Welcome to the outdoor gear buyer’s guides and reviews here at Switchback Travel. It’s our goal to properly outfit your adventure with unbiased and honest recommendations of the best equipment and clothing on the market. Our buyer’s guides for hiking and camping, skiing, climbing, and mountain biking rank the best products currently on the market, and are tailored to cover all skill and ability levels. No single item is perfect for every person or activity, and as a result, we call out the pros and cons for each product and detail the important considerations in our “buying advice” sections found below the picks.

Our team of writers spends countless hours outdoors getting to know the brands, trying out new products, and staying up with the latest trends (some are good, and some aren’t). If you would like to support our site after reading a review, please use the retailer links in our handy price comparison tools or visit our support us page.

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 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 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 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 Baby Carriers for Hiking of 2020

For hitting the trail with a little one in tow, it’s hard to beat a baby carrier pack. Their supportive designs allow for a comfortable and safe ride, and we’ve spent countless hours hiking with both a happy child...

Best Hiking Pants of 2020

A great pair of hiking pants provides comfort, freedom of movement, the versatility to perform well in a range of environments, and durability over the long haul. Many of today’s top hiking pants are made from lightweight nylon...

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 Hiking Socks of 2020

You just can’t overvalue a great pair of hiking socks: they keep your feet comfortable and dry while helping to prevent blisters and hotspots. We tested the full array of hiking socks from the heat of Utah’s...

Best Trekking Poles of 2020

Serious hikers have known the great benefits of trekking poles for decades. Aside from providing stability while hauling a heavy load or moving over technical terrain, trekking poles have distinct advantages even on easy trails. They’re great for...

Best Altimeter (ABC) Watches of 2020

For hikers and mountaineers alike, a quality altimeter watch is a worthy addition to your gear collection. Popularly referred to by the acronym ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass)...

Best Handheld GPS of 2020

Whether deep in the backcountry or on open water, proper navigation is a must. And for route finding, recording tracks or finding a geocache, there’s no more durable and long-lasting navigator than a handheld GPS...

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 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 Backpacking Sleeping Bags of 2020

Cozying into your sleeping bag at the end of a long day on the trail is one of the simple pleasures of backpacking. Today’s backpacking sleeping bags offer not only exceptional warmth for their weight...

Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags and Quilts of 2019

For all the minimalist backpackers and bikepackers, thru-hikers, and ounce-counters out there, the lightweight gear world is full of options to complete your sleep system. Below we break down the best...

Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads of 2020

A good night’s sleep on a backpacking trip used to be a rarity, but today’s sleeping pads are much improved over their predecessors. Comfort is better than ever with advanced baffling and cell designs, weight and packed size continue to drop, and you...

Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2020

Everyone exploring the backcountry needs water, but staying hydrated is not as simple as drinking straight from streams and lakes. To protect against protozoa, bacteria, and even viruses, there is a wide range of water filtration and purification...

Best Backpacking Meals of 2020

It almost goes without saying: dinnertime is one of the best parts of any backpacking trip. There’s just nothing quite like warm, filling food after a long day on the trail. In choosing the best backpacking meals of 2020, we focus on taste, nutritional...

Best Backpacking Stoves of 2020

Backpackers need a stove that is lightweight, dependable, and will get the job done quickly after a long day on the trail. Thankfully, the market is full of both time-tested models and newer...

Best Trekking Poles of 2020

Serious hikers have known the great benefits of trekking poles for decades. Aside from providing stability while hauling a heavy load or moving over technical terrain, trekking poles have distinct advantages even on easy trails. They’re great for...

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 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...

Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2020

No matter where your travels take you, from national parks to backwoods to back porches, a sleeping bag for camping remains a trusty companion. Since space and weight are not at a...

Best Coolers and Ice Chests of 2020

Whether you’re headed to the beach, tailgating before your favorite sporting event, or camping in the wild, keeping your food and drinks cold is absolutely key. Thankfully, the market is packed with high-quality...

