Time spent in the field offers invaluable insights into the performance and reliability of outdoor gear. At Switchback Travel, we take pride in our in-depth reviews. Whether it’s backpacking, climbing, skiing, or any of the other activities that we all love, these articles showcase our experiences—the good and the bad—with thorough write-ups focused on product quality, performance, and value. By constantly trying new products and pitting them head-to-head against our established favorites, we aim to make your buying decision easier. Below you'll find our full collection of reviews, which we've organized into categories: rain shellsinsulated jacketshiking footwearski geartents, backpacks, camping gearclimbing gear, and cycling gear.

We frequently test gear here in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, and send it out to remote locations from the Sierra Nevada to Patagonia. If you would like to support our site after reading a review, please use our handy price comparison tool at the bottom of the page or visit our support us page.

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Patagonia Boulder Fork Rain Jacket Review

Patagonia is an irrefutable leader in the rain jacket market, and the Boulder Fork is the latest addition to their well-rounded collection. Slotting in between the everyday-friendly Torrentshell and more technical Granite Crest, the new shell is...

Big Agnes Crag Lake SL2 Tent Review

Big Agnes specializes in quality backpacking tents, from streamlined ultralight models for ounce-counting minimalists to family-friendly designs that prioritize comfort and spaciousness. The Crag Lake falls somewhere in the middle, striking a good...

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 55 Backpack Review

Hyperlite Mountain Gear is an ultralight pack specialist with a loyal following among thru-hikers and minimalist backpackers. A recent addition to the brand’s premium lineup, the Unbound slots in as one of their lightest offerings but doesn’t feel as...

Merrell Moab Speed 2 GTX Hiking Shoe Review

The Merrell Moab is a staple on trails across the country, and the aptly named Speed takes the winning design and trims it down for quick-moving day hikes and other lightweight adventures. We recently took the updated “2” to Chilean Patagonia for...

Nemo Mayfly Osmo 2P Tent Review

New Hampshire-based Nemo makes some of our favorite backpacking tents, from the ultralight Hornet Elite to the spacious and feature-rich Dagger. The Mayfly Osmo fills a nice gap between the two, with a hard-to-beat balance of weight and durability for...

Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX Hiking Shoe Review

Hoka is best known for their road and trail running shoes, but they’ve made a big push into the hiking space over the past several years. Now in its second iteration, the Anacapa is a real winner for those who stick to established trails and prioritize...

Gregory Stout 70 Backpack Review

Gregory has been in the pack-making game for almost 50 years and covers the whole gamut of backpacking designs, from ultralight models for staunch minimalists to burly heavy haulers for shuttling serious weight. The aptly named Stout 70 falls into the...

NNormal Tomir Waterproof Hiking Boot Review

Co-founded by decorated mountain athlete Killian Jornet and Spanish shoemaking brand Camper, Nnormal is taking a new—and exciting—approach to trail runners and hiking shoes. While minimalist, their designs are built to last and can be repaired and...

REI Co-op Flash 55 Backpack Review

REI Co-op entered the world of ultralight backpacking in a big way with the release of their Flash 55 pack. The combination of price, ample storage, and low weight made it a quick favorite, and the second...

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket Review

Patagonia’s Torrentshell 3L rain jacket is about as popular and well liked as it gets in the outdoor apparel space. The hardwearing 3-layer build offers excellent protection and durability, you get a wide...

Black Diamond Highline Stretch Shell Review

Building on the success of their popular StormLine Stretch rain jacket, Black Diamond upped the performance threshold with their more premium Highline Stretch Shell. For a reasonable $300, the 3-layer jacket boasts a hardshell-like build that offers...

Arc’teryx Beta Jacket Review

Arc’teryx’s new Beta Jacket slots into the brand’s expansive collection as a premium hiking shell. Offering more protection than a rain jacket but a step below a full-on winter hardshell, the light and packable Beta hits a sweet spot for three-season...

Outdoor Research Aspire Super Stretch Jacket Review

Outdoor Research’s Aspire is their core women’s rain shell, and the Super Stretch version tacks on a stretchy Gore-Tex panel at the back for added mobility. We recently put the jacket through its paces in southern Patagonia, where it impressed us with...

Patagonia Slate Sky Jacket Review

Patagonia makes some of our favorite rain shells, and their latest Slate Sky Jacket stands out for its streamlined build that doesn’t feel overly compromised. Like the brand’s flagship Torrentshell, the Slate Sky offers reliable protection with a...

Arc’teryx Beta Lightweight Jacket Review

North Vancouver-based Arc’teryx is no stranger to harsh mountain weather, and their Beta hardshell collection is well equipped to handle rough and rowdy conditions. We recently put the aptly named Beta Lightweight to the test in North Vancouver and on...

Patagonia Boulder Fork Rain Jacket Review

Patagonia is an irrefutable leader in the rain jacket market, and the Boulder Fork is the latest addition to their well-rounded collection. Slotting in between the everyday-friendly Torrentshell and more technical Granite Crest, the new shell is...

Norrøna Trollveggen Gore-Tex Pro Light Jacket Review

Norrøna may not be as popular in the U.S. as brands like Arc’teryx or Patagonia, but serious backcountry-goers take note: They offer an extensive lineup of quality hardshells that are purpose-built for big mountain objectives ...

Arc’teryx Ralle Jacket Review

Arc’teryx is a longstanding leader in the technical hardshell market, and much of that expertise trickles down to their more casual offerings. Their Ralle Jacket is case in point: This everyday rain shell offers top-notch protection with proven 3-layer...

Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Jacket Review

Hailing from a region known for its wet and moody weather, U.K.-based Rab specializes in functional and protective outerwear for alpine environments. Their Kinetic Alpine 2.0 is a hybrid jacket that merges the...

Arc’teryx Beta SV Jacket Review

Arc’teryx makes some of our favorite hardshells on the market, and their SV offerings are purpose-built for the harshest of conditions. From their all-rounder Beta collection, the Beta SV slots in as the most protective option for fending off rough...

Outdoor Research Aspire II GTX Jacket Review

There’s no shortage of rain jackets to choose from, but Outdoor Research’s women’s Aspire II (and men’s Foray II) is far and away one of our favorite designs. WIth a relatively thick face fabric and premium touches...

Patagonia Storm10 Jacket Review

Ultralight without being ultra-compromised, Patagonia’s new Storm10 Jacket is purpose-built for moving quickly in unpredictable mountain environments. With a protective 3-layer H2No construction, functional feature set, and...

Arc’teryx Alpha SL Anorak Review

Arc’teryx’s Alpha series is designed for demanding climbing and alpine use, and their latest Alpha SL Anorak is yet another well-made technical piece. Short for “superlight,” the Alpha SL slots in as the brand’s lightest climbing hardshell, combining a...

Patagonia Triolet Jacket Review

Patagonia is a consistent leader in the alpine apparel market, and their Triolet shell slots in as a burly and highly protective option at a very reasonable price. The thick, 75-denier face fabric is excellent for use around sharp equipment...

Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket Review

Outdoor Research has updated its long-standing and very popular ultralight rain shell for 2020. The latest Helium—replacing the “II”—sticks largely to the same formula with upgrades in durability and fit without...

Marmot PreCip Eco Rain Jacket Review

Being from Seattle, we get asked for rain jacket recommendations a lot, and we often steer people to the Marmot PreCip. The reasons for this are fairly simple: the jacket punches well above its $100 price with quality waterproofing, a versatile feature...

Arc’teryx Alpha AR Jacket Review

Arc’teryx makes some of our favorite technical shells on the market, with a wide range of designs that are purpose-built for just about any activity or conditions. From their alpine-focused collection, the latest Alpha AR (short for “all round”)...

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch Review

Black Diamond has assembled a solid lineup of quality rain jackets and hardshells over the last several years, and the StormLine is yet another standout. By adding stretch into the jacket’s face fabric, BD created an impressively lightweight...

Arc’teryx Beta LT Jacket Review

Arc’teryx’s Beta LT has been a mainstay in their lineup for years and received a significant update a few seasons ago. The latest jacket represents a fairly substantial shift from the past-generation LT, featuring standard 3-layer Gore-Tex (no longer...

Norrøna Falketind Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket Review

Waterproof protection comes in all forms, from burly, ski-specific hardshells to ultralight emergency layers and casual rain jackets. Finding a really functional middle ground is the Falketind Gore-Tex Paclite, Norrøna’s lightest and most packable...

Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket Review

Arc’teryx is no stranger to hardshell jackets and long has been a go-to option for protection in harsh mountain environments. At the very top of their lineup is the Alpha SV ("severe weather"), which is designed for use in the most serious of...

Outdoor Research Microgravity Jacket Review

Built for working hard in the mountains, Outdoor Research’s new-for-2020 Microgravity joins the company’s impressive lineup of hardshells. We took the jacket hiking in Patagonia, where it faced...

Columbia Watertight II Rain Jacket Review

There are a healthy number of budget-oriented rain shells on the market, and Columbia’s versatile Watertight II is among the most popular. The jacket isn’t a standout in wet-weather performance—you’ll...

Black Diamond Liquid Point Rain Jacket Review

Over the last few years, Black Diamond has assembled an impressive lineup of outdoor gear, from ski jackets and insulation to casual lifestyle apparel. The Liquid Point is their leading performance rain jacket...

Arc’teryx Norvan SL Insulated Hoody Review

Arc’teryx’s Norvan SL Insulated Hoody is billed as their lightest insulated waterproof layer. Purpose-built for trail running in cold weather, we put the Norvan to the test during a wet and soggy season in British...

The North Face Apex Flex GTX 3.0 Review

The North Face Apex Flex GTX 3.0 is a versatile jacket that doesn’t fit perfectly into any one category. The 3-layer Gore-Tex build provides excellent waterproofing, although it certainly is heavy for...

Arc’teryx Zeta SL Rain Jacket Review

Arc’teryx’s Zeta line of rain jackets is designed for lightweight trekking and runs the gamut from the fully featured and pricey Zeta AR (“all round”) to the feathery Zeta FL (“fast and light”). The Zeta SL is the “superlight” version and puts a big...

Fjallraven Keb Eco-Shell Jacket Review

Based in Sweden, Fjallraven is gaining popularity this side of the Atlantic with classy and well-built outdoor gear that transitions nicely between the mountains and urban environments. The Keb Eco-Shell is their premium hardshell offering and stands...

Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid Review

Arc’teryx’s Beta SL Hybrid isn’t your typical rain shell. As its name suggests, the hybrid construction blends two Gore-Tex fabrics of different thicknesses to maximize weatherproofing, minimize weight, and...

REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Rain Jacket Review

REI Co-op has assembled an impressive in-house lineup of high-quality gear and clothing that doesn’t break the bank, and their XeroDry GTX rain jacket carries the torch. Constructed with Gore-Tex Paclite, we brought REI’s lightweight shell along on an...

Helly Hansen Blaze 3 Layer Shell Jacket Review

Helly Hansen flies a little under the radar in the U.S. market compared to brands like Arc’teryx and Patagonia, but their outerwear selection is similarly extensive and typically priced a bit more...

The North Face Venture 2 Rain Jacket Review

The Venture 2 has been a long-time staple in The North Face’s rain jacket collection, aiming to balance weather protection, weight, and price. Over the past year, we’ve tested the shell extensively from...

Arc'teryx Gamma SL Hoody Review

Arc’teryx’s Gamma softshell line ranges from the warm, alpine-ready MX to the superlight SL tested here. We brought the Gamma SL hiking in Canada’s Yukon territory and found it to be a great match for the level of activity and conditions: this jacket...

Outdoor Research Foray II GTX Rain Jacket Review

Seattle-based Outdoor Research is no stranger to creating quality rain jackets that can fend off the elements, and we like what they've come up with in the Foray. This do-it-all shell is light and packable for hiking and backpacking yet tough enough to...

Patagonia Pluma Hardshell Jacket Review

For a company with a rich history in alpine exploring, Patagonia has a surprisingly modest hardshell collection. That said, their top-end Pluma is a formidable, lightweight offering. Updated about a...

