reviewing tents for the buyer's guides

Buyer’s Guides

Our buyer’s guides shortcut readers directly to the best lightweight and ultralight hiking and backpacking gear within any particular category. We want you to make an informed purchase that saves money, reduces carried weight, and performs optimally in the backcountry. This page shows all of of our buyer’s guides. Dial in the assortment by jumping straight to apparel buyers guides or gear buyers guides.

testing the best expedition backpack in the mountains

Best Expedition Backpack 2024 Ultralight 70L+ Packs

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Choose an ultralight expedition backpack for hauling extra gear without the extra weight. We cover stats, features, pros, and cons.
Best Rain Mittens for hiking

Best Rain Mittens for Hiking 2024 Waterproof Shells

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This buyer's guide reviews ultralight waterproof rain mittens for hiking and backpacking. Pair rain mitts with gloves for max weather protection. These are the best and lightest overmitts.
testing the best running backpack with vest harness on a glacier

Best Running Backpack With Vest Harness 2024

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Each running backpack we reviewed has a vest harness, fits an entire day of gear, and is perfect for both runners and hikers.
testing the best rain pants for hiking in the sub alpine forest

Best Rain Pants For Hiking 2024 Ultralight & Lightweight

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The best rain pants for hiking are ultralight, waterproof, breathable, and hold up on the trail. Stay dry, save weight, and upgrade today!
our favorite down pants for hiking

Best Down Pants For Ultralight Backpacking 2024

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The best down pants have a statistically superior warmth to weight ratio. Browse ultralight down pants and winter warmth all in this guide.
Testing The Best Down Booties for Backpacking

Best Down Booties For Backpacking 2024

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When temps drop to freezing put on a pair of lightweight down booties for backpacking. These models are ultralight, warm, and packable.
Best Backpacking Tarp 2024

Best Backpacking Tarp 2024 Ultralight & Lightweight

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This buyer's guide will help you select the best backpacking tarp with reviews based on stats, testing, features, and meta-study.
0 degree sleeping bag in a tent

Best 0 Degree Sleeping Bag For Winter Backpacking 2024

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This data based guide evaluates each 0 degree sleeping bag based on its warmth-to-weight ratio. We focus on lightweight and ultralight winter sleeping bags for backpacking.

Best Ultralight Daypack, Day Hiking Backpacks 2024

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This guide will help you find the best ultralight daypack averaging less than 1 lb. Full size, fully-featured day hiking backpacks can be very lightweight.
best 1 person tent for backpacking

Best 1 Person Tent For Backpacking Ultralight 2024

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With an ultralight 1 person tent for backpacking, you will carry less weight, increase comfort, and be more protected from the elements.
LEVE Outdoor Co Alpha Direct Hoodie 90

Best Alpha Direct Hoodie 2024

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A Polartec Alpha Direct hoodie is the best way for ultralight backpackers to save weight on insulation without sacrificing warmth.
best backpacking battery pack

Best Backpacking Battery Pack Portable Charger 2024

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We'll help you choose the lightest & best backpacking battery pack, power bank, or portable charger with the highest mAh-to-weight ratio.
rei co-op swiftland half-zip running pullover review

Best Lightweight Fleece Jacket Hiking & Backpacking 2024

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This guide will identify the best lightweight fleece jacket for you. The average fleece on this list is warm and weighs just 7 oz.
testing the best lightweight rain jacket for hiking and backpacking

Best Lightweight Rain Jacket For Hiking Ultralight 2024

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Find the best lightweight jacket & pants for your needs, your travel, and your budget. No BS! All these lightweight rain jackets have all earned their spot on this list by performing far better than the competition.
zoleo vs inreach satellite communicator devices

Zoleo vs inReach Messenger vs Mini 2 Best Satellite Comms 2024

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Choosing between ZOLEO vs inReach Messenger vs Mini 2? We break it down to help you decide on the best satellite communicator.
best backpacking tent in the mountains

Best Backpacking Tent 2024

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Upgrade your backpacking tent or ultralight tent using this buyer’s guide. Lighter, smarter, comfier shelters for the backcountry.
testing lightweight down jackets and pants in patagonia

