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Best Osprey Packs On The Market

Osprey Packs

You already know that Osprey packs are quality packs. But which one of the Osprey backpacks is best for you? Maybe you're a student who only wants one bag to tote their books and supplies for the entire school year without your textbooks falling out of a rip in the fabric.

Maybe you're climbing in harsh, frigid mountains and want to make dead sure it doesn’t fail for the next week or so. After all, your life may depend on it holding together. If you are either of these people or something in between, you'll find Osprey packs perfect for your needs.

Choosing a Backpack

Buying a backpack is different depending on whether you are buying one for school or weekend getaways. You may need different features for hiking or wilderness trekking.

Buying Osprey packs for school

If you're buying one of the Osprey packs for school, the first thing you should consider is your comfort. You'll be wearing to and from school five days a week for nine months or more. If it isn’t comfortable, we can almost guarantee it will get “lost’ before Christmas vacation rolls around. And choosing a bag that is too small defeats the purpose. However, if you choose one that’s too large, you'll may tend to overfill it. This bad habit can result in back problems over the course of the school year.

Don’t be shy about choosing one that you like. This bag is going to be part of your school identity for almost a year. Why not buy the color or the style that fits your personality as well as your physical backpacking needs? There are enough Osprey packs out there that you should be able to meet all these needs with just a little searching.

Size and comfort

You should have a pretty good idea by considering what you needed last year. Just remember that your load this year may be slightly heavier. A good rule of thumb is not to carry more than 15 percent of your total body weight in your backpack.

Next, make sure it fits you properly. Try a few on in the store. You may want to take it for a little walk-about in the store to see how it feels. The store owner probably won’t mind as long as you don’t start stuffing it with merchandise. Look for padded shoulder straps and make sure it stays comfortable on your back.

Think of all the extra things you might need over the course of the school year. Do you need small pockets for things like pencils, change, or snacks? Do you plan on taking your electronics to school? If this is the case, look for padded pockets made just for your tablet or notebook computer. If you're sure you won't need these extra features, save some money by skipping them.

Buying Osprey packs for hiking and camping

Unlike choosing a school backpack that will be worn every day for a long time, hiking and camping backpacks have very different requirements. For example, if you're just going camping for the weekend and staying in a cabin or group tent, you'll probably keep most of your supplies in your car. You'd need a far different backpack than you would need if you were spending a week in the mountains and had to carry everything you need to survive, including your shelter and food.

If this is the case, make sure your bag is a good fit. You may not be wearing it for months on end, but you will be wearing it for hours on end. Make sure you get a pack that will still be comfortable miles down the trail. On longer treks, you'll want a backpack with a support frame to help distribute the weight more evenly across your body and keep the load from shifting.

Also, external frames will help the airflow keep you cooler on hot hikes. If heat is an issue, look for backpacks with more mesh construction for better airflow. On the other hand, internal frames are more compact and better for tight passages like caves and narrow trails.

Which of the Osprey Packs Are Right for You?

Now that we have that out of the way, let's consider a few Osprey packs that might best fit for your needs.


The Osprey Kids’ Pogo Pack serves perfectly for school while designed rugged enough to take on the family camping trip. It comes equipped with a front zippered pocket for pencils, snacks, and personal supplies. You'll find a slash pocket for small things like money and notes.

Osprey Packs Pogo Kid's Daypack, Hero Blue
  • A heat embossed scratch-free slash pocket keeps your sunglasses and other small items safe
  • Side stretch mesh pockets provide quick and accessible storage
  • Front panel storage pocket provides ample organization

It also features a padded sleeve to protect your school-bound electronics. The main compartment is big enough for your books and homework when on the way to class. You can even fit some extra clothing on your way to the woods. The waist belt is removable for switching back to school use after the campfires have been extinguished.

The padded shoulder harness makes the entire load more comfortable, and the mesh bottle holder keeps a refreshing drink at the ready. There is a top handle for carrying it by hand, and it all weighs in at just over 19 ounces.


The Osprey Kids' Jet 18 Pack is a perfect hiking pack for kids. Built to their smaller specs, the Youth Jet 18 features dual mesh side pockets, an external sleeve for cool drinks, and compression straps. Weighing in at 19 ounces, the bag isn’t going to add much to your load. But it will carry it comfortably and reliably.

Osprey Packs Jet 18 Kid's Backpack, Strawberry Red, One Size
  • The external reservoir sleeve provides an easy way to access a reservoir whether the pack is full or empty
  • The fixed top lid has a zippered compartment for storage of extra items
  • Underlid zippered compartment keeps items safe and secure

The front mesh pocket is stretchable, and the small external zippered pockets will handle all your small essentials. The 20 by 10 by 9-inch dimensions should hold everything you need and make the Youth Jet 18 an excellent choice for day trips away from camp or a short hike for supplies.


One of the most popular packs in the Osprey lineup, the Expo 58 is also one of the most comfortable with a heavy load. It will not wear you down as the miles pass beneath your feet. It sports the mesh construction “Airspeed” 3-D tensioned back panel to keep sweating to a minimum.

Osprey Packs Exos 58 Backpack (2017 Model), Basalt Black, Small
  • An internal sewn-in backpanel sleeve with clip attachment accommodates up to 3 liters of hydration
  • The Exos peripheral frame is a 6065 aluminum alloy with an internal suspended cross strut providing excellent load...
  • The ExoForm sewn-in, EVA foam padded harness combines breathability and performance with seamless layered mesh

And you can remove parts of the bag you don’t plan to use to save precious ounces on long trails. The "stow-and-go" hiking pole compartment will keep your hands free for climbing or cave crawling. Strong, dependable, and versatile, the Expo 58 is made of 100 percent “high tenacity” nylon and weighs in at just 2.33 pounds.


