testing gear for buyer's guide in the mountains

Gear Buyer’s Guides

Our gear buyer’s guides shortcut readers directly to the best lightweight and ultralight hiking and backpacking gear. From tents to trekking poles, from sleep systems to satellite communicators, we want you to save money and weight on the best performing equipment in existence. And while you’re here, don’t miss our apparel buyer’s guides, or jump back a level to view all buyers guides.

reusable snack bag blue

Best Reusable Snack Bags For Hiking Backpacking 2024

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Ditch those wasteful Ziplocs and choose a reusable snack bag for hiking and backpacking. These are lightweight, low bulk, and air tight.
best collapsible dog bowl for hiking

Best Collapsible Dog Bowl For Hiking & Backpacking 2024

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Choose a collapsible dog bowl for hiking, backpacking, and travel. These models are ultralight & waterproof. Compare features, pros, & cons.
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.
a person in a 2 person sleeping bag in a tent

Best Double Sleeping Bag & Quilt For Backpacking 2024

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We will help you choose the best double sleeping bag or quilt for backpacking. Minimalism and high warmth to weight ratio are prioritized.
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 an ultralight freestanding tent from big agnes

Best Ultralight Freestanding Tent 2024

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Choose an ultralight freestanding tent to decrease weight without sacrificing ease and versatility of pitching. Here are the 10 best.
a small 2 person tent in the grass

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 Field Watch For Hiking next to more gear

Best Field Watch For Hiking 2024

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Choose a field watch for hiking to reliably keep time while reducing digital distraction. These watches are simple, rugged, waterproof, reliable, and self-powered.
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.
best backpacking backpacks

Best 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.

Gear 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 gear buyer’s guide.