The 5 pieces of gear we're most excited about from this year’s event
An insulated backpack that will keep your favorite beer cold on the trail
We went on a hunt for the best all-weather backpacks that will protect our gear and look sharp at the office.
From bare-bones featherweights to long-haul beasts, there’s a bag out there for you.
The perfect daypack for both urban and mountain adventurers
Mystery Ranch, known for making bomber products for the pros and special-ops, is finally selling consumer packs in retail stores
We tested the Canadian company's new backcountry ski boot and avalanche airbag for a week in B.C. Here's what we learned.
Old-school picks so good they've remained unchanged for decades
The 7 best products of the season
Better bags so you can go farther, faster, and safer
We love bikes, but you’ll see a lot more country on a motorcycle
Essentials to keep 'em entertained and ready to explore
No arguing, no questions. Just a rock-solid promise the gear will work or your money back.
Layer up with this kit to stay warm, and happy, on your ride into work.
Pedaling to work is a lot more fun with the right setup
Duluth pack: A heavy canvas rucksack, patented in 1882 by French Canadian Camille Poirier in Duluth, Minnesota, along the shores of Lake Superior.
Our favorite kit for trail riding and racing.—Aaron Gulley Our favorite kit for trail riding and racing.—Aaron Gulley (Michael Karsh) Leatt 3DF Air Flex elbow and knee pads Finally, guards made for all-day…
The Bikepacking Essentials of 2015
The Ultralight Trail Running Essentials of 2015
The Fly-Fishing Essentials of 2015
2015 Gear of the Year Winner
The Women’s Through-Hiking Essentials of 2015
Most functional bags of 2015.
You know how much the ladies in your life have done for you. Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show them all they do hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Arrive prepared no matter where the trail takes you.
For (only!) $4,254
A new effort to add removable solar power panels to hard goods may finally make the tech indispensable for the outdoor set.
Running to work is hard, especially when you have to contend with cold weather, poor visibility, and icy roads. On those days, your gear matters.
Lighten up your kit for faster ascents.
Nathan’s Zeal race vest packs a lot of hydration into one small, efficient must-have.
The Eddie Bauer First Ascent Sorcerer goes from hauler to super-long hauler and can also be stripped down to a day-mission sack. Call it magic.
So you’ve promised your significant other you’ll do something romantic this weekend. Trouble is, you still haven’t planned anything. But don’t worry: there’s a way to turn a regular walk in the woods into an amorous getaway. Just grab your favorite daypack, fill it with these five items, and pay…
With ice-ax retention you can release with the pack on, gear loops for ’biners and belay devices, and an integrated crampon pocket, the Matrix is purpose-built for ski mountaineering. But you don’t have to rope up to appreciate how light, roomy, and useful the Matrix is.
Finding the right pack for your body
The best way to keep your water supply squeaky clean
We compare the best carriers for bringing your kids into the outdoors.
Zipperless outdoor gear like the PK 50 is (almost) a trend this year at the show this year
Stands out in on-the-fly convenience, spaciousness, and durability.
Easily tailored to your body, with clever details and a surprisingly light weight.
Roomy, great for heavy loads, and has a super-customizable hipbelt.
I'm getting ready for a two-month trip around Asia and I need luggage that can hold up to serious abuse. What do you recommend?
An ode to Topo Designs' Klettersack
The company, founded in 1888, is bringing back, for a limited time only, the protective eyewear design that started it all
The beefy, 500 denier material and reinforcements throughout the packs are made to stand up to the tough life of a commercial outfitter guiding in the Boundary Waters Canoe area
Seven years after the release of the original, Gregory has re-launched the Targhee system with upgrades that include a new suspension built specifically for this pack
A celebrated backpack maker gets into the travel game
Never worry about slicing that down jacket open again
F(n)’s Ultralight Backcountry Snowboard Backpack and Ultralight Ski Backpack are feather-light, ultra-durable, and full of features
When it comes to holiday giving, you should never have to choose. This year, our editors have pulled together 68 perfect ideas—priced from $4 to $50,000—guaranteed to make anyone on your list feel like a million bucks.
