Reviews


Our reviews 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 Double Rainbow wins our Best Buy Award for its low price tag  livability and light weight.

The Best Backpacking Tents of 2017



In search of the best backpacking tents of 2017, we ditched our homes in town for nylon and mesh walls in the backcountry. After researching the top 70 tents on the market, we purchased 14 of the highest rated and most popular two-person tents and went backpacking - a lot. Our lead expert and author...

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The Asolo Jumla GV is designed and primed for high friction with rocks. On top of its climbing proficiency  its lightweight qualities and solid durability make it an exciting boot to own!

The Trek to Find the Best Hiking Boots of 2017



With so many hiking boots, it's tough to pick the right pair. To help, we researched over 50 top models and selected the 12 best to test side-by-side for 160+ hours. For three months and hundreds of miles, we pushed these boots to their limits to find out which ones are truly stable in rough terrain...

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After three months of testing these sleeping pads in all conceivable conditions (including lazy river floating!)  we're ready to give you the low down on which ones are the best!

2017's Top Sleeping Pads for Backpacking and Camping



To find that elusive optimal sleeping pad, we researched 70 top options and then purchased and tested 21 of the best. After 160 hours of side-by-side sleep tests, we awarded the best overall pad as well as the most comfortable and lightest. Whether you have $30 or $200, we've got your budget covered...

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A headlamp is a vital piece of gear for any camper  hiker  backpacker  climber  or outdoors enthusiast who may end up outside when the sun goes down. Our review compares 28 top products and wades through misleading claims by manufacturers in order to find the very best.

The Hunt for the Best Headlamp



Which headlamp, of many, is the best? To find out we took 28 top headlamps and put them through a gauntlet of side-by-side tests. Each product was lab-tested and field-tested. We used industrial light meters to measure brightness and built an automated "light coffin" rigged with a data-logging light...

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The Best Backpacking sleeping bag review

The Search for the Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags of 2017



To help you complete your backpacking setup, we researched over 75 backpacking sleeping bags and tested the 11 best models side-by-side for an extensive three-month testing process. Standing in the aisle of your favorite outdoor retailer, it's hard to know which product provides primo comfort, dries...

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A double-down: the Hybridge Lite Hoody (red  worn as a mid-layer) and The Patagonia Down Hoody were the primary layers in a very complete layering system for extreme cold.

The Quest for the Best Men's Down Jackets of 2017



To find the right down jacket for your cold weather adventures, we researched 70 top models and subjected the 9 best to side-by-side tests and backcountry expeditions for three months. We wore these products from the damp mid-altitudes of New Zealand, the extreme cold of Antarctica, to the dry, high...

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Nine of the top rain jackets  ready for our testing. There are three distinct types of jackets here  and one will meet your needs best.

The Best Men's Rain Jackets of 2017



With so many rain jackets, it can be confusing to find the right one. We researched 90 of them, then bought the 10 top models for 105 wet hours of field testing. Today's jacket selection is daunting: we set out to help you find the best model for your needs and budget whether you have $50 or $300. W...

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Dan Sandberg uses the  Hiker Pro to filter water from a running stream  Rocky Mountains  Colorado.

The Best Backpacking Water Filter and Treatment Systems



What is the best water treatment system for backpackers and campers? To find out, we tested 15 of the best, latest and greatest backpacking water filter systems and compared them in detailed head-to-head tests in this extensive review. With more and more manufacturers coming out with their own versi...

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We loved the burly shell fabric of the Canada Goose for hard-working chores in brutal cold temps.

The Best Winter Jacket for Men Review



What's the best winter jacket to keep you warm and dry no matter the weather? Winter means shorter days, colder temperatures, and a spectrum of inclement weather to outright blizzards. We took 14 of the most popular casual and technical winter jackets and compared them side-by-side during activities...

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The award winning camping tents for 2016

The Best Family Camping Tents of 2017



Looking for a great camping tent for summer trips or the backyard? To find the best, researched 55 tents and bought 8 for hands-on testing. Two outdoor experts then spent 40 days touring campgrounds across the US in the heat, rain and wind. The tent options are overwhelming. We help you distinguish ...

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The Garmin GPS Map 64s (left) and the Garmin eTrex 20x (right) are both award winners in this updated review. Take these units on your next big adventure.

The Best Handheld GPS Review



Which handheld GPS is the best? We tested six of the latest and greatest units from Garmin, Magellan, and DeLorme. We climbed to high peaks, hiked through canyons, and tinkered endlessly to produce a comprehensive and objective review. We assessed each device on satellite reception, ease of use, pro...

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Does it get any better than this? Afternoon nap time under the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Square Flat Tarp after another 14er climb. Guanella Pass  Colorado.

The Best Ultralight Tent Shelter for Backpacking



We tested 10 of the best and most popular 2-person tarps, pyramids, and feather light tents to find the best ultralight tent shelter out there. We compared them side-by-side by taking them backpacking, peak bagging, and bicycle touring throughout the Rocky Mountains. We rated each shelter for weathe...

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Shoe testing on granite in the Alabama Hills  CA.

The Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Men 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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We tested all the backpacking stoves head-to-head in our garage for a timed boil test. Here the integrated and small canister stoves are lined up for testing.

The Best Backpacking Stove Review



What is the best backpacking stove for trips in the backcountry? We tested 14 of the industry's top products side-by-side in the wilderness during all kinds of weather, as well as in our garage for a more scientific head-to-head boil time test. We used these stoves over several seasons all over the ...

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The Best backpacking pack review

The Best Backpacking Backpacks of 2017



There are hundreds of backpacking backpacks from the ultralight to the ultra comfy. We researched 65 packs and bought the 12 best for 210 hours of side-by-side tests in the mountains of Patagonia and the Pacific Northwest. Today's backpacks are more feature-rich than ever, but it's hard to distingui...

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The Patagonia Adze was a favorite for cold weather climbing. The stretchy side panels under the arms made this jacket a pleasure to climb in.

The Best Softshell Jacket for Men Review



In this update, we continue our quest for the best in our popular softshell jacket review! Continually looking for the highest-performing jackets on the market, we bought 11 top softshells and tested them side-by-side. Over the course of three months, our testers scraped through arm-eating offwidth ...

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We tested 10 ultralight sleeping bags from May to October in the Rocky Mountains this year while peakbagging  backpacking  and even during 100 mile mountain ultras.

The Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review



What is the best ultralight sleeping bag? We put 10 of our favorites through real world tests while backpacking, peak bagging, and bike touring throughout the Rocky Mountains. These bags and quilts kept us warm everywhere from deep in the valleys along the Colorado Trail to spectacular sunrises whil...

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All lined up and ready to go! We hiked hundreds of miles to test  compare  and rate each of the top hiking shoes.

The Quest for the Best Men's Hiking Shoes of 2017



From budget-friendly options to top-of-the-line hiking shoes, our experts evaluated over 60 models and tested the top 10 side-by-side to help you find your perfect match. Covering hundreds of miles, our lead tester hiked trails of varied terrain and climbed ridges on Colorado 14'ers to push these pr...

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With so many colors and styles available these days  it can be hard to make a decision. We tested a range of parkas with different lengths  styles  insulation and shells  to help make selecting the right one an easier process  whether you need one for commuting in the city or living and playing in the mountains. The jacket pictured is the underlayer of our Top Pick for Wet Climates winner  the Patagonia Tres Down Parka.

The Best Winter Jacket For Women Review



What's the best winter jacket? We compared 11 of the top rated women's winter jackets. Whether you're looking for a jacket that can handle brutally cold winters while still looking mega fashionable, or you are looking for one that is waterproof for a wet climate, we've got you covered. Over a two mo...

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The 2016 fleet of women's hiking boots are a colorful bunch.

The Journey to Find the Best Women's Hiking Boots of 2017



To find the right women's hiking boots for you, we evaluated the 40 most popular models available and subjected the best 10 to side-by-side tests over three months and hundreds of miles. With so many options and bold marketing claims, it's not easy to determine which ones provide solid traction on s...

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The Salvo 24 is really comfortable and has the features needed for most day uses.

The Best Day Backpack Review



What is the best daypack available? Whether you're an avid hiker, a climber, or a student, you probably have a need for a daypack for one or more of your activities. We put 10 top-of-the-line contenders to the test, using them in any and every way we could think of, from hiking and climbing to bikin...