This top of the line among Osprey packs allows you to carry everything into the mountains, including your skis. The Aether AG is the backpack for you if you're taking a heavy load for miles or months and don't want to get worn down under the weight. An IsoForm5 harness combines with the CM™ hip belt to provide superior comfort as well as improved fit. This stability ensures you can tackle the mountains and enjoy the trek.

Osprey Packs Aether Ag 85 Backpack, Neptune Blue, Lg, Large
  • Removable top-lid converts to DayLid daypack
  • Internal hydration reservoir sleeve
  • Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment

The Aether also boasts of their trademarked "Anti-gravity Technology" suspension system. It consists of a suspended layer of lightweight, continuous mesh running from the lumbar region of the back to the upper torso. You can adjust this mesh for a more perfect and comfortable fit.

The Aether also boasts an adjustable suspended harness that sports a structural load lifting bar that eases load transfer and increases comfort. The lower foam also adds to the overall comfort level. Finally, there is an adjustable sternum strap and a loud safety whistle.


Ordinarily, we're a little suspicious of any outdoor gear that is listed “for women.” We've never known a woman backpacker, hiker, or camper that seemed to need something smaller or less rugged. (Or pink, like the pink power tools marketed “for women.”) Fortunately, the Aura AG 65 is a proper-fitting, well-ventilated, and apparently, the most comfortable backpack ever made specifically for a woman’s frame and structure.

Osprey Packs Pack Aura Ag 65 Backpack, Vestal Grey, Small
  • Anti-Gravity suspension - feels like you are carrying less weight than is in your pack
  • Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment allows you to stow your poles in steep terrain or whenever you need your hands...
  • Adjustable harness and Fit-on-the-Fly hipbelt to dial in perfect fit

The Anti-Gravity suspension system distributes the weight in such a way that it will have less impact on your muscles as it wraps your frame. It has easy-access stretch side pockets made of mesh, a “stow-and-go” attachment to hold your polls for hands-free trekking, and dual tool loops that have bungee ties.

You can adjust the fit-on-the-fly hip belt to make sure the fit is the best possible without having to stop and remove the pack to make the modifications. InsideOut side compression straps make sure you have the most streamlined profile possible. Additionally, you can add the 3-liter fluid reservoir to the internal sleeve for ready hydration on the go.

The zippered hip belt pockets provide quick and easy access to snacks and small personal items. Top it all off with a unique sleeping bag or bedroll compartment with a removable divider, and you have as complete a backpacking unit as you can imagine. If that wasn’t enough, Osprey actually toughened the Aura AG 65 up over last year's model by making the high-wear areas more durable. Sounds like a great bag no matter who you are.


When you're wearing a backpack while mountain biking, it’s important that it feels like part of your body. The Raptor 14, with its BioStretch harness and snug, adjustable hip belt is designed to do exactly that. It features a 3-liter “Hydrolics” fluid reservoir keeps the liquid from flopping as you ride, which increases your stability in rough situations and at high speeds.

Osprey Packs Raptor 14 Hydration Pack, Persian Blue
  • The front panel floating top pocket with a side zippered organizer pocket provides extra volume and organization when...
  • Side compression straps stabilize loads while lower, cross functional compression straps also serve as external gear...
  • Osprey's lid lock attachment easily and securely carries bicycle helmets

This hydraulic sleeve comes zippered to refill conveniently. The hose is laced through the right-side shoulder strap directly to the sternum strap. There, it stays in place with a magnetic disc for quick and easy access to the bite valve.

A LidLock™ helmet carrying system allows you to stash your lid when you are taking a break. The roll-out tool pouch keeps your precious tools handy for quick repairs that will help get you back on the trail. Add to these tools the blinker light attachments and safety-conscience reflector patches in case it gets dark faster than you can get home. Comfort, convenience, and safety combine to make the Raptor 14 the best backpack for mountain biking.


Osprey’s Farpoint 40 is the perfect backpack for a weekend around the city or out the wilderness. The LightWire™ frame spreads the load around, so you don’t get fatigued. The mesh back panel not only increases ventilation, but it also reduced chafing under your load.

Osprey Packs Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack, Volcanic Grey, Medium/Large
  • Large panel zip access to main compartment
  • Lockable sliders on main compartment zipper
  • Stowaway backpanel, harness and hipbelt with zippered rear flap for protection

Zippered, lockable sliders restrict access to the central compartment, and an inside mesh pocket holds smaller items. Dual “StraightJacket” compression straps make sure the load stays stable and centered. The padded top and sides protect the cargo if you drop it, bump it, or throw it in the back of the SUV.


It may happen that rather than hiking or biking over mountains, you choose to fly over them. If that’s the case, there are still Osprey packs for you. Best for this purpose is the Osprey’s Ozone convertible 50-liter / 22-inch wheeled pack and luggage combination. It features several configurations to serve you in the sky and back on terra firma.

Osprey Ozone Convertible 22"/50L Wheeled Luggage, Black
  • Easy access zippered top liquids pocket allows quick access to your toiletry kit or other small items
  • With low profile handles on three sides of the Ozone it is easy to grab, pull and carry in any situation
  • The convertible harness, hipbelt and suspension of the main luggage piece can be deployed to carry the Ozone Convertible...

