Our Gear Guy loves the Hydro Flask 32-ounce tumbler. With one of these suckers, he can “nurse a single pour for hours without having to worry about lukewarm beer.” The same goes for hot drinks—a freshly brewed cup of coffee will stay warm for up to six hours.
11 Great Camping Gear Deals at the REI Labor Day Sale
When the Switchback first came on the market last year, we crowned it the best budget sleeping pad. It uses two types of foam with different densities and specially-designed raised spikes to give optimal comfort and warmth.
This tent is a backpacker's dream, made with durable polyurethane-coated ripstop nylon fabric and reinforced seams that are tough as nails but light as a feather. The whole package is just over three pounds.
The PocketRocket Deluxe was one of our favorite camp stoves of 2019. “This update to one of MSR’s best backpacking stoves is still plenty light at 2.9 ounces, but it’s easier to use than its predecessor,” our Gear Guy wrote. We especially liked the push-start igniter which made for fast and easy cooking.
The Azura and its new synthetic insulation piqued our interest when it debuted earlier this year. “The prospect of a sleeping bag that offers the versatility of synthetic insulation without completely sacrificing on weight and bulk seems like a win in my book,” our editor wrote.
We tested 37 hiking boots and La Sportiva’s Stream was the best lightweight boot of the bunch. At 31 ounces for the pair, the Stream is also fully waterproof, but impressed us with how breathable it was in dry conditions. Our tester wrote: “I couldn’t believe how much traction and support the Stream offered, given its light weight.”
Packed with premium 850-fill down in the torso and synthetic insulation elsewhere, the Cerium LT is constructed to retain warmth where you need it (around your core) and manage moisture everywhere else. You’ll barely notice it in your pack: it weighs just 9.7 ounces.
The Luci Outdoor Pro impressed us with its built-in lithium-ion battery, which allows you to charge other devices. Ten LED lights put out a bright, 150-lumen glow for 24 hours. When you're done, just deflate it and slip it into a backpack pocket.
These rain pants are pro hiker Wesley Trimble’s top choice pants for winter hiking. The recycled ripstop nylon is flexible and allows total range of motion. Trimble adds a midlayer under the Rainier Rain Pants to keep him toasty even on snowy, winter hikes.
For those who like to sit on the ground but want extra back support, look no further. The Trail Chair’s foldable design makes it packable for car camping, backpacking, and concerts. It’s also a great choice for stargazing because you can lean back and scan the skies without straining your neck.
The Ariel AG 55 won our women's backpacking test. “The Ariel is a feature-rich, versatile pack that presents a case study in how a sturdy, weight-bearing suspension design is often more comfortable than a design that shaves ounces by way of flimsier built-in support,” our testers wrote.
Like many other pants made for the outdoors, the Konfidant is constructed from a light and breathable blend of cotton, nylon, and spandex. But the real story with these pants is the vents. They’re everywhere—in the rear pockets, in the front pockets, in the thigh pockets, on the back of the knees, and in the crotch. The idea is to keep air moving so you stay cool when you’re on the trail.
We like snuggling up in this organic cotton shirt on rainy days or relaxed evening hikes. The Fjord is one of our favorite fall flannels for women. “The pearl buttons add just the right amount of femininity and will catch the light on sunny days,” we wrote.
We love the Boulder X’s classic leather build, super cushioned sole, and grippy Vibram rubber outsole. Contributor Jakob Schiller fully endorsed it in his article about the best approach shoes. “I loved them so much I wore one pair for four years straight,” he wrote.
We named the Gaea the best aerobic layer in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide. It’s “warm where you need it to be while remaining supremely breathable,” one tester wrote. It has insulation across the chest, at the shoulders, and in the collar, while the uninsulated mesh back panel keeps you from overheating on high output missions.
This is the midlayer that makes life easier on 20-degree high-alpine backcountry excursions. “The outer fabric on the Proton LT was more wind resistant than many of the other jackets,” we wrote in our review.
Keep your kid’s waterworks at bay on hikes or backpacking trips with this carrier. In our test of child carriers, the Poco AG Plus was “by far the sturdiest, most durable, and most stable of all the packs I’ve tried,” wrote our tester. At 7.6 pounds, the pack is heavier than some comparable models but also includes 26 liters of gear capacity.
Kodiak’s Fernie boot was editorial assistant Claire Hyman’s most used piece of gear from 2019. “It keeps my feet perfectly warm and dry, with a soft microfiber lining and a seam-sealed waterproof upper,” she wrote. Plus, the understated style means it looks just as good on a snowy hike as it does out to dinner.
Columnist Wes Siler included this piece in his fall roundup of timeless wardrobe staples. “Compared to nylon soft shells, this thing is going to hold up to—and look better with—wear, and the zippers and stitching are built to match,” he wrote. The G-1000 fabric is heavier than nylon, so it’s not ideal for thru-hikes but otherwise works like a charm.
The StretchDown is a staff favorite. "This puffy is made with a nylon-elastane face fabric that's super stretchy, so it's great for increased range of motion for climbing, hiking, and skiing," said gear editor Ariella Gintzler.
In our roundup of the best puffies of 2019, the Thorium was our favorite for its durability. This jacket is sheathed with a stout face fabric and a DWR finish, so it can take a beating. Plus, it has water-resistant insulation at the spots most likely to get wet.