Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Hiking & Camping

Hiking and camping gear.

The North Face Hedgehog

80

2016

The North Face Hedgehog

The North Face Hedgehog Mid GTX hiking boot is a good quality, well padded, light and breathable hiking boot, great for day hikes in varying temperatures.

Merrell Kimsey Mid WP Hiking Boot

81

2016

Merrell Kimsey Mid WP Hiking Boot

The Merrell Kimsey Mid WP hiking boot is a standard quality, very light weight, cushioned and breathable boot, with limited ankle support. It is best for day hiking without heavy loads. 

Garmont Sierra GTX Hiking Boot

84

2016

Garmont Sierra GTX Hiking Boot

The Garmont Sierra GTX hiking boot is a sturdily constructed, highly durable and rigid mid-rise boot offering above average support and stability. It is on the heavier side for day hiking, but is an excellent choice for light backpacking trips. 

Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry Hiking Boot

92

2016

Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry Hiking Boot

The Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry Hiking Boot is a light but highly protective leather hiking boot. It offers above average comfort and stability and is perfect for lengthy hikes on rugged surfaces.

Ahnu Sugarpine

89

2016

Ahnu Sugarpine

The Ahnu Sugarpine Hiking Boot is an incredibly lightweight, comfortably padded, flexible hiking boot that doesn't sacrifice on protection. 

Suunto Traverse Amber

86

2016

Suunto Traverse Amber

The Suunto Traverse Amber is an intuitive and simplified GPS enabled multi-sport watch with decent battery life, solid navigational capability, and rugged durability.  

Suunto Traverse Alpha Foliage

86

2016

Suunto Traverse Alpha Foliage

The Suunto Traverse Alpha Foliage is clearly designed with hunting and fishing in mind and its extreme durability and unique feature set will make it a suitable choice for many outdoor adventurers.

Suunto Ambit3 Vertical Blue HR

88

2016

Suunto Ambit3 Vertical Blue HR

The Suunto Ambit3 Vertical Blue HR is the latest model in the Ambit line of Suunto watches and adds a heart rate monitor chest strap for monitoring physical performance and a barometric altimeter with clever ways to monitor elevation gain along your vertical adventures.

Garmin Fenix 3 HR

90

2016

Garmin Fenix 3 HR

The Garmin Fenix 3 HR is an impressively featured multi-sport watch with a brilliant color display, built in optical heart-rate monitor, good battery life, and great navigational capability.

Bergans Trollhetta 55 Backpack

90

2016

Bergans Trollhetta 55 Backpack

The Bergans Trollhetta 55 is one of Bergans’ most popular backpacks and has been recently updated. The latest enhancements to the pack’s design include a torso adjustment system and several other technical features.  

Mystery Ranch Sphinx 65 Backpack

93

2016

Mystery Ranch Sphinx 65 Backpack

The Mystery Ranch Sphinx 65 is a lightweight and supportive backpack designed for the avid backpacker and avid mountain adventurer.  

Granite Gear Lutsen 55 Backpack

89

2016

Granite Gear Lutsen 55 Backpack

The Granite Gear Lutsen 55 is a highly technical backpack developed with a custom fit in mind thanks to their Re-Fit air current suspension system that provides fully adjustable torso length, and an adjustable hip belt.

Montane Summit 50+15 Backpack

89

2016

Montane Summit 50+15 Backpack

The Montane Summit 50 backpack is a fully featured pack with an emphasis of being lightweight for multi day trekking and backpacking trips.  

Osprey Stratos 50 Backpack

89

2016

Osprey Stratos 50 Backpack

The Osprey Stratos 50 is designed for lightweight overnight trips and multi-day excursions when carrying lighter loads.  

Thule Guidepost 65 Backpack

90

2016

Thule Guidepost 65 Backpack

The Thule Guidepost 65 backpack has a 65-liter capacity and is designed to carry larger loads for extended weekend trips or weeklong backcountry excursions.   

Osprey Talon 44

86

2016

Osprey Talon 44

The Osprey Talon 44 is a lightweight pack with superb ventilation and a long list of usable features.

The North Face Shadow 40+10

80

2016

The North Face Shadow 40+10

The North Face Shadow 40+10 has a simple design, a minimal but mobile suspension system and sparse features, keeping the weight as low as possible. 

Gregory Zulu 40

87

2016

Gregory Zulu 40

The Gregory Zulu 40 is a well-ventilated and stable pack, capable of hauling heavier loads comfortably into the backcountry.

Black Diamond Speed 40

82

2016

Black Diamond Speed 40

The Black Diamond Speed 40 is a workhorse alpine pack that stresses simplicity and balances weight vs. durability.

Granite Gear Lutsen 45

91

2016

Granite Gear Lutsen 45

The Granite Gear Lutsen 45 backpack is armed with an excellent suspension system and quick size adjustability.

Bergans of Norway Helium 40

82

2016

Bergans of Norway Helium 40

The Bergans Helium 40 is an ultralight, compact alpine pack with adjustable torso length that excels at ferrying lower volume loads during active pursuits. 

 Osprey Volt 60

80

2016

Osprey Volt 60

The Osprey Volt is a 60L backpack that is well suited for beginner to moderate hikers on overnight or weekend length trips.

Kelty Redwing 50

74

2016

Kelty Redwing 50

The Kelty Redwing is a durable 50 liter backpack of solid construction. 

