Editors' Choice Gear Reviews


Our best-in-class awards are the result of rigorous hands-on testing of the top products. We rate each product on multiple categories to find the very best.
The Best Backpacking Tent Review

The Best Backpacking Tent Review



What's the best backpacking tent? In a multi-year backpacking bonanza, we tested over 23 of the best two-person tents on the market. We used these tents on hiking and camping trips everywhere from Maine to the High Sierra, to Alaska. With feedback from over fifty people, we compared all types of ten...

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The Best Backpacking Backpack Review

The Best Backpacking Backpack Review



We took eleven of the highest rated and most popular packs on the market and tested them side-by-side for over five months. We picked versatile packs that an average person would use on trips of two to eight days, but are also capable of going up to a twenty two day trips (yes, we used some of these...

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The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review

The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review



We recently updated our Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review, re-testing previous award winners and comparing new models in this extensive review. Our testing has taken place over several years and in various environments across the globe. The review has amassed almost 30 different sleeping bags and prov...

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The Best Sleeping Pad Review

The Best Sleeping Pad Review



Which sleeping pad is the best? We enrolled 18 top-tier portable sleeping pads in a rigorous testing regime that evaluated warmth, comfort, durability, weight, and packed size. These pads joined us on mobile trips all over the world: the jagged High Sierra, wet and windy Patagonia, remote reaches of...

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The Best Down Jacket Review

The Best Down Jacket Review



What is the best down jacket? We've tested and reviewed over 15 of the top-rated down jackets in focused side-by-side comparisons. Our testing has taken us all over; the Cascades of Washington, the Sierras of California, and the ice climbs of Montana to name a few. We didn't necessarily look at the ...

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The Best Hiking Boots Review

The Best Hiking Boots Review



What are the best men's hiking boots? Our expert testers put 15 of the top-rated models through the ringer to find out. We compared them side by side in the mud, gravel, and snow. We hiked in the desert and to snowy mountaintops; on well traveled trails and way... off trail. We scrutinized the boots...

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The Best Rain Jacket Review

The Best Rain Jacket Review



"Weather shouldn't change your plans, just what you're wearing." And if you are wearing the right clothing, your outdoor experience can be just as enjoyable. This is especially important when it comes to rain shells, since this article of clothing can be one of the most protective layers you will br...

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The Best Hardshell Jacket Review

The Best Hardshell Jacket Review



What's the best hardshell jacket? We tested 20 of the latest and greatest, top-of-the-line models in a two-year long mountain sport fiesta. Our intensive testing and in-depth research offers insight into one of the most expensive types of outerwear money can buy. This review describes our criteria f...

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The Best Four Season Tent Review

The Best Four Season Tent Review



We tested 24 of the best four-season tents in a head-to-head competition that assessed weather resistance, livability, weight, packed size and durability. Testing took us all over the Lower 48, to Alaska, Canada, Patagonia, Greenland, Antarctica, and up mountains like Aconcagua and Denali. This revi...

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The Best Rock Climbing Shoes Review

The Best Rock Climbing Shoes Review



What are the best rock shoes on the market? To find out, we tested, and reviewed a mix of over 20 top rated shoes, and compared them using our trademark comparison metrics. We comprehensively evaluated these shoes to determine how they edge, how comfortable and sensitive they are, and how they perfo...

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The Best Softshell Jacket Review

The Best Softshell Jacket Review



What's the best softshell jacket? To find out, we took 20 top models and used them for three years of skiing, ice climbing, alpine climbing, mountaineering, rock climbing, showshoeing, running, and hiking. We tested each jacket side-by-side, on the trails and while roped up climbing mountains, and s...

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The Best Insulated Jacket Review

The Best Insulated Jacket Review



What's the best insulated jacket? We've lived in, camped in, climbed in, skied, hiked, and biked in literally dozens of insulated jackets over the past couple years. Here, we compare side by side 20 of the absolute best. The spectrum is large; you'll find insulated jackets for the weight-saving b...

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The Best Handheld GPS Review

The Best Handheld GPS Review



Which handheld GPS is the best? We tested nine of the latest and greatest units from Garmin, Magellan, DeLorme and RandMcNally in a head-to-head competition that assessed satellite reception, ease of use, speed, and display quality. Testing occured over two years of hiking, mountaineering, kayaking,...

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The Best Fleece Jacket Review

The Best Fleece Jacket Review



Which fleece jacket is the best? We tested 22 top-tier men's fleeces over three years of hiking, camping, climbing, and skiing in order to find out. We evaluated each jacket from thin and highly breathable baselayer styles to thick, comfy-as-a-wooly-bear models on breathability, wind resistance, f...

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The Best Backpacking Water Filter and Treatment Systems

The Best Backpacking Water Filter and Treatment Systems



What is the best water treatment system for backpackers and campers? To find out, we took 17 of the best systems and compared them in detailed head-to-head tests in this extensive review. The results shocked us: both the Best Buy winner and Editors' Choice are not traditional pump systems! Our concl...

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The Best Camping Tent Review

The Best Camping Tent Review



Looking for the most comfortable camping tent? One that will keep your friends and family dry in a storm, and will give you the ventilation you need to stay cool on a hot summer day when the insects start to get hungry? We took eight of the top models on the market and put them head-to-head in a var...

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The Best Ultralight Tent Shelter for Backpacking

The Best Ultralight Tent Shelter for Backpacking



What's the best ultralight tent shelter? We tested 15 of the world's best two-person trekking pole supported tents over three years of backpacking, climbing, and backcountry skiing. We assessed each model based on its weather resistance, livability, weight, durability, and adaptability. Whether you'...

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The Best Portable Solar Panel Review

The Best Portable Solar Panel Review



What is the best solar charger for your phone, tablet and other small electronics when off the grid? To find out, we took eleven contenders and put them in head-to-head tests. We compared them on the following categories: output power, ease of use, weight, and versatility. In the end we found big di...

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The Best Backpacking Stove Review

The Best Backpacking Stove Review



What is the best backpacking stove? We tested and reviewed nine of the top-rated one-burner backpacking stoves in a back country cook-off that assessed control, versatility, setup, stability, durability, and wind resistance. We bruised and battered these stoves on trips all over the West Coast. From...

