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ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Backcountry Brews
by Paul Magnanti
Still not great as the real deal, Pat's Backcountry Brewery is a nice lightweight option to enjoy some beer in the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Rab Vapour-rise Lite Alpine Jacket review
by Dave Chenault (photos by Meredith Chenault)
The Rab Vapour-rise Light Alpine is an extremely well designed windshirt, but when compared with other similar weighted windshirts the value is tough to see. However when compared with other soft shells it quickly becomes irreplaceable. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Soul Bivy Review
by Ryan Jordan
While not commonly found in most hiker's packs, the lightweight and superior construction of this bivy offers good value for a bivy that occupies a narrow market niche occupied by very few products. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody review
by David Chenault
For their first ever attempt, Black diamond created a versatile, durable, and waterproof windshirt that raises the bar for ultralight windshirts. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Concerning the Wilderness Serape
by David Chenault
Despite the added weight, a Serape is a versatile piece of backpacking gear that can help manage the sudden weather changes. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Gränsfors-Bruks Mini Hatchet Review
by Ryan Jordan
While not a part of the traditional lightweight backpacker's gear list, a hatchet is a great piece of gear that can bring a unique perspective to fire building and shelter making. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Stephenson 2C Tent Review - Part 2
by Ryan Jordan, Mike Martin, and Roger Caffin
A performance review of the Stephenson 2C - the smallest and lightest "climber's" version from the ultralight line of tents from the Stephenson family of New Hampshire. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Lil' Bugout Shelter Review
by David Chenault
An uncommon design transforms the Lil' Bugout into a weather fortress. And it has plenty of space to keep you cozy as you weather the storms. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only New Balance MT910V1 and MT910V1GTX Trail Shoes Review
by Roger Caffin
The flagship of New Balances's 2014 lineup, the MT910s perform well in a myriad of conditions and provide comfort and stability while on the trail. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only AT Nordic Ski Systems: Discovering the Best of Backcountry Nordic and Alpine Touring Systems Through Hybridization
by Ryan Jordan
Combining the best of both worlds, AT Nordic ski systems give you comfort, stability, and lightweight as you explore the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Part 4b: Gear Reviews (Continued)
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Part 4a: Gear Reviews
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Integral Designs Traverse 2 Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Westcomb Focus LT Hoody Review
by Ryan Jordan
Superb fit and finish, high breathability, and nice mix of features, but durability insurance doesn't come with the $280 price tag - and at 9 oz, is it light enough? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Black Diamond Axiom 40 Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
A lightweight sub-3-pound internal frame backpack that’s well designed, durable, comfortable, and features freedom of movement innovations. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Rackless Carry Systems for Lightweight Bikepacking
by David Chenault
Reviews of the Revelate Designs Viscacha and Porcelain Rocket Booster Rocket Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Dragontail Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Wilderness Equipment First Arrow Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Exped Aries Mesh Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Stephensons Warmlite 2R Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Macpac Olympus Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Hilleberg Nallo 2 Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vango Tempest 200 Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Malpais Trinity 3-Layer Liteshell Jacket Review
by Brad Groves
On paper, the Malpais has everything a gear junkie could possibly want, but does real-world experience with the jacket remind us of the disparity between some online dating profiles and the actual person? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Clikstand T-2 Alcohol Stove System Review
by David Chenault
Can 100% titanium justify the price tag? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jetboil Sol Advanced Cooking System Review
by Will Rietveld
Same features, nearly the same performance, and less expensive than the Sol Ti Premium Cooking System. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jetboil Sol Ti Premium Cooking System Review
by Will Rietveld
Jetboil’s lightest and most technically advanced integrated canister fuel cooking system. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jetboil Zip Cooking System Review
by Will Rietveld
A scaled down and inexpensive version of the original PCS, the Zip is lighter weight and a great value. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jetboil Flash Cooking System Review
by Will Rietveld
