We tested a slew of load monsters to find the best in comfort, support, and organization.
3 great ways to store accessories, water, and food.
Find the best pack for your needs with these four field-tested models.
Hike hard in hot weather with this well-ventilated pack from Mountain Hardwear.
Enjoy big pack performance with this light-weight bargain pack from Osprey.
This adjustable pack from The North Face provides all-day comfort, even with a heavy load.
Extend the life of your pack, sleeping bag, and tent with these tips.
From a bomber ultralight tent to the best GPS watch we've seen, here are the 15 products that passed the ultimate field test.
Treat your back to the perfect load-hauler.
Check out these additional tester picks.
For big, big loads (think parents or mountaineering) this pack is ideal.
The more you pack, the better it will carry.
Clever features, plentiful pockets, and easy-access side zips have earned this pack "best organization."
Best all-around: this pack will melt into your body and accomodate any quick-access needs as it supports over 50 pounds.
Mountainsmith Lariat 65 is a big-load bargain pack that'll last.
Light weight and load-bearing: Try this clean-design, ultralight pack.
Cure for back sweat takes the form of pack with the Kelty Fleet 55.
This pack's balance and close-fit is made complete with it's most exhaustive compression system.
This pack will fine-tune fit, carry 50-pound loads, and ease the burden with its ultralight weight.
With incredible load distribution, this pack's easy on the shoulders.
This "best travel pack" can check as luggage, keep your electronics dry, and accomodate your travel needs.
Don't judge a pack by its price: this pack's a loaded bargain.
Tough fabric, compact, and room to spare. What more could you want?
Anywhere, any activity, this pack will carry your goods from bushwacking in Arizona to climbing Mt. Sneffels with an ice axe.
In constant downpour, the impermeable thermoplastic, PU-coated nylon material of this pack kept our tester's gear bone-dry.
Best-in-class air circulation keeps sweat off your back while maintaining stability, ideal for intense dayhikes.
This Mammut pack hugs your back for balance while maintaining freedom for movement, creating the ideal alpine pack.
Stability for heavy loads from a stiff nylon framesheet allow for minimal rubbing and improved balance with this "carry-anything workhorse" 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."
412 trail-tested products
Hundreds of pieces of outdoor gear from all the major outdoor retailers - now in an easy-to-print digital format.
A 20-liter pack that offers all-day comfort.
A pack made for multi-day ski touring.
A load hauler for every winter activity for ski touring to expeditions.
For sidecountry hikes and day tours from huts, the Gambler offers the next best thing to no pack at all.
A climbing-oriented ski pack that combines high performance and low weight
A fully-featured, 105-liter pack made for the long haul.
A ski daypack that's extremely stable
Made for mountaineers who need overnight capacity or who carry huge day loads
A pack that holds your gear and could save your life thanks to BD's AvaLung breathing device.
The ultimate snow sports daypack
A dayhike/bike/travel/commute pack
A backpack made for ultralighters who travel in wet climates
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
Don't go shopping until you've read these comprehensive guides to buying and fitting the right pack, boots, bag, and tent.
Finding a great fitting backpack is the key to happy backpacking. Plus, learn how to keep your pack looking and feeling like new.
Stay comfortable in summer and beyond with these lightweight, high-performance pieces.
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.
The lightest ultralight pack we tested.
A roomy and comfortable ultralight bag.
An "ultralight" pack that can handle up to 40 pounds.
A top performing pack that's only $160.
From a smart-and-light pack to a groundbreaking backcountry communicator, here are the 12 products that passed the ultimate gear challenge.
Find the perfect load hauler for any type of trip.
Get everything you need and nothing you don't in one of these ultralight, ultracomfortable packs.
All the best gear our reader reporter team saw at the 2012 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.
These multiday packs provide excellent load support with comfortable designs that will help you move easily with any kind of terrain.
These daypacks offer plenty of comfort, easy to access pockets and the kind of durability you need for any climbing adventure.
An extraordinary toughness-to-weight ratio makes this pack both durable and supportive.
With effective compression and great load stability, this lightweight pack offers great balance and comfort.
Great for family camping trips, this pack has plenty of useful features that everyone in the family can enjoy.
An innovative cinching hipbelt and customizable torso helps create a support system tough enough to handle your heaviest loads.
