The Best of the Best Outdoor Gear of 2021

Last Updated: January 2021

To save you time, we have put together this 'best of the best' guide to all our top picks from our definitive buying guides.

Best Hiking Boots

Best Overall Hiking Boots

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX hiking boots offer great stability on rugged terrain and provide exceptional ankle support. These boots are excellent for longer backpacking trips with heavy packs. Learn more in our in-depth review.

Best Day Hiking Boots: Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX (Men’s & Women’s)

  • The award-winning Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX is a fan-favorite for day hikes because of its great mix of weight savings and wet terrain performance. 

Best for Hiking Boots for Ankle Support: Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX  (Men's & Women's)

  • Built to last throughout endless adventures in the mountains, the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX is a high top hiking boot that offers exceptional ankle support in nearly any terrain. Learn more in our in-depth review.

Best for Hiking Boots for Flat Feet: Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX  (Men's & Women's)

  • Hiking long distances with flat feet can be a painful experience. Thankfully, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX are designed to support your foot throughout your stride, giving you the comfort you need on longer hikes.

Best Hiking Boots for Wide Feet: Keen Targhee III Mid (Men's & Women's)

  • Comfortable and durable, with a wide toe box make the Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid-top a classic hiking boot choice for those with wide feet.

Most Affordable Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof (Men's & Women's)

  • The Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP is a highly popular, affordable, mid-top hiking boot, loved by hiking enthusiasts all over the world for decades. Learn more in our in-depth review.

Best Hiking Shoes: Arc'teryx Aerios FL GTX Shoe  (Men's & Women's)

  • Famed gear manufacturer Arc'teryx really brought their A-game with the Aerios FL. This high-end performance-driven hiking shoe has a minimalist flair, making it perfect for outdoor enthusiasts that prioritize quality in their gear.

More: Check out our Best Hiking Boots Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Tents

Best Backpacking Tent

MSR Hubba Hubba NX2

This award-winning two-person backpacking tent is perfect for any extended overnight adventure. It is a solid all-around three-season tent for backpacking trips in alpine and remote environments. Learn more in our in-depth review.

Best Ultralight Tent: Nemo Hornet Elite Ultralight 2

  • When it comes to ultralight backpacking, the Nemo Hornet Elite Ultralight 2 is hard to beat. Unlike many lightweight tents, the Hornet Elite doesn’t skimp on functionality. It has all the features you need for a comfortable outdoor living experience.

Best Car Camping Tent: Nemo Wagontop 4

  • The Nemo Wagontop 4 is a modern tent for families and groups that like to car camping in style. It integrates a whole host of different luxury features for a more comfortable outdoor experience.

Best Rooftop Tent: Tepui Explorer Autana 3

  • The Tepui Explorer Autana 3 is an industry-leading rooftop tent for large SUVs and trucks. It is made from a super-durable 600 denier and 260g poly-cotton fabric that can protect you from intense conditions all-year-round. 

Best Bivvy Tent: Outdoor Research Alpine Bivvy

  • The Outdoor Research Alpine Bivvy is a reliable all-around single person sleeping option for more remote backcountry pursuits. It features a hooped design, which provides added comfort and headroom while sleeping.

Best Four-Season Tent: Black Diamond Eldorado

  • The Black Diamond Eldorado is a fully-featured four-season tent specifically designed for alpine pursuits during the winter months. This tent has a classic structure for a mountaineering shelter but has slightly more room to accommodate taller climbers.

Best Hybrid (Camping & Backpacking Tent): Marmot Limestone 4

  • The Marmot Limestone 4 is an excellent choice for families and small groups that want just one tent for both backpacking and car camping. This tent has a spacious interior and a simple design that’s easy to set up in just minutes.

More: Check out our Best Tents Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Camping Hammocks

Best Overall Camping Hammock

ENO SubLink Hammock System

The  ENO Sublink Hammock System is a ultralight, durable, easy-to-use, all-inclusive package with everything you need to get outside. 

Best 2-Person Camping Hammock: ENO Double Deluxe

  • The Double Deluxe is ENO’s most spacious hammock, making it perfect for adventurous couples. It has a maximum weight capacity of 400lbs, thanks to its durable 70D high tenacity nylon taffeta fabric.

Best Heavy Duty Camping Hammock: Hennessy Hammock Deep Jungle Zip

  • The Hennessy Hammock Deep Jungle Zip is a must-have hammock for trips into extreme environments. This hammock is built with double-thick fabric, designed to prevent any bug bites in the middle of the night.

