Our informational articles are a source of pride: We love a good deep dive into materials, technology, and the pros and cons that go into a buying decision. Below is the full look at our team’s learning center that we’ve assembled over the past decade. Separated by activity—ski, hike, backpack, camp, climb, and bike—we cover everything from insulation and tent footprints to how to avoid fogging up your ski goggles.

How to Prevent Your Ski Goggles From Fogging

A quality pair of ski goggles can do a lot to improve visibility on the slopes, but if they get all fogged up, it doesn’t really matter what you’re wearing. The good news is that there are a number of steps you can...

Choosing the Right Ski Waist Width

You have a huge range of widths to choose from when making a ski purchase, from 60-millimeter racing skis to 130-millimeter big-mountain sleds designed for extreme places like Alaska. After years of trending...

Ski Jacket Construction: 2L vs. 3L

If you’ve ever shopped around for a ski jacket (or pants), you’re bound to have seen the terms 2L and 3L (short for 2-layer and 3-layer) again and again. These refer to the style of construction used in a waterproof jacket’s shell, including the...

Lange Shadow Ski Boot: Technical Breakdown

With the introduction of the Shadow line of boots as their new flagship all-mountain and piste model, Lange is making some radical claims about what their machinery offers in a market that’s been...

How to Choose a Ski Jacket

As your outermost layer, ski jackets play a key role in keeping you comfortable and protected from the elements. The jacket market has expanded in recent years, covering everything from warm and cozy insulated resort pieces...

Ski Trip Packing List

There’s something truly satisfying about skiing in bounds, despite the potential for crowds. Maybe it’s the fact that you can accomplish thousands of feet in a day, or just the convenience of a warm lodge nearby to thaw cold hands and feet. But when...

How to Choose All-Mountain Skis

Picking an all-mountain ski can be a daunting task. The category itself covers a wide range of styles from groomer-oriented skis to more powder-friendly designs. In addition, the sheer number of models and annual turnover in the market further muddy...

Best Ski Brands of 2024

There’s nothing quite like getting first tracks at the resort, nailing a new trick in the terrain park, or finding fresh pow in the backcountry, but skiers need the right tool for the job. The industry is vast and expanding by the year, making...

How to Stay Warm While Skiing

There’s a lot to love about resort skiing: you can cram in a ton of runs per day, always have the convenience of a lodge nearby, and don’t have to hoof it up thousands of vertical feet to earn your turns. That said, the biggest challenge with skiing...

Patagonia Ski Jackets: How to Choose

From resort days to deep backcountry missions, Patagonia’s ski jacket lineup covers nearly the full gamut of possible designs. At the time of publishing, a grand total of nine different models...

Best Ski Apparel Brands of 2024

It’s no secret that skiing is an expensive and gear-intensive sport. And whether you’re doing laps at your local resort or skinning deep into the backcountry, you’ll need a quality jacket and pant combo...

Good Ski Gear on a Budget

The biggest impediment to skiing is cost: the gear can be prohibitively expensive, and that’s before you get to lift tickets. The good news is that despite all the hype around the latest and greatest gear, you can have a good day on the hill without...

How to Choose Baselayers

A baselayer’s primary job is to keep you comfortable while wicking moisture as you sweat. Whether you’re climbing steep skin tracks in the backcountry, skiing lift-accessed terrain at the resort, or climbing and hiking in cool shoulder-season weather...

Ski Jackets: Shell vs. Insulated vs. 3-in-1

Today’s ski jackets are well-made and built to handle many seasons of use in foul weather. They also can be big investments, with even entry-level jackets often setting you back a couple hundred dollars or more. With so many styles to choose from, it...

Backcountry Ski Bindings: Tech vs. Frame

As you transition from resort skiing to the backcountry, your set-up inevitably will become more complex. Some AT bindings prioritize downhill performance, particularly for aggressive skiers...

How to Layer for Backcountry Skiing

Backcountry skiing can be an incredibly rewarding way to spend your time outdoors—no crowds, untouched snow, and a skin-track workout to compliment your knee-deep powder turns...

Backcountry Skiing Checklist for 2023

Nothing is more satisfying or adrenaline-inducing than slaying fresh powder in the heart of the backcountry, but you’ll need the right gear to accomplish your ski objectives...

What is a Softshell Jacket?

Softshell jackets fill a much-needed void between lightweight insulating pieces and waterproof hardshells. They stretch for movement and breathe well, yet still offer better protection from the elements than...