This pack is equipped with a suspension system that helps increase mobility and overall stability.
This pack handles heavy loads without compromising your ability to move efficiently, offering improved suspension and great versatility.
This best all-around pack offers plenty of easy to access pockets and compartments, making organization a cinch.
Take this pack on any trip as its design is made to handle big days, weekend trips and even ultralight expeditions.
Carry this pack sweat-free with its improved suspension that allows for dynamic movement wherever you take it.
Take on wet conditions with this waterproof pack that offers welded seams and waterproof closures.
Ultralight and climber-friendly, this pack can carry large amounts of gear while remaining light and stable.
This pack offers easily accessible zippers and great suspension for carrying heavy loads comfortably.
A great fit and excellent load transfer is what you'll get with this multiday pack.
This anatomically friendly pack is great for women, offering suspension and comfort when carrying heavy loads.
This ultralight daypack is perfect for spring skiing and offers a U-shapped zipper that's great for quick packing.
Keep air circulating with this highly ventilated daypack.
Easily accessible and plenty durable, this daypack offers plenty of organizers from your GPS to your headlamp.
This daypack easily handles heavy loads and transfers weight well, making warm weather hikes a breeze.
All the great gear specs you're used to seeing in the Gear Guide - now in an easy-to-print digital format.
BRR Nick, who is also a physical therapist, found lots of back- and budget-friendly gear on Day 3.
On Day 2 this reporter had one focus: backpacks.
The editors of Backpacker and Climbing weigh in on their favorite pieces of gear and gadgets.
BACKPACKER's Editor-in-Chief weighs in on his favorite products of 2011.
Use this advice to hone your backcountry layers for any trip length or conditions.
Eight packs that haul cameras, ski gear, and everything else you'll need for a cold-weather outing.
A super comfortable pack that makes 40 pounds feel nonexistent.
The best organized big-day backcountry ski pack
A lightweight ski pack that is super stable.
This pack is like a personal valet for your ice tools
Get the features you need for grab-and-go shooting without extra wonk and weight.
A light-and-large pack perfect for bulky winter loads.
This compact, 11-liter pack comes equipped with an avalanche shovel and probe.
The Patrol does it all—skiing, climbing, and hiking.
A backpack for organized backpackers.
Load and go: Our test crew logged 1,689 miles to find the perfect short-haul pack for every type of hiker.
Check out the Venturi 45 for its significant space and plentiful pockets.
If you're going light, choose the Osprey Hornet 46, which is durable despite its minimal weight.
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.
Beefy and adaptable, the Deuter ACT Zero shrinks sizes from week-long adventurer to afternoon excursioner without compromising comfort.
The dynamic suspension system of the Black Diamond Epic makes carrying loads up to 45 pounds a walk in the park.
A perfect weekend pack for mountaineer and ice climbers.
For big hauls these packs deliver.
Its design is a mash-up of features we like in luggage and a trail-ready backpack.
The Molimo fit everyone from beanpoles to fireplugs.
Rain, mud, rocks, snow, crampons. Some packs need to be coddled when faced with the wet, rough, and sharp. Not the Zealot.
This load monster's suspension is so dialed, it can induce a pleasant form of trail amnesia.
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.
An ideal weekend pack for women
Perfectly sized and organized for done-in-a-day outings
An everyday diaper pack that goes from trail to train with ease
This kit makes zipper repair a DIY project.
These Cuben Fiber stuffsacks are light and tough.
From a bargain ultralight tent to perfect-fit boots, here are 14 products that passed the ultimate field test.
These packs will comfortably hold all your Friday-Sunday needs.
This pack is thousand-foot glissades and crampon/ice axe friendly.
A weekend pack that can handle overtime.
If you travel light and fast, this is your weekend pack.
An updated version of a previous Editors' Choice Awards winner.
Just $149 can buy you a great pack.
If you're an organizer, this is the pack for you.
A kid-size mileage logging pack.
For a day outside, grab one of these trail-tested packs.
The fit and comfort of this pack scored high with all our female testers.
A 15 liter daypack that's small, light, and tough.
A tough pack made for climbing rock.
If you only want one daypack, ever, this is your pack.
A 100-ounce reservoir makes this hydration pack the best of the bunch.