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The Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review

The Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review



What's the best ultralight sleeping bag for backpacking, climbing, and fast and light adventures of all kinds? We tested 13 top-tier, cutting-edge bags in order to find out. These bags are hyper light for their warmth, pack down to a minuscule size, and offer exceptional performance for backpacking ...

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The Best Headlamp Review

The Best Headlamp Review



Which headlamp is the best? To find out, we took 37 top headlamps and put them through a gauntlet of side-by-side tests. Each headlamp was both lab-tested and extensively field-tested. We used industrial light meters to measure brightness. We built an automated "light coffin" rigged up with a data-l...

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The Best Hiking Shoe Review

The Best Hiking Shoe Review



What's the best men's hiking shoe? We tested five of the most popular hiking shoes across various terrain and conditions throughout the country. From winter hiking in the Sierra, chasing fall foliage in variable weather in the Whites of New Hampshire, and muddy suffer-fests through the rhododendron ...

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The Best Day Backpack Review

The Best Day Backpack Review



Whether you are a frequent hiker, a student, or a weekend warrior, chances are you could use a daypack for one or more of your activities. Any time you need to carry more than your phone and wallet, it is handy to have a vessel to carry all the necessities, such as food, water, and extra layers.
...

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The Best Climbing Harness Review

The Best Climbing Harness Review



We tested 19 of the top harnesses in a head-to-head comparison to find out which is the best. The fact is that there is no piece of climbing gear you will spend more time with than your harness. Climbing shoes come and go and ropes wear out, but your harness will last for years or maybe a decade. Th...

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The Best Trekking Pole Review For Hiking and Backpacking

The Best Trekking Pole Review For Hiking and Backpacking



In just over the last decade, trekking poles have gone from a seldom seen item to near mandatory. The majority of everyone from day hikers to seasoned mountaineers now use them. There are many advantages to using trekking poles, the main reasons being that they offer better balance during more chall...

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The Best Down Jacket for Women Review

The Best Down Jacket for Women Review



We had the privilege of evaluating exciting new products on the market for the 2012 season that use innovative down treatments such as Color-Tec and DownTek. We got our hands on the L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Jacket, which uses the relatively new technology of treated hydrophobic down, which we evalua...

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The Best Hiking Boots for Women Review

The Best Hiking Boots for Women Review



We hand-picked nine top hiking boot contenders for a foot-to-foot comparison to determine the best. After rigorous wearing, long walks in the desert and mountains, scrambling over granite and sandstone rocks, and dunking in a creek, we started to see some standout differences between them. Though th...

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The Best Winter Jacket Review

The Best Winter Jacket Review



Nothing makes cold weather comfortable like the perfect winter jacket. We've tested more than ten of a variety of weights and styles, to help you find the very best for your needs in winter. All contenders are compared side-by-side, and scored according to a range of factors including warmth, weigh...

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The Best Rock Climbing Rope

The Best Rock Climbing Rope



We gathered a selection of the top climbing ropes on the market, and after a healthy amount of unwinding and flaking, put them to the test by climbing as much as possible across multiple different climbing disciplines. We cragged, aided, projected, whipped, climbed long multi-pitch routes, coiled, b...

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Best Climbing Approach Shoes

Best Climbing Approach Shoes



We looked at 13 of the best climbing approach shoes and put them through rigorous head-to-head tests. We scored them on smearing, edging, hiking, durability and their lightweight/compactness. We took them up El Capitan, to the sport crag, on long hikes, or just around town. In the end we choose a wi...

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The Best Car Camping Mattress

The Best Car Camping Mattress



Which camping mattress is the best? We enrolled seven of the best car camping mattresses in a rigorous testing regime that evaluated the following three categories: warmth, comfort and durability. Our testing, which involved two years of tenting in campgrounds across North America, identifies the be...

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The Best Bike Saddle

The Best Bike Saddle



We took 13 of the best bicycle saddles available and put them through the paces. We wanted to know if each could offer comfort, performance, and a competitive weight without compromise. To discover the answer, we rode on these contenders in all conditions and for long distances, from muddy mountain ...

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The Best Travel Duffel Bags

The Best Travel Duffel Bags



We took our favorite burly travel bags (aka "duffle", but more properly spelled "el" for the town of Duffel in Belgium that first manufactured them) and compared them head-to-head to help you decide which one to take on your next adventure. We tested them while running through airports in Chamonix, ...

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The Best Bike Computer Review

The Best Bike Computer Review



We geared up in the rain, the snow, and the cold to test eight of the most popular bike computers on the market, side-by-side. We clipped in for training workouts, long rural rides, and jaunts around the city.

We tried to get the most use out of each computer, testing them on set-up, ease o...

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The Best Winter Down Sleeping Bag Review

The Best Winter Down Sleeping Bag Review



We tested six of the best quality zero degree down sleeping bags in a head-to-head competition that assessed the following categories: fit, weight, warmth, packed size, and features. We pushed the limits of these bags by sleeping in them in cold places all over North America, Patagonia, and Alaska. ...

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The Best Travel Backpack Review

The Best Travel Backpack Review



For our travel backpack review, we picked out a range of top-of-the-line full-size, framed backpacks; compressible daypacks; and carry-on backpacks. We used these travel backpacks for everyday around-town activities, adventures in the backcountry, and week-long trips. After putting them to the test ...

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The Best Wind Jacket Review

The Best Wind Jacket Review



We identified the top wind jackets and put them in numerous side-by-side tests. These are jackets intended for running, hiking, biking, and general outdoor use. They can hold off a little rain in a pinch but their main purpose is wind protection -- a crucial element of a state-of-the-art layered clo...

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The Best Altimeter Watch Review

The Best Altimeter Watch Review



We tested five of the best altimeter watches on the market in side-by-side tests over a year. These watches feature the key functions that hikers, backpackers, and climbers use the most: altimeter, barometer, digital compass, and standard time-keeping features. They all performed well but their user...