Best Headlamps of 2020

If you've ever gone camping, hiking, backpacking, climbing, mountain biking, trail running, or nearly anything else in the outdoors, chances are you've used a headlamp. While this handy piece of technology requires little introduction...

Best Camping Stoves of 2020

You can leave your dehydrated, salty, and unsatisfying meals at home—today’s camping stoves bring a whole new level of gourmet to your car camping and basecamping adventures. Unlike for backpacking, there’s no need to scour Pinterest for workarounds to...

Best Camping Chairs of 2020

Thoughts of camping chairs may conjure up images of $10 specials out front a big-box retailer, but let’s reorient ourselves to a slightly higher standard. We expect a proper camping chair to not only fold up for easy transport, but to be comfortable...

Best Duffel Bags of 2020

Whether you’re traveling by air, driving up to a cabin for the weekend, or venturing across the world on an expedition, you’ll likely be using a duffel bag to get your gear from one place to the next. Duffels...

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 Skis for Beginners of 2020-2021

Beginner skis offer great value and an easy platform for learning the basics of turning, balance, and control. In short, they make it easier to learn proper technique in less time...

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...

Best Ski Bindings of 2020

Bindings are often the last piece of ski gear you choose, but remain a very important one. As the connection between boot and ski, they play a fundamental role in power transfer...

Best Downhill Ski Boots of 2020

No matter your ability level, a comfortable boot is an absolute necessity. Nothing ruins a good powder day faster than cold or painful feet, and ill-fitting boots also run the risk of not properly transferring energy...

Best Backcountry (Touring) Ski Boots of 2020

There's a strong argument that the most important part of your ski touring kit is a pair of quality boots that fit well. The good news is that this growing category has seen some impressive advancements...

Best Ski Boots for Beginners of 2019-2020

If there is one piece of gear that will keep first timers from sticking with the sport, it’s an uncomfortable ski boot. A cheap boot can pinch and freeze toes, turning potential fun into complete misery. Thankfully, there are quality options even in...

Best Ski Poles of 2019-2020

It’s hard not to admire the utility of the humble ski pole. A pair of ski poles serves a number of purposes, from helping you set a rhythm for turns, to propelling you along flat sections of trail, to having a crutch to lean on in long lift lines...

Best Ski Gloves and Mittens of 2020

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...

Best Ski Helmets of 2020

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 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 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 Ski Pants of 2020

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 Hardshell Jackets of 2020

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...

Best Softshell Jackets of 2020

For high-output activities, it’s hard to beat a softshell jacket. Their breathable and stretchy fabrics offer fantastic performance and a really comfortable fit that moves with you. And as long as you don’t take them...

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

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 Midlayers of 2020

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...

Best Baselayers of 2020

As your next-to-skin article of clothing, a baselayer plays a fundamental role in pulling moisture away from the body and regulating core temperature. It’s far easier to justify purchasing a nice down jacket or waterproof shell, but a baselayer can be...

Best Ski Socks of 2019-2020

A quality ski sock gets the basics right: a close but not restricting fit, soft-touch materials that don’t itch, and enough cushioning to keep you on the slopes all day. Every sock that made our “best of” list for 2019-2020 accomplishes this and more...

Best All-Mountain Snowboards of 2020-2021

As snowboarding season kicks into high gear, it’s time to take stock of the equipment that will help make your winter that much better. Below we break down the top all-mountain snowboards of...

Best Winter Jackets of 2020-2021

When the heart of the coldest winter months arrives, it’s time for a serious jacket. Our picks for the best winter jackets and parkas below are among the warmest on the market—they are packed with...

Best Winter Boots of 2020-2021

Winter boots are a timeless and charming piece of gear. They bring back memories of being a kid, when snow falling always meant the anticipation of stomping around for hours at a time...

Best Winter Gloves and Mittens of 2020

Gloves may not get quite as much attention as your other winter clothing, but they offer invaluable warmth and protection when the temperature drops. Our picks for the best winter gloves of...