A light and streamlined chest camera pack.
5 near-perfect pieces of gear in our 2011 Editors' Choice testing
Want a lightweight pack with the guts for big-load trips? This best-in-class suspension delivers.
Five of our favorite solar items to make your next trip brighter, safer, and less stinky
Your boots will last longer, fit better, and hike farther if you give them a little TLC.
Keep your favorite shelter in tip-top shape with this advice.
Your sleeping bag is critical to backcountry enjoyment - keep it happy.
Proper fit and care will keep your backpack comfortable and functioning.
Read all the full-text reviews of the gear we didn't have room to dish about in the 2011 Gear Guide charts.
We liked this pack so much, we upgraded it to an Editors' Choice award winner.
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.
In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you exactly how to fit a pack for optimum comfort and stability on the trail.
A 60-liter ultralight frameless rucksack perfect for long weekends
Stays comfortable and stable with loads up to 70 pounds
A 100-liter pack that provides excellent load transfer and customlike comfort
Great suspension and easily accommodates a 50-pound load
Perfect dayhike hauler that can handle gear-heavy multi-day trips
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.
Over the years we've tested a lot of gear, and learned a lot of lessons.
You can't be a backpacker...without a 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.
Want to find the ideal gift for every hiker on your list? No matter what your budget, we've got you covered.
A pack built for climbers.
A pack that holds monster loads but weighs just over five pounds.
If you only buy one multiday pack, this is it.
A trim pack built for backcountry ski days.
A 40-liter pack that comfortably carries up to 50 pounds.
A pack built to haul snowshoes.
A backpack with built in Avalung technology for use in avalanche-prone areas.
An ultralight pack that's under $100...and comfortable.
A hard-core pack built for craggers, climbers, and punishing hikers.
255 gear reviews and cold-weather tips!
A convertible travel pack that can carry big loads.
A 34-liter rucksack made of waterproof 70-denier nylon fabric with a roll top closure and welded seams.
Whether you're going overnight or tackling a weeklong adventure, these versatile load haulers are high on comfort and convenience.
This stable pack has tons of padding and support.
A single compartment backpack that hauls big loads.
This pack moves with you.
Light, comfortable, and endlessly packable–this pack really does it all.
A "green" daypack that fits your daily life.
Need a well-designed daypack that doubles as a hydration pack? This Osprey fits the bill.
The Alpamayo 55 is a solid year-round performer at a competitive price.
These load-haulers have all the space you need for an epic week-long trip.
Pack everything you need for the perfect weekend trip with these backpacks.
Heading out for a solid dayhike? These packs have you covered.
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.
These packs allow hikers to travel fast and comfortably thanks to dynamic suspensions and weight-saving materials.
Carry the biggest loads with shocking comfort.
Thirty indestructible gear picks from two decades of hardcore field-testing.
A great backcountry chest pack for anglers
A deluxe pack for your dog
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.
Don't worry, the updates to these tried-and-true packs are worthy.
These packs have everything but added weight.
This pack is always comfortable regardless of weight.
This pared-down pack hauls big loads.
A dynamic suspension gives this pack all-day comfort.
Soft shoulder blade and lumbar pads ensure comfort no matter the payload.
These Transformers-worthy packs sport convertible fanny packs and summit packs.
This stable pack is made for rough terrain.
A great choice for mileage-oriented trekkers who want an ultralight pack that can handle any load.
This pack has total load transfer, comfort, and a conveniently laid-out packbag.
This daypack wears skis and ice axes as accessories.
Carry up to 100 ounces of hydration power with this comfortable daypack.
This pack hits a sweet spot for affordability and performance.
This is a true hiker's camera pack.
This workhorse pack has been redesigned with an easy-access opening.
This daypack is made for scrambling and holds up to 25 pounds.
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.
With a snug fit and excellent compression system, this daypack handles up to 20 pounds and stuck like glue canyoning in southern Utah.
Every week we go into our gear closet and pull out a sweet prize.
Got a big load to carry? Put it in this ultra-comfortable pack and forget about it.
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.
Hate hoses? This bottle/filter combo is perfect for ultralighters in wet places
If a backpack can survive road rash at 60 miles per hour, it can handle any backcountry abuse.