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The Best 4-season tent review. We tested our favorite 4-season tents in a range of locations from expedition climbing in the Alaska Range and the Andes to summer alpine climbing in the Cascades  Sierra  and Tetons  in addition to mutli-day ski tours and winter camping. Testing 4-seasons tents while camped at White Rocks Lake on day 3 of a six day journey across the North Cascades' Ptarmigan Traverse with Spire Point and the Elephant's head looming above the Dana Glacier.

The Best Four Season Tent Review



In this review, we tested 20 of the best four season tents (AKA "winter tents") on the market in a head-to-head competition that assessed weather resistance, livability, weight, packed size, adaptability, and durability. Testing took us all over the globe, from the alpine climbs in the Lower 48 to A...

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A pyramid of the nine models we reviewed  topped with the two smaller models we used to examine how size affects insulation performance.

The Best Cooler and Ice Chest Review



Prepping for camping season? We spent nearly 150 hours putting 8 of the best coolers on the market through an exhaustive series of 15 tests. With the number of styles and price range of coolers increasing almost exponentially over the last few years, it is more difficult than ever to choose the best...

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The Paramount Peak II Convertibles are one of our favorite pants for hiking in cooler temperatures. Their thick and heavy fabric helps hold in the heat and they unzip into shorts when the temperatures climb.

The Best Hiking Pants Review For Men



Which pair of hiking pants provide the best overall performance for hiking and backpacking? We took seven of the most popular models and put them through months of rigorous testing in the desert of Utah and the mountains of Colorado, hiking in these pants day in and day out to see which pair came ou...

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Down is the ultimate in insulation: it has the highest warmth-to-weight ratio and is highly compressible. A lightweight down jacket is a must in every outdoors woman's quiver. Here we are getting all lifestyle-y in the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody on the sea ice of Antarctica.

The Best Down Jacket for Women Review



What is the best lightweight down jacket for women? We purchased 12 top tier down jackets and wore them everywhere in an attempt to find out. We even sent testers down to the frigid continent of Antarctica to put down insulation to the ultimate test. For this review, we took a selection of the top l...

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Jason  Mike and Jed on Chair 5  Mammoth Mountain. Testing The North Face  Burton  and Helly Hansen ski jackets in these stormy conditions highlighted vast differences.

The Best Ski Jacket for Men Review



What is the best jacket for your snow sport desires? We scoped out the best in men's insulated ski and snowboard jackets and pushed their limits in the backcountry and on the resort. Our expert testers slammed through foul weather and slid on rock-hard steep descents, putting each excellent piece of...

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Playing around the rocks in a fresh pair of shoes! These are some of the most comfortable and nicely cushioned shoes we tested this year  one of our favorites by far.

The Trials of The Best Men's Trail Running Shoes of 2017



Intimidated by the 100's of trail running shoe options? We were, too. That's why we researched 90 top models and bought 14 for detailed testing. After over 150 hours on the trails, we have recommendations whether you want the maximum cushion, minimal heal-rise, or just a good value. Our testing team...

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Our Best Buy award winner from The North Face proved its value with its great comfort  durability  and all-around solid performance.

The Best Long Underwear and Base Layer for Men Review



What is the best long underwear top on the market? To make sense of it all, we put eleven of the most popular men's long underwear tops to the test. Covering the two American continents, our reviewers wore these shirts in temperatures ranging from warm and sunny to frigidly cold and damp. They were ...

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The Reactor provided superior comfort for an excellent hang.

The Hunt for the Best Hammocks of 2017



Hung up on which hammock? We can help. We researched over 50 of the most popular models and tested the best 11 side-by-side for 100+ hours of testing. Our expert testers brought them camping in a variety of environments, from the high desert in winter to wet mountains in spring, to see how they comp...

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Osprey Farpoint 55 travel backpack performs well in rugged terrain.

The Best Travel Backpack Review



The staff at OutdoorGearLab is a diverse crowd. But in our colorful tapestry of adventurers, there is one common thread: a shared obsession with traveling. Naturally, that makes identifying the best travel backpack a high priority. If you seek adventure beyond the border, or if you regularly hopscot...

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The five pairs of insulated winter hiking boots that we tested for this review are ideal choices for snowshoeing. Here we are testing in the San Juan Mountain high country.

The Best Winter Boots for Men Review



What's the best pair of winter boots to keep your feet warm and comfortable all winter long? To find out, we tested ten of the most popular and highly rated models to determine which ones kept our feet the warmest and driest. Testing each pair over several months, we evaluated them for their Warmth,...

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We tested these harnesses from the sandstone of Red Rock Canyon to the granite of the Rocky Mountains. Here the Sama helps us send at Turkey Rocks in Colorado's South Platte.

The Best Climbing Harness for Men Review



Which men's climbing harness is the best? Well, climbing is a passion near and dear to the hearts of most everyone here at OutdoorGearLab. Just the sight of climbing harnesses makes us giddy with excitement. This was a fun review for us to do because we love climbing and love taking "test" falls nea...

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The Best Buy RockyMounts JetLine would be a great choice at any price  but for $130 it is hard to beat.

The Best Bike Rack



The bicycle may be the most efficient means of transportation ever created; 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. After years of traveling with bikes, we...

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Comparison testing the row of five single-person mattresses in this review  one after the other. Tested in exclusion for a whole night's sleep  we thought all of these mattresses were very comfortable. Only when laid out like this could we get very picky about which ones were truly the best.

The Best Camping Mattresses and Deluxe Sleeping Pads of 2017



In our search for the best camping mattresses and deluxe sleeping pads, we researched 45 models and selected nine for hands-on testing. After 100 hours of sleeping in cars, campgrounds, and backyards, we declare winners for comfort, value, and overall quality. Unlike a backpacking pad, these pads ar...

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An all-mountain ski should be able to handle conditions all over the mountain well. The Volkl Mantra has new graphics  but is the same versatile  reliable ski in 2016  and it once again wins Editor's Choice. Seen here shining on some chalky snow.

The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2016



What is the top all-mountain, all-the-time ski of 2016? We took eleven top men's models from a variety of manufacturers and put them to a head-to-head, run-for-run comparison, for a couple season-long quest to answer that question and find the holy grail of all-mountain planks. Our testing was condu...

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Our Top Pick winners  the stylish Orage Nina (left) and the best hardshell  the Arc'teryx Sentinel (right).

The Best Ski Jacket for Women Review



What makes the best ski jacket? We tested twelve top-of-the-line ski jackets over several seasons to help you find the best. We skied numerous runs at Mammoth Mountain and Kirkwood in California and even brought a few to ski in British Columbia. We sat on many chair lifts, went to multiple happy hou...

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Hike and adventure anywhere! The Suunto Core Alu is a great partner on any mountainous mission in remote terrain.

The Best Altimeter Watch for Hikers and Backpacking



We tested six of the best altimeter watches side-by-side while running, hiking, and backpacking over 10,000 feet of vertical terrain. We summited mountains, hiked through canyons, and climbed lap after lap at the local climbing crag to determine which is the best altimeter out there. These watches f...

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Some of our top contenders getting ready for a breakfast cook-off.

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 multiple rigorous cook-offs. In this latest testing round, we re-tested some old favorites, like the Editors' Choice for two years r...

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Ryan O'Connell using his Black Diamond Ultra Distance poles while crossing Midas Creek with Ian Nicholson and Andy Dahlen.

The Best Trekking Pole Review For Hiking and Backpacking



Trekking Poles have come a long way. In just over a decade, they have gone from a seldom-seen item to near mandatory. From day hikers to seasoned mountaineers, the majority are using them now. There are many advantages to using hiking poles, the main reasons being that they offer better balance duri...

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Sitting comfortably enjoying the view while protected from the sun in Bishop CA  with the Patagonia Beach Bucket

The Best Sun Hat Review



What is the best hat to protect you from the sun? We took ten of the top 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 be...

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A bright bike light doesn't just brighten up the road  it can significantly improve your odds of avoiding being hit by a car.

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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A good climbing rope gives you confidence and keeps you safe. Certain attributes such as handling and weight can affect how easily the rope fits into your day and climbing plans.

The Best Rock Climbing Rope



We gathered a selection of nine 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, c...

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The lightweight Fischer Ranger 98 can be super playful when you're jumping off things or floating through fluffy powder.