The Flash is basically a flashier PCS and will eventually replace it. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Monatauk Gnat Titanium Stove Review
by Will Rietveld
The lightest canister fuel stove in the world. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Primus Eta Solo Cooking System Review
by Will Rietveld
An integrated stove from Primus similar to the Jetboil PCS, with a few design improvements but similar performance. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance 1000 Insulated Boot Review
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
The NB1000 replaces the discontinued Keen Growler as our favorite lightweight insulated boot; it’s made of lighter materials and has the same insulation and functionality. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vango Helium Superlite 200 Tent Review
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
A sub-40 ounce, two-person, double-wall, hybrid tunnel tent that sheds wind and rain with ease? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Elemental Horizons Aquilo Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
The Aquilo is the mouse that roared. I expected it to be a smaller frameless backpack based on its specifications, but it jumped into the high volume pack category, then it came out on top in that group. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Eddie Bauer First Ascent Expedition Weight Baselayers Review
by Will Rietveld
These lightweight synthetic baselayers are remarkably warm for their weight and highly versatile. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance MR740TR Review
by Roger Caffin
Another fine member of the lightweight low-cut New Balance jogger family. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
LAUFBURSCHE huckePACK Review
by Hendrik Morkel
German innovation hits the frameless backpacking market: water resistant with a volume that manages to work well for overnighters and week-long expeditions. Is it too good to be true? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
A lower volume frameless pack constructed of a Cuben fiber/ripstop nylon laminate that’s cutting edge and raises the bar for frameless backpack elegance. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Therm-a-Rest ProLite Air Mat Product Review
by Roger Caffin
Cascade Designs upgraded their ProLite self-inflating mat once again, with another weight reduction. What were the consequences of weight loss on warmth? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vibram FiveFingers KSO Treks Review
by Ray Estrella
Will heavier mid and outer soles plus durable leather uppers make for backpacking bliss, or will the Treks leave our feet wrecks? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs Traveler Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
Larger volume frameless backpack, with removable stays, designed to be both a travel pack and a capable backpack once you get to your destination. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review
by Will Rietveld
MontBell’s body-hugging stretch technology is lightweight and adds warmth, yet the bag extends to accommodate a wide range of sizes, shapes, and sleeping positions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
SPOT2 Personal Locator Review and Extensive Field Test
by Alan Dixon and Amy Lauterbach
Results of 80 days (750 hours) of field testing of the new SPOT2 in Alaska, the Andes, the Pyrenees, and the Lower 48, including the Sierras and a southwest canyon system. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Therm-a-Rest Haven Down Top Bag Review
by Rick Dreher
The Therm-a-Rest Haven is a simple sleeping bag: a zipperless down mummy bag with a bottom opening and pad straps that qualify it as a top bag. At about a pound and a half the Haven is light, packs small, and is relatively affordable for its (claimed) 20 F (-7C) rating. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vaude Power Lizard UL Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
The Power Lizard lays claim to the lightest two-person double-wall tent in the world, but does that make it the best one? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Patagonia Down Sweater Review
by Janet Reichl and Will Rietveld
This popular jacket has been around and evolved over the years. We love the sizing and fit, but how does it stack up for backpacking? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Westcomb Chilko Down Sweater Review
by Will Rietveld
The Chilko is cutting-edge, as you would expect from Westcomb, and “heats up” the competition in the already “hot” ultralight multi-purpose down jacket category. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Montane Anti-Freeze Jacket Review
by Will Rietveld
A lightweight three-plus season down insulated jacket that excels in blustery conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sierra Designs Vapor 15 Sleeping Bag Review
by Will Rietveld
850 fill power down, 15 F temperature rating, 30 ounces – the lightest 15-degree mummy style sleeping bag to be found. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Eastern Mountain Sports Ascent Sector Down Sweater Review
by Will Rietveld
If you’re looking for a good, lightweight, multi-purpose, fully-featured and warm down jacket at a reasonable cost, this one deserves your consideration. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater Review
by Will Rietveld