Arc’teryx Gamma MX Hoody Review

Slotting in as the warmest and most weather-ready softshell in Arc’teryx’s Gamma family, the Gamma MX Hoody is built for serious backcountry pursuits like skiing and ice climbing. Throughout a season of...

Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket Review

From Arc’teryx’s formidable hardshell lineup, the Beta AR slots in as the all-around workhorse. The jacket has been a flagship piece since its release back in 2000, and it’s a favorite for everything from hiking and backpacking in rough conditions to...

Marmot Minimalist Rain Jacket Review

Marmot’s Minimalist jacket isn’t new, but its combination of price and performance keeps it among our favorite rain shells year after year. With proven Gore-Tex waterproofing, a thoughtful feature set, and premium build quality, the...

Arc'teryx Alpha FL Jacket Review

Arc’teryx's Alpha series is designed for top-notch climbing and alpine performance, and their “FL” represents fast and light. True to its name, the Alpha FL jacket is minimalist and lightweight, yet meticulously designed and highly protective. We took...

Arc'teryx Norvan SL Hoody Review

Purpose-built for trail running along the wet and sloppy trails of North Vancouver, Arc’teryx’s Norvan collection runs the gamut from the long distance-focused Norvan LD shoes to the Gore-Tex-equipped Norvan SL Hoody tested here. In short, this rain...

Best Rain Jackets of 2024

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we know a thing or two about rain. From months of daily drizzle to heavy downpour in the mountains, we’re acutely aware of the benefits of a quality waterproof and breathable shell. Below we break down the best rain...

Best Women’s Rain Jackets of 2024

Let’s face it: It rains, and sometimes it pours. Thankfully, a good rain jacket can provide a solid layer of defense against the elements. The women’s options here range from $75 to $500 and run the gamut from everyday models with urban styling to...

Best Hardshell Jackets of 2024

Hardshell jackets are designed for the mountains: they’re highly windproof, waterproof, breathable, and durable. This is the outer layer you turn to for ultimate protection while backcountry and resort skiing, mountaineering, alpine climbing, and...

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Review

Climbers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers of all types have enjoyed Patagonia’s Down Sweater for years. It’s a go-to piece that has defined a jacket category, and they’ve given it a significant revamp for fall 2022. Key changes include a new, more...

Fjallraven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie Review

Swedish brand Fjallraven is known for their attractive styles that straddle the line between performance and looks, but they generally come at a steep cost. Their Expedition Pack Down Hoodie, however, marries style and function in a package that...

Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Hoodie Review

Down-mimicking synthetic insulation isn’t exactly a new trend—Patagonia has been honing their recipe for years with their legendary Micro Puff series. But Outdoor Research has come up with a very competitive formula in their new SuperStrand LT Hoodie...

Patagonia Micro Puff Storm Jacket Review

Patagonia’s Micro Puff is legendary in the synthetic jacket world for its down-like warmth and compressibility, and the Micro Puff Storm turns up the performance dial with a waterproof shell...

Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Down Jacket Review

Cotopaxi is a brand on the rise. With their distinctive and vibrant colorways, sustainable business practices, and skillful collaborations with other brands, they’ve quickly established themselves as a serious player in the outdoor market. The Fuego...

Norrøna Falketind Down750 Hood Jacket Review

There’s no shortage of quality down jackets on the market in 2022, but Norrøna’s Falketind Down750 Hood jacket sets itself apart as a highly versatile option with a nice performance slant. With a mix of 750-fill down at the core and synthetic...

Patagonia AlpLight Down Jacket Review

Patagonia is well-loved among outdoor enthusiasts for their good-looking products and eco-friendly ethos. Their AlpLight Down Jacket follows suit, combining a remarkably low weight and sleek styling inside a shell made from recycled fishing nets. It's...

Arc’teryx Alpha Parka Review

Arc’teryx is a leader in technical mountain apparel, and the winter-ready Alpha Parka slots in as their warmest belay jacket built for harsh mountain environments. Replacing the Firebee AR in their lineup, I brought the Alpha on a trip to Nepal’s...

Patagonia Jackson Glacier Parka Review

When it feels truly arctic outside, only a well-designed and thoroughly insulated jacket will do the job. For casual around-town wear, the market is full of stylish knee-length options with various features and...

Arc'teryx Atom Hoody Review

The Atom from Arc’teryx is a legend. This popular synthetic piece crosses over between daily wear and backcountry use as well as anything on the market, thanks to its truly impressive balance of warmth, comfort, and styling. Arc’teryx gave the...

Patagonia Silent Down Jacket Review

Patagonia is a leader in the insulation market, and their down jacket selection ranges from technical belay parkas to versatile puffies for mixed outdoor and daily wear. At the casual end of the spectrum, the Silent...

Arc’teryx Cerium SV Hoody Review

Arc’teryx’s Cerium collection is known for its cozy warmth and competitive wet-weather appeal, and they recently reintroduced the Cerium SV (short for “severe weather”). We recently put the retooled women’s version (there's currently no men's...

The North Face ThermoBall Eco Hoodie Review

Now in its fourth generation, The North Face ThermoBall remains an extremely popular insulated jacket. With its puffy synthetic fill and smooth shell, the latest “Eco” version does a pretty good...

Patagonia DAS Parka Review

Ever since its debut in 1992, Patagonia’s DAS Parka has been a staple for winter climbers and backcountry skiers due to its excellent combination of warmth and weather protection. Reintroduced for 2020, the newest model...

Patagonia DAS Light Hoody Review

Merging features from Patagonia’s winter-weight DAS Parka and their fast-and-light-focused Micro Puff, the new-for-2020 DAS Light Hoody might just be the best of both worlds. Billed as an “ultralight belay hoody"...

Rab Microlight Alpine Down Jacket Review

U.K.-based Rab was a climbing company first, and their popular Microlight Alpine Down Jacket pays tribute to that mountain expertise. Throughout two years of testing the women's model, including...

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody (Women’s) Review

Patagonia’s Down Sweater is legendary in the down jacket world, combining impressive versatility in a lightweight and good-looking package. Patagonia recently updated the popular design with a new shell made from recycled fishing nets, lower weight...

Arc’teryx Atom Heavyweight Hoody Review

Arc’teryx’s Atom series is a longtime favorite in the synthetic jacket world, and the Heavyweight slots in as the warmest design in the collection. Updated a couple seasons back with a revised fit, improved durability, and smaller tweaks including...

Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Hoody Review

An iconic Patagonia jacket named after an iconic Patagonian peak, the Fitz Roy has gone through a number of iterations over the years. The latest model is around 20 percent lighter than its predecessor...

Arc’teryx Nuclei SV Parka Review

Replacing the Dually as Arc’teryx’s warmest synthetic jacket in their collection, the Nuclei SV (short for “severe weather”) Parka stands out for its impressive warmth and mountain-ready feature set. Though I haven’t used it for climbing or belaying...

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer UL Review

For years, Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost Whisperer down jacket has dominated the ultralight market, offering impressive warmth in a streamlined package. Now, their Ghost Whisperer UL carries the torch...

Arc'teryx Proton FL Hoody Review

Made to move with you during high-output activities, active insulation jackets—like those in Arc’teryx’s Proton collection—merge warmth and weather resistance with class-leading breathability. For spring 2019, the Proton FL ("fast and light") joins the...

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody Review

Ultralight without feeling ultra-compromised, the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 is one of the lightest fully featured down jackets on the market. Despite hitting a sub-9-ounce weight (for the men’s hoody model), Mountain Hardwear managed to...

REI Co-op Stratocloud Down Hoodie Review

REI Co-op is a great one-stop shop for premium products from brands like Patagonia and Arc’teryx, but we often turn to their in-house line for the best value. True to form, the Stratocloud Down Hoodie...

Rab Neutrino Pro Jacket Review

Winters are harsh in the U.K., and British alpinists are known for getting out in all types of conditions. So if there’s any brand we can trust to make proper gear for the cold and wet, it’s Rab. This England-based company launched the Neutrino down...

REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0 Review

Now in its second generation, the REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0 is one of the best budget-oriented down jackets on the market. The combination of cozy materials, responsibly sourced 650-fill down...

Arc’teryx Covert Cardigan Fleece Jacket Review

Arc’teryx has built their reputation around technical outerwear, which makes the casual Covert Cardigan a bit of an outlier. But this fleece has been a long-time favorite for a reason: its fit, build quality, and...

REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Jacket Review

REI Co-op continues to impress us with their in-house line of products, and the Stormhenge Down Hybrid Jacket is one of their best. Updated last winter, the latest model features a combination of premium goose down and synthetic insulation (the past...

Marmot Montreal Review

Many women’s winter jacket models come and go, but Marmot’s Montreal has been a powerhouse for years. For less than $300, you get quality down fill, a fleece-lined interior, fur-rimmed hood, and clean styling, making it ubiquitous across a wide range...

Arc'teryx Delta MX Hoody Review

For a more breathable alternative to down and synthetic jackets, many active outdoor-goers turn to fleeces. Arc’teryx is a leader in the performance category, and their Delta series is a standout for high-output pursuits like climbing, skiing, and...

Outdoor Research Transcendent Down Hoody Review

The Outdoor Research Transcendent Hoody is a longtime favorite that was updated last year with wider baffles, a softer shell and lining, and responsibly sourced insulation. The latest version is among the more comfortable down jackets on the market...

Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece Jacket Review

Along with Patagonia’s ubiquitous Synchilla, the Better Sweater is one of the brand’s foundational fleece designs. Offered in a range of styles, we tested their core full-zip jacket for this review...

Patagonia Down With It Parka Review

Patagonia’s high-performance and responsibly produced outerwear is known both for excellent protection from the elements and looking good in the process. Their casual Down With It Parka follows...

Arc'teryx Firebee AR Review

Arc’teryx rarely misses the mark with quality, performance-oriented gear, and the Firebee AR is no exception. This winter parka is the whole package: it’s loaded with premium down, and offers excellent weather resistance and impressive packability...

Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody Review

Within Arc’teryx’s popular Atom synthetic jacket series, the “SL” slots in as the lightest and most focused of the bunch. It isn’t very warm with insulation only in the torso and a minimalist...

Arc’teryx Beta Insulated Jacket Review

Arc’teryx’s Beta collection is a longtime favorite, lauded for its reliable protection and top-notch build quality. A relatively recent addition to the line, the Beta Insulated Jacket retains a lot of what we...

Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka Review

Patagonia makes several of our all-time favorite winter jackets, with the Tres slotting in as their premium 3-in-1 design. We recently put the women’s version to the test in the Pacific Northwest, where the 2-layer waterproof shell did an excellent job...

The North Face Metropolis Parka II Review

Winter weather doesn’t discriminate—it can be just as unforgiving on the streets of New York City as it is in the mountains of Colorado. And for everyday use, down-filled parkas like...

Arc’teryx Thorium Hoody Review

Arc’teryx’s Thorium AR Hoody stood out for its effective balance of warmth and protection, and the upgraded Thorium Hoody carries the torch. In addition to a sizable sustainability slant, the latest model packs in more down, has a helmet-compatible...

The North Face Gotham Jacket III Review

The North Face is known for making stylish jackets, which is demonstrated again with the winter-ready Gotham III. For a reasonable $300, it checks most major boxes including a stout weatherproof build, impressive warmth, and great durability. The...

Arc’teryx Cerium SL Hoody Review

The ultralight Arc’teryx Cerium SL Hoody combines 850-fill down with synthetic insulation, and it was an obvious choice for our recent bikepacking trip to Mongolia’s Khangai Mountains and trek...

Patagonia R1 TechFace Hoody Review

Patagonia has one of the most extensive fleece collections on the market, and their performance-focused Regulator (R) series is designed with active use in mind. Straddling the softshell and...

Arc'teryx Cerium Hoody Review

Arc’teryx’s Cerium Hoody is their leading down jacket and replaces the popular Cerium LT for this year. Key changes include a slightly roomier fit, thicker shell fabric, and full suite of sustainability measures. The rest of the design remains largely...

Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket Review

Feathered Friends is a boutique down specialist birthed out of Seattle’s climbing scene in the 1970s, and they still lead the pack in down outerwear construction and design. The company is known for...

The North Face Ventrix Hoodie Review

Now in its second generation, The North Face’s Ventrix Hoodie is a synthetic jacket designed for use during activity. Changes with the retooled model include less insulation and a lighter overall build...

Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody Review

Patagonia’s synthetic Micro Puff made headlines when it was first released a few years ago, touted for its down-like weight and packability. In 2022, the Ventura, Calif.-based company released an update to the popular jacket...

Rab Xenon Synthetic Jacket Review

U.K.-based Rab has a long history of designing quality, high-performance products for the harshest of conditions (or “connies,” as the British would say). And when rain and cold are constantly in the...

Marmot Fordham Jacket Review

Marmot’s Fordham has been a mainstay on the market thanks to its stylish and hardwearing build, lofty warmth from its down insulation, and very competitive price. The Fordham is far from a performance piece, so it’s limited to around-town...

Black Diamond First Light Stretch Hoody Review

Touted as Black Diamond’s most breathable insulation piece, the synthetic First Light Stretch Hoody is built for technical activities like ski touring and climbing. Updated from the standard First Light (no “stretch”) last year, the new jacket retains...

Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody Review

Years ago, Patagonia’s Nano-Air helped to define the active insulation market, debuting the new category with a fun “put it on, leave it on” campaign. With soft and breathable materials, the synthetic jacket is designed to be worn all day...

Best Cheap Down Jacket: REI Co-op 650 2.0

Here at Switchback Travel, we’re passionate about our down jackets. We’ve tested a huge range of models over the years, from entry-level options from Outdoor Research and Columbia to premium alternatives from Patagonia, Arc’teryx, and Montbell. While...

Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Review

Patagonia has been a front-runner in the active insulation market with the popular Nano-Air and Nano-Air Light, but even those jackets can be overkill for sustained, high-output activities. Enter...

Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody Review

Patagonia’s Nano Puff remains one of the most popular and recognizable insulated jackets on the market today. But with a fresh crop of new rivals, we felt it was time to take another look at this legendary synthetic piece. What we found is that the...

Best Down Jackets of 2024

It's tough to beat a great down jacket, whether it’s for casual use or tearing around the backcountry. This cozy insulation type offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio on the market and packs down smaller than synthetics for easy storage. Below are the...

Best Women’s Down Jackets of 2024

As impressively warm and cozy insulators, down jackets are one of our favorite pieces of outdoor gear. Whether you’re looking for an uber-light alpine piece for the mountains, a casual fur-brimmed parka...

Best Synthetic Insulated Jackets of 2024

If you’re looking for a jacket that offers solid warmth at a good value, synthetic insulation is the way to go. You don’t get quite as high of a warmth-to-weight ratio as down, but synthetic jackets resist moisture, can breathe better, and are more...

Best Fleece Jackets of 2024

With a wide variety of insulated jackets on the market, the classic fleece still is the most comfortable and affordable. These polyester jackets have been providing cozy warmth for years from campsites and ski resorts to the...

Best Vests of 2024

For getting outdoors on cool fall and spring days, it’s hard to beat a vest. This simple layering piece adds warmth to your core and is cozy, packable, less bulky, and cheaper than a full jacket. But the vest market is varied, ranging from casual to...

KEEN NXIS EVO Waterproof Review

KEEN’s Targhee has been a favorite among backpackers for years, and the NXIS EVO is a fast-and-light rethink of the legendary design. I was happy to find that KEEN retained key features like their signature wide toe box and good all-around...

Merrell Moab Speed 2 GTX Hiking Shoe Review

The Merrell Moab is a staple on trails across the country, and the aptly named Speed takes the winning design and trims it down for quick-moving day hikes and other lightweight adventures. We recently took the updated “2” to Chilean Patagonia for...

Topo Athletic Trailventure 2 WP Hiking Boot Review

Trail running-inspired hiking boots have exploded in popularity of late, combining the all-day comfort and flexibility of running shoes with the ankle support and protection of traditional hiking designs. Topo...

Salomon Quest 4 GTX Hiking Boot Review

Salomon’s Quest has garnered serious popularity over the years as a highly capable backpacking boot, and the latest Quest 4 carries the torch. We put the recently retooled boot through its paces...

Oboz Katabatic Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot Review

Fast-and-light hiking boots are a rapidly growing category in 2023, and Montana-based Oboz recently threw their hat into the ring with the Katabatic. We put the women’s mid-height version to the test on Vancouver Island’s famed Juan de Fuca Trail...

Scarpa Rush 2 Mid GTX Hiking Boot Review

Scarpa specializes in technically capable footwear for climbing and mountaineering, but their foray into the lightweight hiking boot market hasn’t gone unnoticed. Part of the extensive Rush collection, the Rush Mid 2 GTX was an obvious choice for a...

Merrell Moab 3 Hiking Shoe Review

With only three iterations in well over a decade on the market, Merrell has taken a slow and steady approach to updating their extremely popular Moab collection. The latest “3” was released in late spring 2022 and builds on its predecessor with a...

Arc’teryx Aerios FL 2 Mid GTX Review

Still a relative newcomer in hiking footwear, Arc’teryx has stuck to what they know best: technical performance. We tested the second iteration of their fast-and-light Aerios shoe on a demanding...

Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite Mid GTX Review

Salewa is well known in the mountaineering world for their technical alpine boots, and I was very impressed by the performance of their burly Mountain Trainer boots on a recent trip to Patagonia. On a...

Scarpa Rush TRK GTX Hiking Boot Review

Scarpa’s Rush is their do-it-all trail shoe, and the Rush TRK GTX adds a bump in support and protection for high-mileage backpacking objectives over varied terrain. I took the women’s version to Peru’s..

REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boot Review

After a long hiatus, REI Co-op has returned to the hiking boot game with the Flash. Sharing a name with the brand’s in-house line of lightweight hiking and backpacking gear, the boot is highlighted by...

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX Hiking Boot Review

Salomon’s X Ultra lineup is legendary in the world of hiking footwear, and they overhauled the flagship collection in spring 2021. We brought the mid-height version of the X Ultra 4 into Washington’s Hoh Rainforest and found that it retained most of...

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Review

La Sportiva makes some of our favorite climbing shoes on the market, and that technical expertise has translated nicely to their hiking boot lineup. The Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is case in point: It’s impressively light at just over 2 pounds and has a...

Merrell MQM 3 Gore-Tex Hiking Shoe Review

Most hikers know Merrell by their popular Moab hiking shoe and boot, which are on the feet of many a casual trail-goer. But while the Moab is decidedly classic, it’s not a particularly technically savvy offering. Enter Merrell’s MQM series—short for...

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX (Women’s) Review

Salomon’s X Ultra boot has earned legendary status among hikers for its great on-trail performance in a lightweight build. In 2021, Salomon overhauled the entire X Ultra series, and the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX features a modernized upper, redesigned cuff ...

Topo Athletic Ultraventure 3 Review

Trail running shoes have been gaining popularity among minimalist hikers and backpackers for years, and Topo Athletic’s Ultraventure 3 is a competitive addition to the market. The most cushioned option in their trail collection, the Ultraventure was a...

Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid GTX Hiking Boot Review

Running brand Hoka has been aggressively growing their hiking footwear collection of late, and the Anacapa Mid is arguably their best effort yet. Now in its second iteration, this boot combines the smooth ride and excellent cushioning that the company...

Salewa MTN Trainer Mid GTX Hiking Boot Review

Germany-based Salewa is renowned for their technical alpine boots, and that expertise comes across clearly in the hiking-focused MTN Trainer Mid GTX. I put the boots through a thorough round of testing in Canada and Patagonia, including multiple high...

Salomon OUTpulse Mid GTX Hiking Boot Review

Like many modern outdoor footwear brands, Salomon has targeted a lot of their recent focus at the lightweight end of the hiking boot market. The latest OUTpulse Mid GTX is a shining example, combining a feathery build with good overall comfort...

Merrell Moab 3 Mid Hiking Boot Review

Merrell’s Moab is about as classic as hiking boots come and an extremely popular first pair of hiking footwear for many (including multiple editors on our staff). Updated for spring 2022, we tested one of the...

Merrell MQM Flex 2 Hiking Shoe Review

The growing popularity of wearing trail-running shoes for hiking has pushed the market towards lighter and nimbler designs. Merrell’s latest offering in this category is their hybrid MQM Flex, which aims...

La Sportiva TXS GTX Hiking Boot Review

La Sportiva’s TX series is a standout in the approach shoe world, and the latest TXS GTX builds on that concept in a mid-height, backpacking-ready design. Throughout a spring of testing, including...

Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX Hiking Shoe Review

Every few years, Salomon revamps their best-selling X Ultra line, and they launched the latest “4” in spring 2021. Building on the success of the prior generation, the retooled shoe features a modernized and sleeker upper, updates to the lacing system...

Adidas Terrex AX4 Hiking Shoe Review

At $100 for the non-waterproof shoe, the Adidas AX4 offers a surprisingly grippy outsole, sufficient cushioning and support for long trail days, a secure lacing system, and clean-looking design.

Hoka Kaha 2 GTX Hiking Boot Review

The Kaha 2 GTX is Hoka’s top-of-the-line hiking boot, with Gore-Tex waterproofing, a leather upper, and Vibram tread. We’ve had largely positive experiences with Hokas, but the Kaha 2 underwhelmed on a challenging backpacking trip in Southern Patagonia.

The North Face Vectiv Fastpack Futurelight Review

Fast-paced day hikes call for sprightly footwear, and the Fastpack from The North Face is a prime example. Combining TNF’s Vectiv plate and responsive midsole with a waterproof/breathable Futurelight upper and impressive SurfaceCTRL outsole, the...

Salomon Predict Hike Mid GTX Review

Salomon’s reputation in the hiking footwear world is well established, often topping our “best of” lists. And as the dominant force in hiking footwear, they have the luxury to take a few risks—which is exactly...

On Cloudwander Waterproof Hiking Shoe Review

Best known for their distinctive outsole design, Swiss running brand On recently entered the hiking market with a small selection of trail-ready designs, including the Cloudwander Waterproof shoes. I recently brought the women’s version to Patagonia...

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 GTX Review

Adidas has really leaned into their Terrex outdoor collection of late, with a rapidly growing line of mountain-ready apparel and footwear. The Terrex Free Hiker 2 lands in a popular new segment of hiking shoes: It’s not a full-on boot, but you get over...

Altra Lone Peak Hiker 2 Review

Altra’s Lone Peak collection has long kept feet happy on the trail, thanks to signature features like a roomy toe box, zero-drop footbed, and lightweight construction. The recently updated Lone Peak Hiker 2 puts a stylish yet functional spin on the...

Oboz Arete Hiking Shoe Review

Hiking footwear has been trending toward fast and light for the past few years, and it’s easy to see why. These shoes are significantly nimbler and more agile than their bulky hiking boot counterparts, and many designs retain impressive stability and...

Danner Trail 2650 Hiking Shoe Review

Better known for their lineup of tough leather boots, Danner offers an impressively well-rounded hiker in the Trail 2650. We took the low-top version of the shoe to Patagonia, where it faced long days, high mileage, and a lot of scrambling. The verdict...

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 Low GTX Hiking Shoe Review

Adidas isn’t the first brand you might associate with high-performance hiking footwear, but their Terrex collection has come on strong in recent years. We took the Terrex Free Hiker 2 Low GTX hiking in Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness...

Vasque Breeze AT Mid GTX Hiking Boot Review

Vasque’s Breeze lineup runs the gamut from the trail runner-inspired LT to the more robust, backpacking-ready AT. We put the latter boot through its paces and found that it’s noticeably less sprightly and nimble than many of its modern competitors...

Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX Hiking Shoe Review

Hoka is best known for their road and trail running shoes, but they’ve made a big push into the hiking space over the past several years. Now in its second iteration, the Anacapa is a real winner for those who stick to established trails and prioritize...

Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX Hiking Boot Review

Arc’teryx is a relatively small-time player in the world of hiking footwear, but they’ve recently assembled a solid lineup of quality designs. The Acrux TR GTX slots in as their mid-height model designed for tackling technical terrain with a heavy pack...

Altra Olympus 5 Hike Low GTX Review

Popular among runners and hikers alike, Altra’s collection of zero-drop shoes are known for offering both an accommodating fit and a high level of trail performance. Building off the success of their...

Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid GTX Review

Salomon’s hiking boot lineup is undeniably extensive, and their Cross Hike 2 Mid GTX offers an interesting mix of running shoe-like agility with ankle-height protection. We tested the original model a couple seasons back and recently took the latest...

KEEN Terradora Flex WP Hiking Boot Review

KEEN’s Terradora is one of just a few women’s-specific designs on the market, and the latest “Flex” version sticks to a similar formula but with added flexibility and cushioning. I recently brought the boots to Patagonia and put them to the test while...

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Review

The Ultra Raptor has long been a staple in La Sportiva’s lineup, spoken of with reverence by trail runners and hikers alike. While the jury might be out on whether this is a hiking shoe or a running shoe, one thing is certain...

Danner Trail 2650 Campo GTX Hiking Shoe Review

Portland, Oregon-based Danner is best known for their work boots, but they’ve quickly made a name for themselves in the hiking market with a nice assortment of trail-ready offerings. One standout is the running-inspired Trail 2650 Campo GTX, which I...

NNormal Tomir Waterproof Hiking Boot Review

Co-founded by decorated mountain athlete Killian Jornet and Spanish shoemaking brand Camper, Nnormal is taking a new—and exciting—approach to trail runners and hiking shoes. While minimalist, their designs are built to last and can be repaired and...

Salomon Vaya Mid GTX Hiking Boot Review

Salomon’s hiking boot collection runs the gamut from light-and-fast designs for covering ground quickly to burly leather models for intensive, multi-day backpacking trips. The women’s-specific...

Merrell Siren Edge 3 Hiking Shoe Review

Merrell’s flagship Moab is their bestselling model and one of the most popular hiking shoes on the market, but it’s not particularly light or modern. Enter the women’s-specific Siren Edge 3, which undercuts much of the competition at just 1 pound 2...

Hoka One One Sky Arkali Review

Hoka One One’s Sky Arkali blends the lacing of an approach shoe with the midsole of a trail runner and the height of an over-the-ankle hiking boot. Billed as a “do-anything” trail shoe, we were eager to see if the radical Arkali truly could tackle any...

Salomon Quest 4 GTX (Women's) Review

Salomon’s Quest 4 has been one of the most capable backpacking boots on the market for years running, and the latest version carries the torch. I took the women’s version of the boots on a demanding...

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX Hiking Shoe Review

Adidas has come on strong in the world of hiking footwear, and its Terrex Swift series is a notable standout among the competition. The R3 GTX is a low-cut waterproof hiking shoe that’s reasonably...

Salomon XA Pro 3D V9 GTX Review

Salomon is one of the biggest and most respected names in outdoor footwear, with an extensive lineup that spans the road running, trail running, and hiking categories. The XA Pro 3D, now in its 8th iteration, slots in as a crossover design: a shoe...

Scarpa Rush Hiking Shoe Review

In 2022, the line between trail runners and hiking shoes is growing increasingly blurry, and for good reason. As more and more hikers push their mileage and speed, the need for nimble yet protective footwear is paramount. Scarpa’s new Rush collection...

Salomon Quest Prime GTX Hiking Boot Review

Salomon is one of the biggest names in backpacking footwear, and their Quest Prime GTX slots in as a lightweight option for long-distance trekking. After wearing the boot in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains on terrain ranging from maintained trails to...

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boot Review

In the world of hiking boots, Salomon’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX is a true standout. Despite its lightweight build, the boot nicely balances comfort, durability, and rock-solid traction. We put the X Ultra 3 through its paces over a full year of testing...

La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX Review

La Sportiva is a climbing company first, but that expertise has transferred over nicely to the hiking footwear market. Among their growing line, the Nucleo High II GTX is one of the more capable and well-rounded lightweight boots we’ve tested. It’s...

The North Face Vectiv Exploris 2 Mid Futurelight Review

Building off the success of the first-generation Vectiv Exploris, The North Face’s Vectiv Exploris 2 Mid is a thoroughly modern design that effectively bridges the gap between a hiking shoe and boot. You get great out-of-the-box comfort and a generous...

Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX Hiking Shoe Review

Building off of Arc’teryx’s trail running collection, the Aerios FL slots in as a light but tough option for hikers who like to move quickly. Eager to test its performance, we took the low-top version of the shoe on a multi-day backpacking trip in the...

Altra Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid Review

Altra’s Lone Peak shoe is known for its exceptional fit and comfort and has long been wildly popular among trail runners and thru-hikers. Piggybacking off its success, Altra recently released the ALL-WTHR...

Scarpa Zodiac Tech GTX Boot Review

Scarpa’s Zodiac Tech GTX takes their Zodiac Plus backpacking boot and adds a technical slant for light mountaineering objectives. I wore the boot while hiking around Canada and during a demanding 16...

Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX (Women’s) Review

Now in its fourth iteration, Salomon’s modern X Ultra line is a popular collection for everything from day hikes to lightweight backpacking trips. Building on the success of the prior generation, the latest shoe...

Hoka One One Sky Toa Hiking Boot Review

Hoka One One has dabbled in hiking footwear in the past, but they truly jumped into the fray with their Sky lineup. Eager to test the boots against long-time favorites, we took the speed-focused Sky Toa into the Palisades Backcountry of eastern Idaho...

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid (Women’s) Review

Lowa has been making boots since the early 1920s, and the Renegade is their flagship model designed for covering serious ground over rough terrain with a full pack. I wore the women’s version of the mid-height...

Oboz Sawtooth II Mid Waterproof Review

Recently updated with a new collar design and increased ventilation, Oboz’s Sawtooth II Mid is a stable and tough boot meant to handle the rigors of backpacking. We put the women’s...

La Sportiva TX4 Review

La Sportiva’s popular TX lineup runs the gamut from the minimalist TX2 approach shoe to the mid-height TXS hiking boot. Over the past few seasons, I’ve enjoyed my middle-of-the-pack TX3: an approach shoe with a great combination of breathability...

Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoe Review

Salomon’s X Ultra line of hiking footwear is one of our long-time favorites for all types of uses from day hikes to lightweight backpacking trips. We tested the low-top shoe version through everything from early winter conditions in the Pacific...

Oboz Bridger Mid BDry Hiking Boot Review

Along with their Sawtooth line, the Bridger boot is a signature product from Bozeman, Montana-based Oboz. Its design is in many ways reflective of what has made the company a success: a reliable fit, durable materials, and high levels of support and...

Salomon OUTward Mid GTX Hiking Boot Review

Last year, Salomon added yet another boot to their already expansive lineup in the OUTward. Slotted just under the popular X Ultra 3 in price and performance, the boot features a stylish leather and mesh upper, 2-pound weight, and decent support for...

Salomon OUTline Hiking Shoe Review

Salomon’s OUTline mirrors the modern trends: it’s essentially a trail runner up top with hiking shoe tread on the bottom. At 1 pound 8.6 ounces for the pair, the shoe is lighter than the popular X Ultra 3 and has a sleeker look that can be readily worn...

Asolo Falcon GV Hiking Boot Review

In many ways, the Asolo Falcon GV represents where we think hiking footwear is headed: a little less weight and support than a traditional heavyweight boot, but with the technical chops to get the job done both on and off trail. We brought the Falcon...

Keen Targhee III Mid Hiking Boot Review

Keen’s Targhee line has been a powerhouse in the day-hiking world for years, and the “III” retains similar levels of comfort and build quality that has made the collection so popular. In short, this isn’t your hardcore boot for steep or rocky trails...

Review: La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX

With a serious alpine pedigree, La Sportiva has been manufacturing highly regarded climbing and skiing gear for almost 90 years. Therefore it’s no surprise that their Trango...

La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoe Review

As an alpine rock climber and climbing guide, my feet frequent a great deal of trail, rocks, and snow—especially during the summer months. I took on the La Sportiva TX3 as my faithful companion throughout a season of testing, from high-mileage link-up...

Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Hiking Boot Review

Scarpa’s Zodiac Plus GTX is a fully supportive yet exceptionally lightweight boot ideal for handling high-mileage days with a heavy load. This midweight hiker is designed to shine in environments when a mountaineering boot is overkill but a low-top...

La Sportiva Wildcat Shoe Review

A favorite among trail runners, lightweight hikers, and thru-hikers for almost a decade, the La Sportiva Wildcat balances a burly build with an approachable $110 price tag. However, after testing the shoe back-to-back in the Pacific Northwest with...

Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Shoe Review

Merrell’s original Moab reached legendary status, and the current “2” carries on the tradition. To cut right to the chase, after taking the Moab 2 Ventilator to Utah’s Canyon Country and subsequent testing in Washington’s Cascade Mountains, the shoe...

Best Hiking Boots of 2024

Hiking boots are critical to your comfort and performance on the trail, but this no longer means a stiff and burly model that will weigh you down. The trend is toward lighter materials that still offer decent support, and waterproof boots...

Best Women's Hiking Boots of 2024

For the best combination of protection and support on the trail, look no further than a hiking boot. Compared to other forms of hiking footwear, boots are epitomized by their mid-height build, which offers best-in-class stability on technical terrain...

Best Hiking Shoes of 2024

The momentum in hiking footwear is moving away from bulky boots toward lightweight shoes and even trail runners that are faster and more comfortable. You do lose some ankle support when carrying a heavy pack or traversing rocky trails...

Best Women's Hiking Shoes of 2024

Whether you’re setting out on a casual day hike or hitting the trail with overnight gear, there’s a hiking shoe up for the task. Compared to traditional hiking boots, hiking shoes are characterized by their low-top design, which translates to less...

Best Approach Shoes of 2024

Combining the features of hiking shoes, climbing slippers, and even mountaineering boots, approach shoes are in a category of their own. For climbers, they’re an essential piece of footwear that provides stability and traction on rock in addition to...

Blizzard Rustler 10 Ski (2024) Review

Blizzard’s original Rustler was consistently one of our favorite all-mountain skis thanks to its focus on fun over all-out power and speed. The design has gotten a big revamp for 2024, including changes to the construction (Titanal now runs the length...

Head Kore 93 Ski Review

The original Kore ski was a market standout thanks to its progressive, superlight all-mountain design, and Head has gone back to the drawing board for the 2022 second edition. Key changes include a revised core construction, even lighter weight, and...

Blizzard Sheeva 10 Ski (2024) Review

Blizzard’s Sheeva 10 is the women’s counterpart to the popular Rustler and an impressively well-rounded ski for everyone from progressing intermediates to expert riders. For 2024, Blizzard retooled the construction and made slight tweaks to the sidecut...

Rossignol Experience 86 Ti Ski Review

Rossignol has shaken up their ski offerings a fair amount over the past couple years, starting with the release of the Black Ops freeride line and now a big revamp to the Experience collection for...

Head Kore 99 Ski Review

Head’s 2022 Kore collection covers widths from 87 to 117, and towards the middle of that lineup is the versatile 99. Like the rest of the Kore models, this ski saw a number of changes for this season, including a revised construction, even lighter...

Nordica Enforcer 94 Ski Review

Nordica’s Enforcer (and women’s Santa Ana) is a leading all-mountain design that excels in everything from firm snow to moderately deep powder. The ski was updated for...

Blizzard Brahma 88 Ski Review

Now in its third iteration, Blizzard’s Brahma 88 is one of the most well-respected frontside rippers on the market. For 2021, the ski has gotten a serious redesign, with tweaks to everything from the flex...

Volkl Blaze 106 Ski Review

In a departure from their core all-mountain lineup, Volkl has taken aim at the freeride category with the new-for-2021 Blaze. We tested the unisex and women’s 106 models in Crested Butte...

Nordica Santa Ana 98 Ski Review

Nordica’s Santa Ana (and men’s Enforcer) is one of our favorite all-mountain skis for its versatility and impressive performance both on- and off-piste. For 2021, Nordica retooled the ski by narrowing...

Salomon Stance 96 and 94 W Review

Salomon has filled a notable void in their lineup for 2021 with the new Stance all-mountain collection. In comparison to their fun and playful QST designs, the Stance is stiffer and more powerful...

Volkl M5 Mantra Ski Review

Volkl’s Mantra is one of the most well-respected skis among dedicated all-mountain riders, and the current model delivers serious speed and stability on hardpack. We put the 177-centimeter M5 Mantra to the test in Washington state and found that it’s a...

Volkl Secret 92 Ski Review

Volkl’s Secret 92 (and men’s M5 Mantra) slots in as their versatile all-mountain design built for hard-charging resort-goers that like to explore both on- and off-piste. We brought the Secret to Crested Butte, Colorado, for testing and came away with...

DPS Pagoda Piste 90 RP Ski Review

New for 2021, DPS’ Pagoda Piste 90 RP marries the brand’s smooth, soft snow shape and high-end carbon construction in a new on-piste width. COVID-19 cut our testing short, but we brought the ski to Crested Butte, Colorado, and got a good feel for its...

Blizzard Bonafide 97 Ski Review

Along with the women’s Black Pearl 97 and narrower Brahma 88, Blizzard’s signature all-mountain collection also includes the speed-hungry Bonafide 97. Revamped for 2021, everything from the rocker profile to the flex pattern and core construction have...

Black Crows Corvus Ski Review

Black Crows is a relative newcomer to the U.S. market, but the brand has quickly impressed with its lineup of fun and capable skis. One of the most popular is their flagship Corvus model, which is a big-mountain charger built for speed. Here’s our...

DPS Skis Wailer 106 Tour1 Review

Utah-based DPS is best known for their powder skis designed for big lines and face shots. But for those who like to earn their turns, most are simply too heavy to haul up thousands of feet...

Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024

If you're searching for that elusive one-ski quiver, this is the category to find it. The definition of “all-mountain” varies by manufacturer and retailer but typically includes skis from 80 to 105...

Best Backcountry (Touring) Skis of 2024

Unlike their lift-assisted alpine cousins, backcountry skis have two jobs: getting you uphill efficiently while retaining enough power to make the downhill worth the effort (and fun). The good news is that material...

Trew Gear Cosmic Primo Jacket Review

Trew Gear is a brand on the rise, and their longstanding, core men’s ski shell is the Cosmic. Balancing weather protection, mobility, and features for resort and backcountry days, it’s a versatile piece with wide appeal. And the latest Primo version...

Helly Hansen Alpha 4.0 Ski Jacket Review

Helly Hansen’s Alpha has been our top-rated resort ski jacket for years, and the new-for-winter-2024 “4.0” carries the torch. This popular ski jacket has a great fit and feel with its stretchy construction and hits a real sweet spot in warmth...

Patagonia Storm Shift Ski Jacket Review

Patagonia makes some of our favorite ski jackets, and their Storm Shift stands out as an impressively well-built design for resort riders who put a premium on durability and comfort. We tested the men’s version in typical Pacific Northwest conditions...

Arc’teryx Sabre Jacket Review

Arc’teryx offers an extensive lineup of quality ski jackets, from technical hardshells to insulated resort options. The Sabre Jacket (formerly the Sabre AR) slots in right in the middle, with a premium Gore-Tex build, light flannel backer, and smartly...

Trew Gear Chariot Bib Primo Review

Oregon-based Trew Gear is a relatively young brand but has wasted no time assembling a solid lineup of high-quality and clean-looking ski kits. We recently put the women’s Chariot Bib Primo to the test...

Patagonia Insulated Powder Town Jacket Review

Patagonia’s ski jacket lineup runs the gamut from backcountry-ready hardshells to insulated resort designs. Formerly called the Snowbelle/Snowshot, their Insulated Powder Town falls into the...

Flylow Gear Foxy Ski Bib Review

Colorado-based Flylow Gear is well known among backcountry skiers for their tough and stylish designs that nicely balance fashion and function. The women’s Foxy Bib is a shining example, combining great overall performance and versatility in a good...

Trew Gear Stella Jacket Primo Review

Oregon-based Trew Gear is no stranger to inclement weather, and their ski jackets are built to handle harsh conditions and rough treatment while looking good in the process. The women’s-specific Stella Jacket...

Patagonia Insulated Powder Town Pant Review

Patagonia’s ski pant lineup ranges from uninsulated shells for mileage-heavy backcountry missions to insulated designs for fending off the chill on cold resort days. The Insulated Powder Town Pants are unapologetically built for the latter with a thin...

Arc’teryx Sentinel Ski Bib Review

Arc’teryx is a leader in the technical backcountry ski market, and their Sentinel Bib Pant (and men’s Sabre Bib Pant) slots in as a highly protective and tough design at a very competitive weight. With a mix of weather-ready Gore-Tex and a light...

Outdoor Research Kulshan Storm Ski Bib Review

Outdoor Research makes some of our favorite ski bibs on the market, and their Kulshan Storm Bibs (formerly the Mt. Baker Storm Bibs) were quick to impress during a winter of skiing in the Pacific Northwest. The Gore-Tex build provides reliable...

Arc’teryx Rush Jacket Review

Vancouver-based Arc’teryx is a frontrunner in the technical ski shell market, and the Rush Jacket slots in as their fully featured yet light Gore-Tex Pro backcountry piece. Updated for winter...

Patagonia SnowDrifter Jacket Review

Patagonia offers a jacket for just about every type of skier and terrain, from insulated, resort-ready designs to lightweight hardshells built for the backcountry. The SnowDrifter slots in as their affordable...

Norrøna Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Jacket Review

Norwegian brand Norrøna is no stranger to harsh mountain environments, with a quality selection of top-end hardshells built for demanding missions in the alpine. The Lofoten collection, named after...

Patagonia Stormstride Ski Pant Review

Patagonia has an extensive ski shell collection, and their Stormstride Pants slot in as a targeted touring design built to balance protection and breathability during high-output use. I tested the pants throughout a winter of skiing at the resort and...

Patagonia 3-in-1 Snowshot Jacket Review

Patagonia’s Snowshot (and women’s Snowbelle) is the company’s leading resort offering and comes in a number of variations, from a standard hardshell to a 3-in-1 jacket. In testing the...

Flylow Gear Lucy Jacket Review

Available for fall 2020, Flylow Gear’s Lucy Jacket combines the comfort and stretch of a softshell with the durability and protection of a hardshell. We brought the new women’s-specific piece to Crested Butte, Colorado, for testing, and found it to be...

Arc’teryx Macai Ski Jacket Review

Sitting atop Arc’teryx’s venerable ski lineup is the Macai, a Gore-Tex-equipped, down-insulated ski shell built for frigid conditions and serious resort use. Two of our testers put the Macai through a season-long test in Washington state...

Outdoor Research Tungsten Ski Jacket Review

The Tungsten Jacket is Outdoor Research’s newest insulated resort shell and combines impressive warmth with a highly protective Gore-Tex build and full feature set. We took the women’s version to...

Arc'teryx Sidewinder Ski Jacket Review

Arc’teryx’s hardshells sit at the top of the market in terms of weather protection and build quality, and the Sidewinder is yet another impressive offering from the Canadian brand. We took the Sidewinder...

Arc’teryx Sabre Ski Pant Review

Arc’teryx is a leader in the premium ski kit market, and their flagship Sabre Pant was quick to win us over with its top-notch protection and durability in a lightweight package. Whether you’re a resort rider or like to earn your turns in the...

Mammut Stoney Hardshell Jacket Review

The ski jacket market is certainly stacked in 2020, but we like what Mammut has come up with in their Stoney shell. Featuring in-house waterproofing, a stretchy build, and a functional feature set, the Stoney ticks most of the boxes we look for in a...

Arc’teryx Rush LT Ski Pant Review

North Vancouver-based Arc’teryx knows its way around the backcountry, and that comes across clearly with the Rush LT Pant. These pants are purpose-built for ski touring , with a 3-layer Gore-Tex...

Outdoor Research Skyward II Jacket Review

The Outdoor Research Skyward II ski jacket blends the weather protection of a hardshell with the comfort, breathability, and stretch of a softshell. We put the Skyward through a season-long test in everything from typical Pacific Northwest spring...

Outdoor Research Skyward II Ski Pant Review

Combining a 3-layer construction with stretchy fabrics for mobility, Outdoor Research’s Skyward II is one of the most well-rounded ski pants we’ve tested to date. After a full season of skiing in conditions ranging...

Patagonia Primo Puff Ski Jacket Review

Patagonia’s ski lineup runs the gamut from technical, backcountry-ready hardshells to insulated resort options. Sitting at the top of their inbounds collection in both warmth and price is the Primo Puff, which...

Outdoor Research Hemispheres Ski Jacket Review

When it comes to choosing a shell, backcountry-goers often have to make the decision between range of movement and weather protection. However, the Outdoor Research Hemispheres Jacket aims to deftly balance both demands without making any major...

Arc’teryx Rush IS Jacket Review

Ski tourers require high levels of weather protection, breathability, and comfort for spending long days in the mountains. Arc’teryx’s Rush IS checks all of these boxes but adds light insulation for the coldest of days on the skin track. The jacket is...

Outdoor Research Hemispheres Bib Review

Outdoor Research Hemispheres’ kit garnered a lot of attention at its release in 2018 due to its claimed balance of weather protection and freedom of movement. To put it to the test, we hit the skin track and resort with the Hemispheres Bib, where it...

Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket Review

Arc’teryx is no stranger to hardshell jackets and long has been a go-to option for protection in harsh mountain environments. At the very top of their lineup is the Alpha SV ("severe weather"), which is designed for use in the most serious of...

Arc'teryx Proton LT Hoody Review

High-output activities like ski touring and winter climbing require an insulated jacket that balances warmth and ventilation, and Arc’teryx’s Proton LT Hoody fits the bill nicely with air-permeable fabrics and lightweight synthetic fill...

Best Ski Jackets of 2024

Choosing the right ski jacket is all about managing the conditions that you might encounter on the mountain. This depends on the specific kinds of skiing you enjoy most—skinning up a sunny ridgeline in the North Cascades is far different than bracing...

Best Women’s Ski Jackets of 2024

Whether you’re cruising the resort or earning your turns, a ski jacket is an important component of every skier’s kit. Compared to standard winter coats or hardshells, these jackets come infused with...

Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024

As your main line of defense against snow and wind, a quality snowboard jacket is a key piece of your kit. Designs fall into three basic categories: versatile and light shells, insulated models for a boost in...

Best Women’s Snowboard Jackets of 2024

Whether you’re a resort rider or like to earn your turns outside the ropes, a high-quality jacket is an essential part of every snowboarder’s kit. Over the years, we’ve seen performance gradually catch up with style...

Best Ski Pants of 2024

Ski pants are a critical barrier between you and the elements, and there’s a pair to fit every type of skier and budget. Resort-goers typically opt for a classic hardshell design with some light insulation to stay warm on the lift rides up. Backcountry...

Best Women's Ski Pants of 2024

Ski jackets get all the glory, but a pair of quality pants is equally important for keeping you warm and dry on the slopes. Today’s designs range from waterproof and insulated resort options to full-coverage bibs and...

Best Snowboard Pants of 2024

From the very beginning, style has been a defining component of snowboarding culture and has largely influenced the sport's gear and apparel as a result. Today, a good number of snowboarders still...

Best Women's Snowboard Pants of 2024

You won’t get very far from the lodge without a good snowboard pant or bib, which guards against cold and wet chairlift seats, keeps snow at bay during a wipeout, and offers ample ventilation for sidecountry hiking...