This excellent wheeled piece of luggage conforms to airline maximum carry-on size regulations. The secret is that it has a tucked-away backpack suspension system that lets you carry it like a backpack on those not-so-smooth surfaces and stairs. Once you're in the wilderness, the “HighRoad LT” chassis comes with heavy-duty ABS plastic back plate and a light aluminum frame.

Then, it employs the sealed-bearing rugged wheels for rolling on even inhospitable surfaces. Stability is assured by compression straps, attached inside and out. A low-profile carrying handle on top and another one on the side make it easier to hoist it up into the overhead on the plane. It also eases lifting to the back of the truck for a quick ride into town.

You'll find an internal ID card holder to make sure you get your bag back if it gets misdirected by the airlines. The Ozone convertible daypack has storage for laptops or tablets, extra clothing, or snacks. There is also a zippered front panel pocket for stowing personal items and a 908scratch-free slash pocket on the outside to protect sunglasses or small electronics.


Comparison Table

Product

Price

Rating

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Osprey Kids Pogo Pack

$49.95

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Osprey Youth Jet 18 Backpack

$60.00

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Osprey Packs Exos 58 Backpack

$223.86

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Osprey Packs Aether AG 85 Backpack

from $264.00

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OIsprey Aura AG for women

$269.95

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Osprey Packs Raptor 14

$140.00

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Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

$160.00

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Osprey Ozone Convertible 22-inch Wheeled Luggage

$300.00

The Osprey Packs "All Mighty Guarantee"

The company guarantee, as quoted by the company, reads as follows. “Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday. If we are unable to perform a functional repair on your pack, we will happily replace it." It's then signed by the company founder, Mike Pfotenhauer.

This policy features large in the Osprey packs legend and has resulted in some of the highest rated backpacks on the market. With this kind of customer service, you're sure to find a backpack with full confidence, whether you're lugging school books or survival gear.

Best Snowshoe For Your Winter Adventure And Tips On Choosing

Snowshoes

Can you imagine it: hiking through the woods or the hills or even the mountains on a fresh blanket of snow. The quiet, the solitude, the overwhelming beauty of the scene. Hiking with snowshoes is fast becoming less a mode of getting from one place to another in the snow and more of a relaxing and rejuvenating pastime in gorgeous scenery. It isn’t particularly expensive, and it‘s as easy as the walking you are doing now. Well, almost. Choosing the right snowshoe can be tricky, however.

Snowshoes permit you to tread across snowy terrain without straining, struggling, or most importantly, sinking like you would in regular boots. If your idea of snowshoes amounts to two tennis rackets attached to a pair of boots, like when Bugs Bunny does it, it’s time for you to upgrade your perceptions and see what innovation and technology have brought to winter sport.

Snowshoes literally allow you to float on the snow by decreasing the pressure per inch on the surface of that snow by spreading your weight over a larger surface. This lowers your pounds per square inch of surface area to a point where it's no longer enough to break the surface tension of the snow.

You'll move across the snow as easily as any solid surface. Note, however, that heavier hikers will need snowshoes with more overall surface area to further minimize the pounds per square inch. Also, dry snow tolerates less weight than wet snow, so plan accordingly.

Common Types of Snowshoes

Most snowshoes are for either mountain, rolling hills, or simple flat terrain. More specific types include snowshoes designed for workouts, climbing, or running on trails.

The conditions under which you plan to trek can also have an impact on the snowshoe you need. On the firmly packed snow of trails, when traveling through trees or brush, you might prefer a thinner shoe that's easier to negotiate in tighter spaces. Ice and steeper climbs will also dictate a smaller snowshoe. More surface area, while great for deep snow, will mean less traction in these conditions. Of course, on new-fallen snow and flatter surfaces, the wider, the better.

Most hikers and backpackers will keep to the established trails and paths. Inexpensive, flat terrain shoes are just fine for that. If you are a bit more adventurous, you will probably opt for the rolling terrain style. Those of you with steelier constitutions who just want to conquer deeper snow and steeper and higher terrain should look to the mountain terrain style.

Flat terrain snowshoes

These snowshoes are the best for someone just beginning on snowshoes. You'll find them easier to adjust and designed for less challenging adventures. Most of these models are less expensive, but most are good value for money.

Rolling terrain snowshoes

These are best for more experienced backpackers and hikers. Designed for rolling or steep terrain, rolling terrain snowshoes are designed to take you off the path and onto freshly fallen snow between trails. Not recommended for steep or icy extremes, these snowshoes will take you everywhere else. Rolling terrain snowshoes also have the benefit of more rugged bindings and larger crampons.

Mountain terrain snowshoes

Designed for advanced adventurers, this variety is for icy and steep sloping terrain. Used mostly by mountaineers and climbers, these are the snowshoes you will need if you are planning to take on extreme conditions well off the beaten path. Constructed with the most durable and hefty bindings and climbing grade crampons, they will carry you through the harshest the most. They feature climbing-style crampons and rugged bindings that can withstand harsh situations and inclines.

Snowshoe Components

Before choosing a set of snowshoes, you should familiarize yourself with the various components and parts so you know what to look for when purchasing the best pair for your budget and needs.

Frames and decking

Most modern snowshoes have aluminum frames and synthetic decking, usually made of either nylon or rubber. Others have composite frames with a hard-decking material for taller trekkers.

Bindings

Snowshoes attach to your snow boots with devices called bindings. These are essentially the same devices used to connect boots to snow skis. Often made of a secure base with nylon straps securing the foot in place.


The two most common types are rotating and fixed. Rotating bindings rotate under your feet for a more natural feel in the snow. The amount of rotation varies from model to model.


The other type, fixed bindings, connect to the boot with a heavy-duty material such as neoprene or hard rubber. This configuration lifts the tail of the snowshoe on every step and makes for a more comfortable feel. It also aids in stepping over rocks and logs (as well as backing up) much easier. The downside of fixed bindings is that they tend to kick up snow on the backs of your legs.

Traction devices

Snowshoes have teeth-like spikes called crampons or cleats for additional grip on snow or ice. They dig into the surface while you climb to prevent slippage. You'll sometimes find heel crampons on the bottoms of some models. They are designed to fill with snow and slow your descent speed.


Heel lift side rails (also known as traction bars) beneath the decking provide increased stability to prevent slipping sideways. Braking bars, which maintain forward traction and help prevent you from sliding backward, are on the bottoms of the snowshoe -- incorporated with plastic decking.

Boots

While most bindings will accommodate many varieties of footwear, strong, warm, solid boots serve best when using snowshoes. Some boots are specifically designed to pair with snowshoes designed for climbing and running.

Best Snowshoes of 2018

Armed with the above information, let’s check out some of the best of the best snowshoes of 2018 for one that will suit your needs and activities. Your experience and terrain will help determine which snowshoes to explore first.


Chinook Trekker Snowshoes, 25
  • Light weight and strong aluminum frame features an ergonomic design to ensure comfortable and easy walks
  • UV resistant polyethylene decking, easy-to-use dual ratchet bindings and heel straps with quick release buckles
  • Heavy duty aluminum crampons, rotate freely to bite into snow; heel crampons provide traction for heading down mild...

Even the most seasoned mountaineer had to start somewhere. Every hiker, trail runner, and racer on the snow had to have a first adventure across the beautiful and inviting snowpack. For someone just getting started, plopping down a few hundred dollars for your very first snowshoe may not feel like the best idea. After all, it may not be the first time that you thought, “That looks like fun,” only to decide later that maybe it wasn’t really for you.

Not to worry; with the Chinook Trekker, you can put your toe in the snow for about the price of a couple of good steak dinners. The Trekker is a very good entry-level snowshoe that will serve you well as you take your first steps onto the freshly fallen snow. As should be expected at this price, the Trekker is more suited for economy than ruggedness and comfort.

The crampons, for example, are aluminum instead of steel. But if you are only using them in forgiving terrain, that won’t be much of an issue. However, on long hikes, you may start to feel a bit more fatigued and sorer than you would with more finely engineered units. For occasional short trips and easy hiking, the Chinook Trekkers is a good choice.


Most Innovative Snowshoes

Experienced snow hikers may be more interested in the next best thing in a snowshoe. The following three models, in no particular order, feature the latest technology in winter sports gear.

The Fimbulvetr Hikr is not your father’s snowshoe. Let's just put that "tennis racket taped to your feet” business to rest once and for all. Hailing from Norway (where they know a thing or two about walking in the snow), the company aimed to reinvent the traditional snowshoe. It looks like they did just that, with its thermo-plastic decking for durability and an omnidirectional hinge for more agility.

Mostly recommended for fresh and deep snow, this snowshoe is wide and long for supporting a great deal of weight. Not the ideal snowshoe for taking on a steep or icy challenge, but it will serve you well on trails and in open terrain.


Crescent Moon EVA All-Foam Snowshoes, Blue
  • The flexible rocker design makes it feel more like an athletic shoe than a snowshoe. Dual Density foam makes it very...
  • Teardrop shape provides a natural stride without sacrificing flotation and maneuverability. Lightweight and cushioned...
  • The foam is an insulator so your feet are warmer. Quiet & simple to use.

One of the unique design innovations in recent years is the Crescent Moon Eva all-foam snowshoe. This shoe consists of two layers of EVA foam rather than aluminum or hard plastic. The top layer is soft and excellent at providing a cushion for your feet and legs on your adventure. The rugged bottom layer supplies the traction.

Being flexible, due to its foam design, and lightweight, from the lack of metal and the Velcro bindings, the Crescent Moon Eva is very light and easy to maneuver on the powder.


Best Snowshoe for the Trail

Going hiking in a state or national forest is a sublime experience. But make sure you choose snowshoes that can adapt to the wide range of terrains you'll find.

MSR Evo Trail 22-Inch Hiking Snowshoes, Dark Blue
  • Dependable, durable all-condition snowshoes offer excellent traction and floatation on snowy trails and rolling terrain
  • Steel traction rails and brake bars are molded into snowshoe decking, and along with carbon steel crampons, provide...
  • DuoFit bindings deliver freeze-proof, glove-friendly, adjustable attachment to a wide range of footwear

MSR is one of the most popular snowshoes in the business. The Evo is another good shoe for beginners and more experienced hikers alike. It features lightweight plastic decking, acceptable traction, toe crampons, and steel side rails. You can also upgrade it with optional 6-inch tails for better performance in soft snow.

You'll find the EVO a reasonably priced, intermediate snowshoe with acceptable, if not rugged, performance capabilities and a stellar reputation.


MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe (2017 Model), Black, 25-Inch
  • Unrivaled Traction: 360° Traction frames deliver edge-to-edge grip, and split teeth of Torsion2 crampons better...
  • Secure Attachment: Two-piece, independently conforming PosiLock AT bindings create our most secure, freeze-resistant...
  • All-Condition Adaptability: Modular Flotation tails (sold seperately) allow you the maneuverability of a smaller shoe in...