Best Ultralight Camping Hammock: Hennessy Hammock Explorer Ultralight Zip XL

  • The Hennessy Hammock Explorer Ultralight Zip XL is for outdoor enthusiasts that want a lightweight but fully featured hammock. This model is built using 70D nylon taffeta, which is strong, yet lightweight.

Most Affordable Camping Hammock: ENO SingleNest

  • ENO SingleNest wins our award for the best budget hammock because it is lightweight, durable, and doesn’t eat away at your life’s savings. This hammock is both robust enough for frequent use and soft to the touch.

More: Check out our Best Camping Hammocks Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Hammock Stands

Best Overall Portable Hammock Stand

Zupapa Hammock Stand

The Zupapa Hammock Stand wins the best overall award as it is easy to set up, affordable, durable, and easy to transport. 

Runner-Up Best Overall: Lazy Daze Double Hammock and Stand

  • The Lazy Daze is a comparable alternative that includes a hammock and is slightly more affordable. However, it doesn't have as high of weight capacity and isn't as durable as the Zupapa stand.

Best Budget-Friendly Hammock Stand: Best Choice Products Hammock Stand

Best Hammock Stand for Backpacking: ENO Nomad Hammock Stand

  • ENO designed this light and compact stand to make it reasonable to take on short trekking excursions. Depending on if you use the stand or use the Nomad Shelter, you could potentially use this hammock stand set up to replace your backpacking tent. 

Best Hammock Stand for Car Camping: Grand Trunk Hangout Hammock Stand

  • Although it is a bit too heavy to bring backpacking, at just over thirty pounds, the Grand Trunk Hammock Stand is ideal for car camping excursions or even a day at the beach. It is easy to set up and can work with virtually any hammock you have on hand. 

Best Hammock Stand for Multiple Hammocks: ENOpod 3-person Hammock Stand

  • This is hammock stand is well worth it when you have a group of friends or family out for an extended camping trip. It is easy enough to set up and take down that it is feasible to bring to the beach or a festival. 

More: Check out our Best Portable Hammock Stand Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Backpacks

Best Expedition Backpacks

Men's - Arc’teryx Bora AR 63

If exceptional performance is your number-one priority in a backpacking pack, the Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 is  what you’re looking for. This top-of-the-line pack is perfect for trips up to a week long, thanks to its 63L capacity.



Women's - Osprey Aura AG 65

A modern take on a classic expedition backpack design, the Osprey Aura AG 65 is a do-anything women’s backpacking pack. The Aura AG 65 uses Osprey’s Anti-Gravity suspension system to help reduce the load on your body.

Best Men's Day Pack: Osprey Talon 22

  • Compact, stylish, and chock-full of features, the Osprey Talon 22 is our choice for the best men’s day pack. This 22-liter pack is very lightweight, so it’s easy to pack for any short adventure. 

Best Women's Day Pack: Camelbak Sequoia 22

  • Camelbak designed the Sequoia 22 with the needs of female hikers in mind. It is a solid all-around day pack for regular use. The pack even comes with its own Camelbak 3L Crux reservoir, which provides a high flow rate to keep you hydrated in the mountains.

Best Hydro Pack: Platypus Duthie AM

  • When it comes to staying hydrated in the outdoors, it’s hard to beat the Platypus Duthie AM. This fully-featured pack comes with a 3L Platypus Big Zip EVO reservoir. This is great for providing hikers with all-day hydration.  

Most Affordable Men's Backpack: Osprey Volt 60

  • The Osprey Volt 60 is simple and affordable, with a classic backpack look. It is a good companion for shorter backcountry trips. The Volt 60 features a one-size-fits-all adjustable torso system that can be fine-tuned to fit any hiker.

Most Affordable Women's Backpack: Osprey Renn 65

  • The Osprey Renn 65 is one of the most affordable overnight backpacks on the market today. Yet, it doesn’t skimp on quality to cut costs. 

Best Ultralightweight Backpack: Granite Gear Virga 2

  • When cutting weight is your number one priority, a pack like the Granite Gear Virga 2 might be the answer. This lightweight pack from Granite Gear features a frameless design, making it one of the lightest options available. The Virga 2 tips the scales at 1 lb 2oz (0.52kg), so it’s easy to forget that you’re wearing it.

More: Check out our Best Backpacks Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Rain Pants

Best Overall Rain Pants

Arc'teryx Zeta SL Pant

Built to accompany you on any mountain adventure, the Arc'teryx Zeta SL is a pair of fast and light rain pants for situations where performance is paramount.

