas

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Four-person Tents

These four-person tents offer outstanding space-to-weight ratios and high performances in foul-weather.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Three-person Tents

Stability and comfortability are staples for these three-person tents.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Two-person Tents

Lightweight, durable, and spacious, these two-person tents offer comfortability while taking on the most foul-weather.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Solo Tents

These solo tents offer easy setup, ample space, and durability in weather's toughest conditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Big Agnes Burn Ridge 4 Outfitter Tent

This four-person tent is great for families, offering generous space for an affordable cost.

Gear Guide 2012: Hilleberg Saivo Tent

Stronger and lighter fabrics make this tent great for any adventure and can handle any weather condition.

Gear Guide 2012: NEMO Espri LE 3P Tent

This three-person tent handles challenging weather well and the freestanding dome is lightweight and easy to setup.

Gear Guide 2012: Easton Mountain Products Kilo 3 Tent

This ultralight and stable three-person tent offers space and a quick setup.

Gear Guide 2012: Exped Gemini III Tent

Ample cooking and storage space along with a durable construction make this tent a champ in handling foul-weather.

Gear Guide 2012: Sierra Designs Mojo 2 Tent

Take on challenging weather and withstand strong winds with this freestanding tent.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Hardwear SuperMega UL2 Tent

This three-season, ultralight tent offers durability in some of the most foul-weather.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Equipment Co-Op Volt 2 Tent

Stay comfortable in both summer and winter conditions with this tent's floor-to-ceiling doors and fly vents.

Gear Guide 2012: Easton Mountain Products Hat-Trick 2 Tent

Mesh walls create outstanding ventilation in this four-season tent for two.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Firefly 2P Tent

Comfortable and highly ventilated, this tent offers lots of space with a double-wall dome that's great for short overnight hikes.

Gear Guide 2012: NEMO Obi Elite 2P Tent

This tent for two is designed to increase ventilation, durability and interior elbow room.

Gear Guide 2012: Exped Mira II Tent

This spacious, two-person tent uses durable fabrics to provide sturdy weather protection in a lightweight package.

Gear Guide 2012: The North Face Asylum Bivy Tent

With best-in-class ventilation, this tent provides generous dimensions and a breathable single-wall for a comfortable and roomy experience.

Gear Guide 2012: REI Quarter Dome T1 Tent

This spacious tent provides stability and protection while weighing less than three pounds.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Laurel Designs Cricket Tent

Stable and light, this three-season minimalist tent offers minimal flapping and a quick setup.

Winter 2012: Outdoor Retailer Wrapup

All the best gear our reader reporter team saw at the 2012 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks Multiday Backpacks

These multiday packs provide excellent load support with comfortable designs that will help you move easily with any kind of terrain.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Daypacks

These daypacks offer plenty of comfort, easy to access pockets and the kind of durability you need for any climbing adventure.

Gear Guide 2012: Arc'teryx NoZone 55 Backpack

An extraordinary toughness-to-weight ratio makes this pack both durable and supportive.

Gear Guide 2012: Gregory Savant 58 Backpack

With effective compression and great load stability, this lightweight pack offers great balance and comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Deuter Aircontact 65+10 Backpack

Great for family camping trips, this pack has plenty of useful features that everyone in the family can enjoy.

Gear Guide 2012 Vaude Terkum 75 +10 Backpack

An innovative cinching hipbelt and customizable torso helps create a support system tough enough to handle your heaviest loads.

Gear Guide 2012: Black Diamond Mercury 65 Backpack

This pack is equipped with a suspension system that helps increase mobility and overall stability.

Gear Guide 2012: REI Flash 62 Backpack

This pack handles heavy loads without compromising your ability to move efficiently, offering improved suspension and great versatility.

Gear Guide 2012: Osprey Atmos 65 Backpack

This best all-around pack offers plenty of easy to access pockets and compartments, making organization a cinch.

Gear Guide 2012: First Ascent Alchemist 40 Backpack

Take this pack on any trip as its design is made to handle big days, weekend trips and even ultralight expeditions.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountainsmith Ghost 50 Backpack

Carry this pack sweat-free with its improved suspension that allows for dynamic movement wherever you take it.

Gear Guide 2012: Exped Torrent 50 Backpack

Take on wet conditions with this waterproof pack that offers welded seams and waterproof closures.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Drakon 35 Backpack

Ultralight and climber-friendly, this pack can carry large amounts of gear while remaining light and stable.

Gear Guide 2012: Mile High Salute 34 Backpack

This pack offers easily accessible zippers and great suspension for carrying heavy loads comfortably.

Gear Guide 2012: GoLite Quest 50 Backpack

A great fit and excellent load transfer is what you'll get with this multiday pack.

Gear Guide 2012: JanSport Cienega Backpack

This anatomically friendly pack is great for women, offering suspension and comfort when carrying heavy loads.

Gear Guide 2012: Salomon Quest 30 Backpack

This ultralight daypack is perfect for spring skiing and offers a U-shapped zipper that's great for quick packing.

Gear Guide 2012: Sierra Designs Discovery 30 Backpack

Keep air circulating with this highly ventilated daypack.

Gear Guide 2012: Ortovox Lightning 25 Backpack

Easily accessible and plenty durable, this daypack offers plenty of organizers from your GPS to your headlamp.

Gear Guide 2012: Columbia Treadlite 22 Backpack

This daypack easily handles heavy loads and transfers weight well, making warm weather hikes a breeze.

Gear Review: Esatto Custom Classic Hiker Boots

Is old world craftsmanship and custom fit worth the price?

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.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Winter Sleeping Bags

Ready to endure all the elements, these bags offering warmth and protection for winter camping.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Three-Season Sleeping Bags

These 3-season sleeping bags offer packability, reliability and durability for wherever your adventure takes you.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Summer Sleeping Bags

These bags are ideal for summer backpacking trips, each offering lightweight comfort for warmer temps.

Gear Guide 20120: Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core Sleeping Pad

Get the comfort you deserve with horizontal and vertical tubes that add both support and cushion.

Gear Guide 2012: NEMO Cosmo Air XL Sleeping Pad

For big-and-tall types, this pad will offer you a comfortable and good night of sleep.

Gear Guide 2012: Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad

This pad offers a thermal reflective barrier for extra warmth at an affordable price.

Gear Guide 2012: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

High-performance and ultralight, this pad offers comfort and great packability.

Gear Guide 2012: Exped Downmat UL7 Sleeping Pad

This down mat offers comfort and cushion in some of the roughest camp grounds.

Gear Guide 2012: REI Habanera Sleeping Bag

Stay warm in this down-filled bag that offers a relaxed cut for extra room and insulation at a bargain price.

Gear Guide 2012: Valandre Shocking Blue Sleeping Bag

This roomy bag allows you to lock in your body heat with its cocoon-like structure.

Gear Guide 2012: Eastern Mountain Sports Mountain Light 15 Sleeping Bag

Sleep comfortably and warm in negative temps with this packable bag.

Gear Guide 2012: Sea to Summit Trek TkIII Sleeping Bag

A big-guy favorite that packs small despite the extra internal dimensions.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Cloudbreak 20 Sleeping Bag

A synthetic-fill bag with ample loft that offers warmth and comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Columbia Moonstone 15 Sleeping Bag

Feel the heat instantly with this bag as tiny dots in the liner reflect your body heat.

Gear Guide 2012: REI Igneo/Joule Sleeping Bag

An affordable, high-performance sleeping bag that keeps you warm and dry in the harshest of elements.

Gear Guide 2012: Sierra Designs Cloud 15 Sleeping Bag

Packability is what you will get with this bag. Durable, yet lightweight, Sierra Designs has created a insulated sleeping bag that is made for comfort.

Gear Guide 2012: Rab Genesis 3 Sleeping Bag

This eco-friendly, synthetic sack offers comfort and sustainability.

Gear Guide 2012: Selk bag 4G Lite Sleeping Bag

Wearable warmth allows you to stay warm in and outside your tent. The union-suit design gives you the capability to move around camp easily as well as sleep comfortably at night.

Gear Guide 2012: Sierra Designs Pyro Maniac 15/30 Sleeping Bag

Lightweight and warm, this sleeping bag has a roomy cut and core insulation.

Gear Guide 2012: Lafuma Extreme 600 Sleeping Bag

Affordable and ultralight synthetic, the Lafuma Extreme 600 performs to keep you comfortable in warm and cool temperatures.

Gear Guide 2012: Marmot Plasma 40 Sleeping Bag

Featherweight comfort and superior design allows for all-around warmth in the coldest of places.

Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Hardwear Mountain Speed 32 Sleeping Bag

A minimalist sleeping bag that weighs under sixteen ounces.

Gear Guide 2012 Table of Contents

The gear issue everyone's been waiting for is now online!

Travel Like a Pro: Choose What to Pack & How to Find Gear Deals

Pick and choose what to pack for long or multi-activity trips. Plus, three ways to avoid overspending when outfitting your next trip.

Travel Like a Pro: How to Pack Your Duffle

Carry more, protect your pack, and ease transit.

Travel Like a Pro: Carry on Your Camp Kit + Must-have Medicines

TSA-approved camp kit carry-on items. Plus, meds you might need abroad.

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.

Adventure Travel Luggage

Our bags logged thousands of miles–through airports and atop donkeys–and we came back with these top picks, from gigantic rollers and impervious duffels to laptop carriers and packable organizers.

Three Backpacker-friendly Solar Chargers

These compact, hyper-efficient solar chargers will power your gadgets no matter where you travel.

Gear Review: The North Face Base Camp Duffel

A staff favorite, again and again.

Gear Review: Patagonia MLC Bag

This spacious shoulder bag holds a surprising 45L of goods.

Gear Review: Osprey Shuttle 32 Roller Bag

This cargo hauler is outfitted with a surprising number of organizational features.

Gear Review: Victorinox Altmont 2.0 Dual Compartment Laptop Backpack

If you're mixing business with adventure travel, this is the bag for you.

Gear Review: Gregory Alpaca 28 Roller Bag

This stable roller bag handles curbs and rough terrain with ease.

Gear Review: Sea To Summit TravellingLight Packing Cells

These ultralight storage sacks, made from water-resistant and strong Ultra-Sil fabric help you stay super organized.

Gear Review: Eagle Creek ORV Super Trunk 36

Going far and going big, hauling monster loads? This is your bag.

Gear Review: Pearl Izumi syncroFuel XC Trail Shoe

A trail runner that can handle day hiking with ease

Gear Review: SteriPEN Freedom

Our favorite UV light water treatment tool just got lighter, smaller, and easier to recharge.

Gear Review: MSR WindPro II Stove

A stable canister stove

Gear Review: Exped Mira 1 Tent

A freestanding, double-wall solo tent that's light and packable

Gear Review: Patagonia Simple Guide Hoody

A light, packable, and good-looking softshell

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"

BACKPACKER PRO Maps: Custom maps for your adventures

We've teamed up with map partner myTopo to create custom, pre-planned adventures printed on waterproof topo paper. No need to buy and carry multiple maps. Bonus: PRO Maps sync with your handheld GPS, your smartphone, or your tablet for a complete in-field mapping experience. Our archive is over 100 maps strong and growing.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Homemade Chalk Bags, A Beast of a Generator

Plus, another indestructible iPhone case and theft-resistant bags.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Goggles, Headphones, Bags, and Boots Made for Pow

As the snow falls in Salt Lake City, finally, BRR Steph makes the final rounds of the ski gear.

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.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Tiger Tail, CAMP, & Old Favorites with New Products

BRR Nick, who is also a physical therapist, found lots of back- and budget-friendly gear on Day 3.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: BACKPACKS!

On Day 2 this reporter had one focus: backpacks.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Mammut Safety Harness and Arc'teryx Life Shell Jacket

Plus, winter boots from Teva that fold as small as regular shoes!

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Face First Travel Pillow and Saxx Men's Underwear

Day 2 had this reporter looking for comfort - gloves, hats, travel pillows, and undies.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Knives, Solar Chargers, and Dog Gear

Day 2 for this Reader Reporter featured upgrades to popular knives, solar chargers, and doggie gear.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Backcountry Ski/Snowboard Gear

A sweet ladies' splitboard from Jones and a collapsible pole from K2 to pair with it.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: Climbing Gear

Shoes that stick, rope worth investing in, and a Grigri 2 overhaul.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: SteriPen Freedom Bundle and Petzl NAO Reactive Lighting

Petzl unveils a very smart headlamp and SteriPen offers a one-drink bundle.

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: G-Form Protection, Piggy Backs Made Easy

From water bottles that filter (unobtrusively) to bomber foam for all your gadgets, see what our Reader Reporter scouted on the satellite floor.

Backpacker's Bible: 10 Skills Every Backpacker Must Know

We've created a plan to help you upgrade your trail time in all the ways that matter: bigger views, more solitude, easier miles, and more. Don’t hang up your boots until you’ve mastered this definitive list of 10 skills and life-altering experiences.

Backpacker Bible: Stay Dry

Learn how to cope with relentless rain, and you can experience some of the Earth's holiest places–Alaska! Patagonia!–in comfort.

Backpacker Bible: Find Your Way

Join a long line of enlightened travelers who have navigated the wilderness–and discover a whole new world that lies beyond well-marked trails and guided trips.

Backpacker Bible: Get Out More

Have you ever heard anyone wish he spent less time outdoors?

Adventure Upgrade: Camp Comfortably in Winter

Extend your backpacking season: Here's how to stay warm and protect your gear.

Adventure Updgrade: Make Gear Last

Learn how to fix and prep your gear so that it lasts for miles

Adventure Upgrade: Take the Family Hiking and Camping

Use these tricks to get your kids begging for another trip outside.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Grab Steep Thrills

Ski remote winter terrain—and have the most winter fun.

Readers' Choice Field Gear Test

Four trail-proven picks from the winners of our Be a Gear Tester Contest

Reader Extreme Makeovers: Lighten a Heavy Load

By replacing just five key items from this reader's Army surplus kit we helped him save over 10 pounds of unnecessary weight.

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.

Reader Extreme Makeovers: Camp Kitchen Upgrade

This family of five needed a camp kitchen overhaul to keep everyone well fed for the long haul

Video Gear Review: Hennessy Hammock Ultralite

For the ultralighter who doesn't need a tent this updated hammock makes for a comfy camp.

Go Solo--Safely

Read these tips from expert soloists to gauge your readiness and learn how to enjoy an unfettered adventure.

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 Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Dorn

BACKPACKER's Editor-in-Chief weighs in on his favorite products of 2011.

Editors' Picks with Climbing Editor-in-Chief Dougald MacDonald

Climbing's Editor-in-Chief weighs in on his favorite cam.

Editors' Picks with Senior Online Producer Katie Herrell

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

Editors' Picks with Associate Editor Kristy Holland

This editor like her campsite to be well lit.

Editors' Picks with Executive Editor Dennis Lewon

This no-nonsense editor needs gear that can go the distance.

Editors' Picks with Associate Editor Kim Phillips

This associate map editor likes to stay well connected.

Editors' Picks with Deputy Editor Anthony Cerretani

Gadgets to help you lop off the miles.

Editors Picks' with Senior Editor Shannon Davis

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

Editors' Picks with Map Editor Andrew Matranga

Gadgets and gear from our resident map editor.

Editors' Picks with Climbing Gear Editor Julie Ellison

Climbing's gear editor weighs in on her favorite harness and ice axe.

Editors' Picks with Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter

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

Gear School: Four-Season Tents

Camp comfortably this winter with a shelter built for foul, windy weather.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: The North Face Diez Pullover

Get serious warmth for the weight

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Packable Day Pack

Ultralight stuff sack and daypack

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Pedco CellPod

Versatile tripod for ultralight photography

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: GrubPack and Outsak UL

Ultralight and critter-proof chainmail food storage bags

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: GrubPack and Outsak UL

Ultralight and critter-proof chainmail food storage bags

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Ranger Doug National Park Posters

Wall art for the outdoor lover

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Patagonia Fezzman Short Sleeved Shirt

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

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Camp-Tek Microburst Mini Air Pump

What you didn't know you needed: A tiny fan for inflating your sleeping pad, freeing your mind to contemplate the alpenglow.

Maintain Ski Gear: Patch Ski Poles and Ski Boots

Don’t let a split ski pole shaft or broken boots ruin your balance.

Maintain Ski Gear: Keep Climbing Skins Sticky

Good grip is the key to fast and easy climbing.

Maintain Ski Gear: Back Up Your Bindings

Be proactive about preparing your ski-system’s hub.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Opena iPhone Case with Beer Opener

A gift for the iPhone user who has everything

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Leatherman Style PS

A mini-multitool for working a little MacGyver magic in the mountains

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Oliso PRO VS97A Vacuum Sealer

A perfect splurge gift for the foodie on your list

Ski Strong: Going Up

Master the art of backcountry climbing and skinning.

Ski Strong: Beat Blisters

Outsmart stiff boots and constant heel lifting with these anti-friction tips.

Prep Your Gear: Outfit for Avalanche Safety

Equip yourself with safety gear and practice proper techniques.

Prep Your Gear: Pack to Backcountry Ski

Use this advice to hone your backcountry layers for any trip length or conditions.

Prep Your Gear: Fit Ski Boots Perfectly

Get more comfort going up and more power and control going down.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Backcountry Snowboarding

The ultimate splitboard set-up

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Hats

Cover your head...and ears...even your face, with these cold-weather coverups.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Gloves & Mittens

Keep your digits warm through any cold-weather outing.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Backpacks

Eight packs that haul cameras, ski gear, and everything else you'll need for a cold-weather outing.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Tents

From solo tents to big basecamp, eight bomber tents for cold-weather camping.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Footwear

From snowshoeing boots to winter trail runners and electric boots - we found the best cold-weather footwear for every activity.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Sleeping Bags & Sleeping Pads

Sleep comfortably from -20° to 15°

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Alpine Touring & Telemark

If your winter to-do list includes backcountry camping or hut trips - these are your ski setups.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Skis

Find the backcountry powder with these downhill and touring skis

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Snowshoes

The winter hiking season just got a whole lot longer with these multipurpose snowshoes.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Mountaineering Gear

All the top mountaineering gear, picked for you by the editors of Climbing magazine.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Ice Gear

We teamed up with sister publication Climbing to bring you the best ice climbing gear.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Cameras

Capture all your outdoor moments with these cameras and camcorders.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Eyewear

Protect your eyes from sun, snow, and debris with these goggles and sunglasses.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Kitchen Gear

Two stoves, a deluxe kitchen set, and a bunch of pots and pans.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Socks & Gaiters

From short to tall to toe socks - we have a performance sock for every foot.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Pants

Tough winter pants (plus one really cushy pair) for all your cold-weather activities.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Hardshells

Protect yourself from the worst of nature in these hardshell jackets.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Softshells

Eight softshell jackets from super breathable to warm and cozy.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Insulation

Stay warm with these puffys, fleece, and wool layers.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Top 3 Hiking Apps

Three hiking-focused apps - for iPhone, iPad, or Android.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Navigation - GPS Units & Apps

Never get lost again, with these four GPS units and three hiking apps.

Gear Review: SCOTT Roam

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

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: 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.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Western Mountaineering Flash Down Booties

Goose down booties with a nylon shell that pack down super small.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Black Diamond Orbit Lantern

A lightweight lantern that illuminates any tent perfectly.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks

The perfect Merino sock for mountaineering or winter expeditions

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: M-EDGE Recon iPad Jacket

A military-grade iPad case, built for the backcountry.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Trailblazer Sawvivor Saw

Compact, ultralight saw is a lifesaver

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: SOL Survival Medic Survival and First Aid Kit

Pocket-sized waterproof survival and first aid kit

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Don’t Die Out There Survival Cards

Stacked with survival tips

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Farkle Dice Game

The classic dice-rolling, risk-taking game (to buy or DIY)

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Bears! Dice Game

Fast-paced family dice frenzy

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Timeline Card Game

Fun, educational card game for kids and adults alike

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Sockwa G2 Camp Shoe

We just might have found the perfect camp shoe.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Outdoor Research Omni Gloves

Gloves with Polartec Windstopper that glow in the dark!

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Ex Officio Women's Give-N-Go Lacy Tank Top

Bringing sexy-cute to a hiker babe near you!

Win a Chance to Be a Gear Editor for a Weekend!

Join us as an all-expenses-paid reporter at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in January 2012, and get a sneak peek at next season's hottest stuff. Learn how to apply.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Presents for every hiker on your gift list.

Video Gear Review: Boilerwerks Backcountry Boiler

Our field correspondent puts a chimney kettle to the test.

Readers Choice 2012 Online Exclusive Gear Reviews

We didn't have room to print these readers in our January 2012 Readers Choice Issue--but they still tested some great gear.

Gear Review: Danner Mountain Light II

These boots offer classic style with modern-day comfort -- and they'll last a lifetime.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Kelvinator Down Jacket

A 650-fill down jacket that's super warm and packs to the size of a pineapple.

Gear Review: Stoic Luft Down Sweater Jacket

An ideal down midlayer made with 750-fill down and a Pertex Microlight shell.

Gear Review: Sherpa Ananta/Priya Pullover

For those days when a baselayer is not enough and a puffy jacket too much.

Gear Review: Patagonia Winter Sun Hoody

A top pick for its combination of warmth, weather resistance, fit, and packability.

Gear Review: Ibex Tuck Softshell Jacket

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

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: 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: L.L. Bean Packaway Pullover Jacket

This bargain jacket costs less than $100--and it was worthy of an AT thru-hike.

Gear Review: The North Face Jakson Jacket

Warmth where you need it most; mobility and breathability where it counts.

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: 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: 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: 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: Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiter

Cordura and Gore-Tex gaiters that have been a staff favorite for years.

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.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Baselayers

Keep your top and bottom warm and dry through any outdoor activity with these baselayers.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Galen Rowell: A Retrospective

A book of photos from a great outdoorsman who was equal parts climber and photogrpaher

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Yosemite in the Sixties

The backcountry bookworm will love this glimpse into the past courtesy of Glen Denny.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Platypus PlatyPreserve Wine Storage Bottle

Enjoy a little Merlot at your favorite high lake

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Optimus Crux Lite Canister Stove

Do not underestimate this tiny stove's competence!

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Evernew Titanium Frying Pan

A sweet piece for the angler on your gift list

Gear Review: Ueli Steck Special Edition Wenger Climbing Knife

It won't carry you up the north face of the Eiger in 2 hours and 47 minutes, but it can tune all the gear you need to do it.

Gear Review: MSR Alpine Deluxe Kitchen Set

For large groups, this kitchen set will making cooking a snap

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: SOTO Muka Liquid Fuel Stove

A stove that combines the versatility, power, and cold-weather performance of liquid fuel with the ease of no-priming-required canisters.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Mammut Felsturm Half-Zip Jacket

A jacket that 30% lighter weight than its competitors and 20% more breathable.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Outdoor Research Sensor Gloves

Touch screen gloves that are durable (thanks to leather) and warm (thanks to polarfleece).

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Beyond RoughRider/Steel

Custom-made pants that fit every body type.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Soto Muka Stove

A stove that combines the versatility, power, and cold-weather performance of liquid fuel with the ease of no-priming-required canisters.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: La Sportiva GT/GTS Alpine Touring Ski

A go-anywhere ski that's also superlight.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: La Sportiva RT Alpine Touring Binding

A lightweight alpine touring binding that doesn't skimp on performance.

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Karakoram Split30 Snowboard Bindings

Bindings that quickly transition from hike to ride mode

2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Dynafit TLT5 Mountain Boot

"The most comfortable alpine touring boots on the planet," says one tester.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Collapsible Fairshare Mug

A utilitarian tumbler that shines in a big-group camp kitchen.

Gear Review: REI Campware Nonstick Cookset (Large)

The nesting 4.7- and 3.2-liter pots each come with frypan lids, plus there’s a pot gripper and a mesh storage sack.

Gear Review: 4-Person Tents

Light and large: That's what you get with these five shelters, which deliver comfort on trail and in camp for families and groups.

Gear Review: Selk'bag 4G Lite

A sleeping bag with arms and legs – because onesies shouldn't just be for '80s-themed slumber parties.

Gear Review: Beal Tiger 10mm Climbing Rope

A 10mm rope that's not too stiff and not too flexible with a Golden Dry treatment for added durability and water resistance.

Gear Review: Austri Alpin SI-KO FX Ice Climbing Screw

These screws cost half as much as comparable models but still grind into bulletproof ice with ease.

Gear Review: Bushnell BackTrack D-TOUR

This budget-friendly, no-frills device delivers basic safety and positioning without adding weight.

Gear Review: Grivel Quantum Tech Ice Climbing Tool for Women

A tool that's light and easy to swing and fits a woman's hand.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

These stainless steel crampons are perfect for all your winter climbing needs.

Gear Review: Cassin X-All Mountain Ice Climbing Tool

A all-mountain tool that truly lives up to its name.

Gear Review: Mammut Togir/Togira Light Climbing Harness

Climbing Magazine's favorite alpine harness of 2011.

Gear Review: Scarpa Mt. Blanc GTX Boot

The ultimate all-mountain boot

Gear Review: Petzl Crevasse Rescue Kit



Gear Review: CAMP XLC Crampons

The all-aluminum XLC is about half the weight of comparable steel spikes

Gear Review: Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet

A great mountaineering helmet that's breathable and easy to adjust

Gear Review: Revo Guide Sunglasses

A pair of sunglasses that can handle glare from water, snow, and alpine environments.

Gear Review: Julbo Around Excel Goggles

These goggles have all-conditions lens that really perform in all conditions.

Review: Camp Lights and Headlamps

Find the perfect backcountry glow for any occasion.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Half Dome



Fall Hiking: In Camp

Learn how to pick the perfect campground and keep your food, and yourself, toasty in dipping temps.

Fall Hiking: Weather Concerns

How to predict the weather, plan for a warmer route, and coldproof your camp kitchen.

Hiking's Best Season: Fall

34 tips for ensuring comfort as you prep at home, hit the trail, and camp in the fall months.

Gear Review: Adidas Terrex Pro Sunglasses

Fog-free full-coverage eye protection

Gear Review: Metolius FS Mini Long Draw Quickdraws

For winding mountain routes these quickdraws with included mini carabiners are a huge help

Gear Review: Mammut Smart Alpine Belay Device

Say goodbye to buying different belay devices for every type of climbing—the Smart Alpine does it all.

Gear Review: Grivel G1 Ice Axe

Light enough to carry comfortably, hefty enough to be a lifesaver.

Gear Review: Atlas Sprout/Mini Kids' Snowshoes

Lightweight snowshoes that keeps kids elevated and happy

Gear Review: Tubbs Flex ESC Snowshoes

Serious mountain performance at a sweet price.

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Summit Trekker Snowshoes

For hut trips and overnights, these snowshoes can carry a load

Gear Review: Crescent Moon Gold 10/Gold 13 Snowshoes

The Crescent snowshoe bindings expand and contract to fit virtually any boot type or size.

Gear Review: Atlas Aspect Snowshoes

From deep powder to hard, windpacked snow and ice, the Aspect handles it all.

Gear Review: VÖlkl Nunataq

Fat skis that are light enough for days of touring.

Gear Review: Liberty Envy Powder Skis

Women's-specific skis that really cater to women skiers.

Gear Review: Karakoram Split30



Gear Review: Jones Solution Splitboard

Go-everywhere versatility and resort-board stability in one light package.

Gear Review: Rossignol S3 Skis

For the skier transitioning from front country to back.

Gear Review: Dynafit Stoke Skis

If you climb high to ski long, these are your skis

Gear Review: Black Diamond AMPerage/Element



Gear Review: La Sportiva GT/GTS Ski

The ski for every skier, in every condition.

Gear Review: La Sportiva RT Alpine Touring Binding

A stainless-steel and aluminum binding that's energy-saving light.

Gear Review: Dynafit TLT5 Mountain Boot

A boot with slipper-like comfort and weight but incredible stiffness and control

Gear Review: Black Diamond 01 Tele Binding

It's unanimous: The best tele binding on the market.

Gear Review: Garmont Voodoo Ski Boots

A powerful three-buckle tele boot

Gear Review: Fritschi Diamir Eagle 12 Step-in Binding

A satisfying step-in binding that allows fast, on-the-fly switching from ski to hike mode.

Gear Review: Dynafit Radical ST 10 Ultralight Binding

An ultralight Dynafit binding that's easy to use and fit for any serious conditions

Gear Review: Black Diamond Quadrant Ski Boot

The Quadrant is the most versatile four-buckle AT boot on the market.

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Alpine ApII Sleeping Bag

This mummy is stuffed with 850+ fill down and protected by Sea to Summit’s 3D NanoShell.

Gear Review: Mammut Ajungilak Alpine Winter Sleeping Bag

A synthetic mummy that's virtually waterproof

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Nemo Obi 1p Elite Tent

A super light double-wall tent

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: The North Face Assault 2 Tent

A lightweight, easy-pitching, two-pole tent.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Hozuk

A soft shell lantern that's perfect for illuminating a tent.

Gear Review: Kelty Lumapivot

A bright LED lantern that's perfect for car camping.

Gear Review: Mammut X-Shot

The brightest headlamp we tested.

Gear Review: Princeton Tec Byte

A great headlamp for ultralighters.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Storm

The Storm has multiple setting options for only $50 and four ounces.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Sunlight 20

A legit 20°F down bag that costs less than 200 bucks.

Gear Review: REI Merino Wool Hoodie

This fine-gauge merino feels like my coziest pajamas.

Gear Review: Jetboil Sol Ti Premium Cooking System

Jetboil’s Personal Cooking System (PCS) is fast, fuel-efficient, and foolproof, and this new titanium version is barely half the weight.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Stash 1 Tent

A solo tent that can handle nasty weather and is comfortable to boot.

Gear Review: Adidas Terrex Fast X FM

A low-cut hiker that fits and feels like a supportive sneaker.

Gear Review: MSR Twin Brothers

This roomy tent has 96 square feet of floor space.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Genesee

This four-person tent costs just $199.

Gear Review: Tarptent Hogback

A four-person, double-walled tent that's supremely packable.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Soda Mountain SL4

This freestanding dome weighs less than two pounds per person, but it’s as roomy as a deluxe car-camping tent.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Zeta 4

This top performer is light, roomy, stable—and affordable.

Gear Test: Bargain Three-Season Bags

Three synthetic sleepers for less than $110.

The Best Breathable, Waterproof Rain Jackets

Four companies made bold claims about cutting-edge waterproof technology in 2011. So we gathered a dozen rain jackets with the new fabrics and put them to the test in a head-to-head challenge. Verdict: We've never worn a more breathable crop of shells.

Gear Review: Marmot Mavericks 20

This hoodless, semi-rectangular bag was the roomiest in our test.

Gear Review: Eureka! Casper 15

This bag packs down to the size of a volleyball.

Gear Review: The North Face Aleutian 20

This mummy costs only $89 and weighs just over three pounds!

Gear Review: Columbia Peak 2 Peak/Peak Power

Made with Columbia Omni-Dry this full-featured jacket is $40 less than its nearest competitor.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Jovian

Made with a PTFE membrane made by General Electric this shell was great in heavy rain.

Gear Review: Westcomb Apoc

Made with Polartec NeoShell, this versatile jacket is durable and breathable.

Gear Review: Mammut Felsturm Half-Zip

Made with Gore-Tex Active Shell this breathable jacket was wearable in a wide range of temperatures.

Perfect 10: Free PDF Trip Planning Guides

We've picked the top 10 miles of North America's 10 most memorable hikes. Find your way to wilderness nirvana with these map and planning guides.

Gear Reviews: Featherweight Shells

Windproof jackets for every type of hiker.

Ultralight Makeover

A 12-step program for cutting weight.

Gear Review: Eureka Dualis Sleeping Pad

Do you toss and turn endlessly in your tent at night? Keep reading.

Gear School: Helmets

The latest in skull science and safety

Recording Nature: Calls of the Wild

Enrich your trip memories by recording nature's soundscapes.

Green Guide

Articles on nature and climate change as they relate to backpacking, and environmentally friendly backpacking gear.

