Gear Advice

October 29, 2019

Understanding Headlamp Brightness

The Problem Headlamp packaging has a lot of tough-to-decipher numbers and icons, but there are two specs that really matter: lumens and run time. Most headlamps have between 25 and 500 lumens, which measure how much light is emitted (aka brightness). Run time (also referred to as burn time) is how long the light will […]

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August 13, 2019

Roll Your Backpacking Gear Into Bikepacking

Bikepacking

Calling all bike-curious backpackers: This one’s for you. With a few small additions and some packing know-how, you can push your backpacking setup into bicycle service. Follow these tips to get started.  Gear and Storage When you hit the trail on foot, you carry your stuff on your back. Not so when you do the […]

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July 2, 2019

In Search of the Perfect Sports Bra

A variety of sports bras.

I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail with one sports bra. Yes, one. For six months. Am I crazy? Probably. But that’s beside the point, which is that I searched for the perfect bra for months, and when I found it, it was all I needed. Of course, I didn’t realize finding it was going to be […]

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April 13, 2018

What Does Moisture-Wicking Mean?

woman zipping up a base layer

It’s pretty much impossible to shop for outdoor clothing without running into the phrase “moisture wicking.” Brands are forever telling you their apparel is made of this moisture-wicking stuff, so it must be important. But what exactly do they mean? A moisture-wicking fabric has two jobs: one is quickly moving (wicking) sweat to the fabric’s […]

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April 6, 2018

How to Pick the Most Breathable Fabrics

runners on a trail

If you’re looking for the most breathable fabric, you’re probably trying to keep your cool in the heat. But there’s more to staying cool than having breathable fabric. If you’re going to be even a little bit active, then you’re really on a quest to find the coolest fabric. We’ll start the discussion with the […]

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March 16, 2018

The Best Men’s Underwear of 2018

Men's underwear

The last thing you want when you’re miles from nowhere is underperforming underwear. Your underwear should keep up with your active pursuits, delivering comfort and performance in hard-charging activities, extreme conditions and far-flung travel destinations. Unless you want to exfoliate a layer of sensitive skin to chafing, endure swamp-like misery in hot weather or risk […]

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March 16, 2018

The Best Men’s Underwear of 2018

Men's underwear

The last thing you want when you’re miles from nowhere is underperforming underwear. Your underwear should keep up with your active pursuits, delivering comfort and performance in hard-charging activities, extreme conditions and far-flung travel destinations. Unless you want to exfoliate a layer of sensitive skin to chafing, endure swamp-like misery in hot weather or risk […]

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December 11, 2017

What Does it Mean if a Jacket is Water Resistant?

Rain jacket in the rain

With storm season in full bluster, the need for dependable raingear develops a greater sense of urgency. If you’re shopping for a new rain jacket, you’ll quickly encounter a trio of seemingly interchangeable terms: water resistant, waterproof and water repellent. Is there really a difference between them? Spoiler alert: “Waterproof” beats “water resistant” and “waterproof/breathable” […]

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November 7, 2017

How Much Should Your Pack Weigh?

Backpacker on trail

We hear this question a lot from new and experienced hikers alike: How much should your backpack weigh? Lots of factors go into determining pack weight, making it tough to give an exact weight recommendation for every hiker. To get some help, we turned to one of our pack-fit pros, Valerie Loughney, from our REI […]

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