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The Best Hydration Pack Review

The Best Hydration Pack Review



We took 11 top hydration packs and spent six months hiking, biking, and running to find which is the ultimate system. Ever since the first CamelBak arrived over a decade ago, options have changed a lot and there is now an overwhelming number of innovations and options. Which of these innovations is ...

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The Best Ski Gloves Review

The Best Ski Gloves Review



What are the best choice for skiing and snowboarding? We tested 14 of our favorites over the past two seasons, doing everything from riding chairs all over the Western U.S. to backcountry touring in the Cascades, the Wasatch and Alaska. We also pushed these competitors to their limits backcountry, h...

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The Best Long Underwear Review

The Best Long Underwear Review



We tested the long underwear that can handle the rugged stuff, keeping you warm and cozy while performing from the tops of mountains to the depths of caves. Sure, you can wear them for a run or to a Yoga class, but you can also take them around the world skiing, climbing, biking, and just plain cu...

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The Best Camping Chair Review

The Best Camping Chair Review



We took seven of the best camping chairs and tested them side-by-side in the mountains, at the beach, and at the park for some summer barbecues. Through our testing we have found which chair performs the best all-around, which chair gives you the most bang for your buck, the most comfortable chair, ...

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The Best Climbing Camming Device Review

The Best Climbing Camming Device Review



We took the 17 best spring-loaded camming devices (usually just called climbing cams) and put them in head-to-head competition in hundreds of placements.

We scored them on how well they did in parallel cracks, flared cracks, tight placements, horizontal placements, free climbing and aid clim...

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The Best Hiking Pants Review For Men

The Best Hiking Pants Review For Men



Which pair of hiking/outdoor pants provide the best overall performance?

During a six-month journey through Central America we tested seven of the top men's outdoor hiking (and general purpose) pants on the market. Whether we were hiking, slacklining, camping, doing yoga, roaming the urban j...

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The Best Messenger Bag Review

The Best Messenger Bag Review



We compared eight top of the line messenger bags suitable for carrying a laptop along with other items in a two month long head-to-head comparison that assessed comfort, aesthetics, storage, water resistance, durability, versatility and laptop security. Our ranking and awards reflect the opinion of ...

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Crash Pad Review: The Best Bouldering Pad

Crash Pad Review: The Best Bouldering Pad



We selected over a dozen of the best bouldering crash pads, lined them up, and took practice falls on them repeatedly. Then we took them on as many bouldering excursions as we could. We found big differences in each of them when evaluated by foam, design, durability, and features. We put them all th...

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The Best Backpacking Camping Chair Review

The Best Backpacking Camping Chair Review



We took the top lightweight backpacking and camping chairs and put them in side-by-side tests at the beach, in the mountains, and at the park. We break down what is the best for each application. These are light chairs that always weigh under three pounds. These are ideal for transporting, whether i...

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The Best Sun Hat Review

The Best Sun Hat Review



What is the best sun hat? We took 12 of the top sun hats on the market today and put them in head-to-head testing throughout California where we tested each hat in five key categories; Protection, Breathability, Comfort, Durability, and Style. Through our testing we found the best value hat, the mos...

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The Best Cooler Review

The Best Cooler Review



Which is the best cooler for you? Which is the best on the market? We tested the best insulators, examining insulating value, durability, portability, and ease of use. Our testers jostled them in cars and sand, from muggy coastlines to the fierce desert sun. We recognized models with awards, noting...

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The Best Camping Sleeping Bag Review

The Best Camping Sleeping Bag Review



What the best sleeping bag for general-purpose uses like camping and sleepovers? To find out we tested over 70 different models all types, sizes, and styles in an epic multi-year camping spree. This review compares 15 general-purpose bags for car camping, crashing on your friend's living room floor,...

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The Best Fleece Jacket for Women Review

The Best Fleece Jacket for Women Review



We took our previous fleece review and updated it by testing seven more top-of-the-line fleeces. We tried out some of the industry's best technical fleece jackets and cuddled up in some of the fleeciest around-town pullovers the gear world has to offer. We wore these fleeces constantly and tested th...

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The Best Flip-Flop Sandals Review

The Best Flip-Flop Sandals Review



What are the best all-purpose flip flops out there? We took 7 top models for multipurpose use and put them head-to-head in every situation they were meant for, and some they were not. We climbed mountains in them, walked miles at a time on rough terrain, and even bled in them just so you won't have...

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Picking the Best Ice Axe

Picking the Best Ice Axe



We looked at 13 different ice axes and compared them head-to-head in the following categories: self-arresting, anchor digging, step chopping, use as improvised anchor, steep ice and snow climbing, and comfort to carry. We also looked at their advantages and disadvantages across different user groups...

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The Best Locking Carabiners

The Best Locking Carabiners



What is the best locking carabiner for rock climbing? We compared 15 of the best locking carabiners in a variety of tests to find out. We judged each carabiner on the following six categories: lightness/compactness, ease of unlocking, gate hang up, amount of knots held, rope pull smoothness, and gat...

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The Best Hiking Socks Review

The Best Hiking Socks Review



Do you have yet to find the perfect hiking sock? One that will fit like a second skin, wick moisture away, and keep you warm, wet or dry? To help solve this very problem, weve tested five of the leading mid-weight competitors, in all types of adverse conditions. We put them through the paces, worn c...

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The Best Rain Jacket for Women Review

The Best Rain Jacket for Women Review



A wise man once said, "Weather shouldn't change your plans, just what you're wearing." And a wise woman once said "The clothes don't make the woman" but the proper clothes can make a woman's experience. If you select the right clothes to keep you warm and dry, you will continue to enjoy whatever you...

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The Best Camping Coffee Makers

The Best Camping Coffee Makers



Nothing completes a morning quite like a perfectly brewed cup of Joe, and brewing is one of those morning rituals that many people don't like to go without, even if they are on vacation. Does backpacking mean you have to settle for yucky instant? Or (heaven forbid!) do without? Luckily for you fello...

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The Best Small Climbing Day Pack Review

The Best Small Climbing Day Pack Review



We searched out seven of the best small climbing daypacks on the market and put them through extensive testing; these packs went everywhere with us for over two months. From the high granite walls of Yosemite and Squamish to shorter trips up the Monkey's Face at Smith Rock or the Bastille Crack at E...

