4.5+ million words and 2,500+ articles about backpacking gear, hiking and camping skills, gear testing, outdoor technology research, backpacking routes and trips, people, philosophy and ideas, outdoor news and commentary, and more. Premium and Unlimited Members get full access to the entire library.
After the year of darkness that was 2020, I needed to walk in the light of the Mojave desert.
We throw some quantitative testing at an oft-repeated synthetic insulation claim to measure the thermal performance of wet insulation.
Rex Sanders examines the arcs and stages that backpackers take as years and mileage start to add up.
The Enlightened Equipment Uprising Underquilt is a tapered, somewhat customizable underquilt aimed at experienced hammock users. It incorporates a number of performance features differentiating itself from the majority of available offerings, such as strategically placed insulation and a unique suspension system.
The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Nano Travel Day Pack (MSRP: $29.95, 1 oz / 30g) is an 18 L summiting daypack that can be compressed to the size of an egg and tucked into a multiday pack for peak-bagging on longer trips.
The Red Paw Packs Flatiron Pack 28 L (13 to 19 oz / 368 g to 538 g, MSRP from $220) is a customizable low-volume overnight / daypack with a unique zippered main compartment.
The Black Diamond Blitz Traction Spikes (MSRP $39.95, 1.5 to 1.8 oz / 42 to 50 g) are ultralight, stainless-steel, forefoot-only traction devices for shoes and boots intended for incidental use on hard-packed snow terrain.
The Gryphon Gear Aries 20 Quilt (25.7 oz / 729 g, MSRP from $327) is a three-season quilt with a differential cut, draft collar, an edge tensioning system, and 17.5 oz (496 g) of down fill.
My shelter, sleep, clothing, water, and cook system for when temps drop but full-on winter snow and wind hasn't yet arrived.
Here are some of our favorite trip planning resources. These are curated by our staff and include products we've personally used and recommend.
Gear Testing & Research
Stephen Seeber subjects ten fleece samples to rigorous thermal testing.
Stephen Seeber presents measurements of several market-leading insulations along with four performance metrics to help judge their performance.
Backpacking Light publisher Ryan Jordan subjects the Jetboil Stash to the StoveBench testing protocol to answer the pressing question: is this innovation, or lipstick on a pig?
It takes a close call for Maggie Slepian to dial in her risk assessment skills.
Dan Durston is a gear designer, wilderness guide, and biologist. In this interview with Rex Sanders, he talks about the process and philosophy of shelter design.
Greek philosophy says you can't step in the same river twice, but what about backpacking the same trail?