Reviews You Can Rely On

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 taking notes on the best backpacking gear for over 14 years. Our process: we purchase the top 10-20 products in each category (like our top backpacking tents and sleeping pad reviews) 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. If you are looking for the lightest load possible, check our our Ultralight Backpacking section. Whether you dream of hitting the trail with one of our favorite backpacking packs, a pair of the best hiking boots, or anything in between, let us help.

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Best Backpacking Gear of 2023

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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10 Best Hiking Boots of 2023

If you've been itching to hit the trails, get your paws on one of the top-rated hiking boots on the market from our...
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Best Hiking Boots for Men

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 Boots for Women

Now is the time to invest in your next pair of hiking boots. But where to begin? We have narrowed down the options to...
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Best Hiking Shoes of 2023

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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10 Best Rain Jackets of 2023

If wet weather is keeping you cooped up inside, get your hands on a top-ranked wet weather winner from our lineup of...
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Best Rain Jackets for Men

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 Rain Jackets for Women

In the market for the perfect rain jacket? We've tested over 35 models in the past decade to bring you this line-up of...
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Best Down Jackets of 2023

Our experts reviewed twelve mid and lightweight down jackets to find the best fitting, the warmest, and the most...
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Best Windbreakers of 2023

Windbreakers are a lightweight, packable, cost-effective alternative to burlier outer layers and are great for keeping...
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Best Base Layer of 2023

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 Budget Backpacking Tent

We researched over 60 models of budget-friendly backpacking tents and selected our top contenders to take out on trail.
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Best Handheld GPS of 2023

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 Backpacking Backpacks

We spent hundreds of days testing 16 of the best backpacking packs to give you the needed info to choose what's best...
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Best Travel Backpacks of 2023

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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Best Trekking Poles of 2023

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 2023

Sporks are the perfect utilitarian utensils for eating away from the comfort of home. From workday lunch breaks to...
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Best Multi-Tool

We directly compare 19 different models and draw on decades of experience with many more. Our findings are...
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Best Pocket Knife of 2023

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 First Aid Kit

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

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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...
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How to Choose Hiking Shoes

Want some help finding the right shoe for your feet and trail objectives? This article dissects the key considerations...

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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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