Five All-Purpose Light Hikers

Get light yet supportive shoes that stand up to the worst boot-chewing terrain–and satisfied our crew of Grand Canyon rangers and guides.

The End-of-Summer Gear

Close out the season in style, with sandals, eyewear, a wearable air conditioner (for your dog), and a proper skinny-dipping accessory.

Gear Test Fail: Off Clip-it and ThermaCELL Insect Repeller

In this home video, gear tester Joe Flowers goes out into the wilds of North Carolina to test two alternative bug repellents. The result is, well, itchy.

Gear Test: Beat the Bugs without the DEET

DEET-free bug-repellent options from chemicals to high frequency sound

Ultimate Peak Planner

BACKPACKER and CLIMBING have teamed up to bring you a one-stop resource for scaling the best treks and technical climbs in the country.

Gear Review: Backcountry Skirts

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

Gear Review: Stoic Wraith Rain Jacket

A wisp of a rain jacket at a great price

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Zia 3 Tent

A three-person tent with 40 square feet of floor space.

Gear Review: REI TiWare Nonstick Cookset

This four-piece set has a nonstick silicone/ceramic coating.

Gear Review: Patagonia Lightweight Sun Hoody

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

Gear Review: Suunto Core Anniversary Edition Watch

This watch features an altimeter, barometer, compass, and logbook, and is dead-on accurate.

Gear Review: JanSport Forsyth 50 Pack

A backpack for organized backpackers.

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: Keen Alamosa Hiking Boot

These cushy dayhikers are perfect for hiking with light loads.

Gear Review: Merrell Chameleon 3 Ventilator Hiking Boot

This light hiker is practically abrasion resistant thanks to the thick pig suede upper.

Gear Review: Lowa Tempest Lo Hiking Boot

This light hiker can carry up to 50 pounds!

Gear Review: Five Ten Insight Hiking Boot

A Five Ten shoe that excels at scrambling and smearing.

Gear Review: Patagonia Drifter A/C Hiking Boot

Bootlike support and traction with trail-runner shock absorption and weight.

Navigation Center

Learn how to make custom maps, navigate any terrain, and the ins-and-outs of GPS devices and mobile apps in our comprehensive navigation center.

Prof. Hike: Make Your Gear Last Longer

Transform your gear closet with 11 money-saving tips.

51 Summer Camping Secrets

Maximize fun and minimize hassle with these essential tips on comfort, safety, cooking, and finding solitude during the high season.

Gear Review: Klymit Inertia X-Frame

Is your sleeping pad from the Stone Age? Try upgrading to this Jetsons-worthy mattress.

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 News: DELORME TO LAUNCH TWO-WAY GPS, "inReach"

New inReach device from Delorme offers two-way communication and much more.

Gear Review: Fenix HL20 Headlamp

Some headlamps only provide a little light to get you by. Not so with the 105-lumen Fenix HL20–and it runs on a normal AA battery too!

Tough Guy Challenge: Call for Videos

Submit your video! Win a trip to Rainier and the title of America's Toughest Backpacker.

Father's Day Gift Guide

What do dads really want? Hint: not more ties or car wash gift certificates. We polled our male staffers to find out what they hope to get (or give) this June 19th.

Casting Call: Backcountry Fly-Fishing Gear

Get started backcountry fly-fishing with our testers' value-oriented picks, and you'll have one more excuse to linger in beautiful places.

Gear Review: FlytePacker Raft

Get off the bank and onto the lake with the FlytePacker Raft.

Gear Review: Gerber Flik Fish Multitool

Heavy but handy, the Gerber Flik Fish multitool offers functions specific for fishermen (and women).

Gear Review: Fishpond Tumbleweed Chest Pack

There's no need for an angler's vest with the Fishpond Tumbleweed Chest Pack.

Gear Review: Costa Del Mar Zane Sunglasses

Worth the price, the Costa Del Mar Zane sunglasses have polarized lenses perfect for spotting fish despite the water's glare.

Gear Review: Sage 1650 Fishing Reel

Reel in dinner with the Sage 1650.

Gear Review: Redington Classic Trout 9056 Fly Fishing Rod

The packable Redington Classic Trout 9056 is a great fly rod for beginners.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Gnar Hoody

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

Gear Review: Helinox Featherlite Lever Button Trekking Poles



Gear Review: REI Passage 2 Tent

There's no need to sacrifice sturdiness with the less-pricey REI Passage 2 three-season tent.

Gear Review: Wenger EvoWood S557 Multitool

Keep the Wenger EvoWood S557 multitool handy to cut, clamp, screw or slice.

Gear Review: Mammut Teton GTX Hiking Boots

A Vibram sole adds a bit of burly sturdiness to the Mammut Teton GTX boot.

Gear Makeover Contest - Meet the Winners!

These six readers convinced us their gear needed an update! Look for their full makeovers in our January 2012 Readers' Choice issue.

Gear Review: Vasque Jule Trail Shoe

A low-cut hiker for all your daily adventures.

Gear Review: Weekend Packs

Load and go: Our test crew logged 1,689 miles to find the perfect short-haul pack for every type of hiker.

Gear School: Headlamps

Improve your night sight with the latest headlamp technology.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Epic 45 Backpack

A perfect weekend pack for mountaineer and ice climbers.

Outdoor Apps for Android Users

Don't let iPhone fanatics fool you: There are tons of great outdoor apps for the other operating system.

Ultralight Survey

Take our poll, then put your pack on a diet with tips coming in our August 2011 issue.

Gear Review: Four Summer Camping Steals

Bonus: They are all lightweight and former Editors' Choice winners.

Gear Review: Empire Canvas Works Wool Blanket Shirt

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

Gear Guide 2011: Essential Apps

Load up your smartphone or iPad with these backpacker-friendly apps.

Gear Guide 2011: Weeklong Packs

For big hauls these packs deliver.

Gear Review: High Peak Everest 75+10

Its design is a mash-up of features we like in luggage and a trail-ready backpack.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Molimo 70

The Molimo fit everyone from beanpoles to fireplugs.

Gear Review: The North Face Zealot 70

Rain, mud, rocks, snow, crampons. Some packs need to be coddled when faced with the wet, rough, and sharp. Not the Zealot.

Gear Review: MontBell Super Expedition 90

The payload-to-weight-to-price of this pack is in a class by itself.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Mission 75

Its high-and-slim, alpine-style design easily kept 45 pounds close and stable as a tester scrambled up steep slopes and across tightrope-thin ridges.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Mission 75

Its high-and-slim, alpine-style design easily kept 45 pounds close and stable as a tester scrambled up steep slopes and across tightrope-thin ridges.

Gear Review: GoLite Terrono 70

This load monster's suspension is so dialed, it can induce a pleasant form of trail amnesia.

Gear Review: Mary Janes Farm High Attitude Six Pack (Bulk Dehydrated Food)

Stock your backcountry pantry for a full season of chowing down on delicious, satisfying, organic (and vegetarian) trail food.

Gear Guide 2011: Essentials

Welcome to accessory and apparel heaven: puffy jackets, stoves, windpants, knives, iPad apps, solar panels, GPS, hydration, first aid, socks, camp food, baselayers, and more.

Gear Guide 2011: Winter Sleeping Bags

Camp through the coldest months with these hearty sleeping bags.

Gear Guide 2011: Three-Season Sleeping Bags

This year's roundup of three-season bags features three killer deals and an Editors' Choice Award winner.

Gear Guide 2011: Summer Sleeping Bags

Six summer bags that cover summer's mood swings.

Gear Guide 2011: Sleeping Bags & Pads

Enjoy sweet dreams in nasty conditions with these sacks and pads.

Gear Guide 2011: Big Agnes Jack Rabbit SL2 Tent

A lightweight, freestanding, stable tent with adequate space.

Gear Guide 2011: Three- & Four-Person Tents

Pile in with these three- and four-person tents.

Gear Guide 2011: Tents

Stay warmer and drier thanks to efficient pole structures, geometries that enhance space and stormproofing, durable lightweight materials, and wind-tunnel-proven shapes.

Gear Guide 2011: Two-Person Tents

Whatever your needs–ultralight, inexpensive, all-season, tough–we found the perfect two-person tent.

Gear Guide 2011: One-Person Tents

If you fly solo, these are the tents for you.

Gear Guide 2011: Backpacks

Whether you're loading for a local dayhike, a weekend in the wilderness, or a once-in-a-lifetime thru-hike, this year's class of packs redefines comfort.

Gear Guide 2011: Light Duty Boots/Trail Runners

If light and fast is your hiking/trail running motto, these are your kicks.

Gear Guide 2011: Mid Duty Boots

Two of BACKPACKER's 14 Editors' Choice Award winners fall into this all-purpose hiking boot category.

Gear Guide 2011: Heavy Duty Boots

For big mountain climbs, these are your boots

Gear Guide 2011: Boots

From fit to grip, this year's shoes do everything better.

Gear Review: Pacific Outdoors Peak Elite AC

This pad delivers low weight and low cost, making no more grumpy mornings.

Gear Review: Exped SynMat UL 7

Stay warm and comfy with this insulated sleeping pad.

Gear Review: Montrail Mountain Masochist MID GTX Hiking Boot

Bedroom-slipper light and instantly comfortable

Gear Review: Ahnu Montara Women's Hiking Boot

Women love this comfortable, stable and affordable boot.

Gear Review: Garmont Zenith Hike GTX Hiking Boot

Lightweight book with a lightweight price.

Gear Review: SCARPA Terra GTX/Luna GTX Hiking Boot

The Terra's soft PU midsole, gives the boot a cushy, shock-absorbing feel.

Gear Review: AKU Suiterra Suede GTX Hiking Boot

One of the most versatile boots around.

Gear Review: Merrell Refuge Core Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

It crushed the competition in terms of support.

Gear Review: Salewa ALP Trainer Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Voted Editors' Choice 2011 as the best all-around boot.

Gear Review: Vasque Bitterroot GTX Hiking Boot

A classic looking boot with above average support and stability.

Gear Review: Patagonia Scree Shield Hiking Boot

One shoe for everything from dayhikes to dog walks to peakbagging epics.

Gear Review: Kayland Vertigo Dual Hiking Boot

This boot offers maximum performance and durability.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Delta GTX Hiking Boot

A great lightweight boot for heavy duty hiking.

Gear Review: Mammut Mountain Cascade GTX Hiking Boot

The perfect boot for big, unpredictable mountain adventures.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Quantum Trail Runner

This shoe excels when 'trail' is a generous description.

Gear Review: New Balance 101 Trail Runner

This barely there trail runner has the perfect blend of breathability, support, and durability.

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: WEEKEND HIKER

Outfit your mama with the perfect overnight gear.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: PEAK BAGGER

If the lady on your gift list likes to go hard or go home, we have eight pieces of gear calling her name.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: TRAIL DINNER DATE

A backcountry setup for the maestro in the kitchen.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: BUSY MOM

Bring the kids and keep 'em happy with these backpacking gift ideas.

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: Smith Optics Heyday Sunglasses

Good-looking performance shades that fit a woman's face.

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: 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: LEKI Cressida AERGON Speedlock

Save your knees with these lightweight poles made especially for women

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Ki

An ideal weekend pack for women

Mother's Day Gift Guide: The North Face Women's Hotlum 3-Season Sleeping Bag

A tough, warm, bargain down sleeping bag

Mother's Day Gift Guide: DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator

Manage your social network from anywhere

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Equal Exchange Organic Spicy Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa, with the emphasis on "hot"

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: Ahnu Montara Hiking Boot

All-terrain stability and all-day comfort in this women's only hiking boot.

Tax Rebate Gear: Build a Better Backpacker

This year, spend that extra dough on at-home workout gear that will make it easier to get out and log miles. Basically, you're investing in you.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Smartwool Spring Glove

Breathable merino wool and rugged leather make for happy hands

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Bobo's Oat Bars

Yummy organic trail bars

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: REI Traverse 30 Daypack

Perfectly sized and organized for done-in-a-day outings

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Highgear Axio Mini Altimeter Watch

A feature-filled altimeter watch sized for the female wrist

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Petzl Tikka2 Headlamp

A tough, dependable nightlight

Mother's Day Gift Guide: TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX Hiking Boots

Incredible traction, light weight, and zero break-in

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Outdoor Herbivore Sprout Kit

Grow your own food on the trail, no gardening or greenhouse required

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Alice White Lexia Moscato

A very tasty box wine

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Packit Gourmet Trail Meals & Baking Set

Eat well without all the fuss with these prepackaged camp meals

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Coghlan's Multi-Spice Shaker

Improve the taste of any meal

Mother's Day Gift Guide: GSI Gourmet Backpack Kitchen

Measure it, whisk it, and serve it in the backcountry with these kitchen accessories.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Optimus Terra HE Cook Set

A gourmet cook set for fancy feasts

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Jetboil Sol Advanced Cooking System

Smaller, lighter, and even better performing than the original

Mother's Day Gift Guide: MSR DragonFly Stove

Don't just boil water, cook up a masterpiece

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Snack This Veggie Medley

Grab your veggies on the go

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Horny Toad Tranquil Hoody

A comfortable, cute, easy-to-wear top

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Kelty Diaper Daypack

An everyday diaper pack that goes from trail to train with ease

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Olympus TG-310 Point-and-Shoot Camera

Shockproof, waterproof, and freezeproof means it's kid-proof

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Kit Battery Charger

Rechargeable, portable power for all your mobile devices

Deuter Kid Comfort III Kid Carrier

Our favorite toddler-hauler

Mother's Day Gift Guide: ERGObaby Performance Infant Carrier

The best way to tote your infant on a hike

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Kelty Big Dipper 30 Jr. Kids Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag that grows with your child.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Smartwool Lupine Striped Hat

A densely knit merino wool that fits and breathes well.

Gear Review: Olympus Tough TG-310 Point-and-Shoot Camera

A shockproof, waterproof, freeze-proof camera for all your outings

Gear Review: Thermosoles Rechargeable Remote Controlled Heated Insoles

Say hello to my second-most guiltiest pleasure in the backcountry.

Gear Review: Flip An Zip Zipper Repair Kit

This kit makes zipper repair a DIY project.

Gear Review: Yarns

You'll be the life of the campfire with a few tips from the pros.

Gear Review: XC navigation skills

Learn everything you need to know to get from point a. to point b.

Gear Review: Grease Monkey Wipes

A magic eraser for grease and grime.

Gear Review: Magellan iPhone ToughCase

A waterproof case that doesn't render your iPhone useless.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Lateral Dry Bag

A dry bag that doubles as a duffel.

Gear Review: GoLite TraveLite 30'' Wheeled Duffel

An expedition-size wheeled duffle.

Gear Review: Polar Pure Water Disinfectant

An iodine treatment that doesn't taste like iodine.

Gear Review: MSR Dromlite Bag

A lightweight, six-liter bag.

Gear Review: Tech4o Data Center II Watch

A watch with all the whistles, but you don't have to wear it on your wrist.

Gear Review: Bandit Wine



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: Easton CTR-80 Trekking Poles

An all-carbon trekking pole that absorbs shock through the grip.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-pole



Gear Review: Davek Traveler Umbrella

A pricey umbrella that's worth every penny.

Gear Review: Portable Sounds Laboratories iMaingoX Speaker System

A handy little speaker system.

Gear Review: Eton Soulra iPod Dock

An iPod dock for the backcountry.

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: Granite Gear Uberlight eVent Stuffsack

These Cuben Fiber stuffsacks are light and tough.

Gear Review: Brunton Restore Solar Charger

This bomber solar charger was the most durable of all the models we tested.

Gear Review: Energizer's Xpal SP2000 Power Pack

A hybrid battery and solar array.

Gear Review: Goal Zero's Nomad 7M Charger

Through the use of monocrystalline solar cells, Goal Zero created a super effective charger.

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: Balanzza Mini Scale



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 Guide 2011: Weekend Packs

These packs will comfortably hold all your Friday-Sunday needs.

Gear Review: Stoic Welder Lo Jacket

The perfect three-season jacket.

Gear Guide: Lowe Alpine Alpine Attack 45 Weekend Pack

This pack is thousand-foot glissades and crampon/ice axe friendly.

Gear Review: Rab Boreas/Aurora Pull-on Jacket



Gear Review: Granite Gear Nimbus Trace 62 Weekend Pack

A weekend pack that can handle overtime.

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: Jetboil Crunchit

Easily puncture and crush spent fuel cans with this handy tool.

Gear Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider Weekend Pack

If you travel light and fast, this is your weekend pack.

Gear Review: Gregory Baltoro 65 Weekend Pack

An updated version of a previous Editors' Choice Awards winner.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Cohesion Stretch Pant

Lightweight and durable shell pants.

Gear Review: Cocoon Ultralight Air-Core Pillow

A compact pillow that inflates to 12x15".

Gear Review: REI Passage 65 Weekend Pack

Just $149 can buy you a great pack.

Gear Review: Kuhl Renegade Pants

Styled like cotton pants, but built to work out.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Revival 65/Jubilee 65 Weekend Pack

If you're an organizer, this is the pack for you.

Gear Review: Loksak's OPSAK bag

These resealable, washable, and polyethylene bags protect food and toiletries from small critters.

Gear Review: Sky Tonight Star Charts

Chart your campsite's night sky with customizable maps.

Gear Review: Montrail Sabino Trail Mid GTX Boots

Want boots with maximum support and protection for minimum weight?

Gear Review: America the Beautiful Annual Pass

If you plan to hit more than one national park in a year, consider this national parks pass.

Gear Review: Leki Aergon Photoadapter Kit

Turn your Leki trekking pole into a monopod for photo ops.

Gear Review: Hurraw! Lip Balm

Handmade from fair-trade ingredients, this lip balm has BACKPACKER editors raving.

Gear Review: Petzl Core Headlamp

A rechargeable and programmable headlamp.

Gear Review: Primus PrimeTorch 1010

A 140-lumen beam in a lipstick-size flashlight.

Gear Review: Coghlan's Cooler Light

A light for your cooler–perfect for car camping.

Gear Review: Pelican HeadsUP Lite 2690 LED Headlamp

An easy-to-use headlamp (even with gloves on).

Gear Review: GSI Crossover Kitchen Set

Everything you need to cook up a feast in the backcountry.

Gear Review: MSR Alpinist 2 Cookpot

A 2.4-liter hard anodized aluminum cookpot.

Gear Review: Jetboil Sumo Cookpot

A 1.8-liter aluminum cookpot.

Gear Review: Soto Muka Stove

A white gas stove that doesn't require priming.

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: REI's Tarn 18 Pack

A kid-size mileage logging pack.

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

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

Gear Review: Baladeo 22G Knife

A full-size, three-inch blade that's sharp and light.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits Core Lite Knife

A knife, whistle, and light in one.

Gear Review: Callpod Fueltank DUO Rechargeable Battery Pack

A rechargeable, lithium-ion battery pack for all your gadgets.

Gear Review: RoadID's Wrist ID Sport

A bracelet with all your vital information in case of emergency.

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: ENO ProNest Hammock

Set up camp anywhere with this easy-to-use hammock.

Gear Review: DeLorme PN-60w with SPOT Communicator

GPS + Spot + Text Messaging

Gear Review: Apples to Apples

While away tent hours with this fun card game.

Gear Review: Black Diamond GTX FrontPoint Gaiters

Bomber gaiters that block out slime.

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: Pre-packaged Desserts

Follow a day of hiking with one of these yummy desserts.

Gear Review: Pre-packaged Dinners

You won't go hungry with these backcountry dinners.

Gear Review: Pre-packaged Lunches & Snacks

Easy-to-eat lunches and snacks that actually taste good.

Gear Review: Pre-packaged Breakfasts

Oatmeal, granola, and eggs–backcountry style.

Gear Review: Zeal Tenacity Sunglasses

High performance shades scaled down to fit small and medium faces.

Gear Review: Julbo MonteBianco Sunglasses

High-elevation glasses that have city street style.

Gear Review: Ryders Eyewear Vela Interchangeable Sunglasses

High quality interchangeable optics for one low price.

Gear Review: Smith Pivlock V90 Sunglasses

Rimless and interchangeable

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits' S.O.L. 3 Survival, Medical & Gear Repair Pak

A first aid kit that can handle way more than blisters.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits’ S.O.L. 3 Survival, Medical & Gear Repair Pak



Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits’ S.O.L. 3 Survival, Medical & Gear Repair Pak



Gear Review: Handpresso Wild

Caffeine in the palm of your hand–no plumbing or plugs required.

Gear Review: Nuun U Natural Hydration Tablets

A subtle way to mask chemically treated water.

Gear Review: Planet Dog Natural Hemp Adjustable Collar and Leash



Gear Review: Ruff Wear Cloud Chaser

A primo softshell jacket...for your dog.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Contact Crampons

Stainless steel crampons that bite into ice and repel slushy buildup.

Gear Guide 2011: Daypacks

For a day outside, grab one of these trail-tested packs.

Gear Review: Osprey Sirrus 24 Women's Daypack

The fit and comfort of this pack scored high with all our female testers.

Gear Review: Deuter Speed Lite 15

A 15 liter daypack that's small, light, and tough.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Axis 33 Daypack

A tough pack made for climbing rock.

Gear Review: Mammut Creon Light 32 Daypack

If you only want one daypack, ever, this is your pack.

Gear Review: ContourHD Camera

A tiny helmet cam with above average sound quality.

Gear Review: CamelBak Highwire 25 Daypack

A 100-ounce reservoir makes this hydration pack the best of the bunch.

Gear Review: Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA102YL Camera

A waterproof video camera that's reasonably priced.

Gear Review: Pentax K-5 Camera

A tough DSLR that's perfect for shooting wildlife thanks to its quiet shutter.

Gear Review: Pentax Optio W90 Camera

An all-conditions, high-value performance point-and-shoot camera.

Gear Review: Brunton Pioneer 26DNL Compass

A compass that floats.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero Shoe

550-fill down booties that are perfect winter camp shoes.

Gear Review: Patagonia Advocate Shoes

A leather slipper with a rubber sole–the perfect camp shoe.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest Trekker Lounge Chair

Turn any standard-size sleeping pad into a decadent recliner.

Gear Review: Clik Elite Access Pack

A light and streamlined chest camera pack.

Gear Review: Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle

A double-wall insulated bottle that is amazingly effective for its weight.

Gear Review: Brunton Eterna Compact 10x25 Binoculars

Powerful optics that pack small.

Gear Review: Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 Binoculars

A bargain binocular that doubles as a backcountry microscope.

Gear Review: Mammut Smart Alpine Belay Device

A versatile belay device that works with single, double, and some twin ropes. It also offers active braking support.

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.

Gear Review: High Peak Chameleon 20/0

A budget-conscious convertible bag that changes to match its environment.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker Pad

The Trekker is a more affordable descendant of the NeoAir, which won our Editors' Choice Award in 2009.

Almost Editors' Choice

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

Editors' Choice 2011 Gold Award: Icebreaker Hopper T

Buy now, wear forever.

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

Get total weather protection for half the gas.

Editors' Choice 2011: TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Get instant, all-day comfort and superb traction with this ultralight waterproof hiker.

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.

Editors' Choice 2011: SteriPEN Adventurer Opti

This ultralight water purifier is fast, easy, and leaves zero aftertaste.

Editors' Choice 2011: Nemo Astro Insulated Sleeping Pad and Pillowtop

Upgrade your zzzzz's with this luxe and versatile system.

Editors' Choice 2011: Marmot Plasma 15 and 30 Sleeping Bags

In the quest for maximum warmth at minimum weight, we have a new standard setter.

Editors' Choice 2011: Kelty Salida 2 Tent

This sub-four-pound bargain brings ultralight shelter to the masses.

Editors' Choice 2011: Salewa Alp Trainer Mid

Tackle any terrain in these midweights, and don't worry about blisters. We–er, they–guarantee it.

Editors' Choice 2011: Granite Gear Blaze AC 60

Want a lightweight pack with the guts for big-load trips? This best-in-class suspension delivers.

Editors' Choice 2011: Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-Poles

Get a grip on the best carbon poles we've ever tested.

Editors' Choice 2011: MontBell Alpine Light Down Parka

Low weight, high warmth, and modest price make this jacket a perfect fit.

Editors' Choice 2011: DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator

Here's a high-tech trifecta: Navigate the backcountry and call for emergency help and stay connected with those at home.

Editors' Choice 2011: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4 Tent

Where are the smoke and mirrors? This family-size tent weighs the same as some two-person shelters.

Got Busted Gear?

Gear editor Kristin Hostetter is working on a new book and she wants your dirty, broken gear to fix up.

Gear Review: Feathered Friends Peregrine eVent Sleeping Bag

Packed with 850-plus-fill down, this bag lofts up a full nine inches, yet remains remarkably packable.

Gear Review: Mammut Altitude Winter Sleeping Bag

The Altitude's 800-fill down is protected from the elements by a waterproof/breathable ShelterTX shell and full-length, rubberized, splashproof zipper.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear ExtraLamina 0 Sleeping Bag

Three inches of extra space in the shoulder area make this a primo bag for the broad shouldered.

Gear Review: REI Radiant 0 Sleeping Bag

Winter camping becomes budget friendly with this 0° bag.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Pyro 15 Sleeping Bag

The Pyro is the economical solution if you need a 15°F bag in 30°F temps.

Gear Review: Sea To Summit Traverse Xt1 Sleeping Bag

The Traverse Xt1's secret weapon? Sea To Summit's 3D NanoShell which keeps down dry without inhibiting breathability.

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Katahdin 20 Sleeping Bag

Knock-around durability, easy-care synthetic insulation, and a no-brainer price.

Gear Review: Kelty Light Year Down 20 Sleeping Bag

The space-heater warmth and long-term durability of a down bag without the lofty price.

Gear Review: Stoic Somnus 30 Sleeping Bag

An ultralight summer sleeping bag that sleeps warm.

Gear Rview: Big Agnes Big Creek Sleeping Bag

No more zipping bags together, a two-person bag designed for couples.

Gear Review: Solar Powered Backpacking Gear

Five of our favorite solar items to make your next trip brighter, safer, and less stinky

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Poncha 35 Bag

Carry about a pound extra,and save more than $100.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest Alpine Down Blanket

A quilt-style bag that integrates perfectly with a sleeping pad.

Gear School: Avalanche Beacons

Travel safely through snowscapes with this lifesaving locator.

8 Ways to Treat Water

Stay hydrated–and healthy–with a filter or purifier that's right for you.

Gear Review: Exped Dreamwalker 250 Sleeping Bag

The 850-fill Dreamwalker converts to a full-length poncho–like a puffy jacket, only warmer.

Gear Review: Terra Nova Laser 300 Elite Sleeping Bag

The Laser weighs a scant 12 ounces and packs down to the size of a grapefruit, yet it's warm right down to its temp rating.

Gear Review: NEMO Pentalite Tent

A roomy pyramid shelter.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Saitaris Tent

A mountaineering tent that costs as much as a mortgage payment, but delivers homelike comforts.

Gear Review: Marmot Boreas 3P Tent

A freestanding, three-person tent that has super ventilation.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Corners 3 Tent

A roomy, affordable, and freestanding dome.

Gear Review: Cabela's XPG Ultralight 3 Tent

This three-star accommodation costs less than $60 per person.

Gear Review: Easton Kilo Tent

This three-season tent saves weight with new pole technology.

Gear Review: Marmot Turret 2P Tent

A tent that can handle the rougher edges of spring and fall.

Gear Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo II Tent

If you count weight savings in grams, not ounces, you won't find a lighter option with this much protection.

Gear Review: MSR DragonTail Tent

True all-season performance–without a weight penalty.

Gear Review: Camp Cookware

We scrambled eggs, flipped pancakes, and scrubbed burnt-on crud to find the best pots and pans for every backcountry chef.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Lightning HT 2 Tent

Two-person tent with more space than meets the eye.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Morrison Tent

A double-wall tent that's simple on design but big on space.

Gear Review: Tarptent Moment Tent

An ultra-affordable ultralight solo tent.

Gear Review: NEMO Moto 1P

A solo tent with XXL dimensions.

Gear Review: Ultra Light Kettle Co. mKettle

A cool way to boil and carry water, all in one package.

Gear Review: EMS Velocity 1 Tent

A bargain solo tent.

Gear Guide 2011 Table of Contents



Gear Review: Zeal Optics Transcend SPPX Goggles

The GPS-enabled cyborg goggles you've been dreaming about

Editors' Choice 2011: Video Gear Reviews

This year's Editors' Choice testing trip took place in Utah's Capitol Reef National Park -- a perfect testing ground for our favorite gear of the year.

Gear Review: Marmot Variant Jacket

Ever wish to stitch additional insulation onto the front of your favorite mid-layer? Your wish is granted.

Boot TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Buying, and Mending Your Hiking Boots

Your boots will last longer, fit better, and hike farther if you give them a little TLC.

Tent TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Buying, and Mending Your Tent

Keep your favorite shelter in tip-top shape with this advice.

Sleeping Bags TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Fitting, and Mending Your Sleeping Bag

Your sleeping bag is critical to backcountry enjoyment - keep it happy.

Backpack TLC: Tips on Cleaning, Fitting, and Mending Your Pack

Proper fit and care will keep your backpack comfortable and functioning.

Gear Guide 2011: Extra Online Chart Reviews

Read all the full-text reviews of the gear we didn't have room to dish about in the 2011 Gear Guide charts.

Gear Guide 2011: Online Sleeping Bag Reviews



Gear Guide 2011: Online Boot Reviews

Online gear reviews of boots featured in the 2011 Gear Guide charts.

Gear Review: MontBell Thermawrap BC Jacket

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

Online Tent Reviews | 2011 Gear Guide



Greening Gear: Q & A with Eco-Friendly Outdoor Gear Leaders

Imagine eco-friendly equipment that offers superior performance to today's gear. The future is bright, but how do we get there? A BACKPACKER roundtable discussion.

Sleeping Bag Buying Guide

In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter shows you how to pick the right sleeping bag for any outing.

Boot Buying Guide

More than any other category of gear, boots can make or break your trip. In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter shows you how to pick the right pair for any outing, any feet.

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Boreal Sliding Snowshoes

Have a blast in rolling terrain with these snowshoe/ski hybrids.

Couples Camping 101: Little Extras

Freshen up for backcountry lovin' with these little extras.

Couples Camping 101: Wine & Dine

Chocolate, wine, and pasta for two.

Couples Camping 101: Victoria's Secret Goes Backcountry

Skivvies for your bivy.

Couples Camping 101: Set the Mood

Marvin Gaye loves camping.

Couples Camping 101: Build a Cozy Lovenest

Comfort for a cozy backcountry couple

Couples Camping 101: Gear and Skills

Gear and skills to keep you and your outdoor-loving honey happy in the backcountry.

Gear Review: MontBell Tachyon Anorak Jacket

An extremely light and extremely packable windshell.

Gear Review: REI Arete ASL 2 Tent

A four-season tent that truly can be used year-round.

Gear Review: Granite Gear Blaze AC 60 Pack

We liked this pack so much, we upgraded it to an Editors' Choice award winner.

Gear Review: GoLite Demaree Canyon Jacket

A packable puffy with a sleek, athletic fit.

Gear Review: Teva Forge Pro Trail Runners

Comfortable low-cut trail runners that offer support and performance.

Gear Review: Vargo Titanium Pot Gripper

Grab any pot with this lightweight and sturdy pot gripper.

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink

Wash dishes and haul water easily in the watertight nylon container.

Gear Review: REI Campware Silicone Spatula

Make pancakes in camp with this silicone spatula.

Gear Review: Pot Pal

An oven mitt, a dish towel, a food warmer - this cotton bag does it all.

Gear Review: MSR Universal Canister Stand

An easily packable pot stand that will end tipping.

Gear Review: To-Go Ware RePEat Bamboo Utensil Set

A bamboo utensil set that won't wreck nonstick coating.

Gear Review: CamelBak Groove

A water bottle that makes chemically treated water taste better.

Gear Review: Katadyn MyBottle

Water bottle and filter in one.

