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.

merino wool leggings

Best Merino Wool Leggings For Base Layer 2023

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 fastpacking backpack for hiking

Best Fastpacking Backpack For Multi-Day Trips 2023

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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.
Testing the best lightweight down parka

Best Lightweight Down Parka For Winter Backpacking 2023

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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!
wearing an alpaca hoodie

Best Alpaca Hoodie For Hiking, Sun, Travel 2023

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 Winter Sleeping Pad For Backpacking

Best Winter Sleeping Pad For Backpacking 2023

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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.
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 1 person tent for backpacking

Best 1 Person Tent For Backpacking Ultralight 2023

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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.
a merino wool hoodie base layer in purple by smartwool

Best Merino Wool Hoodie Base Layers For Hiking 2023

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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.
testing the best sun shirts to use as hiking shirts in a national park

Best Sun Shirt for Hiking 2023

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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.
rei co-op swiftland half-zip running pullover review

Best Lightweight Fleece Jacket Hiking & Backpacking 2023

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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 rain pants for hiking in the sub alpine forest

Best Rain Pants For Hiking 2023 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!
man packs up a small 2 person tent in front of a mountain backdrop

Best Small 2 Person Tent for Backpacking or Camping

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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.
hiking gloves in front of a lake

Best Hiking Gloves 2023 | Liner, Sun, 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.
testing windbreaker jackets at mount rainier national park

Best Windbreaker Jacket 2023 | Lightweight & Ultralight

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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

Windbreaker Pants – Best of 2023

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This guide will help you find the best windbreaker pants for hiking, backpacking, trail running, and travel. Comfy. Lightweight. Stretchy.
hiking in shorts

Best Hiking Shorts 2023 – 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.
testing hiking shoes in the mountains of Alaska

Best Hiking Shoes 2023 | 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!
4 pairs of trail running shorts for hiking in front of a mountain

Best Trail Running Shorts For Hiking 2023

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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.
testing the best lightweight rain jacket for hiking and backpacking

Best Lightweight Rain Jacket For Hiking & Backpacking 2023

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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.
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.
our favorite down pants for hiking

Best Down Pants For Ultralight Backpacking 2023

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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 lightweight down jackets and pants in patagonia

Best Lightweight Down Jacket for Backpacking 2023

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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 2023

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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!
Testing The Best Down Booties for Backpacking

Best Down Booties For Backpacking 2023

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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.
testing a lightweight 4 season tent during fall

Best Lightweight 4 Season Tent For Backpacking

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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.
testing an ultralight 0 degree quilt for winter

Best 0 Degree Quilt For Winter Backpacking

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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.
0 degree sleeping bag in a tent

Best 0 Degree Sleeping Bag For Winter Backpacking

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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 backpacking stove system for ultralight hikers

Best Backpacking Stove System 2023 Ultralight

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These are the best backpacking stove systems for ultralight style food prep. They are the lightest weight, smallest, and most fuel efficient.
best 3 person tent for backpacking

Best 3 Person Tent For Backpacking Lightweight 2023

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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.
Testing the best ultralight puffy jacket in the desert

Best Ultralight Puffy Jacket 2023 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.
LEVE Outdoor Co Alpha Direct Hoodie 90

Best Alpha Direct Hoodie 2023

A Polartec Alpha Direct hoodie is the best way for ultralight backpackers to save weight on insulation without sacrificing warmth.
testing the best backpacking tent and ultralight tent for buyer's guide

Best Backpacking Tent & Ultralight Tent 2023

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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 fleece pants backpacking social

Lightweight Fleece Pants For Backpacking Ultralight 2023

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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.
person camped out in the desert resting on a therm-a-rest sleeping pad, one of the best for backpacking

Best Sleeping Pad for Backpacking 2023 | Complete Guide

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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!
Freeze dried meals in the backcountry

Best Freeze Dried Meals For Backpacking 2023

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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.
Hiking Fanny Pack

Best Hiking Fanny Pack 2023

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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 Ultralight Daypack & Day Hiking Backpack 2023

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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 backpacking backpacks

Best Backpacking Backpack & Ultralight Backpack 2023

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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.
a man in hiking pants climbs through desert sandstone

Best Hiking Pants 2023

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This buyer's guide to backpacking and hiking pants highlights models optimized for functionality, comfort, and protectiveness.
testing the best backpacking sleeping bags

Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag For Backpacking 2023

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Find the best ultralight sleeping bag for backpacking! We've compiled the lightest and warmest backpacking sleeping bags in existence.
a backpacking test of ultralight camp quilts

Best Backpacking Quilt For Ultralight Camping 2023

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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 trekking poles hiking in alaska

Best Trekking Poles 2023 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 the best satellite communicator devices in the forest

Best Satellite Communicator | ZOLEO vs inReach 2023

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Buy wisely and be safe! This post has the best Satellite Communicators that will get help when needed and reassure family and loved ones that you are OK when everything is hunky dory. And yes, there are HUGE differences between devices.
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!
mens hiking pants

Best Men’s Hiking Pants 2021

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Find the best backpacking hiking pants for your needs, your travel, and your budget. No BS! All these men's hiking pants have all earned their spot on this list by performing far better than the competition.
Women's Hiking Pants

Best Women’s Hiking Pants 2021

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Find the best backpacking hiking pants for your needs, your travel, and your budget. No BS! All these women's hiking pants have all earned their spot on this list by performing far better than the competition.

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.