Best Lightweight Down Jacket for Backpacking 2024

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The very best ultralight and lightweight down jackets significantly outperform a standard issue puffy sweater, and upgrading will save weight in your pack and keep you warmer in the backcountry.
4 person backpacking tent on grass

Best 4 Person Backpacking Tent 2024

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We will help you choose a 4 person backpacking tent optimized for weight, volume, and price. Choose a 4 person tent and bring the family!
discussing how to choose zpacks tents

Zpacks Tents – How To Choose

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Learn how to choose the best Zpacks Tent for you needs. We dive deep into specs, features, and materials to help inform your decision.
best 3 person tent for backpacking

Best 3 Person Tent For Backpacking Lightweight 2024

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A premium 3 person tent for backpacking will provide adequate space and shelter without excess weight. These 3p tents are best-in-class.
Wearing a fastpacking backpack for running

Best Fastpacking Backpack For Multi-Day Trips 2024

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Our recommended multi-day fastpacking backpacks are ultralight, low volume, and offers an extra secure torso fit to prevent gear from bouncing. This buyer's guide covers all of our top picks.
Hiking Fanny Pack

Best Hiking Fanny Pack 2024

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A top tier hiking fanny pack is very useful and extremely versatile. Keep your valuables safe and essentials on-hand!
Best Backpacking Pot ultralight

Best Heat Exchanger Pot For Backpacking Ultralight 2024

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Choose from among the best ultralight backpacking pot and cookware option available. We focus on one liter titanium pots.
Wearing the Best Fingerless Ragg Gloves in front of moss

Best Fingerless Gloves For Hiking & Backpacking 2024

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The best fingerless gloves for hiking & backpacking warm your hands without sacrificing dexterity. We review wool, fleece, leather, and UPF sun protection.
a backpacking test of ultralight camp quilts

Best Backpacking Quilt For Ultralight Camping 2024

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The best backpacking quilt for you is right here! We've compiled the warmest, most affordable, ultralight camping quilts of 2023.
testing the best backpacking sleeping bags

Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag For Backpacking 2024

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Find the best ultralight sleeping bag for backpacking! We've compiled the lightest and warmest backpacking sleeping bags in existence.
best backpacking backpacks

Best Backpacking Backpack & Ultralight Backpack 2024

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A backpack is the single most important piece of gear that any backpacker will own. As such, there is no reason to settle for a heavy, old-school pack. That’s why this buyer’s guide highlights the very best backpacking backpacks for hiking.
Best Backpacking Mug for hiking

Best Backpacking Mug 2024 Ultralight Titanium Cup

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Choose the best backpacking mug from among our recommended ultralight, titanium, single and double wall models. Perfect for coffee, tea, cocoa, and soup mixes.
Best backpacking stove spread

Best Backpacking Stove Systems 2024 Fast Light Efficient

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These are the fastest boiling, most fuel efficient, most cold and wind resistant backpacking stove systems for basic food prep.
testing trekking poles hiking in alaska

Best Trekking Poles 2024 Hiking & Backpacking

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Get the best trekking poles for hiking & backpacking. Our picks are backed by scientific analysis & extensive field experience all over the word!
testing hiking shoes in the mountains of Alaska

Best Hiking Shoes 2024 Trail Runners

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Looking for the best hiking shoes ? Read our no BS, unbiased guide for the best hiking shoes & backpacking shoes for men and women. Your feet are arguably your most important asset on the trail. Blisters, Achilles tightness, and foot pain can all quickly derail a hiking or backpacking trip. So, finding the right hiking shoes is imperative. We can help!
best backpacking knife

Best Backpacking Knife 2024

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Our criteria for the best backpacking knife is as follows: (1) high quality 2.5-3" blade, (2) useful for food prep, (3) weighs less than 3 oz.
Freeze dried meals in the backcountry

Best Freeze Dried Meals For Backpacking 2024

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You're researching which are the best freeze dried meals for backpacking, and we've got recommendations! There have been lots of new brands and dietary options popping up in the freeze dried sector over the past decade, and this buyer's guide highlights a few of our favorites.
Best Sun Gloves For Hiking and backpacking

Best Sun Gloves For Hiking & Running UPF Rated 2024

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This buyer's guide highlights the best sun gloves for hiking and running with trekking poles. Enjoy dexterous, fingerless sun protection with UPF rating.
hiking gloves in front of a lake

