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 footweartents, backpacks, camping gearski gear, climbing 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.

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket Review

Patagonia’s popular Torrentshell got a notable upgrade for 2020, shifting from a 2.5-layer design to a more hardwearing and weather-ready 3-layer construction. We brought the retooled Torrentshell...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Osprey Poco Plus (2020) Child Carrier Review

Osprey’s Poco (offered in both standard and “Plus” models) is easily one of the most popular and recognizable kid carrier packs on the market, and it’s undergone a fairly thorough revamp for...

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...

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...

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...

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Rain Jacket Review

Patagonia’s popular Torrentshell got a notable upgrade for 2020, shifting from a 2.5-layer design to a more hardwearing and weather-ready 3-layer construction. We brought the retooled Torrentshell...

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 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...

Black Diamond StormLine Stretch Review

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

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...

Arc’teryx Zeta AR Review

Sitting atop Arc’teryx’s Zeta lineup is the Zeta AR (“all round”). Designed as a versatile and fully featured shell for trekking, the jacket performed extremely well throughout a thorough round of testing in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains...

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...

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...

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 Review

REI Co-op has made major strides over the past few years, assembling an impressive in-house lineup of high-quality gear and clothing that doesn’t break the bank. And the XeroDry GTX rain...

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...

Patagonia Galvanized Hardshell Jacket Review

Alpine pursuits demand a balance of weather protection, breathability, and mobility that few jackets are able to achieve. Enter the Patagonia Galvanized. Combining the waterproofing of a hardshell with...

Arc’teryx Beta LT Review

Sliding in just below Arc’teryx’s popular Beta AR in their hardshell lineup is the light but tough Beta LT. Featuring a compelling mix of 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro waterproofing and 12.2-ounce weight, we tested the jacket on everything...

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 Alpha SV Jacket Review

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

REI Co-op Drypoint GTX Jacket Review

Backed by a Gore license, REI Co-op now has top-of-the-line waterproofing technology to replace their old eVent line. Combine this with REI’s increased focus on design and performance of their in-house products, and you have some very competitive...

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 remains a favorite thanks to a premium...

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...

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...

Arc'teryx Zeta LT Review

The Arc’teryx Zeta LT manages an impressive balance that few rain jackets are able to achieve: design and performance that nearly match an alpine hardshell with the comfort and weight of a packable rain jacket. Retailing for over $400, the Zeta LT...

Outdoor Research Foray Rain Jacket Review

As Seattleites, Outdoor Research has had ample opportunity to test rain jacket designs, and we like what they've come up with in the Foray. This do-it-all shell is lightweight enough for hiking and...

Arc'teryx Alpha SL Review

Alpha or Beta, SL, FL, or LT—no matter the combination of letters, Arc’teryx jackets are highly tailored for their intended use. The Alpha SL is their lightest and most packable hardshell and Arc’teryx’s answer to emergency...

Review: Arc'teryx Tenquille Hoody

Encroaching on territory that typically favors a waterproof rain jacket, the Arc’teryx Tenquille is a wind- and water-resistant softshell...

Best Rain Jackets of 2020

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 jacket. The 2020 rain jackets for men and...

Best Hardshell Jackets of 2020-2021

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

Patagonia Macro Puff Review

Patagonia’s Micro Puff became an immediate hit in the synthetic jacket world by attempting to mimic the lofty warmth and packability of down in a weather-resistant package. For 2019, the brand has...

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...

Rab Neutrino Pro 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...

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...

REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0 Review

Retooled for 2019, 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, and a...

Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Parka Review

Patagonia’s down products are known for their 100-percent-traceable feathers, quality construction, and sleek, stylish looks. Building off of these core characteristics, the Fitz Roy Down Parka is...

REI Co-op Stormhenge 850 Review

REI Co-op continues to impress us with their premium down products, and we’ve been particularly taken with the Stormhenge 850 winter jacket. Featuring a waterproof shell and high-quality 850-fill down, the...

