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Best Backpacking Gear of 2022

Our backpacking experts pick the best backpacking gear available from tents to stoves, and packs to pads

We've taken the time to list all of our favorite backpacking gear in one place. This dream list has options for any type of trail treader. Whether you love to go fast with the lightest backpacking gear or prefer a more leisurely hiking adventure, we've got options. We also consider the best value options to help you save money. Links are provided to each review category as well as more info on any recommended product.

Backpacking Backpacks

Finding the right backpack is one of the most essential backpacking trip decisions. Getting the right balance in weight, storage, cost, and comfort is key, but needs to fit with your intended use and budget. We've tested more than 200 backpacks of all different types, putting each through an intensive evaluation and rating process.

Backpacking packs are designed to carry large loads (30-50 pounds) for multiple days and usually range between 50-80 liters in capacity. If you plan to hike long distances with smaller loads, see below for ultralight packs.

Backpacks (Unisex/Men's)

Many backpacks are designed to be used by either men or women, with a unisex design. Most men use this kind of pack, while most women prefer a pack designed specifically for women (see our picks below). Here are our review's top picks for these backpacking packs.

Continue reading the best backpacking gear written by Chris McNamara.

LAST UPDATED

November 3, 2022

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Chris McNamara

GearLab

MEDIA MENTIONS

My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

MEDIA MENTIONS

Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere