Our reviews are the result of rigorous hands-on testing of the top products. We rate each product on multiple categories to find the very best.
The Double Rainbow wins our Best Buy Award for its low price tag  livability and light weight.

The Best Backpacking Tents of 2017

To find the best backpacking tent of 2017, we researched 65 models and took the top 14 on two months of backcountry adventures, mainly in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness. We selected the lightest free-standing tents available as well as more comfortable and spacious ones. Whether your budget is $90 or ...

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The Best backpacking pack review

The Best Backpacking Backpacks of 2017

There are hundreds of backpacking backpacks, from ultralight to ultra comfy. We researched 65 packs and bought the 12 best for 210 hours of tests in the mountains of Patagonia and the Pacific Northwest. Today's backpacks are more feature-rich than ever, but it's hard to distinguish what's useful and...

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The Asolo Jumla GV is designed and primed for high friction with rocks. On top of its climbing proficiency  its lightweight qualities and solid durability make it an exciting boot to own!

The Trek to Find the Best Hiking Boots of 2017

With so many hiking boots, it's tough to pick the right pair. To help, we researched over 50 top models and selected the 12 best to test side-by-side for 160+ hours. For three months and hundreds of miles, we pushed these boots to their limits to find out which ones are truly stable in rough terrain...

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The 2011 version of the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm below northern Maine's Mt. Katahdin. Tom is 6'3" and slept on snow with the XTherm at -10 degrees F.

Best Sleeping Pads of 2017 for Backpacking, Camping

To find that elusive optimal sleeping pad, we researched 70 top options and then purchased and tested 21 of the best. After 160 hours of side-by-side sleep tests, we awarded the best overall pad as well as the most comfortable and lightest. Whether you have $30 or $200, we've got your budget covered...

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A headlamp is a vital piece of gear for any camper  hiker  backpacker  climber  or outdoors enthusiast who may end up outside when the sun goes down. Our review compares 28 top products and wades through misleading claims by manufacturers in order to find the very best.

The Hunt for the Best Headlamps

Need a headlamp? Our comprehensive review is here to help. We researched over 50 models before subjecting the best 28 to a gauntlet of hands-on, side-by-side tests. Each product was lab-tested and field-tested. To wade through the confusing (and sometimes deceptive) marketing claims from manufacture...

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The Best Backpacking sleeping bag review

The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags of 2017

To help you complete your backpacking setup, we researched over 75 backpacking sleeping bags and tested the 11 best models side-by-side for a three-month period. Standing in your favorite outdoor retailer, it's hard to know which product provides primo comfort, dries fastest, or performs at its clai...

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A double-down: the Hybridge Lite Hoody (red  worn as a mid-layer) and The Patagonia Down Hoody were the primary layers in a very complete layering system for extreme cold.

The Best Men's Down Jackets of 2017

To find the right down jacket for your cold weather adventures, we researched 70 top models and subjected the 9 best to side-by-side tests and backcountry expeditions for three months. We wore these products from the damp mid-altitudes of New Zealand, the extreme cold of Antarctica, to the dry, high...

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The hood featured on the Arc'teryx Beta SL was among the very best in the review  providing top-notch storm protection that fit well over a wide-range of head wear while keeping as much peripheral vision as you could ever expect from a rain jacket.

Best Men's Rain Jackets of 2017 for Hiking and Travel

With so many rain jackets, it can be confusing to find the right one. We researched 90 of them, then bought the 10 top models for 105 wet hours of field testing. Today's jacket selection is daunting: we set out to help you find the best model for your needs and budget whether you have $50 or $300. W...

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Without doubt one of our favorite jackets for backcountry skiing  shown here after enjoying another mega powder lap on the highway 550 corridor in the San Juan mountains. We liked the eVent membrane  combined with great venting options  for how cool and dry it kept us on long uphills.

The Hunt for the Best Men's Hardshell Jackets of 2017

Looking for a hardshell jacket? We can help. We evaluated the 30 most popular hardshells on the market today and purchased the 11 best, which we subjected to 120+ hours of side-by-side tests. From cold rain to blizzards to splitter bluebird conditions, our expert reviewers wore these jackets during ...

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The Best Men's Synthetic Insulated Jackets of 2017

Which synthetic insulated jacket best keeps you warm? We found out by researching 75 products and buying nine for hands-on testing. Each jacket was tested for 20-plus hours by a team of outdoor experts while hiking, backpacking, skiing and just standing in the cold around town. While one jacket came...

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It is easy to hook up your bladder hose to the Vario as well.

The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2017

Clean drinking water is essential. To help in the backcountry, we researched over 30 backpacking water filters and tested the top 15 side-by-side over several months. So you don't have to trust a basic need to marketing claims, our expert testers hiked into the wilderness and filtered over 100 gallo...

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We loved the burly shell fabric of the Canada Goose for hard-working chores in brutal cold temps.

The Best Winter Jackets and Coats for Men of 2017

With so many winter jackets, selecting the right one is tough. To help, we researched 70 popular models and tested the best 14 side-by-side for three months. We wore these products during various cold weather activities, like shoveling snow or walking from the bus stop to work on a stormy day. Our e...

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Best Camping Tents of 2017 - Family and Group Models

Looking for a great camping tent for summer trips or the backyard? To find the best, researched 55 tents and bought 8 for hands-on testing. Two outdoor experts then spent 40 days touring campgrounds across the US in the heat, rain and wind. The tent options are overwhelming. We help you distinguish ...

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Taking a picture is a snap with a camera button on the left side of the unit. Here the author is pictured filling in a description for a 'photo way point' in Alaska.

Tracking Down the Best Handheld GPS Models

Selecting the perfect handheld GPS without field testing it is hard, but that's where we come in. We researched 35+ models and tested the best 5 handhelds on high mountain peaks, deep canyons, and many other backcountry environments and situations. Our expert reviews tinkered endlessly with these pr...

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Does it get any better than this? Afternoon nap time under the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Square Flat Tarp after another 14er climb. Guanella Pass  Colorado.

The Best Ultralight Tents, Tarps and Shelters

We tested 10 of the best two-person tarps, pyramids, and featherlight tents to find the ultimate ultralight tent shelter. We compared them by backpacking, peak bagging, and bike touring throughout the Rocky Mountains. We rated each for weather resistance, measured weight, livability, adaptability, d...

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The 15W panel still showed highly variable charging when analyzed with a USB power meter  but overall it performed powerfully  charging our devices with speed and efficiency.

The Best Portable Solar Panels of 2017 for Camping and Travel

Which solar charger best powers phones and gadgets when off the grid? We considered 55 models and bought the top 9 to compare them side-by-side. Our team spent over 100 hours field testing and then brought them into our testing lab to measure power output. We know shopping for solar panels is daunti...

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We tested all the backpacking stoves head-to-head in our garage for a timed boil test. Here the integrated and small canister stoves are lined up for testing.

The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2017 for Simmering and Boiling

In the battle for the best backpacking stove, we researched 62 models and bought 14 for hands-on testing. We used them for 2-months on over a dozen wilderness excursions and then brought them into our lab for side-by-side boil time tests. There are now hundreds of stove options, and it's confusing t...

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Shoe testing on granite in the Alabama Hills  CA.

The Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Men Review

What are the best rock shoes on the market? To find out, we tested, and reviewed a mix of over 20 top rated shoes, and compared them using our trademark comparison metrics. We comprehensively evaluated these shoes to determine how they edge, how comfortable and sensitive they are, and how they perfo...

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The Patagonia Adze was a favorite for cold weather climbing. The stretchy side panels under the arms made this jacket a pleasure to climb in.

The Best Softshell Jacket for Men Review

In this update, we continue our quest for the best in our popular softshell jacket review! Continually looking for the highest-performing jackets, we bought 11 top softshells and tested them side by side. Over three months, our testers scraped through off-width rock climbs, climbed ice in freezing w...

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Monkeying around during our testing process. We put eight of the top rated fleeces to the test to help you find the best one for your next hike  climb  or other outdoor adventure.

The Best Men's Fleece Jackets for Hiking and Layering

With a seemingly endless slew of options, how do you find the best fleece jacket on the market? Our expert testers gathered eight of the top-rated models out there in a variety of weights and styles and put them through the wringer. We assessed technical mid-layers to heavyweight outer layers, and ...

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We tested 10 ultralight sleeping bags from May to October in the Rocky Mountains this year while peakbagging  backpacking  and even during 100 mile mountain ultras.

Uncovering the Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags for Backpacking and Thru-Hiking

Going ultralight? We can help you find the right sleeping bag for that. After evaluating 50 popular models, we tested the best 10 side-by-side over several months and many nights under the stars. Our expert testers hauled and put these products to the test throughout the Rocky Mountains on backpacki...

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The Quest for the Best Men's Hiking Shoes of 2017

Looking for some fresh hiking shoes this Spring? We'll help you find the perfect match. We researched 60+ models and tested the 11 best over three months in order to see what these shoes are capable of. Covering hundreds of miles, our expert testers hiked trails of varied terrain and climbed ridges ...

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Ryan O'Connell using his Black Diamond Ultra Distance poles while crossing Midas Creek with Ian Nicholson and Andy Dahlen.