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...

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...

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 AR Hoody Review

Arc’teryx’s Thorium AR (“all round”) Hoody slots below the performance-oriented Cerium LT as the brand’s do-everything down layer. Eager to test this claim, I wore the women’s Thorium regularly...

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 $299, 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...

Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody Review

Always designed with a specific purpose in mind, Arc’teryx offers a wide range of insulated jackets, and the Cerium LT is one of its most popular. With premium 850-fill down and Coreloft synthetic in areas prone to moisture, it’s a great option for...

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 making high-quality, unflashy products for people who...

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

Synthetic jackets are hot ticket items these days, and the buzz was particularly strong around Patagonia’s Micro Puff. Taking the polyester fill game in a different direction than their Nano-Air...

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...

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...

The North Face ThermoBall Eco Jacket Review

Now in its third 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 impression of a lightweight down piece, and recent updates...

Patagonia Nano-Air Jacket Review

Patagonia’s Nano-Air took the active insulation market by storm, designed to be a synthetic jacket that truly can be worn all day through a variety of conditions and activities. After testing the past-generation hoody while ski touring, we took the...

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...

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...

Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody Review

The Atom LT from Arc’teryx is a legend. It’s been one of the popular synthetic jackets on the market for years, so much so that it has received few updates even as the competition continues to increase. It’s true...

Patagonia Down Sweater 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, as any new down sweater is compared to this legendary...

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 2020

Nothing beats 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 also compresses more easily than synthetics for easy stowage. Below are...

Best Synthetic Insulated Jackets of 2020-2021

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 Vests of 2020

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...

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...

Salomon X Raise Hiking Shoe Review

Building on their excellent hiking footwear collection, Salomon has released the X Raise low-top for 2020. The all-new shoe is intended for fast-and-light day hiking and backpacking trips with a trimmed...

Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX Hiking Boot Review

Arc’teryx is a relatively small-time player in the hiking footwear world, but they’ve recently assembled a solid lineup of quality designs. Released last year, the Acrux TR GTX slots in as their mid-height model designed...

Danner Trail 2650 Hiking Shoe Review

Better known for their lineup of work 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...

Salomon XA Pro 3D v8 Shoe 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...

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...

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 One One Sky Arkali Review

New for 2019, 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...

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...

Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX Hiking Shoe Review

Released last year, the Aerios FL builds off Arc’teryx’s Norvan trail-running collection and marks the company’s continued foray into hiking footwear. Eager to test its performance, we took the low-top version of the fast-and-light shoe on a multi-day...

Altra Lone Peak 4 Mid RSM Review

Altra shoes are most known for their zero-drop platform and wide toe box design, which encourages natural alignment and stability. Their lightweight Lone Peak series has been a popular choice among trail...

Hoka One One Sky Toa 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...

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 TX5 hiking boot. Over the past few seasons, I’ve enjoyed my middle-of-the-pack TX3...

Salomon Odyssey Triple Crown Review

Drawing heavily from their since-discontinued Odyssey Pro hiking shoe, Salomon’s recent addition to their lineup, the Odyssey Triple Crown, is aimed at long-distance backpackers looking to cut weight...

The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Review

The North Face’s Hedgehog Fastpack GTX has been a staple in their hiking shoe lineup for years. It’s consistently a big seller thanks to its desirable $120 price point and solid feature set that includes...

Vasque Breeze LT Mid GTX Review

Recently updated with improved traction, a running shoe-inspired design, and significant weight savings, Vasque’s Breeze LT Mid is aimed squarely at the lightweight hiking and backpacking...

Adidas Terrex Swift R2 GTX 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 R2 GTX is a low-cut waterproof hiking shoe that weighs a reasonable 1 pound 8.6 ounces for the pair. After taking it...

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Review

=Salomon’s Quest 4D boot has headlined their backpacking lineup for years, and it remains a solid all-around performer in today’s market. I put the boot to the test while backpacking the rugged Huemul Circuit in Patagonia and found it to be the perfect...