Another MSR snowshoe of note is the Lightning Ascent. With 360-degree traction, you're assured of sure footing in any snowy conditions. It stays snug on your foot thanks to the AV bindings for more of an “extension of my own foot” kind of feel.

Perfect for both short distance hiking or cross-country trekking, the highly praised Lightning Ascent will fill the bill.


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XPLORE SNOWSHOE 25
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Great starter Snowshoe
  • Easy to use binding

Another intermediate trail snowshoe from a reputable company is the Tubbs Xplorer. Aimed at the less extreme snowshoeing enthusiast, the Xplore isn’t high-end or over-engineered. It is a good, sturdy, comfortable, dependable snowshoe at a reasonable price.

Perfect for short treks and well-used trails, the Xplore will still let you venture out into the unknown occasionally. But don’t plan on using it for going cross-country or up steep terrain.

Tubbs also offers a package called the Xplore starter kit that includes the Xplore shoes, a pair of poles, and a set of gaiters for around $180


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Atlas Snowshoes Company Women's Elektra Montane Mountain Hiking...
  • V-frame: the V shape tracks straight in deep snow and the tapered tail pulls less snow as you step forward, Saving you...
  • Spring-loaded suspension: spring-loaded suspension's suspends the snowshoe close underfoot so it can move freely for...
  • Wrapped swift binding: the wrapper swift binding provides great fit, comfort and ease of use with the positive toe...

The V shape of the Atlas Women’s Electra tracks straight in deeper snow. The V-shaped tapered tail pulls in less snow when you step forward. This will save you energy.

And it features a spring-loaded suspension for better comfort and traction. The bindings provide a snug and comfortable fit, while the spring suspension offers increased comfort with less effort and strain while you trek.


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ATLAS BOA RUN SNOWSHOE
  • V-frame to help Track in deep snow
  • Designed for running
  • Spring loaded suspension for easier strides

Purchasing a snowshoe for running is a dicey endeavor unless you plan to use it to do nothing but running. Most snowshoes are too heavy or cumbersome for running, jogging, or even just walking fast on the snow. The Atlas Run, however, was built just for running. The upside is that it's an exceptional running snowshoe. The downside is, it isn’t all that good for anything else.

Quite streamlined and short (only 22 inches), it has a natural and comfortable feel when running across the snowpack. Not overpriced by any means, but, as we said, designed for a very specific purpose. However, if you feel the need for snow-covered speed, this may be just what you are looking for.


MOUNTAINEER SNOWSHOE 30
  • Great Snowshoe for the backcountry
  • Traction on all terrain
  • An ultra-precise binding

The Tubbs Mountaineer is the shoe for you if you are more likely to blaze new trails than follow the pack. It features "Anaconda” crampons boasting 8-inch teeth, front and rear, to bite hard into the whatever surface you are taking on. The 36-inch model can carry adventurers weighing up to 300 pounds across the snow in the most unforgiving terrain.

On the downside, this combination of features makes the Tubbs Mountaineer weigh in at over 5 pounds each. For beginning adventurers, that may feel like too much of a load to pick up and put down over a long trek. However, if you have already conditioned yourself to tolerate long walks in the deep snow in tall mountains, you can’t do much better at any price.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of your expertise level or the terrain, having the right snowshoe for your style of fun, competition, and recreation impacts your performance and your endurance.

If you're just beginning to enjoy adventuring out in the beautiful, snow-covered wilderness, the Chinook Trekker is an excellent place to start. For more advanced trailblazers, Fimbulvetr Hikr or the Crescent Moon Eva are both excellent choices. If you want to zip across the snow like a frosty speed demon, go for the Atlas Run and leave the others in your powdery dust. If you want to leave all the others behind and below, the Tubbs Mountaineer will set you far and away from the rest. Either way, adventure awaits!

Camping Gear: From Essentials to Accessories

Camping Gear 2018

If you've never been camping before, you'll soon discover that some camping gear is mandatory for basic survival when you’re out in the wilderness. Having a tent and a comfortable sleeping bag is essential when trekking out to sleep beneath the stars in the great outdoors. Granted, some of the more spartan among us like to go out occasionally and “rough it.” These people venture out with little more than a knife and a compass to test their mettle against the forces of nature.

Basic Camping Gear Data Table

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Product

Features

Price

Nemo Jazz Luxury sleeping bag
  • Camping is better when it includes a good night's sleep.
  • A removable sheet extends your comfort range while NEMO's Blanket Fold.
  • This classic rectangular bag is gently tapered to deliver more even warmth.
Big Agnes Blackburn UL 0-degree 850 down sleeping bag
  • Material: ripstop nylon with DWR coating, [lining] nylon taffeta
  • Insulation: 850-fill DownTek
  • Shape: semi-rectangular
Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Cot
  • Lightest outdoor cot on the market
  • Compact design fits easily in the included carry-bag
  • Stands up to heavy use
Intex Prestige Downy airbed with handheld pump
  • Twin-sized inflatable mattress 
  • Soft flocked top provides a luxurious sleeping surface
  • Hand-Held Battery Pump 
Osprey Atmos AG 50 backpack
  • Anti-Gravity suspension 
  • Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment
  • Adjustable harness and Fit-on-the-Fly hipbelt to dial in perfect fit

Camping Gear Goodies and Accessories Data Table

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Product

Features

Price

UCO Stormproof Torch Windproof Lighter
  • Refillable waterproof and windproof butane lighter
  • Field-tested emergency survival accessory
  • Two Styles (sold separately)
PackTowl Original Towel
  • 10X rapid-cycle absorbency: soaks up 10X its weight in water
  • Softens with use
  • Durable
Sea To Summit X-Bowl
  • Stable rigid base with flexible silicone side walls
  • Collapses flat for compact packing
  • BPA - free
SOG Voodoo Hawk Mini Hatchet
  • Smaller heavy-duty throwing hawk with large cutting edge, compact handle, and stainless steel pommel
  • 2.75" 3Cr13MoV steel blade
  • Includes ballistic nylon carry/storage sheath
Repel 94100 Sportsmen 30-Percent Deet Mosquito Repellent Wipes
  • HealthandOutdoors
GoPro HERO6 Black
  • HERO6 Black automatically sends your footage to your phone where the app turns it into a QuikStory
  • With 4K60 and 1080p240 video
  • Captures super smooth footage
Blue Lizard Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin
  • Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Sun Protection
  • Paraben-Free, Fragrance-Free and Chemical-Free
  • Dermatologist recommended
Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee
  • A smooth instant coffee
  • Balanced & Nutty
  • Enjoy this with: The hotel's continental breakfast and a complimentary newspaper.
Kraft Jet-Puffed Jumbo Marshmallows
  • Smooth, creamy texture makes them perfect for baking
  • Extra-large marshmallows
  • 90 calories per serving (26 servings per bag)

Most of us, however, require at least a few of the comforts of home to make the adventure more of a pleasure than a military survival course. Here are some of the best-rated basics to ensure that your pleasurable experience in the woods won’t leave you overly battered, bruised, and exhausted.

Best Basic Camping Gear

Depending on the climate, owning the right tent and sleeping bag can turn into a matter of life or death. Choosing the right camping spot is also nearly as crucial as picking the right tent. In cold weather, staying dry is of vital importance. So always select high, dry ground and a waterproof tarp, whether you sleep in a tent or under the stars in your sleeping bag. You may also want to position your campsite to take advantage of the first warming rays of the rising sun.

Here, in no particular order, are the best tents, sleeping bags, and other basic gear. They'll be sure to keep you toasty warm and well insulated against the elements.


Time to get serious about your sleeping bag? Give up that old, plaid family camping sleeping bag and step up to the top of the line with the Nemo Jazz Luxury. This bag will keep you toasty warm down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and comes standard with a soft integrated blanket that can be machine washed.

Nemo Jazz Luxury 20-Degree Sleeping Bag
  • SWEET DREAMS - Camping is better when it includes a good night's sleep; The 3 season Jazz Luxury is insulated with...
  • SNUGGLE UP - A removable sheet extends your comfort range while NEMO's Blanket Fold adds an extra level of cuddly...
  • A BETTER ANGLE - This classic rectangular bag is gently tapered to deliver more even warmth by minimizing airspace...

This comfortable bag will rival the comfort of your bed at home. A fitted sleeve on the underside ensures that you don’t separate from your sleeping pad in the middle of the night.


If you are backpacking, kayaking, or deep-woods camping, you know that at some point you will face rain, fog, or heavy morning dew. The Big Agnes Blackburn comes with DownTek. The waterproof down insulation in this bag absorbs less moisture and dries much faster than ordinary down fill.

This bag is lighter, warmer, and will compress smaller than most other bags. Designed for all altitudes, climates, and conditions, you can count on Big Agnes Blackburn to keep you warm at night. When out in the cold weather, a 0-degree sleeping bag is the best camping gear you can by.


Sleeping on the ground is uncomfortable and chilling, no matter how smooth or clean it may be. But the odds are that if you are backpacking or climbing, you won’t find a patch of nice, soft, dry grass to lie down on for the night. The sturdy Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Cot offers you a flat, smooth base for your sleeping bag.

Therm-a-Rest Ultralite Cot, Regular - 24 x 72 Inches
  • Lightest outdoor cot on the market
  • Compact design fits easily in the included carry-bag
  • Stands up to heavy use

It also ensures that you don’t have to concern yourself with uneven terrain, rocks, sticks, or other ground debris. Ideal for backpacking, when your most significant concerns are weight and size, this cot meets those demands but not at the expense of comfort.

This ground-clearing cot is the lightest available, weighing in at under 3 pounds and is low enough to fit in most backpacking tents. With a 325-pound capacity, it collapses and folds into the carry bag and tucks into the rest of your camping gear with ease.


One of the most daunting prospects when setting up your campsite involves blowing up one or more air mattresses. Intex has relieved you of that task with this airbed that includes a battery-powered air pump. It will provide a much-need break after setting up the rest of the campsite.

Sale
Intex Prestige Downy Airbed Kit with Hand Held Battery Pump, Twin
  • Twin-sized inflatable mattress perfect for the rugged outdoors, but also handy around the house
  • Soft flocked top provides a luxurious sleeping surface. Age Grading: Adult
  • Hand-Held Battery Pump – Operates on 6 “C” Cell Batteries (not included)

As many campers have discovered through bitter experience, a cheap swimming pool air mattress can be overwhelmed by the rough terrain of the woods. They were, after all, designed for use in relatively forgiving water. They can quickly develop holes, blown seams, and mysterious leaks when facing the full pressure of a 300-pound sleeping camper.

The Intex was built for the woods and is sturdy enough to take it. The bottom is made reinforced, but the top is soft flocking. Despite being over 8 inches thick, it folds easily for storage and comes in both full and queen. An air mattress is a vital part cold weather camping gear, as it provides a crucial insulating layer of air between your bag and the ground.