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The Best Climbing Belay Device

The Best Climbing Belay Device



We tested 12 top belay devices in the gym, up and down Yosemite's walls and in our lab (our garage). We tested for efficiency in throwing rope fast to a leader, smoothly belaying a second, rappelling single or double ropes of varying diameter, and for overall durability. Then we selected the winners...

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The Best Performance Shirt Review

The Best Performance Shirt Review



We took six of the best selling performance shirts and put them through the paces to help you find the one that's right for you. These shirts can be layered as any true base layer should, but they can also perform on their own. We hiked, biked, paddled, and climbed our way through nine different ca...

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The Best Mountaineering and Alpine Climbing Backpack Review

The Best Mountaineering and Alpine Climbing Backpack Review



What's the best pack for alpine climbing? To find out, we took 11 of the best and most popular alpine packs through two years of testing to see how they compared side-by-side. Each pack is scored on five criteria: weight, durability, versatility, comfort, and features. From sunny big wall rock cl...

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The Best Laptop Backpack Review

The Best Laptop Backpack Review



We tested eight of the best backpack style laptop bags in a eight-week long competition to determine their ranking in the following categories; durability, security, aesthetics, comfort, storage, water resistance and versatility. We had eight reviewers use each pack for a week in order to determine ...

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The Best Water Bottle Review

The Best Water Bottle Review



We challenged long-time rulers of the outdoor water bottle market, and determined which was truly best in this comprehensive, side-by-side review. The Nalgene may be the standard, but it encountered fierce competition. Collapsible designs, perfect for ultralight outings, "sippy-top" options and othe...

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The Best Mountaineering Boot Review

The Best Mountaineering Boot Review



We tested 8 of the best mountaineering boots ever made, including some of the latest and greatest, and some tried and true performers. We wore these boots to climb ice, snow, rock, and choss from the Sierra to the San Juans, from Patagonia to the Ruth Gorge. We discovered the best boots for multi-we...

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The Best Avalanche Beacon Review

The Best Avalanche Beacon Review



What is the best avalanche beacon for the backcountry? To find out we took thirteen of the top models and put them through rigorous head-to-head tests in the Cascades, Sierra, and Alaska. We had novices test them to see which is easiest to use and learn and then also put them in the hands of expert ...

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The Best Personal Locator Beacon and Satellite Messenger Review

The Best Personal Locator Beacon and Satellite Messenger Review



We took some of the best and most popular emergency electronic devices and used them side-by-side for six months. Our mission: to find out what is the best for telling your family and friends you are okay and what the is best for sending out an SOS signal. We tested one PLB (Personal Locator Beach) ...

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The Best Helmet Cam Review

The Best Helmet Cam Review



We set out to test some of the latest offerings in POV/helmet Camera technology. Some of the companies are now on their third generation of product, while others have innovated and created new practicality for established products.

In this day and age what we want out of a POV camera is goo...

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The Best Hydration Bladder Review

The Best Hydration Bladder Review



We took six top hydration reservoirs and spent six months backpacking, mountainboarding, surfing, dog-walking, hiking and biking to figure out the best one for each application. When hydration bladders first came out, they were usually used with the small hydration pack. But now just about every bac...

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The Best Bike Pump Review

The Best Bike Pump Review



We tested eight of the top selling floor pumps in five categories that we believe make all the difference when you are making a decision on which to buy: looks and design, portability, comfort, durability, and general ease of use. Happily, no contender failed miserably in any of our categories, but ...

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The Best Nuts and Stoppers

The Best Nuts and Stoppers



We looked at 11 different types of nuts and tested them in a wide range of cracks in a mixture of rock types. We compared their ability to hold a fall in a full range of fissures, from pin scars to parallel sided cracks. We compared and weighed factors that we believed most appropriate for alpine, a...

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The Best Winter Jacket For Women Review

The Best Winter Jacket For Women Review



Looking for a winter jacket that can keep you toasty warm, yet also keeps you looking smoking hot? We tested a selection of the best parka style winter jackets, ranging from thigh-length casual designs, to heavy-duty technical products suitable for serious winter athletic activities. Each contender ...

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The Best Avalanche Airbag Pack Review

The Best Avalanche Airbag Pack Review



What is the best airbag pack for back-country travel? We tested 13 of the best and most popular models on the market and compared them in the following categories: airbag system, comfort, back-country utility, downhill performance, special features and weight. We flogged these packs side-by-side in ...

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The Best Climbing Shoes For Women Review

The Best Climbing Shoes For Women Review



We took the top women's climbing shoes and put them to a hands-onerrfeet-on test to find the very best. We found that not all climbing shoes are created equal. Some are better performance shoes, others are better all-day shoes and still others are better for beginners. Find out how the climbing shoe...

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The Best Multi-Tool Review

The Best Multi-Tool Review



We tested seven of the worlds greatest multi-tools. We cut, pried, sawed, and repaired. We carried them for day-to-day use, as well as into the backcountry. We found a wide range of quality and function. Our list represents both ends of the size spectrum, and everything in between. Read on, and find...

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The Best Pocket Knife Review

The Best Pocket Knife Review



Which pocket knife should you carry? We narrowed a thoroughly mystifying and huge field to eight of the best knives available. We carried, cut with and critiqued these high quality tools for months of use. Occasionally they sat unused for the day in our pockets and purses. However, most days in ever...

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The Best Hammock Review

The Best Hammock Review



With so many hammocks on the market, how can you know which is the best model to fit your needs? We took 12 of the most popular models and brought them camping in a variety of environments, from the high desert in winter to wet mountains in spring, to see how they compared. We evaluated each product...

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The Best Sporks Review

The Best Sporks Review



Frustrated by the burden of carrying a specific utensil for every food medium? Looking for something versatile, something light, or something to add that extra bit of pizzaz to your meal? Look no further than the compound spoon-fork known as the spork. We brought together three of the best sporks on...

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The Best Yoga Mat Review

The Best Yoga Mat Review



Interested in finding a yoga mat that is perfect for YOUR style of practice? There are seemingly as many options for purchasing one today as there are styles of Yoga. To simplify this process for you we have selected ten top options, as well as two "hot yoga" accessories to help you in your quest f...

