24 Useful Things From Backcountry That Reviewers Truly Swear By
*adds three pullovers and hearty camping meals to cart*
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A warm fuzzy
Patagonia fleece pullover you can rely on during autumn adventures for easy layering and an extra-large storage pocket.
Promising review: "This cozy fleece has been perfect for cold spring mornings. The inside is luxuriously fluffy and the giant center pocket is super useful. I usually wear an XS in Patagonia shirts but size up in jackets for layering and the S in this style is a little loose but comfortable!" — Daniela R.
Price: $71.40+ (available in sizes XXS-XL and 12 colors)
Osprey Daylite bag reviewers swear by for its durability, making it the ideal bag whether you're out skateboarding or on the trail all day.
Promising review: "This bag is super convenient! And durable! One time I was downhill longboarding and crashed, rolled onto my back, and slid away on this pack. Very very minimal damage. This bag is basically indestructible." — David Sully
Price: $65 (20L size, available in eight colors)
Promising review: "This is the third jacket I have purchased since 2011. It is by far my favorite jacket, especially for cool evenings and during the winter season. I purchased my most recent jacket specifically for the bright color to attract attention on my outdoor walks. It's cute, comfortable, and lightweight. You won’t be disappointed." — Trish D.
Price: $259 (available in sizes XS-XL and seven colors)
Indian vegetable korma meal for two that reviewers adore for its generous portions in compact packaging. Yum.
Promising review: "I eat the double servings myself, and these Good To Go meals always leave me satiated and full. This flavor, in particular, is a great one. Compared to Backpacker's Pantry and Mountain House, I like the more compact packaging of G2G as well, it really helps with longer trips. I recently completed a six-day backpacking trip and managed to fit all of my food in a 10L dry bag, thanks to the sizing of all G2G dinners." — Taylor Journey
A classic and
cozy Carhartt pullover ready to keep you warm through the fall, winter, and spring, and without breaking the bank! I love to see it.
Promising review: "Can’t ever go wrong with Carhartt. Perfect sweater for work. Always keeps me warm and super comfortable. Fits true to size and is super durable. Great product will buy more." — Kristian
Price: $29.99+ (available in sizes S-3XXl and seven colors)
collapsible java drip that'll make delicious coffee accessible and arguably easier than ever, even if you're out in the backcountry. Just add a reusable filter, pour over your favorite java, and enjoy!
Promising review: "Best $13 ever spent for backpacking. Say goodbye to 'eh it works' coffee methods in the backcountry. This pour-over system is so easy and compact! I used it with my partner on a five day trip in the Bob Marshal and it was so much better than the instant coffee our other companions were drinking. More recently it's made its way into our scamp camper where space is cramped and it's a great addition there too!" — Koly Swistak
20-degree synthetic sleeping bag perfect for anyone who wants to be as toasty camping out in the woods or car camping as they are in their own bed.
Promising review: "Quality bag. The nice bright green color allows you to see it easier at night. It's as warm as you would want it for three-season camping. The zipper zips all the way up and you snuggle in there deep. Not the most space-efficient bag, but it is warm." — Kevin Flanagan
Price: $51.99+ (available in three sizes)
warm foam sleeping pad you can stick under your sleeping bag, because what fun is sleeping on the cold hard ground when you can just...not?
Promising review: "This is by far my favorite mat I’ve slept on. It keeps you very warm yet it is extremely lightweight being only foam. The material helps keep my sleeping bag from sliding off and it doesn't make all the crunchy sound an air pad would. I was worried how thin the pad is but wow it has exceeded my expectations. Can't even feel if it's in your pack or not!" — David Gorka
Price: $39.95 (available in three sizes)
A pair of
Blundstone Chelsea boots reviewers adore (as will you!) for their classic style, durability, and comfort. These boots have all the boxes for everyday wear checked.
Promising review: "Absolutely LOVE my Blundstone's!! I wore them all winter long, and into the spring, while I was living in Eastern Europe (when the snow wasn't several inches deep — though, you definitely could wear them through snow and I did). They were amazing. Such awesome, quality material, very comfortable, and so durable (I literally wore them for months straight, every day)! Love the style for fashion and function. I also really like the color (the rustic brown hid any scrapes until I had the chance to rub the boot clean again). I wore them through water puddles (though they are not waterproof) but I didn't have any issues. You'll need thicker socks for cold temperatures because they aren't made to be super warm. But with the socks, I was great. They also broke-in really easily for me. The price definitely reflects the standard. Can't recommend them enough!" — Emily S.
Price: $199.95+ (available in sizes 6-11 and 10 colors)
lightweight hooded pullover that just may be the warm (but not too warm) layer we've all been looking for 👀. It's easy to take off when you're working up a sweat, and it has temperature control features like a zipper and helmet-friendly hood for when it suddenly gets chilly.
Promising review: "I believe this is the perfect layer for almost everything. Nice and warm when you need it to be, not so hot you have to take if off instantly when the sun comes out, and it's super comfortable and stretchy so I never want to take it off anyway. It moves nicely and is durable so climbing with it is great, and it's warm so when I'm at the crag just hanging out it stays on! The kangaroo pouch adds a layer of comfort that other layers don't have, and the zip allows for more temperature control if it does get warmer or the wind picks up. I also appreciate a hood that can go under a helmet to keep me warm while sending in early or late seasons." — Josh Provost
Price: $49.47 (available in sizes S-XXL and four colors)
A low-profile and
dependable camping chair you can use in the woods all day, or to have a nice cozy sit by the campfire.
Promising review: "A friend of mine brought one of these on a camping trip and I had to have one after trying his out. Super comfortable for sitting around a campfire. I normally car camp, but you could backpack with them as well. It packs down small enough that I just keep it in my car for whenever I need it. Comes in handy for post-mountain bike ride beers." — Paul Quiqley
Price: $109.95 (available in 11 colors)
A dimmable, rechargeable, and
compact lantern so you'll always have the light you need for overnight trips, tents, RV overhangs, and more!
Promising review: "I bought this for a solo camping trip last year and it was the all-around perfect light for me. It gives off enough light for a two-person tent, hooks easily to the tent, is easy to use as a reading light, and was ideal as a task light while cooking at night. Extremely light-weight and easy to pack as well." — Thomas F.
Price: $19.95 (available in two colors)
A pair of
ski/snowboard goggles that are scratch and impact-resistant, comfortable, moisture-wicking, and best of all — designed to give you reliable visibility no matter the weather/light conditions.
Promising review: "Bought these as a gift for my sister. Here is what she had to say: 'These goggles really do work great for all conditions. Eliminating the need to switch back and forth between lenses. I was very impressed with how well they performed in flat lighting. I was seeing great while everyone I was skiing with was struggling. The lenses themselves are rose tint with a green mirror on top which was a bit of a surprise when I took it out of the box because that was not visible in pictures, but it worked great." — Emilee Anderson
Price: $93.50+ (available in 16 colors)
A pair of
waterproof Columbia hiking boots so you can stay safe, dry, and stylish on the trail.
Promising review: "These are perfect starter boots. I chose to break these in visiting Sequoia National Park and hiked to see General Sherman and other giant trees around the park. The paths were snowy and wet. These boots kept my feet dry and were easy to navigate through snow. They were comfy and light. I would recommend getting a half-size bigger for room to hike downhill so your toes have room to move in the toe box. They gave me sufficient ankle support for this hike as well. I can't wait to use them for my future hikes!" — David K.
Price: $79.95 (available in sizes 6-11 and two colors)
eco-friendly yoga mat for anyone who is scent-sensitive like me. It's free of latex and harsh ingredients, and reviewers with sensitive noses swear by it!
Promising review: "This mat is nice and sticky, and isn't stinky. While that may not seem to be a lot to ask for I've ordered an imposter mat and it stank of PVC so badly that it stayed on the porch while it awaited its return. For a nice grippy, no-frills, get-the-job-done mat that does not smell bad; look no further!" — John Schott
Price: $32.95 (available in six colors)
A warm, cozy,
cropped puffy coat with 600-fill down insulation and a high collar to keep wind and cold out of your life!