Osprey is one of the most respected names in backpacks. The Osprey Atmos AG 50 is reasonably light, coming in at under 4.5 pounds. It boasts foam padded straps and a suspension system that distributes your supply weight evenly across your body, relieving the pressure on your shoulders and back when carrying all your camping gear.

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Osprey Packs Atmos Ag 50 Backpacking Pack, Abyss Grey, Medium
  • Anti-Gravity suspension - feels like you are carrying less weight than is in your pack
  • Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment allows you to stow your poles in steep terrain or whenever you need your hands...
  • Adjustable harness and Fit-on-the-Fly hipbelt to dial in perfect fit

It also has compression straps and pockets you can reach for snacks and small necessities. You'll also like the internal sleeve that holds a 3-liter reservoir of your favorite hydration fluid. Lastly, it has a Stow-And-Go trekking pole attachment that allows you to secure your trekking poles when you need to climb or crawl, or you need your hands free as you go.


Best Camping Gear Goodies and Accessories

Now you have a tent, and everyone on your adventure has a ground pad and a sleeping bag. Time to accessorize your camping experience with a few accessories in your camping gear. Let’s face it, after a full day or two of swimming, rock climbing, and nature hikes, you may need a bit of a vacation from your vacation.

At the very least, it's time to relax and recover. Here are a few luxury items that will increase your camping convenience, lower your frustration, and maybe make you feel you are still at least a bit civilized.


Nothing can dampen the spirits of campers quicker than a sudden downpour. You scramble to get supplies and equipment into the tent and face the possibility of a wet lighter or a useless box of matches. Starting that fire again not only provides warmth for your soggy, tired, and demoralized group. Emotionally, it lifts their spirits and puts you back at the top of the food chain!

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UCO Stormproof Torch Windproof Lighter with Emegency Utility Tape
  • Refillable waterproof and windproof butane lighter (butane not included due to hazardous goods shipping regulation);...
  • Field-tested emergency survival accessory features triple jet, windproof, water-proof, adjustable flame
  • Two Styles (sold separately): With utility that tape tears off easily and adheres to just about anything; or with an...

Also, everyone knows that duct tape is an indispensable part of camping gear for many situations. But, lugging around an entire roll can slow you down. Well, UCO has solved both of those problems with one product. They have combined a stormproof, three-jet butane camp lighter with 3 feet of “the handyman’s secret weapon”: duct tape. They then connected it to a clip-on carabiner to make it easy to carry and keep track of.


No one wants to take a “good towel” out to the woods to face the unknown. Conversely, no one wants to try to dry off after a bracing camp shower or dip in the lake with old rags. The solution is a PackTowl Original Towel.

PackTowl Original Quick Dry and Super Absorbent Towel, X-Large- 25 x...
  • 10X rapid-cycle absorbency: soaks up 10X its weight in water; wrings out almost completely Dry - over and over. The...
  • Softens with use: becomes softer and more absorbent with each washing
  • Durable: made from a natural and sustainable fiber-based fabric blend

Besides taking up much less room in your camping gear than that fluffy, fabric-softened bath towel, the PackTowel can absorb up to 10 times its weight, and you can wring it almost completely dry. Made to be used in the woods and machine-washable once you get home.


These days most campers have tracked down and prepared their camping meals long before taking the SUV out to the wilderness. Even so, you will still need something to eat your rehydrated chili out of once you get there. Enter the Sea To Summit X-Bowl, the only camping food bowl you will ever need.

Sea to Summit X Bowl, Pacific Blue
  • BEST USE: Space saving & sturdy silicone bowl for Backpacking, Camping, Overland or as a travel pet bowl
  • PACKABLE: Side walls collapse easily to less than 1" thick for minimal pack size
  • VERSATILE: Nylon base may be used as a cutting board when flipped upside down. Nests neatly with the X-Pots

Besides being collapsible for fast storage, it also cleans and pours easily due to its flexible silicone construction. Weighing less than 3 ounces, it accepts hot or cold foods. And the bottom is strong enough to use as a cutting surface. Unbreakable and dishwasher safe for easy post-camping cleanup, what else do you need?


When you're backpacking and ready to settle down for the night, you may not always be able to find enough convenient small firewood in the immediate area. That’s not a problem if you remember to pack your SOG Voodoo Hawk Mini Hatchet in your camping gear. The 2.75-inch stainless steel blade on this 12.5-inch-long hatchet will make short work of sizeable deadfall.

Sale
SOG Tomahawk Tactical Hatchet - Voodoo Hawk Mini Tactical Axe,...
  • 12.5 INCH STAINLESS STEEL AXE HEAD: The Voodoo Hawk mini tactical axe is a chopping axe, camping axe, backpacking axe...
  • 23.1 OUNCE LIGHTWEIGHT HAND AXE: Light yet very heavy-duty, Voodoo Hawk throwing axes are both superb survival tools and...
  • OUTDOOR SURVIVAL HATCHET WITH SHEATH: This emergency axe, throwing hatchet and hiking hatchet includes a ballistic nylon...

You'll have your fire roaring in short order. It has a sure grip rubber handle and a metal pommel at the end to keep it in your hand as you stack the kindling and cooking wood. You never know when you'll need a hatchet as you venture into the unknown. This is one of the best for both.


