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Best Backpacking Gear of 2023

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 are just curious as to what items our testers have labeled the best hiking gear, 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.

Backpacks Designed for Women

Most, but not all, women will prefer a pack designed specifically for a women's body. Women's packs typically offer shorter torso lengths, narrower shoulder widths, and waist belts designed for the angle of women's hips. Here are our top picks from our review of women's backpacking packs:

Continue reading about the best backpacking gear, written by Chris McNamara here.

LAST UPDATED

December 3, 2023

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Gear Lab

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Our mission: create the world’s best outdoor gear reviews.

Have you ever wanted to buy an outdoor product and been stumped about which product is best? Or, worse, bought a product only to learn later that you didn’t buy the right one for your needs? I have, and that is why I started OutdoorGearLab.

The OutdoorGearLab mission is simple: to create world’s best outdoor gear reviews.

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