Gregory Zulu 65

93

2016

Gregory Zulu 65

An all around-bag that has the functionality of many different types of trips with the comfort of a thru-hiker’s pack.

Deuter ACT Zero 50+15

87

2016

Deuter ACT Zero 50+15

The Deuter ACT Zero 50+15 is an expandable pack well suited for beginning and intermediate backpackers. 

Arc’teryx Altra 65

94

2016

Arc’teryx Altra 65

The Arc’teryx Altra 65 is an incredibly comfortable 65 liter backpack that is very durable.

Western Mountaineering Lynx

86

2016

Western Mountaineering Lynx

The Western Mountaineering Lynx is a true 4-season mummy-style sleeping bag designed for the year-round backpacker or alpinist.

Patagonia M10

87

2016

Patagonia M10

Light, packable and durable, the Patagonia M10 is designed for climbing in inclement weather, but was just as usable in a variety of situations. 

Mammut Segnas

85

2016

Mammut Segnas

The Mammut Segnas is fully featured and bomber Gore Active 3-layer shell. A tough shell that brags awesome breathability for its weight.

Marmot Red Star Jacket

76

2016

Marmot Red Star Jacket

The Marmot Red Star jacket 3-layer jacket is best used as an emergency shell rather than a dependable defender. 

REI Rhyolite

84

2016

REI Rhyolite

The REI Rhyolite is a great deal for a well thought out and dependable 3-layer shell.

Under Armour Moonraker GTX

86

2016

Under Armour Moonraker GTX

The Under Armour Moonraker GTX is a bomber and versatile 3-layer jacket. We were impressed with its performance; a runner up for Best in Class.  

Valandre Shocking Blue Neo

82

2016

Valandre Shocking Blue Neo

The Valandre Shocking Blue is a light-weight mummy-style sleeping bag designed for 4-season use and has some highly technical features.  

Sea to Summit Alpine Ap III

82

2016

Sea to Summit Alpine Ap III

The Sea to Summit Alpine Ap III is a 4-season mummy sleeping bag built for cold conditions and alpine expeditions. The Alpine Ap III utilizes waterproof down and a 3D Nanoshell to protect the user from the elements. 

The North Face Inferno 0

80

2016

The North Face Inferno 0

The North Face Inferno 0 is a mummy-style sleeping bag designed for backpackers or alpinists with a good weight to warmth ratio. 

Big Agnes Storm King

76

2016

Big Agnes Storm King

The Big Agnes Storm King is a cold weather sleeping bag built with extra space inside the bag, for sleepers who like to move around, or want that extra girth in a bag.  

Spyderco Southard Folder

98

2016

Spyderco Southard Folder

The Spyderco Southard Folder is a curvy flipper-style knife with a thin profile and minimal pocket presence.

Benchmade Crooked River

94

2016

Benchmade Crooked River

The Benchmade Crooked River is a familiar looking, full-sized folder that features a 4” long CPM-S30V Clip Point blade which is ideal for hunting and long term excursions in the outdoors.

Chris Reeve Large Sebenza 21 w/ Insingo Blade

95

2016

Chris Reeve Large Sebenza 21 w/ Insingo Blade

The Chris Reeve Large Sebenza 21 is a premium knife made from titanium, carbon fiber, and  S35VN blade steel.

Lasky Pteryx L2

91

2016

Lasky Pteryx L2

The Lasky Pteryx L2 is hand-built off of two skeletonized stainless steel handle scales with a very sharp burly drop point blade and a unique approach to one-handed deployment and locking.

Opinel No. 8 Folding Knife

86

2016

Opinel No. 8 Folding Knife

Something of a cult-classic, the Opinel No. 8 folding knife features a wood body, patented Virobloc locking ring, and Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade for everyday use and ordinary adventures.

Patagonia Nano Air Hoody

90

2016

Patagonia Nano Air Hoody

The Patagonia Nano Air is a comfortable, lightweight, stretchable and breathable jacket that is perfect for aerobic activity on cold weather excursions.

The North Face Thermoball Hoody

90

2016

The North Face Thermoball Hoody

The North Face Thermoball Hoodie is a multi-purpose layer that can keep you warm on winter days in addition to looking stylish when used around town.

Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic

87

2016

Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic

The Mountain Hardware Thermostatic is a very lightweight jacket that is easy to throw in your pack for days when you might need an extra minimal layer.

High Sierra Molo Hybrid

82

2016

High Sierra Molo Hybrid

The High Sierra Molo Hybrid is an affordable jacket without any extra frills that serves it purpose as a lightweight layering piece for winter activities.

Rab Strata Hoody

91

2016

Rab Strata Hoody

The Rab Strata Hoody is a very comfortable and versatile jacket that layers well for a cold winter day or functions as an outer layer on warmer fall and spring days.

Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody

89

2016

Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody

The Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is a lightweight insulating layer that is very comfortable and breathable but has some issues with fit.  

Icebug Juniper RB9X GTX

88

2016

Icebug Juniper RB9X GTX

The Icebug Juniper is an ultralight, mid-top hiker with bomber grip and a Northern European inspired design.

Lowa Innox Evo

85

2016

Lowa Innox Evo

The Lowa Innox Evo is a solid hiking shoe from a reputable brand that is best for those with strong ankles looking to move very quickly through dry conditions.

Merrell Capra Bolt

86

2016

Merrell Capra Bolt

The Merrell Capra Bolt is a surprisingly light, easy wearing, good looking, ankle-height light hiking shoe, inspired by trail running. 

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