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...

Salomon X Ultra 3 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’ve tested the latest low-top shoe version through everything from early winter conditions in the...

The North Face Ultra 110 GTX Review

The North Face has been making a strong push in the hiking market, and one of our favorite products has been their Ultra GTX shoe. We put the latest 110 version through three...

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot Review

Nearly every major hiking boot brand has its signature model, and for Lowa, it’s the Renegade GTX. We took the popular mid-height boot out backpacking and day hiking...

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...

Salomon OUTward Mid GTX Hiking Boot Review

For 2020, Salomon has 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...

Salomon OUTline 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 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...

Keen Targhee III WP Mid Review

Keen’s Targhee line has been a powerhouse in the day-hiking world for years. Released at the end of 2017, the Targhee III retains similar levels of comfort and build quality that people love, but hones in fit for slightly more of a performance feel...

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 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 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 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...

Vasque Grand Traverse Review

The Vasque Grand Traverse isn’t your Swiss Army Knife outdoor shoe, but it is one of the most fun pairs we’ve tested this year. With a lightweight and flexible build that is great for desert scrambling, this hybrid hiking and approach shoe is about as...

Merrell Moab 2 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...

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...

Best Hiking Boots of 2020

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 Hiking Shoes of 2020

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...

Best Approach Shoes of 2020

I knew I was officially a climber when I bought my first pair of approach shoes. A climbing-specific style of footwear, approach shoes offer a unique combination of hiking shoes, climbing slippers, and sometimes even mountaineering boots. Because...

REI Co-op Flash Air 2 Tent Review

For 2020, REI has made a serious push into the ultralight market with the Flash Air tent. This new design checks the right boxes for a UL shelter with thin fabrics, a non-freestanding construction...

Zpacks Duplex Tent Review

Purpose-built for thru-hikers and serious 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...

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 (2020) Tent Review

First introduced in 2008, the Copper Spur series by Big Agnes has been a consistent frontrunner in the ultralight tent category. Lightly updated for 2020, we tested the latest two-person model on a series of...

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...

MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent Review

Discerning backpackers look for a high-quality, lightweight, and durable tent. And from our experience with the MSR Hubba Hubba NX, it checks all of those boxes emphatically. Its high-end build is undoubtedly expensive at $450, and it may not be worth...

Nemo Dagger 2P Tent Review

Nemo has come on very strong in the tent market with a number of quality offerings for backpackers. We took the updated 2019 two-person version of their high-end Dagger for an early-season trip into...

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...

Tarptent Double Rainbow Tent Review

The backpacking tent cottage industry is alive and well, and California-based Tarptent is one of the best. Their leading two-person model is the Double Rainbow, which hits a competitive...

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Tent Review

In many ways, Big Agnes’ Fly Creek helped bring the ultralight movement to the mainstream. At less than 2 and a half pounds, it’s comparable to a bivy sack or hammock and stuffs down impressively small in...

REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent Review

Beloved by backpackers for years, REI Co-op’s Half Dome boasts many of the features we love in a tent at a very reasonable price point. Importantly, the Half Dome line is now exclusively offered in “Plus” models, which are among the roomiest and most...

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-2019 FreeLite tent shares many design similarities with one of our favorite backpacking models, the Hubba Hubba NX, but with significant weight savings. At 2 pounds 8 ounces, the FreeLite 2 is a serious contender in the category of...

Nemo Hornet 2P Tent Review

We are “weight weenies,” so we were thrilled to get a hold of Nemo’s Hornet 2P tent for a few recent fastpacking trips. The Hornet is attractive for many reasons and has all the features we love in an ultralight 2-person tent, including...

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 2020

In choosing the right backpacking tent, you have a wide range of options from inexpensive and relatively heavy entry-level models to minimalist ultralight shelters that come in just over one pound...

Best 4-Season Tents of 2020

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

Gregory Paragon 58 (2020) 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’ve updated the design for 2020...

Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 Backpack Review

As backpacks trend toward lighter and less durable designs, Arc’teryx’s Bora AR 63 stands out as a burly and capable heavy hauler. Notable features include a moveable hipbelt that tuned to slide while...

Osprey Rook 65 Review

Last year, Osprey released an intriguing addition to their impressive lineup of backpacking packs: the Rook. At $165 for the 65-liter version, it’s their most affordable multi-day offering to date, coming in around $100 cheaper than much of the...

Granite Gear Blaze 60 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 2400 Southwest Review

Dyneema is a hot item in ultralight gear, and for good reason: it’s one of the strongest materials in the world, resists moisture well, and is incredibly lightweight. Maine-based Hyperlite Mountain Gear...

Osprey Exos 58 Backpack Review

For a time, Osprey’s Exos 58 was the ultimate ultralight pack and a favorite among thru-hikers. The competition has grown significantly in recent years, but the latest model still is a compelling and...

Osprey Aura AG 65 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...

REI Co-op Flash 55 Review

REI Co-op entered the world of ultralight backpacking in a big way with the release of their Flash 55 pack last year. For a reasonable $199, the Flash pulls out all the stops: ample storage, removable features including a top lid and compression straps...

Osprey Levity 60 Review

Released last year, the highly anticipated, sub-2-pound Osprey Levity is a formidable contender in the ultralight backpacking pack market. Coming in 11 ounces lighter than their popular Exos, the design targets thru-hikers and minimalists. We took the...

REI Co-op Traverse 70 Review

REI Co-op continues to improve its in-house line. The versatile Traverse is the company’s leading backpacking pack and features high levels of comfort, thoughtful organization, and a quality build that can compete with any brand on the market. We...

Granite Gear Crown2 60 Review

Granite Gear is a market leader in ultralight packs, with a strong following among thru-hikers and other minimalist backpackers. Arguably, their best design is the Crown2...

Osprey Eja 48 Review

The minimalist Exos has been a mainstay among ultralight packs, but in 2018, Osprey introduced its women’s-specific counterpart: the Eja. Going beyond the “shrink and pink” strategy, the Eja is a well-fitting, adjustable pack that comes in 38, 48, and...

Gregory Baltoro 75 Review

Gregory’s flagship men’s Baltoro and women’s Deva packs are long-time favorites for those carrying serious weight. We took the 75-liter version on the demanding Huemul Circuit in Patagonia and were pleased with its stable feel and premium construction...

Osprey Stratos 24 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 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 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...

Osprey Talon 22 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. We’ve used the...

Osprey Aether AG 70 Review

Osprey has a strong reputation for building comfortable packs, and the Aether line is one of their best. To see how it performed, we loaded down the 70-liter model for a multi-day trip in Southern Utah. All in all, we were impressed by its performance...

Osprey Atmos AG 65 Review

One of the few downsides in 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 has been designed from the ground up to keep your back dry....

Best Backpacking Packs of 2020

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 2020

A key piece of any gear closet is a go-to daypack. It’s what you grab for nearly any type of outdoor adventure, whether it’s a hike, bike ride, or day on the slopes. Generally, what most people look for…

Best Climbing Backpacks of 2020

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...

MSR Guardian Purifier Review

MSR has been a longstanding leader in the world of backpacking filters, so it’s no surprise their Guardian has become our go-to pump for trips abroad. We took this hybrid filter and purifier along to Peru’s...

Patagonia 850 Down Sleeping Bag Review

We’ve never seen a sleeping bag release get as much hoopla as Patagonia’s 850, but that just goes to show how big the brand is in the outdoor world. The company has two models in the lineup: 19°F and 30°F bags, and both are filled with generous amounts...

Review: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Max SV

In the same way that the words “Velcro” or “Kleenex” are used to describe categories of products, “Therm-a-Rest” has become synonymous with lightweight sleeping pads...

Review: Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter

Water treatment is a sometimes annoying and always time-consuming process, but remains an absolutely essential part of any backcountry trip. In the hopes of delivering convenience...