Most Affordable Rain Pants: Marmot PreCip Full Zip (Men'sWomen's)

  • Combining performance and affordability into one neat package, the Marmot PreCip Full Zip is a quality option for budget-wary hikers.

Most Breathable Rain Pants: Arc'teryx Beta SL (Men's & Women's

  • Performance-driven for those soggy uphill climbs in the alpine, the Arc'teryx Beta SL is a pair of technical rain pants that offer maximum breathability.

Best Heavy Duty Rain Pants: Arc'teryx Beta AR (Men'sWomen's

  • When you get caught in the worst weather conditions, the Arc'teryx Beta AR is the pair of rain pants that you'd hope to have in your pack.

Best Lightweight Rain Pants: Outdoor Research Helium (Men's & Women's)

  • For ultralight forays into the mountains, the Outdoor Research Helium is a set of highly packable rain pants that are crafted to keep you dry.

Most Comfortable Rain Pants: Helly Hansen Dubliner (Men's & Women's)

  • Designed to provide you with maximum comfort without breaking the bank, the Helly Hansen Dubliner is an athletically-fitting pair of rain pants that doesn't feel constricting on the trail.

More: Check out our Best Rain Pants Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Hiking Hats

Best Overall Hiking Hat

Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure

When it comes to sun protection and quality, the Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure is hard to beat. This hat offers a high-performing cape-style design that can keep the sun off your head and neck without weighing you down.

Best Hat for Summer Hiking: Outdoor Research Sombriolet 

  • The Outdoor Research Sombriolet is a modern take on a classic hiking hat design. This hat features a full brim, which provides ample sun protection for the head and the very top of the neck.

Most Affordable Hiking Hat: Columbia Bora Bora II Booney

  • The Columbia Bora Bora II Booney is an affordable hiking hat that offers decent sun protection for hikers on a budget. It is made with Columbia's Omni-Shade nylon fabric with UPF 50 sun protection.

Best Hat for Trail Running: Outdoor Research Swift

  • The Outdoor Research Swift is a high-tech version of a standard baseball cap. It's made with 100% Supplex nylon that's both durable and water-resistant. 

Best Bug Repellent Hiking Hat: ExOfficio Bugs Away Sol Cool Brim Hat

  • When you're hiking somewhere with a whole lot of mosquitos or other creepy crawlies, a hat that's designed to ward off bugs is a good choice. The ExOfficio Bugs Away Sol Cool Brim Hat is made with 100% nylon that's treated with Bugs Away technology to repel any buzzing insects.

Best Hat for Winter Hiking: Outdoor Research Transcendent Beanie

  • The Outdoor Research Transcendent Beanie is a great option for winter hikers that need the ultimate in warmth for cold-weather adventures. This hat is crafted with an ultralight 20D ripstop polyester shell that's packed full of 650 fill goose down.

More: Check out our Best Hiking Hats Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Hiking Gloves

Best Overall Hiking Gloves

Black Diamond Torque

The Black Diamond Torque is a pair of high-end gloves for mountain pursuits. They’re specifically designed to be ultra-durable, thanks to their thick abrasion-resistant softshell fabric.

Best Gloves for Summer Hiking: Outdoor Research ActiveIce Spectrum Sun Gloves

  • If you spend enough time outside, at some point, you’ll get sunburnt. A proper pair of sun gloves, however, like the Outdoor Research ActiveIce Spectrum Sun Gloves can help protect your hands from the sun’s harmful rays.

Best Gloves for Winter Hiking: Black Diamond Mercury Mitts

  • The Black Diamond Mercury Mitts are a pair of premium winter hiking mittens for cold weather use. They feature a durable Pertex shell that provides complete waterproofing protection against the snow and foul weather. 

Most Affordable Hiking Gloves: Black Diamond Lightweight Fleece Glove

  • The Black Diamond Lightweight Fleece Glove is an excellent addition to any backpacking gear list. At just 1oz (28g), these gloves are some of the lightest on the market, so they’re easy to throw into your pack before hitting the trail.

Best Lightweight Hiking Gloves: Black Diamond Lightweight Softshell Glove

  • The Black Diamond Lightweight Softshell Glove is a performance glove for use during chilly weather conditions. Thanks to their softshell fabric, these gloves are highly weather-resistant.

More: Check out our Best Hiking Gloves Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Gaiters for Hiking

The snug-fitting elastic at the top and bottom of these gaiters helps keep sand, snow, and debris out of your boots. The breathable nylon packcloth material keeps you dry in mud and puddles. 

