Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Hiking & Camping

Hiking and camping gear.

Marmot Tungsten UL 2P

87

2017

Marmot Tungsten UL 2P

Straddling the fine line between lightweight and roomy, the Marmot Tungsten UL manages to be the rare tent that does both.

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

90

2017

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 is a lightweight, simple, and feature rich tent.

KUIU Mountain Star

86

2017

KUIU Mountain Star

The KUIU Mountain Star is ideal for hunters and backcountry campers looking for a durable and dependable tent in a lightweight package.

REI Quarter Dome 2

83

2017

REI Quarter Dome 2

The REI Quarter Dome 2 is a lightweight and roomy backpacking tent.

Mountain Hardwear Hylo 2

78

2017

Mountain Hardwear Hylo 2

The unique single wall hybrid design of the Mountain Hardwear Hylo 2 creates a rugged tent that can handle alpine excursions in three seasons.

Dynafit Elevation GTX Jacket Review

88

2017

Dynafit Elevation GTX Jacket Review

A minimalist shell with maximum protection, the Dynafit Elevation GTX Jacket matches Gore’s newest membrane with a lightweight build for excellent protection when weight is key.

Columbia OutDry EX Gold Reversible Jacket Review

86

2017

Columbia OutDry EX Gold Reversible Jacket Review

Soft and stretchy, the Columbia OutDry EX Gold Reversible Jacket is comfortable and casual looking. 

Black Diamond Liquid Point Review

83

2017

Black Diamond Liquid Point Review

An update to Black Diamond’s best selling waterproof-breathable summer weight jacket, the 2017 Liquid Point fits better, but retains the same clean, simple, and functional attributes of its previous iteration.

FA Design 3L Subsonic Hardshell Jacket Review

83

2017

FA Design 3L Subsonic Hardshell Jacket Review

The FA designs 3L Subsonic Hardshell Jacket is burly enough for winter use, but light and agile enough to use in any season.

Mishmi Takin Virunga Review

85

2017

Mishmi Takin Virunga Review

A shell designed for the tropics, the Mishmi Takin Virunga is loaded with venting and breathability without giving up its ability to block the rain.

Lowe Alpine Manaslu 65:75

91

2017

Lowe Alpine Manaslu 65:75

The Lowe Alpine Manaslu 65:75 is a good value multi-day or weekender backpack.

Black Diamond Mission 75

90

2017

Black Diamond Mission 75

The Black Diamond Mission 75 is a multi-day expedition pack that can handle a variety of conditions.

Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 70

89

2017

Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 70

The Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 70 Outdry is a water resistant multi-day backpack.

Gregory Stout 75

89

2017

Gregory Stout 75

The Gregory Stout 75 is an ultralight multi-day backpack. 

The North Face Fovero 85

77

2017

The North Face Fovero 85

The North Face Fovero 85 is a heavy expedition backpack.

Osprey Aether 85

87

2017

Osprey Aether 85

The Osprey Aether 85 is a multi-day and expandable expedition backpack. 

Thule Guidepost 75

84

2017

Thule Guidepost 75

The Thule Guidepost 75 is a heavy and pricy multi-day backpack.

ZPacks Altaplex

94

2017

ZPacks Altaplex

The ZPacks Altaplex in an ultralight non-freestanding backpacking tent.

MSR Carbon Reflex 1

89

2017

MSR Carbon Reflex 1

The MSR Carbon Reflex 1 in an ultralight non-freestanding backpacking tent.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL1

87

2017

Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL1

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL1 is a compact, ultralight mostly-freestanding H-style frame backpacking tent.

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1

87

2017

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1

The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1 is a mostly-freestanding ultralight backpacking tent. 

Eureka Spitfire Solo

86

2017

Eureka Spitfire Solo

The Eureka Spitfire Solo is a non-freestanding hoop-style tent.

The North Face Triarch 1

85

2017

The North Face Triarch 1

The North Face Triarch 1 is a high-walled freestanding tent for lightweight backpacking. 

Arc’teryx Bora AR 50

90

2017

Arc’teryx Bora AR 50

The Arc’teryx Bora AR 50 is a technologically advanced backpack for day or light weekend use. 

Lowe Alpine Cholatse 55

86

2017

Lowe Alpine Cholatse 55

The Lowe Alpine Cholatse 55 is a versatile 55L backpack.

Gregory Paragon 58

86

2017

Gregory Paragon 58

The Gregory Paragon 58 is an ultralight weekender or gear-intensive day trip backpack.