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The Best Sleeping Pad For Women Review

The Best Sleeping Pad For Women Review



Women's sleeping pads are slightly shorter and slightly warmer than their traditional counterparts. Based on the results from our primary sleeping pad review we selected six of the top women's specific models and went head-to-head, putting female bodies on female pads. Our reviews identify the singl...

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The Best Carry-On Luggage

The Best Carry-On Luggage



We chose 11 of the industry's top-performing pieces of carry-on luggage and put them through the ringer. We rolled them through airports across the country, shoved them into car trunks, and schlepped them onto buses and trains. We compared two-wheeled convertible bags with four-wheeled, hard-sided m...

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The Best Women's Backpacking Backpack Review

The Best Women's Backpacking Backpack Review



Whether heading out into the mountains for a weekend trip with girlfriends or preparing for a long solo adventure, having a pack that meets your needs is essential to both enjoyment and comfort. We have tested 9 of the top women's specific backpacking backpacks to explore how they compared side by s...

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The Best Insulated Jacket For Women Review

The Best Insulated Jacket For Women Review



Our old insulated jacket review took seven of the industry's top pieces and ran them through the gauntlet of winter activities and head-to-head tests. In this updated review, we've upped the ante, adding 10 new pieces, including several brand new releases. Read on to learn how we evaluated each of t...

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The Best Lantern Review

The Best Lantern Review



We took nine of the top-rated models on the market, comparing them side-by-side for six months of well-lit adventures up and down the West Coast. To help you find the perfect one, we rated each on its performance in four critical categories: brightness, ease of use, durability and features. We evalu...

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Best Mountain Bike Shorts Review

Best Mountain Bike Shorts Review



What is the best short for mountain biking? We tested 8 of the best and most popular baggy mountain bike shorts on the market, and found which ones are the all-around best shorts for different types of trail riding, ranging from cross-country marathons to lift assisted downhill gnar fests. We rated ...

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The Best Men's Sandals

The Best Men's Sandals



What's the best men's sandal? With the number of crazy designs coming out seemingly every year, it's hard to keep tabs on our beloved "mandals," the utility shoe of the outdoors. From hiking around rivers and waterfalls to blasting down dusty trails, we took the industry's best eight shoes and put t...

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The Best Ski Jacket Review

The Best Ski Jacket Review



We scoped out the best of the best in men's insulated ski and snowboard jackets, put them through the paces on the resort, and pushed their limits in the backcountry. Our expert skiing testers slammed through foul weather and slid on rock-hard steep descents.

The products we reviewed are e...

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The Best Winter Boots for Women Review

The Best Winter Boots for Women Review



For this review, we got our hands.....or.....feet on 10 of the industry's top rated women's winter boots. We put these products to the test, traipsing through snow drifts and splashing through slush. We hiked in them on cold winter days in the desert and we wore them out to dinner on icy evenings. S...

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The Best Climbing Slings and Runners

The Best Climbing Slings and Runners



Climbing runners have come a long way from the archaic knotted bits of rope and webbing that climbing's early enthusiasts had to choose from. In today's climbing world, high-tech fibers stronger than steel allow slings to be skinnier than imaginable and still maintain a full strength rating. As wi...

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The Best Sport Headphone Review

The Best Sport Headphone Review



We tested ten of the best available sport headphones, evaluating fit, features, and sound quality to help determine what will best meet an athlete's needs. What style of tunes fill your workout playlist? Do you like sparkly, happy pop music or profanity-laced rap with a thumping rhythm? Do you prefe...

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The Best Climbing, Belay, and Rappel Gloves

The Best Climbing, Belay, and Rappel Gloves



What is the best way to protect your hands from climbing, belaying and rappelling? We answer that question by testing 16 of our favorite climbing gloves on big walls, crags, and at the gym. We belayed hundred of pitches, rappelled thousands of feet and climbed hundreds of aid pitches in Yosemite. We...

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The Best Running Shoe Review

The Best Running Shoe Review



We selected seven top ranked road running shoes on the market and took them on a head-to-head ride. Following in the footsteps of Olympic medalists Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi through the high altitude roads in Mammoth Lakes, California, to the scenic river paths in Bend, Oregon, these shoes hav...

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Best Rope Bags for Climbing

Best Rope Bags for Climbing



We looked at the seven most popular rope bags on the market today. We compared them side-by-side in a variety of ways. How durable they were, how big their tarps are, how easy they are to roll up, how easily we could fit a 60m rope, a 70m rope, and a rope plus other items like shoes, draws, water bo...

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The Best Women's Sleeping Bag Review

The Best Women's Sleeping Bag Review



What is the best sleeping bag for female adventurers? We tested seven of the most popular women's sleeping bags on the market to answer that question. All of the bags we evaluated are summer weight "mummy" style sleeping bags meant to keep you warm in a variety of situations from sleeping on the bea...

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The Best Base Layer Review

The Best Base Layer Review



The baselayer is the most fundamental component of cold-weather comfort. With the advent of new fabrics, technologies and manufacturing processes, the world of baselayers has become as complex and varied as the environments they are used in. We took some of the most popular and high-performing perfo...

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The Best Climbing Helmet

The Best Climbing Helmet



Do you wear a climbing helmet every time you rope up? Like most climbers, you probably don't but know that you should. We've evaluated eight of the best and most popular climbing and mountaineering helmets on the market and found some that you will be stoked to strap on every time you climb. We test...

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The Best Climbing Harness For Women Review

The Best Climbing Harness For Women Review



A climbing harness is your life-line. It is the piece of gear that connects you as a person to your rope and your gear. It catches you when you fall, and catches your partner when they fall. Most climbers keep their harnesses for around 5 years, which is longer than a rope or climbing shoes last, so...

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The Best Point-And-Shoot Digital Camera

The Best Point-And-Shoot Digital Camera



Which point and shoot camera is the best? With technology constantly changing digital cameras into complicated little devices, it's nearly impossible to keep up. So we took the top nine point and shoot digital cameras worthy of your adventures and put them through real-time testing, finding out whic...