Best Midlayers of 2024

In the typical three-layer ski clothing system, the midlayer is given the all-important insulating duties. As such, it is the one article of clothing you’re most likely to swap out depending on weather conditions. Is it bristling cold and dry...

Smith 4D Mag Goggle Review

Building on Smith’s popular I/O Mag snow goggle, the newer 4D Mag features a curved section at the bottom of the lens designed to greatly increase downward visibility. We tested the high-end goggle over a full ski season and found that while the added...

Black Diamond Guide Ski Gloves Review

Black Diamond's Guide Gloves are a longtime favorite for those who put a premium on warmth and protection. We recently put a new pair to the test (after using and abusing a previous pair for seven...

Oakley Fall Line M Goggle Review

The original Fall Line failed to resonate with a bulky shape and relatively high price tag, but Oakley revamped the line last year with the new XM (and larger XL). We brought the latest model to Crested Butte, Colorado, for some late-season testing and...

Smith Proxy Goggle Review

Despite having a pretty comprehensive snow goggle collection, Smith filled a small gap in their lineup with the new-for-2022 Proxy. This goggle slides in under the popular Skyline with its framed look, spherical lens shape, and medium fit, and at $150...

Anon M4 Toric MFI Goggle Review

Burton-owned Anon only makes a handful of snow goggles, but their lineup is truly a study in quality over quantity. The M4 Toric MFI sits at the top of their offerings and is one of the most impressive goggles we’ve tested to date. In short, the...

Smith Nexus MIPS Helmet Review

Smith’s snow helmet lineup runs the gamut from the simple and budget-friendly Holt to the range-topping Nexus tested here. This premium lid replaces the brand’s popular Quantum for the 2023-2024 season and is as feature-rich as they come: You get a...

Oakley Mod5 MIPS Helmet Review

Oakley is a relative newcomer to the ski helmet market, but their Mod collection has been a strong foray into the space. Sitting at the top of the lineup is the Mod5 MIPS, which boasts a clean, low-profile shape and plenty of premium touches. In...

Smith Quantum MIPS Helmet Review

Smith’s snow helmet lineup runs the gamut from the simple and budget-friendly Holt to the range-topping Quantum tested here. This premium lid is as feature-rich as they come: you get a full suite of safety...

Smith Squad Mag Goggle Review

Smith’s Squad has been a long-time favorite for its semi-framed styling, budget-friendly price, and good all-around versatility. They’ve added to the collection for 2020-2021 with the Squad Mag, which takes the basic design of the original model and...

Smith I/O Mag Goggle Review

Smith is a leader in optics, so it comes as little surprise that their snow goggles are some of the best on the market. Within their lineup, the I/O Mag stands out as their most well-rounded design: it offers excellent optics and fit, comes with two...

Smith Level MIPS Helmet Review

Smith’s Level took the place of one of our all-time favorite helmets, the Variance, but retains most of the winning recipe. Slotting in below the premium and popular Vantage, it shares a lot of the design...

Oakley Airbrake XL Review

Oakley has long been a favorite in the ski goggle industry, with functional and stylish designs that go head-to-head with leading manufacturers like Smith and Giro. Their Airbrake XL—packing a large spherical lens and low-profile frame—was our...

Giro Axis Goggle Review

Giro is a leader in the snow goggle market, and their Axis combines a medium fit with two high-quality lenses, a plush foam build, and a good field of view considering the compact design. We tested the Axis in a range of conditions, from wet and windy...

Smith Skyline Goggle Review

Smith’s Skyline slots in as one of their mid-range goggle offerings, combining an accommodating medium fit with good all-around visibility and a single ChromaPop lens. We tested the Skyline in British Columbia and while on a ski trip in Japan and came...

Smith Altus MIPS Helmet Review

An all-new entry for winter 2020-2021, Smith’s Altus helmet takes features from the brand’s premium models and packs them into a lightweight and sleek design. Our testing was cut short due to COVID-19, but we managed to take the Altus and women's Vida...

Smith Vantage MIPS Helmet Review

Smith is a leader in the ski helmet market, and their Vantage MIPS is a favorite among serious downhill and alpine touring riders. This lid seemingly has it all: comfort, performance, safety, and good looks to boot. Given its impressive résumé...

Best Ski Goggles of 2024

Ski goggles are a specialty of ours: We’ve tested, reviewed, and all-around debated the merits of more than 50 designs over the years. It’s a dynamic market, but the good news is that no matter your experience level or budget, there is a great ski...

Best Ski Helmets of 2024

No matter your ability level, picking up a helmet for skiing is a no-brainer. If you’ve been putting off replacing a helmet that’s years old or are new to the sport, recent advancements have...

Best Ski Gloves and Mittens of 2024

Nothing can kill a great day on the slopes like cold fingers, so make sure to choose a quality glove or mitten that fits the type of skiing you do most. The options range from gauntlet-style synthetic gloves to undercuff leather designs from...

Black Diamond JetForce Pro 25L Review

With a rise in backcountry adventuring of late, avalanche airbag packs have become increasingly popular for the added safety they can provide in the event of a slide. Black Diamond’s battery-powered...

Scarpa 4-Quattro XT Ski Boot Review

Scarpa is an irrefutable leader in the backcountry ski boot market, and they recently made a push into the freeride space with the 4-Quattro XT. We put the boot through a mix of backcountry and resort riding last winter and came away largely impressed...

Patagonia Descensionist 40L Pack Review

Skiers, snowboarders, and other adventurers headed into the backcountry will need a pack to carry their supplies, and options range from highly organized and plush haulers to minimalist models for weight...

Scott Patrol E1 30 Avalanche Airbag Pack Review

Avalanche packs help backcountry-goers stay on the surface of the snow in the event of a slide by using a power source (either a canister of compressed air or gas or an electric fan) to inflate an airbag. In the case...

Lange XT3 130 Ski Boot Review

Backcountry skiers often sacrifice downhill performance for the ability to tour uphill, but Lange’s XT3 130 is designed with the descent in mind. We put the XT3 to the test both on- and off-piste in the...

Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC Binding Review

Most ski bindings fall into either the downhill or alpine touring category, but the Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC is a do-it-all set-up that can confidently transition between the front- and backcountry. In short, it combines the safety and convenience of a...

Dynafit Hoji Free Ski Boot Review

Dynafit is no stranger to the ski boot market, and their Hoji collection offers great all-around performance for backcountry skiers who don’t want to sacrifice descending capabilities. We put the Hoji Free to the test this past winter and were...

G3 Ion 12 Binding Review

Now in its second generation, G3’s Ion has earned a solid reputation in the tech binding market for its user-friendly design. With a full season of testing under my belt with the 12-DIN model, I've found its auto-rotation lock, simplified step-in, and...

Rossignol Alltrack Elite 130 LT Ski Boot Review

Rossignol is one of the biggest and most respected names in the ski industry, and their Alltrack collection of touring boots offers quality performance for backcountry skiers focused on the downhill...

Salomon S/Lab MTN Ski Boot Review

Salomon is no stranger to the backcountry skiing market with an expansive lineup of touring equipment. From their ski boot collection, the S/Lab MTN is aimed at resort and backcountry skiers who want the option to do both without making major...

Review: Arc'teryx Procline Carbon Support

When Arc’teryx announced they would be releasing ski mountaineering boots, the Procline series, we were intrigued to say the least. The brand dominates the ski apparel market, but with only a recent foray...

Salomon MTN Pure Binding Review

Salomon made a bold entrance into the tech binding world with the release of the minimalist and feather-light MTN Pure. Mounted on a pair of lightweight DPS skis, the MTN Pure was my binding of choice for a winter of lightweight missions, where it was...

Scarpa Maestrale RS Ski Boot Review

Among Scarpa’s impressive and diverse lineup of ski boots, the Maestrale RS alpine touring model is a standout. A stiffer version of their popular Maestrale, the RS is designed to be light on the skin track and extra powerful on the descent. The...

NEMO Hornet OSMO 3P Tent Review

NEMO is a leader in the lightweight backpacking tent market, and their Hornet stands out for its two-door-and-vestibule layout in an ultralight package. My wife and I recently took the three-person version to...

Sea to Summit Ikos TR2 Tent Review

Still a relative newcomer to the tent market, Sea to Summit has added a third backpacking model for 2023: the Ikos. At $429 for the two-person capacity, it’s the most affordable of the bunch but retains the space-enhancing Tension Ridge pole and high...

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 mtnGLO Review

Big Agnes is a leader in the ultralight tent market, and we recently took their popular Tiger Wall to Peru for testing. At 3 pounds all in for the two-person model, the tent was light enough to carry for 10 days...

REI Co-op Trailmade 2 Tent Review

In an era of rampant inflation, REI’s in-house gear is just getting more affordable with the recent introduction of their new Trailmade collection. The Trailmade replaces the Passage as the Co-op’s entry-level, three-season backpacking tent, targeted...

Nemo Aurora Highrise 6P Tent Review

Nemo makes some of our favorite backpacking tents but has been a relatively small player in the car camping market for some time. That’s changed with the Aurora Highrise, which lands in the heart of the very competitive premium tent space. We tested...

Sea to Summit Alto TR2 Tent Review

Well-known in the backpacking realm for their sleeping mats, Australia-based Sea to Summit jumped into the tent market this year with the introduction of their freestanding Telos TR and semi-freestanding...

Nemo Mayfly Osmo 2P Tent Review

New Hampshire-based Nemo makes some of our favorite backpacking tents, from the ultralight Hornet Elite to the spacious and feature-rich Dagger. The Mayfly Osmo fills a nice gap between the two, with a hard-to-beat balance of weight and durability for...

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 2P Tent Review

Dyneema-specialist Hyperlite Mountain Gear has tried their hand at trekking-pole tents in the past (notably with the discontinued Dirigo 2), but the Unbound is their best effort yet. Closely following the time-tested design...

REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent Review

Beloved by backpackers for years, REI Co-op’s Half Dome was updated a couple seasons ago with a significant drop in weight. But despite using thinner fabrics (they’re still tough by modern standards)...

Sea to Summit Telos TR2 Tent Review

Sea to Summit is best known for their quality sleeping pads and backpacking accessories, but their recent foray into the tent market has put them in the crosshairs of long-time players like Nemo and MSR. They introduced two models for this year: the...

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent Review

First introduced in 2008, the Copper Spur series by Big Agnes has been a consistent frontrunner in the ultralight tent category. We tested the latest two-person model (which was lightly updated a few seasons back) on a series of backpacking trips in...

MSR Hubba Hubba Tent Review

Discerning backpackers look for a high-quality, lightweight, and durable tent, and MSR’s Hubba Hubba checks all of those boxes emphatically. Despite dropping a considerable 10 ounces from the past version, the latest model (updated in 2022) held up...

Tarptent StratoSpire 2 Tent Review

In a rapidly growing segment of ultralight tents, the Tarptent StratoSpire 2 stands out for its spacious and thoughtfully built design at an approachable price point. A longstanding option in their lineup, the StratoSpire proved to be very livable and...

Zpacks Duplex Zip Tent Review

Zpacks’ Duplex has long been one of the most popular trekking-pole tents on the market, with a design that deftly balances durability, spaciousness, and weather protection at a competitively low weight. Recently, Zpacks released the...

REI Co-op Trail Hut 2 Tent Review

One step up from their true budget model (the Passage), REI Co-op’s Trail Hut offers a spacious interior, durable fabrics, and excellent weather protection for just $199. We put the two-person model to the test in Southern Patagonia ...

Big Agnes Crag Lake SL2 Tent Review

Big Agnes specializes in quality backpacking tents, from streamlined ultralight models for ounce-counting minimalists to family-friendly designs that prioritize comfort and spaciousness. The Crag Lake falls somewhere in the middle, striking a good...

REI Co-op Flash Air 2 Tent Review

Last year, REI made a serious push into the ultralight market with the Flash Air tent. This design checks the right boxes for a UL shelter with thin fabrics, a non-freestanding construction, and a hybrid single-wall build. But from our experiences with...

