Our testers spent months in the field using and abusing the latest and greatest gear. Then we compiled their notes into the following reviews. They’re the best, most thorough reviews we’ve ever published, and we hope they will help inform your next gear purchases.
10 testers. 20 sleeping bags. 6 months. Here are the results.
The easiest way to ruin a backpacking trip is to bring the wrong sleeping bag. Read this review to find out our favorites.
Testing 59 pairs of running socks, we ran everywhere from the French Alps to the sunny beach paths of California. Here’s what we found.
For the past several months, we’ve been searching for the perfect pair of running socks: socks that wick sweat, don’t stink or cause blisters, and feel good on the road and trail. To find these unicorn socks, a group of six experienced runners tested 59 pairs of socks from 16 top running brands in locations around the world. Here are the results.
After testing 29 models, our favorite stove nailed the sweet spot of boiling quickly, simmering well, and being reasonably priced
What’s the best backpacking stove? To answer this question we tested 29 stove models, from six different brands. These six came out on top.
After a summer of testing, these four SUPs came out on top
Paddleboarding is a young sport, and each year boards seem to become lighter, cheaper, and more finely tuned. This year, I spent 13 days testing a collection of boards new for 2018 and came away impressed with several that specialize in river trips, tandem paddling, or lake cruising.
Five testers brought 20 pairs of underwear around the world. Here are their favorites.
The best underwear is the kind you don’t notice. When you do, it’s probably not doing its job. Finding out mid-run or mid-hike that your underwear just won’t stay in place sucks. A literal pain in the butt.
Here’s our comprehensive guide to choosing the right backcountry shelter
Outside has reviewed backpacking tents for 40 years, and during that time we’ve tested a lot of well-designed models. But if we had to choose the best all-around tent to take backpacking right now, we’d buy the Sierra Designs Flash 2 FL. Read more about the Flash and other great models here.
Women need packs that are just as capable as men’s—and they need them to fit right. Here are the best, most comfortable performers for all-around backpacking.
Most hikers need a middle-ground backpack, one in the 40-to-60-liter range that can manage loads for one- to five-day trips. For this test, we looked at 18 leading packs, some slightly smaller and some larger, and wrote about the nine best.
Say goodbye to cement blocks—the latest crop of hiking shoes and boots are lighter and comfier than ever
Every hiker and backpacker who has ever stomped lugs on dirt can tell the same sad story of painful blisters and bashed toes. In search of a solution, we evaluated 37 hiking shoes and boots that are new for spring 2018. These are our favorites.
Fifteen testers picked these five kicks as the best of the season
If you spend time in the mountains or just spend weekdays trudging along snowy sidewalks, then you know life is better with a pair of winter boots. But not all are created equal, so we put together a team to evaluate 15 of the top-rated styles.
The author spent the season testing the warmest kicks in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Here are her favorites.
In the winter, you're doomed without warm, dry boots with the right amount of traction. Here's our exhaustive test.
After a winter of testing, these four came out on top
We like being warm when it’s cold outside—you probably do too—and nothing kills a fun day faster than shivering. Which is why we have fleece: technical fleeces wick away moisture so you don’t get chilled when you sweat, and nontechnical fleeces are soft and toasty. After two months of testing, here are our favorites.
After putting our favorite bags through the wringer, we found a clear winner in this cavernous category
At the end of the day, duffel bags are just big sacks. But they’re really important big sacks, and the best will carry and protect your stuff with a minimal weight penalty in situations that range from hauling climbing gear on a donkey to rolling up to a fancy hotel with your best flip-flops and a bunch of grooming supplies. A good duffel is worth its weight in gold.
We tested dozens of bras to come up with this list of ten finalists for women size A to D+ who get after it outside
Every pair of boobs is unique, and different activities demand different kinds of support. A great bra supports with effortless comfort, whereas a bad one can feel like a medieval torture device. We tested 30 sports bras from ten brands to find the best ones.
Comfy, sweatproof designs for the gym and the trail
We’re living in a golden age of earbuds and headphones. They sound better than ever, magically connect without wires, and keep getting smaller. In 2018, there’s a wider array of really good stuff on the market than we’ve ever seen. For this review, four testers took 30 pairs of earbuds and headphones on runs, rides, hikes, and gym workouts.
For backyard to beach, trailhead to hotel room, these speakers keep the party close at hand
A great-sounding, travel-friendly Bluetooth speaker is an investment we can get behind. Right now, the market is overflowing with colorful plastic boxes that promise to deliver music anywhere. But not all speakers are worth your money. Here are the ones we recommend.