Best Hiking Gloves 2024 Liner, UPF, Rain, Cold, Snow

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We'll help you find the best hiking gloves for any condition or use-case: cold, sun, wind, rain, sleet, snow, we've got your hands covered.
The best EDC Backpack for hiking

Best EDC Backpack For Hiking, Commuting, & Travel 2024

This buyer's guide is your answer to finding the best EDC backpack for hiking, made by an outdoor brand. Choose our next everyday carry backpack.
the Best Backpacking Trowel in front of a cat hole

Best Backpacking Trowel & Ultralight Hiking Shovel 2024

We will help you choose the best backpacking trowel or shovel for hiking. It should weigh half an ounce, cut roots, and be comfy to dig with.
a man in hiking pants climbs through desert sandstone

Best Hiking Pants 2024

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This buyer's guide to backpacking and hiking pants highlights models optimized for functionality, comfort, and protectiveness.
testing windbreaker jackets at mount rainier national park

Best Windbreaker Jacket Ultralight & Lightweight 2024

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This guide will help you find the best lightweight windbreaker jacket for your hiking, climbing, & running. All ultralight under 5 oz.
testing windbreaker pants in patagonia

Best Windbreaker Pants 2024

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This guide will help you find the best windbreaker pants for hiking, backpacking, trail running, and travel. Comfy. Lightweight. Stretchy.
Testing lightweight fleece pants backpacking social

Lightweight Fleece Pants For Backpacking Ultralight 2024

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This buyer's guide to lightweight fleece pants for backpacking and hiking prioritizes high warmth-to-weight ratio and comfort at camp.
wearing an alpaca hoodie

Best Alpaca Hoodie For Hiking, Sun, Travel 2024

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Each alpaca hoodie in this guide is adventure-proven. We cover sun hoodies and fleece alternatives with pros, cons, fabric blends, and more.
testing the best sun shirts to use as hiking shirts in a national park

Best Sun Shirt for Hiking 2024

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The best hiking shirts are all sun shirts! This guide reviews & recommends the best sun hoody, t-shirt, button up, and merino base layer.
person camped out in the desert resting on a therm-a-rest sleeping pad, one of the best for backpacking

Best Backpacking Sleeping Pad Ultralight 2024

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In this guide, we showcase the very best sleeping pads on the market, the ones we use the most. We back up these recommendations with a data-based analysis of weight, warmth, & cost as well as extensive field experience in a broad range of conditions. With better sleep comes more spring in your step, more alertness on the trail, and wider smiles all day long. Sweet dreams!
Testing the best lightweight down parka

Best Lightweight Down Parka For Winter Backpacking 2024

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Enjoy maximum warmth-to-weight ratio when you choose a lightweight down parka for backpacking in winter. These parkas are ultralight and packable!
hiking in shorts

Best Hiking Shorts 2024 Men’s & Women’s

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This buyer's guide to the best hiking shorts of 2023 prioritizes features, materials, performance, functionality, and trail comfort.
a merino wool hoodie base layer in purple by smartwool

Best Merino Wool Hoodie Base Layers For Hiking 2024

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This is a data-based guide to choosing a merino wool hoodie base layer for hiking. We cover sun hoodies, all-season, and cold weather.
Best long handle spoon for backpacking

Best Long Handle Spoon for Backpacking 2024

The best long handle spoon for backpacking weighs half an ounce, has an upwards tilted bowl, and offers exceptional durability.
Hiking in Best Rain Kilt for ultralight backpacking

Best Rain Kilt, Skirt, Wrap For Hiking & Backpacking 2024

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We will help you pick the best rain kilt, rain skirt, or rain wrap for hiking and backpacking in shorts and trail running shoes.
ULA Ultra Catalyst The Best Backpack For Bear Canister Horizontal Fit

Best Backpack For Bear Canister Horizontal Fit 2024

We have identified the best backpack for bear canister storage. This comfy, lightweight pack can easily fit a horizontal bear can inside.
Best ultralight sandals for backpacking on my feet

Best Ultralight Sandals For Backpacking 2024

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Choose from among the best ultralight sandals for minimalist footwear to wear around camp in the backcountry.
Best backpack Water Bottle Holder hero for hiking shoulder strap attachment