Gear Review: Steripen Adventurer Opti

An easy-to-use tool that zaps water drinkable withe the use of ultraviolet rays.

Gear Review: Platypus GravityWorks

A fast, effective way to filter water for a big group.

Gear Review: MSR HyperFlow Filter

A lightweight filter that filters at a rate of three liters per minute.

Gear Review: Vargo Ti-Boiler Mug and Pan

A titanium mug and pot/lid set that is super durable and lightweight.

Gear Review: MSR Alpine 4 Pot Set

A stainless steel three-pot set that is bombproof.

March 2011 Table of Contents



Gear Guide 2011: Online Backpack Reviews



Gear Review: High-Powered Flashlights

We tested four unique high-powered lights using lithium batteries for lightweight super power.

Gear Review: Acu-Rite Wireless Weather Station and Weather Station Forecaster

Rainshell or fleece? Know at a glance with this wireless weather station.

Gear Review: Primus AluTech 1.4 Liter Pot

A triangular shaped pot that's easy to pour and balance on three-legged stoves.

Gear Review: Crescent Moon Over-Shoe Booties

Turn any shoe or boot into a fully insulated winter trekker with these over-shoe booties.

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: The Ultralighter

Cut weight, not comfort, in three core categories.

Gear Review: Energizer's Solar Folding Lantern & Hard Case Professional Area Light

Two Energizer products that light up camp (and your social habits) in unique ways.

Gear Review: Optimus Terra HE Cook Set

A versatile three-pot combo for the gourmet backcountry chef.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist Cookset

A two-person cookset that comes with a stuffsack for washing dishes.

Gear Review: Platypus Insulator Hydration System

An all-in-one lightweight hydration system for snow lovers.

Reader Rated: Family Camping Gear

Get great gear without breaking into the college fund.

Reader Rated: Tech Gear

Attention e-hikers: Upgrade–and power–your gadgets with these five finds.

Reader Rated: Alpine Gear

For weeklong trips that range above treeline, you want gear that's light, protective, and built for abuse.

Reader Rated: Weekend Warrior Gear

Get comfort and convenience with these four well-priced picks.

Reader Rated: Dayhiking Gear

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

How-To Slideshow: Install Leave No Trace Trekking Pole Tips

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you exactly how to put rubber tips on your trekking poles.

How-To Slideshow: Adjust Your Trekking Pole Straps

In this step-by-step guide, we show you exactly how to use trekking pole straps effectively.

How-To Slideshow: Adjust Your Trekking Poles For Varying Terrain

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you the proper height of trekking poles for various types of terrain.

How-To Slideshow: Fitting a Backpack

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you exactly how to fit a pack for optimum comfort and stability on the trail.

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: Jacks 'R Better High Sierra Sniveller Sleeping Bag

An ultralight sleeping bag with 3.5 inches of loft and an extra-wide torso area

Gear Review: GoLite Poncho Tarp

An ultralight poncho/tent with durable 15-denier, siliconized fabric

Gear Review: Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus Backpack

A 60-liter ultralight frameless rucksack perfect for long weekends

Gear Review: Deuter Aircontact 75+10 Backpack

Stays comfortable and stable with loads up to 70 pounds

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Basecamper Medium Cookset

Ideal for family outings plus has everything but the kitchen sink

Gear Review: The North Face Double Toad 44 Tent

An all-mesh canopy and 54 square feet of living space

Gear Review: SCOTTEVEST Fleece 5.0 Jacket

Has 24 pockets to keep all your gadgets in place

Gear Review: USBCell AAs Rechargable Batteries

Able to recharge off of any USB port

Gear Review: SanDisk Sansaclip+ 2GB

Smooth, clear sound and a voice recorder for 40 bucks

Gear Review: Garmin Dakota 20 GPS

Easy to read touch screen with a tough hard-shell

Gear Review: Powermonkey Explorer Solar Charger

Holds a lot of power, comes with 11 adapter tips, and charges quickly

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear BMG Backpack

A 100-liter pack that provides excellent load transfer and customlike comfort

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Virtuoso Puffy Jacket

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

Gear Review: High Gear ATF8 Watch

Clips to your pack for easy access to stats like temperature and altitude

Gear Review: LOWA Terek GTX Boots

Boots with solid support and stability without being too heavy or clunky

Gear Review: Black Diamond HiLight Tent

Fend off heavy precipitation and 30-mph wind in this cozy tent for two

Gear Review: EMS Velocity 2 Tent

Two person, double-wall shelter with ample room and easy setup

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Katahdin 35°F Sleeping Bag

Light, roomy, compressible, and perfect for weekends

Gear Review: Primus Eta Solo Stove

Complete kitchen in an easy to pack compact package

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Falcon 55 Backpack

Great suspension and easily accommodates a 50-pound load

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: Scarpa Pursuit GTX Shoe

These trail runners have exceptional shock absorption and a Gore-Tex liner to keep feet dry

Gear Review: Gregory Serrac 45 Backpack

Perfect dayhike hauler that can handle gear-heavy multi-day trips

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.

As Seen on The Martha Stewart Show

Our own gear diva met with Martha on December 20th to talk about cold-weather layering. Here's the gear Kristin suggested:

Gear Review: Black Diamond Twilight Bivy Sack

A minimalist-style bivy that separates you from the nasty outside.

Gear Review: Oakley Radar Path Sunglasses

Sporting a pair of Oakley's Radars gives your eyes as much protection as they can get, this side of a welding helmet.

How to Do Everything - Banish Blisters, Build Lung Power, and More.

Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.

How to Do Everything - Become a Mileage Monster

Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Beef Up Your Lower Back

Try this exercise to give your lower back the strength you need.

Hiking Exercises: Cure Outer-Knee Pain

Nothing's worse on the trail than knee pain. Prevent and cure it with this exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Get Explosive Strength

Tackle big miles with this essential exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Sculpt 3D Legs

Want legs that handle any terrain. This is the exercise.

Hiking Exercises: Iron Out Your Core

Get core strength with this key exercise.

Stove Buying Guide

What’s your cooking style? In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter walks you though all the camp stoves options, so you can pick the type that best matches your needs.

Backpack Buying Guide

When shopping for a pack, there are four major things to consider: type, fit, capacity, and features. In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter shows you how to pick the right one for you.

Tent Buying Guide

Shopping for a tent is like shopping for a home: there are dozens of styles, designs, sizes, and features to consider. In this guide, gear editor Kristin Hostetter shows you how to pick the right one for any outing.

Gear Review: Silva Guide Series 426 Compass

A basic sighting compass that is lightweight, durable, and unsinkable.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Over $150

If you're looking to splurge on your favorite outdoorsperson, here are the gifts to do it with.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Under $150

Stay connected, warm and well fed, with these staple gift ideas.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Under $75

Make camp a little more comfortable with these bonus items.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Under $25

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

Gear Review: Salomon Nytro WP Cold-weather Hiking Boots

Just because they have fur doesn't mean they're not serious backcountry boots.

Gear Review: Kriana AA Krill Light

The Krill Light electronic electroluminescent (EL) light stick is a bright, long-lasting glow stick made for function not fashion.

Gear Review: Victorinox Swiss Army Solider Knife

Snag an ideal stocking stuffer with this modernized classic.

Gear Review: Exped MultiMat

An ultralight, waterproof mat that is handy for wet hikes, snow, rocky areas, and picnics.

Best of BACKPACKER: Time-Tested Gear

Over the years we've tested a lot of gear, and learned a lot of lessons.

Gear Review: Cocoon Travel Pillow - Aircore Ultralight

Just because you're sleeping on the dirt doesn't mean you have to be uncomfortable.

How to Do Everything - The Survivor

Take care of yourself in the backcountry with these tips and laugh (or at least smile knowingly in the face of 10 common wilderness threats.

How to Do Everything - The Intrepid Explorer

Travel confidently across any type of landscape.

How to Do Everything - Become a Mileage Monster

Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.

How to Do Everything - The (Actual) 10 Essentials

Don't leave home without these practical, helpful items.

Time-Tested Gear: Essentials

Apparel, cookware, stoves...swimsuits?

Time-Tested Gear: Boots

BACKPACKER testers have endured numerous blisters over the years finding the best boots on the shelves.

Time-Tested Gear: Sleeping Bags and Pads

Many starry nights–and a handful of miserable ones–revealed the best bags and pads over the years.

Time-Tested Gear: Tents

A-frames, domes, party tents–we've tested them all.

Time-Tested Gear: Backpacks

You can't be a backpacker...without a backpack.

Reader Rated

Extra gear reviews from our January 2011 Reader Test Team reports.

Gear Review: Satworx ISatphone

A bargain of a satellite phone.

Gear Review: Coghlan's Flint Striker

A simple magnesium rod that's an easy fire starter.

Gear Review: Vargo Titanium Hexagon Wood Stove

A wood or pellet-burning stove that doubles as windscreen.

Gear Review: Sawyer 4 Way Water Filter

A 32-ounce dip-and-sip filter that lets you refill in about 10 seconds.

Gear Review: SofSole Airr Performance Insole

Air chambers embedded in the heel and arch and polymer gel in the forefoot put extra cushioning exactly where you need it most.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Hybrid Trail Cookset

An all-in-one titanium kitchen kit.

Gear Review: Snow Peak Crab LI Stove

A sturdy stove with claw-like appendages that grab most surfaces.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Titan Camp Light

A camp light that you'll find yourself using everywhere.

Gear Review: Coleman All-in-One Cooking System

A propane system that takes camp cooking to a whole new level.

Gear Review: Baselayers--Rivers West Apex Base System

This merino wool layer keeps all your bases covered, without smelling like a sock drawer.

Gear Review: Icon Irix Headlamp

Icon attempts the impossible: to make headlamps cool.

Gear Review: Sherpa Thamel Hard Shell Jacket

Light on the wallet and on the back...and perfect for hunting salamanders.

Gear Review: Aerobed Pakmat Camping Air Mattress

If you're going to sleep in the frontcountry, you might as well spoil yourself.

Gear Review: Zerogoo Fuel Injector System

A gel/water system for those hard efforts when stopping and refueling isn't an option.

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: Tubbs Xplore Snowshoe Kit

Anyone on your holiday lineup looking to launch into snowshoeing? Tubbs has packaged up three essentials into this smart, well-priced starter kit.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: REI Flash 65 Backpack

Whether your loved one is into fast-and-light weekend trips, long-and-overloaded weeks, or a combination of the two, this pack is up for the job.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: GoPro HD Hero 960 Video Camera

Got a budding videographer on your list? Check out this wearable pocket-size HD video camera.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Arc'Teryx Alpha SV Glove

If you're looking for the ultimate splurge gift for your skier, ice climber, or mountaineer, you can't go wrong with this glove.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover

A perennial favorite of BACKPACKER editors, the Nano Puff is a no-brainer layer that your gift-ee will use 12 months a year.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Motorola Talkabout Radios MR350R

An off-beat gift that will please any family that hikes, bikes, or skis together.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Marmot Aegis Jacket

This 14-ounce shell is equally at home on the trail or around town, thanks to its reliable weatherproofing, performance features, and plush niceties.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Kelty Cosmic Down 20° Sleeping Bag

Want to fly business class on a coach fare? Gift the Cosmic.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Victorinox Flash 2GB Ruby

We can't think of anyone who wouldn't love this James Bonds-ian little gizmo.

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: Mammut TR1+Ambient Light Set

All backpackers carry a headlamp in their pack, but many often hesitate to carry a mini-lantern–this smart two-fer solves the problem.

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.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Navigation Devices

Stay on track with the best GPS units. Plus, awesome navigation apps.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: MiiR 600ml Water Bottle

These days, water bottles are all the rage. Our office has literally been inundated them, and this stainless steel bottle has risen to the top for several reasons.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Fozzils Solo Pack

A fun and functional four-piece kitchen set that includes everything you need to dine in ultralight style.

3 Top Navigation Apps

Stay on track with these three navigation and hiking apps.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Ski Gear

Find your perfect A.T., tele, or Nordic setup.

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.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Mountaineering Gear

Head high with an axe, crampons, and more.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Cameras

Upgrade your outdoor images with a rugged pocket cam, a pro-level DSLR, and more.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Gear News

iPad apps, backcountry beer, and the perfect tent.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Boots

Warm up with 7 picks for every winter pursuit.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Backpacks

Carry in comfort, from dayhikes to hut trips.

Holiday Gift Guide

Want to find the ideal gift for every hiker on your list? No matter what your budget, we've got you covered.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Bison Tap Cap Belt



Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Trad Pack

A pack built for climbers.

Gear Review: Lowe Alpine TX Expedition 75:95 Pack

A pack that holds monster loads but weighs just over five pounds.

Gear Review: Millet Odyssee 60+10 Pack

If you only buy one multiday pack, this is it.

Gear Review: Vaude Daytour 24 Pack

A trim pack built for backcountry ski days.

Gear Review: Mammut Spindrift Guide 40 Pack

A 40-liter pack that comfortably carries up to 50 pounds.

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: TSL Snowalker 15 Pack

A pack built to haul snowshoes.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Revelation Avalung Pack

A backpack with built in Avalung technology for use in avalanche-prone areas.

Gear Review: Deuter Pace 30 Pack

An ultralight pack that's under $100...and comfortable.

Gear Review: 9-Weight Fly Rods & Reels

If you chase big fish, you need a 9-weight fly rod to carry along on your adventures. BACKPACKER reviewed five rods that fit the bill.

Argon Update: Klymit Inertia X-Frame Sleeping Pad

Klymit creates revolutionary sleeping pad filled with argon gas.

High-end Tent Company SlingFin Enters the Market

A master designer attempts to build the last mountain shelter you'll ever need.

Gear News: Hydro Flask Backcountry Beer Growler

Enjoy a cold beer mid-trip with this 64-ounce growler.

Four All-Star iPad Apps for Camping

Is the iPad coming to a campsite near you? It saves its weight in maps, guidebooks, novels, songs, and more. Here are four top apps for hikers.

Sleep Better When Camping

Got the gear but still can't get any rest? These 10 tips will improve your snooze.

Gear Review: Sorel Alpha Pac Winter Boots

These will keep your feet warm on the coldest of hikes.

Gear Review: Salomon XA Pro 3D Mid GTX Ultra Trail Runners

Your toes will stay warm while snowshoe running with these insulated runners.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Snowshoes

Float better, move faster with these 7 choices.

Gear Review: Icebug Attla BUGrip Trail Runners

These runners have such good traction, you'll love running in the snow.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Crossover GTX Trail Runners

Have the best protection in any weather with these all-season runners.

Gear Review: Salewa Raven Combi GTX Mountaineering Boots

These heavy duty mountaineering boots are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable.

Gear Review: Crescent Moon Kid's Snowshoes

Snowshoes built for little feet and short gaits.

Gear Review: Atlas 12 Series Snowshoes

Even on steep, deep, and technical inclines these shoes performed mightily.

Gear Review: Redfeather Conquest Snowshoes

$70 snowshoes that perform.

Gear Review: Louis Garneau UX Trek 824 Snowshoes

Snowshoes built for beginners

Gear Review: MSR Lightning Axis Snowshoes

Rely on the jagged steal crampons for grip and add-on tails for super float.

Gear Review: Atlas BC24 Snowshoes

Snowshoes that comfortably fit on the back of a pack.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Tents

Find refuge in these 8 storm-tested shelters.

Gear Review: Redfeather Vapor Snowshoes

Run, really run, in the snow with the help of these snowshoes.

Gear Review: Lowa Baikal GTX Hiking Boot

This all-purpose boot provides great support and warmth.

Gear Review: Backcountry Access Tracker2

Find avalanche victims as quickly with this beacon.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Couloir Harness

Stay comfortable and safe with this easy on and off harness.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Insulation

Insulating pieces from down to fleece.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Borealis AT Camera Backpack

A great camera backpack that also has room to carry your gear.

Gear Review: Mammut Alugator Expert Shovel

Dig quickly and easily with this all-aluminum shovel.

Gear Review: Camp X-Lite Axe

A great lightweight axe for mountaineering.

Gear Review: Edelweiss Discover 8mm x 30m Rope

Keep your pack light with this twin rope.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Bargains

Sometimes, it's the little things that count.

Gear Review: Grivel Air Tech Light

These lightweight crampons will keep you safe without the added weight.

Gear Review: SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger

Never go missing with this personal locator beacon.

Gear Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 Point-and-Shoot Camera

This point-and-shoot camera does it all: stills, video, and GPS.

Gear Review: Magellan eXplorist GC

Geocaching just got easier with this palm-size GPS unit.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Hardshells

Repel rain, cold, and snow with these hardshell jackets.

Gear Review: Casio Exilim G EX-G1 Point-and-Shoot Camera

Casio Exilim G EX-G1 point and shoot camera is the perfect solution for the backpacker.

Gear Review: Mophie Juice Pack Reserve

Stay connected with this keychain-size battery charger.

Gear Review: Canon EOS 7D DSLR Camera

Best DSLR digital camera for backpacking.

Gear Review: Garmin GPSMAP 62st

The pinpoint accuracy of this GPS system will keep you on track even in the most narrow valleys.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Baselayers

Keep your bod warm & toasty all fall and winter long.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Optics

From sunglasses to binoculars to goggles these six items will help you see better.

Gear Review: Komperdell Carbon Ti-2 Powerlock Women Poles

Indestructible ski poles

Gear Review: K2 Lockjaw Carbon/Alu Poles

A built-in inclinometer means these poles can easily take quick slope-angle measurements.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Razor Carbon Poles

Lightweight poles that can still take a beating.

Gear Review: Rottefella Chili Three-Pin Cable Nordic Bindings

A tried-and-true tele binding.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Softshells

Find a jacket that's suited for highly active, cold-weather activities.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Baselayers

Keep your core warm & toasty with these baselayers.

Survival: Above Treeline With No Sunglasses

Can't see a thing and forgot your shades at home? We've got a solution for you.

Gear Review: First Ascent Maximus 80 Duffel Bag

Cram in everything you want...even if it includes the kitchen sink.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Pants

From softshells to bibs, the toughest and most comfortable pants for every cold-weather outdoor adventure.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Backcountry Kitchen Accessories

Everything you need to stay sated in the backcountry.

Gear Review: Switch Cortina FullStop

The struggle between user and lens is over with these magnetic interchangeable lenses.

Gear Review: Tifosi Logic

These sunglasses come with three interchangeable lenses, so you're ready for anything.

Gear Review: Olympus Outback 10x21 RC 1

Sharpness and definition are not compromised with these compact binoculars.

Gear Review: Julbo Contest

Transition seamlessly between seasons with these year round sunglasses.

Gear Review: Gordini Virve

See in any lighting with these interchangeable lens goggles.

Gear Review: High Sierra Wheeled Double Decker Ski and Snowboard Combo Bag

Keep all your equipment in one place with this durable ski and snowboard bag.

Gear Review: Jetboil Flash

No need for bulky equipment with this combo vessel.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Halulite Ketalist

With this outdoor kettle set, you'll have boiling water in no time.

Gear Review: MSR Flex Skillet

A home cooked meal no longer has to stay at home with this skillet.

Gear Review: Klean Kanteen Wide Insulated

This thermos converts into an insulated mug whenever you're ready for a warm drink.

Gear Review: Primus OmniFuel

Cook with just about any fuel with this versatile stove.

Gear Review: MSR Reactor 2.5 Pot

Boil water in minutes with this cookware.

Gear Review: High Sierra Wheeled Double Decker Ski and Snowboard Combo Bag



Gear Review: BACKPACKER books by FalconGuides

These handy skill guides will tell you everything you need to know while backpacking.

Gear Review: SOLE Exhale Slippers

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

Gear Review: Rossignol BC X-11 Nordic Boots

Boots built for touring.

Gear Review: Rossignol BC 125 Nordic Skis

If you favor long backcountry tours over rolling–but not supersteep–terrain these skis are for you.

Gear Review: Dynafit Manaslu Skis

A lightweight, slim ski built for experts.

Gear Review: K2 Coomback/Gotback Skis

A one-ski workhorse.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Hats, Helmets, Face Masks

Protect your beaner, or just keep it warm, with these headwear options.

Gear Review: Volkl Nanuq Skis

A ski that performs in all conditions.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Drift/Starlet Skis

Built for backcountry powder sessions.

Gear Review: TwentyTwo Designs AXL Telemark Binding

The perfect touring/skiing binding.

Gear Review: Dynafit TLT Vertical ST Alpine Touring Binding

This AT binding is the lightest on the market.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Socks & Gaiters

Whether you're skiing, postholing, or just building a snow fort with the kids we have the socks and gaiters for every condition.

Gear Review: SCARPA T2 Eco Telemark Boot

This telemark boot combines stiffness (for downhills) and comfort (for touring).

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Gloves & Mitten

Keep your fingers warm and functional this winter with these five digit warmers.

Gear Review: Dynafit ZZero 4 C-TF/PX-TF Alpine Touring Boot

These alpine touring boots fit all are testers superbly and is comfortable going up or flying down.

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: Costa Fathom Sunglasses with 580P lens

Sunglasses that provide super clarity and eye protection.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Miura 50 Backpack

A hard-core pack built for craggers, climbers, and punishing hikers.

Gear Review: NEMO Espri 3P Tent

A tent built for three-season backpacking in the foulest weather.

Gear Review: Columbia Carabineer II /Frosty Forest Parka

Cool-weather enthusiasts–skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, & winter hikers–will love this jacket.

Gear Review: The North Face Syncline GTX Boot

A waterproof boot that's comfortable for dayhikes and weekend outings.

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: Brooks-Range Backcountry Multi-Tool

Cut your tool bag in half with this compact multi-tool.

Gear Review: Freedom of the Hills Playing Cards

Cut camp boredom with these playing cards.

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: Boxers or Briefs?

Although perhaps not as sexy as a brand new Gore-Tex Pro hardshell, the most basic of baselayers is a crucial component of your backcountry enjoyment. We put three mens' styles to the test.

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: Joshua Tree Climbing Salve

Fight rough effects on your skin with this moisturizing climbing salve.

Gear Review: Rab Infinity Jacket

A water resistant, down-filled force field.

Ultimate Backcountry Beds

For five months, we tested 50 bags, pads, and other snooze-related gear to find perfect sleep systems for every season.

Ultralight Bargain: Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Pads

For warm summer nights, this two-pound system delivers sweet dreams for just $138.

Basecamp Luxury: Sleeping Bags, Sleeping Pad, and Camp Pillows

Get all the comforts of home with this four-star setup.

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.

Winter Warmth: Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Pads for Cold-weather Camping, Plus Tips for Easy Sleeping While Camping

Stay toasty in the deepest freeze with an overstuffed bag and cold-weather pad.

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

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

Three-Season Backcountry Sleeping Bags & Sleeping Pads

Get big comfort, low weight from a premium down bag and a super-cush pad.

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: Exped SIM Lite 2.5 Short Sleeping Pad

A shortie summer pad that offers surprising comfort for its size and weight.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Mantra Fusion Jacket

A versatile ski shell at a great price

Gear Review: Deuter Dream Lite 500 & Sea to Summit's Reactor Thermolite Sleeping Bag

A 40° mummy that disappears inside a pack.

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.

Gear Review: NEMO Fillo Camping Pillow

An inflatable pillow that feels like the real thing.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest DreamTime Sleeping Pad

A sleeping pad made for luxurious car camping.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Pinole 20° & Big Agnes Cabin Creek Sleeping Bag

An affordable mummy bag that's super soft inside.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Dual Core Sleeping Pad & Klean Kanteen Classic Water Bottle

A winter warm sleeping pad that's also easily packable.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs BTU -20 Sleeping Bag and Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0&Deg;

An Arctic-worthy 800-fill down mummy.

Gear Review: NEMO Cosmo Air & Pacific Outdoor's Equipment's Peak Oyl Mtn Women's Petite Sleeping Pads

An extra wide and extra long sleeping pad with three inches of cushion.

Gear Review: Rab Neutrino 400 & Eureka! Riner 40°F Sleeping Bag

A premium down bag that masters three seasons.

Gear School: Snowshoes

Get out more this winter with the right pair of 'shoes.

October 2010 Table of Contents



The 2010 Fall/Winter Gear Guide

Click below to download a free digital version of the 2010 Fall/Winter Gear Guide, viewable on your computer, iPad, or iPhone. Or, view the online version.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Convert 3 Tent

A four-season tent that can truly handle the elements.

Gear Review: Big Agnes String Ridge 2 Tent

A wedge-style, double-walled tent that packs super small.

Gear Review: Integral Designs SilTunnel Tent

A floorless tunnel tent that's ultralight for it's four-person capacity.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Keron 3 Tent

A roomy tunnel tent that's quick to set up.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Altai XP Yurt Tent

Sleeps eight and sits 12, this is the tent for a group expedition.

Gear Review: Brooks-Range Rocket A2 Tent

A lightweight, all-conditions shelter for two.

Gear Review: REI Arete ASL 3 Tent

If you dip your toes in winter camping this tent is for you.

Gear Review: The North Face Mountain 25 Tent

This tent survived the worst of Mt. Washington's epic weather.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Sleeping Bags & Sleeping Pads

Sleep better all year long with these warm sleeping bags & pads.

Gear Review: Kelty Alpine Sleeping Pad

A closed cell/open cell foam system that provides maximum comfort.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Solar Sleeping Pad

An indestructible sleeping pad with an aluminized surface layer that reflects body heat.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear ExtraLamina 20 Sleeping Bag

A roomy and comfortable bag built for big guys (or gals).

Gear Review: Western Mountaineering Lynx Sleeping Bag

An 850-fill bag that packs down to the size of a basketball.

Gear Review: Marmot Never Summer MemBrain Sleeping Bag

A warm and weatherproof bag at a sweet price.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Euphoria Sleeping Bag

A women's bag that stays warm even when wet.

Gear Review: MontBell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger #1 Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag you won't want to get out of.

Gear Review: Brooks-Range Elephant Foot Sleeping Bag

Pair this bag with a puffy jacket for an ultralight, ultratoasty setup.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010

255 gear reviews and cold-weather tips!

Gear Review: Exped Waterbloc 1000 Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag that doesn't require a tent.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Cohesion Rainshell

A reasonably priced rainshell that breathes well and feels great against the skin.

Gear Review: Byer of Maine Easy Traveller Hammock

Backcountry hammocks–the easiest way to bring tropical comfort to your wilderness paradise.

10 Best iPhone Apps for the Outdoors

These applications might not qualify as the 10 Essentials, but they're pretty sweet to have on the trail nonetheless.

Gear Review: Petzl Meteor III Helmet

Helmets are like any good protection; you'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Pandra LS Henley



Boot Testers Wanted

If you're a men's size 9 and plan to hike more than 100 miles by mid October we want you to help us test boots.

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: Columbia BugaTrek Omni-Heat

For casual winter adventures, a warm-and-cozy boot.

Gear Review: Patagonia Das Boot

Shockingly light, impressively warm, fabulously supportive...need we say more?

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: Asolo Moran GTX Hiking Boots

Lightweight boots that are comfortable enough to wear on dayhikes, yet burly enough to mount on to a pair of crampons for three-season summit efforts.

Budget Apparel Guide: $100 Rainshells

Our testers endured a year's worth of wet, cold conditions to find six lightweight jackets that will keep your body dry and your wallet plump.

Budget Apparel Guide: Apparel - Insulation

From mild autumn evenings to winter's deep freeze, here's how to stay warm for less.

Budget Apparel Guide: Bargain Baselayers

For $35 or less, keep your core warm and toasty.

VIDEOS: Winter Test Fest

Video footage & backcountry skills tips from Backpacker's winter ski testing in Norway & Colorado.

Gear Review: Women's Active Bottoms

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

Gear Review: Casio Pathfinder Solar-Powered Watch

With solar power and atomic timekeeping, you'll never be late for a summit bid again.

Camp Chef Makeover: The Herbivore

Easy ways to take protein on the trail without involving meat or overly fortified energy bars.

Gear School: Merino Wool

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

Fit to Be Tied: Four Common Knots

From the power cinch to the clove hitch, here are 6 knots every hiker should know.

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: PolarMAX Tech Waffle Crew Base Layer

Ski patrol approved

Gear Review: REI MTS Polartec Power Dry Midweight Base Layer

A baselayer made for high-exertion activities.

Gear Bargain Hunting: Fleece



Gear Review: L.L. Bean Goose Down Jacket

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

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Toaster Jacket

A bargain waterproof insulated shell that is Rainier worthy.

Gear Review: Merrell Charade Puffy Jacket

A synthetic puffy that turns into a neck pillow.

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Cresta Wool Midweight Base Layer Crew

A cheap(er) merino crew that stays stink-free.

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.

September 2010 Table of Contents



Gear Review: Marmot PreCip Rain Jacket

There's nothing this bargain rain shell can't do.

BACKPACKER Editors' Choice 2007: MSR Reactor and Primus EtaPower

These cooking systems offer remarkable power, efficiency, and wind resistance to gourmet cooks and noodle boilers alike.

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Trash Dry Sack

This LNT-inspired Dry Sack helps you keep it clean in large groups.

Gear Review: Venture Snowboards Zephyr Splitboard

It's skis! It's a snowboard! It's a splitboard!

Survival 101

First-aid tips, survival gear, what to do if..., plus dangerous hikes (and a few scary stories).

Gear Review: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 Tent

You can fit four people for a game of cards, three people for sleeping, and it still weighs less than many two-person tents.

Gear Review: Sole Sport Flip-Flops

Find out why BACKPACKER's executive editor Dennis Lewon wears his Sole flips ...even when he shouldn't.

Gear Review: MyBfflz Flip-Flops

An insta-sandal that fights germy camground bathroom floors and is biodegradable to boot.

Gear Review: Timex Ironman Global Trainer Bodylink System

Record your elevation changes, distance, speed, and heart rate all with one (big) watch.

Gear Review: Tough Boots

Heading into rough terrain? Our crew of Grand Canyon rangers and guides abused nine pairs of boots for four months. Only five survived.

Get-Back-Alive Gear: Ultralight Survival Gear

Our survival expert reviews five of his favorite ultralight lifesavers.

Gear Review: GSI Collapsible Fairshare Mug

A shape-shifting camp mug that does double-duty.

Gear Review: Fox 40 Sonik Blast CMG Whistle

Get found with this super loud whistle.

Gear Review: Brunton Helios Stormproof Lighter

Light a fire fast, even in wet, cold, and windy conditions, with this waterproof lighter.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits Pocket Survival Pak PLUS

Everything you need in an emergency in one tiny little pack.

Gear Review: Tops Knives Shango Survival Knife Kit

A tough knife and a fire starter all in one.

Gear Review: MontBell Breeze Dry-Tec U.L. Sleeping Bag Cover (Bivy)

This bivy stuffs smaller than a soda can.

Gear Review: Mammut TR1 Headlamp/Ambient Light Set

A headlamp and mini lantern in one.

Gear Review: Wild Ideas Bearikade Weekender Bear Canister

Keep bears away from your grub with this light and tough bear canister.

Gear Review: Craft proCOOL Tee with Mesh

A t-shirt with air conditioning.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Lynx Pass 4 Tent

A sturdy, lightweight tent built for a family.

Gear Review: Lowe Alpine Travel Trekker Pro ND 60 Backpack

A convertible travel pack that can carry big loads.

Gear Review: Salomon Quest 4D GTX Boot

For lightweight stability these boots can't be beat.

Gear Review: LOWA Baffin Pro/Baffin Pro Lady Boot

Rocks, cacti, and clay were no match for these boots.

Gear Review: Lafuma XMotion Mid Leather Boot

These boots are light and fast like a trail runner but offer the support and protection of a boot.

Gear Review: KEEN Pyrenees Boot

For less than $150 bucks you get a whole lot of boot.

Gear Review: Asolo TPS 520 GV Boot

Super tough boots that are also super comfortable.

Introduction to Knot Tying: Terminology

Knot tying is an essential skills for the backcountry, and knowing the lingo is essential to learning how to tie knots. Here's a vocab lesson to get you started.