Black Diamond Element 60

85

2017

Black Diamond Element 60

The Black Diamond Element 60 is an expandable backpack capable of handling a wide weight range.

Osprey Stratos 50

84

2017

Osprey Stratos 50

The Osprey Stratos 50 is a basic and durable mid sized backpack.

Mammut Trion Pro 50+7

84

2017

Mammut Trion Pro 50+7

The Mammut Trion Pro 50+7 is a light alpine summit bag or day trip pack. 

The North Face Terra 50

79

2017

The North Face Terra 50

The North Face’s Terra 50 is an entry-level day hike or one-night backpack. 

Thule Versant 60

79

2017

Thule Versant 60

The Thule Versant 60 is a heavy pack with good expandability. 

Kelty Revol 65

76

2017

Kelty Revol 65

The Kelty Revol 65 is an entry level backpack for day or weekend use. 

MSR Freelite 3

89

2017

MSR Freelite 3

The MSR Freelite 3 is a freestanding, ultralight backpacking tent. 

Big Agnes Happy Hooligan UL3

88

2017

Big Agnes Happy Hooligan UL3

The Big Agnes Happy Hooligan UL3 is a lightweight, freestanding dome tent. 

REI Co-op Quarter Dome 3

84

2017

REI Co-op Quarter Dome 3

The REI Co-op Quarter Dome 3 is a lightweight, high-walled, freestanding dome tent. 

Eureka Midori 3

83

2017

Eureka Midori 3

The Eureka Midori 3 is a basic and tall freestanding dome tent. 

Kelty Gunnison 3.3

81

2017

Kelty Gunnison 3.3

The Kelty Gunnison 3.3 is a freestanding dome tent that is easy to set up. 

Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Hybrid jacket

89

2017

Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Hybrid jacket

The Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Hybrid jacket is a lightweight, hooded multi-season active layer. It has a great combination of flexibility, comfort, and insulation. 

Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

88

2017

Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

The Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody is a lightly insulated hooded hybrid jacket for stand-alone use in shoulder-season pursuits. 

Brooks-Range Mountaineering Hybrid Down Sweater

87

2017

Brooks-Range Mountaineering Hybrid Down Sweater

The Brooks-Range Mountaineering Hybrid Down Sweater is a mid-weight insulating jacket for intense winter and shoulder-season activities. It was the warmest jacket in the test and fit well under shells, but leaked insulation at multiple activity points.

Black Diamond Deployment Hybrid Hoody

87

2017

Black Diamond Deployment Hybrid Hoody

The Black Diamond Deployment Hybrid Hoody is heavy and suited for layering during cold weather mountain activities.

Smartwool Double Corbet 120

86

2017

Smartwool Double Corbet 120

The Smartwool Double Corbet 120 is a warm, high quality hybrid material jacket. 

Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket

86

2017

Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket

The Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket breathes extremely well when working hard in cold environments, yet insulates just as well when activity ceases, eliminating the need to layer up or down during stop and go adventures. 

Brooks-Range Mountaineering Alpha Softshell Jacket

83

2017

Brooks-Range Mountaineering Alpha Softshell Jacket

The Brooks-Range Mountaineering Softshell jacket keeps core temperatures stable in colder environments while allowing unrestricted arm mobility.

Black Diamond Equipment First Light Hoody

83

2017

Black Diamond Equipment First Light Hoody

The Black Diamond Equipment First Light Hoody is a durable workhorse for alpine environments, providing the right combination of breathability and heat retention for moderately active, start and stop pursuits in winter conditions.

Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid

83

2017

Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid

The Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid is an extremely breathable and lightweight layer that prioritizes air permeability and moisture dissipation over anything else. 

Arc’teryx Proton AR Hoody

85

2017

Arc’teryx Proton AR Hoody

The Arc’teryx Proton AR Hoody is a durable, moderately breathable insulating layer with uncompromised construction quality suitable for medium intensity activity in true winter conditions.

Marmot Isotherm Jacket

82

2017

Marmot Isotherm Jacket

The Marmot Isotherm jacket is an abrasion resistant insulating piece that performs best for moderately active pursuits in freezing conditions.

Patagonia Men’s KnifeRidge Jacket

90

2017

Patagonia Men’s KnifeRidge Jacket

The Patagonia KnifeRidge jacket is a well-rounded soft shell hoody that provides excellent mobility while protecting in all but the wettest conditions. This piece remains light, compressible, with just the right number of features.

Marmot Men’s Zion Jacket

87

2017

Marmot Men’s Zion Jacket

The Marmot Zion is a completely waterproof and fully featured soft shell jacket built for harsher conditions in the mountains.

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