How to Choose Winter Boots

For those living in cold parts of the world, a quality pair of winter boots is essential. They help keep your feet warm, dry, and planted on the ground as you navigate months of snowy and icy conditions. Below...

Winter Camping Checklist for 2024

Whether you are planning a week-long expedition or camping for a single night, having the right equipment for winter is crucial. Snow-covered landscapes can be magically enticing, but trips...

Rain Jacket Construction: 2L vs. 2.5L vs. 3L

There’s no shortage of rain jackets to choose from, and one way to narrow down your search is by determining what sort of construction best fits your needs. Depending on their application, rain jackets...

Do You Need Waterproof Hiking Shoes?

We get this question a lot: Do your hiking shoes or boots need to be waterproof, or can you do without? Hikers and backpackers fall on both ends of the spectrum: some prefer the unparalleled breathability...

How to Choose a Down Jacket

For the best in cozy and lofty warmth, down jackets are in a class of their own. That said, the category covers a wide range of options, from lightweight and packable designs for backcountry use to stylish and hardwearing models for your winter...

Down vs. Synthetic Insulation

As the weather cools down each year, the great down-versus-synthetic insulation debate heats up. Goose and duck down fill are among the premier insulators on earth, trapping air and creating pockets of warmth around your body with very little weight...

Down Fill and Insulation Explained

Down is perhaps the most effective insulator on Earth: Its warmth-to-weight ratio and compressibility are unbeatable, and it’s extremely soft and cozy to boot. To better understand the world of down, below we break down considerations like fill power...

Best Outdoor Clothing Brands of 2024

The outdoor clothing market is vast, with everything from budget-focused brands to sustainability leaders and high-end backcountry specialists. With years of experience testing a wide range of hiking...

Does Your Down Jacket Need a Hood?

A down jacket is a wonderful insulating piece: it’s light, packable and offers premium warmth that you simply can’t find in a synthetic equivalent. In choosing your perfect puffy, one of the forks in the road...

Merino Wool: Is It Worth It?

Merino wool, the ultra-soft fabric most commonly found in performance baselayers and socks, is one of the most sought-after materials in the outdoor gear world. But is it worth the hype? Below we break down the pros and cons of merino wool, including...

Fall Hiking Gear Essentials

Fall is our favorite time of the year to hike: the temperatures have cooled off, the bugs are mostly gone, and the colors in the mountains are incredible. For this shoulder season, we always make some adjustments to our hiking gear kit, adding a little...

Day Hiking Checklist

A day hike can be as simple as walking a well-maintained trail near your home or as complex as a dawn-to-dusk journey through a remote wilderness area. The items you bring may vary depending on the difficulty and length of the hike, but no matter how...

Best Hiking Footwear Brands of 2024

Ask any hiker or backpacker on the trail and they’ll likely tell you that the key to success—i.e., staying comfortable mile after mile—is a good pair of hiking footwear. From well-established brands like...

How to Choose a Backpacking Tent

Tents are one of the most exciting pieces of your backpacking kit—it’s your home away from home in the backcountry—but selecting the right one requires a healthy amount of research and thought. Designs...

Backpacking Checklist

Whether you’re a first-time backpacker or a seasoned veteran, everyone could use a good list to make sure they’re prepared when they head out on the trail. Our detailed checklist below covers everything from critical backpacking equipment (tent, pack...

How to Pack a Backpack

One of the first steps to enjoying a backpacking trip is learning how to load your pack properly. There are a lot of considerations that go into a well-packed backpack, from nailing the capacity and balancing your pack's contents to keeping critical...

Freestanding vs. Non-Freestanding Backpacking Tents

If you’re in the market for a backpacking tent, you’ll probably notice that designs are categorized as “freestanding” or “non-freestanding.” But what do these designations mean, and how do you know which style is right for you? Below we break down the...

Backpacking Tents: How Light is Too Light?

While ultralight backpacking gear used to be more niche (and tricky the get ahold of), the past few years have seen a surge in mainstream brands integrating weight-saving designs and materials into readily available gear. One of the biggest areas that...

Does Your Backpacking Tent Need a Footprint?

This age-old question challenges newbie backpackers and veterans alike. You've already spent a substantial amount on a tent, but should you tack on the extra purchase of a footprint? Is it really necessary? Below we break down the key components of the...