The Best Women's All-Mountain Skis of 2017



The question stands: What is the best women's all-mountain ski? The best for a single quiver? The best for the entire mountain? We compiled 11 of the most popular all-mountain planks for women and subjected them to tough scrutiny. La Niņa dumped on the Sierra, leaving a foundation for great skiing a...

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A look at our contenders for the best hiking sock! From left to right: Wigwam Hiking Pro  Smartwool PhD  Injinjin Midweight Hiker  Darn Tough Light Hiker  Darn Tough Full Cushion.

The Best Hiking Socks Review



Which is the best hiking sock? Over the last three months we've tested five of the leading competitors, in all types of adverse conditions. We put them through the paces - worn continuously for weeks, dragged through snow and over ice, and used in the demanding conditions a mid-weight hiking sock sh...

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The Valandre Bloody Mary (red  center) compared to five of the sleeping bags in our Cold Weather 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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Our main author runs the Peruvian Andes armed with a plethora of Hydration Bladders.

The Best Hydration Bladder Review



We choose six of the industry's top hydration reservoirs and put them to the test. We spent three months backpacking, mountain climbing, SUPing, dog-walking, hiking and trail running to figure out the best bladder for each application. We took them to the tops of high mountains and through the lows ...

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The barren and desolate Great Sand Dunes National Park is a great place for a windbreaker. Here we are testing the Houdini  which fits as snuggly as any we tested. A wind breaker is great for days like this one where the sun beats down but the wind is chilly.

The Best Wind Jacket Review



What is the best windbreaker for protecting you from a cool morning breeze or a mountain top gale? We identified 10 of the leading jackets available on the market today and put them through months of testing to determine which was the best. We affirmed our conviction that these super thin and lightw...

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Inreach explorer

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 is best for sending out an SOS signal. We tested one PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) and...

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Differences in shape and width of the top five flip flops tested.  Reef Fanning  Reef Phantom  Crocs Modi Flip  OluKai Ohana  Rainbow Single Layer.

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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Kim runs it out in the Salming Elements at the Fat Dog 120 mile endurance trail race. The Salming Element is our Top Pick for Flexibility.

The Best Trail Running Shoes for Women Review



In our comparison of 13 of the best women's trail running shoes, we ran over a range of terrain in all kinds of weather; tackling steep rocky trails in the high alpine of the Peruvian Andes, conquering 30 mile point to point missions in the San Juan mountains, and running the river walk after work. ...

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When selecting a pair of binoculars  we find the two most important features to be clarity and brightness. It is in these two areas that we find that different products really distinguish themselves.

The Test to Find the Best Binoculars



What are the best binoculars? We took 11 different models through rigorous testing in the outdoors to find out. We went birding at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge, used them on the Pacific Coast, loaned them to a guide at WanderLust Tours in Bend, OR, and had friends take them on hikes in the Eas...

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We would regularly ski with a backpack full of ski gloves  switching them out every run or two  even while touring in the backcountry we did our best to pit these gloves head-to-head and put them to the test.

The Best Ski Gloves and Mittens for Men



What are the best glove and mitten choices for skiing and snowboarding? We purchased over 20 of the top competitors this past season and our testers put them up to the challenge by skiing at resorts, touring in the backcountry, and skiing via snowmobile. We evaluated all of the contenders to determi...

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Two new award winners for 2015. On the left  the Suunto Ambit 3 Sport. On the right  the Garmin Forerunner 210. Both are compact devices with a wide range of functionality.

2017's Best GPS Watches for Running and Training



We researched 50 of the best GPS-enabled fitness watches for your runs and rides. We then bought 5 and subjected them to 2 months of side-by-side tests. While we focused on trail and road runs, our testing team used these for 9 other sports including mountaineering, hiking and cycling. We have an ov...

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An alpine pack ought to carry heavy loads with some comfort but must also transform into a day pack to carry the essentials and not get in the way of your movement when the going gets technical. Here the author wears the Osprey Variant 52 while setting up a rappel in Alaska's Little Switzerland.

The Best Mountaineering and Alpine Climbing Backpack Review



What's the best mountaineering backpack for alpine climbing? To find out, we purchased 9 of the best and most popular alpine packs and subjected them to rigorous testing to see how they compared side-by-side. Each pack is scored on five criteria: weight to volume ratio, durability, versatility, com...

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Going for an afternoon paddle in the Marmot Crystalline  an ultralight women's rain jacket. A decent rain jacket is a vital piece of gear for just about everyone. Our review compares top models on the market  ranging from workhorse jackets to ultralight and packable models such as this one.

The Best Rain Jacket for Women Review



What is the best rain jacket for women? We selected eleven of the top selling rain jackets, putting them head-to-head, or hood-to-hood, in field tests. After months of extensive testing in the notoriously wet Pacific Northwest, we rated each jacket on six performance metrics, from water-resistance a...

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Luke Lydiard traversing a glacier in Patagonia while wearing the Kayland Hypertraction. A waterproof super-gaiter style boot is the perfect kind of footwear for the cold and notorioulsy wet conditions in Patagonia.

The Best Mountaineering Boot for Men Review



We tested eight 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 mult...

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2016 OutdoorGearLab pocket knife award winners. Left to right: Editors Choice Mini Barrage  Top Pick SOG Trident  Best Buy Kershaw Leek  and Top Pick Victorinox Classic.

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 and years of use. Occasionally they sat unused for the day in our pockets and purses, though most days...

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The Best Laptop Backpack Review



What is the best laptop backpack? We embarked on a meticulous testing process and examined 9 of the best and most popular models on the market today. We tested these 9 packs head-to-head for three months in our daily travels around town, road trips, work trips and daily commutes to the local coffee ...

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Award winning products  Garmin Edge 520  Garmin Edge 820  and Lezyne Super GPS Enhanced

The Best Bike Computer Review



Which bike computer is the best? We took eight of the top bike computers worthy of holding a position on your handlebars and put them through months of head-to-head testing and miles of riding. This was all part of our effort to find the bike computer worthy of our prestigious Editors' Choice Award,...

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Looking toward West Marin with Boogie (the dog) in the Original Crazy Creek.

The Best Backpacking Camp Chair Review



We took the top lightweight camping and backpacking 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 backpacking chairs that always weigh under three pounds. These are ideal for transportin...

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The Chaco Unaweep z/1 in a small creek crossing.

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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We put seven of the top technical models to the test while hiking  climbing and playing in the snow to help you find the best one for your next outdoor adventure.

The Best Fleece Jacket for Women Review



Which women's fleece jacket is the best? With hundreds of different types and weights out there, answering that question can be a complicated process. We tested seven of the top-of-the-line technical models to help you figure out which is the best one for you. We reviewed a mix of lightweight breath...

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Mmmmm  a delicious morning brew in the Java Press. The Java press did not come up on top in our taste tests  but the flavor is the distinctive murky flavor common with other French presses.

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 camping coffee? Or (heaven forbid!) do without? Luckil...

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Monkeying around during our testing process. We put eight of the top rated fleeces to the test to help you find the best one for your next hike  climb  or other outdoor adventure.

The Best Fleece Jacket for Men Review



With a seemingly endless slew of options, how do you find the best fleece jacket on the market? Our experts tested eight of the top rated models out there in a variety of weights and styles. We assessed technical mid-layers to heavyweight outer layers, and sleek smooth piles to hi-loft Muppet-like f...

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The Best Climbing Camming Device Review



We took the 16 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 climbing. We...

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Testing helmets in the Tahoe backcountry. If it's not comfortable  you won't wear it as often. If it fits right you'll bring it everywhere.

The Best Ski and Snowboard Helmet Review



In need of a new ski helmet and overwhelmed with all the choices? Whether you're a first time buyer or an old hand in need of a new lid, there are a myriad of factors to think about. Considering price, style, safety certifications, features, and with so many helmets on the market, the choice can see...

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The Best Portable Solar Panels of 2017



Which solar charger best powers phones and gadgets when off the grid? We considered 55 models and bought the top 9 to compare them side-by-side. Our team spent over 100 hours field testing and then brought them into our testing lab to measure power output. We know shopping for solar panels is daunti...

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The selection of tested 2016 multi-tools.

The Best Multi-Tool Review



We tested ten 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 t...

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A sack like the MSR AC is light and portable and can be pitched in wild locations.