Scaling rock and ice in the winter is serious business. Bring the right stuff.
As backcountry skiing has boomed, so has splitboarding. In the past five years, participation has quadrupled, and companies from Black Diamond to Burton to K2 have tossed their hats into the ring with split-specific gear.
After air bags saved lives in several high-profile slides last year, demand (and curiosity) has never been higher. In 2011, there were five manufacturers making air-bag packs. This winter there are at least 10, and an increasing number of cat- and heli-ski operations are outfitting their clients with them.
Outside reviews the the best gear of Outdoor Retailer, including the Fjallraven Kajka.
Ease your load with these packs, including the Gregory Sage 45, which testers loved for its back panel, which perfectly fits the lumbar spine; the North Face Minera 30, a simple daypack with a widely adjustable chest strap and lightweight hipbelt; and the Black Diamond Onyx 75, a no-frills, long-haul, remarkably light pack.
My wife and I are taking our two teenage kids on a trip to Europe. We'll be traveling for 15 days and to avoid hassle, we’ve decided to carry only backpacks. How do I choose the right packs?
I need a new ski pack for resort and backcountry skiing. I'm looking for something that can carry skis, water, and my gear on day trips out of bounds, but won't get in the way on chairlifts.
My wife and I are headed to Beijing for two weeks in September. She needs a pack for the city but can switch gears for short backpacking trips once we get home. What brand and size would you recommend?
What is the best backpack for both fishing and photography? It needs to carry four or five fly boxes, two reels, and miscellaneous accessories, plus be able to carry camera equipment safely. Robert West Chester, PA
BEEMER ON YOUR BACKThe all-mesh suspension design not only kept me dry on a two-hour uphill slog, but also held the bag snug against my back as I ducked under trees. The top-loading maw swallows everything except a sleeping pad (lash it on the sides or top), while the segmented…
Why It’s CoolThe least expensive pack in this lineup is also one of the few with adjustable torso length, which nails the fit for a comfortable carry. » Precisely tuned for a 35-pound load, the framesheet and the U-shaped stay transfer weight to a hipbelt with moderate padding. » Kudos…
NEED FOR SPEEDAt slightly less than two pounds, this no-frills climbing bag doubles as an elegant overnighter. Handy compression straps cinched my sleeping pad and poles to the outside without a lopsided feel—but the Speed holds just over 1,800 cubic inches, so you’ll want to leave the frying pan behind.
Why It’s CoolThe front is a pack unto itself—a giant bucket pocket stows raingear and bottles, while a watertight zipper opens into a front pouch big enough to house a purifier and your lunch. This makes the Z effectively 300 cubic inches bigger than its stated 3,760-cubic-inch capacity. » Another…
CRAG BAG PLUSTapering like an inverted missile nose cone, this two-pound-ten-ouncer is one sweet summit-poacher. The main chute easily gulps down a stove, fuel, clothes, and a tightly compressed sleeping bag. The front hopper accepted my Nalgene and a couple of energy bars, while exterior diagonal lash points secured my…
Why It’s CoolThe frame has all the components of a big-beast carrier—a framesheet, an aluminum stay, and twin fiberglass rods—but each element is designed for medium duty, neatly hauling 35 pounds. The framesheet is punched full of holes to save weight and preserve flex. » It’s superlight (three pounds three…
MOST VERSATILE The Lite-Speed is the triathlete of packs: This panel-loader seamlessly transitioned from an overnight in the Adirondacks to a three-day trek in the Tetons, and it’s light enough for day trips. An external stuff compartment holds lunch and layers, and oversize side and hipbelt pockets keep smaller items…
Why It’s CoolMinimalism ain’t for everyone—this pack will tote whatever load you can. Two stiff aluminum stays convey the 4,600-cubic-inch burden onto an exceptionally comfortable padded hipbelt. » That belt utilizes two parallel adjustment straps on each side so you can pamper your hips. Why don’t all pack makers do…