Review: Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated Pad

Australia-based Sea to Summit is best known for their reliable waterproof gear and accessories, but the company made a big splash in sleeping pads for 2015. We first saw their new pads at Outdoor Retailer...

Preview: SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger

Since the original SPOT was released in 2007, the device has grown from a niche product used by ultra outdoorspeople to a go-to safety item that has just recently celebrated its 4,000th rescue...

REI Co-op Kingdom 6 Tent Review

Standing at the top of REI Co-op’s expansive 2020 camping tent lineup is the aptly named Kingdom series. Offered in four-, six-, and eight-person capacities, its familiar tunnel-like shape is a...

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...

Exped MegaMat Duo 10 Review

Sitting towards the top of the premium camping mat 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...

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...

Best Camping Tents of 2020

Spacious, user-friendly, and feature-rich, tents for camping 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...

Best Camping Mattresses and Pads of 2020

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, camping mats...

Nordica Enforcer 94 Ski (2021) 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 (2021) 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 (2021) 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 (2021) 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 (2021) 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 (2021) 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 (2021) 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...

Rossignol Experience 88 Ti Review

Revamped last season, the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti is a capable and confidence-inspiring all-mountain design. We gave the ski an extended look throughout a fun winter in the Pacific Northwest...

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 2020-2021

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 generally includes skis from 80 to 105...

Best Backcountry (Touring) Skis of 2020-2021

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...

Arc’teryx Sabre AR Jacket Review

Arc’teryx offers an extensive lineup of quality ski jackets, from technical hardshells to insulated resort options. The Sabre AR (for “All Round”) slots in right in the middle, with a premium Gore-Tex build...

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...

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...

Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket Review

Patagonia’s leading resort jacket is their Snowshot (and women’s Snowbelle), but their pricier Powder Bowl line offers a notable step up in performance. We put the uninsulated men’s Powder Bowl to the test in Washington state and along B.C.’s aptly...

Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl Pant Review

For resort skiing, we look for pants that are reliably weatherproof, tough, and warm enough to keep us cozy while sitting on cold lifts. The Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl Pants tick all of these boxes...

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

Outdoor Research’s 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 new Outdoor Research Hemispheres Jacket aims...

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

Released in late 2018, the Outdoor Research Hemispheres kit garnered a lot of attention among backcountry skiers due to its claimed balance of weather protection and freedom of movement...

Arc’teryx Sentinel LT Ski Jacket Review

Arc’teryx is a leader in the premium ski shell market, and their Sentinel LT (and men’s Sabre LT) is yet another standout for resort-goers and ski tourers alike. The jacket includes all the trimmings we’d expect...

Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle Jacket Review

Patagonia’s ski jacket lineup undoubtedly is impressive, from the fully featured PowSlayer hardshell to more basic resort options. We tested the women’s Insulated Snowbelle Jacket throughout...

Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket Review

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

Arc'teryx Proton LT Hoody Review

High-output activities like ski touring and winter climbing require an insulated jacket that balances warmth and ventilation. Retooled for this winter, Arc’teryx’s Proton LT...

Best Ski Jackets of 2020-2021

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 Snowboard Jackets of 2020-2021

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 Ski Pants of 2020-2021

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 Midlayers of 2020-2021

In the typical 3-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

Released last season and building on Smith’s popular I/O Mag snow goggle, the 4D Mag features a curved section at the bottom of the lens designed to greatly increase downward visibility. We...

Oakley Fall Line XM 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...

Anon M4 Toric MFI 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 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 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...

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...

Oakley MOD5 Helmet Review

Oakley might be best known for their sunglasses and snow goggles, but their growing ski helmet line is nothing to scoff at. The premium MOD5 is case in point: this helmet is well-built, comfortable, and...

Best Ski Goggles of 2020-2021

No matter your experience level or budget, there is a great ski goggle waiting to be found. Interchangeable lenses dominate the high end of the market with systems that are getting quicker and easier by the by the year. Field of view is another...