The Best Bivy Sack Review



What is the best bivy sack? Throughout a stormy summer, four 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 weather protection, comfort, ventilation, and weight a...

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Our fleet of locking carabiners ready to be reviewed!

The Best Locking Carabiners



The carabiner is an indispensable tool for rock and alpine climbers, mountaineers and backpackers, and even folks who just want to hang their keys on something. Carabiners come in both locking and non-locking varieties, and while both are used during a climbing outing, they each have their own uniqu...

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Bouldering Pad Hinge Designs 2015: Left stack of pads (taco style); Black Diamond Drop Zone (classic taco) top left  Mad Rock R3 (custom multi baffles) mid left  Petzl Alto (custom taco) bottom left -- Right stack (hinge style); Black Diamond Impact (classic hinge) top right  Metolius Session (angled hinge) mid right  Stonelick (custom stepped hinge) bottom right.

Crash Pad Review: The Best Bouldering Pad



We tested fifteen of the top bouldering crash pads at many world class destinations as well as some first ascent territory in uncharted backwoods. We used the pads to cover everything from flat dirt to jagged boulder strewn landing zones. We bouldered on various rock types, from gritty granite and s...

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Ian Nicholson and Graham Zimmerman unloading bags onto the Cul De Sac (AKA Cool Sack) Glacier in the Kichatna Spires  Western Alaska Range.

The Best Travel Duffel Bags



Which duffel bag should you take on your next adventure? 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. We tested them while running through airpor...

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The Best Yoga Mat Review



What's the best yoga mat on the market today? We've put 10 of the highest rated models to the test in our updated review. We stretched, sweated and Down Dogged on these mats for over 100 testing hours to help you find the best one, no matter what style you practice. After testing them side-by-side f...

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We tested seven of the top rated women's hiking pants to help you find the perfect pair for your next adventure.

The Best Hiking Pants for Women Review



What are the best women's hiking pants to take on your next outdoor adventure? We tested seven of the best models out there to answer that question. We wore pants that roll, buckle, snap, and zip, and pairs that convert to capris, shorts, or both. We hiked, biked, and climbed for months in the deser...

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The Best Running Shoes for Men Review



What is the best running shoe for road running? We selected 11 top-ranked men's road running footwear on the market and subjected them to head-to-head evaluation. We spent months logging dozens of miles all across the beautiful state of Virginia, from the mountain roads to the sandy Virginia Beach. ...

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Side-by-side with the Winterial Camping Cookware skillet and the Optimus Terra HE skillet  Ryan prepares a yummy  and colorful  meal of pork fajitas.

The Best Camping Cookware Review



What's the best camping cookware to use for whipping up your tasty camping and backpacking meals? The outdoor industry is continually improving and enhancing the gear they produce, and even camping cookware has vastly improved in the past ten years or so. With a full array of metals to choose from, ...

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We found the Patagonia Linked to be the most comfortable of all the small climbing day packs. Its lightweight suspension allowed free movement even with arms overhead.

The Best Rock Climbing Daypack Review



What is the best climbing backpack? For this review we selected five of today's most popular climbing backpacks, and brought them up a range of multi-pitch routes. From the glacier polished granite of El Capitan to the coarse volcanic phonolite of Devil's Tower, we heaved these packs up strenuous ov...

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Hard at work on the trails outside of Ouray in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. We preferred the Kilowatt (pictured here) for trail running over road running.

The Best Running Shirt Review for Men



What's the best men's running shirt? To find out, we chose five shirts from the leading running and outdoor manufacturers and compared them head-to-head. We wore these shirts day-in and day-out for months while running on roads and trails, while training and during races, in hot weather and in cold ...

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A cuddle puddle of sleeping bags!

The Best Women's Sleeping Bag Review



What is the best sleeping bag for female adventurers? We tested eleven of the most popular contenders on the market to answer that question. All models we evaluated are summer weight mummy style bags meant to keep you warm in a variety of situations, from sleeping on the beach to backpacking in the ...

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The Editors' Choice winning Kryptonite New York Standard is well-designed and offers super burly security. We're trusting it here to lock up our Litespeed Titanium.

The Best Bike Lock Review



What is the best bike lock on the market? If you ride a bicycle, for either recreation or transportation (or both!), you need a bike lock. However, given the huge quantity of options, it can be tough to select the one that specifically suits your needs. To help you choose the best, our team of revie...

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We hiked high and low  from the Continental Divide to the Appalachian Trail  to find the best ultralight backpacks! Here  our lead tester  Brandon  celebrates another beautiful day in Rocky Mountain National Park with the Osprey Exos 48  our Best Buy winner.

The Best Ultralight Backpack Review



For many backpackers and thru-hikers, an ultralight backpack is a must-have. So, our review team set out to find the best. We purchased nine of the most popular and highly rated ultralight packs and tested them side-by-side for six months. From the Colorado Trail and the summits of 14ers, to a 250-m...

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Luke Lydiard follows a pitch on Zion's Iron Messiah in the new Petzl Meteor.

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 Tecnica Cochise 120 stepping in for some test laps in Lake Tahoe  CA. We like the bright new color scheme of these boots.

The Best Ski Boots for Men Review



Looking for the best men's all-mountain ski boot? We compared six of the top alpine boots and tested them extensively to find out which one is right for you. We tested them side-by-side, run for run, and for days on end while on ski patrol. We skied in a variety of conditions, on all types of terrai...

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From lightweight loungers that are perfect for the beach to comfort kings that are ideal for car camping  our review will help you find the best camping chair!

The Best Camping Chair Review



When choosing the best camping chair, we had a lot of demands. It must have portability and durability just like other camping equipment, but also maintain the comfort and utility of a standard chair. These are pieces of equipment that regularly get thrown in and out of vehicles, dragged across camp...

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Big rectangular bags with cotton shells  more compact rectangular models with synthetic materials  and generously cut mummy bags. All these camping sleeping bags are affordable products insulated with polyester insulation.

The Best Sleeping Bags for Camping of 2017



Our mission: find you the best camping sleeping bag for road trips and backyard camping. To do this, we analyzed 50 top contenders and selected 10 for detailed hands-on tests. After over 200 hours of camping, we reveal which bags are the best value and which are the warmest and most comfortable. Aft...

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Exploring Colorado's high country with the Top Pick awarded Mountain Hardwear Ozonic Outdry 58.

The Best Women's Backpacking Backpack Review



What is the best women's backpack for backpacking? 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 11 of the top women's specific packs on...

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Lead tester Cam McKenzie Ring climbs in Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas with a set of the Black Diamond PosiWire draws.

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 draw, 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 products al...

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Clockwise from top; Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2. Lezyne Steel Digital Drive. Nashbar Earl Grey  Lezyne Steel Floor Drive  Bontrager Flashcharger  Topeak JoeBlow Booster  Serfas TCPG  Park Tool PFP-8

The Best Bike Pump Review



We put eight of the top-performing floor pumps to the test and measured their performance in five categories. We believe these metrics will make all the difference when you are pondering which contender to buy: stability, ease of attachment/detachment, gauge, inflation speed, and accuracy. Happily, ...

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David Mackey  approaching Transition 2 in the SavageMan Triathlon.

The Best Bike Shorts for Men Review



What is the best pair of men's 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 k...

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Del LaFountain in the Nano 2's

The Best Shoes 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 shoes for CrossFit. CrossFit is a sport that focuses on functional movements structured in high...

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The Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Men Review



What are the best climbing approach shoes? We compared eight of the most popular models side-by-side this past winter: bouldering and sport climbing in Bishop, scrambling and trad climbing in Joshua Tree, and getting up, down, and around Red Rock Canyon. Our testers have abused countless pairs over ...

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The Best Hydration Pack Review



What is the best hydration pack on the market? We bought the top contenders on the market to find out which one stands up to the test, time and time again. From hiking to biking, climbing to running, we put these packs head to head to prove which one keeps you hydrated, keeping you performing longer...

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An ATC XP basking in the sun overlooking the entrance to Yosemite Valley.

The Best Climbing Belay Device



What is the best belay device for rock climbing? Over a six month test we took nine of the top products on the market up and down rock, ice, and snow, from the storied granite walls of Yosemite Valley to the ephemeral colored routes at our local climbing gyms. Throughout the process we tried to cons...

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We tested 13 of the top boots on the market to find out which is best for braving rainstorms and splashing boldly through puddles!