Best Ultralight Gaiters: Altra Trail Gaiter

  • Altra’s ultralight, breathable material is super durable and abrasion-resistant. 

Best Gaiters for Trail Running: Salomon Trail Gaiters High

  • Salomon’s high trail gaiters are made with comfort and safety in mind. These gaiters feature extra padding on your ankle bones to protect you when you slip on wet tree roots or rocks.

Best Waterproof Gaiters: Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters

  • Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters are rugged and ready for adventure. They provide full leg coverage while snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or winter hiking.

Best Bug Repellent Gaiters: Outdoor Research Bugout Gaiters

  • Pre-treated with insect repellent, the Outdoor Research Bugout Gaiters are your go-to option for bite protection.

Best Mountaineering Gaiters: Outdoor Research X-Gaiters

  • Designed for winter conditions, the Outdoor Research X-Gaiters have extra insulation built into them.

More: Check out our Best Gaiters Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Backpacking Chairs

Best Overall Backpacking Chair

Helinox Chair Zero

The Helinox Chair Zero is great mix of weight savings and portability. This chair tips the scales at just 1lb 2oz but packs down to around the size of a 1 liter Nalgene water bottle.

Best Overall Honorable Mention: Big Agnes Skyline UL

  • The Big Agnes Skyline UL is one of the most comfortable backpacking chairs on the market today. It rivals the Helinox Chair Zero both in terms of price and quality, but it does take a bit longer to set up. 

Most Affordable Backpacking Chair: Kelty Camp Chair

  • The Kelty Camp Chair is a modern take on a classic ground chair design. It is both simple and affordable but doesn’t sacrifice functionality.

Best Backpacking Stool: Big Agnes Skyline UL Stool

  • The Big Agnes Skyline UL Stool is a comfortable seating option for the lightweight hiker that wants some semblance of comfort on the trail. 

Best Ultralightweight Backpacking Chair: Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair

  • At just 8 ounces (290g), none of the other models come even close to the weight savings that this chair offers. This is one of the most unique backpacking chairs out there because it is essentially a conversion kit for your sleeping pad. 

Most Comfortable Backpacking Chair: Helinox Chair One

  • The Helinox Chair One is the Chair Zero’s beefier and slightly more affordable big sibling. One of the main benefits of this chair over the Chair Zero is that it can accommodate hikers that weigh up to 320lbs (145kg).

More: Check out our Best Backpacking Chairs Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Camping Tables

Best Overall Camping Table

Helinox Table One Hard Top


Helinox is known for their collection of top-of-the-line camping furniture, and the Table One Hard Top is no exception. This uber-durable table is made with DAC aluminum poles, which are strong enough to support up to 110lbs of weight.

Most Affordable Camping Table: Coleman Compact Table

  • For budget-conscious campers, the Coleman Compact Camping Table is a solid choice. Made with a steel frame and an aluminum slat top, this table is designed to hold up well, even in windy conditions.

Best Lightweight Camping Table: Helinox Table One Lightweight

  • When weight savings are a top priority, the Helinox Table One Lightweight is a must-have. This folding table has a tiny packed size and fits into its included stuff sack, which is just 16" long.

Best Side Table for Camping: Helinox Side Table

  • The Helinox Side Table fills a vital role in any comfortable camping set up. It provides the perfect on-the-go storage area for your water bottle snacks, books, and other pieces of gear when you're in the mountains.

Best Camping Table for Cooking: GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Outdoor Cook Station

  • Backcountry gourmet meets functionality with the GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station. This multi-purpose camp table features everything you need to cook up a storm in the outdoors.

Best Camping Table for Dining: Camp Time Roll-a-Table

  • One of the biggest complaints that people have with camp tables is that they just aren't tall enough to sit under comfortably. Thankfully, the Camp Time Roll-a-Table is specially designed for comfort at the dinner table.

Best Multi-Purpose Camping Table: Camp Chef Sherpa Camp Table & Organizer

  • If you often find that you have a lot of cooks in the kitchen, the Camp Chef Sherpa Camp Table & Organizer might just be what you need. Built with aluminum telescoping legs and a roll-up aluminum tabletop, this multi-purpose table is an excellent choice for any car camping adventure.

More: Check out our Best Camping Tables Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Camping Cots

Best Overall Camping Cot

Helinox Lite Cot

The Helinox Lite Cot proves that durability, portability, and comfort can come mixed up in one comprehensive package. Made with an extra durable aluminum frame that can support up to 265lbs (120kg) in weight.

