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Packs



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: Backpacks

Make easier miles in these tester favorites.

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: Mountain Hardwear ThruWay 50 Backpack

A light 50-liter pack with minimalist suspension.

Field Test: Big-trip Packs

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

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.

Backpacking Gear Maintenance Tips

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

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 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

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 Review: Black Diamond EXL Backpack

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

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

A pack made for multi-day ski touring.

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: 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

Gear Review: Boreas Lagunitas

A dayhike/bike/travel/commute pack

Gear Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter Pack

A backpack made for ultralighters who travel in wet climates

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 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.

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: 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.

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: Backpacks

Find the perfect load hauler for any type of trip.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Prep Your Gear: Pack to Backcountry Ski

Use this advice to hone your backcountry layers for any trip length or conditions.

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: Sierra Designs Sorcery 55 Backpack

A super comfortable pack that makes 40 pounds feel nonexistent.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Pieps Plecotus Backpack

The best organized big-day backcountry ski pack

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Black Diamond Agent Backpack

A lightweight ski pack that is super stable.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Osprey Mutant 38 Backpack

This pack is like a personal valet for your ice tools

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Clik Elite Obscura Camera Pack

Get the features you need for grab-and-go shooting without extra wonk and weight.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Golite Terrono 90 Backpack

A light-and-large pack perfect for bulky winter loads.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: K2 Pilchuck Kit Backpack

This compact, 11-liter pack comes equipped with an avalanche shovel and probe.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: The North Face Patrol 34 Backpack

The Patrol does it all—skiing, climbing, and hiking.

Gear Review: JanSport Forsyth 50 Pack

A backpack for organized backpackers.

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 Review: REI Venturi 45 Backpack

Check out the Venturi 45 for its significant space and plentiful pockets.

Gear Review: Osprey Hornet 46 Backpack

If you're going light, choose the Osprey Hornet 46, which is durable despite its minimal weight.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Kanza 55/Tadita 50 Backpack

Stability is good in relationships and backpacks. It's guaranteed in the Mountain Hardwear's Kanza 55/Tadita 50 with its ability to flex to fit any spine position.

Gear Review: Deuter ACT Zero 50+15/45+15 Backpack

Beefy and adaptable, the Deuter ACT Zero shrinks sizes from week-long adventurer to afternoon excursioner without compromising comfort.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Epic 45 Backpack

The dynamic suspension system of the Black Diamond Epic makes carrying loads up to 45 pounds a walk in the park.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Epic 45 Backpack

A perfect weekend pack for mountaineer and ice climbers.

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: GoLite Terrono 70

This load monster's suspension is so dialed, it can induce a pleasant form of trail amnesia.

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.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Ki

An ideal weekend pack for women

Mother's Day Gift Guide: REI Traverse 30 Daypack

Perfectly sized and organized for done-in-a-day outings

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Kelty Diaper Daypack

An everyday diaper pack that goes from trail to train with ease

Gear Review: Flip An Zip Zipper Repair Kit

This kit makes zipper repair a DIY project.

Gear Review: Granite Gear Uberlight eVent Stuffsack

These Cuben Fiber stuffsacks are light and tough.

Editors' Choice 2011

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

Gear Guide 2011: Weekend Packs

These packs will comfortably hold all your Friday-Sunday needs.

Gear Guide: Lowe Alpine Alpine Attack 45 Weekend Pack

This pack is thousand-foot glissades and crampon/ice axe friendly.

Gear Review: Granite Gear Nimbus Trace 62 Weekend Pack

A weekend pack that can handle overtime.

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: REI Passage 65 Weekend Pack

Just $149 can buy you a great pack.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Revival 65/Jubilee 65 Weekend Pack

If you're an organizer, this is the pack for you.

Gear Review: REI's Tarn 18 Pack

A kid-size mileage logging pack.

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: CamelBak Highwire 25 Daypack

A 100-ounce reservoir makes this hydration pack the best of the bunch.

Gear Review: Clik Elite Access Pack

A light and streamlined chest camera pack.

Almost Editors' Choice

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

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.

Gear Review: Solar Powered Backpacking Gear

Five of our favorite solar items to make your next trip brighter, safer, and less stinky

Gear Guide 2011 Table of Contents



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 Review: Granite Gear Blaze AC 60 Pack

We liked this pack so much, we upgraded it to an Editors' Choice award winner.

Gear Guide 2011: Online Backpack Reviews



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.