The Best Rain Boots for Women Review



What are the best women's rain boots on the market? To find out, we tested 13 pairs while walking the dog, traipsing through the woods, and heading to campus for class. Our reviewers endured Colorado's rainy afternoon monsoons, cool April and October showers, and snowy days in the mountains. We also...

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Running in the super sleek and beautifully designed Merrell Trail Glove 2  which bridges the gap between a barefoot shoe and a minimalist shoe. It allows for a very sensitive feel of the ground  which we prefer.

The Best Minimalist and Barefoot Shoes Review



What is the best minimal or barefoot shoe for running? 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 and necessary factors we use to help decide which minimalist runn...

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Closing the Thule Sonic is easy because of its stiff lid and easy to use locking system. It also has hanging pull cords to make closing even easier for shorter folks.

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 right climbing shoes can help you improve your technique and your footwork. Here the aggressive Evolv Shaman help the author work a tricky  crimpy route.

The Best Climbing Shoes For Women Review



What are the best climbing shoes for women? Luckily, the women's selection is growing every year, providing a larger field for ladies to choose from. We took twelve top women's specific models and put them to a hands-onerrfeet-on test to find the very best. All around the world, from limestone sport...

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The MSR Evos (left) and the MSR Lightning Ascents (right) both reign from MSRs reputable outdoor gear. Similarities include the easy to use bindings and range of motion offered by the decking. Differences include the applications; the Evos are ideal for recreation and the Lightning Ascents are ideal in backcountry terrain.

The Best Snowshoe Review



Wide expanses of snow covered terrain, local trails with dirt feet below you, and mountains blanketed in winter may be explored with snowshoes on your boots. They extend your hiking season through the winter and broaden access. But how do you know which ones to buy? And which ones will work best for...

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Jenna Ammerman maximizes the comfort of a hammock by adding the Editors' Choice winning NEMO Fillo to the mix.

The Best Camping Pillow Review



What's the best camping pillow out there? To answer this question, we selected six compressible and inflatable pillows from leading outdoor manufacturers and compared them, quite literally, head-to-head. Over a period of six weeks, these pillows cradled our noggins through the night and for more tha...

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Jenna Ammerman stays dry on the streets of Minneapolis under the cover of the lightweight and compact EuroSchirm Light Trek.

The Best Rain Umbrella Review



When precipitation begins to fall, which umbrella is the best to have in hand? To tackle this question, we rounded up 10 of the top contenders and rigorously tested them side-by-side, drop-by-drop. When the skies opened up, so did our 10 canopies. We spent hours walking through rain and wind storms ...

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Eight goggles to keep your eyes from watering. Front row:Oakley Airbrake  Oakley Splice  Oakley A-frame  Spy Targa III. Back row: Julbo Orbitor  POC Lobes  Smith I/O  Smith scope.

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 a gaggle of ski goggles to see which has the best ...

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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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Alison hangs out in Red Rock Canyon  Nevada. She stays warm and cozy in the highly versatile Arc'teryx Rho LT base layer - our 2015 Editors' Choice Award winner.

The Best Long Underwear for Women Review



We tested seven of the industry's best long underwear shirts as both stand-alone tops in warmer weather and as a base layers in colder weather. These tops went on all sorts of adventures, including multi-day backcountry ski hut trips, sandy trail runs through the desert, rock climbs on the colorful ...

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Adventure into the unknown or on the resort with a pair of reliable gloves this winter. The Hestra Three Finger provide great warmth and breathability for all adventures into the wild.

The Best Ski Gloves and Mittens for Women



Looking for the perfect ski mitten or glove to keep your paws warm? We compared nine of the top women's mittens and gloves in demanding environments to evaluate Warmth, Water Resistance, Dexterity, Breathability, Features, and Construction. We rode lifts and skinned uphill during extensive testing i...

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The Black Diamond Oz won our Top Pick for Lightweight award. It weighs only 1 ounce  but is still easy to use and its updated design won't snag on your gear or rope.

The Quest for the Best Carabiner Review



We wanted to find out which carabiner was the best, so we've updated our old review to 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. Our testers u...

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Running with our Editors' Choice winning hydration pack in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. It doesn't get better than this!

The Best Hydration Pack for Running Review



What's the best hydration pack for running? To find out, we tested five of the best and most popular models from the leading manufacturers. Also known as running vests, these hydration packs are designed to carry water, food, a rain or wind jacket, and any extra accessories that you can't do without...

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Real world tests during one of our side-by-side comparisons days to bring you the best avalanche airbag pack review.

The Best Avalanche Airbag Pack Review



What is the best airbag pack for backcountry travel? We tested 14 of the best and most popular models on the market and compared them in the following categories: airbag system, comfort, backcountry utility, downhill performance, special features and weight. We flogged these packs side-by-side in th...

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Lead Test Editor Jed Porter in Grand Teton National Park. Hard at work testing the Editors' Choice Volkl BMT 94.

The Best Backcountry Skis of 2017



What are the best backcountry touring skis? To find out we put the most highly regarded products through an extensive multi-year test. We have selected 10 of them to present here. Over hundreds of thousands of vertical feet we evaluated for touring efficiency and downhill enjoyment. We tested each p...

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We put 11 of the top rated shoes for CrossFit training to the test. Here's Lisa Ray in our Editors' Choice winner  the newly released Nike Metcon 1.

The Best Women's Shoes for CrossFit Training



What are the best shoes for CrossFit style workouts? In our quest to find the answer we put nine pairs of the most popular and highest ranked models out there through multiple workouts and numerous side-by-side tests, including sprints, lifts, rope climbs, and more. They were then scored in a number...

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The NeoAir XLite is a great choice for long and strenuous backpacking trips like the Sierra High Route. Jessica Haist blows up hers in the Bear Lakes Basin.

The Best Sleeping Pad For Women Review



What is the best women's sleeping pad on the market? We spent a spring and summer season testing out these top rated women's specific pads in a variety of conditions from the snowy slopes of Denali National Park to the prickly desert landscapes of the Grand Canyon. We did a lot of sleeping, reading,...

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The competitors

The Quest for the Perfect Backpacking Spork



Grab a spork and a knife and your camp cutlery collection is complete. To find the best spork, we bought three and tested them over multiple backpacking trips in a side-by-side shootout. We then brought our contenders to Northern Ontario and ate with them, quite vigorously, for seven weeks straight...

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We recently updated our Mountain Bike Helmet comparison by testing new helmets from Bell and Smith. Here  McKenzie Long trains for the upcoming XC race season in the Smith Forefront.

The Best Mountain Bike Helmet Review



What is the best bike helmet for mountain biking? We took nine 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, ventilatio...

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Left to right: Jobe  Raven  Adventurer  Touring  Baron 6 and the Uli.

The Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards



What is the best inflatable stand up paddle board? We've tested nine top-selling and highly rated inflatable SUP options and put them to the test. We've compared them in the areas of stability, glide performance, ease of transportation and inflation. Overall there are big differences, especially in ...

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On the Forbidden Glacier in the North Cascades  Dave Ahrens digging quick with a Petzl Summit during the Crevasse rescue drill on our AMGA Alpine guide exam.

Picking the Best Ice Axe



Whats the best ice axe for mountaineering? We looked at 15 of the best and most popular products and compared them head-to-head in the following categories: self-arresting, steep ice and snow climbing, comfort to carry, use as an improvised anchor, weight, and anchor construction/digging. We also lo...

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The Timbuk2 Classic is a fantastic bag and a great value. Notice the bike light attachment  hidden flap buckles  reflective material  and padded shoulder strap.

The Best Messenger Bag Review



What's the best messenger bag? To find out, we bought and tested seven bags over three months. We scored their aptitude in the categories of comfort, style, storage, water resistance, unique features and laptop protection. Some bags graduated at the top of the curve and are ready to be put to work f...

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The Outdoor Research Uberlayer was one of the new  breathable jackets we tested this year. Learn how it stacked up against 10 other competitors while skiing  hiking  climbing  and more!

The Best Insulated Jacket for Women Review



To find the best women's insulated jacket we wore 11 of the industry's top-rated jackets everywhere... from the tops of 13,000 foot peaks to the tributaries of the Columbia River. During our testing period, we wore them around town, taking notice of what we liked and what we didn't and then we hande...