Gear School: Trekking Poles

Pick the perfect telescoping sticks. Your legs will thank us in the morning.

Gear Review: Handful Bra

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

My Toughest Gear: MSR PocketRocket

Online gear tester Will Rochfort weighs in on his toughest piece of backpacking gear to date–and how it has impressed the ladies.

Save Your Skin: Choosing Sunblock

How to choose an effective, safe sunblock.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Momentum Running Glove

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

Get Bargains on Gear

Forget full price. Here's how to score deals on outdoor duds.

Hot Summer Camping Gear: As Seen on the Today Show

See what summer essentials Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter recently recommended on the Today Show.

Gear Review: Flip-Flops

These four flip flops are made with the outdoor enthusiast in mind–massaging footbeds, illuminating LED lights, sturdy straps, and rock-solid arch support are just some of their sporty features.

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: Microcrampons

When the conditions call for grip but not burly crampons, strap on one of these three microcrampon options and feel secure on ice and snow.

Gear Review: The StickPic

Turn your trekking pole into a tripod with this inexpensive, lightweight accessory.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research DryComp Ridge Pack

A 34-liter rucksack made of waterproof 70-denier nylon fabric with a roll top closure and welded seams.

Gear Review: Sweeney's Snake Repellent

Does it work? Depends on which snake you ask.

Gear Review: Do-It-All Backpacks

Whether you're going overnight or tackling a weeklong adventure, these versatile load haulers are high on comfort and convenience.

Small and Sharp: Knife Reviews

Pocket-size tools for every type of camper.

Knife Blades 101



Gear Review: Spyderco Ladybug 3 Salt Spyderedge Knife

This little knife will never rust and is key chain small.

Gear Review: Leatherman Expanse E33T Knife

A minimalist multitool–one blade and two screwdrivers.

Gear Review: ESEE Izula Knife

Wear this knife and sheath as a necklace for quick grabbing.

Gear Review: CRKT Guppie Knife

This tiny toolbox fits perfectly in the hand.

Gear Review: Baladeo 34 Gram Knife

This long blade is great in the backcountry kitchen.

Gear Review: Leki Corklite AERGON SpeedLock Trekking Poles

Flick-lock poles that really work as promised.

Gear Review: Eastern Mountain Sports Mountain Light 20 Sleeping Bag

A three-season sleeping bag that's warm, efficient, and tough.

Gear Review: Brooks Cascadia 5 Trail Runners

Good trail feel, and protection, in these trail runners.

Gear Review: Spyderco BaliYo Camp Toy & Pen

This entertaining pen is fit for a Ninja.

Gear Review: First Ascent Mountain Guide Lite Pants

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

Gear Review: The North Face Backpack Bivy

This "Bivy" is actually a bomber two-pole solo tent.

Gear Review: The North Face El Lobo 65

This stable pack has tons of padding and support.

Gear Review: Gregory Makalu Pro 70 Backpack

A single compartment backpack that hauls big loads.

Gear Review: Millet Odyssee 60+10 Backpack

This pack moves with you.

Gear Review: Lowe Alpine Nanon 50:60 Backpack

This lightweight pack doesn't skimp on support or organizational features.

Gear Review: GoLite Quest Backpack

Light, comfortable, and endlessly packable–this pack really does it all.

The Manual: Plan an Expedition

Go big with these expedition trip planning tips.

Gear Review: Osprey Meridian 22" Wheeled Convertible Carry-On

The Osprey Meridian is built for active travelers who hit the trails instead of the hotel treadmill.

Gear School: Sunglasses

Protect your eyes by picking the right shades for any activity.

Recipe: Mango Curry with Rice and Lentils

In 20 minutes, you can have Asian in the backcountry.

Beat Pack Strain

Hauling a heavy load can do a number on the neck, back, and hips. Stay pain-free with these tips.

June 2010 Table of Contents



Gear Review: Chicobag DayPack15 rePETe

A "green" daypack that fits your daily life.

Gear Review: Monatauk Gnat Stove

This 1.6 oz. canister stove has our tester neglecting his regular go-to stove.

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

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

Bear Canister Reviews

We tested bear canisters in three categories: best bargain, weekend size, and big trip size.

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: MontBell Ultra Light Spiral Down Hugger Thermal Sheet

MontBell's lightest sleeping bag at 13.8 ounces.

Start Mapping: Tools To Help You Map Your World

5 ways to embark on your own cartographic adventure

Gear Review: Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek

Barefoot running with shoes.

Gear Review: Backpacking 3-weight Fly Rods

Hit the trail, and the streams, with these backpacker-friendly, 3-weight fly rods.

Gear Review: Goodhew Lifestyle Outdoor Light & Medium Hiker Socks

These American-made socks have super support and wicking capabilities at a reasonable price.

Gear Review: Osprey Manta 25 Daypack

Need a well-designed daypack that doubles as a hydration pack? This Osprey fits the bill.

Navigation: Exploring Off-Trail

When your route takes you off-trail you can still be on course with these navigation tips.

How to Preheat a Thermos

Maximize your thermos's heat retention capacity with these easy preheating steps.

Coffee-mate: Thermos Round-up

No one takes a to-go cup on the trail. Unless it's one of these hardy thermoses or hot/cold bottles.

Gear Review: Kuhl Skuhl eVent Shell

Repel spring (and summer and fall) showers with this eVent jacket.

Gear Review: Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Shampoo

Go from trail to tapas with this magic, dry shampoo.

Gear Review: Numa Sport Optic Point Ballistic Sunglasses

These tough, ultra-lightweight sunglasses are Special Forces worthy–literally.

Win BACKPACKER's App For iPhone!

Starting May 17, we'll give one away every weekday for a month on our Facebook page--if you can be the first to post the correct answer to our daily map trivia question.

Gear Review: Gear Aid Repair Kits

Whether it's a torn pack, cracked buckle, ripped tent mesh, or leaky sleeping pad, these kits can pretty much restore anything that breaks.

Be A Backpacker Map Correspondent

Become an official BACKPACKER Map Correspondent and get FREE GEAR!

OFFFICIAL RULES: BE A BACKPACKER MAPPER CONTEST

The official rules for entering and winning prizes in our "Be A Mapper" Contest.

'BE A BACKPACKER MAPPER' GIVEAWAY: Official Rules

Official rules for "Be A Backpacker Mapper" Giveaway

Gear Review: Brooks Range Field Kit

An excellent avalanche resource in the field and on the couch.

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 Review: Meade mySKY Handheld Astronomer

Study the night sky with this multi-media teaching tool.

Gear Review: Baladeo Carbon Laguiole Knife

This durable French knife has an odoriferous handle.

Gear Review: Spenco PolySorb Total Support Performance Sandal

The official report from our resident sandal junkie: "My feet are ecstatic!"

Gear Review: Packit Gourmet Cheesecakes

Suffer no more: instant cheesecake for the backcountry.

Workbench: Build Your Own Gear Station

Claim a corner of your garage or basement to create this ultimate setup for storing, maintaining, and repairing gear.

Gear Reviews: Packaged Breakfast, Snacks, & Dinners

Your pre-trip shopping just got a whole lot easier.

Gear Review: Packaged Dinners

Take the hassle out of menu planning with these fast meals.

Gear Review: Yummy Camp Snacks

Cheese spread, bars, drinks, trail mixes–there's more variety than ever in trail snacks.

Gear Review: Fast Camp Breakfasts

Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, don't leave camp without inhaling one of these tasty options.

Gear Review: High Peaks Alpamayo 55 Backpack

The Alpamayo 55 is a solid year-round performer at a competitive price.

Editors' Choice Awards 2010

After 15-hour trail days with 50 pound packs on 100-miles of Switzerland's Via Alpina, we're proud to present the best gear of the year.

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.

Meet the Backpacker.com Gear Test Crew

We pulled these four guys off the streets, eh, the trail, to test some of the compelling and crazy products that come across our desks everyday.

Gear Guide 2010: Backpacks

These packs allow hikers to travel fast and comfortably thanks to dynamic suspensions and weight-saving materials.

Editors' Choice 2010: Arc'teryx Altra

Carry the biggest loads with shocking comfort.

Gear Guide 2010: Tents

These tents offer more headroom, lighter weights, and lots of strength and durability.

Gear Review: ZRK Outdoor Zipper Rescue Kit

Fix a zipper on the fly with this repair kit.

Gear Review: Yodeling Lessons

Yodeling lessons? Yes, sometimes a vista is worth a little lung power.

Gear Review: XY Zin 10

Upgrade any camp dinner with this medium-bodied wine.

Gear Review: Z-Medica QuikClot Sport

Stop big bleeds fast.

Gear Review: Cloudveil Run Don't Walk Boxers

Winter skivvies at their finest.

Gear Review: SteriPen FitsAll Filter

Strain and filter your water with this SteriPen product.

Gear Review: Katadyn Base Camp Gravity Filter

Filter water for a group with this big bladder.

Gear Review: NEMO Ditto Wallet

This ultralight wallet is made from recycled tent scraps.

Gear Review: Sony HDR-XR520V

Photos, videos–this Sony Handycam is an HD beast.

Gear Review: Bamboo Mini Utensil Set

A fork, knife, and spoon for the green and ultralight crowd.

Gear Review: Exped Vista Organiser

Zip-top bags that are super waterproof.

Gear Review: SealLine Electronic Case

A clear, waterproof case for your iPhone.

Gear Review: Aquapac SLR Waterproof Camera Case

Protect your DSLR camera with this waterproof case.

Gear Review: ALITE Sexy Hotness Sleeping Bag

The Sexy Hotness has more than just a catchy name. This 20°F mate-able sleeper has features that leave other bags blushing.

Gear Guide 2010: Sleeping Bags & Pads

Sleep tight in any season with these summer, three-season, and winter sleeping bags.

Gear Guide 2010: Boots & Footwear

Whether you need a trail runner or a burly mountaineering boot, here's the best of the year.

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: Freestyle Shark

This waterproof watch is surfer approved.

Gear Review: Tech40 TraiLeader Jet

A wristtop altimeter, compass, and accelerometer.

Gear Review: Highgear Axio Mini

This easy-to-use watch is perfect for small wrists.

Gear Review: Yakima RackandRoll 78

A trailer-like rack that holds up to four kayaks.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Syncline

These trekking poles are cheap and light.

Gear Review: Discovery Trekking Extreme Ultralight Fast-Dry Towel

This towel packs small and absorbs a ton...except odors.

Gear Review: RADIUS Source Toothbrush

This portable toothbrush is made with recycled materials.

Gear Review: Charmin To Go Toliet Tissue



Gear Review: Coghlan's Tarp Clips



Gear Review: McNett Tenacious Tape

Repair any fabric with this super sticky tape.

Gear Review: Ultimate Survival Technology BASE Kit

This light survival kit has all the essentials.

Gear Review: Woolrich Topo/Sunrise Bluff Sun Shirt

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

Toughest Gear: Western Mountaineering Antelope Sleeping Bag

High-lofting warmth–without fail.

Toughest Gear: Patagonia Capilene Baselayer

25 years later, this Patagonia model is still the baselayer to beat.

Gear Review: Herbal Oats Granola Bars

The four Herbal Oats granola bar varieties are all-natural, preservative-free, and delicious.

Gear Review: Sport Science Shortsleeve Rainbow Tee

This hiking shirt blends hippie style with technical attributes.

Toughest Gear: CamelBak Omega Hydration Bladder

We ran this hydration bladder over with a truck...and nothing happened.

Toughest Gear: Garcia Machine Backpackers' Cache and MontBell Handy Scoop

These bear canisters have been making bears sad since 1982.

Toughest Gear: Trails Illustrated Maps

These waterproof maps are unruffled by rain, sleet, and snow.

Toughest Gear: Arc'teryx Bora Backpack



Toughest Gear: Smith Slider Sunglasses

These sunglasses come with four lens for lasting protection.

Toughest Gear: Outdoor Research Crocodiles Gaiters

These gaiters are waterproof armor for your legs.

Toughest Gear: LOWA Trekker/Lady Sport Boot

Quite possibly, the last boots you'll buy.

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: Ibex Icefall Jacket

This stretch-nylon softshell jacket is one of the most-worn garments in our gear closet.

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: Nikon D70 Camera

Can't-miss camera for all conditions.

Toughest Gear: Crazy Creek Original Camp Chair

A decade-plus of camp chair relaxation.

Toughest Gear: MSR XGK-EX Stove

A masterpiece of no-compromise indestructibility.

Toughest Gear: MSR Alpine Cookware and GSI Cascadian Bowls

Pots for the masses–and the ages.

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: Therm-a-Rest Z-Rest Sleeping Pad

The perfect balance for a sleeping pad: warm, light, soft, and puncture-proof.

Toughest Gear: Magellan Meridian

A groundbreaking GPS that just won't break.

Toughest Gear: Leatherman Juice C2 Multitool

This multitool is tougher than any task it might face.

Toughest Gear: Mountain Hardwear Transition Jacket

The toughest, most versatile windshirt around.

Toughest Gear: Sierra Designs Tiros Tent & MSR Tough Gear

In high camps, the Sierra Designs Tiros is often the last tent standing.

BACKPACKER Editors' Toughest Gear

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

Zero Impact Challenge: Patagonia P26

Solid on the trail, this entry sparks a philosophical debate.

Zero Impact Challenge: La Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 GTX

The test's best trail performer nets savings by cutting weight and waste.

Zero Impact Challenge: Wolverine Zeke

As we saw with packs and bags, weight savings equal carbon savings.

Zero Impact Challenge: Hi-Tec Altitude IV Enviro

Eco-friendly leather and recycled fabrics turn this bestseller green.

Zero Impact Challenge: Oboz Beartooth Boots

An upstart blows the doors off with recycled and natural materials.

Boots: Zero Impact Challenge

Five manufacturers answer our call to design greener trail shoes.

Gear Review: Elemental Herbs Sport SPF 22 Tinted

Get all-day protection without the greasy white tint with this chemical-free sunscreen.

Gear Review: Granite Gear Uberlight CTF3 Drysacks

Quite possibly the world's lightest waterproof stuffsacks

Gear Review: Elemental Herbs All Good Goop

This healing balm soothes cracked skin, dry lips, and minor cuts and burns.

Gear Review: Soto OD-1R Micro Regulator

Finally, a canister stove that thrives in cold weather.

Gear Review: Primus Express Spider

With a low center of gravity and a wide, stable burner, this stove is perfect for big groups or melting piles of snow.

Gear Review: JetBoil Flash

With great fuel efficiency, quick boil times, and a small packed size, this stove is ideal for campers who need hot water fast, without the fuss.

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



Almost Editors' Choice 2010

These five finalists were close to the tops for our editors–for you they may be perfect.

Gear Review: Marmot Big Wall Short

Light, tough shorts ideal for hiking and hanging.

Editors' Choice Green Award 2010: La Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 Boot

These midweight boots tread lightly on the planet.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Tactician Short

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

Editors' Choice Green Award 2010: GoLite Tier 1 Recycled Fabric

An entire line of packs and bags goes eco-friendly.

Gear Review: Stuffits Shoe Savers

Squash stinky feet.

Editors' Choice Gold Award 2010: REI Half Dome 2 Tent

Eight years later, this REI tent is still the best deal out there.

Editors' Choice Gold Award: Evernew Titanium Non-Stick Cookware

Eat well and carry less with these perfect pots.

Editors' Choice 2010: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Tent

Attention, ultralighters who want a legit two-person tent: This is it.

Gear Review: 5.10 Stealth Paint

Revitalize the soles of your hiking boots and climbing shoes.

Editors' Choice 2010: Soto Pocket Torch

Turn a disposable lighter into a weatherproof flamethrower.

Gear Review: Patagonia Down Sweater

A sweet, packable puffy with big warmth

Gear Review: Marmot Eigerwand Jacket

This synthetic-filled puffy stays warm even in wet, sloppy snow.

Editors' Choice 2010: Tanka Bar Spicy Pepper Blend

Give yourself a flavor-rich protein boost with this update on a classic.

Editors' Choice 2010: NEMO Meta 2P Tent

If you use trekking poles, you should use this tent.

Editors' Choice 2010: Zamberlan 760 Steep GT Hiking Boot

Tackle the biggest terrain–under the heaviest loads–in this uncommonly comfortable boot.

Editors' Choice 2010: Starbucks VIA Ready Brew

The best instant coffee. Ever.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Flex Down Jacket

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

Editors' Choice 2010: Mophie Juice Pack Air

Make your iPhone trail-ready.

Editors' Choice 2010: Patagonia Merino 1 Baselayer

Settle the wool-versus-synthetic debate once and for all: Get the best of both.

Editors' Choice 2010: Soto OD-1R Micro Regulator Stove



Editors' Choice 2010: Salomon Wings Sky GTX

Hike far, fast.

Gear Review: GoLite Tumalo Pant

Breathable rain-rebuffing pants that pack tiny

Gear Review: Exped Air Pillow

Get some real sleep on your next trip with this packable pillow.

Gear Review: Marmot Rockstar Pant

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

Gear Review: Opportunity of a Lifetime



Gear Review: Smartwool Neck Gaiter

A cozy cocoon for your neck and face

Gear Review: Sea to Summit X-Mug

A coffee cup that packs flat

Gear Review: Eagle Creek Mobile Locker

Don't let a bike commute cramp your style.

Gear Review: GoMotion 3-Watt Sternum Luxeon LED Kit

This headlamp for your chest is ideal for night hikers.

Gear Review: Eureka Glide 51

A lightweight flashlight that converts to a lantern

Gear Review: eGear PICO

The tiniest light

Gear Review: Princeton Tec Remix

A superbright headlamp with big, easy-to-find buttons

Gear Review: Black Diamond Sprinter

Runners will love this headlamp.

Gear Review: Gerber Octane

A mid-size multitool with all the fixin's

Gear Review: Harley-Davidson 13740

A sharp, titanium-handled knife

Gear Review: Patagonia Simple Guide Jacket

A streamlined softshell that packs up small and cuts the wind

Gear Review: iPhone

The best smartphone for the backcountry

Gear Review: Starbucks VIA

The best instant coffee ever

Gear Review: REI's Sahara Convetible Pants

Hiking pants that are as tough as your kids

Gear Review: Julbo Ozone

Protective shades for your kids

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Boys' Epic

An affordable kids' rain jacket that can handle serious weather

Gear Review: Thinsulate Thermal Insoles

Boost your boots' warmth with these insoles.

Gear Review: Grand Trunk Nano-7 Hammock

A super-comfy hang-able camp "chair"

Gear Review: EZ Grill

A disposable grill for backcountry feasts

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: Lowrance Endura Sierra

A fully-featured GPS

Gear Review: Garmin Dakota 20

A bargain GPS

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Torsion Glove

Nimble gloves for cold weather hiking

Gear Review: Travel Yahtzee

A great rainy day tent game

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Seta Strapless Running Gaiters

Minimalist gaiters to keep out dirt and debris

Gear Review: Fishpond San Juan Vertical Chest Pack

A great backcountry chest pack for anglers

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Delta LT Zip

A super-versatile, fleecy layering piece

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits Day Tripper

A handy, all-inclusive first aid kit

Size and Buy the Right Hiking Boots

Buy the right boots for you–and get the right fit.

Gear Review: Snowpeak's Titanium Flask

The finest flask for your finest single malts

Ultralight First-Aid

Build your own superlight first aid kit

Gear Review: Extreme Hearos

Great earplugs to help you sleep better

Gear Review: Kayland Contact Rev Hiking Boot

A boot with mega support without the extra weight

Gear Review: La Sportiva Karakorum Hiking Boot

A summer mountaineering boot that's armor-tough

Gear Review: Zamberlan 308 Trekker RR Hiking Boot

A luxurious leather-lined boot built for backpacking

Gear Review: Hi-Tec Renegade Trail WP Jr. Kids' Hiking Boot

A real backpacking boot for kids

Gear Review: SCARPA Bhutan GTX Hiking Boots

A versatile boot with impressive support for its weight

Gear Review: Mammut Cirrus GTX Hiking Boots

A superlight boot for high-mileage speedhikers

Gear Review: Julbo Monterosas Glacier Glasses

Women's glacier glasses that transform to daily shades

Gear Review: Merrell Col Mid WP Hiking Boot

Killer traction in all sorts of slippery terrain

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Trail Model Hiker II TEK2.5 Hiking Boot

An all-purpose hiker with a bargain pricetag.

Gear Review: Smith Pavilion

Lightweight, rugged shades that work for city or trail

Gear Review: Columbia Pole Creek Omni-Tech Hiking Boot

If you need boots for wet, soggy conditions, these winners are a bargain.

Gear Review: Tifosi Ventoux Sunglasses

Glare proof photochromatic sunglasses at a sweet price

Gear Review: KEEN Obsidian WP Trail Shoe

A stable lightweight trail shoe for trail running or light backpacking trips

Gear Review: Five Ten Guide Tennie

Supreme stickiness on rock in a lightweight hiking shoe

Gear Review: Granite Gear Long Howl

A deluxe pack for your dog

Gear Review: Chaco Pro Sandals

Supportive, comfortable trail sandals with great traction.

Gear Review: Ruff Wear Bivy Bowl

A light collapsible dish for your backpacking dog

Gear Review: La Sportiva Wildcat Trail Running Shoe

A sweet trail runner with maximum traction and cushion

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: Bheestie Bag

Resurrect electronics that have taken a swim

Gear Review: Coleman's Dirt & Worms

Kids will love this dessert.

Gear Review: Kahtoola KTS Aluminum Crampons

Crampons that won't weigh you down

Gear Review: PackIt Gourmet Condiments

Dress up any meal with these condiments.

Gear Review: Singleton of Glendullan 12-Year-old

Fill your flask with this smooth Scotch.

Gear Review: Metolius Full Strength Mini Carabiner

The lightest carabiner

Gear Review: Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Canoe

An inflatable kayak that paddles well

Gear Review: Optimus Terra HE

A great two-pot cookset

Gear Review: Evernew Aluminum Ceramic Non-Stick Deep Pots

A ceramic coated cook pot with a fry pan lid

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Minimalist

The perfect solo cookset

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

Gear Review: The North Face Nuptse Bootie III

The ultimate winter camp shoe

Gear Review: Smartshield SPF 30 Spray with Insect Repellent

An all-natural sunscreen with bug repellant

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic

Stop blisters in their tracks.

Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits Heatsheets Emergency Bivy

A light emergency bivvy sack

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack

An ultralight daypack that fits in the palm of your hand

Gear Review: Smartwool Arm Warmers

Transform your shortsleeve tee to long with these cozy add-ons.

Gear Review: American Hiking Society Membership

Join the American Hiking Society.

How to Buy the Right Sleeping Bag

Buy the right bag for your sleeping style and destinations, and it will keep you warm for years.

The 5-ounce Fix Anything Kit

Build this light, affordable kit to repair any backwoods blowout.

Gear Review: Pacific Outdoor Equipment Ether Elite Sleeping Pad

A cushy sleeping pad for ultralighters

Gear Review: Mammut LightPump Mat

A luxurious mattress that insulates from the cold ground

Gear Review: Kelty Backpacker Sleeping Pad

An affordable and rugged self-inflating mattress

Gear Review: REI Expedition -20 Winter Sleeping Bag

A puffy, waterproof sleeping bag that really seals in heat

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Solar Flare Winter Sleeping Bag

A seriously warm women's sleeping bag

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear ExtraLamina 0 Winter Sleeping Bag

A bargain cold-weather bag with plenty of roll-around room

Gear Review: GoLite Adventure 4s Winter Sleeping Bag

A toasty, big and tall bag with a recycled nylon shell

Gear Review: The North Face Hotlum 3-Season Sleeping Bag

This rugged down bag won't break the bank.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Tumble Mountain 3-Season Sleeping Bag

An innovative down bag with no cold spots

Gear Review: GoPro HD Hero Camera

A versatile body camera that shoots HD video

Gear Review: Lafuma Warm'n Light 950 Pro 3-Season Sleeping Bag

A trim-fitting bag that packs light and small

Gear Review: Kelty Cosmic 3-Season Sleeping Bag

A super warm down bag at a super good price

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Vapor 3-Season Sleeping Bag

The lightest 15-degree bag on the market

Gear Review: GoLite RS 1 Summer Sleeping Bag + Season Quilt

A summertime quilt for steamy nights

Gear Review: Eastern Mountain Sports Velocity Summer Sleeping Bag

An affordable synthetic bag with down-like performance

Gear Review: The North Face Mercurial Sleeping Bag Liner

Crank up your bag's temperature rating by 10 degrees with this liner.

Gear Review: Eureka! Kotey Summer Sleeping Bag

A slim-fitting, summer bag for under 100 bucks

Gear Review: Vaude Ice Peak 150 Summer Sleeping Bag

A down bag that packs tiny and heats up fast

Fix Anything: DIY Gear Repair

Build yourself the ultimate gear-cleaning and maintenance kit to keep performance at its peak.

How to Purchase the Right Tent

Purchase a tent that fits and make it last forever with these key tips.

Gear Review: REI Cirque ASL 2 Mountaineering Tent

A weather worthy two-person tent

Gear Review: Hilleberg Jannu Mountaineering Tent

A roomy, lightweight tent that can handle big weather

Gear Review: Black Diamond Skylight Mountaineering Tent

A strong, superlight two-person tent with lavish space

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Zolo 3 Tent

A palatial three-person tent with two giant vestibules

Gear Review: MSR Carbon Reflex 3 Tent

Weather-worthy three-person tents don't come any lighter than this one.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Drifter 3 Tent

A bargain three-person tent

Gear Review: Big Agnes Hager House Tent

This three-person tent can be pitched in a variety of ways, depending on your trip.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 2.1 Tent



Gear Review: Kelty Gunnison Pro Tent

If you want a dependable three-season shelter that can handle light winter conditions, this is it.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs LT Strike 2 Tent

Choose this tent for its awesome space-to-weight ratio, and use it in moderate three-season conditions.

Gear Review: Marmot Haven 2P Tent

This roomy tent weighs less than four pounds yet offers 56 square feet of space.

Gear Review: NEMO Morpho 1P Tent

The Morpho is like three tents in one.

Gear Review: GoLite Eden 1P Tent

This durable tent wins "Best All Around" for the one-person category.

Gear Review: Big Sky Mirage 1P Tent

Goodbye bivy sack, hello headroom.

Gear Review: Eureka! Forte SQ 2XT Tent

With moderate weight and ample interior space for two, this freestanding double-wall hits a value sweet spot.

Measure Your Torso for a Perfect Backpack Fit

Measure your torso to guarantee a perfect fit. Then hit the gear shop with our proven buying tips to find the best pack for your body type.

The 10 Survival Essentials

Update your survival kit for 2010.

Gear Review: Osprey Aether 70/Ariel 65 Weeklong Pack

Don't worry, the updates to these tried-and-true packs are worthy.

Gear Review: REI XT 85/XT 75 Weeklong Pack

These packs have everything but added weight.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Wiki 65/Nalu 60 Weeklong Pack

This pack is always comfortable regardless of weight.

Gear Review: Deuter ACT Lite 65 + 10/60 + 10 SL Weeklong Pack

This pared-down pack hauls big loads.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Infinity 60/Innova 60 Weeklong Pack

A dynamic suspension gives this pack all-day comfort.

Gear Review: Mammut Trion Guide 45+ Weekend Pack

Soft shoulder blade and lumbar pads ensure comfort no matter the payload.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Lariat 65+/Juniper 50+ Weekend Pack

These Transformers-worthy packs sport convertible fanny packs and summit packs.

Gear Review: Deuter Spectro AC 32/28SL

This stable pack is made for rough terrain.

Gear Review: Granite Gear Escape AC 60/Escape AC 60 K Ultralight Weekend Pack

A great choice for mileage-oriented trekkers who want an ultralight pack that can handle any load.

Gear Review: Gregory Z55/Jade 50

This pack has total load transfer, comfort, and a conveniently laid-out packbag.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Fluid 32 Daypack

This daypack wears skis and ice axes as accessories.

Gear Review: CamelBak Vantage 35/Vista 32 Hydration Pack

Carry up to 100 ounces of hydration power with this comfortable daypack.

Gear Review: Kelty Lakota 4000 Weekend Pack

This pack hits a sweet spot for affordability and performance.

Gear Review: Gregory Z55/Jade 50 Daypack



Gear Review: ClikElite Nature 35 Camera Pack

This is a true hiker's camera pack.

Gear Review: Marmot Eiger 40 XT Daypack

This workhorse pack has been redesigned with an easy-access opening.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Nitro/Pulse Daypack

This daypack is made for scrambling and holds up to 25 pounds.

Editors' Choice Awards 2010/Gear Guide 2010 Table of Contents



Gear Review: CamelBak Flow Meter

This digital device measures both how much you've drunk and how many ounces you have left in your hydration reservoir.

Liquid Assets: Hydration Gadgets

Quench your backcountry thirst with these new water (and wine!) products.

Headlamps Test: Lightest of the Lights

We hike and camped through 78 inky nights from Whitney to Katahdin to evaluate five featherweight headlamps--then ran a battery of controlled tests to rank brightness and longevity.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Photo Survival Guide

The outdoors can be tough on a camera, so be prepared with this survival guide.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro

Our top photographers share their secrets. Plus: 6 trail-friendly cameras.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Cameras

You can't shoot like a pro, if you don't have the right camera. Here, six models for every type of shooter.

Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Panasonic DMC LX3K

This point-and-shoot works great in low light and has manual controls.

Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Pentax Optio W80

This waterproof, freezeproof, crushproof camera produces vivid photos and video.

Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Olympus Stylus Tough-8000

This slim, waterproof point-and-shoot has great image stabilization.

Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Olympus E-P1

This Olympus has interchangeable lenses that take magazine-worthy shots.

Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Pentax K-x

This DSLR is under $700 and works great for landscape and wildlife shots.

How to Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras - Nikon D300s

This still and video camera comes complete with 10 in-camera editing features.

Gear Review: Innate Esse Water Bottle

Keep your wine at the perfect temperature in the backcountry with this perfectly sized bottle.

Gear Review: Osprey Manta 25 Hydration Pack

With a 100-ounce reservoir and shoulder straps and hipbelt that hugged our testers' every curve, this pack excelled at hauling water on the move.

Gear Review: Klean Kanteen Wide 64 oz. Water Bottle

With a wide mouth, stainless steel construction, and large capacity, this water bottle did the trick on a hike of Vermont's Long Trail.

Gear Review: Exped Explorer Trekking Poles

Lighter than many carbon-fiber models and extremely collapsible, these poles are perfect for all hikers and ultralighters.

Gear Review: First Ascent Guide Gloves

Featuring a merino lining and insulated with Primaloft these gloves were soft enough for nose-wiping yet tough enough for ice axes and high-friction rappelling.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Octane/Spark Backpack

With a snug fit and excellent compression system, this daypack handles up to 20 pounds and stuck like glue canyoning in southern Utah.

Gear Review: Patagonia M10 Jacket

At 10.5 ounces, this jacket worked as a windshell in the Swiss Alps and and handled rain and wind in New England and the Rockies.

Gear Review: Salomon XT Wings GTX Trail Runner

A souped-up trail runner.

Gear Review: Coast LED Lenser Micro Headlamp

The Coast Lenser is the lightest and cheapest headlamp we tested.

Gear Review: Mammut Lucido TXlite Headlamp

The Mammut Lucido provides the steadiest light.

Gear Review: Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp

The Petzl Tikka features the best light quality.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

The Black Diamond Spot has the brightest light and best battery life.

Gear Review: Princeton Tec Remix Headlamp

This best all-around headlamp passed every test we threw at it.

Editors' Choice 2010 Videos: Hiking the Swiss Alps

Hike Switzerland's Via Alpina route with the Backpacker editors in our video series.

Editors' Choice 2010: Switzerland Photo Slideshows

View stunning vistas and snowy passes in these photos of Switzerland's Via Alpina route. Included: the Eiger, the Wetterhorn, and Jungfrau Glacier.

Gear Guide Gear Sweepstakes List of Winners



2014 Gear Guide Gear Sweepstakes Official Rules



Win Free Gear!