Promising review: "I waited to write this review until I had worn this jacket a decent amount and could form a good opinion, and I LOVE it. I LOVE the more cropped fit, as someone with a bigger booty it is far more flattering than something that covers my bum and makes me look larger. It is so rare to find a good warm jacket that isn't too long for me. It is SO warm, and soft in a way that isn't fuzzy. Which is great, because this jacket can be worn for outdoor activities. The quality far exceeded my expectations and I am very happy with this product. I would absolutely recommend it." — Aidan Cobain
Price: $74.98 (available in sizes XS-XL and three colors)
A pair of
water shoes you can rely on to trek through rivers or go fishing in without fear of cold, wet feet. These shoes are quick-drying with drainage holes and reviewers say they hold up on backpacking trips!
Promising review: "I wore these on a three-day hike through a river and they were the best shoes in the group. They sit tight on your ankle so sand and rocks can't get in. They are comfortable and drain water well. I wore them with socks given the amount of distance I was walking." — Melanie L.
Price: $90 (available in sizes 8-13 and four colors)
Promising review: "I love this jacket. I have had my Nano Puff Jack in Cobalt Blue (which some may say is more purple) for over four years. It has been on two safaris (gets cold at night), many local trips, and worn daily. I wash in it cold water and dry on low with tennis balls for about 10 minutes on low. I am about to buy a second one only because I want a black one. I would highly recommend this jacket. The only thing it is not good for is rain! I have an outer shell I wear over it for that." — Michelle D.
Price: $199 (available in sizes XS-XXL and 12 colors)
quick-drying personal towel you can use at the beach, on camping trips, swimming excursions, and other outdoor and indoor adventures. It packs up small enough to bring anywhere.
Promising review: "I wasn't sold on buying a travel/camping towel, but this was so so handy for Colorado hiking, swimming, and camping. Plus, it packs small and the zippered pouch is large enough to stash a few other gear items. As a bonus, it's also great for drying wavy/curly hair without frizz." — Jennifer M.
contact sling fellow climbers swear by, especially for alpine draws so you can get out and have a successful and safe climb.
Promising review: "The 60-cm size is really nice for alpine draws--they're thin and 'slick' and the seam stitching makes them run through the carabiners smoothly. The 180-cm size — which is not a common size — is perfect for setting up a quad anchor on multi-pitch routes with bolted hangers. I think I read that off the comments on here, and it's true." — Josh E.
Price: $6.95+ (available in five sizes and four colors)
waterproof emergency kit packed with various bandages to dress cuts, sprains, and fractures, plus medication for bites, pain, and fever. Time to throw one of these in your car, mountain bike pack, and overnight bag.
Promising review: "My husband and I have these in our backcountry touring packs, mountain bike packs, and in each of our cars. They are thorough, light, and we love that they came in a waterproof package. Instead of moving these around in each of our packs depending on what activity we're doing, we've got them stashed in all the right places so we can rest assured we haven't forgotten an e-kit while we're out and about." — Melissa Crespo
Price: $8.95+ (available in four sizes)
cozy beanie that'll keep your head and ears warm day in and day out!
Promising review: "I have three of the Truckstop beanies because I love them so much. And with the new colors, I’ll have to buy more. I have a very round face and finding a beanie that doesn’t squeeze my head is very difficult. This is the only one I’ve found to not make me look like a 1970’s Fisher-Price Little People toy. I love that it folds up if I want some extra warmth around my ears, but I can wear it unfolded to fit it under my climbing helmet. These are so soft, too, and hold up great in the washer. I can’t rant about these enough." — Sam L.
Price: $16.95 (available in six colors)
And a reliable
tectal helmet featuring tons of coverage and a unibody design to lessen the amount of potential stress points on your head, because you shouldn't have to sacrifice comfort for safety.
Promising review: "We currently have four POC helmets in our home, and three prior to those, if that tells you something. We've got two of the Tectals now, it's just a great helmet. Fit is really nice, gives you super coverage, and I love the comfort over the long haul. Highly recommended." — Kyle Br
Price: $189.95 (available in sizes XS-XL and five colors)
Me gearing up for hikes in the cold months ahead:
@SearchlightPics / Via Giphy
Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity. What's your favorite product? Shopping Newsletter
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