Editors' Choice Gear Reviews

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These best-in-class awards are the result of rigorous hands-on testing by the editors at OutdoorGearLab.com. We then enhance those editorial reviews with user-reviews and commentary from the SuperTopo climbing community.
The Best Women's Shoes for CrossFit Training

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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The Best Minimalist and Barefoot Shoes Review

The Best Minimalist and Barefoot Shoes Review



What is the best minimal or barefoot shoe for running? We chose four 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 runni...

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Best Backpacking Water Filters and Treatment of 2017

Best Backpacking Water Filters and Treatment of 2017



We know that figuring out the right choice for your water filtration needs can be a daunting task. Which is why we researched over 50 different models before purchasing the top 18. We put them through our exhaustive testing in both the front and backcountry, filtering and drinking hundreds of gallon...

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The Best Bike Racks for Hitches, Cars, and SUVs

The Best Bike Racks for Hitches, Cars, and SUVs



Searching for the best bike rack? So are we. To help, we analyzed over 70 models before purchasing 21 of the best contenders to compare side by side. After years of traveling with bikes, we asked ourselves: what is the best way to get them from one place to another? The bicycle may be the most effic...

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The Best Gaiter Review

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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The Best Pedometers of 2017

The Best Pedometers of 2017



We look at 10 of the best pedometers and help you find which is the best for your activities. This category overlaps more with fitness trackers every year and becomes more convoluted. To cut through this confusion, we have six award winners for every use and budget. We compare the stand-alone device...

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The Best Ski Socks Review

The Best Ski Socks Review



Say goodbye to cold and clammy ski feet. Our team evaluated 30+ pairs of popular ski socks before testing the best 5 models for fifty days on the mountains. Comfort is key with these products, but we also examined their warmth and how long they take to dry out. Well-experienced in sock blow-outs, ou...

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The Best Women's All Mountain Snowboards of 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 Best Men's CrossFit Shoes of 2017

The Best Men's CrossFit Shoes of 2017



The need for a higher level of Crossfit training continues to grow and so does the shoe selection. We researched over 70 models, ultimately choosing the best 8 to test side-by-side for three months and over 100+ hours of training sessions. Our expert testers did as many reps and rounds as possible, ...

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The Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes of 2017

The Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes of 2017



Need a trail-worthy mountain bike but don't want to break the bank or deal with costly maintenance? We tested five wallet-friendly hardtails extensively over a six week period to find the best ride for you. These trail-ready hardtails are simple thanks to the lack of complicated suspension systems w...

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Best Consumer Direct Mountain Bikes of 2017

Best Consumer Direct Mountain Bikes of 2017



Interested in the savings of a consumer direct mountain bike? We bought four of the best, two enduro and two mid-travel trail models to find out which one's for you. Five testers spent ten weeks and rode over a thousand grueling Sierra miles. Our testers hammered these bikes to their limits to gain ...

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The Best Flat Pedals for Mountain Biking

The Best Flat Pedals for Mountain Biking



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 carv...

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The Best Men's Sandals

The Best Men's Sandals



Ready for new sandals? We have the details to make your purchase decision an easy one. We evaluated 30+ popular models and tested the top 8 shoes to find the best out there. From asphalt to alpine environments and dirt trails to slippery bedrock, our experts set out to find what each one can handle....

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The Best Water Bottles of 2017

The Best Water Bottles of 2017



After researching 55+ of the best water bottles, we chose the top 16 to test over two months of heavy use. We selected nearly every style from stainless steel (insulated and non-insulated) and plastic models, as well as glass and collapsible options. We even have an option with a built in fi...

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The Best Travel Backpacks and Carry-On Alternatives

The Best Travel Backpacks and Carry-On Alternatives



A well-designed travel backpack can alleviate travel troubles and help you pack more efficiently. We researched over 50+ of the top contenders before purchasing 12 of the best for our hands-on testing. Our team of experts traipsed around the globe by air, sea, and land, holding each one to our stric...

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The Best Cargo Box Review

The Best Cargo Box Review



Daunted by the search for the best rooftop cargo box? We researched the 40 most popular products of 2017 and carefully selected 6 for hands-on, side-by-side comparison. Our two months of deliberate, calculated testing allowed us to identify the ins and outs of each box, including the hidden details ...

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The Best Women's All-Mountain Skis of 2017/2018

The Best Women's All-Mountain Skis of 2017/2018



Looking for the best all-mountain skis for women? So were we. Our review team evaluated 40+ female-specific models before testing the best 10 over a season of skiing in the Sierras. La Niña graciously cooperated, dumping tons of snow and creating plenty of varied snow conditions for our testing purp...

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Best Binoculars of 2017 for Birding and Hiking

Best Binoculars of 2017 for Birding and Hiking



Wish those birds were a bit closer? We researched over 100 binoculars, then bought 11 of the best for a rigorous series of side-by-side tests. We also took them birding at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge, scanned the Pacific coast for shorebirds, brought them along on hikes in the Sierra, and con...

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The Best Backcountry / AT Ski Boots of 2017

The Best Backcountry / AT Ski Boots of 2017



With so many options out there, finding the best pair can be difficult. We researched over 60 top models and selected the best 10 to test side-by-side for 100+ hours. We reviewed randonee-style boots, comparing them both side-by-side as well as individually out in the field to find out which is the ...

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The Best Backpacking Packs of 2017

The Best Backpacking Packs of 2017



Need a new backpacking backpack? There's no shortage of options available, so we researched the market's top 65 packs before testing the best 11 for hundreds of hours of backcountry exploration. Assessing the backpacks head-to-head, our expert testers hiked the mountains of Patagonia and the Pacific...

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The Best Travel Duffel Bags of 2017

The Best Travel Duffel Bags of 2017



A vital element of any adventure travel kit, you can find yourself easily overwhelmed with the options. After analyzing over 70 models, we purchased the best 10, testing them head-to-head. We awarded those that offered specific advantages as well as exceptional all-around performance. Our experts to...

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The Best Quickdraw for Climbing Review

The Best Quickdraw for Climbing Review



Need some new quickdraws, but not sure which best match your climbing? We can help. We poured over 33 top models and tested 15 popular draws side-by-side. For two months, our testers climbed daily, clipping into bolts, slings, cams, and nuts on single and multi-pitch routes, sport and traditional cl...

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The Best Men's Hiking Boots of 2017

The Best Men's Hiking Boots of 2017



To help you wade through the hiking boot market, we researched over 50 distinct models before buying the top 14 pairs. Our experts spent over six months testing each contender, tromping through all sorts of terrain, extending from less strenuous day hikes to multi-day backpacking trips. We analyzed ...

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The Best Men's Down Jackets of 2017

The Best Men's Down Jackets of 2017



With so many options available, choosing the right down jacket is not an easy task. We meticulously researched over 90 contenders and purchased the 10 best. We built on years of previous experience by putting these 10 through the wringer in cold mountain environments, testing them intensively in the...

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The 13 Best Women's Sleeping Bags

The 13 Best Women's Sleeping Bags



What is the best sleeping bag for women who want to hit the trails? Out of the hundreds of options out there, we tested the top 13 most popular models on the market to find out. From sleeping on the beach to backpacking in the high alpine, all models we evaluated are three-season weight mummy or sem...

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The 10 Best Bike Panniers for Commuting and Touring

The 10 Best Bike Panniers for Commuting and Touring



Searching for the best bike pannier for your journey, big or small? We can help. We researched more than 75 top models and purchased the 10 best to test side-by-side in the Alaskan wilderness. Taking into account different cycling demographics, we chose contenders that would appeal to touring fanati...

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The Best Backcountry Skis Review

The Best Backcountry Skis Review



Selecting a new pair of backcountry skis is an exciting yet daunting task. To ease the process, we researched 55+ models and tested the best 9 head-to-head. Our experts were more than happy to push each set of sticks to their limit, skinning up and bombing down hundreds of thousands of vertical feet...

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The Best Men's Hiking Shoes of 2017

The Best Men's Hiking Shoes of 2017



Love hiking, but intimidated to pull the trigger on a new pair of hiking shoes? We've got you. We evaluated 50+ models and tested the best 11 for over 200 hours. From the Sierras to the Cascades, our testers covered hundreds of miles in these shoes. Key performance areas were isolated through vigoro...

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The Best Yoga Pants for Your Practice

The Best Yoga Pants for Your Practice



For yoga pants that fit and breathe through to the Final Savasana, let us be your guide. We examined the top 75 models before testing the best 10 pairs head to head over several months. Our experts understand that wrong pants (read: too tight, loose, see-through, hot, etc.) could have you cu...

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The 6 Best First Aid Kits

The 6 Best First Aid Kits



Which first aid kit is the best choice for the outdoor enthusiast? We researched over 60 models and put the top 6 to the test. We carried them on alpine climbing routes, multi-day backpacking trips, commercial guiding expeditions, and road trips into the mountains and trails of California, Washingto...

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The Best Men's Hiking Pants for 2017

The Best Men's Hiking Pants for 2017



Looking for a new pair of hiking or trekking pants but don't know where to begin? To help, we researched 70+ different pairs available on the market today, narrowing our selection down to 9 of the most popular and highest performing. Our expert reviewers have a lifetime of experience hiking in the d...

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The Best Dropper Post for Your Mountain Bike

The Best Dropper Post for Your Mountain Bike



We set out to find the best dropper post for your bike. After researching over 30 models, we purchased 7 of the top posts and rigorously field-tested each one -- all while riding the trails of Lake Tahoe and northern California. Each was put through its paces while climbing and descending for hundre...

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The Best Camping Cookware of 2017

The Best Camping Cookware of 2017



Camping cookware is much like kitchen cookware: the options abound. To help, we compared over 60 options, choosing 11 of the best to purchase and test ourselves. This selection included stainless steel, titanium, and various types of aluminum models, and our testers cooked everything from eggs to fu...

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The 13 Best Running Shoes for Women

The 13 Best Running Shoes for Women



Looking for the best shoe for your road running adventures through the concrete jungle? We researched dozens of the most popular women's running shoes and hand-picked the top 13 for hours of hands-on research. We spent 6 months in a hundred-mile trial, through rain and snow, to help find you the rig...

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The Best Men's Hiking Socks of 2017

The Best Men's Hiking Socks of 2017



Socks are a dime a dozen these days and finding the best pair is daunting. We carefully researched more than 50, choosing 5 all-stars to test ourselves. Hiking in both warm and cold climates over the course of several months, we wore them for days at a time while backpacking and tested their limits ...

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The Best Winter Down Sleeping Bags of 2017

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 Softshell Jacket for Women Review

The Best Softshell Jacket for Women Review



Deciding between softshell jackets? To help you find the right model for your adventures, we researched the most popular 50 and tested the best 7 models side-by-side for three months. To assess these jackets, we romped through all kinds of winter weather and wore them ice climbing, alpine climbing, ...

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Best Climbing Camming Device Review

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 clim...

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The Best Climbing Belay Device

The Best Climbing Belay Device



A belay device is an integral piece of climbing equipment, and we want you to have the best. We researched the top 25 models and tested 10 devices head-to-head for months. Our experts belayed multi-pitch trad and aid routes on the renowned granite walls of Yosemite Valley, as well as catching top ro...

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The Best Mountain Bike Shoes - Rated & Ranked

The Best Mountain Bike Shoes - Rated & Ranked



Wondering which clipless mountain bike shoes are right for you? We took nine of the best models available and put them through months of abuse and side-by-side testing to help find the best model for you and your style. Over the course of several months, countless hours and thousands of miles, we pu...

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The 11 Best Hiking Shoes for Women

The 11 Best Hiking Shoes for Women



If you're looking a new set of hiking shoes we have you covered here at OutdoorGearLab. We researched the top 55 pairs out there and chose 11 of the best for real world, side-by-side testing. Whether your next adventure is a short day-hike or a multi-day adventure, we have recommendations for you. W...

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The Best Long Underwear and Base Layer for Men

The Best Long Underwear and Base Layer for Men



Need a long underwear top for the changing seasons? You're in the right place. We tested the best 11 models after evaluating the market's 80 most popular models. Over three months and in two continents, our lead testers lived and played in these tops in temps ranging from warm to sub-freezing. Our t...

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The Best Slackline Review

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 Best Splitboard Bindings

The Best Splitboard Bindings



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 Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards

The Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards



An inflatable SUP is often the best stand up paddle board choice. They are more portable, durable and less expensive than most rigid paddle boards. But what is the difference between each model and what do terms like "touring" mean? We break all that down and help you find the perfect option for you...

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The Best Ski and Snowboard Helmets of 2017

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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The 10 Best Mountain Bikes of 2017-2018

The 10 Best Mountain Bikes of 2017-2018



We're on a never-ending hunt for the best bikes, from the cutting edge to the proven classics. We cover trail-oriented hardtails, versatile full suspension trail bikes, and hard-hitting enduros. After researching and buying the best in each category, we run each batch through the world's most object...

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The Best Running Hydration Packs of 2017

The Best Running Hydration Packs of 2017



Finding the best hydration pack for running can be a difficult task. To help, we analyzed the top contenders on the market and purchased 8 of the best performers. We tested them side-by-side using a series of metrics and wore them for months in various terrain. Through local trails, mountains, durin...

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The 7 Best Adjustable SUP Paddles

The 7 Best Adjustable SUP Paddles



Paddle options abound, with different materials, blades, and locking mechanisms. To narrow the field, we researched more than 75 options, purchasing 7 of the best to test ourselves. The selection included paddles constructed from both aluminum and carbon and featured a variety of locking mechanisms ...

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14 of the Best Camping Chairs

14 of the Best Camping Chairs



The camping chair world can be a complicated endeavor. To help you find the one, we researched over 30 models and selected the top 14 for hands-on testing. Then, we tested in the Sierra and Tahoe area, putting the competitors through a series of tests to measure their competence. We selected a whole...

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The Best Altimeter Watches Review

The Best Altimeter Watches Review



Seeking a new altimeter watch? We'll help make the decision easy for you. After evaluating over 40 top models, we tested the best 6 products side by side. Our experts summited mountains, hiked canyons, and lapped routes at local climbing crags to find the most accurate models, the most intuitive and...

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The Best Camping Tents for Groups and Families

The Best Camping Tents for Groups and Families



To find the best family and group camping tents, we looked at 55 models and then bought 9 for hands-on testing. We then loaded up the car and set out across The West. Two of our expert testers spent 40 days touring campgrounds in the heat, rain, and wind. The tent options are overwhelming. We help y...

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The Best Ski Jacket for Women Review

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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The Best Handheld GPS Review

The Best Handheld GPS Review



We tested six of the best handheld GPS units designed for land-based outdoor recreation. After looking at 20+ models, we bought 6 and put them in the hands of our expert testers. We then tinkered endlessly with these products, assessing which ones have the best satellite reception, which are easiest...

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The Best Carry-On Luggage of 2017

The Best Carry-On Luggage of 2017



Looking for a new piece of carry-on luggage but confused by all of the choices? We examined over 65 top options and chose the 10 best to help make your decision easier. We picked a variety of models, including some sleek hard-sided spinners, traditional two-wheeled bags, and also some soft-sided rol...

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The Best Travel Underwear for Men

The Best Travel Underwear for Men



There is so much junk out there to cover your -- ahem -- junk. 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 w...

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The Best Women's Winter Boots of 2017

The Best Women's Winter Boots of 2017



Looking to keep your feet warm this winter? Our team of experts sorted through over 80 different boots, choosing 8 of the top contenders this winter. We've evaluated models that perform in the city to the mountains to the Arctic. In our testing, we sloshed through the wettest snow, skated around ice...

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The 5 Best Sleeping Pads For Women

The 5 Best Sleeping Pads For Women



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 Best Ski Pants for Men of 2017

The Best Ski Pants for Men of 2017



Tired of cold legs on the slopes? Give them some love with some quality ski pants. We evaluated scores of models before testing the best 9 head-to-head. For months, our testing experts charged hard in resorts and the backcountry to figure out which models withstand heinous weather and season-long ab...

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The Best Women's Snowshoes of 2017

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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The Best Avalanche Airbag Pack Review

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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The 8 Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Men

The 8 Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Men



If you're headed into the alpine for some scrambling, climbing a big wall, or just hiking out to the local crag, you're going to need a solid pair of approach shoes to take you there. We've researched over 50 pairs and reviewed the top 8 models, putting them through their paces on Yosemite granite, ...

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The Best Men's Running Jackets

The Best Men's Running Jackets



Buying a running jacket can be a daunting task. We analyzed over 80 top contenders, selecting the top 9 to test side-by-side for over three months. With a seemingly infinite selection of companies and jackets to choose from, it is easy to get stuck with something that doesn't suit your needs. Throug...

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The 9 Best Down Jackets for Women

The 9 Best Down Jackets for Women



Store racks are bursting with down jacket options. To make the decision easier, we researched 56 models and chose 12 of the very best to test side by side. For months, from North America all the way to Antartica, our testers analyzed both down and synthetic options, keeping track of how well they tr...

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The Best Ski Boots of 2017 - Women's Downhill

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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The Best Hydration Bladders of 2017

The Best Hydration Bladders of 2017



To find the best hydration bladders and reservoirs, we researched 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 backpackin...

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The Best Backpacking Camp Chairs of 2017

The Best Backpacking Camp Chairs of 2017



Ready to kick back and relax? We're here to help you find the perfect backpacking chair. We researched fifty of the most popular models and selected the eight best to test hands-on, side-by-side. If you're anything like us, the great outdoors is as much about taking in the view as having wild advent...

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The Best Men's Backpacking Sleeping Bags of 2017

The Best Men's Backpacking Sleeping Bags of 2017



If you're seeking the best backpacking sleeping bag for your needs, we've got you covered. We researched 80+ models before testing the top 15 competitors head to head. Our experts hit the John Muir trail, the Sierras, the Cascades, and the Washington Coast throughout the extended testing period, pac...

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The Best Climbing Skins for Backcountry Skiing

The Best Climbing Skins for Backcountry Skiing



Want new climbing skins for the backcountry this year? We researched the market's best before conducting side-by-side tests on the top 6 models. Our team of experts combined to ski hundreds of thousands of feet of backcountry terrain with these products to compare and contrast them against each othe...

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The Best Hydration Packs for Hiking and Biking

The Best Hydration Packs for Hiking and Biking



Are you searching for the best hydration pack? With so many models, styles, and sizes to choose from finding the right one can be a challenge. We researched over 60 of the top models and bought 11 to test over the course of several months. We took each model out for bike rides, day hikes, even some ...

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The Best Men's Rain Pants of 2017

The Best Men's Rain Pants of 2017



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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Best Climbing Gloves for Belaying, Cracks and Rappelling

Best Climbing Gloves for Belaying, Cracks and Rappelling



What are the best gloves to protect your hands from the rope while crack climbing and rappelling? We evaluated over 10 pairs of gloves and pick our favorites for each application. We belayed hundred of pitches, rappelled thousands of feet and climbed hundreds of aid pitches in Yosemite and Lake Taho...

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The Best Fleece Jacket for Women Review

The Best Fleece Jacket for Women Review



Which women's fleece jacket is the best? After researching dozens of jackets and testing seven for several months, we've come up with the best ones for a variety of uses. We reviewed a mix of lightweight breathable models as well as some heavier options, and we put them to the test while camping, hi...

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The Best Women's Daypack of 2017

The Best Women's Daypack of 2017



Looking for a new women's daypack but not sure which is right for you? We researched 75 different ones and tested 10 to help you find the best one for your needs. We put these packs to the test in our side-by-side process over three months, hiking dozens of miles and using them for a variety of acti...

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The Best Mountaineering Boot for Men Review

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 Coolers and Ice Chests of 2017

The Best Coolers and Ice Chests of 2017



Getting ready for summer barbecues and camping trips? We researched over 100 coolers before subjecting the 10 best to over 150 hours of testing. Coolers have recently transformed from simple products that you could pick up at any hardware store to high-end specialty items that can cost as much as a ...

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The Best Men's Hardshell Jackets of 2017

The Best Men's Hardshell Jackets of 2017



Hard-pressed on which hardshell jacket? Getting the wrong one is an expensive mistake. We researched 30+ top-rated models and tested the best 11 side-by-side. Regardless of nuking winds, snow, and cold or sunny, warm days in the backcountry, we ice climbed, skied, toured, and lived mountain-town liv...

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The Best Bouldering Crash Pad Review

The Best Bouldering Crash Pad Review



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 Lantern For Camping and Power Outages

The Best Lantern For Camping and Power Outages



Whether your camping adventures are in the backyard, a campground or the deep wilderness, we help you find the best lantern for you. Or if camping isn't your thing, we have recommendations for power outages and emergencies. We researched 35 models before buying 8 for hands-on testing. We tested them...

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The Best Full Face Downhill Mountain Bike Helmets

The Best Full Face Downhill Mountain Bike Helmets



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 f...

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The Best Rain Jacket for Women Review

The Best Rain Jacket for Women Review



Choosing a rain jacket is daunting. With so many options, our experts researched more than 45, narrowing the field to 10 top options and testing them personally. For months, our team analyzed everything from how well the jackets shed water to how well they breathed, hiking, biking, and running in th...

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The 8 Best Climbing Harnesses

The 8 Best Climbing Harnesses



Looking to buy a new climbing harness but aren't sure which is the best one for you? Have no fear, we've researched over 50 of the highest performing models, purchasing the best 8 for coverage in this comparative review. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or are picking up climbing for the first tim...

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The Best Fleece Jackets of 2017

The Best Fleece Jackets of 2017



Which fleece is best for your cool weather adventures? We combed through over 65 top scoring fleeces and tested 13 of the top scoring, most popular models. To help find the best of the best, our team of experts wore each fleece on mountain scrambles, backcountry ski missions, and out to the bars and...

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Best Satellite Messengers and Locator Beacons

Best Satellite Messengers and Locator Beacons



We evaluated the top satellite messengers and personal locator beacons to help you find the best for your activity. Whether you want to send text messages outside of cell range or just want a beacon just in case, we have a pick for you. We also compare the various payment plans to evaluate both the ...

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The Best Ski Gloves and Mittens for Women

The Best Ski Gloves and Mittens for Women



We compare 9 of the best women's ski and snowboard gloves and mittens to help you find the best option for your climate and activity. We took these gloves to sub-zero temps in the Rockies to test warmth and more mild temps near Lake Tahoe to compare breathability. We choose award winners for all bud...

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The 7 Best Ski Gloves and Mittens

The 7 Best Ski Gloves and Mittens



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 Backpacking Tents of 2017

The Best Backpacking Tents of 2017



Every year tents change and we head to the backcountry to update our top backpacking picks. Whether you value comfort, lightweight materials, or both, we help you find the best recommendation for you. We looked at over 40 models and then tested 15 side-by-side. The tents keep getting better, lighter...

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The Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags of 2017

The Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags of 2017



Are you in the market for a new sleeping bag but want only the lightest one money can buy? We meticulously researched over 50 of the best ultra-light contenders available and selected the best 12 to put to the test. Over the course of spring, summer, and fall, our team of expert reviewers spent hund...

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The Best Insulated Jacket for Women Review

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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Best Camping Mattresses and Pads of 2017

Best Camping Mattresses and Pads of 2017



Seeking the ultimate in car camping mattresses? To identify the right model for you, we evaluated 40 top mats and tested the best 11 for months. Our testing experts spent 100+ hours on road trips and in our lab to figure out which products provide the most comfort, warmth, and are built to last. Aft...

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Picking the Best Ice Axe

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 Best Wind Jacket for Women Review

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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The Best Men's All-Mountain Skis of 2017-2018

The Best Men's All-Mountain Skis of 2017-2018



Blasting down snowy slopes is best when equipped with skis to match your style. To find them, we evaluated 50+ models before testing the best 6 all-mountain skis for three months. Testing in Tahoe's heaviest snowfall season in years, our expert skiers took to the task of head-to-head shredding with ...

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The Best Hammocks of 2017

The Best Hammocks of 2017



Hung up on which hammock is the right one for you? You've come to the right place. 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 w...

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The Best Running Shirt Review for Men

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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Finding the Perfect Big Wall Aider

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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The 10 Best Flip Flops and Sandals for Men

The 10 Best Flip Flops and Sandals for Men



Choosing the right flop the first time while cruising your plethora of options can be a daunting task. To help, our expert testers researched over 60 models. We then purchased 10 of the top scorers, putting them through a series of side-by-side tests to measure each one's competence. If you're anyth...

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The Best Trail Mountain Bikes of 2017

The Best Trail Mountain Bikes of 2017



To help you cut to the core of your search for the best trail mountain bike, we researched 30 and bought 6 to run through our exhaustive testing and benchmarking process. Six testers rode over a thousand Sierra Mountain miles and hundreds of timed wind sprints to separate the good from the great. We...

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The Best Running Socks for All Seasons

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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The Best Climbing Harness for Women Review

The Best Climbing Harness for Women Review



Ready for a new women's climbing harness? To find the best, our team evaluated 30 female-specific models before selecting the top 8 to test head to head. Whether you're a novice or veteran, it's not easy to judge products based on product descriptions alone. We love climbing, so we did the groundwor...

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The Best Mountain Bike Flat Pedal Shoes

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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The Best Bike Light Review

The Best Bike Light Review



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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The Best Bike Trainers of 2017

The Best Bike Trainers of 2017



There are so many bike trainers and third-party applications, but what's the best one for you? To find out, we scrutinized 30 top models and then bought seven for side-by-side tests. After hundreds of hours in the OutdoorGearLab Pain Cave, we have recommendations for your needs and budget. We evalua...

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The Hunt for the Best Headlamps

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 man...

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The Best Budget Backpacking Sleeping Bags

The Best Budget Backpacking Sleeping Bags



Baffled by expensive baffles? Modern sleeping bags can cost several hundreds of dollars, more than some of us spend on home mattresses. If that sounds too much to enjoy an overnight in the outdoors, this review of the best budget backpacking sleeping bags is geared to you. Our backpacking experts ar...

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The Best Four Season Tents of 2017

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 19 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 12 Best Climbing Helmets

The 12 Best Climbing Helmets



Whether you are new to climbing or a seasoned pro, we all need a climbing helmet to protect ourselves. After researching over 30 models, we chose 12 of the best to put to the test. We selected a variety of lids, from tried and true hardshell models to the latest, and lightest, foam creations. After ...

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The Best Men's Ski Jackets of 2017

The Best Men's Ski Jackets of 2017



Ski jackets are like snowflakes, each one different from the next. To find the best, we researched 70 options, picking 10 top performers to test ourselves. Both in the backcountry and at the resort, our testers skied in rain, puking snow, and bluebird conditions. We weighed in on each model's warmth...

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The Best Hiking Pants for Women

The Best Hiking Pants for Women



To help you find the perfect pair of hiking pants, we researched more than 60 pairs and picked the top 10 for our side-by-side tests. We included a range of styles, including ones that convert into capris or shorts, ones designed with trail running in mind, and ones so comfortable you'll want to sle...

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The Quest for the Best Carabiner Review

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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The 7 Best Portable Grills and Travel BBQs

The 7 Best Portable Grills and Travel BBQs



Ready for some outside culinary adventures? We researched over 50 products before purchasing the top 7 contenders to put through a series of side-by-side tests. We took them tailgating, to parks, campsites, lakeside, and beach day outings. Do you want a stand alone tailgate master or something extre...

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The Best Sleeping Pads of 2017

The Best Sleeping Pads of 2017



Struggling to pick a sleeping pad? We did the research and analysis for you. We looked at 70+ models before buying and testing the best 23 pads head-to-head for months. Our experts spent over 180 hours packing, unpacking, backpacking, camping, inflating, and deflating these pads from Colorado to New...

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The 12 Best Bike Locks

The 12 Best Bike Locks



Goodbyes are hard, especially when you're not ready. To help you keep your wheeled companion, we researched 60+ bike locks and tested the best 12 head-to-head. Our team of bike commuters and joy-riders cycled through each lock to test their relative strengths and weaknesses. From metropolitan bikewa...

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The Best Men's Running Shoes of 2017

The Best Men's Running Shoes of 2017



Finding the perfect runners can be tougher than a four-minute mile. To help you face the market in stride, we tested the best 13 models after evaluating over 100 models available today. We pounded a lot of pavement while testing these running shoes head-to-head for three months. From the sandy beach...

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The Best Backpacking Tents under $200

The Best Backpacking Tents under $200



Looking for the best backpacking for the money? While experienced backpackers feel spending a bit more on a top performing backpacking tent is worth it, and in general, we agree, that rule doesn't apply to everyone. For those who just backpack occasionally or only backpack shorter trails, one of the...

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The Best Flip-Flop Sandals For Women Review

The Best Flip-Flop Sandals For Women Review



Shopping for the best pair of flip flops can be overwhelming. We researched over 50 models and handpicked 11 of the most popular women's models on the market. We then took them on three months worth of adventures over miles of seriously varied terrain. From urban bike rides to steep muddy mountain t...

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The Best Rain Boots for Men

The Best Rain Boots for Men



Time for new rain boots? No need to slosh through the thousands of options alone. We researched the top 40+ models before testing the best 11 boots for several months of use and abuse. When it rained, we went outside. When it didn't, we got out the hose. From muddy backyards to slippery streams to t...

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The Best Bike Saddles of 2017

The Best Bike Saddles of 2017



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 Best Locking Carabiners

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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The Best Splitboard Climbing Skins

The Best Splitboard Climbing Skins



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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The Best Rain Umbrellas of 2017

The Best Rain Umbrellas of 2017



Sifting through umbrellas to find the best can be a lengthy process. We researched over 50 products and rounded up 10 of the top contenders, rigorously testing them side-by-side, drop-by-drop, for over 150+ hours. When the skies opened up, so did our 10 canopies. We spent hours walking through rain ...

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The Best Hardshell Jacket for Women

The Best Hardshell Jacket for Women



What's the best women's hardshell jacket? For our first-ever edition of this review, we took six 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-country...

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Best Wallet-Friendly Short-Travel Mountain Bikes of 2017

Best Wallet-Friendly Short-Travel Mountain Bikes of 2017



Mountain biking is an expensive sport. To help you get bang for your buck, we bought five wallet-friendly mountain bikes and hammered them up and down trails for six weeks. While $8,000 bikes outfitted with top of the line components are certainly interesting, these flashy bikes are simply unrealist...

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The Best Men's Powder Skis of 2017/2018

The Best Men's Powder Skis of 2017/2018



Dreaming of the best way to float down your mountain? We always are. To find the best powder skis, we evaluated 60+ models and tested the 10 best in over 100 hours of intensely joyful work. It took all season amidst Lake Tahoe, California's deepest dump in decades, but we weren't complaining. Our ex...

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The Best Bike Cargo Trailer Review

The Best Bike Cargo Trailer Review



Schlepping gear on two wheels? Our experts tested the best 6 bike cargo trailers on the market after a thorough evaluation of over 40 products. We spent three months measuring max capacity, assessing weather resistance claims, testing versatility on bumpy dirt trails and smooth, paved roads, and ins...

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The Best Rope Bags for Climbing

The Best Rope Bags for Climbing



We looked at the seven 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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The Best Men's Rock Climbing Shoes of 2017

The Best Men's Rock Climbing Shoes of 2017



Climbing shoes are more advanced and confusing every year. To distinguish between the 100's of options and find the best models for cracks, gyms, and face, we researched 50 models and chose the best 23 for hands-on testing by a half dozen testers. Then it was road trip time! We used these on granite...

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The Best Hangboards for Home Training

The Best Hangboards for Home Training



Hangboards, sometimes called fingerboards, 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 da...

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The Best Climbing Slings and Runners

The Best Climbing Slings and Runners



Climbing slings and runners have come a long way from the archaic knotted bits of rope and webbing that climbing's early enthusiasts had to choose from. In today's climbing world, high-tech fibers stronger than steel allow climbing slings and runners to be skinnier and still maintain a full strength...

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The Best Portable Solar Panels and Chargers of 2017

The Best Portable Solar Panels and Chargers of 2017



We waded through the hundreds of solar charging options online and narrowed it down to the top 55 contenders. Then, we purchased the top 12 to test side-by-side. Over the course of three months, we spent hours and hours analyzing these models in the field. Additionally, we brought them inside to our...

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The Best Men's Bike Shorts and Bibs of 2017

The Best Men's Bike Shorts and Bibs of 2017



We took a deep look at 30 of the best road bike shorts and bibs and choose 8 for detailed comparisons. Our expert testers then road hundreds of miles over two months to dial in the differences and help you decide what short is right for you. We sweated through shorts and bibs chamois to find where t...

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Best Splitboards For Backcountry Snowboarding

Best Splitboards For Backcountry Snowboarding



To find the best splitboard for the backcountry, we bought 6 top models and tested them side by side. We used and rated them in powder, crust, corn, and ice. While we had one lead tester, we got feedback from six other riders ranging from experts who dropped steep High Sierra couloirs to more fun-fo...

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The Best Budget Backpacking Packs

The Best Budget Backpacking Packs



Need a pack that keeps costs low? We feel you. While there are benefits of top-shelf models, their drawbacks are felt most significantly in our wallets. After consulting our expert testers, researching the market, and summarizing our field experiences, we rounded up our favorite budget backpacking p...

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The Best Men's Trail Running Shoes of 2017

The Best Men's Trail Running Shoes of 2017



With so many pairs available today, it's tough to figure out the best pair for your style. To help, we researched over 90 of the top models available on the market today and purchased 14 to test side-by-side for hundreds of hours, over the course of twelve months. We put each model through the wring...

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The Best Mountain Bike Helmets Review

The Best Mountain Bike Helmets Review



Head protection is critical, but which mountain bike helmet is for you? To help out, we considered 40+ top models before testing the best 9 extensively. Comparing each model side-by-side, our experts rode hundreds of miles in these products to investigate each difference in design, padding, material...

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The Best All-Mountain Snowboards of 2017

The Best All-Mountain Snowboards of 2017



Trying to figure out which mountain snowboard is the absolute best? For two months straight we took nine of the top boards of 2017 on intensive rides through all kinds of conditions. From deep powder to hardback to corduroy, we rode regular and switch, taking the same lines with each model to compar...

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The 11 Best Softshell Jackets for Men

The 11 Best Softshell Jackets for Men



A slew of softshells exist on the market today. To narrow down your options, we researched 60+ of the best models and purchased the top 11. We took them hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and skiing to determine which metrics they excelled in and where they were outshined by others. Ranging from lig...

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The Best Trekking Poles for Hiking and Backpacking

The Best Trekking Poles for Hiking and Backpacking



The market is saturated with a wide variety of trekking poles. To help, we researched over 60 models and purchased 11 of the best to test out in the field, submitting them to our side-by-side comparisons. Over the course of spring and summer, and with comfort, stability, and durability in mind, our ...

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The Best Camping Stoves of 2017

The Best Camping Stoves of 2017



Are you the type to raise dinner expectations at the campsite? This review is the spatula to your frying pan. We tested the best 11 camping stoves available after thorough research of the options. For three months, our team of foodies and rookie cooks tried out each model in our Battle of the Stoves...

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The 8 Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Women

The 8 Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Women



Whether you're scrambling up fourth class talus fields or hiking down a manicured trail, we've got the shoe to get you to and from your climbing objective. We researched the top 40 pairs of women's climbing approach shoes and put the top 8 through rigorous side-by-side testing to bring you the world...

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The Best Soft Coolers of 2017

The Best Soft Coolers of 2017



Want to bring some frosty beverages to the beach? We reviewed over 50 Soft coolers, then subjected the 7 best to over 100 hours of testing. Soft coolers can offer a perfect blend of portability and performance for picnics, for use as an everyday lunchbox, or for trekking some frosty beverages up to ...

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The Best Enduro Bikes of 2017-2018

The Best Enduro Bikes of 2017-2018



Looking for an aggressive bike that flies down mountainsides? We've got your enduro round-up right here. We analyze every innovation, angle and travel number on the latest enduro rigs before tossing down the credit card to test the best. Then, we run each bike through the most rigorous and objective...

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The Best Bike Work Stands for Home and Travel

The Best Bike Work Stands for Home and Travel



Which is the best bike work stand for repairing your ride when at home or on the road? To find out, we researched 20 top models and bought five for hands-on testing on trips and in our garage. We looked for which ones were easiest to get the bike in and out of, the most stable, and the easiest to co...

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The 10 Best Climbing Packs

The 10 Best Climbing Packs



If you're looking for a pack to take up multi-pitch climbs, you have more options now than ever before. We researched over 50 different models before purchasing 10 to subject to side-by-side testing. From the glacier-polished granite of El Capitan to the coarse volcanic phonolite of Devil's Tower, w...

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The 11 Best Multi-Tools For The Outdoors

The 11 Best Multi-Tools For The Outdoors



There are an unlimited number of multi-tools and reviews out there. To help, we researched over 50 models and narrowed down the field to the top 11, extensively testing each competitor side-by-side. To "winnow the chaff" for you, so to speak, we have been examining this field literally for decades. ...

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The Best Climbing Shoes For Women Review

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-on…err…feet-on test to find the very best. All around the world, from limestone spo...

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The Best Ultralight Tent Shelters of 2017

The Best Ultralight Tent Shelters of 2017



Tired of carrying around your heavy and bulky tent? We researched over 50 ultralight models and purchased 10 of the best, testing them side-by-side over the course of five months. Our expert testers spent countless nights using the tarps, pyramids, and feather light double wall tents in order to hel...

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The Best Ski Pants for Women of 2017

The Best Ski Pants for Women of 2017



To find the top performers in a snowstorm of women's ski pants, we evaluated 70+ of the market's most popular products before testing the best 9 models. Standing in front of a rack full of different products, it's hard to tell which model is ideal for your skiing conditions and winter goals. We took...

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The Best Men's Synthetic Insulated Jackets of 2017

The Best Men's Synthetic Insulated Jackets of 2017



What's the best synthetic insulated jacket for you? From 75 carefully researched products, we've selected 11 for rigorous hands-on testing. Each jacket underwent 20+ hours of testing by our team of hikers, climbers, and skiers. One Jacket came out on top, but we've highlighted which products are bes...

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The Best Bike Computers of 2017

The Best Bike Computers of 2017



These days there are a dizzying number of options when it comes to cycling computers, so we went ahead and filtered through them for you. After researching 28 of the top models, we selected 9 to put through rigorous testing. For an extended period, we tested each model on a variety of bikes, terrain...

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The Best Camping Coffee Makers of 2017

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 Ski Goggles of 2017

The Best Ski Goggles of 2017



With a seemingly endless selection out there, how do you know where to start? We researched over 50 of the top models, putting 9 through the Sierra Nevada wringer, over the course of 100+ testing hours. Our reviewers skied, boarded, climbed, shoveled, and froze through the Sierra Nevada winter in al...

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The Best Sun Hats for Hiking

The Best Sun Hats for Hiking



Decided to add a sun hat to your outdoor collection? To help you sort through the dozens available, we purchased the top 11 and put them through comprehensive side-by-side testing throughout sunny California. From sweltering deserts to high-altitude peaks, our experts stuffed each model in their pac...

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The Best Mountain Bike Tires

The Best Mountain Bike Tires



Choosing the ideal combination of tires for trail/all-mountain riding is absolutely critical. We put a healthy bunch of tires through an in-depth test in different conditions and terrain types. Each tire was scored on pedal traction, braking abilities, rolling resistance, durability, and difficulty ...

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The Best Women's Backpacking Packs of 2017

The Best Women's Backpacking Packs of 2017



Perusing the women's backpacking backpack market can be challenging. To help, we researched over 50 models and purchased the top 11 women's specific contenders, putting them through a series of side-by-side tests. We hit the trails to find out which competitors are the best out there. From weekend t...

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The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2017

The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2017



Backpacking trips range from week-long outings above 10,000 feet to mellow overnights near home. In our side-by-side tests of 10-plus stoves, we take them to these scenarios and everything in between to find the best option for your backpacking style. We looked at more than 40 models to narrow it do...

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The Best Stand Up Paddle Boards for 2017

The Best Stand Up Paddle Boards for 2017



Searching for a superior stand up paddle board? After spending 50 hours researching over 30 boards, we bought the top 8 models on the market today and put them through an exhaustive series of side-by-side tests to find the winner. With all of the different boards and an enormous range of prices, fin...

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The Best Avalanche Beacon Review

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 Best Energy Bars for Snacks, Health, & Training

The Best Energy Bars for Snacks, Health, & Training



What is the best energy bar for meal replacement or snacking while pursuing your favorite activities in all seasons? What energy bars are best suited for today's health-conscious athlete? OutdoorGearLab spent seven months testing 31 varieties in a rigorous process that had over 50 testers from twent...

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The Best Sunglasses for Men

The Best Sunglasses for Men



Holes in the ozone got you down? After researching hundreds of sunglasses we chose 9 of the best pairs and put them through a battery of 11 tests. Over the course of more than 100 hours we wore our sunglasses everywhere: skinning up mountains, skiing back down, riding flow laps on mountain bikes, tr...

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The Best Messenger Bags of 2017

The Best Messenger Bags of 2017



A good messenger bag makes getting around town easy, but choosing the right one is hard. We analyzed 60 top models before testing the best 10 head-to-head. These bags got to experience a lot - our expert testers took them on office commutes, bike rides, airports, and public transportation for months...

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The 10 Best Laptop Backpacks of 2017

The 10 Best Laptop Backpacks of 2017



Seeking a laptop backpack? We reviewed the best models to bring you the details before you buy, researching 60+ models and testing the top 10 packs over several months. Our daily commutes and trips to the airport turned into testing grounds for each model. Head-to-head testing revealed which backpac...

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Best Mountain Bike Shorts for Women of 2017

Best Mountain Bike Shorts for Women of 2017



Searching for a new pair of women's mountain bike shorts? We tested the best to help you out. After researching the market, we chose the top 9 models for side-by-side testing over several months. Our eager team of female testers hit the trails hard in these shorts, racking up mileage while comparing...

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Best GPS Watches of 2017 for Running & Training

Best GPS Watches of 2017 for Running & Training



We analyzed over 50 of the top GPS-enabled fitness watches for all walks of adventure. Our expert testers then narrowed down the selection to the best 9 and put them through 3 months of side-by-side comparisons and tests, totaling over 200+ hours of testing. Whether it be pushing ourselves on road a...

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The Best Daypacks for Hiking and Travel

The Best Daypacks for Hiking and Travel



A trusted partner for travel, everyday use, and short hikes, a daypack is there for you when the going gets tough. To help you find the perfect pack, we researched over 50 competitors before purchasing the best 9 to put through our side-by-side testing. Our team of experts carried them around the gl...

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The Quest for the Perfect Backpacking Spork

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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The Best Long Underwear and Base Layers for Women

The Best Long Underwear and Base Layers for Women



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 Best Men's Winter Jackets of 2017

The Best Men's Winter Jackets of 2017



On the hunt for a winter jacket? We scoured the market for the best of the best, evaluating over 70 popular models and testing the top 14 in a long-term, comparative test. Our team of pros put each one through the gauntlet, highlighting the performance you need to ward off winter chills. We shoveled...

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The Best Bindings for Backcountry Skiing

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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The Best Bivy Sack Review

The Best Bivy Sack Review



We don't want to leave you out in the cold, so we researched 40 bivy sacks, selected the best 4, and tested them side by side to bring you a comprehensive review. From hanging camp sites high on the cliff sides to mountain meadows to the rugged desert landscape, we tested all four contenders in a va...

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The Best Ski Boots for Men of 2017

The Best Ski Boots for Men of 2017



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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The Best Mountaineering Boots For Women Review

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 Bike Pumps - Floor Models Compared

The Best Bike Pumps - Floor Models Compared



Eight top-performing floor pumps were put through their paces in our rigorous testing process. We ranked these pumps based on five performance metrics including stability, ease of attachment/detachment, gauge, inflation speed, and accuracy. Luckily, all of the pumps were serviceable but some stood o...

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The Best Women's Trail Mountain Bikes of 2018

The Best Women's Trail Mountain Bikes of 2018



Ever wonder if a women's mountain bike is right for you? Four professional women testers ripped three popular ladies' bikes around for six weeks to help you find out. We pushed these whips to the limit, pounding out the Sierra Mountain miles and running through 67 time trials. They're good. The Juli...

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The Best Women's Winter Jackets of 2017

The Best Women's Winter Jackets of 2017



Unsure about which winter jacket should make the cut? To help, we analyzed over 70 models and purchased the 11 best contenders. We extensively tested each model via various side-by-side comparisons, taking special care to include competitors that have what it takes to keep the harsh winter out, whil...

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The Best Road Bike Helmets of 2017

The Best Road Bike Helmets of 2017



Road bike helmets are a critical piece of safety gear. To find the best, we researched over 50 models and purchased the top 14 models to test side by side on the road and in our lab. What combination of features equates to a high-quality helmet? What is the difference between a top-of-the-line helme...

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The Best Beach Canopy Review

The Best Beach Canopy Review



Looking for the best beach canopy? We tested four 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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The Best Men's Rain Jackets of 2017

The Best Men's Rain Jackets of 2017



To find the best rain jackets for hiking, backpacking, and general outdoor use, we researched 50 models, bought 10 and sought out downpours in the Pacific Northwest. Whether you want a top-of-the-line, tricked-out model, or something under $100, we have a recommendation for you. While we declare an ...

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The Best Mountain Bike Pedal Review

The Best Mountain Bike Pedal Review



We researched 60 different mountain bike pedals and selected 9 top pairs for side-by-side testing. We set out to find the best enduro and trail riding options for budgets from $40-160. To test, we used ten pairs of shoes and six bikes through hundreds of miles of single track. We weighed, measured, ...

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The Best Sleeping Bags for Camping

The Best Sleeping Bags for Camping



We rate the best sleeping bags for camping adventures ranging from the backyard to Yellowstone Park. First, we researched 60 top models to find 7 of the best. We bought those and took to campgrounds across the country for side-by-side tests. We mainly selected traditional and rectangle sleeping bags...

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The Best Bicycle Frame and Mini Pump Review

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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The Best Sandals for Women Review

The Best Sandals for Women Review



We took ten of the best women's hiking sandals and took to the trails, beaches and city streets. In our side-by-side tests, we set out to find which ones best combine style, performance, and value. We looked at models that might replace your hiking shoes as well as more delicate women's sandals that...

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The Best Wind Jacket Review

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 Ascenders for Big Walls and Rescue

The Best Ascenders for Big Walls and Rescue



We look at the top models in two categories: big wall and self-rescue and emergency ascenders. Climbing El Capitan and getting your buddy out of a crevasse are two very different applications. Below we outline which device is best for what and which ones can do it all....

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The Best Tailgate Pads of 2017

The Best Tailgate Pads of 2017



Do you own a truck, a mountain bike, and have friends? If the answer is yes, then perhaps you're in the market for a tailgate pad to protect your investment in both your vehicle and the bikes you carry with it. Whether for shuttle runs or regular transport, these models are an affordable way to safe...

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The Best Women's Hiking Boots of 2017

The Best Women's Hiking Boots of 2017



Starting your search for a pair of women's hiking boots? You've come to the right place. We analyzed 60 of the top models before purchasing 13 of the best. We subjected each model in our fleet to meticulous side-by-side testing for over four months and hundreds of miles. With so many choices and bol...

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The Best Rock Climbing Rope

The Best Rock Climbing Rope



Looking for a new climbing rope but confused by all the ratings and sizes? We can help! We researched over 65 climbing ropes and then tested the 10 best side by side. We flaked, coiled, climbed, and carried all of these ropes in a wide range of applications to help you find the right rope for you, w...

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The Best Camping Pillows of 2017

The Best Camping Pillows of 2017



Ready for a boost in camping comfort? To find the best camping pillows on the market, we researched 30+ models and tested 8 popular and high-performing products side by side. Our selection includes compressible, inflatable, and hybrid options that testers compared over a two month period in the back...

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The Best Mountain Bike Shorts for Men

The Best Mountain Bike Shorts for Men



Mountain bike season is upon us, but are you ready to hit the trails? We researched over 40 of the top mountain bike shorts available and selected 10 of the best pairs, to test side-by-side for over 200 hours in the saddle. Over the course of three months, we pedaled hundreds of miles and did more ...

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The Best Rain Boots for Women Review

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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The 10 Best Yoga Mats

The 10 Best Yoga Mats



What's the best yoga mat on the market today? We researched over 40 models and put 12 of them to the test in our updated review. We stretched, sweated and Down Dogged on these mats for over 100 hours to help you find the best one, no matter what style you practice. We tested these mats in a variety ...

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The Best Sun Protection Shirts for Men

The Best Sun Protection Shirts for Men



Sun shirts can be a very convenient way to get the kind of protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation you'd get from applying sunscreen to your upper body. Sun protection clothing is given a UPF rating, which is similar to the SPF rating for sunscreen. But, UPF rating is only part of the sto...

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The 11 Best Pocket Knives of 2017

The 11 Best Pocket Knives of 2017



You'll find aisles lined with pocket knife options. We analyzed over 25 competitors and purchased the best 11, testing them side-by-side over a couple of months. Our expert testers chopped, diced, and sliced their way through the kitchen and put these models in various outdoor scenarios. We compared...

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The Best Road Bike Shoes of 2017

The Best Road Bike Shoes of 2017



In the market for a sweet new pair of road shoes? After analyzing 70 of the best models, we spent months abusing 9 of the best out there (and ourselves) to get you the bottom line on what's worth your time and what's right for you. We took each pair through hundreds of miles in A-rides, gran...

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The Best Ultralight Backpacks for 2017

The Best Ultralight Backpacks for 2017



These days, it seems like gear has been getting lighter and lighter. The days of bulky, cumbersome backpacking trips are done. With all the options out there, we chose the top 11 packs weighing under two and a half pounds and tested them side by side to find out which one was the ideal ultralight pa...

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The 10 Best Winter Boots for Men

The 10 Best Winter Boots for Men



The category of winter boots is almost as daunting as the season itself. Many boots claim to be warm, waterproof and comfortable, but which boots actually succeed at taking care of our feet when the temperatures drop and the snows fall? We looked at over 60 different models before choosing 10 popula...

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The Best Camping Table Review

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 Men's Snowshoes of 2017

The Best Men's Snowshoes of 2017



Snowshoes have evolved way beyond a wooden frame and webbing, but selecting a pair is tough. We evaluated 40+ models and tested the best 8 side-by-side for several winter months. From hard-packed snow on popular trails to off-trail deep powder, our testers spent over 100 hours covering snowy ground ...

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The Best Women's Trail Running Shoes for 2017

The Best Women's Trail Running Shoes for 2017



To find the best trail running shoes for women, we poured over the market's 100 highest rated models before selecting the top 13 to test rigorously. Our female trail warriors spent 200+ hours racing up and down trails of the Peruvian Andes and the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Testing all models side-by...

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The 8 Best Mountaineering Backpacks

The 8 Best Mountaineering Backpacks



How do you track down the best mountaineering backpack? To find out, we purchased 8 of the best alpine packs and subjected them to rigorous testing to see how they compared side-by-side. From carrying loads to the base of big walls to expeditions in Alaska to ice climbing in Canada, and alpine rock ...

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The 8 Best Bike Trailers for Kids

The 8 Best Bike Trailers for Kids



Looking for a bike trailer that provides both protection and convenience? To find the best option for you, we looked at 30 different models and selected over 8 for hands-on testing. We swapped between each model for over 500 miles and then brought them into the lab. Here we set up an accelerometer t...

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Recent Editors' Award Winners

*Award reviews courtesy of OutdoorGearLab.com
We believe the best gear reviews are those that objectively compare and contrast. To that end, we partner with OutdoorGearLab.com to utilize their editorial reviews, and add user-reviews and commentary from the SuperTopo climbing community. We hope the result is a combination of community perspective and side-by-side comparison, that you find more informative and useful.