The Best Backpacking Electronics of 2021
This year's top gadgets are designed to keep you safe and comfortable on the trail while staying out of your way.
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The 7 is one of the most well-rounded smartwatches we’ve ever worn. Using GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou satellites (the latter a relatively new system still uncommon in the smartwatch world), it’s dialed in for heading to rough locales: “I used this watch on a snowy, wet overnight ski trip in Chugach State Park. Buy Now / Read the Full Review
Lest you become a cautionary tale on our Out Alive podcast, have a plan for emergencies in the backcountry. Carrying a satellite communicator is a start, and the Gen4 provides security at a fraction of the price of most competitors. Buy Now / Read the Full Review
Rechargeable devices (headlamps, PLBs, etc.) offer a greener alternative to traditional batteries, but long trips require an additional—and packable—source for topping up. The NB10000 fits the bill: When one ounce-counting tester’s headlamp turned on in his pack on a weekend trip to Badlands National Park, this compact battery saved him from 13 hours of darkness. Buy Now / Read the Full Review
Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar Panel
Need even more juice than a powerbank can provide? The Nomad 20 will charge your devices while standing up to whatever abuse the backcountry throws at it. “I brought this panel on a trip in Wyoming’s notoriously rocky Wind River Range for a five-day trip,” one tester says. “I left it outside the tent through single-digit temps and snow, and it kept on charging my powerbank through all of it.” Buy Now / Read the Full Review