Every week we go into our gear closet and pull out a sweet prize.

Editors' Choice 2008 Green Award: Mountainsmith Phoenix Backpack

Here's high-performance proof that a big pack can have a small footprint.

Editors' Choice 2008 Gold Award: Marmot Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags

Sleep-anywhere evidence that luxury and lightweight can go hand in hand.

Editors' Choice 2008 Green Award: Marmot DriClime Catalyst Jacket

This classic windshirt–a favorite of BACKPACKER testers for 15 years–goes green.

Editors' Choice 2008: Nite Ize S-Biner

Don't ask yourself if you need this useful little widget. The question is: How many?

Editors' Choice 2008: MSR HyperFlow Water Filter

Get clean drinking water in mere seconds with this ultralight, ultra-quick filter.

Editors' Choice 2008: Big Agnes Cyclone SL Chair Kit

Rest easy: Here are 6 ounces of pure lounge-lizard comfort

Editors' Choice 2008: Mammut Lucido TX1 Headlamp

Be the brightest hiker on the block with this laser-like headlamp.

Editors' Choice 2008: Scarpa Kailash GTX Boot

This all-purpose midweight hits the hiking boot trifecta–great fit, support, and price.

Editors' Choice 2008: Rab Latok Alpine Jacket and Westcomb Specter LT Hoody

Unparalleled breathability and clean, lightweight designs distinguish the year's top shells.

Editors' Choice 2008: GSI Outdoors Dualist Cookware

Party of two? Your cookware is ready.

Editors' Choice: Everlite EL-8 Solar Headlamp

Charge your light (and cell phone, too!) with this bright lamp and its companion solar panel.

Editors' Choice 2008: Gregory Baltoro 70 Backpack

Got a big load to carry? Put it in this ultra-comfortable pack and forget about it.

Editors' Choice 2008: SPOT Satellite Messenger

Now you can call in a rescue–or simply send the OK signal–from anywhere.

Editors' Choice 2008: GoLite Adrenaline Sleeping Bags

These sacks are warm like the Grand Canyon is big: You gotta experience it to understand it.

Editors' Choice 2008: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 Tent

The lightest, roomiest tent we tested this year. Enough said.

Editors' Choice 2008: REI Quarter Dome T3 Tent

Easy to pitch and easy on the wallet, this tent is rock-solid when it comes to weather protection.

Reader Essays: How to Botch a Gear List

Carl Mandrioli can teach (almost) anyone to pack the right stuff.

Your Best Advice: Reader Tips

Backpacker readers share their hiking, camping, gear, bear bagging, and firestarting tips.

Weekend Backpacks

Ten reader-testers hiked nearly 1,000 miles to rate new midsize load haulers. Their five picks: five models that deliver comfort, affordability, and convenience.

4 Ultralight Sleeping Bags

4 featherweight sleepers for all types of ounce-counters, spring through fall.

Gear Review: Therma-a-Rest Haven Top Bag


With just 700-fill-down, a warmth-trapping hood, a radical, weight-saving design and no zipper-- or pad straps--that's innovation.

Gear Review: Nunatak Arc Specialist Sleeping Bag

Stuffed with 800-plus-fill down, the Arc Specialist is a hoodless, mummy-shaped bag that's warm right down to its 32 F degree rating.

Gear Review: Jacks 'R' Better Stealth Sleeping Bag



Gear Review: Feathered Friends Merlin Sleeping Bag



Gear Review: Wild Things Superlight Alpinist Jacket

Forget the frills: This shell provides superior breathability with lightweight, all-season protection
.

Gear Review: Leatherman Micra

This tiny multitool packs a big punch.

Gear Review: Aquamira Water Bottle and Filter

Hate hoses? This bottle/filter combo is perfect for ultralighters in wet places

Gear Review: The North Face Paramount Convertible Pants

These tough pants excel (and look snazzy) in all seasons.

Gear Review: High Sierra Summit Backpack

Enjoy features galore without emptying your wallet with this light-duty pack.

Gear Review: Lowe Alpine Tour Attack 40 Backpack

This winter winner performs best on cold-weather hikes, climbs, and ski tours.

Gear Review: ALPS Mountaineering Orizaba Backpack

Obsessive-compulsive packers will appreciate this pack's organization options.

Gear Review: The North Face Ligero 50
 Backpack

This comfortable pack offers stability on tough and uneven terrain.

Gear Review: GoLite Lite-Speed Backpack

This best-overall pack's simple design will win over ultralighters and traditional backpackers alike.

Readers' Best Advice: Our Most Prolific Tipster Ever

Reader Leon Nelson has shared literally hundreds of tips gleaned from his 60-plus years on the trail. Here's a sampling of his best.

Readers' Best Advice: Gear Tips



Readers' Best Advice: Better Bear Bagging



Inspirational BACKPACKER Readers

Meet five of BACKPACKER's most inspirational heroes–they're also readers.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Rugged Nordic Touring Ski Gear

From boots to bindings to skis, this rig will have you set for the backcountry.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Backcountry Touring Ski Gear



Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Telemark Ski Gear



Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Alpine Touring Ski Gear

Skip the resort crowds and find clean powder with this backcountry ski gear.

Gear Chick Holiday Gift Picks: Random Picks..For Everyone Else

It's tough to find the perfect something for everyone. These picks should give you some options.

Gear Chick Holiday Gift Picks: Backpackers

Multi-day trip? No problem. These gifts will have your special someone dialed for their next outing.

Gear Chick Holiday Gift Picks: Dayhikers

These essentials will make your dayhiker the envy of everyone else around the tree.

Gear Chick Holiday Gift Picks: Stocking Stuffers

These gifts pack up so small, they're perfect for any stocking.

Gear Chick 2009 Holiday Gift Picks

Never fear, loyal readers. I've concocted a deep list of schwag that is sure to make everyone in your brood happy. So maintain your gift karma, this season, and bag the fruitcakes.

Gear Review: Petzl Summit Ice Axe

Gross a glacier or handle snow travel on big peaks with this versatile mountaineering axe.

The Five-Star Camp Kitchen

Car camping? Here's the ultimate setup for any chef.

Gear Field Test: Outdoor Watches

Map a route. Predict the weather . Record altitude data. Track your speed and heart rate. Today's outdoor watches do it all–and then they send it to your computer.

Gear School: Crampons

Traverse snow and ice safely with the right set of points.

2014 Be a Gear Tester Contest

Here's your chance to test gear for us in 2014!

Gear Review: Timex Expedition WS4 Watch

This one-glance watch was built with the input of renowned alpinist Conrad Anker.

Gear Review: Atrek Electronic Trekking Poles

If wrist gear isn't for you, check out these versatile trekking poles

Gear Review: Tech40 TraiLeader Pro Watch

This compact piece packs all the technology and none of the size.

Gear Review: Freestyle Nomad Watch

This durable and accurate timepiece is also a bargain.

Gear Review: Tissot T-Touch Expert Watch

This touch-screen timepiece combines durability, accuracy, and elegance.

Gear Review: Garmin Forerunner 310XT

This watch boasts all the bells and whistles of a great training watch and GPS device.

Gear Review: Suunto X10 Watch

Map your route and much more with this high-tech wrist watch.

Gear Review: Lafuma Futura Clipper Chair

Kick back, throw your feet up and enjoy this super comfy camp lounger.

Gear Review: Lodge Logic Deep Dutch Oven

Cook almost anything in this burly outdoor oven.

Gear Review: REI Weekend Cooler

Keep your weekend fixings cool with this soft, spacious cooler.

Gear Review: GSI Infinity 4 Person Deluxe Tableset

This sturdy four-person mess kit boasts more than pretty colors.

Gear Review: Kelty Kitchen Sink

On dish duty? This portable basin makes scrubbing easy.

Gear Review: Coleman Fold N Go Grill

Interchangeable cooking surfaces make this compact stove a cook's backcountry dream

Gear Lab: Tents in a Pressure Washer

Who wants a mountain tent that buckles under pressure? Not us–so we subjected four to a powerful series of tests.

Gear Lab: Sleeping Bags Run Over By a Truck

When you lose loft, you lose warmth. Ergo, the most durable bag is the one that bounces back best from 3,989 pounds of compression.

Gear Lab: Boots in a Cement Mixer

To survive mixer-tough mountain trails, get Old World craftsmanship.

Gear Lab: Packs

If a backpack can survive road rash at 60 miles per hour, it can handle any backcountry abuse.

Gear Lab

We took durability testing to the extremes, so you would know which gear lasts–and why.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Backpacks

These versatile backpacks will keep you outdoors all year long.

Gear Review: Eagle Creek Abominable Snowbag

This convenient travel snowbag pays for itself quickly.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Boots

Whether you're mountaineering, snowshoeing, hiking, or trail running we've tested the winter boot/shoe models you'll want.

Gear Review: JanSport Tahoma Backpack

The Tahoma wins out as a high country favorite.

Skiing's Latest Eco-friendly Gear

The ski industry has gone green, from goggles to boots.

Ski School: Terminology Primer

Only term you know is chairlift? Read this primer.

Gear Review: Osprey Kode 30 Backpack

Check out the perfect pack for backcountry winter day trips

Gear Review: Lowe Alpine Snowstorm 20:20 Backpack

This versatile Lowe Alpine pack handles it all.

Gear Review: Gregory Palisade 80 Backpack

Best pack for large winter loads and family trips.

Gear Review: Deuter Freerider Pro 28SL Backpack

This ultra-comfortable pack tests best with diehard snowshoers.

Gear Review: Cold Cold World Chernobyl Backpack

Cold Cold World offers custom packs sewn in New Hampshire.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Snowshoes

Hit the trail in the winter with one of these nine snowshoes.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Anarchist Avalung Backpack

A potentially lifesaving pack for the backcountry skier.

Gear Review: Tubbs Couloirs Snowshoes

These wide-decked Tubbs snowshoes are perfect for long hauls and large loads.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Sleeping Bags, Pads, & Pillows

Five sleeping bags, two sleeping pads, and the cushiest pillow anywhere.

Gear Review: TSL Over the Top Snowshoe

These TSL snowshoes are best for day-long adventures over varied terrain.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Tents

Find a tent to fit your needs–basecamp, solo, bargain, ultralight, etc.–with these seven options.

Gear Review: TSL Escape Snowshoe

New to snowshoeing? Check out this stable snowshoe for beginners.

Gear Review: Redfeather LaCrosse with Pilot II Bindings Snowshoe

Great shoe for deep powder and big mountains

Gear Review: MSR Denali Tyker Snowshoe

Best shoe for the mini mountaineer

Gear Review: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Check out this staff favorite voted best-all-around snowshoe.

Gear Review: GV Snowshoes Cat Trail Ultralight Snowshoe

This ultralight aluminum-based snowshoe will keep you moving fast.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Gloves & Mittens

Keep your digits warm with these glove and mitten options.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Cameras

Whether you want to shoot action video or beautiful still photos we have a camera for you.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Kitchen Supplies

Found! A five-ounce sled that fits in your pack. Plus poles, sunscreen, and face masks that are winter ready.

Gear Review: Innate Kaze Mug

This Innate mug doubles as a thermos.

Gear Review: GSI Outdoors Compact Scraper

Make doing the dishes a snap with this easily packable GSI Outdoors scraper.

Gear Review: Essential Gear Windmill Classic Lighter

This refillable lighter is a snap to ignite–even with frigid fingers.

Gear Review: Stanley nineteen13 Flask

This 8-ounce flask is made of stainless steel.

Gear Review: Primus Eta CampLite Pot

The addition of heat exchanger fins helps this Primus pot boil fast, really fast.

Gear Review: Primus Gravity MF II Stove

This reliable camp stove runs on any gas, quick to heat and easy to use.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Softshells

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

Gear Review: Fischer BCX 6 Rugged Nordic Touring Boot

NNN-compatible with exceptional side-to-side stability.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Pants

Five shell pants for any adventure.

Gear Review: Rottefella BC Magnum Rugged Nordic Touring Binding

These bindings are surprisingly sturdy, great for cruising on sturdy terrain.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Mountaineering

Head up the mountain with these essential items: harness, rope, helmet, transceiver, crampon, and ice axe.

Gear Review: Fischer Snowbound Rugged Nordic Touring Ski

This all-around Nordic ski both glides and grips for awesome touring.

Gear Review: Garmont Excursion Backcountry Touring Boot

This boot has the best of both worlds: The comfort of a Nordic boot, with the warmth of telemark boot.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Winter Essentials

From a Quickie sled to sunscreen used by the U.S. ski team, these five winter essentials are must haves.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Socks, Gaiters, & Booties

Keep your feet warm and happy with these socks, gaiters, & booties.

Gear Review: Voile HD Mountaineer 3-Pin Backcountry Touring Binding

Simple and user-friendly, these Voile skis are also built to weather the abuse of varied terrains.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Hardshells

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

Gear Review: Karhu XCD Guide Backcountry Touring Ski

Ideal for turning and climbing on rugged backcountry day trips.

Gear Review: Dynafit Zzeus TF-X/Gaia Alpine Touring Boot

Stiff on the downhill, flexible when skinning up, this boot has it all.

Gear Review: G3 Onyx Alpine Touring Binding

Adjustable and easy to use, traveling through varied terrain is a breeze.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Navigation

Never get, or stay, lost with these navigation devices.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Ski Gear

This guide covers ski gear for telemark, alpine touring, backcountry touring, and rugged Nordic touring.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Baselayers

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

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Insulating Jackets

Stay cozy in all temps with these puffy jackets.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Optics

Glasses, goggles, & binoculars–we have all the fall/winter eyewear you need.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Hats

Keep your head warm with this essential cold weather hats.

Cold Comfort: Winter Camping Guide

No crowds, no bugs: Winter camping holds rewards aplenty– once you master the gear and skills required to thrive in frigid climates.

Gear Review: Tifosi Tyrant Sunglasses

With transition lenses, these sunglasses are great for winter low light.

Gear Review: Smith I/OS Goggles

With interchangeable lenses and a rimless design, these goggles are great for a variety of conditions.

Gear Review: Nikon Ecobins

There's no lead or arsenic in these green-glassed binoculars.

Gear Review: Carson Raven RV-826 Binocular

This 8x26 Raven binocular comes with a waterproof housing.

Gear Review: Julbo Bivouak Glacier Glasses

Block the glacial glare with these stylish Julbo shades.

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: ARC'TERYX Atom LT Hoody

This warm, but not bulky, hoody can do double duty as insulation or outer shell.

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: Columbia Mountain Tech Long Sleeve Top

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

Gear Review: Black Diamond Justice Alpine Touring Ski

Whether it's touring, powder or inbounds, this ski does it all.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Push/Stiletto Telemark Ski Boot

The perfect blend of comfort and performance, this boot is great in all conditions.

Gear Review: Black Diamond 01 Telemark Bindings

Versatile and ready for anything, these bindings are super durable and won't ice up.

Gear Review: G3 Tonic/Zest Telemark Ski

Great for powder, but still handles the bumps like a pro, these skis are super smooth.

Gear Review: Saucony ProGrid Razor Trail Shoe

Built for nasty winter conditions, this midweight winter running shoe keeps your feet warm and well supported.

Gear Review: Ahnu Firetrail Winter Trail Shoe

Genuinely breathable winter running shoe, great for long slushy runs.

Gear Review: Zamberlan 1009 Vioz Top GT RR Mountaineering Boot

Insulated backpacking boots with enough support to carry a 50-pound pack.

Gear Review: Columbia Winter Trek XMT Omni-Tech Hiking Boot

Ideal for treks on packed snow, this boot is great for wintry day hikes.

Gear Review: Kamik Snowpass Snowshoe Boot

Ideal for snowshoeing, or wintry day hikes, this boot keeps your feet dry and warm.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Lynx Snowshoe Boot

Whether it's snowshoeing, light day hiking, or sloshing through town, this boot does it all.

Gear Review: Zamberlan 4041 Expert Pro GT RR

Sturdy yet light, this boot is great for the most extreme day hikes.

Super Scooper: GSI Outdoors Cathole Trowel

This trowel is made from pounds of abandoned polycarbonate water bottles and accessories.

Does Your Aluminum Bottle Contain BPA?



Gear Review: La Sportiva Baruntse Mountaineering Boot

Made for big peaks, this boot is warm, and great for ice and snow

The Ratings Game: Standardizing Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

Coming soon: sleeping bags that are as warm as their hangtags claim.

Is Blue the New Green?

A new Switzerland-based company, bluesign, is trying to regulate green manufacturing claims.

Future Now: Argon-Filled Klymit Vest

A new fill technology that will keep you toasty warm.

Climber, Guide, Gear Geek: Gear Design Advice from Peter Whittaker

Calling all equipment designers: Everest summiteer and Rainier veteran Peter Whittaker has some advice.

Winter Camping: Recipes & Menu Planner

These recipes are fortified with extra warmth and calories for winter camping.

Winter Camping: Winter Checklist

Get the gear you'll need to stay warm and happy on a winter backpacking trip.

Winter Camping: Safety & Survival

Assess your winter climbing risks with this handy chart.

Winter Camping: Navigation

Learn to figure out where you are (even in a whiteout) and prevent, or stop, a snowy fall.

Winter Camping: Winter Essentials How To...

Learn how to cook, make water, and...go to the bathroom when the backcountry is a winter wonderland.

Winter Camping: Camp & Trail Skills

Learn how to choose between a tent and a snow cave. Plus the best ways to travel in the snow.

Winter Camping: Gear & Clothing

Your complete guide to choosing, fitting, and using essential winter gear.

Winter Camping: Getting Started

Winter camping requires extra planning and gear. But it's well worth the effort.

Gear Review: Lowrance Endura Sierra

The Lowrance Endura Sierra comes chalk full of street and topo maps.

Gear Review: Garmin Oregon 550t

This top-shelf GPS can pinch hit as a digital camera.

Gear Review: Garmin Foretrex 401

This wrist-ready, weather-resistant GPS device is only 2.2 ounces.

Gear Review: Delorme PN-30

This sturdy GPS device is only $300 and comes loaded with topos.

Gear Review: Apple iPhone 3GS

GPS, compass, digital video and camera capabilities–this phone has it all.

Gear Review: REI OXT Airflyte Running Jacket

This hoodless jacket is breathable and stretchy, perfect for aerobic activities.

Gear Review: Rab Latok Alpine Jacket

This '08 Editors' Choice Award winner is still a staff favorite.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Revel Jacket

This Outdoor Research jacket was deemed "most comfortable" thanks to its stretch Pertex Shield fabric.

Gear Review: ARC'TERYX Alpha SL Pullover Jacket

Pulling this jacket over many layers is a breeze with the elbow to hem pit zip.

Gear Review: Westcomb Revenant Hardshell

This Westcomb hardshell is at its best in extreme, wet conditions.

Gear Review: Millet Aerial Max Evo Hardshell

This Millet hardshell is a great climbing jacket due to its high range of motion.

Gear Review: Ground Essence All-Season Shell

This lightweight, breathable hardshell comes complete with a transponder.

Gear Review: MontBell Stretch Gaiter

These lightweight ankle gaiters stretch over any light to midweight shoe.

Gear Review: Feathered Friends Down Booties

These 800-fill down booties come complete with a detachable outer layer.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Pinnacle Stretch Gaiter

These burly Mountain Hardwear mountaineering gaiters performed equally well with lightweight scrambling shoes.

Gear Review: EMS Spindrift Gaiters

These leak-free polyurethane-coated nylon gaiters are less than $30.

Gear Review: Darn Tough Mountaineering Sock

These above-the-calf mountaineering socks offer extra warmth when you need it most.

Gear Review: Wigwam Trail Mix Fusion Socks

These Wigwam socks are great for skiing thanks to the blister protection offered by the polypro inner face.

Gear Review: Point 6 Active Medium Cushion Crew Socks

This midweight crew sock by Point 6 was a tester favorite.

Gear Review: Pacific Outdoor Pneumo Zips Storage Bags

You'll never use zip-top plastic bags again after trying these Pacific Outdoor PU-coated nylon storage bags.

Gear Review: Dermatone Lips 'n Face with Z-Cote Sunscreen

This sunscreen goes on clear and blocks sun and wind. Bonus, it also moisturizes.

Gear Review: Talus Outdoors ColdAvenger Classic Face Mask

This Talus face mask mixes your hot breath with the cold outside air to keep your face warm and snot free.

Gear Review: TSL Quickie Sled

For sledding or glissading, the TSL Quickie is a speedy descent.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Expedition Trekking Poles

Skiing, hiking, or mountaineering–these Black Diamond poles are made for it all.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Sabretooth Clip Crampon

These Black Diamond crampons are low profile and razor sharp.

Gear Review: Mammut Pulse Barryvox Transceiver

This Mammut transceiver has three antennae and an internal compass.

Gear Review: Wild Country 360 Helmet

This Wild Country helmet offers full coverage against falling rock and ice, and it's under $60.

Gear Review: Edelweiss Touring 8mm Rope

This 8mm Edelweiss rope is great for glacier crossings.

Gear Review: ABC Guide Harness

The ABC Guide harness is lightweight and utilitarian.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Equinox Convert Pants

These zip-off Outdoor Research pants are practical and stylish.

Gear Review: Marmot Murallon Pants

These Marmot pants are great for rugged, winter activity.

Gear Review: Lafuma LD Prowarm Battle Pants



Gear Review: Isis Cassandra Pant

These pants for ladies are practical and flattering.

Gear Review: Ground Puritan Pants

These Ground softshell pants fit a variety of sizes and are remarkably tough.

Gear Review: GoLite Badlands Trinity Pants

These waterproof GoLite shell pants are heavy duty.

Gear Review: ARC'TERYX Squamish Pullover Jacket

Soak up the sun in this windproof ARC'TERYX pullover.

Gear Review: The North Face Valkyrie Jacket

This cold-weather The North Face jacket comes complete with handwarmer pockets.

Gear Review: REI Taku Waterproof Jacket

This waterproof, hooded REI jacket is stretchy and breathable.

Gear Review: Cloudveil FirsTurn Hooded Jacket

This Cloudveil jacket is great for wind, snow, and light precipitation. And it's under $200.

Gear Review: ARC'TERYX Gamma LT Pullover Softshell Jacket

This ARC'TERYX pullover is the perfect mix of baselayer and jacket.

Gear Review: REI Ace SW2 Tent

This two-person, single-wall REI tent is tough, versatile, and $300.

Gear Review: NEMO Tenshi 2-Person Tent

This two-person NEMO tent is versatile and comes with a Condensation Curtain.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Sprite 1-Person Tent

This solo Mountain Hardwear tent is great when the temperature dips.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear EV Direct 2-Person Tent

This Mountain Hardwear alpine tent is easy to set up, yet sturdy in strong winds.

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Backcountry Dome 3-Person Tent

This three-person, all-season L.L.Bean tent costs less than $350.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Mega Ultralight Tent

This 2 lbs. 5 oz. update to Black Diamond's Megamid promises to be a new classic.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6-Person Tent

This four-season tent palace isn't just spacious inside, it has a 26-foot vestibule.

Gear Review: Crescent Moon Gold Series Snowshoe

Comfortable and stable straps win this snowshoe the best binding award.

Gear Review: Atlas 10 Series Trail Snowshoe

These bargain snowshoes–under $200–excelled on rolling hills and meadows.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Alti Mitts

Super light mittens that protect against extreme cold

Gear Review: Kayland 8001 Mountaineering Boot

Multiple layers and materials make this boot perfect for the summit.

Gear Review: Feathered Friends Geoduck Pillow

Stuffed with 750-fill down, this camping pillow gives you 5 inches of pure comfort and support.

Gear Review: Exped SynMat Sleeping Pad

Comfortable for even the most sensitive backs.

Gear Review: Pacific Outdoor Hyper Elite Sleeping Pad

Don't let this pads appearance fool you, the combo of high and low tech materials combine for superior warmth and comfort.

Gear Review: Valandre Bloody Mary Sleeping Bag

Great for summer or winter trips, this bag is good for all seasons.

Gear Review: The North Face Nebula 15 Sleeping Bag

Keeps drips, frost and condensation out, not to mention the 800-fill down keeps you warm and cozy even in super cold conditions.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Typhon/Echidna Gloves

This dexterous, warm glove wins out as most versatile

Gear Review: Kelty Light Year XP 20 Sleeping Bag

This bargain of a bag will not snag, packs down tight, and stays warm down to 20°F.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Lost Ranger/Roxy Ann Sleeping Bag

This roomy bag is great for XL frames and restless sleepers; stay warm down to 15°F.

Gear Review: M-Rock Yellowstone 511 Camera Bag

This is a great camera bag for all occasions thanks to multiple shoulder strap configurations.

Gear Review: V.I.O. POV 1.5 Helmetcam

This versatile helmetcam is great for action video, both fast and slow.

Gear Review: Pentax K-7 Camera

This compact DSLR not only takes great pictures, but shoots video and shrugs off precipitation.

Gear Review: Olympus Stylus Tough-8000 Camera

This camera was made to be abused, yet takes great pictures and is compact enough to slip into your pack's hipbelt pocket.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Patrol Gloves

These warm, waterproof gloves test best for climbing

Gear Review: 180s Ultralite Gloves

Finally, a glove designed specifically for the text compulsive backpacker

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Corvus Dome Hat

This densely woven Mountain Hardwear wool hat comes with with extra face and neck coverage.

Gear Review: Buff Merino Wool

This versatile Buff is soft, warm, breathable, and anti-stink.

Gear Review: Kühl Skull Cap

A perfect fit for a fleece beanie.

Gear Review: Head Sweats Alpine Reversible Beanie

Get sweaty and stay warm–this is the ideal hat for cold weather climbing.

Gear Review: Canon Vixia HF11 Video Camera

Great HD quality and tough-as-nails housing make this camera your go-to for great video, not to mention you can get a full week of shooting on just two charges!

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2009 Table of Contents



Gear: Backcountry Cookware

Just because you're in the backcountry doesn't mean you don't need cookware. Here, some essentials to make you king of trail kitchen.

Gear Reviews: Tents for Every Trip

From ultralight solo shelters to all-conditions mountain tents, here are 10 models that will survive the worst weather so you can enjoy the best night out.

Outfit Your Kids: Fall '09 Kids' Gear Reviews

Want to enjoy more time on the trail? It's simple: Bring the whole family, but make sure the kids stay comfortable with gear built for them.

Gear Review: Coleman LED Quad Lantern

No kid gets left in the dark with this versatile LED lamp.

Gear Review: Vasque Sundowner Kids' Boots

Solid, mid-weight support, waterproof, and grippy tread make this classic boot your kid's go to for all their hiking needs.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Epic Kids' Shell Jacket

Kids stay warm and dry with this deluge-proof shell, perfect for everything from family hikes, to waiting for the carpool.

Fall Apparel Guide 2009

Goal: Help you stay comfortable in any weather. Solution: Hike through two-week-long downpours and hurricane-force winds to bring you the best new gear for every trip.

Gear Review: The North Face Blue Ridge BX Kids' Sleeping Bag

Affordable starter mummy bag for kids 2-10 compresses down to soccer ball size.

Gear Review: First Ascent Big Tahoma Backpack

Trek for many days and miles with this lightweight, supportive, durable and highly waterproof pack.

Gear School: Raingear

Understand waterproofing, and you'll pick the right shell and keep it working like new.

Gear Review: Montrail Mountain Masochist Trail Shoe

This light, breathable and water resistant trail runner is great for technical terrain and many miles.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Revel Hat

This ultra-light waterproof baseball cap is great for the hood haters among us.

Gear Review: 20Sub3 Rugged Maps Lite

No more plastic bags or map cases, these waterproof, and tear-resistant topos will last a lifetime.

Gear Review: Granite Gear AirVent DryBlocs Solid Stuffsacks

Don't let the these light weight stuffsakcs fool you, they keep your gear dry in the wettest conditions.

Gear Review: Nemo Asashi Tent

This tent stands up to rough conditions, assembles in minutes, and has room for the whole family.

Gear Review: L.L.Bean Microlight 2 Tent

True to product description, this tent gives you more for the money.

Gear Review: MSR Asgard Tent

Spacious for two, the "bow frame" geometry of this tent stands up to the toughest conditions.

Gear Review: Big Sky International Mirage 2-Person Tent

weighing in at 2 lbs. 6 oz, this ultralight tent fits two with room to spare.

Gear Review: The North Face Mica 12 Tent

Unmatched in weather-worthiness, this solo tent earned top honors among testers.

Fast Fix: How to Maintain Technical Apparel

3 ways to make your high-tech apparel perform better and last longer.

Gear Review: Polar Buff Headwear

This versatile headpiece is half fleece, half microfiber–it can even double as a pillow.

Gear Review: RAB Latok Gloves

This waterproof glove is multisport.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Navigation Pants

These rugged, yet stylish, pants have thigh vents and removable gaiters.

Apparel Guide 2009: Shells

In a 2000 BACKPACKER raingear review, the average jacket weighed 20.6 ounces. Nine year later, that's down as much as 65%–and these six entries are more breathable to boot.

Apparel Guide 2009: Puffy Jackets

Ever seen a cold goose? Slip into one of these cozy down (or synthetic down) heaters, and you'll understand why you haven't.

Apparel Guide 2009: Baselayers

From fit to fabric, this year's shirts upgrade performance on every front.

Gear Review: Cloudveil Run Don't Walk Light Shirt Baselayer

This tester favorite was popular for climbing, mountain biking, and layering. The Polartec Power Dry fabric aided quick drying.

Gear Review: Mammut Zip Longsleeve All-Year Baselayer

Using body-mapping and blended merino wool/synthetic fabrics, this innovative baselayer is warm and versatile.

Gear Review: Patagonia Merino 1 Baselayer

This hybrid is part merino wool and part recycled polyester&ndashthe result being a fast-drying, non-stinking baselayer.

Gear Review: SmartWool NTS Midweight Zip T Baselayer

This merino midweight baselayer is soft, stretchy, and naturally anti-stink.

Gear Review: GoLite DriMove BL-2 Longsleeve Zip Baselayer

This fast-drying shirt has a special ingredient&ndashCocona Minerale fabric.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Compressor PL Puffy Down Jacket

This midweight synthetic packs small and repels light rain and snow.

Gear Review: Patagonia Nano Puff Down Jacket

This quilted pullover was a go-to jacket all year round.

Gear Review: First Ascent Downlight Sweater Down Jacket

This puffy is perfect as a midlayer for skiing or a springtime camp coat–and comes in a wide variety of sizes.

Gear Review: Mammut Pilgrim/Vinson Puffy Down Jacket

This overstuffed puffy was the warmest of the bunch with a high-collared hood and hand gaiters.

Gear Review: RAB Microlight Alpine eVent Down Jacket

This microlight puffy will keep you warm no matter the rain, sleet, or snow.

Gear Review: The North Face Crimptastic Down Jacket

This close fitting jacket is great for winter cragging, or fast trips from spring trough fall.

Gear Review: GoLite Mckenzie Reflexion Jacket

Waterproof and breathable, this hard shell is perfect for cold places and pursuits.

Gear Review: Millet Super touring Jacket

This all-around soft shell keeps the drizzle on the outside and warmth on the inside, right where it belongs.

Gear Review: Mammut Lobuche Shell

New technology makes for a super breathable, go anywhere hard shell

Gear Review: Marmot Nano Shell

Weighing less that 10 ounces this ultralight shell withstood 3 days of torrential rain.

Gear School: Liquid Fuel Stoves

These workhorse cookers are ideal for long expeditions, cold weather, and foreign adventures.

Gear Review: REI OXT Airflyte Running Jacket

This high intensity, breathable jacket is perfect for fast day hikes and cross training.

Gear Review: First Ascent BC-100 Shell

Bargain shell for rainy weather

Ultralight Done Right: Light Reads--Low Weight Books

You need a good read on any over-nighter. Just don't pack War and Peace. With these books, you'll stay on the ultralight track.

Ultralight Done Right: Packing

Packing smart is the easiest way to go ultralight. Use these tips and you'll be set.

Ultralight Packing Checklists

If you're planning to try ultralight in the summer, in a rainforest, in the desert, or in an alpine environment check out these must-take lists.

Summer Ultralight Packing List

Be ready for humidity; hot temps; storms; bugs galore Look for waterproof/breathable shells; synthetic, quick-drying fabrics; well-ventilated shelters

Desert Ultralight Packing List

Expect hot, sunny days; chilly nights; dry conditions; sharp and abrasive terrain Get warm, wicking fabrics; breathable footwear; durable gear; minimalist shelter

Alpine Ultralight Packing List

Expect intense cold and wind; sudden storm bursts; steep and rocky scrambling. Get down insulation; sturdy shelter; supportive footwear.

Warm Weather Sleeping Bags

Lighten your load with a warm-weather bag that packs small bug goes big on comfort.

Hundred-Dollar Hikers

Can you really get high performance on a shoestring budget? Our testers found five pairs of light-duty synthetics that deliver huge returns.



Gear School: Ultralight Tents

Looking to cut shelter weight in half this summer? A featherweight tent is just the ticket.

Ultralight Done Right: Rainforest

Expect torrential rains; wet snow; big temp swings Get synthetic insulation (it's warmer when wet); breathable shells; quick-drying fabrics; waterproof footwear; well- ventilated shelters with big vestibules for gear and cooking

Ultralight Done Right: Food!

Easy, lightweight recipes. Plus quick ways to stay full and happy without hauling extra weight.

Ultralight Done Right: What is Ultralight?

Ultralight defined. Plus, the most popular pieces of gear people either love or hate.

Ultralight Done Right: Customize & Adapt

Your pack's excess straps weighing you down? Cut 'em off. Plus how to maximize the gear you do bring.

Ultralight Done Right: Pack This...Not That

Leave this gear on the bedroom floor.

Ultralight Done Right: The Best Gear for the Least Weight

Learn what gear to ditch and what to keep so you don't sacrifice comfort. Plus, a little lightweight reading material.

Ultralight Done Right: Getting Started

Get started with these three simple tips.

Ultralight Done Right

Want to hike farther with less effort this summer? It's easy–just cut your pack weight in half with our foolproof 33-tip plan.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest Ventra Down Comforter and Fitted Sheet

This quilt/sheet combo covered a range of temperatures.

Gear Review: REI Aura Sleeping Bag

Even during a damp, tentless night our tester stayed dry.

Gear Review: Lafuma Warm 'n Light 600 Sleeping Bag

This affordable bag is great for above-40s temps.

Gear Review: GoLite Venture 40 Sleeping Bag

800-fill down keeps this bag toasty, while breathable nylon shell fabric and a two-way zipper prevents stuffiness in warmer temps.

Gear Review: Ultimate Survival Technology Sparkie Firestarter

A waterproof firestarter that requires only one hand.

Gear Review: Backcountry.com Stoic Jacket

This "magic coat" is great for changing conditions.

Gear Review: Evernew Titanium Pasta Pot

This featherweight pot is great for solo pasta lovers.

Gear Review: Gerber Crucial Multitool

This midsize multitool lacks excess.

Gear Review: Gregory Palisade 80 Pack

This big-load pack carries heavy weight with ease.

Gear Review: The North Face Adversary Trail Runner

Traveling trail runners will be all over this The North Face shoe.

Gear Review: Columbia Firelane Mid Boot

This midcut hiker is great for wet conditions.

Gear Review: Scarpa Axis Boot

This fast and light boot weighs in at 1 lb. 11 oz.

Gear Review: Oboz Sawtooth Boot

If you're hiking rugged terrain, this $100 boot is for you.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Exum Pro Boot

This boot earned our best all-around mark, and fits a wide range of foot shapes as well.

August 2009 Table of Contents



Family Camping: Tips & Stats

How many miles, and how heavy a pack, can your kid handle? Plus, big tents, first aid, and newbie adults.

Family Camping: Fun Food

Meal-by-meal tips to please the whole family

Family Camping: How to Pull it Off

87 tips for making your next family trip easy, fun, and comfortable

Family Camping: Good for the Whole Family

Why a life outdoors is so important for your kids–and for you.

Backpacker's Guide to Family Camping

A realistic, hassle-free handbook for taking kids outdoors

Sleep Easy: Find Your Perfect Gear

Whether you're looking to go ultralight or stay cool on a hot summer night, here's the gear that will help you sleep comfortably.

Gear School: Water Filters

Remove most micro-nasties, draw water from barely-there puddles, and quench thirst fast with the versatile pump filter.

Canned Heat: Stove Reviews

Tiny. Featherweight. Simple. Affordable. From the windy peaks of Colorado's Rockies to the icy summits of New Hampshire's Presidentials, these canister stoves kept us fat and happy.

Gear Review: Light My Fire Spice Box

Keep your salt, pepper, and sugar in this rugged, ultralight case.

Gear Review: Sea to Summit AlphaLite Cutlery

Get these light knives, forks, and spoons without breaking the bank.

Gear Review: Sea to Summit Delta Insul-Mug

This pack-friendly mug keeps drinks hot and hands cool.

Gear Review: MSR Exo 2 System Cook Kit

This cook kit provides a light solution for two-person dinners in the backcountry.

Gear Review: GSI DukJug Bottle

This better bottle survives freezing temps, doesn't absorb food smells, and can take a beating.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Gore Pass 2

This two-person palace isn't ultralight, but it is ultracomfortable.

Gear Review: Vado Pocket Video Camera

For quick-and-easy, YouTube-ready videos, this inexpensive camera won't let you down.

Gear Review: Evernew EL9 Solar Clip Light

This sustainable light gives cap-wearers a viable headlamp alternative.

Gear Review: Osprey MapWrap

This map case is the best way to tote your map into the backcountry since the Ziploc bag.

Gear Review: Cloudveil BPM Jacket

This rainshell excels with weekend warriors who dabble in a bit of everything.

Gear Review: Soto Micro Regulator Stove

This stove comes tailor-made for winter campers and high-altitude mountaineers.

Gear Review: Brunton Raptor Stove

Few stoves are tougher or more stable than the Brunton Raptor.

MSR Pocketrocket Stove Review

This tiny, fast stove performs great in poor weather.

Gear Review: Optimus Crux Lite Stove

The Optimus Crux Lite is meant for backcountry foodies who need precise cooking control.

Gear Review: Primus Express Stove

If you need speed, this boil-test champ is your stove of choice.

Gear Review: Snow Peak LiteMax Stove

Extremely lightweight and versatile, this stove can handle just about anything.

I Saw the Light: Jon Dorn's Ultralight Conversion

Going ultralight may be the ultimate get-out-quick scheme: It took me all of 60 minutes to shop and pack for a 5-day hike and all of 10 minutes to pitch or pack up my simple camp.

The Ultralight Challenge: 2.0

Pick the gear I can carry on a trip to determine how low one man can go.

Field Test: Daypacks

For all-day epics, fast-and-light summit bids, and even minimalist overnights, reach for one of these versatile load haulers.

Ultralight Shells

These versatile jackets weigh less than a pound and pack smaller than a grapefruit.

Gear School: Ultralight Packs

Shop smarter, hike farther with this guide to the guts of today's lightest load haulers.

Gear Review: MSR E-Bivy

thanks to a durable, polyurethane-coated nylon ground layer and more, this balanced bivy has all the right elements.

Gear Review: Alite Designs Monarch Butterfly Chair

Get off the ground with this packable camp chair.

Gear Review: Merrell Optima Tank

A stretchy top that works well on summer trails, rock climbs, and in yoga studios.

Gear Review: Brooks Adrenaline ASR 5 Trail Runners

This dual-purpose runner works well on everything from roads to rough trail.

Gear Review: Western Mountaineering Hooded Flash Down Jacket

This puffy layer saves weight without excess cold spots.

Gear Review: Patagonia Houdini Ultralight Shell

Trim fitting, highly durable, and easily packable, this is one shell you'll never question packing.

Gear Review: The North Face Trajectory Hybrid Ultralight Shell



Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Tempo Ultralight Shell

With a fleece lining, and Gore Windstopper fabric, chills are blocked and breathability is excellent.

Gear Review: Marmot Mica Ultralight Shell

While editors were wringing out their socks, nothing penetrated the Mica's waterproofing.

PrimaLoft® Products hit the Road with Backpacker® Get Out More Tour

In its effort to better educate retailers and consumers about PrimaLoft® products, PrimaLoft® has signed on to be the technical insulation and sleeping bag sponsor of Backpacker Magazine's 2009 Get Out More Tour.

Field Notes: Ear Phones, Headlamp, and Avalanche Probe

The latest word from our testers on AirDrives Interactive Earphones, the Petzl Ultra Headlamp, and Pieps iProbe.

Readers' Choice 2010

We want your stories! Your photos! Your best trips and tips and all-time favorite gear! For this special edition of our Readers' Choice Awards, we're using your best stuff to create our January 2010 issue.

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.

Readers' Choice 2010: Submit Your Favorite Piece of Gear



Video/Blog: Kings of the Mountain--Ed Viesturs, the Whittakers and more

Ed Viesturs, Peter Whittaker, Dave Hahn, and young guns Seth Waterfall and Melissa Arnot are joining forces to create a new line of gear and attack Mount Everest.

Gear Guide 2009: Weeklong Packs

Heading out for a long haul? With these backpacks, you'll have the room you need for long trail comfort.

Gear Guide 2009: Weekend Packs

From this year's Editors' Choice winner to the ultimate organizational wonder, these weekend packs are perfect for heading to the hills Friday to Sunday.

Gear Guide 2009: Daypacks

Heading out for the day? We have your can-do ultimate daypack. From the best bargain to the lightest on the market, these packs have everything you need.

Gear Guide 2009: 3-Person Tents

From the most headroom to the best deal, three isn't a crowd with these tents.

Gear Guide 2009: Tarps

All you need is a roof over your head you say? A tarp might be just what you're after.

Gear Guide 2009: Mountaineering Tents

Head to the high-country with these altitude-ready tents.

Gear Guide 2009: 1-Person Tents

Going solo? Options abound with these 1-person tent choices.

Gear Guide 2009: 2-Person Tents

From the most innovative to the most eco-friendly, pitch one of these 2-person tents for your home away from home.

Gear Guide 2009: Heavy-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Light-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Mid-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Sleeping Pads

Your sleep is important to us. That's why we logged 250 nights under the stars, from Alaska to Wales, to bring you the 30 best bags of the year.

Gear Guide 2009: Winter Sleeping Bags

Your sleep is important to us. That's why we logged 250 nights under the stars, from Alaska to Wales, to bring you the 30 best bags of the year.

Gear Guide 2009: Three-Season Sleeping Bags

Your sleep is important to us. That's why we logged 250 nights under the stars, from Alaska to Wales, to bring you the 30 best bags of the year.

Gear Guide 2009: Summer Sleeping Bags

Your sleep is important to us. That's why we logged 250 nights under the stars, from Alaska to Wales, to bring you the 30 best bags of the year.

Gear Guide 2009: GoLite Pursuit

This all-purpose weekend pack is comfortable and light.

Gear Guide 2009: Sierra Designs Big Dog

This legit 20° kids' bag will keep your little ones toasty in the backcountry.

Editors' Choice 2009: REI Flash

Want a one-pack quiver? Get this versatile lightweight.

Zero Impact Challenge: The North Face Green Kazoo 15

How do you replace a legend? Cut its footprint without cutting warmth.

Zero Impact Challenge: Sierra Designs Verde 20

No bag in this challenge incorporated more recycled components.

Zero Impact Challenge: GoLite Starlite 20

Recycled materials and fewer trucking miles trim carbon weight.

Zero Impact Challenge: Big Agnes Tumble Down 20

Less bag where many hikers don't need it makes a big difference.

Sleeping Bags: Zero Impact Challenge

5 manufacturers answer our call for eco-friendly sacks.

Gear School 2009

Tent leak like a sieve? Boots stink like a compost pile? Don't worry. Class is now in session. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, this in your one-stop, do-it-all user's guide.

Gear Guide 2009: Sleeping Bags

Your sleep is important to us. That's why we logged 250 nights under the stars, from Alaska to Wales, to bring you the 30 best bags of the year.

Gear Guide 2009: Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Tents

Home improvement: The best new shelters are roomy and light, thanks to innovative pole structures that expand space and reduce weight and bulk.

Gear Guide 2009: Backpacks

How do we know this year's packs are lighter and more comfortable than ever? We spent the last 12 months lugging loads from Denali to the 'Daks to bring you the 32 best.

Gear Guide 2009: CamelBak Fourteener Review

Conquer all the fourteeners and beyond with this stable and well-ventilated pack.

Gear Guide 2009: Osprey Variant 52 Review

Climb, scramble, and mountaineer with the stable Variant pack.

Gear Guide 2009: Millet Peuterey 50 Review

No rips, tears, or fraying here: The Peuterey is one rugged pack.

Gear Guide 2009: Mountainsmith Eclipse 55 Review

Make the Eclipse your go-to pack for long treks and backcountry bushwhacks.

Gear School 2009: Essentials

From sleeping pads to trekking poles, we'll have you good to go in no time.

Gear School 2009: Sleeping Bags

Save your down, seal up tears, and get ready for wet weather with the all-inclusive guide.

Gear School 2009: Boots

Soaked, scuffed, and beat up? We'll show you how to get your trusty footwear back to trail-ready.

Gear School 2009: Tents

Mend a broken pole, fix leaky seams, and get rid of that musty smell.

Gear School 2009: Packs

Learn how to fix snagging zippers, re-waterproof material, deal with frayed fabric, and more.

Gear Guide 2009: Brooks Range Ultralight Guide Tarp Review

Our top ultralight tarp ensures versatility with no weight.

Gear Guide 2009: Eagle's Nest Outfitters ProFly Tarp Review

This tarp offers the fastest setup, with tons of cooking room.

Gear Guide 2009: MSR Zing Tent Review

This tarp is best for groups of campers.

Gear Guide 2009: Hilleberg Kaitum 3 GT Tent Review

Big and versatile, the gigantic Kaitum is in a class all by itself.

Gear Guide 2009: Nemo Losi 3P Tent Review

Our best all-around 3-person tent combines the best of space, weight, and weatherproofing.

Gear Guide 2009: Sierra Designs Vapor Light 2 Tent Review

This top ultralight stood up to fierce winds in Alaska, and is a snap to set up.

Gear Guide 2009: Kelty Gunnison 2.1 Tent Review

This light, large, and affordable tent will appeal to almost any three-season camper.

Gear Guide 2009: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Tent Review

Roomy, rugged, and light-as-a-feather--that's why the Fly Creek is this year's pick for best all-around solo tent.

Gear Guide 2009: Sierra Designs Convert 2 Tent Review

This is one of the lightest, toughest four-season tent on the market.

Gear Guide 2009: REI Cirque ASL 2 Tent Review

Want to get a winter tent without breaking the bank? The Cirque is the tent for you.

Gear Guide 2009: MSR Dragontail Tent Review

This winter tent is long, lean, and livable.

Gear Guide 2009: Black Diamond Stormtrack Tent Review

Black Diamond's Stormtrack will keep even giants warm in the mountains.

Gear Guide 2009: Big Agnes String Ridge 2 Tent Review

Adequate space, bomber construction, and light weight make the String Ridge our pick for this year's best mountaineering tent.

Gear Guide 2009: The North Face Minibus 33 Tent Review

The Minibus is just like its namesake: Roomy, big, and heavy.

Gear Guide 2009: Sierra Designs Zeta 3 Tent Review

Space and price align in the Zeta 3.

Gear Guide 2009: Marmot Crib 3P Tent Review

If you're taller than tall, the Marmot Crib could be for you.

Gear Guide 2009: Ground Ajanta 3 Tent Review

The Ajanta feels bigger than you'd ever expect, and comes at a sweet price

Gear Guide 2009: Black Diamond Oasis Tent Review

Not even the strongest winds can faze the roomy Black Diamond Oasis.

Gear Guide 2009: Big Agnes Slide Mountain SL 3 Tent Review

Rain making your fly droop? Adjust your tent from the inside with this pricey tent.

Gear Guide 2009: The North Face Madraque 23 Tent Review

This extra-large tent dwarfs all other "big-guy" tents.

Gear Guide 2009: Tarptent Double Rainbow Tent Review

Tarptent's innovative tent creates an ultralight solution for big campers.

Gear Guide 2009: REI Hoodoo 2 Tent Review

The Hoodoo isn't exactly ultralight, but it provides plush quarters for a great price.

Gear Guide 2009: Nemo Nano OZ Tent Review

This eco-friendly single-wall tent doesn't skimp on quality features.

Gear Guide 2009: MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent Review

Want double walls but low weight? Try the Carbon Reflex 2.

Gear Guide 2009: Mountain Hardwear Taurine 2 Tent Review

The Taurine tackles both light-and-fast summer jaunts and heavy winter expeditions.

Gear Guide 2009: GoLite Valhalla 2+ Tent Review

This all-conditions champ can handle any weather in any season.

Gear Guide 2009: Exped Aries Mesh Tent Review

This tent matches ultralight values with tough design.

Gear Guide 2009: Eureka Zeus 2 Classic Tent Review



Gear Guide 2009: Tarptent Contrail Tent Review

The lightest solo tent tested is also--surprise--the biggest.

Gear Guide 2009: Nemo Gogo EX Tent Review

The Nemo Gogo works great for tall hikers--provided you don't mind not sitting up.

Gear Guide 2009: MSR Skinny One Tent Review

This huge, livable solo tent is also a killer deal.

Gear Guide 2009: MontBell Crescent 1 Tent Review

Perfect for stargazers, the MontBell Crescent offers 180-degree views of the night sky.

Gear Guide 2009: Kelty Corrie 1 Tent Review

This high-and-wide tent is meant for one, but can fit two, provided they're under six feet tall.

Gear Guide 2009: Scarpa Kailash GTX Boot Review

This Gore-Tex hiking boot has only improved since we named it Editors' Choice last year.

Gear Guide 2009: La Sportiva FC 3.0 Boot Review

Expect heavy-duty performance in this lightweight hiking boot by La Sportiva.

Gear Guide 2009: Lafuma X Light Mid OT Boot Review

The Outdry treatment and ultralight weight mean this hiking shoe will go wherever you do.

Gear Guide 2009: Five Ten Exum Guide Boot Review

Get a grip—the soles of these boots stick to any surface.

Gear Guide 2009: Zamberlan Lhasa GT RR Boot Review

These boots are tough on terrain but nice and comfortable on feet.

Gear Guide 2009: Vasque Radiator Boot Review

Heavy loads and dangerous terrain are no obstacle for these waterproof mountaineering boots.

Gear Guide 2009: The North Face Jannu GTX Boot Review

The North Face packs extreme waterproofing and long distance comfort into this bargain boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Scarpa Barun GTX Boot Review

This boot is the perfect fit from the first lace-up to the top of the tallest, wettest mountain.

Gear Guide 2009: LOWA Tibet Pro GTX Boot Review

For tough hikes with heavy loads and varying terrain, choose this waterproof and super supportive boot.

Gear Guide 2009: LOWA Khumbu Ice GTX Boot Review

Brave cold, wet weather with LOWA's sturdy, Gore-Tex winter boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Kayland Contact Boot Review

Don't let the tough and sturdy exterior fool you—inside this boot is pure, luxurious comfort.

Gear Guide 2009: Hi-Tec Cascadia XCm eVent Boot Review

Tackle the soggiest, wettest, and coldest terrain with this solid traction boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Asolo Lothar Gv Boot Review

For all-around performance, check out this ultralight and super comfortable boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Merrell Chameleon Leather Mid WP Boot Review

Submerge these comfortable waterproof boots in snow and your toes will never know the difference.

Gear Guide 2009: Kamik Northfield Boot Review

For extreme waterproofing at a good price, you can't beat these insulated, high cut boots.

Gear Guide 2009: KEEN Oregon PCT Boot Review

Scramble, bushwhack, and ascend with this all-around solid boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Kayland Vertigo Light Boot Review

This updated Editors' Choice winner stays true to its roots—but now it's a lighter and more breathable boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Hi-Tec V-Lite Mach 2.0 eVent Boot Review

You won't find a boot more supportive or breathable with this low of a price tag.

Gear Guide 2009: Vasque Velocity VST GTX Boot Review

For lightweight versatility, lace up this low-cut and supportive shoe.

Gear Guide 2009: Teva Aniso eVent Boot Review

Hit the trail with this waterproof and ultralight boot from Teva.

Gear Guide 2009: Patagonia Karakoram Boot Review

Use and abuse this tough, low-cut, and lightweight boot by Patagonia.

Gear Guide 2009: Oboz Teton Suede Boot Review

The supportive midsole, tough build, and bargain price of the Teton proves looks can be deceiving.

Gear Guide 2009: Montrail Hardrock 09 Boot Review

Run and hike through any terrain thanks to the sticky outsole of this shoe.

Gear Guide 2009: Merrell Chameleon Evo Mid Boot Review

This boot combines lightweight, sneaker-like comfort with solid support.

Gear Guide 2009: Merrell Chameleon Arc Wind Boot Review

Testers loved everything about this women's specific shoe, especially the arch support and breathability.

Gear Guide 2009: Kayland Dragonfly eVent Boot Review

These trail runners are the perfect mix of waterproof and breathable.

Gear Guide 2009: Hi-Tec V-Lite Altitude Ultra WPi Boot Review

New ion mask technology is great for breathability in this lightweight midcut boot.

Gear Guide 2009: GoLite Speed of Lite Boot Review

Take a bite out of dirt and snow with the tough soles on this midcut boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Asics Gel-Trabuco Boot 11 WR Review

If you want the perfect pair of trail runners, look no further than the Gel-Trabuco's.

Gear Guide 2009: Ahnu Lodi WB Boot Review

This low-cut, waterproof shoe is a bargain and perfect for dayhikes and light overnights.

Gear Guide 2009: Feathered Friends Snowbunting Sleeping Bag Review

If you want super breathability and an awesome warmth-to-weight ratio this Feathered Friends bag is for you.

Gear Guide 2009: REI Halo 25 Sleeping Bag Review

Great bag all around that also costs less than most competitors.

Gear Guide 2009: Cocoon by Design Salt MummyLiner Silk Review

Add this sleeve for added comfort.

Gear Guide 2009: Big Agnes Pitchpine SL 40 Sleeping Bag Review

This lightweight summer bag is great for big guys or active sleepers.

Gear Guide 2009: Big Agnes Cyclone SL Ultralight Chair Kit Review

Turn your sleeping pad into a comfy camp chair.

Gear Guide 2009: REI Lite Core 1.5 Sleeping Pad Review

You won't roll off of this foam, self-inflating pad.

Gear Guide 2009: Pacific Outdoor Peak Oyl Aero Mtn Sleeping Pad Review

This pad features Aspen Aero Gel for warmth and recycled PET nylon for green-ness.

Gear Guide 2009: NEMO Tuo Standard Sleeping Pad Review

This two-layered pad weighs a few more ounces, but it's worth it to get the sleeping-at-home feeling.

Gear Guide 2009: Eastern Mountain Sports Trail Pad Review

A simple pad with that's easier to pack than you might think.

Gear Guide 2009: Western Mountaineering Antelope GWS Sleeping Bag Review

We like almost everything about this winter bag.

Gear Guide 2009: The North Face Nova Sleeping Bag Review

A high-performance winter bag for the thrifty shopper.

Gear Guide 2009: Mountain Hardwear Banshee SL 0 Sleeping Bag Review

This storm-proof bag will keep you warm, dry and cozy.

Gear Guide 2009: MontBell Super Stretch Burrow #0 Sleeping Bag Review

This synthetic bag is a killer deal and offers a "tucked in" fit.

Gear Guide 2009: Marmot Lithium Sleeping Bag Review

Last year's Editors' Choice Gold Award winner stands out again with its minimalist design and excellent fit.

Gear Guide 2009: Western Mountaineering Ultralite Sleeping Bag Review

This fitted bag packs small and weighs just over a pound.

Gear Guide 2009: Wenger Rhone Sleeping Bag Review

Attention cold sleepers: This bag is so warm we almost put it in the winter section.

Gear Guide 2009: The North Face Chrysalis Sleeping Bag Review

Want a great bag at a great price? Look no further than the Chrysalis.

Gear Guide 2009: Sierra Designs Trade Wind 15 Sleeping Bag Review

Staying warm well below its rating, this bag is perfect for when the clouds roll in.

Gear Guide 2009: Sierra Designs Cochise 15 Sleeping Bag Review

A warm bag at a great price, simple as that.

Gear Guide 2009: Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 Sleeping Bag Review

This ultralight bag will stuff-to-fit anywhere you've got room.

Gear Guide 2009: Marmot Pinnacle Sleeping Bag Review

Grabbing our best fit award, this three-season bag is perfect for any cold sleeper.

Gear Guide 2009: Mammut Shield 3-Season Sleeping Bag Review

This pricey three-season bag has a waterproof shell and can function as a wet bivy.

Gear Guide 2009: GoLite Adrenaline 20 Sleeping Bag Review

Last year's Editors' Choice bag features the same functional zipper design and low weight.

Gear Guide 2009: Feathered Friends Lark Sleeping Bag Review

This 10°F bag is ruthlessly pared down for low weight and high performance–and it works.

Gear Guide 2009: Eastern Mountain Sports Boreal 20 Sleeping Bag Review

A super-light, three-season bag that stuffs smaller than you'd think.

Gear Guide 2009: Big Agnes Mystic SL 15 Sleeping Bag Review

A three-season bag that is roomy and light, but not for side sleepers.

Gear Guide 2009: Valandre Mirage 3/4 Sleeping Bag Review

This high-end fitted bag may just be worth the extra bucks.

Gear Guide 2009: The North Face Elephant's Foot Review

This retro-inspired bag is tough and simple.

Gear Guide 2009: Sierra Designs Nitro 30 Sleeping Bag Review

This full-featured bag is light, warm and comfy. It gets our best all-around summer bag tag.

Gear Guide 2009: Marmot EcoPro 30 Sleeping Bag Review

Warm below its rating, and made of eco-products, this bag should have even the biggest green-thumbs sticking straight up.

Gear Guide 2009: Kelty Coromell Sleeping Bag Review

This summer bag had one tester wondering if it really was a summer bag– it was just that warm.

Gear Guide 2009: GoLite Ultra 20 Sleeping Bag Review

This down bag is super warm and great for saving weight.

Gear Guide 2009: Lafuma Warm 'n Light 1000g DN Sleeping Bag Review

This full-featured bag has it all, except a high price tag.

Gear Guide 2009: Exped Swift 250g Sleeping Bag Review

This easy-packing summer bag is lightweight and perfect for the budget-shopper.

Gear Guide 2009: Vaude Versametric Ultralight 60+10 Review

Vaude created a simple, no-frills pack high on stability with the Versametric Ultralight 60+10.

Gear Guide 2009: The North Face Skareb 65 Review

Scramble over rocks and hike in a downpour with the stable and weather-resistant Skareb 65 pack by The North Face.

Gear Guide 2009: Osprey Argon 85 Review

Strap on the comfortable Osprey Argon 85 pack for those long treks with heavy loads.

Gear Guide 2009: Mountain Hardwear Intention 75 Review

The customizable Intention 75 pack by Mountain Hardwear accommodates large loads and day hikes alike.

Gear Guide 2009: Lafuma Manang 65+20 Review

For the price, the Lafuma Manang 65+20 packs a hard punch with superb padding and durability.

Gear Guide 2009: Gregory Z65 Review

For large loads and great support, check out the lightweight Gregory Z65 backpack.

Gear Guide 2009: Deuter ACT Zero 60+10 Backpack Review

If you want ultralight, look no further than Deuter's tough and roomy ACT Zero 60+10 pack.

Gear Guide 2009: ARC'TERYX Arrakis 65 Review

The comfortable Arc'teryx Arrakis 65 is the perfect waterproof pack for heavier loads.

Gear Guide 2009: Wenger Zernez 50L Review

Wenger's Zernez 50L pack has mountains of features including a built-in raincover and clear map flap.

Gear Guide 2009: Vaude Astra 55+10 Review

You won't find a better pack at a cheaper price than Vaude's Astra 55+10.

Gear Guide 2009: Osprey Exos 58 Backpack Review

The ultralight Osprey Exos 58 backpack is high in stability and smart features.

Gear Guide 2009: Mountain Hardwear Koa 55 Review

Reach for snacks and extra layers with ease while wearing Mountain Hardware's Koa 55 backpack.

Gear Guide 2009: Marmot Eiger 48 Review

Tackle trails, boulder fields, and steep peaks with the climber-geared Marmot Eiger 48 backpack.

Gear Guide 2009: Lowe Alpine Airzone Centro 45+10 Review

The durable Lowe Alpine Airzone Centro 45+10 backpack is full of handy pockets and bungees for the organized trekker.

Gear Guide 2009: L.L. Bean Mountain Guide Review

Bring along your winter toys— L.L. Bean's Mountain Guide pack can carry anything from ice climbing gear to skis.

Gear Guide 2009: Kelty Pawnee Review

Kelty's practical Pawnee backpack offers heavy load comfort for a good price.

Gear Guide 2009: Granite Gear Vapor Flash Review

Scramble around the trail with Granite Gear's ultralight and stable Vapor Flash backpack.

Gear Guide 2009: Black Diamond Predator 50 Review

Take Black Diamond's practical Predator 50 with you on any trail, anytime.

Gear Guide 2009: ARC'TERYX Khazri 55 Backpack Review

With removable support, the Arc'teryx Khazri 55 backpack lets you choose between stability or a lighter load.

Gear Guide 2009: Vaude Cross Ultralight Comfort 35 Review

The Vaude Cross Ultralight Comfort 35 is the ideal lightweight bargain pack for dayhikes or weeklong treks.

Gear Guide 2009: The North Face Spire 40 Review

Scramble up anything with the North Face's climber-oriented Spire 40 backpack.

Gear Guide 2009: Millet Elevation 30 Review

The Millet Elevation 30 has everything you want in a pack—stabilty, support, and even wrist loops.

Gear Guide 2009: Marmot Alpha 25 Review

Pack up the weekend toys for your outdoor activity of choice in Marmot's ultralight–and ultra cheap–Alpha 25 backpack.

Gear Guide 2009: Deuter Speed Lite 30 Review

For dayhikes and light overnights, strap on the simple and smartly configured Deuter Speed Lite 30 pack.

Gear Guide 2009: Crumpler Bumper Issue Review

Want rugged? Go for the Crumpler Bumper Issue, a rough and tough pack that takes on narrow slot canyons and unforgiving brush fields.

Gear Guide 2009: Black Diamond RPM Review

Run, climb or ski with the low profile Black Diamond RPM pack.

Editors' Choice 2009 Gold Award: The North Face Base Camp Duffel

There might be a journey too daunting for this load hauler. But it's not on this planet.

Editors' Choice 2009 Gold Award: MSR MugMate Coffee Maker

The ultimate solution for backcountry coffee–fast, ultralight, and fuss-free.

Editors' Choice 2009 Green Award: Big Agnes Salt Creek Recycled Tent

"Habitat for humanity" gets a new meaning with this eco-friendly tent.

Editors' Choice 2009: New Balance 1500 Rainier Boot

Bring us your narrow feet, your wide feet, or the freakishly long–these boots are the answer.

Editors' Choice 2009: Kayland Zephyr Boot Review

Can't decide which boots are right for the trip? Stop wondering and start hiking with this all-purpose midweight.

Editors' Choice 2009: PackIt Gourmet Austintacious Tortilla Soup

Put this meal on the menu for any trip: It's easy-prep trail food that will wow every palate.

Editors' Choice 2009: Black Diamond Orbit Lantern

Bright, light, and rechargeable–the perfect camp lantern is here.

Editors' Choice 2009: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Sleeping Pad

Carry less, sleep more with this light-and-luxe mattress.

Editors' Choice 2009: Sierra Designs Lightning XT 4 Tent

Four is not a crowd in this family-size featherweight.