A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING The top-loading Jade is like a compartmentalized closet for the backcountry. A cinching shove-it pocket was handy for stowing peeled layers on a 20-mile hike on Vermont’s Long Trail; a U-shaped zippered pocket stores shades, sunscreen, and snacks; and expanding side pouches hold a water bottle…
Why It’s CoolClimbers eschew excess, and so does the Himalayan. Instead of heavy internal framework, Marmot inserts a folding bivy pad that plays three roles: rudimentary framesheet, back-panel padding, and torso-size bedtime cush. Likewise, the hipbelt relies on breadth of breathable fabric rather than thick foam to spread weight over…
DAY SIPPER Get a daypack and a hydration pack in one. The Helena is the perfect size for long day hikes, and its insulated pocket kept water in the three-liter reservoir (included) cool during a four-hour hike in New Mexico. Its quick-access outer pocket easily stored extra layers along the…
Why It’s CoolThe framesheet is classic GoLite technology—made of corrugated polystyrene and ultrathin aluminum dowels, it provides support and structure yet adds only six ounces to the two-pound-seven-ounce pack. (Fanatics needn’t fret; it’s removable.) » The lumbar pad is the unsung hero—the ribbed design keeps the pack from slipping and…
Why It’s CoolSometimes, even smaller packs need to carry heavy cargo—ice tools, camera gear, rock samples. The Needle weighs four pounds three ounces yet incorporates a full arsenal of support features—dense thermomolded foam that cups and cushions hips and shoulders, and a real framesheet with aluminum stays to provide structure.
Why It’s CoolThe contents of your pack, rather than a framesheet or stays, create the Body Wrap’s load-transferring structure. Your sleeping bag and spare clothes form the hipbelt padding, by way of three form-fitting stuffsacks (included) that wrap the waist. A center baffle forces you to load gear as two…
MOST DURABLE We wriggled and scraped through boulder caves on New Hampshire’s Six Husbands Trail, and the Asana didn’t get hung up or show any wear. The contoured shoulder straps and hipbelt, paired with Mammut’s stiff yet flexy butterfly frame, supported epic-day loads and still moved with our bodies. The…
Why It’s CoolThis old-school panel-access pack reminds me how much I miss that architecture. No need for multiple pockets when you can zip a stretchy front panel up or down and nab necessities at will. » Internal compression panels and external straps keep the contents hypersecure—no load shift. » Superb…
Why It’s CoolIt’s so simple—a single strap secures the floating lid, and that’s all you see looking at the front of this bag. Not to fear; you get ice-ax loops, daisy chains, and compression straps down the sides, but the absence of front clutter is refreshing. » The suspension is…
Why It’s CoolOnce you roll and buckle the top of this vinyl pack, the Cilaos becomes a giant drybag. Impervious to any water intrusion save a prolonged dunking, it’s perfect for canyoneering. » The harness is beefy beyond what you’d expect in a sub-4,000-cubic-inch bag—a framesheet and two aluminum stays,…
Why It’s CoolWe’re huge fans of Osprey’s compression scheme—pack sidewalls wrap tortilla-style around your stuff. Not only is the setup exceptionally stable for hauling ropes and other heavy gear; it cinches down nicely on small loads, too. » The mountaineering features are so cleanly designed, they’re barely noticeable: ax loops,…
At first glance, this hauler might seem born out of Lockheed’s Skunkworks, but relax: Our Gear of the Year pack will get you there and back in a flash. A matchless mesh suspension setup saves aches and ounces, while the main compartment smartly stows as much or as little as…
Why It RulesDana eliminates the standard pack bag, while accommodating every weeklong-trip necessity. Imagine the skeleton of a pack: a back panel incorporating a superlight framesheet and two fiberglass rods, plus a front panel with two long pockets and a big mesh pouch. In between, there’s space to sandwich a…