Ah, the great outdoors. Beautiful scenery, tranquility, the soothing sounds of nature, and huge, bloodthirsty mosquitos! Even the most grizzled backwoodsman can crack under the relentless attacks of these tiny vampires. When you get tired of slapping yourself all night or jumping around flailing your arms, it’s time to fight back with the Repel Mosquito Repellent Wipes.

Repel 94100 Sportsmen 30-Percent Deet Mosquito Repellent Wipes, 2...
  • Includes: (2) 20 Count Repel Wipes - (2) EXCLUSIVE! HealthandOutdoors Moist Towelette
  • Long-lasting protection from mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, biting flies, chiggers, no-see-ums and fleas Wipe-on protection...
  • Convenient resealable pouch makes on-the-go application easy Designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts

Citronella is excellent for backyards and patios, but out here they have home field advantage. To confound that squadron of mosquitos, even the odds is DEET. You can protect yourself for as many as 10 hours with easy-to-use Repel wipes. More convenient than a can and won’t leak as pump sprays can. They take up little space to pack in your camping gear and can be easily carried away from the campsite if needed.


Seriously! You are trekking through the deep woods, rock-climbing, and canoeing. You're into the great unknowns of nature, and you’re are going to try to capture these once-in-a-lifetime events by stopping and getting out your cell phone? Not that you should leave your phone at home, but the rough and tumble GoPro HERO6 will handle preserving your adventure for posterity.

GoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with...
  • HERO6 Black automatically sends your footage to your phone where the app turns it into a QuikStory an awesome edited...
  • With 4K60 and 1080p240 video,HERO6 Black delivers 2x the performance compared to HERO5 BlackWith an all new GP1 chip...
  • With our most advanced video stabilization yet, HERO6 Black captures super smooth footage, whether it’s handheld or...

You take on the treacherous terrain, jagged rocks, steep climbs, and roaring rapids. So, let the GoPro record it all for you. The 1080p video, SuperView feature, and vibrant colors will capture the scope and grandeur of the great outdoors exactly as you see it. With a touch display, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, it will be easy to show the rest of the world exactly where you have been the last two weeks.

Not to mention how breathtaking it was. As long as you do have your phone, you can send your newly created footage directly to it. Then, QuickStories will make a short video of the highlights. Use the GoPro and keep your mind, and your eyes, on the trail ahead.


Many people are highly sensitive to sunlight. For them, a day at the beach is no “day at the beach.” Many people taking photosensitive medication can be particularly sensitive to UV radiation. For them, overexposure may not only be uncomfortable, but downright dangerous.

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen - Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30+ Broad...
  • Formulated with dermatologists to protect sensitive skin from the sun
  • No skin-irritating fragrances or parabens
  • Water resistant for 40 minutes

Going to the beach without protection means gambling on coming home burnt and blistered after just a few hours. If you want to venture out into sun-drenched open spaces for a few days, protect your delicate carcass with something a bit stronger than ordinary sunscreen. Blue Lizard comes to the rescue with a dermatologist-recommended sunblock.

Specially formulated for sensitive skin, it's also fragrance-free. It costs a bit more than everyday suntan lotion, but this SPF 30 shield is safe for babies, older people, and those with fair skin.


Try luring a reluctant partner to the campsite with this whiff of heave. The ultimate civilized move in an otherwise rustic and unforgiving environment: Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee will make your morning in the woods. And it won't take up much space in your camping gear.

Starbucks VIA Colombia Coffee, Medium Instant, 1.4 Ounce
  • A smooth instant coffee with a signature nutty flavor.
  • Tasting notes: Balanced & Nutty
  • Enjoy this with: The hotel’s continental breakfast and a complimentary newspaper.

The rest of the campground is struggling to assemble and activate their Rube Goldberg-type camp coffee pots. But, all you need is a little boiling water to transport yourself back to the civilized world, if only for a moment or two.


Many time-honored traditions have gone by the wayside. Drinking from a canteen, rubbing sticks together to start your fire, making your own jerky. Thankfully, there is one that holds fast and seems to be timeless. Anywhere you have more than one person looking into a campfire, you'll need marshmallows. Not just marshmallows, but the biggest, fluffiest marshmallows you can find! You will also need lots of them tucked into your camping gear.

Jet Puffed Jumbo Marshmallows (24 oz Bag)
  • Smooth, creamy texture makes them perfect for baking; try them dipped in chocolate!
  • Extra-large marshmallows are perfect for roasting or snacking
  • 90 calories per serving (26 servings per bag)

After all, everyone knows that several will either burst into flames before your eyes or fall off your stick to a fiery demise. That's not counting the ones that will be swiped and munched before they ever get close to a stick or the fire. Just remember to save a few for S’mores later.


Get Ready to Pack up Your Camping Gear

Do you really need to go camping in this day and age? Yes! Emphatically, yes! Of course, you do. If you are journeying off by yourself, you will build self-confidence and reinforce your sense of adventure. You have conquered the forest. Now, you feel refreshed and ready to take on the concrete jungle. If you camp with your friends, you foster camaraderie, companionship, and a sense of belonging.

Finally, nothing is better than camping together as a family. It's certainly better than sitting at a table in a restaurant staring at your smartphones. It builds closer family bonds and provides shared memories that will last long after the last embers of the fire have died.

Some companies offer camping trips as “team-building exercises,” because of the teamwork it takes to manage a camping expedition effectively.

So, go out there and get some fun exercise. Fill your lungs with fresh air and don’t worry about anything beyond the range of your own eyesight for a few days. All that pressure and stress will be right where you left it when you get back to work on Monday.

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