Most Comfortable Camping Cot: Byer of Maine Swedish Bed

  • When comfort is key, the Byer of Maine Swedish Bed is hard to beat. This extra plush cot system allows you to be just as cozy in bed while you're outside as you are at home

Most Affordable Camping Cot: Coleman Camping Cot Kit

  • Designed to appease your wallet without getting in the way of your sleep, the Coleman Camping Cot Kit is a budget-friendly option for price-wary campers.

Best Camping Cot for a Bad Back: Coleman ComfortSmart Cot

  • A bad back can really be a downer when you're trying to get some rest during a camping trip. Thankfully, a well-padded option like the Coleman ComfortSmart Cot can often help alleviate some of the problems.

Best Heavy Duty Camping Cot: TETON Sports XXL Camping Cot

  • If durability is your top priority, a cot like the TETON Sports XXL Camping Cot is a great companion to take on a camping trip. Thanks to the steel alloy frame in a unique S-leg design it can accommodate a staggering 600lbs of weight.

Best Lightweight Camping Cot: Therm-a-rest Mesh Cot

  • The Therm-a-rest Mesh Cot is a go-to piece of lightweight gear. Boasting an ultra-compact design, this cot rolls up into an impressively small stuff sack for use on backpacking trips or any adventure where weight and space are an issue.

Best Double Camping Cot: Coleman Deluxe Double Camping Cot

  • Crafted with a sturdy steel frame that can support up to 600lbs, this camping cot is ideal for couples that prioritize comfort and durability in their gear.

More: Check out our Best Camping Cots Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Camping Coolers

Best Overall Camping Cooler

YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

The Roadie 24 is YETI's lightest and most compact hard-sided cooler. Specifically designed to be a trusty companion on weekend camping trips, kayaking adventures, or any outdoor getaway.

Most Affordable Cooler: Igloo BMX 25 QT

  • For budget-conscious campers, the Igloo BMX 25 QT is a solid bet. This affordable hard-sided cooler option is large enough to fit 37 cans inside comfortably.

Best Bearproof Cooler: Grizzly 15 Cooler

  • When you need a cooler that can also keep the bears out of your food, the Grizzly 15 Cooler is a fantastic choice. Featuring Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee certification as a bear-resistant cooler, the Grizzly 15 is useful for camping trips in known bear habitat.

Best Hardshell Cooler: YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

  • The Tundra 45 is YETI's flagship hard-sided cooler, and for a good reason. Featuring the company's classic rotomolded plastic construction and NeverFail hinge system, this cooler is one of the most durable on the market today.

Best Soft Cooler: IceMule Pro Cooler

  • The IceMule Pro Cooler is a highly portable option for campers that prioritize weight savings and versatility. This cooler is crafted using IceMule's proprietary dry sack-style design, which means it's completely waterproof and leakproof.

Best Wheeled Cooler: YETI Tundra Haul Cooler

  • The Tundra Haul takes YETI's classic Tundra cooler base and adds a set of NeverFlat wheels to make it easier for you to cart around your food, beverages, and ice while camping.

More: Check out our Best Camping Coolers Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Backpacking Pillows

Best Overall Backpacking Pillow

Exped Air Pillow

The Exped Air Pillow offers a good mix of weight savings and comfort. This pillow features an inflatable construction that packs down into a tiny stuff sack for use in the backcountry.  Read our In-depth review.

Best Overall Honorable Mention: Nemo Fillo Elite

  • For a pillow that provides even more comfort than the Exped Air Pillow at nearly the same weight, the Nemo Fillo Elite is a solid choice. 

Best Budget-Friendly Backpacking Pillow: Therm-a-Rest Compressible

  • In the world of camping pillows, the Therma-a-Rest Compressible is a veritable classic. This compressible pillow is both affordable and comfortable, so it offers a good value for campers on a budget.

Best Inflatable Backpacking Pillow: Sea to Summit Aeros Premium

  • The Sea to Summit Aeros Premium pillow provides excellent performance in a compact package. This inflatable pillow weighs just 2.7 oz (79g) and packs down to about the size of a small medicine bottle.

Best Backpacking Pillow for Side Sleepers: Therm-a-Rest Air Head Down

  • Side sleepers often feel that they're getting the short end of the stick when it comes to camping pillows, which mostly seem to be made with back sleepers in mind. 

Best Lightweight Backpacking Pillow: Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight

  • When weight savings are key, the Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight is hard to beat. This pillow tips the scales at a measly 2.1oz (60g), making it one of the lightest offerings available.