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The Best Bike Rack

The Best Bike Rack



The bicycle may be the most efficient means of transportation ever created, but if you are like us, you likely use your bike for recreation as well. Our wanderlust has driven us to load up ours, by any means necessary, and head off in search of the next epic ride. So after years of traveling with bi...

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The Best Cargo Box Review

The Best Cargo Box Review



What is the best roof box on the market? Do differences matter, or are they all the same? We tested five top competitors to find out. We heaved these boxes on the roofs of our cars and compared them on their construction quality, appearance, ease of use, aerodynamics, and security. Our testers drove...

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The Best Slackline Review

The Best Slackline Review



Which slackline is the best? To find out we took 12 of the top 1" and 2" kits and evaluated them from the perspective of all styles of slacklining to determine side-by-side which is the best and most complete kit on the market. We set them up in parks, public spaces, and even traveled internationa...

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The Best Climbing Chalk Review

The Best Climbing Chalk Review



Ahhchalk. For some of us climbers it's only necessary in the blazing heat when even a bag of dust would start sweating, and for others it's a physical and mental crutch upon which we rely to grunt out those superhuman crux moves on our latest project. Either way, we all use it at some point and when...

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The Best Daisy Chain For Climbing

The Best Daisy Chain For Climbing



What is the best daisy chain for climbing? We look at seven of the best options and test them head-to-head. We evaluated them on four criteria: fall absorption, ease of hooking, durability, and weight. While daisy chains can be used for free climbing, in general, we recommend an anchor chain instead...

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The Best Pedometer and Fitness Tracker Review

The Best Pedometer and Fitness Tracker Review



Which pedometer is right for you? If you are looking to track, record, and motivate your daily physical activity, a pedometer or "activity monitor" is just the ticket. OutdoorGearLab once again leads the way in reviewing an exciting new category of gear. We scanned this burgeoning market and chose n...

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The Best Nut Tools for Climbing

The Best Nut Tools for Climbing



We took seven of the best nut tools and tested them at cleaning a variety of cams and nut types in all sizes and over a broad spectrum of rock types. We compared their weight, durability, ability to clean a nut, ability to clean a cam, the comfort level while pounding on the nut tool with our hand, ...

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The Best Long Underwear For Women Review

The Best Long Underwear For Women Review



We took the best women's long underwear and put them in head-to-head tests. These are the shirts that can handle the rugged stuff, keeping you warm and cozy while performing from the tops of mountains to the depths of caves. Sure, you can wear them for a run or to a Yoga class, but you can also tak...

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The Best Softshell Jacket for Women Review

The Best Softshell Jacket for Women Review



What makes the perfect softshell? Is it the most protection from weather or the most flexibility and breathability? Do you need one with features tailored to climbers or would you rather have a lightweight shell best suited to running? Heck, do you even need one at all? After evaluating multiple mod...

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The Best Bike Lock Review

The Best Bike Lock Review



If you ride a bike, chances are high that you need a bike lock! But which one is the best? We took seven of the most popular ones on the market and compared them head-to-head. In this review, we want to help you find a product that is best for you whether that means finding one that is so easy to us...

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The Best Bike Frame Pump Review

The Best Bike Frame Pump Review



We researched best selling and top performing frame pumps and put them through our own testing and scrutiny to see which ones came out on top. We tested each one in five categories: pumping speed, ease of use, durability, portability, and looks/design. Below you'll find the results to help you best...

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The Best Running Jacket Review

The Best Running Jacket Review



Which running jacket is the best? To find out, we picked out six of the top rated and most popular models and tested them side-by-side. We wore these pieces on runs through rain, snow, and freezing temperatures, paying special attention to each one's performance. Some kept us warm on snowy trail run...

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The Best Ski Jacket for Women Review

The Best Ski Jacket for Women Review



What makes the best ski jacket? We tested several top-of-the-line insulated jackets for skiing to help you find the best. We skied countless runs on Mammoth Mountain, California, sat on many chair lifts, went to multiple happy hours, and partook in numerous winter activities such as an overnight ski...

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The Best Performance Shirt For Women Review

The Best Performance Shirt For Women Review



We took nine of the best selling active base layer tops and put them through the paces to help you find the one that's right for you. These tops can be layered as any true base layer should, but they can also perform on their own. We hiked, biked, paddled and climbed our way through nine different ...

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Big Wall Climbing Harness Review

Big Wall Climbing Harness Review



What is the best harness for big wall climbing and aid climbing? We took five of the best big wall harnesses and put them head to head. We evaluated these harnesses in five main areas: comfort, adjustability, comfort while sleeping, gear loops, and ease of free climbing. ...

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The Best Quickdraw for Climbing Review

The Best Quickdraw for Climbing Review



Quickdraws have come a long way since the oval-carabiners-slung-on-a-tripled-up-sling days. To help you find the best rock climbing quickdraw, we updated our old review by testing eight of the most popular and highest rated draws out there. Our team of more than ten testers climbed with these produc...

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Finding the Perfect Big Wall Aider

Finding the Perfect Big Wall Aider



We reviewed eight of our favorite big wall aiders and used them on more than 100 walls, from El Capitan to Baffin Island. We evaluated aiders using five main criteria: comfort, ease of walking up, durability, ease of use free climbing, and top-stepping. We then chose our top aiders in three categori...

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The Best Hiking Pant for Women Review

The Best Hiking Pant for Women Review



You wouldn't plan your next hiking trip without pants, but with so many options, how do you know which women's hiking pants are best suited for your next adventure? We tested eight of the best models to answer that question. We wore pants that roll, buckle, snap, and zip and pairs that convert to ca...

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The Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Women Review

The Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Women Review



Why not approach a climb in your hiking shoes? Typically climbers are hiking because they are, well, going climbing. Usually this means hiking in locales that aren't always well-maintained trails. It involves cross-country travel, rock-hoppping, and some occasional soloing up large rocks. In this sc...

