Gear Guides

10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads of 2024

10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads

An insulating sleeping pad is a must-have for backpackers who sleep on the ground in tents and under tarp shelters to prevent body heat loss to the ground. The best backpacking sleeping pads are air mattresses or foam pads because they’re lightweight …

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10 Best Freestanding Backpacking Tents of 2024

10 Best Freestanding Backpacking Tents

Freestanding tents are the holy grail of backpacking tents because they can be set up quickly just about anywhere, on wooden tent platforms, rock, sand, snow, and even climber’s portaledges, without having to be staked to the ground first. This is particularly …

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10 Best Backpacking Quilts of 2024

10 Best Backpacking Quilts of 2024

More and more backpackers are switching from sleeping bags to backpacking quilts because they’re lighter weight, more compressible, and more comfortable, especially for side sleepers. While top quilts have always been popular with the hammock crowd, they’re also a great sleeping system …

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10 Best Hard Shell Jackets for Winter Hiking

10 Best Hard Shell Jackets for Winter Hiking

Hard shell jackets are a burly type of rain jacket used for winter hiking as a windproof and waterproof clothing layer. They have a richer set of temperature regulation and storage features than warm weather rain jackets to help you avoid perspiration …

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10 Best Water Bottles for Hiking and Backpacking

10 best water bottles for hiking and backpacking

Hiking, backpacking, and water bottles go hand in hand because hydration is so important for your comfort, safety, and performance in the backcountry. While you’d think choosing a water bottle for hiking or backpacking would be a simple affair, it’s anything but …

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10 Best Winter Hiking Pants of 2024

10 Best Winter Hiking Pants

The best winter hiking pants are highly breathable softshell pants that prevent the accumulation of perspiration when hiking, snowshoeing, climbing/mountaineering, or even ski touring in winter. They’re made with woven nylon or polyester that is warmer and more windproof than normal three-season …

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10 Best Winter Backpacking Packs of 2024

10-Best-Winter-Backpacking-Packs

Winter backpacking packs are more specialized than regular three-season backpacks, with a stronger emphasis on heavier weight loads, external attachment points, and durability for carrying bulky gear with sharp points like snowshoes, skis, ice axes, and crampons. They also favor more pockets …

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Sleeping Pad R-Values of 2024

Sleeping Pad R-Values of 2024

A backpacking or camping sleeping pad’s R-value measures its resistance to heat loss to the ground when you lie on it at night. Pads with higher R-values do this more effectively than pads with lower R-values. R-value isn’t a measure of warmth …

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10 Best Windbreakers and Wind Shirts of 2024

10 Best Windbreakers and Wind Shirts

Windbreakers and wind shirts are ultralight lightweight jackets, running shells, pullovers, or anoraks weighing 2 to 8 ounces, that hikers and backpackers wear as a barrier to prevent winds from stripping away their body heat. They’re usually made of highly breathable and …

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10 Best Lightweight 3-4 Season Tents

10 Best Lightweight 3-4 Season Tents

Winter tents and shelters for mountaineering, winter backpacking, and backcountry skiing tours need to be stronger for camping in exposed windy terrain that is subject to snow loads. Our preference is for lightweight tents and tarp shelters because no one wants to …

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