Best Water Bottle Holder For Backpack Shoulder Strap 2024

Attach a water bottle holder to your backpack shoulder strap for on the go hydration while hiking and backpacking.
Best Shoulder Strap Pocket for hiking

Best Shoulder Strap Pocket For Backpacking & Hiking 2024

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We connect you to the best shoulder strap pocket for backpack phone and accessory storage to use while hiking and backpacking
4 pairs of trail running shorts for hiking in front of a mountain

Best Trail Running Shorts For Hiking 2024

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This guide to the best trail running shorts for hiking focuses on models with zippered hand pockets and stretchy, breathable fabric.
Best Backpacking Pillow for ultralight hiking

Best Backpacking Pillow Ultralight 2024

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What makes the best backpacking pillow is (1) ultralight, (2) comfortable, (3) mass user-approved. These ultralight pillows are top tier!

Best Hiking Water Bottle For Ultralight Backpacking 2024

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We will help you choose the most effective hiking water bottle for your ultralight backpacking needs. Hard and soft-sided options.
Best Headlamp for backpacking

Best Headlamp For Backpacking & Hiking Ultralight 2024

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We will help you choose the best headlamp for hiking and backpacking, with a focus on ultralight headlamps with high power/weight ratios.
best hiking socks

Best Hiking Socks for Trail Running Shoes 2024

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The best hiking socks to use with trail running shoes aren't hiking socks at all! Use running socks. They're thinner, cooler, and dry faster.
merino wool leggings

Best Merino Wool Leggings For Base Layer 2024

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Find the statistically optimal merino wool leggings for your next trip. We cover fabric blends, temp ranges, base layering, pros and cons.
Testing the best ultralight puffy jacket in the desert

Best Ultralight Puffy Jacket 2024 Packable & Lightweight

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This round-up of ultralight puffy jackets is the lightest on the internet, averaging just 10.2 oz per garment, and conservatively 30% less than competing buyer's guides. Perfect for hiking and backpacking.
testing an ultralight 0 degree quilt for winter

Best 0 Degree Quilt For Winter Backpacking 2024

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An ultralight 0 degree quilt is the best way to stay warm in sub-freezing temps, and offers the highest warmth to weight ratio.
best dry bag for backpacking among wet leaves

Best Dry Bag For Backpacking Ultralight 2024

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Store your gear in the best dry bag for backpacking! We focus on lightweight and ultralight dry bags made with Dyneema.
Testing the Best Winter Sleeping Pad For Backpacking

Best Winter Sleeping Pad For Backpacking 2024

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A winter sleeping pad for backpacking should have an extremely high R-Value to weight ratio. The warmest and most lightweight mat is best.
man packs up a small 2 person tent in front of a mountain backdrop

Best Small 2 Person Tent for Backpacking & Camping 2024

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Here are the best inexpensive 2 Person Tents (some in the $100-$150 range) that are light enough for backpacking, while being comfortable enough for more luxurious car camping outings.
the best water filters sawyer squeeze vs katadyn befree vs platypus quickdraw

Sawyer Squeeze vs Katadyn BeFree vs Platypus Quickdraw

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For the best ultralight backpacking water filter, here's how to choose between Sawyer Squeeze vs Katadyn BeFree vs Platypus Quickdraw.
testing a lightweight 4 season tent during fall

Best Lightweight 4 Season Tent For Backpacking 2024

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For backpacking in windy, stormy, and snowy conditions, you need a lightweight 4 season tent. These light and ultralight shelters are best.
Best Backpacking GPS

GAIA GPS the Best Hiking GPS and How to Use It

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Smartphones like an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy outperform a conventional GPS in almost every way. This post has all the information you need to use your smartphone as the best backpacking GPS, including getting up to 7+ days of battery life without recharging. Best of all, you can do this for less than $20!
Best Pyramid Tent

Best Pyramid Tent 2024

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An ultralight pyramid tent is larger, lighter, and more wind-worthy than any other shelter. Choose from among the best of the best.

Buyer’s Guides Conclusion

The gear in these buyer’s guides have performed marvelously for us, and we’re confident that it will for you too. We hope you have found what you’re looking for. But if not, drop us a line on social media to request a new buyer’s guide.