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Testing mountain bike shorts involves getting fast and loose on the bike and seeing which short is comfortable and unrestrictive for the whole day and protective if you happen to hit the dirt.

The Best Mountain Bike Shorts For Men Review



What is the best baggy short for mountain biking? We tested a selection of the best and most popular 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....

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Two Luci lights on the left  next the Voyager  two Apollo's  The Siege  30-Day Duro Glow  Lighthouse 250  Easy Light and the Northstar on the far right.

The Best Lantern Review



We bought eight of the best camping lanterns on the market and compared them side-by-side for more than 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 five critical categories: brightness, ease of use, durability, f...

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Kelly  one of our testers  donning the Arc'teryx Beta AR on a ski mountaineering day trip near the Last Dollar Hut in the San Juan Mountains.

The Best Hardshell Jacket for Women



What's the best women's hardshell jacket? For our first-ever edition of this review, we took seven of the industry's top picks and ran them through a gauntlet of tests. We handed them out to friends, stuffed them into packs, and found adventure in the mountains and deserts. Ice climbing, cross count...

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Chris Marshall making it look easy while exiting off the Matier Glacier in a pair of Dynafit TLT6 backcountry ski boots.

The Best Backcountry / AT Ski Boots



What's the best alpine touring/AT boot for backcountry skiing? We reviewed the ten top randonee-style boots on the market and compared them both side-by-side as well as individually out in the field to find out which is the best for overall touring, which offers the best value AT, which performs bes...

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The Sanuk Yoga Spree 2 enjoys a day at the beach.

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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What's the best binding for backcountry skiing? We tested nine models head-to-head across the globe and reported our findings here. Photo: alpine touring binding testing and comparisons on the Vedr del Gran Zebru Glacier  Ortler Range Italy.

The Best Alpine Touring / AT Bindings for Backcountry Skiing Review



What's the best Alpine Touring binding (AKA AT binding or Randonee binding) for backcountry skiing? We reviewed the top nine models and compared them head-to-head while using them hundreds of days over hundreds of thousands of vertical feet. We tested these products out in the backcountry as well as...

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Comparing beacons in Mt. Rainier National Park.

The Best Avalanche Beacon Review



What is the best avalanche beacon for the backcountry? To find out we took 13 top models and put them through rigorous head-to-head tests in the Cascades, Sierras and Alaska. We had novices test them to see which is easiest to learn and use; then we put them in the hands of expert mountain guides, a...

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The Best Men's Synthetic Insulated Jackets of 2017



Which synthetic insulated jacket best keeps you warm? We found out by researching 75 products and buying nine for hands-on testing. Each jacket was tested for 20-plus hours by a team of outdoor experts while hiking, backpacking, skiing and just standing in the cold around town. While one jacket came...

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The Arcteryx Phase SL Boxers were our favorite for active uses. Here they're seen drying out after another beautiful day overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The Best Travel Underwear for Men Review



There is so much junk out there to cover yourahemjunk. When you mistakenly buy a five pack of cotton misery disguised as men's underwear from Walmart, it's no big deal, you throw them away. But premium underwear prices start at $25+ per pair; such mistakes can be expensive. For four months we tested...

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Out for a day of softshell testing and cross country skiing at Tahoe Donner in California. A softshell is the perfect layer for winter aerobic activities such as cross country skiing  where you want some protection from the elements but also require breathability and flexibility.

The Best Softshell Jacket for Women Review



What makes the perfect softshell? After evaluating multiple models, and seeing different versions come and go over the course of several years, we feel like we have zeroed in on what makes the ideal softshell and what needs each different piece meets. To test these jackets we romped through all kind...

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Pedals make up two of your 5 contact points with a bike. Choosing the right pair of pedals (coupled with the right shoes) for your bike and riding style will enhance your confidence and can help you build your skills. Here the Crankbrothers Mallet 3 and the Five Ten Hellcat go for a test spin at the bike park.

The Best Mountain Bike Pedal Review



What is the best clipless pedal for your mountain bike? We evaluated eight pairs of mountain bike pedals on a whole fleet of bikes to find that answer. We had multiple riders with differing abilities and riding styles test these pedals on downhill, cross-country, and enduro bikes, and tried each ped...

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Kids love to ride in the Burley D'Lite  the model scoring highest for safety in our 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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While some of the competitors in this review were cut out for just this type of icy weather  others (with less insulation) were more useful during the warmer months of the year.

The Best Rain Boots for Men Review



In a market flooded with rain boots, which is the best pair? To find out, we took the 11 top products and put them through demanding tests to figure out which ones really stand out from the crowd. Over six long months, we tested them out in wet conditions, while working in our backyards, hiking stre...

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Andy Dahlen works open handed holds on one of our Tops Picks the So iLL Iron Palm. The Iron Palm has one of the greatest variety of pinches and opened handed grips among all the boards we tested.

The Best Hangboard Review



Hangboards, sometimes called finger boards, have been part of a climbers training regime for years. There is possibly no better way to target improving pure finger strength. They also aren't that expensive for what you'll get; for the price of one month's gym membership you can train three to four d...

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Left to right: Coleman RoadTrip LXE  Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Grill2Go X200  Weber Q 1000  Coleman NXT 50 and below the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet portable grills.

The Best Portable Grill and Travel BBQ Review



What's the best portable grill? We purchased five of the highest rated and best selling travel BBQ's from Amazon and put them to the test (no freebies from manufacturers in this review). We scored each one on cooking area size, weight, how easy or difficult it is to transport, wind resistance, how w...

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A properly designed shoe disappears under the rider  facilitating power transfer and providing control. No matter what type of riding you are doing  it is hard to beat the Pearl Izumi X-Project 1.0.

The Best Mountain Bike Shoes Review



We took 7 of the best clipless mountain bike shoes available and put them through months of abuse and testing to help you find the best model for you. Working in tandem with our Mountain Bike Pedal Review team, we were able to test the shoes with a multitude of pedals and during different styles of ...

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From sport to trad and from steeps to slab  we put these harnesses to the test!

The Best Climbing Harness for Women Review



We've updated our women's climbing harness review by taking eight of the most popular and innovative models on the market today and comparing them side-by-side while clipping quickdraws, placing trad gear, and - of course- taking plenty of falls! We evaluated these products based on how comfortable ...

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Review lineup: From left to right; the Polar Bear 24 Pack  AO Coolers 24 Pack Canvas Cooler  the Ice Mule Pro  the Yeti Hopper 30  and the Coleman 16-Can.

The Best Soft Cooler Review



Which soft cooler is the best? To find out we took five of the top rated and most popular models available and compared them side-by-side. First we ran them through an objective ice retention test, comparing how long each model could hold ice. Then we packed, carried, dragged, zipped, and drained ea...

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We've tested 14 of the top lines on the market to help you select your next kit  whether you're into yoga  jumps  or walks in the park.

The Best Slackline Review



What's the best slackline on the market today? We put 14 of the most popular and highly regarded slacklines through an extensive long-term test to help you select the best one for your needs. We took these lines into our local, state and national parks where they were rigorously tested by novice and...

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The five models we tested: Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Fundametals and Ultralight/Watertight .5 (top)  and REI Backpacker Extended  Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker  LG Business Convenient (bottom).

The Best First Aid Kit Review



Which first aid kit is the best choice for the outdoor enthusiast? We put to the test five of the top rated models available on the market today. We carried them on alpine routes, multi-day river trips, commercial guiding expeditions, and backpacking and road trips into the mountains and rivers of C...

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We tested five canopies on the beaches of California. After three months of testing  the Big Agnes Three Forks Shelter came out on top.

The Best Beach Canopy Review



Looking for the best beach canopy? We tested five of the top products on the market. We wrestled with tent shade poles, got crafty with guy lines, and braved sweltering heat, blustering winds, and even a bit of precipitation. We also took on the rough job of testing these canopies in perfect tempera...

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We tested six of the best and most popular full face downhill helmets.

The Best Full-Face Downhill Mountain Bike Helmet Review



What is the best full-face helmet for downhill mountain biking? We tested 6 of the best and most popular downhill helmets on the market and found some awesome helmets as well as a few we don't think are up to the task of protecting your noggin while you shred the gnar. We evaluated each full-face fo...

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We tested eight pairs of women's sandals side by side. Here the Teva Hurricane took us on a hike to petroglyphs outside Bishop  California.

