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Backpacking Reviews

We put the top brands to the test: Salomon, Garmin, Scarpa, Merrell, Keen, The North Face and Patagonia.
Backpacking Reviews
Exploring Colorado's Rocky Mountain wilderness with the Aura AG 50.
Credit: Briana Valorosi
Backpacking in your future? Our team of backcountry experts has been testing backpacking gear side-by-side for over 14 years. Our process: we purchase the top 10-20 products in each category (like our reviews of the best backpacking tents and best sleeping pads) and then we send them into the field. After months of use and abuse, in a wide range of conditions, we rate and score how each product performed. Next, we make recommendations and give awards. Whether you dream of hitting the trail with one of the best backpacking packs, a pair of the best hiking boots, or anything in between, let us help.

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Best Picks in Backpacking Reviews

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Best Backpacking Gear of 2022

If you are gearing up for Backpacking, we've got you covered with our comprehensive list of the best gear of the year.
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Best Hiking Boots of 2022

We've done the homework for you on men's hiking boots, buying the most popular models, hiking many miles on varied...
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Best Hiking Shoes of 2022

We selected the top hiking shoes and put them to the test. After months of hiking on all types of trails, we wrote the...
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Best Rain Jackets of 2022

Whether you need an all-around rain jacket or one suited for specific types of applications or budgets, we have a pick...
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Best Down Jackets of 2022

Our experts reviewed twelve mid and lightweight down jackets to find the best fitting, the warmest, and the most...
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Best Windbreaker of 2022

Windbreakers are a lightweight, packable, cost-effective alternative to burlier outer layers, and are great for...
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Best Base Layer of 2022

A solid base layer is at the core of keeping you warm, dry, and comfortable as you set out on your next great...
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Best Handheld GPS of 2022

Looking to improve your backcountry navigation? We bought and tested 7 of the best GPS units on the market to help you...
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Best Travel Backpacks of 2022

If you are in search of the perfect travel backpack, then you've come to the right place. Through ample research and...
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10 Best Sleeping Bags of 2022

Our never-ending hunt continues for the perfect sleeping bag in this 2022 update. Within this review, we highlight our...
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Best Trekking Poles of 2022

Looking for the best trekking poles for your next hike or backpacking trip? Whether you're concerned with comfort...
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Best Spork of 2022

Sporks are the perfect utilitarian utensils for eating away from the comfort of home. From workday lunch breaks to...
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Best Pocket Knife of 2022

We are pocket knife experts that understand that you don't wish to be a knife expert. You want a tool to do tasks...
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Best Multi-Tool of 2022

We directly compare 19 different models and draw on decades of experience with many more. Our findings are...
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Best First Aid Kit of 2022

Nobody wants to need a first aid kit, but if you do, you will be very glad to have the right one. We checked out 16 of...

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Backpacking Reviews Learning Center

How to Choose a Down Jacket

How to Choose a Down Jacket

This article helps you decide which down jacket is the perfect one for you by going into much greater depth about the...
How to Choose Hiking Boots

How to Choose Hiking Boots

Why should I buy a pair of hiking boots when the salesperson at my local gear shop told me that all hikers are just...

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GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

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