Editors' Choice 2009: Sanyo Xacti VPC-E2 Video Camera

This light and totally waterproof camcorder changes the game for backcountry moviemaking.

Editors' Choice 2009: Gibbon Slacklines

Here's a cheap, crazy-fun way to build mountain skills.

Editors' Choice 2009: Mammut X-Zoom Headlamp

Forget brightest or lightest–get the most versatile headlamp. Ever.

Gear Review: Mammut Lithium 32 Backpack

Ski mountaineers will love both climbing and cruising in this pack from our 2009 Gear Guide.

Gear Review: REI Traverse 30 Backpack

Looking for a pack that's both wallet- and eco-friendly? You can't go wrong with the Traverse, from our 2009 Gear Guide.

Gear Review: Gregory Z35 Backpack

This pack from our 2009 Gear Guide won't buckle under even the heaviest loads.

Gear Review: Osprey Exos 34 Backpack

This top ultralight from our 2009 Gear Guide is perfect for hikers who need to travel light, fast, and far.

Gear Review: Deuter ACT Trail 32 Backpack

Find out why this "near-perfect" daypack won Best All Around in our 2009 Gear Guide.

April 2009 Table of Contents - GEAR GUIDE



Get This Gear: Essentials From A to Z

We tested more than 500 products–stoves, clothes, cameras, filters, tech tools, knives, and meals–to find these proven performers.

Ridge Runner

Undeterred by injuries that would cripple most men, a Colorado hiker nears the halfway point in a pioneering attempt to thru-hike the true crest of the Continental Divide. In this extended online interview, Dunmire talks about his gear essentials, near misses, and the challenges that lay ahead as he continues to trace North America's spine.

Online Exclusive: Ultralight Shells

These versatile jackets weigh less than a pound and pack smaller than a grapefruit.

Review: Cloudveil BPM shell



Review: Merrell Carbon Shell

This durable shell is hefty enough for four-season wear.

Review: Black Diamond Speed 40

This climbing-oriented bag has a huge capacity with few add-ons.

Field Test: Global Apparel for Men

Get technical layers that work everywhere from hotel bars to high-mountain trails. Our testers vetted more than 50 products from the Alps to the Andes to bring you these top systems.

Field Test: Global Apparel for Women

The BACKPACKER ladies tested made-for-trail clothes that can double as street wear–wherever the streets may be.

Load Lifters: Adventure-Worthy Luggage

Traveling heavy? Transport–and protect–your cargo in these globe-tested bags.

Review: Mountain Hardwear Canmore Pants

These lightweight and tough nylon pants will do the trick

Review: The North Face Harvey Pass Shirt

A functional shirt that will keep you dry and comfortable while looking stylish all the while

Review: prAna Supplex Hat

A quick-drying, simple cap for any global traveler

Review: ARC'TERYX Tactician Shorts

Try these breathable nylon shorts for steamy hikes.

Review: EMS All Mountain Sweater

Add this comfy fleece hybrid when those temps start to drop

Review: Patagonia Drifter GTX Boots

A great pair of versatile leather boots that handle most conditions well.

Review: Costa Del Mar Man-o'-War Sunglasses

Block out the rays with these stylish shades.

Review: Isis Madiera Skort

When temperatures rise, trade your pants for the comfortable Isis Madiera Skort.

Review: Ibex Hooded Shaq Sweater

The Ibex Hooded Shaq is high in packability and warmth.

Review: Royal Robbins Cardiff Stretch Traveler

Hit the trail and the town with the functional Royal Robbins Cardiff Stretch Traveler pants.

Review: Icebreaker Superfine 140 Henley Lite

Perfect baselayer: the Icebreaker Superfine 140 Henley Lite stays odor-free with style.

Review: Outdoor Research Radar Pocket Cap

For searing sun or relentless rain, pack the Outdoor Research Radar Pocket Cap.

Review: Ahnu Mirage

The stylish Ahnu Mirage is tough enough for the backcountry or streets.

Review: Core Concepts Monsoon to Market

Core Concepts Monsoon to Market effortlessly transforms from satchel to shell.

Kaenon Bolsa

Take in those sweeping mountain vistas with the polarized Kaenon Bolsa sunglasses.

Travel Like a Pro

Master every detail of far-flung adventure–from visas to vaccinations–with these time-tested tips from guides and veteran globetrotters.

Travel Like a Pro: Tips for En Route

Leave that fuel canister at home, and other tips to consider when you're packing for your international adventure.

Eco-Friendly Gear Packaging



Review: Sony Reader

No need for a pile of paperback in your pack, this e-reader stores over 100 novels

Review: Montrail S'presso Running Shoe

Climbing, hiking or trail-running, this shoes' sticky soles won't let you down.

Review: Adventure Medical Kits SmartTRAVEL First Aid Kit

From stings to dehydration, this fully-stocked kit has everything you'd need to handle a medical issue, even when overseas

Passport Protection: Aloksac ShieldSak Review

This tech-saavy passport sleeve protects your documents from radio wave scanners

Utensils: Primus Meal Set

Freshly grated Parmesan with your fire-side spaghetti dinner? That's not a problem with this easy to clean, full-featured mess kit

Review: Therm-a-Rest Comfort System

Tired of that foamy sleeping pad? Upgrade to this customized comfort system

Camera Pack: LowePro CompuRover

LowePro CompuRover is the outdoor photographer's best friend.

Traveler's Daypack: Patagonia Scramble 35

For a rough day on the trail, wear Patagonia's stable Scramble 35 daypack.

All-In-One Luggage: High Sierra Overpass Wheeled

Roll, carry, or tote around your gear with the versatile High Sierra Overpass Wheeled bag.

Classic Duffel: The North Face Base Camp Series

The North Face Base Camp Series duffel is reliable through the worst dragging, zipper-yanking and rain.

Lightweight Roller: Granite Gear Ultraflight 115

Durable and lightweight, the Granite Gear Ultraflight 115 will keep you rolling.

Heavy Duty Roller: Mountain Hardwear Juggernaut Series

Use and abuse the tough Mountain Hardware Juggernaut Series luggage.

February/March 2009 Table of Contents



Backpacker Gear Tester Contest



Editors' Choice 2009 Video Blowout

Join the Backpacker Editors on a rip-roaring tour of Wales for the 2009 Editors' Choice Awards. Hit the mountains and the coast and learn what it takes to be an Editors' Choice Award winner.

Video Tutorials: Gear Shopping Secrets

Want a personal shopping assistant? Gear editor Kristin Hostetter has you covered. In these video guides, she'll show you how to pick the backpack and sleeping bag that's right for you.

Portable Power: Battery Chargers

Got juice? Here are energy solutions for everything from weekend hikes to an Everest expedition.

Miniwiz HyMini Delux Portable Fan

The HyMini solar-powered fan does way more then just keep you cool

Brunton Solaris and Solo Battery Charger

Need power? The Brunton Solaris charges any device you've got using included solar panels or a battery pack for low light conditions.

Duracell PowerSource Mini Portable Battery Charger

The compact PowerSource Mini gives a power boost to just about anything, including your USB-compatible devices.

Field Notes: Earphones, Headlamp, Avalanche Probe



Pieps iProbe Avalanche Probe

Outsmart mother nature with Pieps iProbe, an avalanche probe with potential for faster rescue times.

Petzl Ultra Headlamp

The Petzl Ultra uses LED's for brightest, and most costly, headlamp.

AirDrives Interactive Earphones

AirDrives Interactive Earphones stay put on bumpiest trails and helps you rock out safely.

Oregon Scientific ATC3K Camcorder

Lightweight and durable, the low cost Oregon Scientific ATC3K camcorder is practically outdoor-proof.

Sony HandyCam HDR-TG1 Camcorder

Sony HandyCam HDR-TG1 packs face detection, a touch screen and HD quality into lightweight camcorder.

Canon Vixia HF10 Digital Video Camera

Small and compact, Canon's Vixia HF10 produces great HD-quality video and easy-to-use interfaces for any budding outdoors filmmaker.

3 Ways To Save: Video

If you want to save time, weight, or money when buying a video camera, we found the best options.

Sony H50 Digital Camera

Sony's H50 camera is packed with features like a infrared night mode, movable screen and easy-to-use slide shows.

Olympus Stylus 1030SW Digital Camera

The sturdy Olympus Stylus could be a backpacker's best point-and-shoot yet, with it's smash-proof LCD and a high 10-megapixel image sensor.

Canon PowerShot A590 Digital Camera

Canon's PowerShot A590 delivers some adjustable manual-like features in a bulky device too big for most front pockets.

Sony W300 Digital Camera

Sony's W300 packs a massive 13.2 megapixel sensor and trail-friendly scratch-resistant body.

Sony W130 Digital Camera

Simple and thin, Sony's W130 features crisp pictures and web-ready video.

Pentax Optio W60 Digital Camera

Protected against small amounts of water, this sturdy camera is for the klutz in all of us.

Nikon Coolpix L18

Nixon's budget-priced point and shoot camera runs on AAs

Canon SD 890 IS Digital Camera

A perfect, pocket-sized digital camera for any weekend warrior.

All-Around Champ: Garmin Oregon 400t

The Garmin Oregon 400t GPS is a fast, simple and full-featured GPS device well worth the extra bucks

The Multitasker: Magellan Triton 2000 GPS

The Magellan Triton 2000 GPS is packed full of outdoor-worthy features.

Picture Taker: Nokia N95 Cell Phone GPS

Capture your trail memories with the 5-megapixel camera and light-duty GPS of the Nokia N95 cell phone.

Bargain: Magellan Triton 200 GPS

Experience fewer lost signals with the Magellan Triton 200, a basic GPS for a bargain price.

Great Communicator: Apple iPhone 3G

Apple iPhone 3G brings maps and downloadable GPS software to your fingertips.

Speed Navigator: Garmin Colorado 400t GPS

With a quad-helix antenna and preloaded topo maps, the Garmin Colorado 400t is the fastest of GPS units.

How to Pitch a Tent in Foul Weather

There's nothing cozier than a warm, dry tent on a cold night. But strong winds and rain can turn setup into a sopping, frustrating fiasco.

Wash Dirty Clothes in a Water Bottle

This easy reader trip will keep you feeling fresh and clean on the trail

Weatherproof Your Electronics

Rain, snow, cold, hard knocks–the backcountry can be tough on trail gadgets. You can either upgrade your devices, or learn how to protect them.

How to Shoot Video in Any Condition

Beat wind, rain, and snow with 5 tips from an expert outdoor cameraman.

Danger Signs - Winter Sun

UV rays are still harmful even when the temperature drops. We'll show you how to protect yourself against the sun, even when it's cold.

Eco-Friendly Tent Poles

How do manufacturers make your trusty tent poles better for the environment? We discovered the magic formula right here.

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.

Little Big Houses: Three-Season, Double-Occupancy Shelters

At right around two pounds per person, these three-season, double-occupancy shelters do everything but weigh you down.

Trip Doctor: Rent Gear for Newbies?

I'm organizing my first group trip. Can I rent gear for newbies who may not be ready to buy?

How to Do Everything - Gear

Patch a tent hole, layer for extreme conditions, clean your stove, make an old bag warmer, and more.

Digital Camera Glossary

Before you shop–and buy–your dream camera, familiarize yourself with these commonly used terms

Mediastreet eMotion MP3 Player

Solar charge all your outdoor electronics with Mediastreet's MP3 Player.

Freeplay FreeCharge 12V



Eton Microlink FR150 Weather Radio

Solar panels and hand crank keep Eton Microlink FR150 weather radio going and going.

Survival Gear: Ultimate Survival Kit

Want to make it out alive? Consider packing these 17 items carried by a veteran Yosemite search-and-rescue ranger.

Fighting Death on Mt. Foraker

Stunned by the loss of his friends, a stranded climber struggles down one of Alaska's toughest peaks.

3 Ways To Save: Adventure Racing

Adventure racing isn't for those without high pain thresholds, but here's three ways to cut down on the inevitable hurt.

Green Scene: Eco-Friendly Wool

Learn how you can shop for ethical, eco-friendly wool to lighten your planetary load.

Field Notes: Boots, Jackets, Tents, And More

The latest word from our testers. This month, we test the Marmot Cauldro jacket, Gregory Z65 pack, Exped Andromeda, tents, Danner Formation boots, and more.

6 Sweet Sleeping Bags

From ultra-warm to ultralight, here are the year's best-performing bags in every category.

Trekking Poles Review: Leki Carbonlite

Our reviewer found the Leki Carbonlite poles "tough, compact, and eerily light...."

Camera Pack Review: Crumpler Karachi Outpost

This hearty camera bag has plenty of room, and padding, to haul picture-taking paraphernalia plus hiking gear.

Start Smart: Properly Pack a Canoe or Kayak

Follow these guidelines to keep your gear dry, secure, and well balanced in a canoe or kayak.

Make a Tarp Tent

This ultralight mainstay transforms from an A-frame sleeping shelter to a lean-to kitchen in seconds. Tip: Practice on a paper model if you're new to sewing.

The Specialist: How to Make Your Boots Last

4 sole-saving tips from a veteran boot doctor

Ditch the Tent: How to Set Up a Tarp

Mountain weather in September is typically dry and warm–the perfect time to lighten your load with a versatile tarp.

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.

The BACKPACKER Sleeping Bag Water Torture Test

We go above and beyond the regular gear testing rigamarole. We'll simulate a thunderstorm, go for full submersion, and then, a cold–weather test...in a beer fridge.

2008 Apparel Guide: The Outtakes

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

Apparel Guide: L.L. Bean Timberledge Winter Sport Pant and OR Prismatic Cap

From head to, well, ankle, our testers give Outdoor Research and L.L. Bean a whirl.

Apparel Guide: Baselayers

Contain your body heat with with these skin-hugging baselayers: the 180s Quantum Dry Base Layer crew and pant, Icebreaker 180 GT Chase 1/4 Zip, Patagonia Wool 2 long sleeve crew and bottoms, and White Sierra Bamboo Crew.

Apparel Guide: Jackets and Insulation Essentials

Stay warm with the Arc'teryx Kappa SV Hoody, Marmot Torrid, REI Ladro Hoodie, and Solstice Cool Ruler.

Apparel Guide: All-Purpose Shells

Check out the Cloudveil Hobak, EMS Aurora Shell Pant, L.L. Bean Ascent GTX, Mountain Hardwear Dragon, and Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco

24 Hours of L.L. Bean

It's the gear world's ultimate endurance event: a full day and night roaming the aisles at Bean's flagship store in Freeport, Maine. Will our man survive?

3 Ways To Save: Ultralight Dayhiking

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

Head to Head: Basecamp Tents

Got a family to shelter or just want castle-like living space? Go light or go big with these two standouts.

The Fix: Deodorize Your Gear

Does your pack smell like last summer's cheddar? Here's how to clean up.

Field Notes: North Face Propel Sleeping Bag, Asolo Power Matic Boot, Lanterns, and Vargo Titanium Sierra Pot

The latest word from our testers

Bargain Load Haulers: Weekend Pack Review

High performance and low cost? These 6 weekend packs deliver.

25 Habits of Highly Effective Hikers

Guarantee yourself a great adventure– every time–by adopting these proven routines for planning and pulling off the perfect trip.

Nominate Your Favorite Outdoor Gear Store!

The winner will receive our 2011 Retailer of the Year award.

Cut Your Own 10.5' x 10.5' Tarp Square



Green Scene: BPA-Free Water Bottles

Lighten your planetary load, water bottle style, with these BPA-free water bottle alternatives.

Camping Hammock Reviews

These versatile sanctuaries do more than just keep you dry. ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: See our video review of the latest bivys and hammocks.

Lightweight Climbing Gear

With a light climbing rope, shoes, and harness, you'll be packed and ready to hit the rock in no time.

Field Notes: The Latest Word from Our Testers

True-blue reviews on the latest items we've taken out on trail.

Big-Trip Boots: Trail Blazers

Get maximum support, traction, and protection without wafflestomper weight or break-in. Welcome to the new breed of all-terrain, any-load boots.

Next Level: Survive an Emergency Rappel

Learn the Dülfersitz rappel and safely lower yourself off of a steep pitch with only a rope.

Share and Share Alike?: Top Five Photo Sharing Sites

Your adventure is ready for primetime. Here are 19 ways to reach the audience in your living room–or around the world. Web-based photo sites aren't all created equal. Here are our top 5.

Photos 101: Save and Share Your Photos, Produce a Slideshow, and Print Your Images

Learn how to save your photos, print them, get published, and produce an audio visual slideshow.

Post Your Video Online

Learn how to upload your video to YouTube and tap a social network like Facebook or MySpace to post links to your movie. Your adventure is ready for primetime. Here are 19 ways to reach the audience in your living room–or around the world.

Share Your Trip; Make and Show Off Your Map

Your adventure is ready for primetime. Here are 19 ways to reach the audience in your living room–or around the world.

Share It: All the World's a (Cyber) Stage

Your adventure is ready for primetime. Here are 19 ways to reach the audience in your living room--or around the world.

Organize Your Gear Essentials

Does your pack's lid pocket resemble a junk drawer? To help you eliminate the mess–and find stuff fast when you need it–we created lightweight, custom systems to store and organize two vital stockpiles: gear repair tools and emergency provisions.



The Cutting Room: Editing Programs and Storage

Here's how to turn raw data into finished files that will wow your friends and preserve trip memories better than any photo album.

The Cutting Room: Video

Here's how to turn raw data into finished files that will wow your friends and preserve trip memories better than any photo album.

The Cutting Room: Photos

Here's how to turn raw data into finished files that will wow your friends and preserve trip memories better than any photo album.

The Cutting Room: GPS

Here's how to turn raw data into finished files that will wow your friends and preserve trip memories better than any photo album.

Organize It: The Cutting Room

Here's how to turn raw data into finished files that will wow your friends and preserve trip memories better than any photo album.

Field School: Trail-Tested Tech

Take your new tools to the trail to master the skills you'll need to navigate, record, and share your best adventures. The best new digital tools for every budget and skill level.

Field School: Essential Tips

Take your new tools to the trail to master the skills you'll need to navigate, record, and share your best adventures.

Field School: Make a Movie

Take your new tools to the trail to master the skills you'll need to navigate, record, and share your best adventures.

Field School: Capture Classic Images and Record Your Hike

Take your new tools to the trail to master the skills you'll need to navigate, record, and share your best adventures.

Document It: Field School

Take your new tools to the trail to master the skills you'll need to navigate, record, and share your best adventures.

4 Trip-Planning Sites and Top Tech Tools

Every great trip boils down to this: Picking an ideal location, capturing memorable moments, and bragging about it.

New Tools, New Rules: Get Maps and Go

Every great trip boils down to this: Picking an ideal location, capturing memorable moments, and bragging about it.

New Tools, New Rules: Plan the Perfect Trip

Every great trip boils down to this: Picking an ideal location, capturing memorable moments, and bragging about it. Here's how to get started the high-tech way.

Plan It: New Tools, New Rules

Every great trip boils down to this: Picking an ideal location, capturing memorable moments, and bragging about it.

iHike: Hiking in the Digital Age

A Complete Guide to the Digital Revolution–and How to Join It

Field Notes: The Latest Word from Our Testers

The green truth behind bamboo, a hyper-efficient cookpot, and a bargain three-person tent.

Canoes: All Aboard!

Some of the country's best wilderness is accessible only by boat. To help you get there, our testers picked the top canoes in six key categories.

Survive This: Swarming Wasps

Forget all the rules about freezing or making yourself big. When faced with these angry beasts run for cover.

February 2008 Table of Contents



April 2008 Table of Contents



March 2008 Table of Contents



Backpacker Editors' Choice 2008

The year's best packs, boots, tents, jackets, and sleeping bags. Period. Plus, a never-die headlamp, a life-saving beacon, a back-saving ultralight chair, and more innovative, trail-tested gear.

Backpacker Magazine Launches Fully Redesigned Website with New Multimedia and GPS-Supported Content

New features and web-based tools enable Backpacker's passionate online community to share trips, post pictures, and get the latest in gear reviews and adventure news and content.

Green Guide

In honor of Earth Day, we bring you the first industry-wide survey on which gear manufacturers are positively impacting the environment, plus much more.

Weekend Packs: Other Top Packs



March 2008 Perfect System: East



March 2008 Perfect System: Southwest



March 2008 Perfect System: Rocky Mountains



March 2008 Perfect System: Northwest



Backpacker 2008 Gear Guide: Perfect System

The best gear in the world can be worthless in the wrong conditions. That's where Backpacker's Perfect System comes in.

March 2008 Essentials Review: Hydration



March 2008 Essentials Review: Trekking Poles



March 2008 Essentials Review: Blades & Tools

From an ultralight knife to a full-service multitool, prepare for your Survivorman moment. Or lunch.

Headlamp Reviews



March 2008 Essentials Review: First-Aid Kits



March 2008 Essentials Review: Sunglasses

Save yourself from squinting, and get the most of the view you've worked for with these essential specs.

March 2008 Essentials Review: Binoculars



March 2008 Essentials Review: Navigation



March 2008 Essentials Review: Shell Jackets



March 2008 Essentials Review: High Tech



March 2008 Essentials Review: Camp Kitchen

Packs, tents, boots, and bags--that's easy. Now comes the hard part: Everything else. Below, you'll find our top picks for all the lust-worthy backcountry essentials you'll need to make your trip safe, fun, and simple.

March 2008 Sleeping Bag Review: Start Smart Sleeping Bag Tips



March 2008 Sleeping Bag Review: Winter Sleeping Bags



2008 Three-Season Sleeping Bag Reviews



2008 Sleeping Bag Review: Summer Sleeping Bags



March 2008 Boots Review: Start Smart Boot Tips



March 2008 Boots Review: Heavy Duty Boots



March 2008 Boots Review: Mid-Duty Boots



March 2008 Boots Review: Light Duty Boots



March 2008 Tents Review: Mountaineering Tents



March 2008 Tents Review: Three-Person Tents



March 2008 Tents Review: Two-Person Tents



Backpacker Gear Guide: One-Person Tents



Backpacker Gear Guide: Essentials

Packs, tents, boots, and bags–that's easy. Now comes the hard part: Everything else. Below, you'll find our top picks for all the lust-worthy backcountry essentials you'll need to make your trip safe, fun, and simple.

Backpacker Gear Guide: Boots

You won't go far with sore feet. So our testers went the distance–5,000 miles, to be exact–to bring you the best shoes for every foot and hike.

Backpacker Gear Guide: Sleeping Bags

The secret to a great day outdoors? Start with a great night. Sleep well in all conditions with one of these snooze-tested bags.

Backpacker Gear Guide: Tents

You can test-drive a car, but not a tent. So our crew did the shakedown for you, logging 600-plus nights under stars and storms. Here's what we liked.

Zero Impact Challenge

Is it possible to build a backpack that doesn't contribute to global warming? Not yet, but five pioneering companies gave it one helluva try. (Cue standing ovation.)

33 Top Tips From Trail Pros

Here's how Aron Ralston, Ed Viesturs, Les Stroud, and others get out and back again–and how you can, too.

March 2008 Backpacks Review: Start Smart



Weeklong Packs: The Best



Weeklong Packs: Other Top Packs



Backpacker Gear Guide: Weeklong Packs

The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.

Weekend Packs: Ladies' Luxe



Weekend Packs: Bargain!



Weekend Packs: The Best



Backpacker Gear Guide: Weekend Packs

The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.

Daypacks: Bargain!



Daypacks: The Best



Backpacker Gear Guide: Daypacks

The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.

Backpacker 2008 Gear Guide: Backpacks

The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack. The Solution: One of these 30 field-tested vanishing acts.

How to Lighten Your (Planetary) Load

We found 17 pioneering products that will cut your carbon cost without sacrificing performance.

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.

Welcome to the New Backpacker.com!

With more features, a new look, and the most informative content this side of the trail, the new Backpacker.com is amped up with the best in adventure, gear, travel, skills, and survival on the web.

Boot Shopping Guide



Tent Shopping Guide



Editor's Choice Green Awards April 2007

Pacific Outdoor ECO Thermo 6 Sleeping Pad, REI Global Warming Initiative, and the Timberland Green Index are tops to the green eyes of Backpacker

Editor's Choice Green Award April 2006

Patagonia implements the Common Threads Recycling Program to reuse your old Capilene long underwear tops and bottoms

How to Buy PVC-Free Gear

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is waterproof and durable, but the manufacturing process creates carcinogens

How to Waterproof Everything

From your tent, to your bivy sack, to yourself, learn how to stay dry and comfortable.

How to Survive A Night Without Gear

When a day hike turns into an overnight, learn how to take care of yourself.

How to Build a Never-Fail Campfire

Where campfires are allowed, it's important to know how to build–and put out–flames properly.

Packing List: Repair Kit

Don't let a busted strap or a deflating tent ruin your trip. Pack these essentials and at all times and you'll be covered.

Packing List: Survival Gear List

Always be prepared for adversity with these pieces of gear.

Packing List: Toilet Kit

Stay sanitary, and for your travel companion's sake, pack what's on this list.

How to Organize a Backpack

By loading your backpack properly you protect your gear and prevent back issues--plus it's easy to find the gear you need.

Backpacking Basics

Take these 21 trail tips to heart, and you're virtually guaranteed a good hike.

Gear: Tents 101

There's a bewildering array of tent options available, including hundreds of three-season tents and specialized models built for hot deserts, Arctic summits, and steamy rain forests.

Gear: Accessories

From water purifiers to first-aid kits, these accessories are also essentials.

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.

Gear: Packs

It's important to consider loading, capacity, and pockets when choosing which pack to buy.

Gear: Choosing the Right Pair of Hiking Boots

Pick the boot that's right for you with this guide.

Get Trail-Fit Indoors

Get ready for hiking season in the off-season with this training plan developed by Runner's World contributor Budd Coates.

Make Your Sleeping Bag Warmer

8 easy ways to fortify your sleeping bag

Sleeping Bag Repair Tips

Learn what you can and can't fix yourself on a sleeping bag.

180s Expands Presence in Global Marketplace

A leading US manufacturer of apparel and accessories announced a number of new distribution partnerships in Canada, Western Europe and Japan.

Vibram Expands Group of Trail Running Partners

Vibram continues to expand on its successful mission of reaching a younger, broader audience with work for innovators in the trail running field.



How to Sleep Soundly In a Sleeping Bag

On your next camping trip, be sure to heed these 10 tips for sleeping like a log

How to Store and Clean a Sleeping Bag

Keep your sleeping bag up to fluff with proper care and handling, including storing, washing/drying, and special considertations.

Sleeping Bag Terminology

Impress your friends–and understand any salesperson–by learning all sorts of sleeping bag lingo.

Become a Savvy Sleeping Bag Shopper

Five questions to ask yourself before you buy a sleeping bag

Smash Your Fitness Barriers With Heart-Rate Training

Become a better hiker. Build speed, endurance, and strength all through heart-rate training.

Gear Chick: Your Gear Questions Answered

Backpacker Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter answers all your gear queries

Ask the Experts: Gear and Survival Advice

Our pros Kristin Hostetter and Buck Tilton get you ready for the trails ahead.

Green Gear Report Card 2008

The first industry-wide survey about which gear manufacturers are positively impacting the environment

Gear Checklists and Shopping Guides

Make sure you don't forget a thing with our comprehensive gear checklists for pretty much any trip occasion. Plus, learn how to pick the perfect piece of gear.

Green Guide Exclusive Online Materials

Information on 19 more "green" companies and an interview with Big Agnes's Bill Gamber

Make Your Gear Last Forever

Backpacker's Ultimate Fix-It Guide

Make Your Sleeping Bag Warmer

8 easy ways to fortify your sleeping bag

How to Keep Your Food Warm In Camp

3 simple heat shields to keep your meals toasty in the backcountry

How to Clean and Store Your Gear

By keeping your gear (relatively) free of dirt and grime and storing it properly you can make your gear last forever.

GPS 201: Using Advanced Navigational Tools

Don't be daunted by a thick owner's manual. Unlocking your unit's advanced navigational tools is easier than you think.

Gear Test: Outdoor Research Motiva Pants

The Backpacker gear ladies try out these tough OR pants.

Keep Your Feet Dry With Gaiters

Choose the right type of gaiter for your trip.

How to Repair a Jacket Zipper

Salvage a few more years out of your favorite jacket with these zipper fixes.

Pack Fast, Pack Right

Organization and preparation will make your next overnight or day-hike packing session easy. Below, the Backpacker editors showcase their mistakes for your benefit.

The Best Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries are better for the environment and can save you money. Learn about the pros and cons of the different types of rechargeable batteries.

December '07 Gear Test: 3D Connexion Space Navigator, Purosol Sport/Marine, Solio, The Pod

The Backpacker testers try out some ingenious products for photo taking, map making, screen cleaning, and portable recharging.

Backpacker February '08 Gear Test

It's cold out there -- but don't fret. We've tested and reviewed all the best gear to keep you warm, dry, and comfy when the mercury drops.

How to Digitally Capture Your Wilderness Adventures

Be a YouTube Star: Learn how to shoot, edit, and post your next wilderness adventure.

Spend a Perfect Day in Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Join Gregory Mountain Products master pack designer for a day in Joshua Tree National Park

How to Prevent Blisters

Sweaty feet, thick socks, and sturdy boots are a blister cauldron. Learn four easy ways to keep your feel clean, dry, and blister free.

Top 4 Digital Cameras

All our picks weigh less than 8 ounces and cost less than $400.

Backpacker Tests 3-Person Tents

These lightweight tents can house three campers in comfort or two in splendor.

Cut Winter Weight: 4 Ways to Pack Light and Stay Warm

Don't overload your pack. Learn how to leave the non-essentials behind and still stay warm.

Half The Weight, Twice The Fun: Hike The John Muir Trail

Find out what happens when four people hike the 221-mile John Muir Trail in just a week. Then learn how to bag the classic in more sensible lightweight fashion.

The Skills: Ultralight or Bust

A 10-step plan for getting your base pack weight under 15 pounds

4 Top Daypacks

Load haulers for light and fast adventures

The Gear: Cut the Fluff

Shave pounds from your whole packing list.

The Hike: John Muir In a Week

Got a few days off, a pair of healthy feet, and a pain threshold higher than Dean Karnazes? You can (possibly) blaze the length of America's Most Beautiful Trail

Maritime Alps: Plan it

If the February '08 Backpacker article "Magnifique" inspired you to take a hut trip to France's Maritime Alps, here are ten lodging options.

Exclusive Online Content: Layer Up

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

Repair Snowshoes in the Field

Follow these tips to fix any snowshoe problem you meet on the trail.

Sustainable Gear: Growing A Greener Jacket

Cutting-edge fabrics make outdoor gear eco-friendly.

The Big Question: Rescue Tools

If you need to be rescued, is a satellite phone a better choice than a personal locator beacon?

Summer Sleeping Bags Review

How the warm-weather down mummy bags Marmot Atom, Montbell Super Stretch Down Hugger #3, Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32, and Feathered Friends Osprey stack up.

Low-Cut Hiking Boots Review

Stay light on your feet with the Lafuma Active Raid GTX XCR, Garmont Eclipse XCR, Merrell Chameleon II XCR, Montrail Mountain Mist XCR, and Vasque Breeze Low XCR.

Backpack Review: The North Face Skareb 55

A pack that's comfortably and curiously strong.

Hiking Boots Review: Midweight and Lightweight

Go light on your feet with the Adidas Cloudcap XCR and Garmont Nasty.

Backpack Review: 4 Perfect Packs

Midsize internal-frame backpacks that do everything--and do it well

GPS Review: Brunton Atlas MNS

If cost is no object, this unit is like having an interactive topo map at your fingertips.

GPS Review: Motorola i560 GPS Cell Phone

This rugged unit will let you call home from the trail

GPS Review: Nextel BlackBerry 7100i

Get a mobile phone, data organizer, walkie-talkie, and GPS, all in one device.

GPS Review: Garmin Rino 520

You'll never lose your partner if you're each carrying a Rino.