More: Check out our Best Backpacking Pillows Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Camping Cookware Sets

Offering an excellent mix of durability, functionality, and affordability, the GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Camper Cookware Set is ideal for car camping and backpacking trips.

Most Affordable Cookware Set: Winterial 10 Piece Set

  • Combining the best of budget-friendliness with quality materials, the Winterial 10 Piece Set is a reliable option for camping duos that prioritize affordability.

Best Cookware Set for Backpacking: GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookware Set

  • When weight savings and functionality are your top priority in the backcountry, the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookware Set is hard to beat.

Best Cookware Set for a Couple: MSR Quick 2 System Cook Set

  • Blending weight savings and versatility, the MSR Quick 2 System Cook Set is a backpacker’s best friend in the mountains.

Best Cookware Set for a Family of 4: GSI Bugaboo Camper 4

  • Feeding a family of four isn’t easy, and doing so outside isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Thankfully, the GSI Bugaboo Camper 4 provides everything you need to make meals outside for the whole family, just like you do at home.

Best Cookware Set for Open Fires: Stanley Base Camp Cook Set

  • If you’re on the lookout for one cookware set that can do it all, the Stanley Base Camp Cook Set might be what you need. This well-stocked kit features one large stainless steel pot and one frying pan, each designed for use on either a stove or a fire

More: Check out our Best Camping Cookware Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Backpacking Cook Sets

Best All-in-One Cook Set

Jetboil MiniMo

The Jetboil MiniMo is our top pick for convenient all-in-one cooking and eating. For years, Jetboil has been a leader in backpacking canister stove systems. 

Best Ultra-fast Boiling Cook Set: Jetboil Flash Cooking System

  • The name says it all - the Jetboil Flash is the fastest option we’ve seen for boiling water. Imagine waking up and having fresh hot coffee in 100 seconds.

Best 2-Person Cook Set: GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist II Cookset

  • Beginner backpackers and couples prefer cookware sets that include bowls, mugs, and utensils. They’re good for backpacking as well as car-camping getaways. As they include almost everything you’ll need to cook and eat in a convenient set.

Best Ultralight Pot: TOAKS Titanium 1100ml Pot

  • For minimalists and gram counters, the TOAKS Titanium 1100ml pot is for you. We love the ultralight pot with convenient folding wire handles and minimal lid. It does exactly what you need it to do and nothing more

Best Cook Set for Hot Beverages: Snow Peak Titanium Single 450 Cup with HotLips

  • Sometimes all you need is a hot beverage to get you going in the morning or wind down the evening. When we don’t need a full-sized cook pot, the Snow Peak Titanium 450ml cup is our favorite go-to mug. Pair it with the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 for a total of 5 oz.

Best Stand-Alone Skillet: MSR Quick Skillet

  • If you’re hiking with a buddy and can split up gear weight, consider taking along a skillet. This skillet is also great for adding to your car-camping cook setup. It is the perfect size for a hot cooked breakfast of eggs and sausage before a day of exploring.

More: Check out our Best Backpacking Cook Sets Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Water Purifiers

Best Gravity Water Purifier

LifeStraw Mission Gravity Water Purifier

LifeStraw has a strong reputation in the water purification space, and the Mission Gravity Purifier does not disappoint. Due to the size and weight, it is best suited to camping and group hike usage.

Best Pump Water Purifier: MSR Guardian Purifier

  • The MSR Guardian is currently the only pump filter on the market that also purifies.  It might be overkill for North American hikes, but it is our top recommendation for backpacking in developing countries.  

Best Bottle Water Purifier: Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle

  • The Grayl Ultralight Compact Purifier is a mainstay for a good reason. Simple to use, highly portable, lightweight, and durable.  The replaceable purifier cartridge is good for 300 uses before needing replacement.

Best Straw Water Purifier: RapidPure Pioneer Straw Purifier

  • The RapidPure Pioneer is one of the few staw-type purifiers. Weighing in at only 2.6 ounces and priced competitively makes this a good lightweight and easy option.

Best UV-Light Water Purifier: Katadyn Classic 3 Water Purifier with Prefilter

  • The Katadyn Classic 3 Water Purifier with Prefilter is the updated version of the Classic.  Removing one of the cons of UV purifiers, this version comes with a prefilter to clear debris from water. 