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: 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: Mountain Hardwear BMG Backpack

A 100-liter pack that provides excellent load transfer and customlike comfort

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Falcon 55 Backpack

Great suspension and easily accommodates a 50-pound load

Gear Review: Gregory Serrac 45 Backpack

Perfect dayhike hauler that can handle gear-heavy multi-day trips

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.

Best of BACKPACKER: Time-Tested Gear

Over the years we've tested a lot of gear, and learned a lot of lessons.

Time-Tested Gear: Backpacks

You can't be a backpacker...without a backpack.

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

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

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: 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: Arc'teryx Miura 50 Backpack

A hard-core pack built for craggers, climbers, and punishing hikers.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010

255 gear reviews and cold-weather tips!

Gear Review: Lowe Alpine Travel Trekker Pro ND 60 Backpack

A convertible travel pack that can carry big loads.

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: Do-It-All Backpacks

Whether you're going overnight or tackling a weeklong adventure, these versatile load haulers are high on comfort and convenience.

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: GoLite Quest Backpack

Light, comfortable, and endlessly packable–this pack really does it all.

Gear Review: Chicobag DayPack15 rePETe

A "green" daypack that fits your daily life.

Gear Review: Osprey Manta 25 Daypack

Need a well-designed daypack that doubles as a hydration pack? This Osprey fits the bill.

Gear Review: High Peaks Alpamayo 55 Backpack

The Alpamayo 55 is a solid year-round performer at a competitive price.

Gear Guide 2010: Weeklong Backpacks

These load-haulers have all the space you need for an epic week-long trip.

Gear Guide 2010: Weekend Backpacks

Pack everything you need for the perfect weekend trip with these backpacks.

Gear Guide 2010: Daypacks

Heading out for a solid dayhike? These packs have you covered.

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: 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.

Toughest Gear: Arc'teryx Bora Backpack



BACKPACKER Editors' Toughest Gear

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

Gear Review: Fishpond San Juan Vertical Chest Pack

A great backcountry chest pack for anglers

Gear Review: Granite Gear Long Howl

A deluxe pack for your dog

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.

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: 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: 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 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: Gregory Baltoro 70 Backpack

Got a big load to carry? Put it in this ultra-comfortable pack and forget about it.

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.

Gear Review: Aquamira Water Bottle and Filter

Hate hoses? This bottle/filter combo is perfect for ultralighters in wet places

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: JanSport Tahoma Backpack

The Tahoma wins out as a high country favorite.

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.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Anarchist Avalung Backpack

A potentially lifesaving pack for the backcountry skier.

Winter Camping: Gear & Clothing

Your complete guide to choosing, fitting, and using essential winter gear.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2009 Table of Contents



Gear Review: First Ascent Big Tahoma Backpack

Trek for many days and miles with this lightweight, supportive, durable and highly waterproof pack.

Gear Review: Gregory Palisade 80 Pack

This big-load pack carries heavy weight with ease.

Family Camping: How to Pull it Off

87 tips for making your next family trip easy, fun, and comfortable

Backpacker's Guide to Family Camping

A realistic, hassle-free handbook for taking kids outdoors

Field Test: Daypacks

For all-day epics, fast-and-light summit bids, and even minimalist overnights, reach for one of these versatile load haulers.

Gear School: Ultralight Packs

Shop smarter, hike farther with this guide to the guts of today's lightest load haulers.

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.

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: GoLite Pursuit

This all-purpose weekend pack is comfortable and light.

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: 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.

Editors' Choice Awards 2009

The best new gear. That's what earns our seal of approval, and only after months of hardcore testing. This year, we subjected dozens of products to heinous trail conditions from Alaska to Wales. In the end, 18 survived to take our top honor.

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: Packs

Learn how to fix snagging zippers, re-waterproof material, deal with frayed fabric, and more.

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: 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: 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: 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: Osprey Sprint Series Backpacks

Tell the kids–finally, real packs for them, too

Gear Review: Mammut Lithium 32 Backpack

Ski mountaineers will love both climbing and cruising in this pack 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.

Review: Black Diamond Speed 40

This climbing-oriented bag has a huge capacity with few add-ons.

Load Lifters: Adventure-Worthy Luggage

Traveling heavy? Transport–and protect–your cargo in these globe-tested bags.

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.

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.

Women's Fall Gear 2008

Our female testers pick their favorite gear for fall hikes.

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?

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.

Headfirst Down the McKinley

A sudden swim in a glacier-fed river nearly finishes a ranger.

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.

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.