Editors' Choice: Timberland Cadion Mid GTX XCR

Get killer ankle and underfoot support in an ultralight hiking boot.

GPS Review: TomTom GO 300

Just throw this unit in the car and go

Editors' Choice: The North Face Diad Jacket

Testing confirms it: You can get a real rain jacket for less than 8 ounces.

GPS Review: Garmin eTrex Legend C

A reliable and moderately priced unit with high-end capabilities

Headlamp Review: Petzl Tikka XP

For just over 3 ounces, you get a smart, powerhouse light with all the functions you'll ever need.

GPS Review: Garmin Foretrex 101

A favorite unit for beginners

Stove Review: Vargo Jet-ti

A compact, superlight canister stove to call your own.

Cookset Review: Brunton IB

An aluminum cookset that's light in your pack and on your wallet.

Trekking Pole Review: Gossamer Gear Lightrek Plus

Pick up the pace with these lightweight trekking poles.

Sleeping Bag Review: Moonstone Lucid

An overstuffed down sleeping bag that will keep you warm on frigid nights.

Tent Review: Six Moon Designs Europa 05

A weather- and bug-proof tent of negligible weight.

Hiking Boots Review: Lafuma Active Raid GTX XCR

Light boots that are good for medium-sized feet.

Tent Review: GoLite Trig 1

A spacious ultralight tent that stays dry.

Backpack Review: Granite Gear Vapor Trail/Vapor Ki

A pack with everything you need.

Hiking Boots Review: Merrell Chameleon II GTX XCR

Breathable low-cut hikers for medium-volume feet.

Toy Review: Granite Gear Camp Toys

Keep your kids entertained in camp and on the road with a football, stuffball, and flyer set

Sleeping Bag Review: EMS Mountain Light 0

An economically-priced sleeping bag that's one sweet deal.

Tent Review: Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo

A traditional tent with ample room for one.

Headlamp Review: Black Diamond Spot

A headlamp with a swiveling compact head and easy-to-use buttons.

Multitool Review: Leatherman Squirt P4

A miniature tool with versatility and strength beyond its size.

Backpack Review: Kelty Illusion 3500

A pack that's light, affordable, and durable.

Backpack Review: Gregory G Pack

A pack that cuts the weight without sacrificing the comfort.

Sleeping Bag Review: Sierra Designs Cool Cat 20-degree

Rated a best buy, this cozy bag will keep your little camper warm and comfy all night long.

Tent Review: Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2

The lightest freestanding double-wall tent in the universe.

Backpack Review: GoLite Perspective

An ultralight pack that can hold a sizable load.

Cookset Review: Brunton IB Cookset

A cookset that will be your new ultralight favorite

Let's Strip: Lightening Your Backpack

5 ways to get rid of unneeded pounds without buying a new pack

Chair Review: Therm-a-Rest Trekker Lounge 20

Enjoy this instant chair on your next trip

Tent Review: MSR Fling

An atypical hoop tent that's cleverly spacious.

Water Purifier Review: AquaStar Plus

A water bottle that doubles as an emergency lantern.

Hiking Boots Review: Asolo Stynger GTX

Boots for women that are both sturdy and compact.

Stove Review: Jetboil GCS

A revolutionary stove-and-pot set that'll cramp your prep time with super-fast boils.

Headlamp Review: Petzl Tikka XP

A bright mini-lamp with one-click operation.

Hiking Boots Review: Montrail Stratos XCR

Boots that are amazingly stable, delightfully lightweight, and surprisingly waterproof.

Sleeping Bag Review: Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15

A sleeping bag that's ideal for small women.

Headlamp Review: Streamlight Enduro LED

A two-setting headlamp with sharp, shadow-free light and a great price.

Sleeping Bag Review: Feathered Friends Swallow

A sleeping bag with all the fixings.

Stove Review: GSI Ceramic Grill

The perfect grill for your next car camping trip

The Fix: Revive Your Rain Jacket

Don't buy new--just give your rain shell a little TLC

Camera Review: Sony DCR-PC1000 MiniDV

Film your first wildlife documentary with this svelte digital video recorder.

Cold-Weather Gear Review: 5 Winter Fixes

How to make your cold months warmer: boots, bags, jackets, backpacks, and booties for frosty weather

Clothing Review: Westcomb Syncro Pants

Proven extra-tough after 30 straight days of hiking

Trail Runner Review: Merrell Pursuit Shield

This low-cut's shallow tread grips well through it all

Winter Boots Review: Snowshoeing and Camping

Keep your feet warm and dry while snowshoeing, camping, and shoveling the driveway with the Columbia Ice Dragon, North Face Ice Storm GTX, and Kamik Patriot.

Backpack Review: Kelty Shadow 4500

Holds a week's worth of three-season supplies--or just enough for a light summit day

Camera Review: Canon PowerShot SD400 Digital ELPH

You'll never miss a shot with this camera's lightning-fast lens.

Backpack Review: Macpac Traverse

Our tester praises the 'rip-proof, poke-proof, and amazingly waterproof' fabric of the Traverse

Tent Review: Big Agnes Parkview 2

Keep from tripping over your partner with this tent made for two

GPS Review: TomTom GO 300

Don't fight over where the trailhead starts. Get this handy gadget and you'll find it every time.

Camera Review: Casio Exilim EX-S500

Capture every backcountry moment with this wafer-slim digital camera

Sleeping Bag Review: Sierra Designs Wild Bill/Rosa

Pinch me: Our favorite bag is also the least expensive.

Sleeping Bag Review: 4 Down Bags

Sleep warm, carry less with these 20-degree sacks.

Tent Review: New-School Shelters

Slash weight, not weather protection, with this year's top new ultralight tents.

Sleeping Bag Review: Mountain Hardwear Trekker

This furnace comes in a small package, but substitute your own stuff sack.

Start Smart: Have Poles, Will Hike Longer

How to get the most out of your trekking poles

Technology Review: Picking A Music Player

How to choose the best one for your sport

Music Safety Tips: Tune In, Not Out

7 tips for listening to music on the run and on the trail

Socks Review: Darn Tough Socks

Socks so darn perfect they can make a thief out of your dearest friend

Boot Review: Zamberlan 180 Micron GT Women's

A hiking boot that provides outstanding protection against rocks, cactus, snow, and rain

Backpack Review: Integral Designs Silcoat

A daypack and waterproof stuff sack in one

Backpack Review: GoLite Vision

An ultralight backpack that does it all

3 Ways To Save: Trail-Tested Tents

Three tents that'll save you money, weight, your friendship, and your head

Apparel Review: Arc'Teryx Ether Crew Short Sleeve

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

Boot Review: Lafuma Active Raid GTX XCR

Enough support and comfort to carry a big load for 56 miles in four days--that is, if you're up to it

Jacket Review: REI Mistral II

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

Accessory Review: Granite Gear Cloud Cover

A light pack cover that kept contents dry in rain from New Zealand to the Pacific Northwest

Apparel Review: Marmot PreCip Pant

Our field testers praise PreCip for its strength and breathability

Apparel Review: Marmot Kids DriClime

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

Apparel Review: Eider Diko Racing T-Shirt

A bargain base layer designed to maximize wicking and enhance layering

Tent Review: Sierra Designs Electron

An affordable two-person tent that holds up in any weather, spring through fall

Backpack Review: Mountainsmith Circuit II

A bargain pack with enough room for winter gear, a week's worth of food, camera supplies, and more--as long as it's all under 45 pounds

Apparel Review: More For Your Money

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

Boat Review: Custom Inflatables Thrillkat

Want to impress friends and family? Strap this baby to your pack.

The Fix: Repair Peeling Boots

What to do when your soles come undone.

Foot Fixes: How to Deal with 4 Common Boot Problems

Prevent blisters, hike grit-free, and find arch support in a lightweight boot

Tent Review: Big Agnes Sarvis SL1 eVent

If solitude is your thing, dish out the extra green for this spacious, sturdy solo tent.

Backpack Review: Indigo Rox 60

A special pocket makes hydration easier for backpackers carrying this midsize.

The Fix: How to Reattach A Pack Strap

Repair a busted backpack with this simple sewing technique

Boot Review: Five Light Hikers

Introducing a new breed of synthetic boots: fast, nimble, and surprisingly supportive.

Cooking Review: Flatworld Orikaso Dish

Multi-use cookware fit for gear geeks, geniuses, or anyone willing to sacrifice soup for space.

Sunglasses Review: The North Face Adrenaline Pack Glasses

Sunglasses built so strong they'd knock out ZZ Top--despite the price.

Boot Review: Salomon Pro Sticky Mid 2

Channel your nimble-footed inner child with these grippy, hikeable shoes.

Trail Accessories Review: AntiGravityGear AT Mapdana

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

Tent Review: Tarptent Cloudburst

This upgrade suits the fastpacker's need for a roomy, bugproof tent during hot and humid nights.

Boot Review: Salomon Extend Mid

On hot summer days, these breathable shoes beat the heat.

The Fix: Boots That Cause Blisters

Don't throw big-ticket boots in the bin when a quick makeover will do the trick.

Boot Review: L.L. Bean Gore-Tex Ridge Runner Hiker Mids

These nimble shoes are a steal for hikers with narrow feet.

Cooking Review: Splurge on a Spoon?

Two editors debate whether one stainless steel spoon beats many (much lighter) free ones.

Ultralight Shell Review: Save Weight, Money, and Time

Keep your wallet and load a little lighter with Outdoor Research, Marmot, and Integral Designs

Boot Review: Hi-Tec Apex

A cushy sole makes these a good choice for long trail days.

Boot Review: Lafuma Cross Tour GTX

Excellent fit, support, and waterproofing set a high bar for low-priced boots.

Sleeping Bag Review: Mountain Hardwear Lamina 32

This sack earns high marks as an affordable, versatile summer bag.

Water Bottle Review: Guyot Designs Gription

Prevent embarassing, water-wasting splashes by replacing your water bottle's lid with the Gription.

Digital 301: Photography Skills

Push your photos to the next level with these shooting techniques

Digital Cameras: Frequently Asked Questions

Before you buy a camera, you have to get some details straight. Here's a list of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

Trail Tips: Outdoor Photography

6 tricks for successful backcountry shooting

What Kind Of Digital Camera Should You Buy?

Not sure if you need a digital camera you can put in your pocket or one with all the lenses and accessories? No problem. Here's a guide to help you make the right choice.

Digital 201: Photography Skills

Add valuable intermediate techniques to your shooting repertoire.

Digital 101: Photography Skills

Learn your camera's capabilities by doing, not reading.

Picture Perfect: Photography Tips

Troubleshooting tips for 9 common problems

Outdoor Photography: Anatomy of a Digital Camera

At first glance, digital cameras can be intimidating. Use this guide to take the guesswork out of the features on your camera.

Backpack Review: Lafuma Pro 4810 Light

Cram all of your stuff and your hiking partner's five extra bags of gorp into this light daypack.

Footwear Review: Gear for Rainier

Stop dreaming, start planning with our top tips and picks for boots and gaiters

Three Ways To Save: Budget 3-Season Bags

Three field-tested bags and how they'll save money, space, and your feet

Backpack Review: Gregory G Pack

This ultralight weekender stabilizes any load

Backpack Review: The North Face Catalyst 60 & 75

Not going light? Experience a revolution in big-load backpack comfort

Backpack Review: EMS Summit TL Rucksack

This versatile midsize pack is the sweetest deal of the year

Accessory Review: New Balance Ultra Arch Support Inserts

Pamper your feet with the most supportive footbeds we've tested

Technology Review: Contact 3.0 Hiking Package

Satellite broadcasting gets light, cheap, and trailworthy

Tent Review: MSR Hubba Hubba

Meet the new benchmark in lightweight, three-season shelter

GPS Review: Garmin Foretrex 101

Get started--or get simple--with the best GPS deal

Gear Reviews: Editors' Choice 2005

New Zealand is pretty to look at, but harsh on gear--making it just what we needed for our Kiwi challenge.

Boot Review: Garmont Trail Sport Junior Boots

Young hikers deserve performance shoes

Raft Review: Alpacka Rafts

These boats are so light they redefine where you can paddle

The Winning Bid: Buying Gear on eBay

An online shopping pro shares timesaving advice.

Trail Runner Review: Salomon GCS Pro

Be cool in fastpacking's finest footwear

Apparel Review: Teko Socks

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

Sunglasses Review: Smith Sliders

Winners of the 2005 Editors' Choice Gold Award, these innovative shades continue to lead eyewear evolution.

Hat Review: Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero

Stay dry in the wettest weather with this lid, winner of a 2005 Editors' Choice Gold Award

Boot Review: Raichle Mt. Trail XT GTX

Slip into the most comfortable all-leather backpacking boot you've worn in years

Editors' Choice Gold Awards 2005

Two tried-and-true favorites--the Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero and the Smith Sliders sunglasses--join our gear hall of fame

Trail Bar Review: Snickers Marathon Bars

Keep going-and going-with our favorite new trail snack

Cookware Review: Evernew Slick Non-Stick Titanium Cookware

Your ultralight kitchen is now complete

Boot Review: AKU Stone XCR

This scrambler provides everything you need to go anywhere you want: support, grip, comfort, and waterproofing.

Boot Review: La Sportiva Exum Ridge

What kind of scrambler would pass up a shoe with soles described as Spider-Man-like? C'mon!

Boot Review: Tecnica Cyclone Mid GTX-XCR

If there's a rough and tough masochist in the ultralight category, it's the Cyclone.

MP3 Player Review: Highgear TrailAudio 512

Finally, an MP3 player designed for those who choose to jam at altitude.

Boot Review: Teva Zakka Mid GTX

Check out the best lightweight boot for your heavyweight foot.

Trail Runner Review: Salomon GCS Pro

This shoe fits the fastpacker interested in traveling long distances on hot days.

Boot Review: Garmont Flash XCR

Despite its name, Garmont's lighter boot provides excellent support, but a bit too much for fastpackers and trail runners.

Boot Review: Asolo Stynger GTX

When it was time for Ladies' Choice, they picked the boot that 'just plain fit.'

Boot Review: Adidas Yukora Mid ATS

Mesh-covered vents take these strong midcuts into the future of fastpacking shoes.

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Premier Leather

Give this boot a little time to really feel broken-in, and it will reward you with years of comfortable hiking.

Trail Runner Review: Montrail D7

Just ask our Northwest editor how these boots hold up and he'll tell you a little bit about the 13-mile, 6,000-foot-elevation trail he covered. Easy as instant-pudding pie.

Boot Review: AKU Croda GTX

If you wake up wanting to walk 1,000 miles, go out and purchase a pair of these first.

Boot Review: Nike ACG Air Tallac +

Don't underestimate the power of this model's plus sign -- the new and improved shoe almost offers too much to use the same name.

Backcountry Technology Review: Electronics and GPS

Your complete guide to the latest in outdoor electronics, including a smart watch, a weatherproof MP3 player, and the best in GPS.

Boot Review: La Sportiva Trango Trek

The Trek brings serious trail mileage capabilities to the original (and winning) Trango S.

Into Quiet Air: iPods at Altitude

Unraveling a high-altitude mystery: why some iPods get sick in the alpine zone.

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Terrastryder-Mid

The Terrastryder-Mid triumphs in the "Best Fit" category for the hard-to-fit group -- just beware of its sogginess factor.

Light Vs. Luxe: Pocket Knives Review

Two experts debate whether a (very) sophisticated Swiss Army is worth the weight.

Knife Tips: Get An Edge

A knife expert's guide to blade selection and safety.

Tent Review: Hilleberg Jannu

Testers give the Jannu two thumbs up, despite wanting more space

Jacket Review: Ground Repel eVent

Stay sweat-free in all conditions with this lightweight shell

Winter Gear Lightens Up: Tent and Clothing Review

Carry less, enjoy the cold months more with the latest four-season tents, gloves, hats, and gaiters.

Sleeping Bag Review: The North Face Momentum 900

Way warm for the weight

Refurbishing Your Tent's Coatings

Give that old tent a new waterproof coating without shelling out big bucks.

Sleeping Bag Review: Lafuma Warm n' Lite One Kilo

You'll find this bag to be the most comfortable for mild weather.

Sleeping Bag Review: The North Face Squall 3D

Great fit, but lacking loft

Sleeping Bag Review: GoLite Feather

Easy to pack and easy to vent

Sleeping Bag Review: Montbell Ultralight Super Stretch Alpine Downhugger #2

Don't tell us money can't buy happiness.

Sleeping Bag Review: Moonstone 3D Minima

Call this sack a rebel--a synthetic bag that weighs less and stuffs small.

Q&A: How to Stay Dry

We went to outdoor educators and gear retailers to uncover the most common questions asked about staying dry in the backcountry. Here are the top 6.

Tips and Tricks for Staying Dry

How to keep your gear--and yourself--dry on your next backpacking adventure.

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.

Waterproof Your Wilderness Gear

A complete guide to buying gear that will keep you dry--no matter what

Jacket Review: GoLite Phantom

Racing a storm to a peak is no time to whip out an inferior rain shell.

Apparel Review: Arc'Teryx Switchback Pants

Look chic when you head for the alpine life.

Jacket Review: EMS Thunderhead

You don't have to be a direct Mayflower descendant to appreciate a little Yankee thrift with this rain shell

Jacket Review: Sierra Designs Hurricane LT

This super-compact and affordable shell is perfect for the Southwest

Accessory Review: Sea to Summit Trekking Umbrella

You won't miss a thing with this piece of raingear.

Backpack Review: Exped Adventure Dry Pack

Stop lugging extra water weight. This pack comes with downspouts.

Camping Toys: Summer Games

Hike, pitch your tent, then play like a pro with these new Frisbee and hacky sack diversions

Boot Review: Dunham Trail Mix

Even big guys with wide feet will feel agile with these supportive shoes.

Boot Review: 6 Fast-Track Shoes

Ready, set, go. You'll literally run down the trail with these featherweight kicks.

Salomon XA Pro 2

One of the lightest shoes in the test scores big with trail runners.

Boot Review: Scarpa Alpha

No toes will be lost in these mountaineering boots.

Boot Review: Tecnica Tricon

Ventilation and traction are a nice combo, but stability doesn't match the best.

Apparel Review: Kokotat Swift-Entry Dry Suit

Get wet, get cold. Or stay warm with this leakproof suit.

Boot Review: Montrail Masai

Let others wilt in the heat; your feet are air-cooled by these ventilated runners.

Boot Review: Merrell Torque

Not a speed demon? These traditionalists are great for light hiking.

Boot Review: Vasque Velocity

Pillows underfoot might be softer, but they won't last like these cushy shoes.

Family Camping Gear: 3 Ways to Carry Your Kid

Baby carriers, backpacks, and strollers for the backcountry

Common Sock Materials

Get the lowdown on what your socks are made of.

Gear TLC: Make Your Socks Last

Get more mileage from your stockings, on the trail and in the wash

Jacket Review: MontBell Thermawrap

This is one of the lightest three-season sleep systems we've seen

Backpacking Basics

Our 5-step guide to planning, gear, food, fitness, and essential skills

Offshore GPS: How to Navigate in the Water

New tools for water navigation: Strap one to your thwart, and you'll never paddle in circles again.

Boot Review: Montrail Java GTX

These shoes can handle any terrain.

Sleeping Bag Review: EMS Mt. Light 20

This bargain bag could turn car campers into ultralight zealots.

A Cure For Latitude And Longitude: Using UTM Coordinates

Learn this mapping technique for better off-trail travel.

GPS Fast Fixes

Don't let your GPS unit stump you. Try one of these suggestions to get your unit trail ready.

GPS Basics

What's GPS, how does it work, and will it help you?

Boot Review: Crispi All-Over Running

While these shoes aren't for running they are great on the trail or on the town.

Boot Review: Kayland Contact 1700

A boot that actually improves your agility

The Savvy Shopper

5 questions before you buy new gear.

Boot Review: Garmont Dakota Plus

Want a midweight that can tread in heavyweight terrain?

Boot Review: Boreal Tundra

Boreal gives us a boot that provides stability and waterproofing.

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Nimble

Boots ideal for summer fast-packing

Boot Review: Lowa Biomex Vertex

New technologies make this pair of boots a standout.

Boot Review: La Sportiva Nuptse

A favorite among mountaineers

Boot Review: Teva Haze

Hike on the trail then run on the road with these versatile shoes.

Boot Review: Asolo Fugitive

A top all-purpose midweight boot

Boot Review: Tecnica Vortex Mid TCY

Light and supportive all in the same package

Boot Review: L.L. Bean GTX Leather Cresta Hikers

They're not fancy, but they do the job.

Boot Review: Garmont Nagevi XCR

You won't find a better all-purpose lightweight boot.

Boot Review: Salomon Pro Trek 6 GTX

A well valued boot, great of every level of hiking.

Boot Review: Scarpa Light Ascent

These aren't Elvis' blue suede shoes.

Boot Review: Montrail D7

Whether you're on rocks or a grassy trail, you're sure to love these boots.

Boot Review: Five Ten Via Ferrata

Snow-covered trails are no match for this shoe

Boot Review: Cabela's Perfekt Hiker

The cork-bed of your sandals in a boot.

Boot Review: Salomon Expert Low

Not the best for long days and heavy loads, but great for fastpacking.

Boot Review: La Sportiva Monarch Crest

Become geckolike the minute you slide into these shoes.

Boot Review: Asolo FSN 95

Given an Editors' Choice Award in 2001, this boot continues to be a great value.

Boot Review: Dunham Waffle Stomper Premier

A long lasting, hard working boot

Boot Review: Merrell Torque

If a short trip is your plan, grab these boots and go.

Sleeping Bag Review: Kelty Light Year 25

The comfortably roomy cut pleased all testers.

Sleeping Bag Review: REI Sub Kilo +20

This compact bag might leave you dodging cold spots during cold nights.

How Pete Stays Dry

3 waterproof secrets from veteran mountaineer Pete Takeda

Getting Navy SEAL Gear

How to acquire your very own Navy SEAL Protective Combat Uniform.

South Is Thata Way

Determine direction without your compass.

Stinky Bag No More

Make your sleeping bag smell laundry fresh.

Oregon, Silver Falls State Park

The beauty of this hike comes alive with the rain.

A Better Mouse Trap

Rodents can be real pests in campsites. Use this trick to stay rodent-free the whole trip long.

That Zesty Taste

Liven up your purified water.

Ultralight Warmth

Keep arms and legs warm with gear invented by cyclists.

Cap Keeper

Keeping a close eye on those binocular caps.

Eye Dropper Storage

Carrying around those little extras just got easier with this trick.

One Good Thing About Golfing

Who would have thought a piece of golf equipment could be really useful to backpackers?

The Sock Fits: Trail Sock Buyer's Guide

Socks are as important as the footwear we buy. Follow our two-step buyer's guide.

Common Hiking Boot Lacing Techniques...

...From The Experts At Montrail

Make your trekking poles last forever

Try these easy cleaning tricks to keep using your hiking poles out on the trail longer.

Gear For A Dayhike

10 essentials for long day adventures

Hot, Light, And Cheap: Homemade Camp Stove Contest Winners

The best ultralight cookers built by BACKPACKER readers.

Calling The Shots: Be A Better Backcountry Photographer

Camera hints for bringing home hard-to-get photos in the backcountry

Cheap Camping Tools For Eating

How to complete your backcountry kitchen for $5 or less.

Ultralight Backpacking Do's and Don'ts

Jon provides first-hand advice for ultralight beginners.

Challenge The Backpacker Editor: The Ultralight Report

Torrential rain and wind expose chinks in our author's ultralight armor, but don't dampen his enthusiasm for the pleasures of unencumbered trekking.

The Science Behind Trekking Poles

Now here's scientific proof that trekking poles are a hiker's best friend.

GPS For Average Joes

The latest GPS receivers take the mystery out of high-tech route finding. We powered up four models to find the best for backpackers.

Rainy Day Skills

To stay dry in a downpour, carry the right wet-weather gear and know how to use it.

Tidy Seam-Sealing Tips

Applying seam sealer neatly is easy with the right applicator.

Quick Tip: Tarp Tactics

Tarp tips for the tactical hiker.

How To Speak GPS

Common GPS terms you should know.

Quick Tip: Rainfly Right

Quick tips to set your tent with the right rainfly.

Stretching Your Hiking Boots' Life Span

Lengthen your boots' life span by following this simple maintenance plan.

Understanding GPS

Using your GPS is easier than you think.

Jacket vs. Vests

Going sleeveless might save you weight, but will a vest keep you as warm as a jacket?

Features We Like And Don't Like In Trail Shorts

The short list of what works and what doesn't.

Ultralight vs. Ultranormal

How light can you go? Six friends face off to determine whether carrying less gear makes you half as macho, or twice as smart.

A Short History Of Ultralight

While hiking light may seem like a new trail trend, nearly 20 years ago, many outdoor manufacturers were beating the ultralight drum.

Mountains: The World At Your Feet

High above the trees you'll find the hike of your dreams: a ridgeline trail where your only companion is an occasional mountain goat.

Field Fix: Clear Your Stove's Fuel Jets

Got a clogged stove? Try this cleaning method before eating that camping meal cold.

Frisbee: The Perfect Camping Tool

How to make your Frisbee function as a camping tool.

Approach Shoes Instead Of Hiking Boots?

Consider these points when deciding if an approach shoe is right for you.

Bug Bites: Close Your Clothes

Use these tips to bug-proof your clothes.

Tent Setup: Building A Rain Dam

Protect your tent from rain by building a rain dam.

Save Your Hiking Sole

You can experience heavenly hiking even if you lose your boot sole.

Water Shoe Advice

Cross river with these water footwear options.

Field Fix: Pole Patch

Tent pole problems? Here's an easy fix.

Tundra Tip: Wear Your Rubber Boots

Rubber boots are essential gear in the tundra.

How To Dry Your Sleeping Bag

Add some ribbons to your sleeper to speed drying.

Buying A Better Tent

Not all shelters are created equal, as anyone with a cheap tent will tell you after a bad storm. Follow these 10 essentials when buying your next tent.

Filtering Vs. Chemicals Vs. Boiling Water

Water treatments defined.

Buying A Better Pack

There's no single piece of equipment more crucial to your backwoods enjoyment. Here's how to make the right choice.

European Pack Size Conversion

Buying a European backpack? Use our conversion chart before you buy.

Buying Better Boots

There are different boots for different types of terrain. Follow these 10 essentials to match sole to trail.

How Big Should My Pack Be?

Pick your backpack before your hike with our sizing guide.

Boot Sizing Chart

Before you get a new boot, make sure the shoe fits with our sizing chart.

Buying Better Poles

Follow these 10 essentials to pick the right trekking poles.

Buying A Better Filter

It's simple: Unless you like getting sick, treat all of your water. Follow these 10 essentials to find and maintain the right filter.

Buying A Better Sleeping Pad

Half of your "good sleep" equation is a comfy pad (the other half is your bag). Look for these 10 essentials when you buy.

Buying A Better Stove

After a long, hard day, nothing is more disappointing than a stove that refuses to fire. Follow these 10 essentials for foolproof stove features and techniques.

Boots That Get You Charged Up

Inventor finds a way to harness all that energy you burn on switchbacks and long trails.

Sleeping Bag Care: A Lofty Goal

Keep your sleeping bag up to fluff with proper care and handling.

Preserving Your Poles

Trail-proven ways to keep your trekking sticks healthy and strong.

Desert Cool Customer

Keep fresh and cool with this clothing tip from one of our readers.

Wired For Anything

Texas reader says plastic-coated wire ties are essential item for backcountry emergency kits.

Anatomy Of A Snowshoe

Get up close and personal with all those snowshoe parts.

Choose The Right Snowshoe

The size and type you'll need depends on your weight (with pack) and the snow type you expect to encounter.

Skis or Snowshoes?

Take BACKPACKER's quiz to quickly determine where your natural ability directs you.

Zipped-Tight Water Safety

Use ziplock baggies with your water purifiers for extra safety.

Aluminum Foiled Again!

Tuck a folded square of aluminum foil in your pack and it may come in handy as a...

The History Of Duct Tape

A brief and shining history of the most useful backpacking tape.

Wrinkled Hats Ward Off UV Rays

New trail-tested advice for shading your face from the sun.

Duct Tape: Reader Stories

An emergency kit doesn't amount to a hill of beans unless a few feet of duct tape are included. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about the sticky, miraculous fix-all.

The Wizard Of Duct Tape

A candid interview with duct tape guru Angelo Ritson.

Sew A Key Pouch In Your Pack

Sewing a key pouch inside your pack is the best guarantee of a quick ride home.

Gaiter Grooming Tips

Before you cinch up your gaiters, consider the best way to keep the wicked weather and bits of terrain at bay.

Frame Pack Tips

Two ways to keep your external frame on your pack in tip-top shape.

Jacket Jargon

Make the proper buying decision by first learning the language of jackets.

How To Pick Raingear

Getting the right shell has as much to do with personal needs and hiking habits as it does with the quality of a garment.

Fitting Filter Head Adapters

What to do if your filter head does not have an adapter for your water bottle.

'Biner Basics

If I had to pick, I'd take a carabiner instead of a pocketknife when I hike.

Do A Thru-Hike, Sans Pack

All it takes is $7,000 and a man named "Pittsburgh" to become a weightless thru-hiker.

Sea Kayaking: Putting Paddle To Water

Sea kayaking might not be difficult, but follow these tips to make the most of your ocean voyages.

Make Your Own Walking Stick

Ease the load on your knees and shoulders by making a hiking stick.

Homemade Tool Tube

A tool tube answers the age-old packing dilemma: Where do I put the long, skinny stuff?

Alternative To Bug Spray: Permethrin

Another bug-beating option.

Sew Like A Surgeon

Five stitches every backpacker should know.

Perfecting Your First Aid Kit

Whether it's old and dirty or fresh off the store shelf, your first-aid kit should be able to handle any emergency.

Gear Rx: Clothing

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

A Long Life For Your Boots

Insiders' tips to keep your hikers on the trail longer.

A Long Life For Your Trekking Poles

Keep your trekking poles clean and maintained with these tips.

Tools For Snowhounds

Use these tools if you're hankering to learn the secret of snow.

Homemade Stove Platforms

Or anything else, for that matter, once you use this easy-to-make stove platform.

How To: Boot Cleaning

Take care of your hiking boots and they'll take care of you.

Your Homemade Survival Kit

Make your own backcountry insurance policy.

Survival Kit

Make your own backcountry survival kit.

For Broken Gear, Don't Despair...Repair

What you can and can't fix: How to breathe new life into tired old faithfuls.

Fixing Tents: Don't Despair...Repair

What can and can't be fixed on your tent.

Water Filter First-Aid

Make sure your water purifier doesn't leave you high and dry.

Build A Winter Wagon

Why shoulder a heavy load when you can easily slide it along behind you?

Understanding Sunscreen Labels

Here's how to make sense of your sunscreen.

Modern Man Vs. Mad Dog

A techno-packer and a yard-sale minimalist go stride for stride to find out what kind of equipment is best for a good time. Or more importantly, does it really matter?

Getting Your Gear Fixed

It's hard to give up your tried and true gear after so many miles together. So don't! These repair shops can keep your favorites in tip-top shape.

Rainy-Day Camping Games

Beat the rainy-day blues by playing sleeping-pad chess or checkers.

Sizing A Sleeping Pad

Thickness, length, width, and weight options make choosing the right pad more involved than you might think.

Water Filter Maintenance

Tips to keep water filters filtering.

Fixing An Inflatable Sleeping Pad

A few simple precautions will prevent punctures and preserve the foam in your self-inflating pad.

Choose The Right Bivy

Finding a bivy that's just your size makes all the difference on colder nights.

Ultralight: The Ray Jardine Way

He rocked the world of climbing, challenged the accepted wisdom in sea kayaking, and now Ray Jardine turned his renegade way of thinking to backpacking.

Layering For Winter

How to dress smart and stay warm when Old Man Winter blows in.

'Seams' Dry: Weatherproof Your Tent

Learn how to weatherproof your tent -- before it rains.

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