More: Check out our Best Backpacking Water Purifiers Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Camping Showers

Best Overall Camping Shower

Nemo Helio Portable Pressure Shower

The Nemo Helio is a game-changing solar shower. It features a sizeable 11-liter water carrying capacity that can provide up to 5-7 minutes of showering time in the mountains. 

Best Overall Honorable MentionIvation Portable Battery Shower

  • The Ivation Portable Battery Shower is an excellent alternative for anyone that's looking for a more affordable option. This model uses batteries to power the pump, so there's no need to hang the nozzle up in a tree. 

Best Budget-Friendly Camping Shower: Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower

  • The Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower is a budget-friendly outdoor showering option. It is made from high-quality and durable materials that are layered for maximum performance in the backcountry. 

Best Lightweight Camping Shower: Sea To Summit Pocket Shower

  • The Sea to Summit Pocket Shower is an innovative take on the traditional solar shower design. Unlike many alternatives, the Pocket Shower can be used for bathing, but can also function as a regular dry bag for protecting your gear in foul weather.

Best Shower for Car Camping: Gasland Tankless Shower

  • The Gasland Tankless Shower is a premium option for car camping adventures. It is designed to be hung up on the outside of a vehicle for a more convenient showering experience.

Best Camping Shower for Groups: Hike Crew Portable Propane Shower

  • The Hike Crew Portable Propane Shower is a fully-featured camping hygiene system. It comes with an intuitive LCD display system that allows you complete control over the temperature of your water. 

More: Check out our Best Camping Showers Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Camping Knives

Best Overall Knife

Benchmade Mini Barrage

When it comes to knives, you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. Instead, you just need to be sure that the wheel is as perfect as possible. That’s where the Benchmade Mini Barrage really shines and wins our top pick for the best camping knife.

Honorable Mention: Spyderco Delica 4 FRN Lightweight

  • Spyderco is world-famous for its knives, and the Delica 4 FRN Lightweight is no exception.  It offers an impressively lightweight and compact size at just a fraction of high-end knife prices

Most Affordable Camping Knife: Kershaw Chill

  • Quality doesn’t have to come with a massive price tag, and the Kershaw Chill proves just that. This budget-friendly folding blade comes with a backpacker-approved weight of just 2oz, making it a good companion for more extended expeditions.

Best Knife for Backpacking: CRKT Homefront EDC Folding Pocket Knife

  • CRKT is known for its innovative knives and, we have to say, the Homefront EDC doesn’t disappoint. Designed by award-winning knife maker Ken Onion, this blade is one of the best for prolonged use in remote environments.

Best Camping Knife for Food Preparation: GSI Outdoors Santoku 6" Chef's Knife

  • While we often resort to pocket knives for our food prep, they’re never as good as a quality kitchen knife. Thankfully, the budget-friendly, GSI Outdoors Santoku 6” Chef’s Knife is ready to help.

Best Multi-Purpose Camping Knife: Leatherman Charge+ TTi

  • If functionality is your top priority, the Leatherman Charge+ TTi should be a multi-tool at the top of your list. This fully-featured multi-tool boasts 19 different functions so you can handle any problem before it gets out of hand.

More: Check out our Best Camping Knives Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best GPS Watches

This top-of-the-line GPS watch with a budget-friendly price tag combines an astonishing collection of features with mountain-specific functions that make it a great all-around choice for hikers and mountaineers alike.

Best GPS Watches Under $200:

  • Garmin Forerunner 45S  An affordable hiking and running GPS watch for outdoor enthusiasts that love to keep track of their health and fitness stats. It is lightweight and nestled into a sleek housing that looks as good as it functions.
  • Coros Pace Multisport GPS Watch - For budget-conscious hikers that are more concerned with health stats and route tracking, the Coros Pace is a solid choice. This user-friendly watch provides a lot of functionality without adding in complex technology.

Best Mid-Range GPS Watches: 

  • Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR This GPS watch is for hikers that prioritize navigation and functionality over fitness stats. It features a burly housing made from steel, mineral crystal glass, and an elastomer strap for extra ruggedness.
  • Garmin Instinct - Rugged and resilient, the Garmin Instinct is a GPS watch built to handle any trail. This watch has a fiber-reinforced polymer bezel and case with chemically strengthened glass for extra durability.

Best High-End GPS Watches:

  • Garmin Forerunner 945 When fitness stats and functionality are your top priorities, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is hard to beat. This high-tech GPS watch includes pretty much any feature you can think of when it comes to tracking your fitness and stats.
  • Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire - With everything you need and want, and some extra features thrown in on top, the Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire is one of the most technology-packed GPS watches on the market.

