The BACKPACKER Gear Hall of Fame
There's a reason we keep coming back to these 20 products season after season.
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Mountain Hardwear Trango 3
Buy Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 Now
There’s tons of storage space in this Mountain Hardwear beefed-up four-season shelter, plus two large doors and vestibules that make it easy to shuffle gear and people in and out. A window brightens stormy days and lets you check weather conditions while above-average ventilation for a winter tent minimizes condensation. Read the full review.
This lightweight, simple, affordable Petzl headlamp is built like a truck and conserves energy like a Prius (up to 80 hours on three AAAs or the new rechargeable CORE battery). A glow-in-the-dark phosphorescent reflector makes the Tikka easy to find in your tent or pack. Read the full review.
The North Face Cat’s Meow
Buy The North Face Cat’s Meow Now
This compressible, synthetic bag from The North Face has a trim fit and a ripstop nylon shell that will prove durable for years to come. Read the full review.
Patagonia R1 Hoody
This slightly stretchy Patagonia midlayer has the best warmth-to-wicking ratio of anything in its class. The gridded fabric compresses to the size of a grapefruit and go-to features like a low-profile hood that fits underneath a helmet and thumb loops seal the deal. Read the full review.
Gregory Baltoro 65/Deva 60
Buy Gregory Baltoro 65L Backpack Now
This big-trip Gregory pack sports big-league comfort with a dynamic, swiveling suspension (fits women’s hips especially well). The precurved shoulder straps and well-padded hipbelt easily subdue 50-pound loads. It may not be for ounce-counters, but you get smart extras like a waterproof hipbelt pocket and removable daypack, and tough-as-nails construction. Read the full review.
Garcia Backpackers’ Cache
Buy Garcia Backpackers’ Cache Now
This everything-proof bear canister withstands hungry grizzlies and years of abuse. The plastic is bomber, and the lid’s locking mechanism (requires a coin or car key) is easy to open and close. There are lighter options, but the integrated lid on this one allows smooth sliding in and out of your pack. The price and durability make it a smart pick for hikers who need a canister for occasional trips—for life. Read the full review now.
Sawyer MINI Water Filtration System
Buy Sawyer MINI Water Filtration System Now
This palm-size Sawyer filter cranks through up to 100,000 gallons of water, weighs 2 ounces, and costs a fraction of what other filters do. It even screws onto soda bottle lids. Read the full review.
Asolo Drifter GV Boot
Imagine the waterproofing and protection of a full-leather boot with the weight and comfort of a light hiker. Despite the weight-saving construction, this fabric and leather combo by Asolo is incredibly durable. Even after years of abuse, the extended rubber toecap hasn’t separated from the leather on our tester’s boots. Read the full review.
Western Mountaineering Lynx GWS
Buy Western Mountaineering Lynx GWS Now
Uncommonly warm, light, and weather-resistant, this Western Mountaineering winter bag has premium 850-plus-fill down that provides 8.5 inches of loft. A Gore Windstopper shell shields tentless campers from the elements, thwarting rain and snow but still letting vapor escape. Read the full review.
GSI Outdoors Titanium Kung Foon
Buy GSI Outdoors Titanium Kung Foon Now
An ultralight titanium GSI Outdoors camp spork that pairs with included wooden chopsticks lets you reach deep into corners of meal pouches. Together, the spork and sticks are 11 inches long. Read the full review.
Crocs Classic Clog
As your lightest and comfiest camp shoe option, the Crocs Clogs have a ventilated closed toe that prevents you from busting your feet on rocks. Paired with wool socks, they’re just as clutch on a winter hut trip as they are in summer. Read the full review
Kinco 1927KW Lined Pigskin
Buy Kinco 1927KW Lined Pigskin Gloves Now
You can find these cheap, warm, burly Kinco gloves in just about any mountain town gas station. Countless skiers have forgotten their gloves, bought a pair of these pigskins in a pinch, and never switched back. Ding: The bulky fingers lack dexterity. Read the full review.
Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack
Buy Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack Now
This waterproof/breathable Sea to Summit compression sack lets air out without letting water in. We use it to keep down bags and clothes dry and to shrink bulky items. It’s reliable, too, with no valves to fail or leak. Read the full review.
Kelty Gunnison 2.3
Buy Kelty Gunnison 2.3 Tent Now
This simple, spacious Kelty tent with two large doors and double vestibules is great for tall folks who struggle to fit a lot of gear inside with them. The price can’t be beat for this much real estate, and it’s durable: The walls and fly are made of the same sturdy, 68-denier fabric as the floor, which stands up to abuse much better than lighter options. Read the full review.
Ultraviolet light neutralizes waterborne germs with this SteriPENhighlighter-size stick. It’s USB-rechargeable and one charge will treat about 50 liters at 90 seconds per liter. Read the full review.
A dozen ¾-inch-long stainless steel teeth give you serious ice traction without the weight of crampons. A durable elastomer band stretches over any type of shoe without snapping in cold weather, and the welded chains underfoot won’t break, even when smashed against rocks. Read the full review.
Mammut Trion Light 38+
Buy Mammut Trion Light 38+ Now
This light and simple Mammut pack is cavernous for its weight thanks to an expandable roll-top closure. Load it to the gills with a rope and gear for alpine missions, then strip it down for summit attempts without having the pack get floppy (the hipbelt padding, metal frame strut, and toplid are removable). Read the full review.
Outdoor Research Crocodiles
Buy Outdoor Research Crocodiles Now
If only all gaiters were armored with no-nonsense Gore-Tex and tough, 1,000-denier Cordura. The Crocodiles triangulate perfectly between durability, weight, and breathability, while the lower sections deflect all but direct hits with sharp front points. The hook-and-loop closure is easier than zippers, and a nylon flap keeps snow and slush out. Read the full review.
Want a compact stove system with an enclosed burner that boils water fast? The Reactor thwarts wind gusts for best-in-class fuel efficiency. It heats fast, though it truly has two speeds—“off” and “burn”—making it better for just-add-water meals than actual cooking. Read the full review.
prAna Halle Pants (m’s Stretch Zion)
This durable, water-resistant, three-season prAna hiking pant has a tailored fit and comes in three lengths: short, regular, and tall. Stretchy nylon and articulated knees give testers full confidence when high-stepping boulder fields. Read the full review.
New is nice, but proven is better. It takes many miles and hard use to find gear that lasts forever and still outperforms the competition. When our veteran testers continue to use a product year after year—despite having shinier stuff in the closet—we know we have a winner. Here, testers share their favorite packs, bags, tents, and more that have earned a new title: timeless.