Gear Picks

About Gear Picks

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All Gear

hip pack

REI Co-op Trail 2 Waistpack

$25 $17 from REI 32% off

This inconspicuous, two-liter waistpack is one of our favorite low-cost fanny packs. The nylon fabric is durable and lightweight so it’s perfect for storing your essentials on a short day hike. Plus, the top loading main compartment makes your gear easy to access even with one hand if you’re fishing or walking your dog.


Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad

$180 $135 from REI 25% off

Our tester Andrew Skurka wrote a long-term review of the UberLite and found it ideal for three-season conditions (its insulation is good enough for temperatures down to 30 degrees.) This pad is as comfortable as the revolutionary NeoAir XLite, but cuts down weight by 3.2 ounces and isn’t as noisy when moving around.

Proof Field Jacket (Men's)

$175 $123 from Huckberry 29% off

The design of this jacket is based on the iconic M65 field jacket issued to American troops, but Proof has borrowed smart modern materials for their updated version. We particularly love the outer fabric, which maintains that matte green finish but comes coated with DWR and has four-way stretch for unrestricted movement. Inside, the jacket is packed with 80 grams of cozy synthetic insulation.

Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp

$60 $44 from Amazon 26% off

Our tester loved the ability to seamlessly swap between AAA batteries and the rechargeable ones that come with the ReVolt. And the torch has a max output of 300 lumens, which is nearly bright enough to light up an entire campsite.

sleeping pad

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

$170 $127 from REI 25% off

We recommend this pad for weight-conscious backpackers who need something for all four seasons. The NeoAir XLite isn’t the lightest pad on the market, but at just 12 ounces and with a 3.2 R-value, it has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio. Plus, the pad packs down to a size just larger than a Nalgene.

Hydration Packs

Osprey Daylight Plus 20

$65 $48 from REI 26% off

The Daylight doesn’t come with a bladder, but there’s storage aplenty: 20 liters in the main compartment plus an exterior pocket. The sleeve in the main compartment can house a reservoir you buy separately, or it’ll accommodate a tablet or small laptop if you’re just using it for commuting. If you’re extra thirsty, two side bottle pockets boost the Daylight’s water-carrying capacity.