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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.

Gregory Z65

Last year, Gregory launched the Z55, which testers loved for its low weight and incredible comfort with a weekend load. This bigger version can handle trips up to a week long–and it still weighs less than four pounds. After several days of hiking in Idaho’s high desert, our tester judged the pack luxurious even when he carried 40-plus pounds, thanks to a well-padded and stable harness, a rigid hipbelt, and good airflow across the back. “It never shifted even when I scrambled off-trail in very steep, rocky terrain,” he said. Features include top- and front-zipper access, a floating lid, and exterior and hipbelt pockets. But some hikers may not like how the curved backpanel (which allows the cooling ventilation) cuts into pack bag capacity. The design also puts the load’s center of gravity a bit farther from your core than a traditional pack. The women’s model is the Jade 60. $229; 3,966 cu. in.; 3 lbs. 13 oz. (men’s M); men’s S-L, women’s XS-M; Reader Service #114

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