The Best Sandals for Women Review



Sandals are the unofficial footwear of summer and in our new review, we're dedicated to hunting down the best. They are more adventurous than a flip-flop, but are more breathable and lighter weight than a hiking shoe. The problem with a piece of footwear that tries to straddle so many responsibiliti...

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Trail running is our favorite use of running socks. Here we are testing on the Gray Copper trail above Ironton in the San Juan Mountains.

The Best Running Socks for Men



What is the best pair of running socks for hammering out miles on roads or trails? We put eight of the best, most popular running-specific socks on the market through rigorous testing and months of running. We ran on roads and trails week after week before evaluating them for five important characte...

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We tested nine of the top rated alpine  hiking and scree gaiters. Whether you're looking for something to protect you from deep snow or desert sand  we have you "covered" here at OutdoorGearLab.

The Best Gaiter Review



Looking for the perfect gaiters for mountaineering, trekking or running? Well, so are we. We used our side-by-side comparison testing process to evaluate eight pairs from several different categories, including shorter hiking and scree models to full-length ones, to figure out which were the best. D...

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In clipped orientation  only the metal leaf design shows. We did have a little trouble with the integrity of the spring loading of the leaf clip. We were able to bend it back using included tools.

Pursuing the Perfect Pedometer



Which pedometer is right for you? If you are looking to track, record, and motivate your daily physical activity and/or count steps taken, a pedometer is just the ticket. OutdoorGearLab once again leads the way in reviewing the best of the best; we scanned the market and chose nine of the best devic...

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Metolius Speedster

The Best Rope Bags for Climbing



We looked at the eight of our favorite and most popular and best rope bags on the market today. We compared them side-by-side in a variety of ways. We compared how large their tarps were, how easy they are to roll up, how easily we could fit a 60 and 70m rope plus other items like shoes, draws, wate...

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We went head over heels to find the best wind breaker out there by testing seven of the most popular and highly rated models available.

The Best Wind Jacket for Women Review



What's the best women's wind breaker jacket on the market today? In search of the most breathable and lightweight option for the outdoors-gal, we selected seven of the top selling models and put them to test on the rocks, in the mountains and cycling around town in gusty winds. We handed them off to...

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IFMGA Mountain Guide Howie Schwartz on the G3 High Traction skins. These skins really do grip better than the alternatives. Is that necessary for you  and worth the inherent compromises? You will have to decide.

The Best Climbing Skins for Backcountry Skiing



What are the best climbing skins for your backcountry skis? The world of backcountry and ski mountaineering, climbing skins is more than mystifying. From choosing to using, skins are finicky, strange, and little understood. They are incredibly useful, ultra simple, but quite nuanced. We have assembl...

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Having a comfortable ski sock can make your break your day. Here the well-fitting and durable SmartWool PhD is put to the test on an all-day spring ski traverse of the San Joaquin Ridge  from June Mountain to Mammoth Mountain  CA.

The Best Ski Socks Review



What makes a great ski sock? Are your feet wet and wrinkly after a day on the slopes? Are you constantly suffering from cold feet? Over this past ski season we set out to find which socks could stand up to the brutal demands of life in a ski boot. We tested 5 of the industry's top models and sent th...

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Attaching the front wall of the Aosom wander takes only seconds and secures with a quick release pin making it easy to use  especially on solo adventures.

The Best Bike Cargo Trailer Review



Are you a cycling enthusiast who needs or wants to haul something big? Are you looking for the best bike cargo trailer available? We chose these six best selling products and we compared them side-by-side in the areas of versatility, maximum capacity, how easy they were to use and tow, while also ke...

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The Best Winter Boots for Women Review



Whether you endure long, frigid winters in the mountains or chilly days with a dusting of snow, we've dedicated the past four winters to testing the industry's top women's winter boots. This year, we look at eight of the top models on the market. We've included everything from stylish wear-around to...

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About to cross the glacier to reach the Torres in Patagonia while wearing the La Sportiva Trango S Evo with strap-on crampons. Cerro Torre rises in the background.

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 Breville Juice Fountain Plus has a "retro" style and an external pulp bin for continuous juicing. You can juice straight into a glass or into the included container with a froth-separating lid.

The 10 Best Juicers Shoot-out Review



What is the best juicer on the market today? We compared the ten most popular and highly regarded models side-by-side, from low-budget models to top-of-the-line machines. We used each of these machines for months and tested them on the different yields produced for different types of fruits and vege...

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Five of the top enduro mountain bikes in the world stand at attention  which are the best of the best?

Best Enduro Mountain Bikes of 2016



Want to climb like a goat and descend like a bull? Welcome to enduro. We researched 20 top enduro bikes, bought the 5 best and spent 2 months testing them head-to-head. Our elite bike testers rode hundreds of singletrack miles and busted out 135 time trials in the most scientific and exhaustive side...

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Ryan slaving over a delicious meal in our ultimate camp kitchen while in Colorado's western slope near Carbondale.

The Best Camping Table Review



What's the best camping table to take on your next outdoor adventure? We tested five different models to see how each one compared. Some were fully featured for a superb "glamping" experience, while others were simple and versatile. If you're tired of cooking in the dirt and squatting while you stir...

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Ammon McNeely on Horse Chute  El Capitan using the Yates Speed Aider (lighter version of Yates Big Wall Ladder).

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 the contenders using five main criteria: comfort, ease of walking up, durability, ease of use free climbing, and top-stepping. We then chose our top products in thre...

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The Best Running Shoes for Women Review



What's the best road running shoe for women? We bought 13 road shoes and tested them by a trial of miles. We spent two and a half months and 97 hours running over 300 miles. We ran paved trails, winding dirt roads and streets during autumn's sunny and soggy weather conditions. We compared several ty...

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Yuneec and Boosted Dual+ Boards

The Best Electric Skateboard Review



What is the best electric skateboard weighing less than 25 pounds? We bought and tested four boards and will add more as they become available. Testing of many of these boards has been done over six months in cities, rural areas and internationally. Some of them have already visited five countries (...

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The Best Water Bottle Review



Which water bottle is the best? To find out, we took 13 of the most popular bottles on the market and put them through three months of testing. We used them for everything from rock climbing and mountain biking to the yoga mat and the office. We tested each product in our lab and rated them for thei...

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Pedaling through the Texas Panhandle with the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic panniers. We tested six different models and rated them on their Installation and Removal System  Capacity  Water Resistance and Ease of Use.

Best Bike Pannier Review



What's the best set of bike panniers available today? We bought and tested six of the best models to find out. Whether you're planning to ride across the country or simply to work or school, you need a place to stow your belongings. Rear attaching panniers are an ideal way to transport the things yo...

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Testing the Jones Solution on Carson Pass.

The Best Splitboard For Backcountry Snowboarding



What's the best splitboard? What snowboard performed best in the backcountry in powder, steep lines and big climbs? We purchased seven popular models and put them through the wringer in the Sierra, skinning up deep powder and throwing them over our backs to scamper over rocks; we also side-hilled ac...

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The Best Carry-On Luggage Review



Looking for the best carry-on luggage for your next adventure or business trip? We chose 10 of the top performing bags out there and flew with them on short weekend trips and also longer family vacations. From Ohio to Oahu, and many places in between, we put thousands of airmiles to use to help you ...

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Investigating all of the various ski options from the top of the mountain. A relatively windless storm meant the powder was undisturbed and hadn't formed into a dangerous slab. This jacket was the perfect choice for such a perfect day.

The Hunt for the Best Men's Hardshell Jackets of 2017



Looking for a hardshell jacket? We can help. We evaluated the 30 most popular hardshells on the market today and purchased the 11 best, which we subjected to 120+ hours of side-by-side tests. From cold rain to blizzards to splitter bluebird conditions, our expert reviewers wore these jackets during ...

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A dropper seatpost is hands down the best addition to your bike that will pay dividends in superior handling and increased fun.  Clockwise from top; Rock Shox Reverb Stealth  KS LEV Integra  Giant Contact SL Switch  Specialized Command Post IRCC  Thomson Elite Covert  Fox D.O.S.S.

The Best Dropper Seatpost for Your Mountain Bike Review



Which dropper seatpost is the best for your bike? We took six popular, top rated models and put them to the test via our side-by-side comparison challenges while riding around Lake Tahoe. These posts took a good beating while we climbed and peddled over roots and ladders, thumbs always on the trigge...