A very attractive multi-purpose down jacket suited for a wide variety of outdoor activities... does that include backpacking? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Demaree Canyon Jacket and Anorak Review
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Attractive fully-featured multi-purpose insulated down garments, but are they warm enough for our backpacking needs? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Salomon Minim Down Sweater Review
by Will Rietveld
This is one of the more impressive jackets in our ultralight down jacket roundup, but it has a few shortcomings and uncertainties. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Pole Review
by Doug Johnson
What happens when you take the highly rated fixed length Lightrek 3 poles and add adjustability and optional straps? Are extra weight, flexibility, durability, and slipping concerns, or does Gossamer Gear nail it with the Lightrek 4 poles? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance MT876OR Review
by Roger Caffin
The latest in the New Balance 87x series of light low-cut joggers - and they're even better than the previously-reviewed MT875ORs. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Primus Express Spider Stove Review
by Roger Caffin
A good remote canister stove, heading in the lightweight direction. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Western Mountaineering Expedition Down Bootie Review
by Will Rietveld
Well designed, lightweight, warm down bootie with an integrated tall gaiter and performance equivalent to a multi-layer system. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Panasonic Lumix LX3 Digital Camera
by Rick Dreher
A compact digicam with a professional pedigree, the LX3 tempts outdoor photographers with a fast wide angle (f:2.0/24 mm equivalent) zoom lens, RAW file capability, high-definition video and solid performance. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Terra Nova Laser Photon Elite Tent (2008 Model) Review
by Will Rietveld
With a trail weight of just 1 pound 11 ounces, it's the Guinness World Record holder for the lightest double-wall tent commercially available, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Hyperflow Microfilter with Modified Cartridge Review
by Roger Caffin
The MSR Hyperflow was previously reviewed in 2008, and was found to be light and convenient for crystal clear water, but it died very quickly in any other water. MSR acknowledged this problem and modified the cartridge to handle poorer water quality. The modified cartridge is tested here to see if there is an improvement. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
ZPacks Blast 18 Backpack Review
by Ryan Jordan
At less than four ounces and roomy enough for a weekend of SUL gear (30L), the ZPacks Blast 18 certainly qualifies as "SUL" by the standard set several years ago by the Gossamer Gear G6, but is far more durable (yet has a similar weight as the first G6). Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
REI Flash 50 and Flash 65 Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
Three-pound internal frame backpacks with great fit, features, versatility, and value. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
AntiGravityGear O2 Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
This new single wall tent provides convenience and ventilation, plus loads of room for one person and gear and can accommodate two people when needed. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
Two-person single wall tent with a twist: one side is double wall, so the fly can be rolled up in good weather for extra views and ventilation. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review
by Doug Johnson
With a natural bamboo overlay and a leather grip and strap, these poles have a beautiful and classic look. Underneath the bamboo is a modern tapered carbon fiber trekking pole that is both lightweight and very stiff. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 3 Trekking Pole Review
by Doug Johnson
With all-new, tapered and oversized carbon fiber shafts, the Gossamer Gear Lightrek 3 is significantly stiffer than previous models. As reigning “lightest trekking pole” champ, how does this affect the pole’s overall weight? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Rab Top Bag AR Review
by Will Rietveld
An old favorite gets some important upgrades and stands out as a great value for an ultralight 30 °F sleeping bag. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2007 Rab Summit Extreme Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Based on the previous Outdoor Designs tent, the Rab Summit Extreme is a rare eVENT tent that provides the ultimate in single wall breathability. It is built to handle the most extreme alpine environments and has few peers in its extreme mountaineering niche. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Northern Lites Backcountry Snowshoe REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Durable, loads of flotation, and less than 3 pounds per pair – a lightweight snow traveler’s dream. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Strong, light, fixed-length carbon fiber poles with one useful extra feature - the ability to break the poles down into two sections for easy transport. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Suunto X9i GPS REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Wrist-mounted 2.7 oz GPS unit targeted at done-in-a-day activities, tested with Topo! 4.0 mapping software. Read More...

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