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Haul Bag Review - The Best Bags for Big Wall Climbing

Haul Bag Review - The Best Bags for Big Wall Climbing



What is the best haul bag for big wall climbing? While it would hard to climb with all eight of these bags head-to-head, I did use them all over 110-plus big wall ascents from Yosemite to Norway. Each bag was evaluated on five variables: durability, capacity, waterproof-ness, ease of access, and sus...

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The Best Shoe for CrossFit Training

The Best Shoe for CrossFit Training



With the sport of CrossFit rapidly growing in popularity, the demand for top-tier, functional equipment is getting pushed onto the fast track. One product category on the frontline of this battlefield are CrossFit shoes. CrossFit is a sport that focuses on functional movements structured in high int...

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The Best GPS Watch for Running and Training

The Best GPS Watch for Running and Training



In the burgeoning fitness-tracking, GPS watch market, which is the best product for you? Over the course of almost a thousand miles and in ten different sports, our team examined seven of the best devices available. We have evaluated, and summarized here, which are the best, and which is the best fo...

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Battle for the Best Big Wall Ascender

Battle for the Best Big Wall Ascender



We compare the two top ascenders, the Black Diamond nForce and the Petzl Ascension. Both work well and each one excelled at different things. Both made ascending ropes not just tolerable, but kinda fun....

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The Best Climbing Gear Sling

The Best Climbing Gear Sling



We picked up some of the top climbing gear slings and tested them head-to-head. We evaluated them on comfort, adjustability, organizing, ease of use, and bomberness. ...

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The Best Anchor Chain for Climbing Review

The Best Anchor Chain for Climbing Review



What is the best anchor chain for connecting you to your climbing anchor? We look at three of the best options and test them head-to-head. We evaluated them on four criteria: fall absorption, ease of clipping, overall feel, and weight and bulk.

The first question you may have is, "What is an...

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The Best Big Wall Hauling Devices

The Best Big Wall Hauling Devices



There is no part of big wall climbing reviled as much as hauling. To ease the pain we looked at the four top hauling devices and put them up against some monster El Cap loads. We evaluated each device on its ease of hauling, ease of setup, durability, ease of use, and portability. We found that all ...

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The Best Winter Boots Review

The Best Winter Boots Review



What are the best winter boots to protect your feet from cold, wet snow? We got our cold feet into seven pairs of the best insulated boots on the market and did a lot of stomping in slush to find out. Anyone who lives, works, or plays in even the most temperate snowy climate needs a pair of waterpro...

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The Best External USB Battery Review

The Best External USB Battery Review



Which external battery is the best to power your USB devices such as a cell phone, camera, or other devices? To find out, we selected nine of the top rated and most popular models to find out how they compared in side-by-side tests. We used them them on planes, road trips and around the office and r...

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The Best Binoculars Review

The Best Binoculars Review



What is the best performing pair of binoculars? Here at OutdoorGearLab we took this question out into the field with 13 different pairs to find the standout models through rigorous hands-on testing and use outdoors. We traveled to the Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest, passed these magnifiers between tea...

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The Best Bike Light Review

The Best Bike Light Review



What's the best bike light? We combined extensive laboratory testing with a year of field testing in four U.S. cities to create the most comprehensive bike light review available. In order to identify the best products for specific applications we measured the beam pattern, brightness, portability a...

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The Best Carabiner Review

The Best Carabiner Review



We wanted to find out which carabiner was the best, so we've updated our old review to take a look at some of the newer products out there, and compared them to some classic performers. Even though carabiners have been used for rock climbing for over 100 years, the innovation still continues. It see...

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The Best Tape for Climbing

The Best Tape for Climbing



When approaching that meat-grinder of a hand crack and contemplating whether you'd actually like to see what the bones and tendons on the back of your hand look likemost of us will reach for the tape. While most tapes will do the job, we thought it would be cool to take a more analytical approach to...

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The Best Mountaineering Boots For Women Review

The Best Mountaineering Boots For Women Review



From wet and snowy glaciers and peaks in Patagonia, to many laps on steep pitches of solid ice in Ouray, Colorado, to temperate ice climbing in Lee Vining Canyon, California, these boots spent several seasons scaling pristine frozen water, which allowed us to evaluate ice climbing ability. To test h...

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The Best Bike Shorts Review

The Best Bike Shorts Review



What is the best pair of bike shorts or bibs for a ride? We put six of the sleekest, most functional, and most technologically advanced bike shorts and bibs to the test in order to find out. We went hard on the short course and paced ourselves on the long haul. We sweated through chamois and kept co...

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The Best Flip-Flop Sandals For Women Review

The Best Flip-Flop Sandals For Women Review



Whether you live for flip-flop weather or you're simply looking for some open-toed footwear to wear on your next beach vacation, our updated women's flip-flop review has you covered! We tested out 11 pairs of sandals that ranged from insanely cozy to ultra supportive. After flipping up rocky trails ...

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The Best Women’s Shoes for CrossFit Training

The Best Women’s Shoes for CrossFit Training



What is the best shoe for the sport of fitness? CrossFit embraces a broad variety of physical activities so we tested seven of the most popular shoes to determine which would hold up the best through runs, squat cleans, rope climbs and pistol squats. We tested the shoes in workouts that involved all...

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The Best Ski Goggles Review

The Best Ski Goggles Review



Any skier, snowboarder, mountaineer, snowshoer, or snow adventurer knows that ski goggles are an essential piece of equipment. However, do you know which is the best? Over the course of two months, we skied on windy, snowy, and sunny days. We tested eight ski goggles to see which has the best breath...

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The Best Climbing Harness Package

The Best Climbing Harness Package



When you are just starting to climb it can be hard to figure out what harness and belay device/carabiner to buy. Climbing companies package these items together with a chalk bag so you can get all the essentials in one place. We looked at the most popular climbing packages and rated them against eac...

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The Best Ski and Snowboard Helmet Review

The Best Ski and Snowboard Helmet Review



Which ski helmet should you trust to protect your valuable noggin? Through many ski runs in weather ranging from sunny to freezing, we tested six of the best on the market evaluating for fit, comfort, weather protection, and style. In this review, we break down design, manufacturing, and certificati...

