Published nine times a year, Backpacker is a magazine of wilderness travel, offering practical, "you can do it, here's how" advice to help you enjoy every trip. Filled with the best places, gear, and information for all kinds of hiking and camping trips, each issue delivers foldout maps and stunning color photography.
Cold Comfort • Vetting the latest gear has its ups and downs.
Never Gonna Give You Up
MEET THE TESTERS
The Year’s Best Gear • For five months, we crisscrossed continents, climates, and comfort zones to put the newest outdoor products to the ultimate hiker’s test. A final, weeklong gauntlet in the Pyrenees Mountains, in Spain’s Catalonia region, was the finishing touch: By its end, we had elected these 12 winners of this year’s Editors’ Choice Awards.
PACKS • Our testers found load haulers for every trip and hiker. Pick yours and enjoy the spoils.
COMFORT SYSTEM • Backpacking should be about pleasure, not pain.
FOOTWEAR • Treat your feet to exceptional comfort, support, and traction.
GOING LONG • Light is right when you’re trying to make big miles.
TENTS & HAMMOCKS • Find the perfect shelter to match the perfect location.
WEATHERING THE STORM • There’s no such thing as bad weather if you have good gear—and tequila.
SLEEPING BAGS & PADS • Light, warm, packable: Rest easy in the coziest backcountry beds.
ON A BUDGET • Spend less, hike more with a system that prioritizes affordability and durability.
SHELLS • Carry less without compromising protection against the elements.
FAMILY FUN • Just pack up your kids and go camping. It’ll get easier—and more fun—with practice.
Tough Love • Every piece of gear starts off new and shiny. But then come the miles. And the rocks. And the sun and the rain and the marmots. The stuff that lasts becomes part of our trip memories, intertwined with the journey. We keep using these things because we love them—and we love bucking our throwaway culture. Guides, editors, and testers share some all-time favorites here, and we hope your shiny new gear will someday look the same.
ESSENTIALS • Complete your kit with the right accessories for every budget and trip.
ESSENTIALS Kids Gear
ESSENTIALS Climbing Gear
ESSENTIALS Trekking Poles
ESSENTIALS GEAR GUIDE Knives and Tools
ESSENTIALS GEAR GUIDE Socks
Leave Home Without It • We spend a lot of time thinking about what to put in our packs. But sometimes, we clearly don’t think enough. Our readers have spotted (or carried) all of these things out in the wild, proving there’s nothing heavier than a bad idea.