Best Ski Helmets of 2020-2021

No matter your ability level, picking up a helmet for skiing or snowboarding 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 2020-2021

Nothing can kill a great ski day 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 nylon gloves to undercuff...

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...

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 Review

G3 shook up the tech binding market with its exceptionally user-friendly Ion binding, and true to form, they’re back with improvements that boost performance and shorten transition time. The Ion 12’s auto-rotation lock...

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 Review

Salomon is no stranger to the backcountry skiing market with an expansive line-up 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...

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 + Brake Review

Salomon made a grand entrance into the tech binding world with the release of the minimalist and feather-light MTN binding. With excellent build quality, user-friendly step-in and climb modes, and strong power...

Scarpa Maestrale RS 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 up the skin track...

La Sportiva Wildcat 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...

Salomon Sense Ride 2 Review

For 2019, Salomon lightly updated their do-it-all Sense Ride trail runner with a redesigned mesh upper and lighter-weight build. After getting full use out of the previous version, I was eager to see how...

Asics Gel-Cumulus 21 Review

Asics is one of the most recognizable names in road running, and the Gel-Cumulus is a standout in their lineup of neutral shoes. Now in its 21st iteration, the newest model builds off of the outgoing “20” with...

Altra Torin 4 Review

The recently released Torin 4 is Altra’s latest addition to their popular road-running lineup. Building off of the outgoing 3.5, the new model incorporates an upgraded midsole, lower stack height, redesigned mesh upper and tread, and lighter-weight...

Saucony Guide ISO 2 Review

Saucony’s Guide ISO 2 marks the 12th generation of the popular stability shoe. Compared to the outgoing ISO model, the “2” incorporates more breathable mesh, has slight changes in the midsole, and comes in a bit lighter. Now my third pair of Guides, I...

Hoka One One Clifton 6 Review

For spring 2019, Hoka One One has revamped their popular Clifton road runner. Notable changes for the sixth iteration include a lighter build and redesigned upper and tread pattern...

La Sportiva Bushido II Review

The La Sportiva Bushido has been at the top of our trail-running shoe rankings for years thanks to its excellent traction, stability, and all-around performance on technical terrain. Updated last year, the Bushido II features a compression-molded EVA...

Arc’teryx Norvan LD Review

Although Arc’teryx only recently entered the trail-running game with their 2016 Norvan VT (short for “varied terrain”), the Vancouver, BC company hasn’t wasted any time establishing their running shoe line-up. Cue the Norvan LD...

Salomon Speedcross 4 Review

As one of their most popular and recognizable designs, the Speedcross trail-running shoe has been a huge hit for Salomon. The toothy, exposed traction and bright colorways are a common sight at...

Best Trail Running Shoes of 2020

Running on varied and challenging trails is a welcome break from the monotony of pounding pavement (or even worse, the belt of a treadmill). Better yet, trail running is an immensely easy sport to get into. Below are our top trail runners of 2020, from...

Best Running Shoes of 2020

Running is among the most approachable forms of fitness, requiring only a pair of quality shoes to get you going. But the sport’s widespread popularity has led to a dizzying array of shoe brands, styles, and available features. Below we break down our...

Osprey Mutant 52 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 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 2020

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 2020

I knew I was officially a climber when I bought my first pair of approach shoes. A climbing-specific style of footwear, approach shoes offer a unique combination of hiking shoes, climbing slippers, and sometimes even mountaineering boots. Because...

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...

Santa Cruz Bronson Review

Santa Cruz is known for making some of the best bikes in the industry, and their attention to detail and quality of craftsmanship are second to none. The Bronson line made its debut all the way back in...

Thule T2 Pro XT Review

Sweden-based Thule is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of car racks and bike accessories, and the T2 Pro XT is their top hitch-mounted offering. An evolution of the flagship T2 Classic, this is a fully-featured rack with...

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 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’ve introduced the “2” with notable updates...

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...

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...