Best Snowshoes of 2020

With a wide and stable footprint and solid underfoot traction, snowshoes open up your favorite summer hiking and running trails for winter fun. Below we break down the best models for the...

Best Mountaineering Boots of 2020

No piece of gear is more critical to summiting high peaks than footwear. A great mountaineering boot fills countless roles: it must offer support while carrying heavy loads...

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...

Best Fleece Jackets of 2020

There are a wide variety of insulating jackets available, but the most comfortable and affordable choice is the classic fleece. These polyester jackets have been providing cozy warmth...

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...

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 Rock Climbing Shoes for Beginners

As a beginning climber, the last thing you want to spend your time worrying about is your shoes, or the poor feet you’ve crammed into them on somebody’s bad advice. That’s why...

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...

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...

Best Climbing Harnesses of 2020

Whether you’re top roping in the gym, projecting 5.14, or climbing Cerro Torre in Patagonia, you’ll want the right harness for the job. In addition to being a vital part of every climber’s safety, harnesses offer...

Rock Climbing Shoes Tips and Advice

Someday at your local climbing gym or crag, you may, if you’re lucky, wander around the corner to hear a grizzled Stone Master recounting the Golden Age. “Back in my day,” he may tell you...

Best Bouldering Crash Pads of 2020

Bouldering is having its moment. Climbing’s simplest discipline is experiencing a rush of new enthusiasts, in large part due to how accessible it is. All you need is a pair of shoes and a chalk bag...

Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

When people get into rock climbing, they often ask me what kind of shoes, or harness, or rope they should buy. I always tell them the same thing: the first thing you should buy is a helmet...

Best Climbing Ropes of 2020

Any piece of climbing gear has the potential to become a cherished relic, but perhaps none carries as many good memories as a trusty old rope. It’s your lifeline on everything from beginning top ropes to full-on alpine epics. A rope is...

Best Climbing Quickdraws of 2020

We love quickdraws. Few pieces of climbing protection can transform feelings of uncertainty and discomfort into peace and happiness as quickly and authoritatively. And yet...

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...

Best Bike Lights

Whether you’re a first-time commuter or dedicated mountain biker, riding at night can be an exhilarating experience. But traveling along dark streets or singletrack at any speed requires a quality light (or two) to illuminate the way. Below we break...

Best Mountain Bike Helmets of 2020

If your mountain biking gear budget has been stretched thin and you’re tempted to skimp on the helmet, don’t. Skip that extra bit of carbon instead. It’s true, mountain bike helmet prices are creeping up...

Best Mountain Bike Shoes of 2020

A quality mountain bike shoe plays a number of important roles. Its solid platform delivers power to the pedals, strong construction keeps your feet protected, and secure fit...

Best Mountain Bikes Under $1,000

Not everyone needs a high-end mountain bike that breaks the bank. If you are new to the sport or don’t plan to ride that often, it’s a good idea to buy a relatively inexpensive bike and upgrade...

Best Mountain Bikes Under $2,000

Mountain biking can be a very expensive sport: there are hundreds of excellent bikes available for $4,000 to $6,000, and those aren’t even at the highest end of the price spectrum. Fortunately for those of us not ready to spend so much on something...

Best Mountain Bike Brands of 2020

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...

Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2020

If you’re searching for the best way to transport bikes, hitch-mounted bike racks are the way to go. Securely attaching to the receiver hitch of your vehicle, they offer unmatched versatility and ease of use. There...

Best Kids’ Bikes of 2020

Getting a new bike is a big deal no matter your age, but it’s a particularly exciting event for kids. To help navigate the landscape, below we break down our top kids’ bikes of 2020, which range from toddler-sized balance bikes to knobby 24-inch models...

In-Depth Gear Reviews

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Feathered Friends Eos 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...

Marmot PreCip Eco Rain Jacket Review

Being from Seattle, we get asked for rain jacket recommendations a lot, and 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...

REI Co-op Drypoint GTX 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 Zeta SL 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...

The North Face Venture 2 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...

Outdoor Research Foray 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 Beta AR 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...

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 Alpha SV 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 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 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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...