The Best Trekking Poles For Hiking and Backpacking

Trekking Poles have come a long way. In just over a decade, they have gone from a seldom-seen item to near mandatory. From day hikers to seasoned mountaineers, the majority are using them now. There are many advantages to using hiking poles, the main reasons being that they offer better balance duri...

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With so many colors and styles available these days  it can be hard to make a decision. We tested a range of parkas with different lengths  styles  insulation and shells  to help make selecting the right one an easier process  whether you need one for commuting in the city or living and playing in the mountains. The jacket pictured is the underlayer of our Top Pick for Wet Climates winner  the Patagonia Tres Down Parka.

The Best Winter Jacket For Women Review

What's the best winter jacket? We compared 11 of the top rated women's winter jackets. Whether you're looking for a jacket that can handle brutally cold winters while still looking mega fashionable, or you are looking for one that is waterproof for a wet climate, we've got you covered. Over a two mo...

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The rockered design (the sole turns up at the toe and heel) comes from the running shoes that HOKA revolutionized. For hiking  this feature keeps you moving forward and adds stability on uneven terrain.

The Journey to Find the Best Women's Hiking Boots of 2017

Looking for women's hiking boots? We can help. We evaluated the 40 most popular models and subjected the 10 best to side-by-side tests over three months and hundreds of miles. With so many options and bold marketing claims, it's not easy to determine which ones provide solid traction on slippery pat...

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The Search for the Best Women's Winter Boots of 2017

Shopping around for the best women's winter boots? We did the research and testing for you. We evaluated 50 models and tested the top 8 side-by-side over several months. Our expert testers spent a season traipsing through snow drifts and splashing through slush in the wintery outdoors to find out wh...

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The Salvo 24 is really comfortable and has the features needed for most day uses.

The Best Day Backpack of 2017 for Hiking and Travel

Intimidated by the countless daypack options? We hear you. That's why we researched 65+ top models and bought the best 8 for detailed testing. Knowing that you may wear these products through a huge array of activities, our expert testers used them in almost every way imaginable, from hiking and cli...

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There are many good four season contenders and they each excel at different things. Some are stronger  some lighter  some more adaptable. Therefore figuring out your needs and what types of trips you plan to use your tent on are important while reading this review. Shown here we're testing on the East Ridge of Eldorado  North Cascades  WA.

The Search for The Best Four Season Tents of 2017

Looking for a four season tent? Let us help. We researched the 30 most popular tents on the market and put the best 20 in head-to-head tests over several months. Our expert reviewers judged these models on how well they hold up in heinous weather, how much weight they add to your pack, and how livab...

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The Hestra Army Leather GTX is one of our favorite all-around gloves for its above average warmth and superb durability all while keeping respectable dexterity and while it barely didn't win an award  we still think its a fantastic glove.

The Best Ski Gloves and Mittens of 2017

With so many choices, it can be difficult to find the right pair. We researched over 100 top models and selected the 17 best to test side-by-side for 120+ hours. For three months, our expert testers put them to test by skiing at resorts, touring in the backcountry, and skiing via snowmobile. Testing...

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The Best Coolers and Ice Chests of 2017 for Camping

Prepping for camping season? We spent nearly 150 hours putting 8 of the best coolers on the market through an exhaustive series of 15 tests. With the number of styles and price range of coolers increasing almost exponentially over the last few years, it is more difficult than ever to choose the best...

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The Paramount Peak II Convertibles are one of our favorite pants for hiking in cooler temperatures. Their thick and heavy fabric helps hold in the heat and they unzip into shorts when the temperatures climb.

The Best Men's Hiking Pants for 2017 - Side-by-Side Tests

Need new hiking pants to complete your backcountry outfit? To help you find the right pair, we evaluated 45+ models and hand-tested the top 7 pants side-by-side for three months of extensive use. Our expert testers wore these pants through the deserts of Utah and the mountains of Colorado, as well a...

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Down is the ultimate in insulation: it has the highest warmth-to-weight ratio and is highly compressible. A lightweight down jacket is a must in every outdoors woman's quiver. Here we are getting all lifestyle-y in the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody on the sea ice of Antarctica.

The Best Down Jacket for Women Review

What is the best lightweight down jacket for women? We purchased 12 top tier down jackets and wore them everywhere in an attempt to find out. We even sent testers down to the frigid continent of Antarctica to put down insulation to the ultimate test. For this review, we took a selection of the top l...

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Playing around the rocks in a fresh pair of shoes! These are some of the most comfortable and nicely cushioned shoes we tested this year  one of our favorites by far.

The Best Men's Trail Running Shoes of 2017 - Side-by-Side Tests

Intimidated by the hundreds of trail running shoe options? We were, too. That's why we researched 90 top models and bought 14 for testing. After over 150 hours on trail, we have recommendations, whether you want maximum cushion, minimal heel-rise, or a good value. Our testing team ran single track, ...

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Jason  Mike and Jed on Chair 5  Mammoth Mountain. Testing The North Face  Burton  and Helly Hansen ski jackets in these stormy conditions highlighted vast differences.

The Best Men's Ski Jackets of 2017

What is the best jacket for your snow sport? We scoped the best in men's insulated ski and snowboard jackets pushing their limits in the backcountry and resort. Our testers experienced foul weather and rock-hard descents, putting each piece of technical outerwear through the wringer. Some performed ...

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Our Best Buy award winner from The North Face proved its value with its great comfort  durability  and all-around solid performance.

The Best Long Underwear and Base Layer for Men Review

What is the best long underwear top on the market? To make sense of it all, we put eleven of the most popular men's long underwear tops to the test. Covering the two American continents, our reviewers wore these shirts in temperatures ranging from warm and sunny to frigidly cold and damp. They were ...

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The Reactor provided superior comfort for an excellent hang.

The Best Hammocks of 2017 for Camping and Backpacking

Hung up on which hammock? We can help. We researched over 50 of the most popular models and tested the best 11 side-by-side for 100+ hours of testing. Our expert testers brought them camping in a variety of environments, from the high desert in winter to wet mountains in spring, to see how they comp...

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The Best Hiking Shoes for Women Review

Need a new pair of hiking shoes for 2017? We can help! We researched the market's top 55 pairs and chose the 10 best for our side-by-side testing process to help you find the right footwear for your next outdoor adventure. Whether you have wide feet, high arches, bad knees, or just don't want to spe...

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Osprey Farpoint 55 travel backpack performs well in rugged terrain.

The Best Travel Backpacks for International Adventures

The staff at OutdoorGearLab is a diverse crowd. But in our colorful tapestry of adventurers, there is one common thread: a shared obsession with traveling. Naturally, that makes identifying the best travel backpack a high priority. If you seek adventure beyond the border, or if you regularly hopscot...

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Award winning products  Garmin Edge 520  Garmin Edge 820  and Lezyne Super GPS Enhanced

The Best Bike Computer Review

Which bike computer is the best? We took eight of the top bike computers worthy of holding a position on your handlebars and put them through months of head-to-head testing and miles of riding. This was all part of our effort to find the bike computer worthy of our prestigious Editors' Choice Award,...

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Curtis Smith Muddy Cyclocross Testing

The Race to Find the Best 2017 Bike Saddles for Road and Mountain Biking

Choosing a bike saddle can be daunting. To make it easier, we researched more than 45 models, narrowing it down to 17 top performers and testing them ourselves. This selection is broad, covering everything from the high-end racer to the occasional commuter. Our mountain and road bike experts put in ...

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The five pairs of insulated winter hiking boots that we tested for this review are ideal choices for snowshoeing. Here we are testing in the San Juan Mountain high country.

The Best Winter Boots for Men Review

What's the best pair of winter boots to keep your feet warm and comfortable all winter long? To find out, we tested ten of the most popular and highly rated models to determine which ones kept our feet the warmest and driest. Testing each pair over several months, we evaluated them for their Warmth,...

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We tested these harnesses from the sandstone of Red Rock Canyon to the granite of the Rocky Mountains. Here the Sama helps us send at Turkey Rocks in Colorado's South Platte.

The Best Climbing Harness for Men Review

Which men's climbing harness is the best? Well, climbing is a passion near and dear to the hearts of most everyone here at OutdoorGearLab. Just the sight of climbing harnesses makes us giddy with excitement. This was a fun review for us to do because we love climbing and love taking "test" falls nea...

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The Best Buy RockyMounts JetLine would be a great choice at any price  but for $130 it is hard to beat.

The Best Bike Racks for Hitches, Cars, and SUVs

The bicycle may be the most efficient means of transportation ever created; if you are like us, you likely use your bike for recreation as well. Our wanderlust has driven us to load up ours, by any means necessary, and head off in search of the next epic ride. After years of traveling with bikes, we...

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Best Camping Mattresses and Deluxe Pads of 2017

To find the best car camping mattress, we researched 40 deluxe pads and bought 11 for side-by-side tests. Our expert testers then spend over 100 hours on road trips and in our lab to find out which pads are the most comfortable, most durable and warmest. After sleeping in cars, campgrounds, living r...

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Carving! Laying the Enforcer on edge is a total blast.

The Best Men's All-Mountain Skis of 2017

To find you the best pair of all-mountain skis, we researched 50 models and took the top 8 on three months of adventures during Tahoe's monstrous snow year. We put them to a head-to-head, run-for-run comparison, for a season-long quest to find the holy grail of all-mountain planks. Several experts p...

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Our Top Pick winners  the stylish Orage Nina (left) and the best hardshell  the Arc'teryx Sentinel (right).

The Best Ski Jacket for Women Review

What makes the best ski jacket? We tested twelve top-of-the-line ski jackets over several seasons to help you find the best. We skied numerous runs at Mammoth Mountain and Kirkwood in California and even brought a few to ski in British Columbia. We sat on many chair lifts, went to multiple happy hou...

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Hike and adventure anywhere! The Suunto Core Alu is a great partner on any mountainous mission in remote terrain.

The Best Altimeter Watches for Hikers and Backpacking

We tested six of the best altimeter watches side-by-side while running, hiking, and backpacking over 10,000 feet of vertical terrain. We summited mountains, hiked through canyons, and climbed lap after lap at the local climbing crag to determine which is the best altimeter out there. These watches f...

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We loved being able to boil water super quickly (on the Spire LX)  without taking up burner space.

The Best Camping Stoves - Side-by-Side Tests

Looking for the best camping stove for you and your family? So were we. We lined up a selection of the most highly regarded camping stoves and put them head-to-head in multiple rigorous cook-offs. In this latest testing round, we re-tested some old favorites, like the Editors' Choice for two years r...

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AG stands for Anti-Gravity. While bending over for a quick cool down or a water bottle fill  the pack remains comfortably conformed to the back. The Aura AG remains stable on your back as a result of this design.

The Best Women's Backpacking Backpack Review

What is the best women's backpack for backpacking? Whether heading out into the mountains for a weekend trip with girlfriends or preparing for a long solo adventure, having a pack that meets your needs is essential to both enjoyment and comfort. We have tested 11 of the top women's specific packs on...

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Sitting comfortably enjoying the view while protected from the sun in Bishop CA  with the Patagonia Beach Bucket

Out of the Shadows: The Best Sun Hats

On the hunt for a sun hat? We can help. Our team of experts evaluated over 55 models, then put the top 10 through extensive head-to-head testing throughout sunny California. From high-altitude peaks to sweltering deserts, we assessed these products across key characteristics to help you find the mod...

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A bright bike light doesn't just brighten up the road  it can significantly improve your odds of avoiding being hit by a car.

The Best Bike Light for Commuting and Night Riding

What's the best bike light? We combined extensive laboratory testing with a year of field testing in four U.S. cities to create the most comprehensive bike light review available. In order to identify the best products for specific applications we measured the beam pattern, brightness, portability a...

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A good climbing rope gives you confidence and keeps you safe. Certain attributes such as handling and weight can affect how easily the rope fits into your day and climbing plans.

The Best Rock Climbing Rope

We gathered a selection of nine of the top climbing ropes on the market, and after a healthy amount of unwinding and flaking, put them to the test by climbing as much as possible across multiple different climbing disciplines. We cragged, aided, projected, whipped, climbed long multi-pitch routes, c...

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A look at our contenders for the best hiking sock! From left to right: Wigwam Hiking Pro  Smartwool PhD  Injinjin Midweight Hiker  Darn Tough Light Hiker  Darn Tough Full Cushion.

The Best Hiking Socks For Summer and Cold Temps

Which is the best hiking sock? We've tested five of the leading competitors over the last three months, in all types of adverse conditions. We put them through the wringer: worn continuously for weeks, dragged through snow and over ice, and used in the demanding conditions a mid-weight hiking sock s...

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The lightweight Fischer Ranger 98 can be super playful when you're jumping off things or floating through fluffy powder.

The Best Women's All-Mountain Skis of 2017

The question stands: What is the best women's all-mountain ski? The best for a single quiver? The best for the entire mountain? We compiled 11 of the most popular all-mountain planks for women and subjected them to tough scrutiny. La Niņa dumped on the Sierra, leaving a foundation for great skiing a...

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A Trip to Find the Best Carry-On Luggage of 2017

Overhead bins house hundreds of different carry-on bags, and to find the best, we researched more than 60, choosing 10 top performing bags to test. We analyzed everything from two-wheeled traditional bags to hard-sided spinners on short weekend trips and longer family vacations from Ohio to Oahu. Ou...

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A warm down bag is crucial for good night's sleep  so you can feel rested and ready for all day winter sports action! Here our lead tester is psyched to get up and go skiing.

The Hunt for the Best Winter Down Sleeping Bags of 2017

With so many choices out there, the path can be perilous. Fear not. We researched over 55 contenders and put 11 of the best to the side-by-side test, testing for over 100 hours. We outline which bag is the lightest, warmest, most comfortable, and the best overall after spending countless nights in t...

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The Best Hydration Bladders of 2017

To find the best hydration bladders and reservoirs, we research 30 models and selected 6 for side-by-side tests. After three months of hiking, mountain biking and backpacking, we have recommendations for the best option for you. We stuffed them into running packs, day hiking packs, and backpacking b...

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The barren and desolate Great Sand Dunes National Park is a great place for a windbreaker. Here we are testing the Houdini  which fits as snuggly as any we tested. A wind breaker is great for days like this one where the sun beats down but the wind is chilly.

The Best Wind Jacket Review

What is the best windbreaker for protecting you from a cool morning breeze or a mountain top gale? We identified 10 of the leading jackets available on the market today and put them through months of testing to determine which was the best. We affirmed our conviction that these super thin and lightw...

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The Best Satellite Messengers and Personal Locator Beacons of 2017

What is the best personal locator beacon or satellite messenger? We researched 15 options and choose six for detailed hands-on testing. We took them outside of cell range for over 200 hours and 400 messages of glorious satellite communication. Our mission: to find out what is the top device to tell ...

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Differences in shape and width of the top five flip flops tested.  Reef Fanning  Reef Phantom  Crocs Modi Flip  OluKai Ohana  Rainbow Single Layer.

Combing the Sands for the Best Flip-Flop Sandals

With so many flip-flops on the market, it's hard to decide which path to take. Fear not! We researched 36 popular models then purchased the best 7 for multipurpose use. We wore them just about everywhere, from mountains to cafes to beaches, sometimes walking miles at a time and pushing our feet to t...

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Kim runs it out in the Salming Elements at the Fat Dog 120 mile endurance trail race. The Salming Element is our Top Pick for Flexibility.

The Best Trail Running Shoes for Women Review

In our comparison of 13 of the best women's trail running shoes, we ran over a range of terrain in all kinds of weather; tackling steep rocky trails in the high alpine of the Peruvian Andes, conquering 30 mile point to point missions in the San Juan mountains, and running the river walk after work. ...

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When selecting a pair of binoculars  we find the two most important features to be clarity and brightness. It is in these two areas that we find that different products really distinguish themselves.

The Best Binoculars for Birding and Hiking

What are the best binoculars? We took 11 different models through rigorous testing in the outdoors to find out. We went birding at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge, used them on the Pacific Coast, loaned them to a guide at WanderLust Tours in Bend, OR, and had friends take them on hikes in the Eas...

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Two new award winners for 2015. On the left  the Suunto Ambit 3 Sport. On the right  the Garmin Forerunner 210. Both are compact devices with a wide range of functionality.

The Best GPS Watches of 2017 for Running and Training

We researched 50 of the best GPS-enabled fitness watches for your runs and rides. We then bought 5 and subjected them to 2 months of side-by-side tests. While we focused on trail and road runs, our testing team used these for 9 other sports including mountaineering, hiking and cycling. We have an ov...

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The Best Water Bottles - Plastic, Metal, and Glass Picks

Which water bottle is the best? To find out, we took 13 of the most popular bottles on the market and put them through three months of testing. We used them for everything from rock climbing and mountain biking to the yoga mat and the office. We tested each product in our lab and rated them for thei...

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Going for an afternoon paddle in the Marmot Crystalline  an ultralight women's rain jacket. A decent rain jacket is a vital piece of gear for just about everyone. Our review compares top models on the market  ranging from workhorse jackets to ultralight and packable models such as this one.

The Best Rain Jacket for Women Review

What is the best rain jacket for women? We selected eleven of the top selling rain jackets, putting them head-to-head, or hood-to-hood, in field tests. After months of extensive testing in the notoriously wet Pacific Northwest, we rated each jacket on six performance metrics, from water-resistance a...

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An alpine pack ought to carry heavy loads with some comfort but must also transform into a day pack to carry the essentials and not get in the way of your movement when the going gets technical. Here the author wears the Osprey Variant 52 while setting up a rappel in Alaska's Little Switzerland.

The Best Mountaineering and Alpine Climbing Backpack Review

What's the best mountaineering backpack for alpine climbing? To find out, we purchased 9 of the best and most popular alpine packs and subjected them to rigorous testing to see how they compared side-by-side. Each pack is scored on five criteria: weight to volume ratio, durability, versatility, com...

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2016 OutdoorGearLab pocket knife award winners. Left to right: Editors Choice Mini Barrage  Top Pick SOG Trident  Best Buy Kershaw Leek  and Top Pick Victorinox Classic.

The Hunt for the Best Pocket Knives of 2017

Aisles are lined with pocket knife options, so we researched the multitude available, narrowing it down to 8 high performers and testing them ourselves. Over months, we sliced and diced, comparing blade integrity while also analyzing how the handle felt in our palm. Our expert testers carried the mo...

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Luke Lydiard traversing a glacier in Patagonia while wearing the Kayland Hypertraction. A waterproof super-gaiter style boot is the perfect kind of footwear for the cold and notorioulsy wet conditions in Patagonia.

The Best Mountaineering Boot for Men Review

We tested eight of the best mountaineering boots ever made, including some of the latest and greatest, and some tried and true performers. We wore these boots to climb ice, snow, rock, and choss from the Sierra to the San Juans, from Patagonia to the Ruth Gorge. We discovered the best boots for mult...

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The Best Laptop Backpacks for Work and Travel

What is the best laptop backpack? We embarked on a meticulous testing process and examined 9 of the best and most popular models on the market today. We tested these 9 packs head-to-head for three months in our daily travels around town, road trips, work trips and daily commutes to the local coffee ...

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Looking toward West Marin with Boogie (the dog) in the Original Crazy Creek.

The Best Backpacking Camp Chair Review

We took the top lightweight camping and backpacking chairs and put them in side-by-side tests at the beach, in the mountains, and at the park. We break down what is the best for each application. These are light backpacking chairs that always weigh under three pounds. These are ideal for transportin...

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The Chaco Unaweep z/1 in a small creek crossing.

The Best Men's Sandals

What's the best men's sandal? With the number of crazy designs coming out seemingly every year, it's hard to keep tabs on our beloved "mandals," the utility shoe of the outdoors. From hiking around rivers and waterfalls to blasting down dusty trails, we took the industry's best eight shoes and put t...

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We put seven of the top technical models to the test while hiking  climbing and playing in the snow to help you find the best one for your next outdoor adventure.

The Best Fleece Jacket for Women Review

Which women's fleece jacket is the best? With hundreds of different types and weights out there, answering that question can be a complicated process. We tested seven of the top-of-the-line technical models to help you figure out which is the best one for you. We reviewed a mix of lightweight breath...

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The Best Camping Coffee Makers of 2017

How do you make the best coffee while camping or traveling? To find out, we researched over 30 products and bought 10 for side-by-side tests. Eight expert java enthusiasts then spent over 100 hours sampling over 300 cups of coffee. Whether you enjoy portable pour over perfection, french press or som...

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The Best Climbing Camming Device Review

We took the 16 best spring-loaded camming devices (usually just called climbing cams) and put them in head-to-head competition in hundreds of placements. We scored them on how well they did in parallel cracks, flared cracks, tight placements, horizontal placements, free climbing and aid climbing. We...

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The selection of tested 2016 multi-tools.

The Best Multi-Tools for Camping and The Outdoors

We tested ten of the worlds greatest multi-tools. We cut, pried, sawed, and repaired. We carried them for day-to-day use, as well as into the backcountry. We found a wide range of quality and function. Our list represents both ends of the size spectrum, and everything in between. Read on, and find t...

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A sack like the MSR AC is light and portable and can be pitched in wild locations.

The Best Bivy Sack Review

What is the best bivy sack? Throughout a stormy summer, four of the best models were tested in a variety of environments, from deserts to swamps to mountains. A handful of hard-core campers, climbers, and backpackers ranked the products based on weather protection, comfort, ventilation, and weight a...

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The Smith Maze worn with a beanie and the Smith Vantage worn with nothing underneath on a stormy day at Squaw Valley USA.

The Best Ski and Snowboard Helmets of 2017

In need of a new ski helmet and overwhelmed with all the choices? Whether you're a first time buyer or an old hand in need of a new lid, there are a myriad of factors to think about. Considering price, style, safety certifications, features, and with so many helmets on the market, the choice can see...

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Ian Nicholson and Graham Zimmerman unloading bags onto the Cul De Sac (AKA Cool Sack) Glacier in the Kichatna Spires  Western Alaska Range.

The Best Travel Duffel Bags of 2017

Which duffel bag is best for travel? We took our favorite burly travel bags (aka "duffle", but more properly spelled "el" for the town of Duffel in Belgium that first manufactured them) and compared them head-to-head to help you decide. We took eight of the industry's top bags and ran through airpor...

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Our fleet of locking carabiners ready to be reviewed!

The Best Locking Carabiners

The carabiner is an indispensable tool for rock and alpine climbers, mountaineers and backpackers, and even folks who just want to hang their keys on something. Carabiners come in both locking and non-locking varieties, and while both are used during a climbing outing, they each have their own uniqu...

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Bouldering Pad Hinge Designs 2015: Left stack of pads (taco style); Black Diamond Drop Zone (classic taco) top left  Mad Rock R3 (custom multi baffles) mid left  Petzl Alto (custom taco) bottom left -- Right stack (hinge style); Black Diamond Impact (classic hinge) top right  Metolius Session (angled hinge) mid right  Stonelick (custom stepped hinge) bottom right.

Crash Pad Review: The Best Bouldering Pad

We tested fifteen of the top bouldering crash pads at many world class destinations as well as some first ascent territory in uncharted backwoods. We used the pads to cover everything from flat dirt to jagged boulder strewn landing zones. We bouldered on various rock types, from gritty granite and s...

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The Best Yoga Mats for Your Practice

What's the best yoga mat on the market today? We've put 10 of the highest rated models to the test in our updated review. We stretched, sweated and Down Dogged on these mats for over 100 testing hours to help you find the best one, no matter what style you practice. After testing them side-by-side f...

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We tested seven of the top rated women's hiking pants to help you find the perfect pair for your next adventure.

The Trek to Find the Best Hiking Pants for Women

With so many options, we researched more than 50 hiking pants, picking 7 models and testing them ourselves. This selection covers a range of designs, from contenders that roll, buckle, snap, and zip, to pairs that convert to capris, shorts, or both. We hiked, biked, and climbed for months in the des...

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Side-by-side with the Winterial Camping Cookware skillet and the Optimus Terra HE skillet  Ryan prepares a yummy  and colorful  meal of pork fajitas.

The Best Camping Cookware Review

What's the best camping cookware to use for whipping up your tasty camping and backpacking meals? The outdoor industry is continually improving and enhancing the gear they produce, and even camping cookware has vastly improved in the past ten years or so. With a full array of metals to choose from, ...

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The Best Running Shoes for Men - Side-by-Side Tests

What is the best running shoe for road running? We selected 11 top-ranked men's road running footwear on the market and subjected them to head-to-head evaluation. We spent months logging dozens of miles all across the beautiful state of Virginia, from the mountain roads to the sandy Virginia Beach. ...

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We hiked high and low  from the Continental Divide to the Appalachian Trail  to find the best ultralight backpacks! Here  our lead tester  Brandon  celebrates another beautiful day in Rocky Mountain National Park with the Osprey Exos 48  our Best Buy winner.

The Best Ultralight Backpacks for Thru Hikers and Backpackers

For extended trips, light is right. But which ultralight backpack will satisfy your needs? We researched the market and tested the best 9 models for several months to find your ideal pack match. From the Colorado Trail and the summits of 14ers, to a 250-mile stint on the Appalachian Trail, we wore t...

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We found the Patagonia Linked to be the most comfortable of all the small climbing day packs. Its lightweight suspension allowed free movement even with arms overhead.

The Best Rock Climbing Packs for Multi-pitch and Cragging

What is the best climbing backpack? For this review we selected five of today's most popular climbing backpacks, and brought them up a range of multi-pitch routes. From the glacier polished granite of El Capitan to the coarse volcanic phonolite of Devil's Tower, we heaved these packs up strenuous ov...

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The Best Women's Sleeping Bag Review

What is the best sleeping bag for female adventurers? We tested eleven of the most popular contenders on the market to answer that question. All models we evaluated are summer weight mummy style bags meant to keep you warm in a variety of situations, from sleeping on the beach to backpacking in the ...

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Hard at work on the trails outside of Ouray in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. We preferred the Kilowatt (pictured here) for trail running over road running.

The Best Running Shirt Review for Men

What's the best men's running shirt? To find out, we chose five shirts from the leading running and outdoor manufacturers and compared them head-to-head. We wore these shirts day-in and day-out for months while running on roads and trails, while training and during races, in hot weather and in cold ...

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Luke Lydiard follows a pitch on Zion's Iron Messiah in the new Petzl Meteor.

The Best Climbing Helmet

Do you wear a climbing helmet every time you rope up? Like most climbers, you probably don't but know that you should. We've evaluated eight of the best and most popular climbing and mountaineering helmets on the market and found some that you will be stoked to strap on every time you climb. We test...

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The Tecnica Cochise 120 stepping in for some test laps in Lake Tahoe  CA. We like the bright new color scheme of these boots.

The Best Ski Boots for Men - Downhill Side-by-Side Tests

Looking for the best men's all-mountain ski boot? We compared six of the top alpine boots and tested them extensively to find out which one is right for you. We tested them side-by-side, run for run, and for days on end while on ski patrol. We skied in a variety of conditions, on all types of terrai...

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From lightweight loungers that are perfect for the beach to comfort kings that are ideal for car camping  our review will help you find the best camping chair!

The Best Camping Chairs for the Backyard and Outdoors

When choosing the best camping chair, we had a lot of demands. It must have portability and durability just like other camping equipment, but also maintain the comfort and utility of a standard chair. These are pieces of equipment that regularly get thrown in and out of vehicles, dragged across camp...

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The Editors' Choice winning Kryptonite New York Standard is well-designed and offers super burly security. We're trusting it here to lock up our Litespeed Titanium.

The Best Bike Locks - Cut Tests of U and Cable Models

What is the best bike lock on the market? If you ride a bicycle, for either recreation or transportation (or both!), you need a bike lock. However, given the huge quantity of options, it can be tough to select the one that specifically suits your needs. To help you choose the best, our team of revie...

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The Strato Loft (left) next to the Editors' Choice Slumberjack Country Squire. The Squire uses ample cotton fill for a heavy flannel-feeling comfort. The Strato Loft is more like a backpacking sleeping bag on steroids: roomy but still composed of slick nylon material.

The Best Camping Sleeping Bags of 2017

Our mission: find you the best camping sleeping bag for road trips and backyard camping. We analyzed 50 top contenders and selected 12 for detailed hands-on tests. After over 200 hours of camping, we reveal which bags are the best value and which are the warmest and most comfortable. After many toas...

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Lead tester Cam McKenzie Ring climbs in Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas with a set of the Black Diamond PosiWire draws.

The Best Quickdraw for Climbing Review

Quickdraws have come a long way since the oval-carabiners-slung-on-a-tripled-up-sling days. To help you find the best rock climbing draw, we updated our old review by testing eight of the most popular and highest rated draws out there. Our team of more than ten testers climbed with these products al...

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Del LaFountain in the Nano 2's

The Best CrossFit Shoes of 2017 for Training

CrossFit training continues to grow, and so does the market for CrossFit shoes. We researched 35 top models and chose the best 8 to test side-by-side for three months and over 100 hours of training sessions. Our expert testers trained hard in each model for multiple WODs, including body weight exerc...

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Clockwise from top; Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2. Lezyne Steel Digital Drive. Nashbar Earl Grey  Lezyne Steel Floor Drive  Bontrager Flashcharger  Topeak JoeBlow Booster  Serfas TCPG  Park Tool PFP-8

The Best Bike Pumps - Floor Models Compared

We put eight of the top-performing floor pumps to the test and measured their performance in five categories. We believe these metrics will make all the difference when you are pondering which contender to buy: stability, ease of attachment/detachment, gauge, inflation speed, and accuracy. Happily, ...

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David Mackey  approaching Transition 2 in the SavageMan Triathlon.

The Best Bike Shorts for Men - Day Rides to Touring

What is the best pair of men's bike shorts or bibs for a ride? We put six of the sleekest, most functional, and most technologically advanced bike shorts and bibs to the test in order to find out. We went hard on the short course and paced ourselves on the long haul. We sweated through chamois and k...

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The Best Hydration Packs of 2017 for HIking and Biking

What are the best hydration packs you can buy today? We carefully looked at 40 models and then choose 7 for a series of rigorous tests. After 2 months of hands-on comparison in the field and in our lab, we reveal what are the best options for your needs and budget. Whether you are hiking, biking or ...

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The Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Men Review

What are the best climbing approach shoes? We compared eight of the most popular models side-by-side this past winter: bouldering and sport climbing in Bishop, scrambling and trad climbing in Joshua Tree, and getting up, down, and around Red Rock Canyon. Our testers have abused countless pairs over ...

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An ATC XP basking in the sun overlooking the entrance to Yosemite Valley.

The Best Climbing Belay Device

What is the best belay device for rock climbing? Over a six month test we took nine of the top products on the market up and down rock, ice, and snow, from the storied granite walls of Yosemite Valley to the ephemeral colored routes at our local climbing gyms. Throughout the process we tried to cons...

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We tested 13 of the top boots on the market to find out which is best for braving rainstorms and splashing boldly through puddles!

The Best Rain Boots for Women Review

What are the best women's rain boots on the market? To find out, we tested 13 pairs while walking the dog, traipsing through the woods, and heading to campus for class. Our reviewers endured Colorado's rainy afternoon monsoons, cool April and October showers, and snowy days in the mountains. We also...

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Running in the super sleek and beautifully designed Merrell Trail Glove 2  which bridges the gap between a barefoot shoe and a minimalist shoe. It allows for a very sensitive feel of the ground  which we prefer.

The Best Minimalist and Barefoot Shoes Review

What is the best minimal or barefoot shoe for running? We chose seven of the best minimalist and barefoot running shoes available and put each to the test in this elaborate and detailed review. Embodied in this review are six separate and necessary factors we use to help decide which minimalist runn...

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Closing the Thule Sonic is easy because of its stiff lid and easy to use locking system. It also has hanging pull cords to make closing even easier for shorter folks.

The Best Cargo Box Review

What is the best roof box on the market? Do differences matter, or are they all the same? We tested five top competitors to find out. We heaved these boxes on the roofs of our cars and compared them on their construction quality, appearance, ease of use, aerodynamics, and security. Our testers drove...

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The right climbing shoes can help you improve your technique and your footwork. Here the aggressive Evolv Shaman help the author work a tricky  crimpy route.

The Best Climbing Shoes For Women Review

What are the best climbing shoes for women? Luckily, the women's selection is growing every year, providing a larger field for ladies to choose from. We took twelve top women's specific models and put them to a hands-onerrfeet-on test to find the very best. All around the world, from limestone sport...

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Jenna Ammerman maximizes the comfort of a hammock by adding the Editors' Choice winning NEMO Fillo to the mix.

A Hunt for the Best Camping Pillows

Pillows are personal, and we know it. Our experts researched more than 30 camping pillows, narrowing the field to six best-in-class options. Our selection includes compressible and inflatable options that testers compared over a six-week period in the backcountry, the back of cars, and the backyard ...

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The MSR Evos (left) and the MSR Lightning Ascents (right) both reign from MSR's reputable outdoor gear. Similarities include the easy-to-use bindings and range of motion offered by the decking. Differences include the applications; the Evos are ideal for recreation and the Lightning Ascents are ideal in backcountry terrain.

The Best Snowshoes for Deep Snow, Trails, and Beginners

Wide expanses of snow covered terrain, local trails with dirt feet below you, and mountains blanketed in winter may be explored with snowshoes on your boots. They extend your hiking season through the winter and broaden access. But how do you know which ones to buy? And which ones will work best for...

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Jenna Ammerman stays dry on the streets of Minneapolis under the cover of the lightweight and compact EuroSchirm Light Trek.

The Best Rain Umbrellas for Wind, Commuting and Travel

When precipitation begins to fall, which umbrella is the best to have in hand? To tackle this question, we rounded up 10 of the top contenders and rigorously tested them side-by-side, drop-by-drop. When the skies opened up, so did our 10 canopies. We spent hours walking through rain and wind storms ...

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Me with Oakley Splice skiing a sunny day in the Nevada backcountry. The mirrored lens did a great job of keeping all the bright sun light out of my eyes.

The Best Ski Goggles for all Conditions

Any skier, snowboarder, mountaineer, snowshoer, or snow adventurer knows that ski goggles are an essential piece of equipment. However, do you know which is the best? Over the course of two months, we skied on windy, snowy, and sunny days. We tested a gaggle of ski goggles to see which has the best ...

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Running with our Editors' Choice winning hydration pack in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. It doesn't get better than this!

The Race to Find the Best Hydration Pack for Running

Runners sport a plethora of different hydration packs, and to find the best, we researched the market, picking five top performers to test. Also known as running vests, these hydration packs carry water, food, and emergency essentials that you can't leave behind on a long run. Our expert testers wor...

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The Best Running Jackets for Rain, Wind and Ventilation

Which running jacket is the best? To find out, we picked out six of the top rated and most popular models and tested them side-by-side. We wore these pieces on runs through rain, snow, and freezing temperatures, paying special attention to each one's performance. Some kept us warm on snowy trail run...

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Alison hangs out in Red Rock Canyon  Nevada. She stays warm and cozy in the highly versatile Arc'teryx Rho LT base layer - our 2015 Editors' Choice Award winner.

The Best Long Underwear for Women Review

We tested seven of the industry's best long underwear shirts as both stand-alone tops in warmer weather and as a base layers in colder weather. These tops went on all sorts of adventures, including multi-day backcountry ski hut trips, sandy trail runs through the desert, rock climbs on the colorful ...

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The Black Diamond Oz won our Top Pick for Lightweight award. It weighs only 1 ounce  but is still easy to use and its updated design won't snag on your gear or rope.

The Quest for the Best Carabiner Review

We wanted to find out which carabiner was the best, so we've updated our old review to look at some of the newer products out there, and compared them to some classic performers. Even though carabiners have been used for rock climbing for over 100 years, the innovation still continues. Our testers u...

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Ryan O'Connell  Eric Dalzell  and Ian Nicholson testing airbag packs at Thompson Pass near Valdez  Alaska.

The Best Avalanche Airbag Pack Review

To find the best airbag packs, we researched over 48 models, and tested the top 11 for over three months in the backcountry. We selected packs that were lightweight, easy to travel with, and comfortable, putting them side-by-side in the field and in the lab. We researched current statistics, read us...

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Adventure into the unknown or on the resort with a pair of reliable gloves this winter. The Hestra Three Finger provide great warmth and breathability for all adventures into the wild.

The Best Ski Gloves and Mittens for Women of 2017

Looking for the perfect ski mitten or glove to keep your paws warm? We compared nine of the top women's mittens and gloves in demanding environments to evaluate Warmth, Water Resistance, Dexterity, Breathability, Features, and Construction. We rode lifts and skinned uphill during extensive testing i...

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Lead Test Editor Jed Porter in Grand Teton National Park. Hard at work testing the Editors' Choice Volkl BMT 94.

The Best Backcountry Skis for All Conditions

What are the best backcountry touring skis? To find out we put the most highly regarded products through an extensive multi-year test. We have selected 10 of them to present here. Over hundreds of thousands of vertical feet we evaluated for touring efficiency and downhill enjoyment. We tested each p...

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We put 11 of the top rated shoes for CrossFit training to the test. Here's Lisa Ray in our Editors' Choice winner  the newly released Nike Metcon 1.

The Best Women's Shoes for CrossFit Training

What are the best shoes for CrossFit style workouts? In our quest to find the answer we put nine pairs of the most popular and highest ranked models out there through multiple workouts and numerous side-by-side tests, including sprints, lifts, rope climbs, and more. They were then scored in a number...

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Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards - SUP Showdown

What is the best inflatable stand up paddle board? We've tested nine top-selling and highly rated inflatable SUP options and put them to the test. We've compared them in the areas of stability, glide performance, ease of transportation and inflation. Overall there are big differences, especially in ...

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We recently updated our Mountain Bike Helmet comparison by testing new helmets from Bell and Smith. Here  McKenzie Long trains for the upcoming XC race season in the Smith Forefront.

The Best Mountain Bike Helmets - MIPS, All-Around and Light Options

What is the best bike helmet for mountain biking? We took nine of the most modern, extended-coverage, half-shell mountain bike helmets and compared them side-by-side over hundreds of miles of terrain. We rated each helmet in six different categories: comfort, adjustment, weight, features, ventilatio...

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With an R-value of 4.2 the AirRail will keep you warm and insulated from the ground on cool spring and fall days. Nicki Naylor tries the pad  beside Therm-A-Rest's ProLite Plus Women's that has an R-value of 4.6.

The Best Sleeping Pad For Women Review

What is the best women's sleeping pad on the market? We spent a spring and summer season testing out these top rated women's specific pads in a variety of conditions from the snowy slopes of Denali National Park to the prickly desert landscapes of the Grand Canyon. We did a lot of sleeping, reading,...

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The competitors

The Quest for the Perfect Backpacking Spork

Grab a spork and a knife and your camp cutlery collection is complete. To find the best spork, we bought three and tested them over multiple backpacking trips in a side-by-side shootout. We then brought our contenders to Northern Ontario and ate with them, quite vigorously, for seven weeks straight...

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On the Forbidden Glacier in the North Cascades  Dave Ahrens digging quick with a Petzl Summit during the Crevasse rescue drill on our AMGA Alpine guide exam.

Picking the Best Ice Axe

Whats the best ice axe for mountaineering? We looked at 15 of the best and most popular products and compared them head-to-head in the following categories: self-arresting, steep ice and snow climbing, comfort to carry, use as an improvised anchor, weight, and anchor construction/digging. We also lo...

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The Timbuk2 Classic is a fantastic bag and a great value. Notice the bike light attachment  hidden flap buckles  reflective material  and padded shoulder strap.

The Best Messenger Bags for Laptops, Commuting, and Travel

What's the best messenger bag? To find out, we bought and tested seven bags over three months. We scored their aptitude in the categories of comfort, style, storage, water resistance, unique features and laptop protection. Some bags graduated at the top of the curve and are ready to be put to work f...

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Testing mountain bike shorts involves getting fast and loose on the bike and seeing which short is comfortable and unrestrictive for the whole day and protective if you happen to hit the dirt.

The Best Mountain Bike Shorts For Men Review

What is the best baggy short for mountain biking? We tested a selection of the best and most popular mountain bike shorts on the market, and found which ones are the all-around best shorts for different types of trail riding, ranging from cross-country marathons to lift assisted downhill gnar fests....

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Two Luci lights on the left  next the Voyager  two Apollo's  The Siege  30-Day Duro Glow  Lighthouse 250  Easy Light and the Northstar on the far right.

The Best Lantern For Camping and Power Outages

We bought eight of the best camping lanterns on the market and compared them side-by-side for more than six months of well-lit adventures up and down the West Coast. To help you find the perfect one, we rated each on its performance in five critical categories: brightness, ease of use, durability, f...

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The Outdoor Research Uberlayer was one of the new  breathable jackets we tested this year. Learn how it stacked up against 10 other competitors while skiing  hiking  climbing  and more!

The Best Insulated Jacket for Women Review

To find the best women's insulated jacket we wore 11 of the industry's top-rated jackets everywhere... from the tops of 13,000 foot peaks to the tributaries of the Columbia River. During our testing period, we wore them around town, taking notice of what we liked and what we didn't and then we hande...

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Kelly  one of our testers  donning the Arc'teryx Beta AR on a ski mountaineering day trip near the Last Dollar Hut in the San Juan Mountains.

The Best Hardshell Jacket for Women

What's the best women's hardshell jacket? For our first-ever edition of this review, we took seven of the industry's top picks and ran them through a gauntlet of tests. We handed them out to friends, stuffed them into packs, and found adventure in the mountains and deserts. Ice climbing, cross count...

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Chris Marshall making it look easy while exiting off the Matier Glacier

The Best Backcountry / AT Ski Boots

What's the best alpine touring/AT boot for backcountry skiing? We reviewed the ten top randonee-style boots on the market and compared them both side-by-side as well as individually out in the field to find out which is the best for overall touring, which offers the best value AT, which performs bes...

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The Sanuk Yoga Spree 2 enjoys a day at the beach.

The Best Flip-Flop Sandals For Women Review

Whether you live for flip flop weather or you're simply looking for some open-toed footwear to wear on your next beach vacation, our updated women's flip flop review has you covered! We tested out 11 pairs of sandals that ranged from insanely cozy to ultra supportive. After flipping up rocky trails ...

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What's the best binding for backcountry skiing? We tested nine models head-to-head across the globe and reported our findings here. Photo: alpine touring binding testing and comparisons on the Vedr del Gran Zebru Glacier  Ortler Range Italy.

The Trek to Find the Best Bindings for Backcountry Skiing

Backcountry skiing is growing, and the number of bindings available is mind boggling. We researched the field, identifying 9 top performers and putting them in the hands of our expert testers. These alpine touring bindings, also known as AT or Randonee bindings, cover a spectrum of users, from those...

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Ian Nicholson testing an Ortovox 3+ in the fine search.

The Best Avalanche Beacon Review

What is the best avalanche beacon for the backcountry? To find out we took 13 top models and put them through rigorous head-to-head tests in the Cascades, Sierras and Alaska. We had novices test them to see which is easiest to learn and use; then we put them in the hands of expert mountain guides, a...

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The Arcteryx Phase SL Boxers were our favorite for active uses. Here they're seen drying out after another beautiful day overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The Best Travel Underwear for Men

There is so much junk out there to cover yourahemjunk. When you mistakenly buy a five pack of cotton misery disguised as men's underwear from Walmart, it's no big deal, you throw them away. But premium underwear prices start at $25+ per pair; such mistakes can be expensive. For four months we tested...

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Pedals make up two of your 5 contact points with a bike. Choosing the right pair of pedals (coupled with the right shoes) for your bike and riding style will enhance your confidence and can help you build your skills. Here the Crankbrothers Mallet 3 and the Five Ten Hellcat go for a test spin at the bike park.

The Best Mountain Bike Pedals - Clipless Models Compared

What is the best clipless pedal for your mountain bike? We evaluated eight pairs of mountain bike pedals on a whole fleet of bikes to find that answer. We had multiple riders with differing abilities and riding styles test these pedals on downhill, cross-country, and enduro bikes, and tried each ped...

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Out for a day of softshell testing and cross country skiing at Tahoe Donner in California. A softshell is the perfect layer for winter aerobic activities such as cross country skiing  where you want some protection from the elements but also require breathability and flexibility.

The Best Softshell Jacket for Women Review

What makes the perfect softshell? After evaluating multiple models, and seeing different versions come and go over the course of several years, we feel like we have zeroed in on what makes the ideal softshell and what needs each different piece meets. To test these jackets we romped through all kind...

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Kids love to ride in the Burley D'Lite  the model scoring highest for safety in our review.

The Best Bike Trailers of 2017 for Kids

What is the best bike trailer you can buy today? We researched 20 models and then bought four and put them through 120 hours of side-by-side tests. In addition to our own testing by expert testers, we consulted another five families to get as much different user feedback as possible. We rated each t...

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While some of the competitors in this review were cut out for just this type of icy weather  others (with less insulation) were more useful during the warmer months of the year.

The Best Rain Boots for Men Review

In a market flooded with rain boots, which is the best pair? To find out, we took the 11 top products and put them through demanding tests to figure out which ones really stand out from the crowd. Over six long months, we tested them out in wet conditions, while working in our backyards, hiking stre...

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Left to right: Coleman RoadTrip LXE  Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Grill2Go X200  Weber Q 1000  Coleman NXT 50 and below the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet portable grills.

The Best Portable Grills and Travel BBQs

What is the best portable grill? We purchased five of the highest rated and best selling travel BBQ's from Amazon and put them to the test (no freebies from manufacturers in this review). We scored each one on cooking area size, weight, how easy or difficult it is to transport, wind resistance, how ...

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Andy Dahlen works open handed holds on one of our Tops Picks the So iLL Iron Palm. The Iron Palm has one of the greatest variety of pinches and opened handed grips among all the boards we tested.

The Best Hangboards for Home Training

Hangboards, sometimes called finger boards, have been part of a climbers training regime for years. There is possibly no better way to target improving pure finger strength. They also aren't that expensive for what you'll get; for the price of one month's gym membership you can train three to four d...

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A properly designed shoe disappears under the rider  facilitating power transfer and providing control. No matter what type of riding you are doing  it is hard to beat the Pearl Izumi X-Project 1.0.

The Best Mountain Bike Shoes - Clipless Models Compared

We took 7 of the best clipless mountain bike shoes available and put them through months of abuse and testing to help you find the best model for you. Working in tandem with our Mountain Bike Pedal Review team, we were able to test the shoes with a multitude of pedals and during different styles of ...

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From sport to trad and from steeps to slab  we put these harnesses to the test!

The Best Climbing Harness for Women Review

We've updated our women's climbing harness review by taking eight of the most popular and innovative models on the market today and comparing them side-by-side while clipping quickdraws, placing trad gear, and - of course- taking plenty of falls! We evaluated these products based on how comfortable ...

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The Yeti Hopper 30  our Editors' Choice Award soft cooler.

The Best Soft Cooler Review

Which soft cooler is the best? To find out we took five of the top rated and most popular models available and compared them side-by-side. First we ran them through an objective ice retention test, comparing how long each model could hold ice. Then we packed, carried, dragged, zipped, and drained ea...

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We've tested 14 of the top lines on the market to help you select your next kit  whether you're into yoga  jumps  or walks in the park.

The Best Slackline Review

What's the best slackline on the market today? We put 14 of the most popular and highly regarded slacklines through an extensive long-term test to help you select the best one for your needs. We took these lines into our local, state and national parks where they were rigorously tested by novice and...

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The five models we tested: Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Fundametals and Ultralight/Watertight .5 (top)  and REI Backpacker Extended  Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker  LG Business Convenient (bottom).

The Best First Aid Kit Review

Which first aid kit is the best choice for the outdoor enthusiast? We put to the test five of the top rated models available on the market today. We carried them on alpine routes, multi-day river trips, commercial guiding expeditions, and backpacking and road trips into the mountains and rivers of C...

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We tested five canopies on the beaches of California. After three months of testing  the Big Agnes Three Forks Shelter came out on top.

The Best Beach Canopy Review

Looking for the best beach canopy? We tested five of the top products on the market. We wrestled with tent shade poles, got crafty with guy lines, and braved sweltering heat, blustering winds, and even a bit of precipitation. We also took on the rough job of testing these canopies in perfect tempera...

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We tested eight pairs of women's sandals side by side. Here the Teva Hurricane took us on a hike to petroglyphs outside Bishop  California.

The Best Sandals for Women Review

Sandals are the unofficial footwear of summer and in our new review, we're dedicated to hunting down the best. They are more adventurous than a flip-flop, but are more breathable and lighter weight than a hiking shoe. The problem with a piece of footwear that tries to straddle so many responsibiliti...

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We tested nine of the top rated alpine  hiking and scree gaiters. Whether you're looking for something to protect you from deep snow or desert sand  we have you "covered" here at OutdoorGearLab.

The Best Gaiter Review

Looking for the perfect gaiters for mountaineering, trekking or running? Well, so are we. We used our side-by-side comparison testing process to evaluate eight pairs from several different categories, including shorter hiking and scree models to full-length ones, to figure out which were the best. D...

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Trail running is our favorite use of running socks. Here we are testing on the Gray Copper trail above Ironton in the San Juan Mountains.

The Best Running Socks for All Seasons

What is the best pair of running socks for hammering out miles on roads or trails? We put eight of the best, most popular running-specific socks on the market through rigorous testing and months of running. We ran on roads and trails week after week before evaluating them for five important characte...

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We tested six of the best and most popular full face downhill helmets.

The Best Full-Face Downhill Mountain Bike Helmet Review

What is the best full-face helmet for downhill mountain biking? We tested 6 of the best and most popular downhill helmets on the market and found some awesome helmets as well as a few we don't think are up to the task of protecting your noggin while you shred the gnar. We evaluated each full-face fo...

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In clipped orientation  only the metal leaf design shows. We did have a little trouble with the integrity of the spring loading of the leaf clip. We were able to bend it back using included tools.

The Best Pedometers - Step Count Accuracy Tests

Which pedometer is right for you? If you are looking to track, record, and motivate your daily physical activity and/or count steps taken, a pedometer is just the ticket. OutdoorGearLab once again leads the way in reviewing the best of the best; we scanned the market and chose nine of the best devic...

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We went head over heels to find the best wind breaker out there by testing seven of the most popular and highly rated models available.

The Best Wind Jacket for Women Review

What's the best women's wind breaker jacket on the market today? In search of the most breathable and lightweight option for the outdoors-gal, we selected seven of the top selling models and put them to test on the rocks, in the mountains and cycling around town in gusty winds. We handed them off to...

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Metolius Speedster

The Best Rope Bags for Climbing

We looked at the eight of our favorite and most popular and best rope bags on the market today. We compared them side-by-side in a variety of ways. We compared how large their tarps were, how easy they are to roll up, how easily we could fit a 60 and 70m rope plus other items like shoes, draws, wate...

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IFMGA Mountain Guide Howie Schwartz on the G3 High Traction skins. These skins really do grip better than the alternatives. Is that necessary for you  and worth the inherent compromises? You will have to decide.

The Best Climbing Skins for Backcountry Skiing

What are the best climbing skins for your backcountry skis? The world of backcountry and ski mountaineering, climbing skins is more than mystifying. From choosing to using, skins are finicky, strange, and little understood. They are incredibly useful, ultra simple, but quite nuanced. We have assembl...

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Having a comfortable ski sock can make your break your day. Here the well-fitting and durable SmartWool PhD is put to the test on an all-day spring ski traverse of the San Joaquin Ridge  from June Mountain to Mammoth Mountain  CA.

The Best Ski Socks For Cold Toes and Sweaty Feet

What makes a great ski sock? Are your feet wet and wrinkly after a day on the slopes? Are you constantly suffering from cold feet? Over this past ski season we set out to find which socks could stand up to the brutal demands of life in a ski boot. We tested 5 of the industry's top models and sent th...

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Attaching the front wall of the Aosom wander takes only seconds and secures with a quick release pin making it easy to use  especially on solo adventures.

The Best Bike Cargo Trailer Review

Are you a cycling enthusiast who needs or wants to haul something big? Are you looking for the best bike cargo trailer available? We chose these six best selling products and we compared them side-by-side in the areas of versatility, maximum capacity, how easy they were to use and tow, while also ke...

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About to cross the glacier to reach the Torres in Patagonia while wearing the La Sportiva Trango S Evo with strap-on crampons. Cerro Torre rises in the background.

The Best Mountaineering Boots For Women Review

From wet and snowy glaciers and peaks in Patagonia, to many laps on steep pitches of solid ice in Ouray, Colorado, to temperate ice climbing in Lee Vining Canyon, California, these boots spent several seasons scaling pristine frozen water, which allowed us to evaluate ice climbing ability. To test h...

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The Best Enduro Mountain Bikes of 2016

Want to climb like a goat and descend like a bull? Welcome to enduro. We researched 20 top enduro bikes, bought the 5 best and spent 2 months testing them head-to-head. Our elite bike testers rode hundreds of singletrack miles and busted out 135 time trials in the most scientific side-by-side bike r...

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The Breville Juice Fountain Plus has a "retro" style and an external pulp bin for continuous juicing. You can juice straight into a glass or into the included container with a froth-separating lid.

The 10 Best Juicers Shoot-out Review

What is the best juicer on the market today? We compared the ten most popular and highly regarded models side-by-side, from low-budget models to top-of-the-line machines. We used each of these machines for months and tested them on the different yields produced for different types of fruits and vege...

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Ryan slaving over a delicious meal in our ultimate camp kitchen while in Colorado's western slope near Carbondale.

The Best Camping Table Review

What's the best camping table to take on your next outdoor adventure? We tested five different models to see how each one compared. Some were fully featured for a superb "glamping" experience, while others were simple and versatile. If you're tired of cooking in the dirt and squatting while you stir...

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The Best Running Shoes for Women Review

What's the best road running shoe for women? We bought 13 road shoes and tested them by a trial of miles. We spent two and a half months and 97 hours running over 300 miles. We ran paved trails, winding dirt roads and streets during autumn's sunny and soggy weather conditions. We compared several ty...

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Ammon McNeely on Horse Chute  El Capitan using the Yates Speed Aider (lighter version of Yates Big Wall Ladder).

Finding the Perfect Big Wall Aider

We reviewed eight of our favorite big wall aiders and used them on more than 100 walls, from El Capitan to Baffin Island. We evaluated the contenders using five main criteria: comfort, ease of walking up, durability, ease of use free climbing, and top-stepping. We then chose our top products in thre...

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Pedaling through the Texas Panhandle with the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic panniers. We tested six different models and rated them on their Installation and Removal System  Capacity  Water Resistance and Ease of Use.

The Best Bike Panniers for Commuting and Touring

What's the best set of bike panniers available today? We bought and tested six of the best models to find out. Whether you're planning to ride across the country or simply to work or school, you need a place to stow your belongings. Rear attaching panniers are an ideal way to transport the things yo...

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Testing the Jones Solution on Carson Pass.

The Best Splitboards For Backcountry Snowboarding

What's the best splitboard? What snowboard performed best in the backcountry in powder, steep lines and big climbs? We purchased seven popular models and put them through the wringer in the Sierra, skinning up deep powder and throwing them over our backs to scamper over rocks; we also side-hilled ac...

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A dropper seatpost is hands down the best addition to your bike that will pay dividends in superior handling and increased fun.  Clockwise from top; Rock Shox Reverb Stealth  KS LEV Integra  Giant Contact SL Switch  Specialized Command Post IRCC  Thomson Elite Covert  Fox D.O.S.S.

The Best Dropper Seatposts for Your Mountain Bike

Which dropper seatpost is the best for your bike? We took six popular, top rated models and put them to the test via our side-by-side comparison challenges while riding around Lake Tahoe. These posts took a good beating while we climbed and peddled over roots and ladders, thumbs always on the trigge...

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For months and across several states and many different climbing areas  we brought and used six pairs of the best women's approach shoes on the market to test and compare them.

The Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Women Review

What are the best women's climbing approach shoes available? As always, here at OutdoorGearlab we took a group of the best selling models out there to directly compare them and put them through the toughest trials and tribulations so we can report how they stack up. From the High Sierra to the Teton...

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A good work stand is one of the best things you can buy to improve the experience of working on your own bike

The Best Bike Work Stands for Repair and Maintenance

Which is the best bike work stand on the market? We took five popular models from trusted and highly recognized brands and put them through the wringer. Each stand was scrutinized and rated in various categories including ease of clamping, angle and height adjustment, stability, everyday maintenance...

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Grey on grey on white. Winter monochrome  courtesy of Spyder clothing and flat Wyoming light. Lead Test Editor Jediah Porter gives it all some depth with an ounce of hard work  testing gear just for your information. No fun was had at all.

The Best Ski Pants for Men of 2017

Out of hundreds of options, what is the right ski and snowboard pant for you? Protecting your legs from wind, cold, and abrasion is a thankless job. You will use and abuse this garment for a long time, usually in unforgiving climates. You will need pants that fit and match your skiing style, while s...

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Three OutdoorGearLab testers in women's helmets while climbing in Tuolumne Meadows  California. In the center is the lightweight foam BD Vector which wins our Editors' Choice award  and the two on the sides are both the Best Buy Petzl Elia.

Best Women's Climbing Helmet

"See, it protects my very important brain," says Dr. Bruce Banner in the 2003 Hulk movie when told he looks like a "massive nerd" in his helmet. Even the Incredible Hulk wears a helmet, and we think you should too. Luckily, some of the women's helmet options out there will keep you safe but not look...

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While we love everything MTB  flying down a mountainside might be our favorite part.

The Best Trail Mountain Bikes of 2017 - Side-by-Side Tests

It's a great time to be a mountain biker and a hard time to pick a trail bike to buy. To help you out, we researched 30, bought 6 and rode them ragged for 7 weeks on everything from hard-hitting technical downhill lines and climbs and to ripping smooth singletrack. After hundreds of miles, long Sier...

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Our review quiver of splitboard bindings.

The Best Splitboard Bindings for Backcountry Snowboarding

Which pair of splitboard bindings are the best? These bindings are much more complex than a standard snowboard binding, making this question more difficult to answer than it appears at a first glance. We bought four popular competitors and put them through the wringer in the Sierra; we compared curr...

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The splitboard skin review fleet  consisting of the Voile Skins with Tail Clip  Jones Universal  G3 Alpinist  and G3 Alpinist High Traction.

The Best Splitboard Climbing Skins for Backcountry Snowboarding

Which splitboard skin is the best? We beat up four pairs in our quest to find a winner. We broke trail in powder, tip-toed over rocks, struggled up steep icy skin tracks, ripped skins in the wind, jammed them in backpacks, and then pulled them apart to repeat the process. We monitored how well they ...

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Left to right: Vibe  Insanity  Zen 95  Original AP  Performer CF and the Alloy.

The Best Adjustable SUP Paddle

What's the best adjustable SUP paddle for stand up paddleboards? We tested seven top rated products in our quest to find out. We cruised casually on calm days and aggressively on windy days on lakes and rivers. We tested in the sun, wind and rain. Each contender was scored on its performance, how ea...

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When you flat out on the trail  having a good mini pump can prevent a long walk back to the car.

The Best Bicycle Frame and Mini Pump Review

A flat tire can put a serious damper on a fun ride. When you are miles from the car and disaster strikes, your mini or frame pump is all that separates you from a long walk or a night spent out in the cold. What is the best portable bike pump for the adventures that you seek? To find out, we took 13...

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Thousands of miles were put in on the road during the Road Bike Helmet Review.

The Best Road Bike Helmets For Cycling

Road bike helmets are a critical piece of safety gear for any cyclist. What combination of features equate to a high-quality helmet? What is the difference between a top-of-the-line helmet and an entry-level model? Does a higher price mean more safety? What is MIPS? We took 14 of the most popular, ...

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The author has the math ability of a 6 year old  but with 11 tires in the 2016 Enduro Mountain Bike Tire test  there were lots and lots of different combinations to be tried.  Someone told us it was 55.  We'll take their word for it and concentrate on the riding.

The Best Mountain Bike Tires - Side-by-side tests

What is the ideal tire combination for aggressive trail/enduro type mountain biking? We put 11 different tires through a series of side-by-side tests on various soil types and terrain. Running through a gauntlet of tests, we rated each contender on cornering, pedal traction, braking traction, rollin...

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The Best Mountain Bike Flat Pedal Shoes

What are the best mountain bike flat shoes? We set out on a dirty, dusty, rocky, and muddy journey, sprinkled with snow and a little blood, to find out. Our test included six of the most popular flat shoes available, which we used and abused on cross country loops, extended hill climbs, technical do...

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Adequate ventilation is key while backcountry touring. The Sentinel were the second highest scoring pants in the Ventilation metric.

The Best Ski Pants for Women of 2017

What is the top contender for women's ski pants? On our quest to determine which pair tops the rest, we took the pants for long walks in the woods, down steep chutes, through tight trees, over rocks, and on downhill slopes in the best snow on earth in the Wasatch Range of Utah. We spent time in reso...

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The Best Yoga Pants for your Practice

What is the best pair of yoga pants for your practice? If you've ever found yourself deeply contemplating this question during your Final Savasana, or cursing your current pair because they were too tight/loose/heavy/see-through, wonder no more! We put ten of the most popular and highest rated model...

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Even among pants in our review which were all geared toward backpacking and day hiking there was a pretty big range of minimum packed volume among models we tested.

The Best Men's Rain Pants of 2017 for Hiking and Backpacking

With so many rain pants on the market, it can be difficult to find the best pair. We researched 50 contenders and ultimately decided on 8 pairs to test, putting in over 100 hours of testing. We included pairs ranging from the all-around state of the art ultralight rain protection to the burly Gore-T...

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Method air in the park on the Best in Class winner!

The Best All-Mountain Snowboards of 2017

Which all mountain snowboard is the best? We took the nine top boards of 2017, putting them through an intensive, two-month test. Each contender was ridden in many conditions, from deep powder to hardpack to corduroy. We rode regular and switch, taking the same lines with each model to compare perfo...

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The Lange RX 110 will help you bend your skis on the hard-packed groomed runs.

The Best Ski Boots of 2017 - Women's Downhill

What is the best women's all-mountain ski boot? We put eight top-of-the-line competitors through extensive testing to determine which pairs are the best. We skied hundreds of runs in various conditions, looking for the boot that does it all better than any other. We enlisted a group of dedicated ski...

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There's a flat pedal for everyone somewhere in this pile.  Dig through our review to find the right one for you.

The Best Flat Pedals for Mountain Biking of 2017

What are the best mountain bike flat pedals for your mountain bike? We evaluated 10 pairs, using riders of differing abilities, backgrounds, and riding styles on downhill, enduro bikes, and dirt jumpers. We tested each pair of pedals with shoes suitable for each given discipline of riding, while car...

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The Best Mountain Bike Shorts For Women of 2017

What are the best women's mountain bike shorts? We took 9 of the most popular, top-rated shorts on the market and hit the trails. We pedaled miles in each pair and compared them side-by-side to determine the most pedal friendly, comfortable, and protective models. We even took the shorts to spin cla...

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The lineup for the Best Women's All-Mountain Snowboards 2017.

The Best Women's All Mountain Snowboards of 2017

With so many snowboards out there, it can be difficult to choose the right one. We selected 7 of the most popular and highest rated women's snowboards, putting them through 60 hours of testing. Our series of tests revealed the best overall competitor, along with the best value, and our top pick for ...

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The boot has a great fit and a flexible shaft  making it comfortable for hiking. We also loved the fur-lined interior that makes it that much more cozy while taking a break! Did we mention they're a great boot for winter snowshoeing?

The Best Women's Snowshoes of 2017

Searching for the perfect pair of women's snowshoes can be difficult. To help, we researched over 40 highly rated pairs, narrowing it down to the top six models, testing for over 80+ hours. Putting them to the challenge over a two-month period, we compared them side-by-side in varied landscapes. We ...

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