Pack it in

The 10 Best Backpacks for Every Adventure

From easy day hikes to multi-day treks, a good pack on your back can make carrying a load a joy (relatively speaking), especially if you draw the short straw and have to carry the extra beer on a five day expedition through Zion National Park. The perfect pack is a simple one: it carries everything you need and nothing you don't. In practice, this is much harder than it seems and involves careful planning and design. Beware of the old trap. If you have the space, you'll try to fill it with something. Whether you're throwing gear together for a short hike to your favorite fly fishing spot or taking a month-long stroll down the Continental Divide, less is more. With that in mind, we've picked the best backpacks to put a few miles on this season. Features like load distributing-straps, rainflys and easy access to hydration all made the cut. Heavy materials, unneeded space, and dead weight? Not so much.

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Smart Kicks

GoLite Lime Lites

The GoLite Lime Lites ($110) are hard shoes to describe. Light hikers? Approach shoes? Urban knock-arounds? Yes, yes and yes. You could put these shoes on for casual Friday at the office and wear them straight through Sunday, with a day hike, soccer match and dinner party in between.

Anti-Gravity Pack

GoLite Lite-Speed Backpack

Backpacks have come a long way in the past couple of decades. If I had this GoLite Lite-Speed Backpack ($150) when I was in the Boy Scouts, I might not have dropped out after only achieving Second Class rank, despite the goofy uniforms and community service. Back then, the best you could get were heavy,...

If you could only have one jacket...

GoLite McKenzie Reflexion

Times are tough but it’s not time to go cheap; it’s time to demand better quality and more versatility in our products. So while the GoLite McKenzie Reflexion soft shell jacket costs three bills, it might be the only jacket you need from October through April (OK, you can keep your puffy down jacket). It’s...

Roan If You Want To, Roan Around The World

GoLite Roan Plateau Hoodie

When it comes to staying warm in the winter, nothing beats goose down – end of discussion. So, with the weather in New England starting to resemble Hoth, we decided it was time to put a down jacket through its paces, Gear Patrol style. The object of our testing was the GoLite Roan Plateau Hoodie....

A Samurai Sword for Road Warriors

GoLite TraveLite Wheeled Carry-On

Airline travel isn’t what it used to be. As if the security hassles, bad food, and cramped seats weren’t enough, most airlines are now charging for baggage. This has made a battlefield of the overhead compartments, with vigilant gate agents eagle-eying oversized bags and intra-passenger fights for overhead space that can make a UFC cage...

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