Gear Reviews

My Big Three: Morgan Sjogren, Guidebook Author

The gear a hiking lifer can't leave home without.

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We editors at BACKPACKER all have strong opinions on gear, sometimes bordering on the fanatic. (Give me a reservoir and a hose to drink from, or give me death.) But you know whose obsessiveness often surpasses our own? The pros. Here’s what Morgan Sjogren, the author of two guidebooks on Utah’s Canyon Country, includes in her kit every time she heads into the desert.

Morgan Sjogren
Morgan Sjogren

Hyperlite 3400 Northrim: “After almost 3 years of aggressive use, my Hyperlight pack is still the only one I use on backpacking trips. Its simplicity doesn’t overshadow its versatility—this pack has worked equally well on glacial volcanoes, deep in desert canyons, and even for adventure travel. The huge back pocket on the Northrim is perfect for stashing snacks and a light jacket for quick access.” $410; Buy the Hyperlite 3400 Northrim now

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad: “This sleeping pad is superlight and takes up hardly any space in my pack, yet provides plenty of comfort and insulation. I could use it to my advantage and backpack with an ultralight kit, but usually this just means I have more space to carry extra fun snacks and a beer (or two).” $185; Buy the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad now

Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter: “Staying hydrated in the desert is important, so having a filter that works every time is a necessity. This one is superlight and doesn’t get wrecked by all the mud—yes, actual mud—I tend to drink in the desert.” $90; Buy the Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter now