Gear Talk

As a contributor for numerous editorial outlets, I've had the opportunity to test hundreds of pieces of outdoor gear and apparel - in categories ranging from backpacking and hiking, climbing, kayaking, cycling, and more. This is a collection of gear-related articles and blog posts.

 
 


Can A $1 Cat Food Can Beat A $140 Backpacking Stove?

Can an old can of Fancy Feast cook food faster than an expensive, complicated backpacking stove? Let's find out.

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A Gear Geek's Guide To Ultralight Backpacking

Taking weight off your back is a good thing, but not at the expense of comfort, capability or preparedness. Here's how to ultralight backpack in style.

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Adventure Tested: Sea To Summit Spark SP1 Ultralight Sleeping Bag

The lightest, smallest high-performance sleeping bag you can buy? This new Sea To Summit Spark SP1 weighs just 12.3 oz and packs down to the size of a grapefruit. Here's the world-first review.

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How Mountain Hardwear Designs The Lightest Nylon Jackets In The World

Mountain Hardwear completely reinvented nylon to create the Ghost Whisperer fabric — an incredibly lightweight, stretchy, wind and water resistant nylon. We talked to the company's head designer about how it's made. 

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Adventure Tested: Nemo Tango Duo Slim Two-Person Sleeping Bag

A two-person sleeping bag that packs down no heavier or larger than a single one-person bag? The Nemo Tango Duo Slim 30's innovative backless design enables it to achieve that. Here's how.

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How The Lightest, Strongest Outdoors Fabric Is Designed And Manufactured

Hyperlite Mountain Gear makes packs and shelters with a new, Space Age material called Cuben Fiber. It's 15 times stronger than steel and lighter than anything that's come before. How do they do it?

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Adventure Tested: Mountain Hardwear Mtn. Speed 32 Sleeping Bag

Planning a fast and light cold weather adventure? The Mountain Hardwear Mtn Speed 32 employs a new type of nylon to become the lightest sleeping bag capable of keeping you warm in freezing weather.

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Adventure Tested: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 3400 Backpack

Durable, waterproof, and comfortable, the ultralight, Cuben Fiber Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 3400 weighs just 2 lbs, but sacrifices zero performance. It's hands down the best backpacking bag you can buy.

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Can The World's Lightest Down Jacket Stand Up To Backcountry Abuse?

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket is the lightest fully featured down jacket in the world at 7 oz. It's incredibly warm and packs down smaller and lighter than four Clif Bars.

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Adventure Tested: Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro Boots

The ultimate in Adventure Motorcycling protection? We tested the new Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro boots on street and trail.

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Adventure Tested: Fieldsheer Adventure Tour Pants And Jacket

Can American budget bike gear brand Fieldsheer finally compete with premium Italian competitors like Alpinestars and Dainese? This Adventure Tour suit is the closest they've come yet.

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Adventure Tested: Jetboil MiniMo Backpacking Stove

Jetboil's newly designed MiniMo is a lightweight, modular backpacking stove that not only excels at boiling water, but can now simmer and cook real food as well. We've been testing it in the Norwegian wilderness. 

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Can A Tarp Outperform A Tent In Extreme Weather?

Without a floor or even its own support poles, can a tarp do as well as a tent in high winds, heavy snow and pouring rain? We think one can actually do better, at least if its this Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 we’re currently living out of it in Iceland.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Review: The Ultimate Outdoor Computer?

Need to edit photos and videos in the field? How about the forest or up the side of a mountain in Iceland? All while filing stories as you go? We do, and we've been dragging the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 around to get that job done. Here's how it performs.

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How Trekking Poles Can Make Your Hike Easier, Faster And Safer

You've seen people using them — walking with "ski poles" through the mountains — but what are they for? Trekking poles add stability, support and even speed. Here's how.

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What It Feels Like To Crawl Into A -30F Sleeping Bag In The Himalaya

Need to sleep outside somewhere that you could literally freeze to death in under an hour? Turns out they make sleeping bags designed to make that not just possible, but even comfortable. Here's what they feel like.

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These Backpacks Can Take You Around The World

We believe in packing light whenever possible. However, some adventures require more stuff. Whether you're climbing Denali or trekking through the rainforest carrying tons of camera gear, you'll need an expedition pack. We tested the two most popular ones available across Norway, Iceland and on a 185-mile hike through Nepal.

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Adventure Tested: La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX

La Sportiva updated their popular line of Nepal mountaineering boots with the new Cube GTX. The Cube is an incredibly lightweight, single layer, technical winter boot that's ideal for mixed terrain. We put it to the test in the country of its namesake while climbing in the Himalayas.

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This Gear Took Us Around The World

What clothes, computer, ice axe, and backpack does a photographer and writer for an adventure travel site fall back on when he's going to be going up against the unpredictability of nature, while traveling unsupported around the world? This is the best of the best, the stuff I took with me to adventure around the globe, and how it performed.

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Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Solar Kit Review: The Solution To Off-Grid Power?

The Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Solar Kit is a portable solar charging kit capable of recharging tablets, SLR camera batteries, or even your laptop using only power from the sun. We've put it to the test everywhere from Iceland to Nepal.

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This Is The Gear That Took Me To Southeast Asia

What clothes, gadgets, and backpack does a photographer and writer for an adventure travel site rely on when he’s going to Asia and traveling light? This is my pared down adventure-storytelling kit, and how it performed.

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GoPro's New Camera Is a Tiny Cube. I Took It on Adventures.

I’ve been keeping a secret, and today I can spill the beans. Last month, I took a new camera on some adventures. Yes, it’s a GoPro. A smaller, lighter, more versatile GoPro than you’ve ever seen.

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Nikon D810 Review: The Ultimate Adventure Camera?

Last month, I took the Nikon D810 out on the Sierra High Route — one of the toughest adventures around. It got dirty, wet, and constantly banged around. Here’s how it performed.

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Sony A7S Adventure Tested: Ultimate Low-Light Mirrorless?

I’ve been dragging the Sony A7S on all of my adventures for the last few months — shooting in broad daylight and the dead of night. It’s gotten dirty; even dropped. Here’s how it performed.

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Peak Design Everyday Messenger Review: The Perfect Camera Bag?

Peak Design changed the way photographers carried their cameras with the introduction of an innovative clip. Now, they’re taking on camera bags. We tested their Everyday Messenger to see how it performs.

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Lenovo LaVie Z 360 Review: The Ultimate Adventure Travel Computer?

The LaVie Z is the newest ultrabook from Lenovo. At just 2 lbs, it’s the lightest in its class. Does that make it the perfect adventure-travel companion? We’ve been carrying it everywhere to find out.

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Your Ultimate Guide To Mountaineering Gear

Ready to geek out on outdoors gear? Combining climbing, high altitudes, camping and extreme winter weather, mountaineering is probably the most gear-intensive sport there is. And here’s your ultimate guide to the best gear for it.

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How GoPro Is Turning Its Athletes Into Storytellers

Sport photography isn’t shot from the sidelines anymore, it’s made by athletes as they do their thing. But before they can do that, they have to learn to shoot like a pro. We went inside the camp where they’re trained.

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Will a New Communications System for Our National Parks Save Lives?

An off-the-grid emergency warning system called Smart Park could give visitors critical information about weather and missing persons

/// Outside

 

The Case for Ditching Your Truck for a Vintage Snowcat

Yellowstone National Park is auctioning off most of its old 'cats. So we reached out to Orion Anthony of Northern Lights Optic to find out what it's like to own one of these beauties.

/// Outside

 

Ducati Just Launched a Great Beginner's Bike. Here's Why You Shouldn't Buy It.

The Scrambler Sixty2 is targeted at new riders. But is 400cc too small for a real Ducati?

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Tough and Light, Hilleberg's Nammatj 3GT Tent Was Designed for Mountaineering

A new tent promises to be one of the strongest on the mountain. At $975, it'd better be.

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The Ultimate Performance Diet for Human-Powered Adventure

What Mike Horn will eat when he walks to both poles

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This $350 Backpack Will Keep You Alive

Everything you need to survive for 72 hours, stuffed into a single waterproof bag

/// Outside

 
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We Traveled from Greenland to Antarctica to Find the Best Glacier Glasses

Need sunglasses for climbing, mountaineering, or traveling through snow and ice? We tested three pairs across three continents and two hemispheres to find out how they stack up.

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How Julbo Designs Your Glacier Glasses

From the first-ever pair to the eyes of modern climbing legends

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Tough and Light, Hilleberg's Nammatj 3GT Tent Was Designed for Mountaineering

A new tent promises to be one of the strongest on the mountain. At $975, it'd better be.

/// Indefinitely Wild