We took durability testing to the extremes, so you would know which gear lasts–and why.
These versatile backpacks will keep you outdoors all year long.
The Tahoma wins out as a high country favorite.
Check out the perfect pack for backcountry winter day trips
This versatile Lowe Alpine pack handles it all.
Best pack for large winter loads and family trips.
This ultra-comfortable pack tests best with diehard snowshoers.
Cold Cold World offers custom packs sewn in New Hampshire.
A potentially lifesaving pack for the backcountry skier.
Your complete guide to choosing, fitting, and using essential winter gear.
Trek for many days and miles with this lightweight, supportive, durable and highly waterproof pack.
This big-load pack carries heavy weight with ease.
87 tips for making your next family trip easy, fun, and comfortable
A realistic, hassle-free handbook for taking kids outdoors
For all-day epics, fast-and-light summit bids, and even minimalist overnights, reach for one of these versatile load haulers.
Shop smarter, hike farther with this guide to the guts of today's lightest load haulers.
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.
Heading out for a long haul? With these backpacks, you'll have the room you need for long trail comfort.
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.
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.
This all-purpose weekend pack is comfortable and light.
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.
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.
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.
Conquer all the fourteeners and beyond with this stable and well-ventilated pack.
Climb, scramble, and mountaineer with the stable Variant pack.
No rips, tears, or fraying here: The Peuterey is one rugged pack.
Make the Eclipse your go-to pack for long treks and backcountry bushwhacks.
Learn how to fix snagging zippers, re-waterproof material, deal with frayed fabric, and more.
Vaude created a simple, no-frills pack high on stability with the Versametric Ultralight 60+10.
If you want ultralight, look no further than Deuter's tough and roomy ACT Zero 60+10 pack.
The comfortable Arc'teryx Arrakis 65 is the perfect waterproof pack for heavier loads.
You won't find a better pack at a cheaper price than Vaude's Astra 55+10.
The ultralight Osprey Exos 58 backpack is high in stability and smart features.
Reach for snacks and extra layers with ease while wearing Mountain Hardware's Koa 55 backpack.
The durable Lowe Alpine Airzone Centro 45+10 backpack is full of handy pockets and bungees for the organized trekker.
Bring along your winter toys— L.L. Bean's Mountain Guide pack can carry anything from ice climbing gear to skis.
Kelty's practical Pawnee backpack offers heavy load comfort for a good price.
Scramble around the trail with Granite Gear's ultralight and stable Vapor Flash backpack.
Take Black Diamond's practical Predator 50 with you on any trail, anytime.
With removable support, the Arc'teryx Khazri 55 backpack lets you choose between stability or a lighter load.
The Vaude Cross Ultralight Comfort 35 is the ideal lightweight bargain pack for dayhikes or weeklong treks.
Scramble up anything with the North Face's climber-oriented Spire 40 backpack.
The Millet Elevation 30 has everything you want in a pack—stabilty, support, and even wrist loops.
Pack up the weekend toys for your outdoor activity of choice in Marmot's ultralight–and ultra cheap–Alpha 25 backpack.
For dayhikes and light overnights, strap on the simple and smartly configured Deuter Speed Lite 30 pack.
Want rugged? Go for the Crumpler Bumper Issue, a rough and tough pack that takes on narrow slot canyons and unforgiving brush fields.
Run, climb or ski with the low profile Black Diamond RPM pack.
Tell the kids–finally, real packs for them, too
Ski mountaineers will love both climbing and cruising in this pack from our 2009 Gear Guide
This pack from our 2009 Gear Guide
won't buckle under even the heaviest loads.
This top ultralight from our 2009 Gear Guide
is perfect for hikers who need to travel light, fast, and far.
Find out why this "near-perfect" daypack won Best All Around in our 2009 Gear Guide
We tested more than 500 products–stoves, clothes, cameras, filters, tech tools, knives, and meals–to find these proven performers.
This climbing-oriented bag has a huge capacity with few add-ons.
Traveling heavy? Transport–and protect–your cargo in these globe-tested bags.
The North Face Base Camp Series duffel is reliable through the worst dragging, zipper-yanking and rain.
Durable and lightweight, the Granite Gear Ultraflight 115 will keep you rolling.