Zpacks Duplex Tent Review

Purpose-built for thru-hikers and other ounce-counting backpackers, the Zpacks Duplex is one of the lightest and most well-built tents on the market. To test its limits, we took the Duplex Flex—a fully freestanding upgrade to the base model—backpacking...

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 Tent Review

Maine-based Hyperlite Mountain Gear helped bring Dyneema to the backpacking mainstream —or at least the fringes of it. And new for 2019, the trekking pole-supported Dirigo 2 tent now carries the torch...

REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent Review

REI Co-op’s Passage 2 is proof that you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a high-quality backpacking tent. For just $159, you get a durable build, two doors and vestibules, a full-coverage...

Black Diamond Mega Light Review

On first glance, it's easy to see that the Black Diamond Mega Light isn't a regular backpacking tent. With no floor and a remarkably light and minimalist design, the Mega Light can serve as a spacious common...

Nemo Dagger Osmo 2P Tent Review

Nemo’s Dagger has long been considered one of the most livable lightweight backpacking tents on the market, and the new OSMO version offers a similarly competitive mix of weight and roominess. We brought the 2-persion version to Patagonia for testing...

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Tent Review

Big Agnes’ Tiger Wall blends two of their best backpacking designs—the popular Copper Spur and Fly Creek—into one intriguing ultralight package. We took the UL2 model backpacking in Utah’s Canyon Country and found that the mixture worked: the two-door...

Tarptent Double Rainbow Tent Review

The backpacking tent cottage industry is alive and well, and California-based Tarptent is one of the top brands among dedicated ULers. Their leading two-person model is the Double Rainbow, which hits a competitive balance of usability, weight, and...

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Solution Dye Review

In many ways, Big Agnes’ Fly Creek helped bring the ultralight movement to the mainstream. At under 2.5 pounds, it’s comparable to a bivy sack or hammock and stuffs down impressively small in a pack...

Big Agnes Copper Spur 3 Platinum Tent Review

The Copper Spur line has been revered for years, and for those who want to cut even more weight, Big Agnes launched high-end Platinum versions. We took the three-person model on a bikepacking adventure...

MSR Remote 2 Tent Review

The ideal 4-season tent is a delicate balance of roominess and comfort, ventilation, and extremely durable stormproof construction, all in a package that doesn’t weigh you down too much. With a short weekend on...

REI Co-op Quarter Dome 2 Tent Review

In years past, REI’s Quarter Dome was on the cusp of breaking through in the lightweight tent market. It was a fantastic value for the weight, but the build quality was a step down from the competition...

MSR Access 3 Tent Review

Tent manufacturers constantly are pushing the limits of weight and weather protection, and 4-season tents designed to withstand harsh conditions tend to fall on the heavy side of the spectrum. Yet MSR essentially created a new category with their...

Hilleberg Allak Tent Review

Hilleberg has set the bar high, creating some of the most finely tuned and well-built tents on the market. Therefore we were extremely excited to test the Allak, a 2-person freestanding tent that falls into Hilleberg’s “Red Label” category. This means...

The North Face Mountain 25 Tent Review

Anyone who has spent a stormy winter night huddled in a tent has heard his or her inner voice asking: “is this thing going to hold?” In cold temperatures and inclement weather, we...

Hilleberg Niak Tent Review

Until this year, the Anjan was Hilleberg's lightest 2-person tent model at 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms) packed weight. Enter the Niak, a new 2-person tent that weighs 3 pounds 12 ounces (1.5 kilograms), yet still offers impressive weather...

MSR FreeLite 2 Tent Review

MSR’s updated-for-2022 FreeLite tent shares many design similarities with one of our favorite backpacking models, the Hubba Hubba, but with significant weight savings. At 2 pounds 5 ounces...

Nemo Hornet 2P Tent Review

Nemo is a leader in the lightweight backpacking tent market, and their Hornet stands out for its two-door-and-vestibule layout in an ultralight package. Through a summer of testing, the two-person Hornet treated us well and proved to be a highly...

Review: Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy

For a number of years, I’d thought of replacing my two-person tent that often serves as my home on solo adventures, with a bivy sack. The idea of reducing weight, saving space, and having a shelter with...

Best Backpacking Tents of 2024

In choosing the right backpacking tent, you have a wide range of options from minimalist ultralight shelters to inexpensive and heavier entry-level models. But uses and budgets vary, and the ideal...

Best Ultralight Tents of 2024

In the ultralight backpacking world, The Big Three refers to the most important (and heaviest) pieces in your kit: your backpack, sleeping bag, and shelter. Shaving a pound (or two) off of each of these items can go a long way...

Best 4-Season Tents of 2024

From backcountry ski tours to mountaineering in some of the most brutal weather on Earth, a 4-season tent is the last line of defense between you and the elements. Accordingly, these tents are much stronger than their 3-season counterparts with less...

Osprey Atmos AG LT 65 Backpack Review

Osprey’s Atmos AG is an incredibly popular pack—and our current top-rated design—and they’ve added a trimmed-down “LT” model for 2023. In short, the new Atmos AG LT cuts away a half pound in weight by...

Gregory Facet 55 Backpack Review

One of the biggest names in packs, Gregory is well known for their comfortable and feature-rich designs, built to carry everything but the kitchen sink. But less is often more, especially for moving quickly...

Zpacks Arc Haul Ultra 60L Backpack Review

Zpacks is a leader in the UL pack market, known for mixing innovative suspension platforms with ultralight fabrics. The Arc Haul is a mainstay in their lineup, and it got a recent revamp with the switch...

Osprey Aether 65 Backpack Review

Osprey has a reputation for building comfortable packs, and the Aether line is one of their best. The brand retooled the collection towards the end of last year, splitting their core offerings in two: a standard...

Gregory Jade 63 Backpack Review

Gregory has been pumping out quality packs since the late 1970s, and the Jade—the women’s counterpart to the Zulu—is another high-quality and well-built design. I recently tested the pack in Patagonia and came away pleased by its effective balance of...

Osprey Aura AG LT 65 Backpack Review

Osprey’s Aura AG 65 has long been one of our favorite women's backpacking packs, so we were excited to hear about the release of the streamlined LT (“lightweight”) version. With a thoughtfully pared-down feature set, the Aura AG LT 65 manages to be...

Gregory Deva 70 Backpack Review

Gregory is well known for their comfort-oriented and feature-rich packs, and the Deva 70 (the women's counterpart to Gregory's Baltoro 75) carries the torch. The design stands out for its heavy-hauling capabilities with firm but supportive padding and...

REI Co-op Traverse 60 Backpack Review

Updated for 2021, REI made a number of changes to their core Traverse line. Now offered in two capacities (32 and 60L), they’ve simplified the design to target the typical weekend backpacker. However, after testing the latest Traverse 60 on a...

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak Daypack Review

Maine-based Hyperlite Mountain Gear is well known among ultralight enthusiasts for their premium packs and tents made with Dyneema—a naturally water-resistant material that’s incredibly strong for its weight. Their Daybreak Ultralight Daypack is case...

Gregory Paragon 58 Backpack Review

Best known for their heavy-hauling Baltoro, the Paragon backpack from Gregory cuts weight to appeal to the core overnight and weekend crowd. We really liked the original, and they recently updated the design with a mesh-heavy suspension system and side...

Gregory Stout 70 Backpack Review

Gregory has been in the pack-making game for almost 50 years and covers the whole gamut of backpacking designs, from ultralight models for staunch minimalists to burly heavy haulers for shuttling serious weight. The aptly named Stout 70 falls into the...

Zpacks Arc Haul Zip 64L Backpack Review

As a backpacker, I usually resign myself to some bruising on my hips after my first day with a full pack, but the Zpacks Arc Haul Zip 64L Backpack was a welcome reprieve. Despite its ultralight status, it...

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 55 Backpack Review

Hyperlite Mountain Gear is an ultralight pack specialist with a loyal following among thru-hikers and minimalist backpackers. A recent addition to the brand’s premium lineup, the Unbound slots in as one of their lightest offerings but doesn’t feel as...

Gregory Katmai 65 Backpack Review

Gregory’s Baltoro is their flagship model designed for hauling heavy loads over longer distances, but their Katmai is arguably the more approachable option for most. I brought the 65-liter version to Patagonia....

Arc’teryx Bora 75 Backpack Review

As backpacks trend toward lighter and less durable designs, Arc’teryx’s Bora (formerly the Bora AR) stands out as a burly and capable heavy hauler. Now offered in larger 65- and 75-liter capacities (past versions were sold in 50 and 63L options)...

Osprey Rook 65 Backpack Review

At $165 for the 65-liter version, Osprey’s Rook is their most affordable multi-day offering to date, coming in around $100 cheaper than much of the competition. Eager to put it to the test, we took this budget-friendly pack on a challenging four-day...

Granite Gear Blaze 60 Backpack Review

Effectively balancing weight, carrying comfort, and features is a tall order, but Granite Gear’s Blaze 60 pack manages to do so with very few compromises. We took the women’s Blaze on a 35-mile backpacking trip along the Grand Canyon’s challenging...

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 40 Backpack Review

Dyneema is a hot ticket in ultralight gear, and for good reason: It's one of the strongest materials in the world relative to its weight, resists moisture very well, and is incredibly light. Maine-based Hyperlite Mountain Gear leads the charge in...

Osprey Exos 58 Backpack Review

For a time, Osprey’s Exos was the ultimate ultralight pack and a favorite among thru-hikers. The competition has grown lately, but the recent Exos (updated in mid 2022) offers a very strong mix of carrying comfort, ventilation, and organization...

Osprey Ariel 65 Backpack Review

Osprey makes some of our favorite packs on the market, and the Ariel (the women’s counterpart to the Aether) is their dedicated heavy hauler that’s backed by years of proven performance. We recently brought the latest model to Patagonia for testing...

Osprey Aura AG 65 Backpack Review

Osprey’s proven lineup of backpacking packs runs the gamut from simple entry-level haulers and ultralight builds to premium, feature-rich models. The Aura AG—and its men’s counterpart, the Atmos AG—falls right in the middle, deftly balancing weight...

REI Co-op Flash 55 Backpack Review

REI Co-op entered the world of ultralight backpacking in a big way with the release of their Flash 55 pack. The combination of price, ample storage, and low weight made it a quick favorite, and the second...

Osprey Levity 60 Backpack Review

In an ever-growing field of lightweight gear, the sub-2-pound Osprey Levity is a formidable contender in the UL backpacking pack market. Coming in 11 ounces lighter than their popular Exos, the design targets thru-hikers and minimalists. We took the...

Granite Gear Crown3 60 Backpack Review

Though not quite a household name like backpack giants Osprey or Gregory, Granite Gear has quietly established itself on the ultralight scene as a brand to trust. Featuring relatively simple yet highly customizable...

Osprey Eja 58 Backpack Review

A pack specialist through and through, Osprey is known for their fully featured and comfort-oriented designs for everything from day hiking to week-long backpacking trips. Many of their high-capacity haulers check in at well over 4 pounds with robust...

Gregory Baltoro 75 Backpack Review

Gregory’s flagship men’s Baltoro and women’s Deva packs are long-time favorites for those carrying serious weight, and the latest versions carry the torch. We recently took the 75-liter Baltoro to Patagonia...

Osprey Stratos 24 Daypack Review

Osprey is a leader in the pack market, and their Stratos line is an all-around favorite for day hiking. We’ve owned multiple variations over the years, and all have delivered nearly flawless performance through extended, rough use. We’ve been testing...

Osprey Mutant 52 Climbing Backpack Review

Osprey might be best known for their impressive lineup of backpacking packs, but they took that expertise and tailored it to the alpine with the climbing-focused Mutant. We took the 52-liter version on an expedition in the Alaska Range, using it both...

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Backpack Review

I typically purchase gear with an eye toward fastpacking and previously thought of high-capacity packs as being useful only for slower thru-hikes or long trips into the backcountry. The Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 backpack has changed my mind. Though...

Osprey Talon 22 Daypack Review

Osprey’s Talon is the daypack we see on the trails more than any other. And there’s good reason for its popularity: it’s light, has a nice fit, is made in a wide range of sizes and bright colorways, and hits a desirable price point. In testing the...