3 Ways To Save: Ultralight Dayhiking

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

The Fix: Deodorize Your Gear

Does your pack smell like last summer's cheddar? Here's how to clean up.

Bargain Load Haulers: Weekend Pack Review

High performance and low cost? These 6 weekend packs deliver.

Field Notes: The Latest Word from Our Testers

True-blue reviews on the latest items we've taken out on trail.

Field Notes: The Latest Word from Our Testers

The green truth behind bamboo, a hyper-efficient cookpot, and a bargain three-person tent.

The Specialist: Plan Away Pounds

Shed useless pack weight, not luxuries

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.

Weekend Packs: Other Top Packs



March 2008 Essentials Review: Hydration



Backpacker Skills Videos

Not quite sure how to fit a pack, measure your torso, calculate your V02 max, patch a sleeping pad, or clean a funkified hydration unit? Watch and learn.

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.)

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.

Backpack Shopping Guide



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.

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-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.

High Sierra Donates To Breast Cancer Research

High Sierra Sport Company Donates to A Silver Lining Foundation and Susan G. Komen For the Cure Chicagoland Affilitiate: The Company to Support The Third Annual "Dancing With Chicago Celebrities" Benefit.

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.

Make Your Gear Last Forever

Backpacker's Ultimate Fix-It Guide

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.

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

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.

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.

4 Top Daypacks

Load haulers for light and fast adventures

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.

Backpack Review: 4 Perfect Packs

Midsize internal-frame backpacks that do everything--and do it well

Backpack Review: The North Face Skareb 55

A pack that's comfortably and curiously strong.

Backpack Review: GoLite Perspective

An ultralight pack that can hold a sizable load.

Backpack Review: Granite Gear Vapor Trail/Vapor Ki

A pack with everything you need.

Backpack Review: Gregory G Pack

A pack that cuts the weight without sacrificing the comfort.

Backpack Review: Kelty Illusion 3500

A pack that's light, affordable, and durable.

Let's Strip: Lightening Your Backpack

5 ways to get rid of unneeded pounds without buying a new pack

Cold-Weather Gear Review: 5 Winter Fixes

How to make your cold months warmer: boots, bags, jackets, backpacks, and booties for frosty weather

Backpack Review: Macpac Traverse

Our tester praises the 'rip-proof, poke-proof, and amazingly waterproof' fabric of the Traverse

Backpack Review: Kelty Shadow 4500

Holds a week's worth of three-season supplies--or just enough for a light summit day

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

Backpack Review: GoLite Vision

An ultralight backpack that does it all

Accessory Review: Granite Gear Cloud Cover

A light pack cover that kept contents dry in rain from New Zealand to the Pacific Northwest

Backpack Review: Integral Designs Silcoat

A daypack and waterproof stuff sack in one

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

Water Bottle Review: Guyot Designs Gription

Prevent embarassing, water-wasting splashes by replacing your water bottle's lid with the Gription.

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

Backpack Review: The North Face Catalyst 60 & 75

Not going light? Experience a revolution in big-load backpack comfort

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.

Backpack Review: Gregory G Pack

This ultralight weekender stabilizes any load

Backpack Review: EMS Summit TL Rucksack

This versatile midsize pack is the sweetest deal of the year

Backpack Review: Exped Adventure Dry Pack

Stop lugging extra water weight. This pack comes with downspouts.

Get A Spine

No frame, no pain--if you try these simple backpack solutions.

Stone Cold Campers

They kill swiftly and silently. They flit like ghosts through enemy forests. And they will brew you a fine cup of cowboy coffee. Meet America's deadliest hikers as we hump ruck with the Special Forces.

Think Outside The Bottle

10 surprising uses for your water bottle.

Dead Flashlight Battery Blues

Keep your flashlights and headlamps alive longer with these trail tips.

Gear For A Dayhike

10 essentials for long day adventures

How Big Should My Pack Be?

Pick your backpack before your hike with our sizing guide.

European Pack Size Conversion

Buying a European backpack? Use our conversion chart before you buy.

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.

Compressing Your Pack: It's A Cinch

17 tips for better compression

Sew A Key Pouch In Your Pack

Sewing a key pouch inside your pack is the best guarantee of a quick ride home.

Frame Pack Tips

Two ways to keep your external frame on your pack in tip-top shape.

Do A Thru-Hike, Sans Pack

All it takes is $7,000 and a man named "Pittsburgh" to become a weightless thru-hiker.

Gear Rx: Packs

Can you revive a sputtering pack? With this diagnostic checklist, you may be able to breathe new life into a tired old backpack.

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