Use and abuse the tough Mountain Hardware Juggernaut Series luggage.
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.
Our female testers pick their favorite gear for fall hikes.
I'm organizing my first group trip. Can I rent gear for newbies who may not be ready to buy?
Want to make it out alive? Consider packing these 17 items carried by a veteran Yosemite search-and-rescue ranger.
A sudden swim in a glacier-fed river nearly finishes a ranger.
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.
Our reviewer found the Leki Carbonlite poles "tough, compact, and eerily light...."
This hearty camera bag has plenty of room, and padding, to haul picture-taking paraphernalia plus hiking gear.
Save weight, your feet, and money with these three pieces of ultralight gear
Does your pack smell like last summer's cheddar? Here's how to clean up.
High performance and low cost? These 6 weekend packs deliver.
True-blue reviews on the latest items we've taken out on trail.
The green truth behind bamboo, a hyper-efficient cookpot, and a bargain three-person tent.
Shed useless pack weight, not luxuries
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.
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.
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.)
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack. The Solution: One of these 30 field-tested vanishing acts.
By loading your backpack properly you protect your gear and prevent back issues--plus it's easy to find the gear you need.
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.
Before shopping for gear it's important to plan a budget, do your research, and prioritize.
Clothing is gear that's just as important as a tent or sleeping bag. We'll help you choose wisely.
It's important to consider loading, capacity, and pockets when choosing which pack to buy.
Pick the boot that's right for you with this guide.
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.
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.
Backpacker's Ultimate Fix-It Guide
Don't overload your pack. Learn how to leave the non-essentials behind and still stay warm.
By keeping your gear (relatively) free of dirt and grime and storing it properly you can make your gear last forever.
Join Gregory Mountain Products master pack designer for a day in Joshua Tree National Park
Organization and preparation will make your next overnight or day-hike packing session easy. Below, the Backpacker editors showcase their mistakes for your benefit.
Load haulers for light and fast adventures
If the February '08 Backpacker article "Magnifique" inspired you to take a hut trip to France's Maritime Alps, here are ten lodging options.
Midsize internal-frame backpacks that do everything--and do it well
A pack that's comfortably and curiously strong.
An ultralight pack that can hold a sizable load.
A pack that cuts the weight without sacrificing the comfort.
A pack with everything you need.
A pack that's light, affordable, and durable.
5 ways to get rid of unneeded pounds without buying a new pack
Our tester praises the 'rip-proof, poke-proof, and amazingly waterproof' fabric of the Traverse
Holds a week's worth of three-season supplies--or just enough for a light summit day
How to make your cold months warmer: boots, bags, jackets, backpacks, and booties for frosty weather
A light pack cover that kept contents dry in rain from New Zealand to the Pacific Northwest
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
A daypack and waterproof stuff sack in one
An ultralight backpack that does it all
A special pocket makes hydration easier for backpackers carrying this midsize.
Repair a busted backpack with this simple sewing technique
Prevent embarassing, water-wasting splashes by replacing your water bottle's lid with the Gription.
Stop dreaming, start planning with our top tips and picks for boots and gaiters
Cram all of your stuff and your hiking partner's five extra bags of gorp into this light daypack.
This versatile midsize pack is the sweetest deal of the year
Not going light? Experience a revolution in big-load backpack comfort
This ultralight weekender stabilizes any load
New Zealand is pretty to look at, but harsh on gear--making it just what we needed for our Kiwi challenge.
Stop lugging extra water weight. This pack comes with downspouts.
No frame, no pain--if you try these simple backpack solutions.
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.
10 surprising uses for your water bottle.
Keep your flashlights and headlamps alive longer with these trail tips.
10 essentials for long day adventures
Buying a European backpack? Use our conversion chart before you buy.
Pick your backpack before your hike with our sizing guide.
There's no single piece of equipment more crucial to your backwoods enjoyment. Here's how to make the right choice.
17 tips for better compression
Sewing a key pouch inside your pack is the best guarantee of a quick ride home.
Two ways to keep your external frame on your pack in tip-top shape.
All it takes is $7,000 and a man named "Pittsburgh" to become a weightless thru-hiker.
Can you revive a sputtering pack? With this diagnostic checklist, you may be able to breathe new life into a tired old backpack.