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A fitness tracker can be a key component of a performance training program  or simply a device to improve health

The Best Fitness Tracker for Activity Monitoring



Which fitness tracker is best for you and your lifestyle? We put nine of the best devices on the market through extensive testing, thoroughly examining each for its performance in tracking fitness and training. We examined each product across multiple performance criteria, including training data ma...

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For months and across several states and many different climbing areas  we brought and used six pairs of the best women's approach shoes on the market to test and compare them.

The Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Women Review



What are the best women's climbing approach shoes available? As always, here at OutdoorGearlab we took a group of the best selling models out there to directly compare them and put them through the toughest trials and tribulations so we can report how they stack up. From the High Sierra to the Teton...

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A good work stand is one of the best things you can buy to improve the experience of working on your own bike

The Best Bike Work Stand Review



Which is the best bike work stand on the market? We took five popular models from trusted and highly recognized brands and put them through the wringer. Each stand was scrutinized and rated in various categories including ease of clamping, angle and height adjustment, stability, everyday maintenance...

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Grey on grey on white. Winter monochrome  courtesy of Spyder clothing and flat Wyoming light. Lead Test Editor Jediah Porter gives it all some depth with an ounce of hard work  testing gear just for your information. No fun was had at all.

The Best Ski Pants Review



Out of hundreds of options, what is the right ski and snowboard pant for you? Protecting your legs from wind, cold, and abrasion is a thankless job. You will use and abuse this garment for a long time, usually in unforgiving climates. You will need pants that fit and match your skiing style, while s...

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Three OutdoorGearLab testers in women's helmets while climbing in Tuolumne Meadows  California. In the center is the lightweight foam BD Vector which wins our Editors' Choice award  and the two on the sides are both the Best Buy Petzl Elia.

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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Our review quiver of splitboard bindings.

The Best Splitboard Bindings for Backcountry Snowboarding



Which pair of splitboard bindings are the best? These bindings are much more complex than a standard snowboard binding, making this question more difficult to answer than it appears at a first glance. We bought four popular competitors and put them through the wringer in the Sierra; we compared curr...

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The splitboard skin review fleet  consisting of the Voile Skins with Tail Clip  Jones Universal  G3 Alpinist  and G3 Alpinist High Traction.

The Best Splitboard Climbing Skins for Backcountry Snowboarding



Which splitboard skin is the best? We beat up four pairs in our quest to find a winner. We broke trail in powder, tip-toed over rocks, struggled up steep icy skin tracks, ripped skins in the wind, jammed them in backpacks, and then pulled them apart to repeat the process. We monitored how well they ...

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Left to right: Vibe  Insanity  Zen 95  Original AP  Performer CF and the Alloy.

The Best Adjustable SUP Paddle



What's the best adjustable SUP paddle for stand up paddleboards? We tested seven top rated products in our quest to find out. We cruised casually on calm days and aggressively on windy days on lakes and rivers. We tested in the sun, wind and rain. Each contender was scored on its performance, how ea...

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The six 2017 trail test bikes.

Best Trail Mountain Bikes of 2017



To tackle the enormous question -- which 2017 trail mountain bike is the very best? -- we bought six of the world's top performers and raced them through the most exacting MTB review process ever created. For seven weeks we stress-tested them to their limits on every type of terrain a trail bike is ...

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When you flat out on the trail  having a good mini pump can prevent a long walk back to the car.

The Best Bicycle Frame and Mini Pump Review



A flat tire can put a serious damper on a fun ride. When you are miles from the car and disaster strikes, your mini or frame pump is all that separates you from a long walk or a night spent out in the cold. What is the best portable bike pump for the adventures that you seek? To find out, we took 13...

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The Best Yoga Pants Review



What is the best pair of yoga pants for your practice? If you've ever found yourself deeply contemplating this question during your Final Savasana, or cursing your current pair because they were too tight/loose/heavy/see-through, wonder no more! We put ten of the most popular and highest rated model...

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Adequate ventilation is key while backcountry touring. The Sentinel were the second highest scoring pants in the Ventilation metric.

The Best Ski Pants for Women Review



What is the top contender for women's ski pants? On our quest to determine which pair tops the rest, we took the pants for long walks in the woods, down steep chutes, through tight trees, over rocks, and on downhill slopes in the best snow on earth in the Wasatch Range of Utah. We spent time in reso...

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The author has the math ability of a 6 year old  but with 11 tires in the 2016 Enduro Mountain Bike Tire test  there were lots and lots of different combinations to be tried.  Someone told us it was 55.  We'll take their word for it and concentrate on the riding.

The Best Mountain Bike Tires Review



What is the ideal tire combination for aggressive trail/enduro type mountain biking? We put 11 different tires through a series of side-by-side tests on various soil types and terrain. Running through a gauntlet of tests, we rated each contender on cornering, pedal traction, braking traction, rollin...

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Curtis Smith Muddy Cyclocross Testing

The Best Bike Saddle



Looking for the best bike saddle? In our effort to determine the answer, we put 17 contenders through the paces to find out. We tested each saddle, measuring their performance in a variety of metrics to discover which one offered the most comfort, performance, and a competitive weight -- without com...

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The Best Mountain Bike Flat Shoes Review



What are the best mountain bike flat shoes? We set out on a dirty, dusty, rocky, and muddy journey, sprinkled with snow and a little blood, to find out. Our test included six of the most popular flat shoes available, which we used and abused on cross country loops, extended hill climbs, technical do...

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Thousands of miles were put in on the road during the Road Bike Helmet Review.

The Best Road Bike Helmet Review



Road bike helmets are a critical piece of safety gear for any cyclist. What combination of features equate to a high-quality helmet? What is the difference between a top-of-the-line helmet and an entry-level model? Does a higher price mean more safety? What is MIPS? We took 14 of the most popular, ...

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Method air in the park on the Best in Class winner!

The Best All-Mountain Snowboards of 2017



Which all mountain snowboard is the best? We took the nine top boards of 2017, putting them through an intensive, two-month test. Each contender was ridden in many conditions, from deep powder to hardpack to corduroy. We rode regular and switch, taking the same lines with each model to compare perfo...

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The Lange RX 110 will help you bend your skis on the hard-packed groomed runs.

The Best Ski Boots for Women Review



What is the best women's all-mountain ski boot? We put eight top-of-the-line competitors through extensive testing to determine which pairs are the best. We skied hundreds of runs in various conditions, looking for the boot that does it all better than any other. We enlisted a group of dedicated ski...

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There's a flat pedal for everyone somewhere in this pile.  Dig through our review to find the right one for you.

The Best Mountain Bike Flat Pedal Review



What are the best mountain bike flat pedals for your mountain bike? We evaluated 10 pairs, using riders of differing abilities, backgrounds, and riding styles on downhill, enduro bikes, and dirt jumpers. We tested each pair of pedals with shoes suitable for each given discipline of riding, while car...

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Even among pants in our review which were all geared toward backpacking and day hiking there was a pretty big range of minimum packed volume among models we tested.

The Best Men's Rain Pants of 2017 for Hiking and Backpacking



With so many rain pants on the market, it can be difficult to find the best pair. We researched 50 contenders and ultimately decided on 8 pairs to test, putting in over 100 hours of testing. We included pairs ranging from the all-around state of the art ultralight rain protection to the burly Gore-T...

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The Best Mountain Bike Shorts For Women Review



What are the best women's mountain bike shorts? We took 9 of the most popular, top-rated shorts on the market and hit the trails. We pedaled miles in each pair and compared them side-by-side to determine the most pedal friendly, comfortable, and protective models. We even took the shorts to spin cla...

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The Best Hiking Shoes for Women Review



Need a new pair of hiking shoes for 2017? We can help! We researched the market's top 55 pairs and chose the 10 best for our side-by-side testing process to help you find footwear for your next outdoor adventure. Whether you have wide feet, high arches, bad knees, or just don't want to spend a fortu...

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The lineup for the Best Women's All-Mountain Snowboards 2017.

The Best Women's All Mountain Snowboards of 2017



With so many snowboards out there, it can be difficult to choose the right one. We selected 7 of the most popular and highest rated women's snowboards, putting them through 60 hours of testing. Our series of tests revealed the best overall competitor, along with the best value, and our top pick for ...

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