More: Check out our Best GPS Watches Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Hydration Bladders

Best Overall Hydration Bladder

Platypus Big Zip Evo 2L

The Platypus Big Zip Evo 2L is an absolute classic hydration pack with a new twist. It wins our best overall pick due to it's easy and reliable opening, simple self-sealing bit valve, and fast flow tube.

Honorable MentionCamelBak Crux 2L

  • CamelBak revolutionized the world of hiking when they first introduced their hydration bladders, and the Crux 2L is no exception. It’s a great runner-up to the Platypus Big Zip Evo because it’s slightly less expensive. 

Best Budget Hydration Bladder: Platypus Hoser 3L

  • The Platypus Hoser 3L is a minimalist version of Platypus’ water reservoirs. It’s a great, affordable option for hikers on a budget because it includes everything you need and no extraneous bells and whistles.

Best Lightweight Hydration Bladder: Osprey Hydraulics LT 2.5L

  • The Osprey Hydraulics LT 2.5L is a lightweight option for minimalist hikers that want a fully-functional hydration system. It is built using a 2.5 Hydrapak bladder and is specifically designed to offer maximum versatility for avid outdoor recreationalists.

Best Lumbar Hydration Bladder: Platypus Big Zip Evo 2L Lumbar

  • The Platypus Big Zip Evo 2L Lumbar is the lumbar pack version of Platypus’ award-winning Big Zip Evo. It features Platypus’ reliable zip-top opening system, which is easy to both open and to seal to prevent leaks.

Best Hydration Bladder for Winter Sports: CamelBak Mil Spec Antidote 3L

  • Made specifically with the harshest environments in mind, the CamelBak Mil Spec Antidote 3L is an excellent choice for use during the winter months. It was designed for the US Marine Corps and is highly adaptable for extreme conditions.

More: Check out our Best Hydration Bladders Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Leatherman Multi-Tools

Best Leatherman for Camping

Leatherman Charge Plus TTi

This popular multi-tool features 19 tools in one package. The titanium frame is a major selling point because of its durability and lightweight design.

Best Leatherman for Fishing: Leatherman Supertool 300

  • Spend a little time on the water, and quickly you'll find yourself in need of a handy multi-tool for countless reasons. From cutting lines to gutting fish, the Leatherman Supertool 300 is a popular fishing accouterment.

Best Leatherman for Backpacking: Leatherman Wingman

  • Whether you're preparing food after a day on the trail or repairing a rip in your softshell jacket, hiking enthusiasts look to the Leatherman Wingman for assistance. This lightweight tool contains 14 different tools and weighs less than 7 ounces. 

Best Leatherman for Everyday Carry: Leatherman Wave

  • The Leatherman Wave has been a favored multi-tool amongst everyday carry enthusiasts for years. Mainly, as it contains 17 tools, from pliers to drivers to cutters, and it measures only four inches when closed. 

Best Leatherman for Survival: Leatherman Signal

  • The Leatherman Signal is a favored option amongst campers and outdoorsmen as it contains outdoors-specific tools such as a fire-starting rod and an emergency whistle. 

More: Check out our Best Leatherman Multi-tools Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.


Best Backpacking Hatchets

Best Overall Hatchet

Estwing Sportsman's Axe

The best all-around backpacking hatchet on our list had to be the Estwing Sportsman's Axe. Although this is a small hatchet, it packs quite the punch and can get most necessary camping activities done with ease.

Best Overall Runner-Up: Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

  • The Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is ideal for backpacking purposes. It is a lightweight design that does not skimp on the durability or quality of materials.

Best Budget-Friendly Hatchet: Tabor Tools Camp Hatchet

  • The Tabor Tools Camp Hatchet is extremely affordable, and it will get the job done.  It isn't too large or too heavy to bring backpacking, and it is straightforward to use.

Best Hatchet for Camping: Hults Bruk Jonaker Hatchet

  • The Hults Bruk Jonaker Hatchet is perfect for camping because of the size and application. 

Best Lightweight Hatchet: Gerber Back Paxe II Hatchet

  • While there may be smaller, even lighter hatchets on the market, the Gerber Back Paxe II should be a top choice because of the quality, durability, and ease of use. 

Best Hatchet for Splitting Wood: CRKT Freyr Axe

  • The Freyr Axe brings a little bit of style and a lot of functionality to any trip into the woods. It has a durable hickory handle and an interesting curve to the blade. 

More: Check out our Best Backpacking Hatchet Buying Guide for full reviews and buying considerations.

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