Reviews You Can Rely On

Backpacking

We put the top brands to the test: Salomon, Garmin, Scarpa, Merrell, Keen, The North Face and Patagonia.
Backpacking
Backpacking in your future? Our team of backcountry experts has been testing products side-by-side for over 14 years. Our process: we purchase the top 10-20 products in each category (like backpacking tents and sleeping pads) and then we send them into the field. After months 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 need a new backpacking backpack, a pair of hiking boots, or anything in between, let us help.

Most Popular

Best Picks in Backpacking

Best Hiking Boots of 2022

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 terrain and measuring them against their competitors.
Best Hiking Boots for Women 2022

Best Hiking Boots for Women 2022

Now is the time to invest in your next pair of hiking boots. But where to begin? We have narrowed down the options to the top models on the market for hands-on testing.
Best Hiking Shoes of 2022

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 most comprehensive hiking shoe review, which will help you select the...
Best Hiking Shoes for Women of 2022

Best Hiking Shoes for Women of 2022

We're here to help you sort through the options for the best women's hiking shoes. We tested the market's leading pairs, then picked the 13 leaders for thorough side-by-side testing.
Best Rain Jackets of 2022

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 for you. We analyzed over 80 jackets before purchasing
Best Rain Jackets for Women of 2022

Best Rain Jackets for Women of 2022

In the market for the perfect rain jacket? We've tested over 25 models in the past 6 years to bring you this line-up of the best 11 rain jackets currently on the market...
Best Down Jackets of 2022

Best Down Jackets of 2022

Searching for an awesome new down jacket but aren't sure where to begin? Our experts reviewed 12 of the best and most popular mid and lightweight models available on the market today to...
Best Down Jacket for Women of 2022

Best Down Jacket for Women of 2022

As you venture into the mountains or around town, a good lightweight down jacket can do wonders to make your adventures more accessible, fun, and safe. With modern styles, they're still...
Best Windbreaker of 2022

Best Windbreaker of 2022

Windbreakers are a lightweight, packable, cost-effective alternative to burlier outer layers, and are great for keeping you comfortable in all but the worst weather.
Best Base Layer of 2022

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 adventure. Our analysis of the best
Best Base Layer for Women

Best Base Layer for Women

Ladies, are you seeking a new base layer top? Our latest review of women's base layers features 14 of the best models available today
Best Budget Down Jackets for Women of 2022

Best Budget Down Jackets for Women of 2022

Want a nice down jacket that won't break the proverbial piggy bank? We're with you. Down jackets are among the best warm jackets around. Dive in with us to find the best budget down jacket...
Best Backpacking Tent of 2022

Best Backpacking Tent of 2022

We analyzed hundreds of models before deciding on the top 14 to purchase for testing. We'll help you find the most comfortable, lightweight, weather-resistant, and easy-to-use tent for...
Best Handheld GPS

Best Handheld GPS

Looking to improve your backcountry navigation? We bought and tested 7 of the best GPS units on the market to help you find the right one for your next dream trip.
Best Backpacking Backpacks for Women of 2022

Best Backpacking Backpacks for Women of 2022

Ready to go backpacking? We tested the top women's specific backpacks on the market to determine which one is best. After researching hundreds we bought the best to carry loads large and...
Best Sun Hat of 2022

Best Sun Hat of 2022

We evaluated over 40 models and purchased 15, which our team of experts put through extensive side-by-side testing. We can help you find the perfect sun hat for your kit.
Best Budget Backpacking Packs of 2022

Best Budget Backpacking Packs of 2022

We know not everyone wants to pay for a top-tier backpack, so we've ranked some of the best budget backpacks on the market. They're not the most expensive packs you can find, but they...
10 Best Sleeping Bags of 2022

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 favorite models from 7 sleeping bag categories. Whether you're...
Best Sleeping Bags for Women of 2022

Best Sleeping Bags for Women of 2022

With so many great products to choose from it's hard to decide what to buy. We help you choose by testing and assessing the top women's sleeping bags on the market
Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag of 2022

Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag of 2022

We tested 15 of the top models available today to help you find the best bag for your lifestyle. Ultralight sleeping bags use top of the line materials and construction to keep you warm on...
Best Trekking Poles of 2022

Best Trekking Poles of 2022

Looking for the best trekking poles for your next hike or backpacking trip? Whether you're concerned with comfort, adjustability, weight or just the greatest value, we're here to help with...
Best Backpacking Stoves of 2022

Best Backpacking Stoves of 2022

We've been testing the best backpacking stoves for over a decade, and this current review has our 20 favorites. We purchased each stove for rigorous and thorough testing, spending more...
Best Backpacking Chair of 2022

Best Backpacking Chair of 2022

Have you been stumped by the quest for a comfortable backcountry seat for your rump? We gathered data on over fifty of the most popular chairs on the market, and then carefully selected 11...
Best Sporks

Best Sporks

Sporks are the perfect utilitarian utensils for eating away from the comfort of home. From workday lunch breaks to alpine adventures, this hybrid spoon-fork is an ingenious tool to keep...
Best Portable Solar Charger of 2022

Best Portable Solar Charger of 2022

Are you in the market for a new solar setup? Perhaps the hundreds of options available online are a bit overwhelming? Look no further! We've reviewed over 65 solar panels before purchasing...
Best Satellite Messengers of 2022

Best Satellite Messengers of 2022

We've got the most wilderness-savvy tech testers you have heard of. We look at satellite messengers first from the perspective of wilderness travelers and professionals, but also have a...
Best Energy Bars

Best Energy Bars

With literally hundreds of choices available in the energy bar world, it can be hard to figure out which are the best ones. We've got you covered, detailing our favorites across all...
Best Backpacking Water Filters

Best Backpacking Water Filters

What's the best backpacking water filter? For over a decade, we have tested 72+ unique models to find out. Our team of experts are seasoned backcountry
Best Pocket Knife of 2022

Best Pocket Knife of 2022

We are knife experts that understand that you don't wish to be a knife expert. You want a tool to do tasks. We've unpacked the market and cover exactly what you need to know, and nothing...
Best Multi-tool of 2022

Best Multi-tool of 2022

We directly compare 19 different models and draw on decades of experience with many more. Our findings are authoritative and based on real-world use and application. If you need a...
Best First Aid Kits

Best First Aid Kits

Nobody plans on needing a first aid kit, but if you do need one you will be very glad that you have it, and that the one you have meets your needs. We checked out 13 of the best on the...




Recent Gear Reviews in Backpacking

Black Diamond Distance Z Review
Best Buy

Black Diamond Distance Z Review

You'll be hard-pressed to find a lighter, higher-performing pole for less money. A great balance of weight and price, this durable pole is great for ounce-counting adventurers that also...



Backpacking 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 decision making process, as well as all of various features and...
How to Choose a Personal Locator Beacon

How to Choose a Personal Locator Beacon

What device should you buy and for what application? Below we break it down. Once finished, however, do read our complete Personal Locator Beacon Review to find out how each device scored...
How to Choose a Backpacking Tent

How to Choose a Backpacking Tent

Picking the right backpacking tent means checking out a list of variables. Probably the first issue is deciding which is more important to you: comfort or light weight? Will you spend more...
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 wearing trail running shoes now? The category of hiking footwear is...
How to Choose the Right Trekking Poles

How to Choose the Right Trekking Poles

Ten years ago hardly anyone used trekking poles. Now it's rare to see someone on an overnight adventure without them and many day trippers use them as well. Trekking poles help improve...

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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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