Osprey Atmos AG 65 Backpack Review

One of the few downsides of the industry-wide transition to internal-frame packs is ventilation. Enter the Atmos line from Osprey, and more recently, the Atmos AG pack. This bag was designed from the...

Best Backpacking Backpacks of 2024

Gone are the days when backpacking consisted of strapping on a huge external frame and lumbering through the forest with an aching body. Trends in backpacks these days err towards minimalism...

Best Daypacks for Hiking of 2024

From short day hikes and summit scrambles to all-day adventures into the backcountry, you’ll want the right pack for the job. Most people carry water and food, a layering piece and rain shell, and a few other accessories like a first-aid kit or...

Best Climbing Backpacks of 2024

Gone are the days when climbing consisted of swami belts, hobnailed boots, and weeks spent nailing pitons into swaths of granite. Current trends in climbing gear have moved toward functionality, performance, and thoughtful design, and packs have...

Yakima SkyBox NX 16 Review

The roof box market is a pretty stagnant space, so it’s notable when a big-time product gets a revamp. And that’s just what happened with the Skybox NX, which effectively replaces the Carbonite model in Yakima’s lineup. Offered in 16- and 18-cubic-foot...

REI Co-op Wonderland Tent Review

In a surprising move, REI replaced their popular Kingdom series with the Wonderland line last year. We’ve had a chance to test both the four- and six-person versions (note: The photos below are of the Wonderland 4), and we have to admit that the new...

Yeti Roadie 24 Cooler Review

The Yeti name carries a lot of weight in the cooler market: Their coolers are impressively effective insulators, hold up very well over the long term, and boast the brand’s laudable polished look. Their smallest hard-sided offering is the Roadie 24...

Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite Review

Yakima has been a leader in the cargo roof box game for some time, and their core and arguably most versatile product is the SkyBox Carbonite. We’ve had the 16-cubic-foot model on the top of our vehicle for a few years now and have found it to be...

Thule Motion XT XL Review

Thule’s rooftop cargo box collection is undeniably extensive, from luxurious designs with felt-lined interiors and built-in lighting to soft-sided models for cheap and compact storage. The Motion slots in as their premium all-rounder ...

REI Co-op Skyward 4 Tent Review

REI gave their camping tent collection a shakeup for 2022, including replacing their mid-range Grand Hut series with the all-new Skyward. Offered in four- and six-person capacities, we brought the smaller version to Moab for testing this spring and...

Nemo Stargaze Reclining Camp Chair Review

Camping chairs are a fairly static category with few noteworthy innovations each year, but New Hampshire-based Nemo came up with a very intriguing design in their Stargaze Reclining Camp Chair. Now in its second iteration, the Stargaze offers a hammock...

REI Co-op Base Camp 6 Tent Review

Featuring high-quality materials and a traditional dome shape, REI Co-op’s Base Camp has been a long-time staple in their tent lineup. Offered in four- and six-person capacities, the car camping-focused model is a top choice among those looking to...

Exped MegaMat Duo 10 Review

Sitting towards the top of the premium camping mattress market is Exped’s MegaMat Duo 10. This double-wide, luxurious pad easily sleeps two, and its generous cushioning and high R-value make it a great companion for year-round adventures. After...

Coleman Sundome 6 Tent Review

A popular choice among car campers and festival-goers for years, Coleman’s Sundome 6 (also known simply as “the Coleman Dome Tent”) is offered at a bargain-basement price that is tough to match. With enough floor area to fit two queen-sized mattresses...

Best Camping Tents of 2024

Spacious, user-friendly, and feature-rich, camping tents are made for a relatively luxurious experience in the outdoors. Many of these behemoths offer enough room to set up cots or even chairs and a table for card games on a rainy day. For car campers...

Best Camping Mattresses of 2024

Well-versed campers are comfort experts, and one item they don’t compromise on is a sleeping mattress. Unlike backpacking where weight and packed size are limitations, car camping mats put a premium on plush cushioning and support with thick foam and...

La Sportiva TC Pro Review

Have you ever noticed that updates and redesigns often make a product worse? I sure have. Apparently, so has Tommy Caldwell: Referencing the redesign of La Sportiva's legacy shoe, the TC Pro, Caldwell offered, “This was an aspect of the project that...

Osprey Mutant 52 Climbing Backpack Review

Osprey might be best known for their impressive lineup of backpacking packs, but they took that expertise and tailored it to the alpine with the climbing-focused Mutant. We took the 52-liter version on an expedition in the Alaska Range, using it both...

Black Diamond Momentum Review

For decades now, Black Diamond has been a mainstay for climbing gear and protection. And in late 2017, they finally released their own lineup of shoes. The first to hit the shelves was the...

Arc'teryx Acrux SL Review

Approaches to the granite spires of Patagonia’s Chaltén Range aren’t child’s play, with dry glaciers, steep snow, tricky moraines, and miles upon miles of hiking. It’s no small ask for an approach shoe to be able to perform well in these...

Scarpa Crux Review

Visit any crag across the country, and you’re bound to see Scarpa’s Crux on the feet of multiple climbers. This entry-level approach shoe is a well-built, affordable offering that excels on trail and easy rock. And in early 2018, it got a few...

La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoe Review

As an alpine rock climber and climbing guide, my feet frequent a great deal of trail, rocks, and snow—especially during the summer months. I took on the La Sportiva TX3 as my faithful companion throughout a season of testing, from high-mileage link-up...

Five Ten Guide Tennie Review

Five Ten’s Guide Tennie is widely considered to be the first approach shoe ever made, and over 30 years later, it’s still a crowd favorite. The combination of durable materials, lightweight design...

Review: Salewa Firetail 3 GTX

Salewa isn’t yet a household name, but the company has a serious following among the climbing community and those who like to get into the alpine. Their Firetail 3 GTX is an approach shoe that is robust, functional...

La Sportiva Genius Review

La Sportiva calls the Genius “the most advanced performance-built design on the market.” Climbing companies love to make superlative claims, but coming from La Sportiva, this one definitely gets our attention

Review: Scarpa Boostic

Combining Italian craftsmanship with an aggressive, downturned shape, the Scarpa Boostic is a solid performance shoe. Priced at $179, it does fall into the extremely competitive high-end of the market...

Review: Mammut Infinity

I’ve been climbing for close to 16 years and have owned more than 20 different ropes, not to mention the countless other ropes borrowed other climbers. So it was not exactly a shot in the dark for me...

Evolv Shaman Review

Chris Sharma is one of the greatest sport climbers of all time, if not the greatest. It goes without saying that he could choose any shoe company, and any shoe in their lineup that he wanted, and get paid to wear...

Five Ten Anasazi Lace Review

The Anasazi Lace—aka the “Pink”—has been a mainstay in Five Ten’s lineup since the ’90s. And with notable improvements throughout the years, it still holds its own in today’s modern market. Boasting a medium-stiff build and powerful edging platform...

Review: Evolv Addict

The Addict is a relatively new climbing slipper from Evolv, and a solid one at that. Built similarly as the time-tested design of Five Ten’s excellent slipper, the Moccasym, Evolv managed to create a shoe that...

Best Rock Climbing Shoes of 2024

We love rock climbing shoes, and we bet you do too. The good news for climbers is that there are more quality products and styles to choose from than ever before. Impressive new models such as the La...

Best Approach Shoes of 2024

Combining the features of hiking shoes, climbing slippers, and even mountaineering boots, approach shoes are in a category of their own. For climbers, they’re an essential piece of footwear that provides stability and traction on rock in addition to...

Yakima HangTight 4 Review

Hanging racks are a popular way to transport bikes without needing to lift them overhead onto the roof of your vehicle, and they typically also offer more capacity out of the box than platform designs. Yakima’s HangTight 4 is a good example: It can...

Specialized Recon 2.0 Shoe Review

Specialized’s S-Works Recon is a highly technical mountain bike shoe that’s purpose-built for serious riders and dedicated racers, but the minimal cushioning and snug fit limit its comfort and...

Shimano AM903 Bike Shoe Review

Shimano is best known for their quality mountain bike components, but their shoe collection—ranging from lightweight XC models to burly enduro and e-bike designs—is similarly competitive. We’ve been testing the SH-AM903 for the past several months...

Thule Helium Platform 2 Review

We’ve been a fan of Thule bike racks for years—their T2 Pro XTR is currently our top-rated model—so we were pretty excited by the release of the premium Helium Platform. This euro-cool design puts an emphasis on everyday simplicity with easy-to-secure...

Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Rack Review

Sitting atop Kuat’s hitch rack collection is their top-end NV 2.0. With a premium build and price tag to match, this rack is feature-rich, designed to work with a wide variety of bike styles and sizes, and has proven to be durable and reliable even...

Specialized Ambush 2 Helmet Review

Specialized might be best known for their quality bikes, but we’ve had good experiences with their helmets and apparel, too. We tested and liked their Ambush helmet last year and were excited to try out this year’s version, the Ambush 2...

POC Kortal Race MIPS Helmet Review

POC has been at the forefront of helmet safety for years, and their Kortal Race MIPS carries the torch. This premium mountain bike lid packs in a host of well-integrated safety features, including...

Thule T2 Pro XTR Bike Rack Review

Sweden-based Thule is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of car racks and bike accessories, and the T2 Pro XTR is their core hitch-mounted offering. An evolution of the popular T2 Classic, this is a fully featured rack with an easy-to-use tilt...

Kuat Transfer v2 2-Bike Rack Review

In the wide-ranging hitch bike rack market, Kuat’s Transfer v2 hits a real sweet spot in price and performance. The platform-style rack is user-friendly, can handle an impressive array of wheel sizes and tire widths, and carries two bikes with no frame...

Salsa Timberjack Mountain Bike Review

Of all the bike brands on the market today, Minnesota-based Salsa Cycles conjures up the most thoughts of adventure and getting off the beaten path. I spent the last few months aboard...

Cannondale Topstone Review

Taking the place of the unique and innovative Slate gravel bike is Cannondale's latest all-road creation: the Topstone. Released last year, the mid-range Topstone 105 features a sturdy aluminum frame...

Cannondale Habit Review

Connecticut-based Cannondale has always done things a little differently, but their revamped and surprisingly mainstream 2019 Habit seeks to make them a top contender once again. With its...

Salsa Journeyman Review

Salsa Cycles’ adventure-by-bike ethos permeates each and every model in their lineup, and the gravel-focused Journeyman is no exception. We spent most of the spring using and abusing the top-end Apex 1 650 model on gravel roads...

Cannondale Trail Mountain Bike Review

Cannondale’s Trail mountain bike lineup is known for its balance of price, build quality, and smart component choices for beginner to intermediate cyclists. We tested the mid-range Trail 6 hardtail...

Shimano ME7 Review

Shimano has made a strong push in the mountain bike shoe world of late, releasing a number of quality and functional designs for clipless and flat pedal riders. Updated for 2019, the ME7 stands at the top of their enduro and trail line-up as...

Smith Forefront 2 MIPS Helmet Review

Smith’s foray into the world of mountain bike helmets began in 2014 with the release of the lightweight Forefront. Four years later, they introduced the “2” with notable updates, including a lower-profile design, improved ventilation, and wider, more...

Yakima Dr.Tray Review

Yakima has been a key player in the bike rack market since 1979, and the Dr.Tray currently sits at the top of their platform hitch offerings. Fully featured and wrapped up in a class-leading lightweight package, the Dr.Tray was an exciting choice...

Kuat NV Base 2.0 Review

Founded just over a decade ago, Kuat is a relative newcomer to the world of bike racks, but they haven’t wasted any time in creating functional, polished designs. Their NV Base 2.0 is a solid hitch-mounted rack that is comparable to class-leading...

Thule Vital 8L Review

Better known for their bike racks and carriers, Thule entered the hydration pack market with the mountain biking-specific Vital lineup in spring 2018. I’ve opted for hip packs the past few years on technical rides to allow my back to breathe...