Backpack Fit and Sizing Guide

Your pack is arguably the most important piece of gear in your backpacking kit, and a proper (or improper) fit can make or break your time spent in the backcountry. It all starts with nailing the size, which can then be...

Sleeping Bags vs. Quilts

For thru-hikers, bikepackers, or anyone looking to travel light and fast, an ultralight sleeping bag or quilt is a no-brainer purchase that can shave noticeable weight and bulk from an overnight kit. But the choice between the two styles can be tricky...

Backpacking Tent Weight Comparison Chart

If you’re researching backpacking tent weight, you’ve come to the right place. Below we’ve put together detailed tent weight comparison tables covering most models available for summer of 2024. For comparison's sake, all are two-person, three-season...

One-Person Tent and Shelter Weight Comparison

One-person shelters are the definitive expression of going ultralight. Eschewing creature comforts, those that sleep solo reap the benefits of cutting precious ounces from their packs. To identify the absolute...

Sleeping Bag Weight Comparison Chart

It’s amazing to think that a sleeping bag can weigh only 1 pound and keep you warm through the night. To pull this off, manufacturers utilize light and lofty down insulation, thin shell and lining fabrics, and...

Sleeping Pad Weight Comparison Chart

There are a number of ways backpackers trim total packed weight, but one of the simplest and most affordable is their sleeping pad. And the beauty in getting a...

How to Choose a Camping Stove

There are so many factors that go into choosing the right camping stove. How many people are you cooking for? Do you like to make intricate meals? How far will you have to shuttle your gear from car...

Camping Checklist

Whether it’s your first time car camping or you’ve been at it for years, it never hurts to have a good checklist. To help you get out of the house with all of the essentials in tow, we’ve outlined everything you need including campsite and sleeping...

Good Camping Gear on a Budget

Most top-of-the-line camping gear is loaded with luxuries and features that mimic the comforts of home. But unless you're getting out every weekend or like to “glamp” (a glamorous version of camping), the latest and greatest technology isn’t a...

Best Rooftop Tent Brands of 2024

Rooftop tents have come a long way since their dusty beginnings in the wild outback of Africa and Australia. Originally designed for overlanders with rugged off-roading vehicles, they’re now popular among campers and casual weekenders worldwide. And...

Best Tent Brands of 2024

Whether you’re car camping at your local state park for the week or venturing deep into the backcountry, you’ll need a quality shelter that’s spacious enough for your group, reasonably weather-worthy for the conditions, and able to withstand regular...

Homegrown: Misty Mountain Threadworks

Misty Mountain's headquarters in the hills of Western North Carolina is not the kind of place you just stumble upon. It's the kind of place you set off to find. And when you arrive...

Editor's Picks: Climbing Gear Guide

As I pause below a bolt to collect myself and map out the next sequence of moves, everything below me fades away. I straighten my arms, inhale deeply, and steady my breathing. My body starts to...

Choosing the Right Climbing Rope Diameter

There are so many considerations that go into purchasing a rock climbing rope: Do you want a bi-pattern rope or one with a middle mark? How long does it need to be? Should you buy a dry-treated...

Rock Climbing Checklist

Whether you spend your days climbing indoors or scaling multi-hundred-foot monoliths, it’s always helpful to know what you need. Our detailed climbing checklist below covers everything from equipment for different...

How to Choose Rock Climbing Shoes

Forget your pull-ups and hangboard workouts: if you’re a new climber, your footwork is likely the biggest barrier between you and the higher grades. Good technique is a must, but your choice of...

Indoor Climbing 101: Gym Tips and Gear Advice

In 1987, a small warehouse filled with texture-painted walls and rock-shaped hand and foot holds opened for business on the shores of Salmon Bay in Seattle, Washington. The owners called the place “Vertical...

27.5 vs. 29er Mountain Bikes

Not long ago, mountain bikers didn’t have a choice when it came to wheel sizes—26 inches was the only option. But once 29- and 27.5-inch wheels hit the market, the debate amongst bikers took off and has continued ever since. 29ers...

How Much Should You Spend on a Mountain Bike?

The mountain bike market has drastically changed over the last couple decades, but there’s one fact that’s stayed steady: The sport is expensive. It's no exaggeration that carbon full-suspension builds can top the price of a nice used car. That said...

Best Mountain Bike Brands of 2024

For many mountain bikers, understanding the background, history, and ethos of a company has a major impact on the purchase of a new rig. However, with so many brands to choose from, it can be difficult to navigate the landscape and find a good match...