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The Best Ski Pants Review

The Best Ski Pants Review



Out of the hundreds of options, which pair of ski and snowboard pants is right for you? Protecting your legs from wind and cold and abrasion is a thankless job. You will use and abuse this garment for a long time, usually in inhospitable climates. You will need pants that fit your body and roughly f...

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The Best Ski Boots Review

The Best Ski Boots Review



What is the best men's all-mountain alpine ski boot? There are many factors affecting this qualifier, so to learn more we tested 6 models from different manufacturers during the winter of 2014. To choose what to test, we sought opinions from recreational skiers and pros alike, to find out which are ...

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The Best Hiking Shoes for Women Review

The Best Hiking Shoes for Women Review



Before stepping foot on the next trail, consider your feet! We put 13 pairs of women's hiking shoes to the test to find the best shoes for hiking and light backpacking. These shoes have some of the support of a hiking boot married to the lightweight agility of a trail running shoe. While working on ...

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The Best Camping Stove Review

The Best Camping Stove Review



Looking for the best camping stove for you and your family? So were we. We lined up a selection of the most highly regarded camping stoves, and put them head to head in a summer-long stove cook off. In this latest testing round, we re-tested some old favorites, like the previous Editors' Choice sele...

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The Best Umbrella Review

The Best Umbrella Review



Ever wonder which umbrella is the best? To find out, we gathered seven different contenders and rigorously tested them side-by-side to try to answer that question. We spent hours walking through rain and wind storms to see how each product performed. We then ranked them all in categories ranging fro...

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The Best Big Wall Gear Sling

The Best Big Wall Gear Sling



We took four big wall gear slings and tested them on Yosemite's big walls and in our Gear Lab. We scored each gear sling in five categories: comfort, adjustability, organization, ease of getting on, and overall bomberness. We scored each gear sling, added up the points, and then awarded our Editors'...

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The Best Trail Running Shoes for Women Review

The Best Trail Running Shoes for Women Review



Are you the kind of woman who loves to veer off the roads, get on the trails, and explore the beauty of your own backyard on foot? Our updated review compares 11 of the best women's trail running shoes side-by-side. We ran high alpine, temperate rainforest, and desert trails with a different shoe on...

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The Best Rain Boots for Women Review

The Best Rain Boots for Women Review



We wanted to know which women's rain boot was the best of the bunch, so we compared nine of the top-rated models side-by-side for three months. Our reviewers endured Colorado's rainy afternoon monsoons, cool April showers, and snowy days in the mountains. We also hiked across muddy trails and tested...

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The Best Minimalist and Barefoot Shoes Review

The Best Minimalist and Barefoot Shoes Review



What is the best minimal or barefoot shoe for running? And how do you choose from the large market of shoes out there? We chose seven of the best minimalist and barefoot running shoes available and put each to the test in this elaborate and detailed review. Embodied in this review are six separate a...

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The Best Bike Trailer Review

The Best Bike Trailer Review



Which bike trailer is best for toting your child? We took four of the best models on the market and put them through a yearlong gauntlet of hauling kids, dogs, and cargo. We utilized multiple families for testing, giving us valuable feedback from a wide range of users. All of the products we tested ...

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Best Women's Climbing Helmet

Best Women's Climbing Helmet



"See, it protects my very important brain," says Dr. Bruce Banner in the 2003 Hulk movie when told he looks like a "massive nerd" in his helmet. Even the Incredible Hulk wears a helmet, and we think you should too. Luckily, some of the women's helmet options out there will keep you safe but not look...

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The Best Barefoot Shoes For Women Review

The Best Barefoot Shoes For Women Review



So you like the idea of going barefoot. But what is the best barefoot shoe for women? To find out, we tested seven of the most popular FiveFinger models in head-to-head tests to figure out which are the best for specific activities and which are most versatile overall. We wore them in sand, snow, an...

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The Best Women's Ski Gloves Review

The Best Women's Ski Gloves Review



Choosing the perfect ski glove for women can be a tall order when you take into account the different styles available, the different branches of skiing and snowboarding, and ultimately the different needs each woman demands of her product. At OutdoorGearLab, we have reviewed five of the top women's...

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The Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards

The Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards



What is the best inflatable stand up paddle board? We take three top-selling and highly rated models and put them to the test. We compare them on stability, glide performance, ease of use and ease of inflating. Overall we found big differences, especially in the most important category: stability. R...

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The Best Ski Pants for Women Review

The Best Ski Pants for Women Review



We wanted to see which women's ski pants were the best, so we traveled to ski areas all over Colorado in the sun, wind, rain, and snow. We spent long days working on the mountain, and we spent fun days touring the backcountry. Our testers wore these pants while skiing, telemarking, snowboarding, and...

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The Best Mountain Bike Helmet Review

The Best Mountain Bike Helmet Review



What is the best bike helmet for mountain biking? We took seven of the most modern, extended-coverage, half-shell mountain bike helmets and compared them side-by-side over hundreds of miles of terrain. We rated each helmet in six different categories: comfort, adjustment, weight, features, ventilati...

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The Best Ski Boots for Women Review

The Best Ski Boots for Women Review



What is the best women's all-mountain ski boot? We spent a winter testing six top-of-the-line boots on the slopes of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in California to find out. We skied hundreds of runs in a variety of conditions, looking for the boot that does it all. We enlisted a group of dedicated ski...

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The Best Rain Boots Review

The Best Rain Boots Review



With all the different rain boots out there, it can be hard to find the best. We took 10 top-selling rain boots and put them to the test to figure out which ones really stand out from the crowd. For three long months, we tested them out in the rain, while hiking stream beds and trails, and around to...

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The Best Trail Running Shoes Review

The Best Trail Running Shoes Review



What are the best men's trail running shoes on the market today? Over the course of four summer months, we binged on running the trails while testing 10 pairs of trail-specific shoes from the leading manufacturers, all in a quest to help you choose which one is right for you. These trail running sho...

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The Best Bivy Sack Review

The Best Bivy Sack Review



What is the best bivy sack? Throughout a stormy summer, five of the best models were tested in a variety of environments, from deserts to swamps to mountains. A handful of hard-core campers, climbers, and backpackers ranked the products based on their weather resistance, comfort, durability, weight ...

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