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  1. From ultrasupportive to odor-immune, these four models won us over. Finding the perfect sports bra can be a frustrating experience. Comfort, breathability, and support are even more important when you’re hiking or trail running, but the wrong bra can pinch, rub, scratch, squeeze, and pad in all the wrong places. To help you make a decision, our team of 12 women tested 25 models over three months of trail time. These are the four that checked all the right boxes. When you make a purchase through our site, we may earn a commission. View the full article
  2. This single-wall shelter has a ton of storage space. The single-wall Hubba Tour 2 was one our favorite tents of 2018, largely thanks to its ginormous, 25-square-foot vestibule with a partial floor. “Four of us could sit around and play a game of cards in there,” a tester said after a rainy weekend trip to Mississippi’s Black Creek Wilderness. The tent itself has 32 square feet of floor space, slightly larger than most two-person tents, and it has six additional stash pockets to keep gear tidy; all in all, it’s a neat-freak’s dream. The Hubba Tour 2 is now 36 percent off at Moosejaw, bringing the price down to $416.99. View the full article
  3. We put the season’s newest featherweight packs through 3,800 total miles of testing. These are the ones that kept our long-distance team cruising along in ultralight bliss. You've weighed all your gear, done a shakedown, maybe even cut the handle off of your toothbrush. Next up: Make sure your pack itself is light. These five ultralight, frameless packs are ready to roll on your next trip, be it 3 miles or 3,000. View the full article
  4. This puffy excelled as an insulating layer during winter on the Great Plains. The cold doesn’t loosen its grasp on the Nebraska plains easily, so I was glad to have this jacket as a layering piece for outings in late winter. On a March dayhike in Steele City Canyon, a rugged and remote area filled with cedar trees, cliffs, and spring-fed creeks, the 850-fill down kept me toasty with temps in the low 20s over only a light baselayer. Not even a typical 20-mph Nebraska wind got through the 10-denier nylon shell. The jacket also sealed in warmth as I walked the trails on my acreage in 16°F weather. The NESSH has a close fit, but left plenty of room for full movement of my arms, especially when I was taking my pack on and off. It also has gauntlets at the end of the sleeves with thumb holes, which worked great under my gloves. A large inner pocket was perfect for my phone and trail bar. I can’t think of anything negative about this jacket. It’s a keeper in my book! – Jackie Wesch, Basecamp Gear Tester View the full article
  5. The worst part of summer hiking: mosquitos, black flies, ticks, and other pests. Shield yourself from head to toe with these swarm-tested picks, the best of 14 bug-baffling products we tried. Blissfully bug-free on a lake in central FloridaNothing makes a fun summer backpacking trip go bad faster than swarms of bugs. Whether they're gnats, horseflies, or the dreaded mosquito, being bitten up is painful, itchy, and distracting. Keep the insects at bay with these 5 smart picks. View the full article
  6. Grab apparel, tents, and one famous firepit on sale right now for up to 55% off. The seasons are changing, and you know what that means: It's high time to snag deals on all kinds of backpacking and camping gear. With retailers including REI, Backcountry, and more looking to clear out space for summer equipment, now's a great time to start thinking about what you'll need for warm-weather adventures. Kickstart your shopping with these six BACKPACKER-approved picks. At BACKPACKER, we take our responsibility to provide readers with fair and accurate gear advice seriously. When you make a purchase through our site, we may earn a commission. View the full article
  7. Get a bomber winter expedition tent at a great price. For adventures in gnarly winter conditions, you'll want a tent you can trust. These shelters are almost always expensive, so whenever we see a good deal on one we jump on it. The superstrong Katabatic 3 was an Editors' Choice-winner in 2012 and recognized again in our 2018 Fall Gear Guide thanks to a redesign that improved livable space and upped the stability. In short: You can ride out any storm in this weather fortress. Usually $800, the Katabatic is now on sale at Moosejaw for just $400. View the full article
  8. If money were no issue, this is what we'd buy. At BACKPACKER, we all have our kit: the trusted gear that we use to camp, hike, and explore the outdoors every time we head out. But there's also plenty of gear that we want and don't have (yet). Here are the products that we dream about owning when we settle into our sleeping bags at night. What's on your dream gear list? Let us know in the comment section! View the full article
  9. Get a crazy-good hiking shoe for a crazy-low price. You want nothing but the best for the most important women in your life, and this deal fits the bill: The Spire GTX was one of our favorite hiking shoes of 2018, and provides support, grip, and protection for long trail days. Its Vibram XS Trek outsole is sticky and has chunky, rock-grabbing lugs and a strong heel brake. A Gore-Tex Surround liner keeps water out but also lets heat escape, and the synthetic-and-mesh upper is plenty durable. Now, La Sportiva is offering the women's Spire GTX for 60 percent off its $190 list price ($76). After you snap it up, check out our other Mother’s Day gift ideas. View the full article
  10. These 10 products will help you lighten your load. Besides your attitude, nothing influences how your trip goes more than gear. Pretty much anyone can pull off an excellent trip with the gear they already have (and, yes, proper planning and a good attitude) and getting into backpacking doesn’t have to mean dropping a ton of cash. But for those looking to shed ounces—lots of ounces—the right gear suddenly takes on a much higher importance. Going as light as possible is a mix of sacrifice and efficiency, as well as carefully choosing the gear that will save you the most weight and let you move long distance with a fraction of the stuff on your back of some other backpackers. Start with this list, which is ordered based on the overall affect to your base packweight. Total weight: 5 lbs 6.7 ounces Total price: $1,186.85 Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 SouthwestPack: Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest The weight of your backpack itself is easy to forget about, with all the hype about lightening the items that go inside it. If you can’t get everything into this 40-liter Dyneema pack, you’re not going light enough, and at 1.9 lbs, it keeps your total load light and comfortable thanks to removable aluminum stays. Need more space? The durable three big pockets on the outside are a thru-hikers dream, perfect for swallowing everything from a puffy to wet rain gear. A foam backpanel, roll-top waterproofing, ice axe loops, hydration compatibility, and lots of compression mean you don’t need to sacrifice comforts. 1 lb. 14 oz.; $310 Buy Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest Now Enlightened Equipment RevelationSleeping Bag: Enlightened Equipment Revelation The best sleeping bag for ultralighters isn’t a sleeping bag at all—It’s a quilt. Face it: The bottom half of your sleeping bag isn’t doing you any good anyway, once you’ve compressed it, so cut out the weight. Same goes for the hood, at least during summer trips. For the 30° version, the Revelation is filled with 850-fill down, features snaps and clips to cinch it around you or your sleeping pad when it cools down, and packs to the size of a football. U-shaped continuous baffled keep the down in place and a drawcoord neck closure seals out cool air. 1 lb 3 oz (30° regular); $280 Buy Enlightened Equipment Revelation Now NEMO SwitchbackSleeping Pad: NEMO Switchback For warm summer nights, a 10.5-ounce (get the short one, always) closed cell foam pad is hard to beat. The Switchback in particular features an egg carton-like design with hexagonal nodes to conform to your body (making for a more comfortable night’s sleep than your old foam pads) and pack smaller. A bonus thermal film layer bounces your body heat back to you and bigger pockets in the foam leave more space for sleeping bag insulation to lay uncompressed. Best of all? On long journeys, you’ll never need to worry about a popped pad. Plus, it’s dirt cheap. 10.5 oz.; $39.95 Buy NEMO Switchback Now Altra LP4Footwear: Altra Lone Peak 4 With lighter loads, you can get away with lighter footwear. Big lugs in a tough rubber outsole, a quick-drying mesh upper, a rock-stopping midsole, an easy gaiter attachment, and Altra’s renowned wide toebox mean these are comfortable (with moderate cushion), light (at 10.2 ounces), and tough on the trail. That feeling you have? Fleetness of foot. 10.2 oz.; $120 Buy Altra Lone Peak 4 Now Big Agnes Onyx Tarp CarbonShelter: Big Agnes Onyx Tarp Carbon Sure, you might be sacrificing some weather protection and livability, but you’ll hardly notice this in your pack. The 10-ounce 8.5-foot square tarp is made from ultralight and ultra-durable welded Dyneema, has a plethora of guy-outs makes it easy to set up in any configuration. One included carbon pole can be used to boost headroom (and livability), or leave it at home and set it up entirely with a pair of trekking poles. 10 oz. (packed weight); $499.95 Buy Big Agnes Onyx Tarp Carbon Now Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Down HoodyInsulation: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Down Hoody The gold standard in ultralight insulation, the 8.8-ounce Ghost Whisperer/2 is an ideal weight for shoulder season backpackers or anyone bound for chilly nights, thanks to its 800-fill down. Be careful with the 10-denier ripstop face fabric while bushwhacking through brush, but the thin material means the jacket will pack to the size of a Nalgene. Pro tip: The hood is super warm, so you can cut the weight of a hat. In the ultralight world, no two items share the same job. 8.8 oz. (m’s M); $325 Buy Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Down Hoody Now Toaks Titanium 900ml D115mm PotCookware: Toaks Titanium 900ml D115mm Pot For true ultra-lighters or thru-hikers, one of the greatest skills in their back pocket is the ability to put together a one pot meal, simply because it means you only need to carry, well, one pot. This 4-ounce titanium pot is as simple as it gets—metal folding handles, a locking vented lid, and easy-cleaning rounded edges—but should be all you need to boil water, make dinner, and eat from. 4.4 oz. (with lid); $45 Buy Toaks Titanium 900ml D115mm Pot Now Sawyer MiniWater Purification: Sawyer Mini It’s cheap. It only weighs 2 ounces. It’s easy to clean. And, thanks to its .1-micron filter, it will filter bacteria and protozoa from thousands of gallons before it finally quits. The lightest way to use it is by screwing it on to the end of a disposable plastic water bottle (like a Smartwater bottle), filling the bottle from a stream, and filtering as you drink. 2 oz.; $21.95 Buy Sawyer Mini Now BioLite Headlamp 200Lighting: BioLite Headlamp 200 Cut back on lumens and weight with the new BioLite option. The 200 lumens it pumps out is enough to hike with, cook dinner under, and mess around in your tent, and at 1.75 ounces and featuring a super comfortable moisture wicking headband, you’ll hardly notice you packed it, or are wearing it for that matter. A low profile design means it won't bounce when you’re really cranking out the miles, reflective markings make it easy for cars to see you while you’re hitching to town, and a locking button means you can toss it in your pack without the fear of a dying battery. And on low power, it’ll last a whopping 40 hours. 1.8 oz.; $44.95 Got a tough packing problem? Let us build a packlist for you based on your trip, experience, and budget. Email requests to basecamp@backpaker.com View the full article
  11. Whether mom's nearby or far away, help her enjoy the outdoors with these 10 great picks. These 10 gifts show the love for those raising the next generation of nature lovers. Everything from camp comfort to the ability to carry all the snacks, we’ve got your outdoorsy gift ideas covered. View the full article
  12. Celebrate summer with an updated outdoor classic. Here in Colorado, it feels like summer is just around the corner: The temperatures are balmy, the wildflowers are blooming, and trees are starting to leaf after a few late snowstorms. We're celebrating by ditching our socks for a comfy pair of outdoor sandals. If you're thinking of joining us, take a minute to check out this deal on the Chaco Z/Cloud, now on sale for 30% off at REI. Based on Chaco's classic Z/1, the Z/Cloud adds a layer of pillowy PU foam to the top of the footbed for an extra-comfortable ride, but still features the original's deep lugs and grippy rubber outsole for traction in camp or on the trail. Buy Chaco Men's Z/Cloud Sandals now for $77 (30% off) / Buy Chaco Women's Z/Cloud Sandals now for $77 (30% off) View the full article
  13. Jump on a good price for these durable gaiters. Spring is now in full swing across much of the country, which means it's mud season. The Crocodiles are great for warding off the sloppy stuff, and shine year-round: We use them in the snow, the alpine, and any situation where our legs require protection. They're also bomber thanks to 1,000-denier Cordura at the base, just one of the reasons we gave them an Editors' Choice Hall of Fame Award in 2018. The Crocodiles are now 25 percent off in both men’s and women’s versions at Backcountry.com View the full article
  14. Score big savings on great pack for hot-weather hikes. We chose the Journey Series 20 as our favorite hydration pack last year largely due to its performance in hot weather: Its 3-liter reservoir is insulated, so your water stays icy-cold for hours, and the trampoline backpanel helps mitigate back sweat. (The Journey is also ultradurable and highly water-resistant, making it ready for pretty much any type of dayhiking terrain.) Our only major complaint? This is one expensive pack for its size. So thats why this deal at REI is a no-brainer: At 50 percent off, the Journey is no longer in "splurge" territory, and is great buy for anyone who frequently hikes in the heat. Scoop it up now for $99, and start researching trails to take it on. View the full article
  15. The best way to show yours love for bears is from a safe distance. Or by wearing them on your socks. If you love bears as much as we do at BACKPACKER, you want them in your life as much as possible. But unless you're Dr. Doolittle, that's, ah, a bit dangerous. The next best thing? Show your admiration for our furry friends by rocking these six bear-themed items on the trail. View the full article
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