Outdoor Gear Reviews, Gear Lists & Destination Guides

Advice and inspiration for your next outdoor adventure. At Ultimate Gear Lists we provide in-depth reviews of backpacking and other outdoor gear, comprehensive destination guides for multi-day hiking and backpacking trips, and "best-in-class" gear lists for specific types of adventures.




Backpack designs have come a long way since Eric Ryback first set out on his PCT thru-hike. New technologies and materials have led to lightweight backpacks that don't require sacrificing comfort or features. And novel designs like the Aarn bodypack are pushing the envelope even further. Get the lowdown on the best lightweight backpacks available for your next multi-day hike. 

A good quality sleeping pad is vital to ensuring you get a warm and comfortable night’s sleep out on the trail. Our list of the best sleeping pads includes some that will not only keep you warm and comfortable, but also are lightweight and packable.

A backpacking quilt offers more versatility and extra weight savings over a traditional sleeping bag. We also find them more comfortable since they are less constricting around the chest. For backpacking trips in milder climates, a quilt is always our first choice. In this article we review the best backpacking quilts you can currently get your mitts on.

A hoodless sleeping bag is great for those front, side or restless sleepers who find themselves getting tangled in the hood of a traditional bag. Our review of the best hoodless sleeping bags includes some great options that will help you sleep peacefully through the night out on the trail.

With a good backpacking pillow you’ll get a much better night’s rest and feel ready to hit the trail hard in the morning. And since the best backpacking pillows are lightweight yet still comfortable, even a lightweight backpacker can get a slice of this luxury.

These days it seems like backpackers can have it all when it comes to their tent. Lightweight without sacrificing durability. Spacious yet still stable. Fully enclosed tents for the same weight as a tarp. Get up to speed with the latest designs through our in-depth review of the best backpacking tents.

How are you planning to slice that cheese on the trail? A necessity on any multi-day backpacking trip, your pocket knife needs to be lightweight and packable. In this article we guide you to the best backpacking blades around.

Materials commonly used to make your city clothes — for instance, cotton — do not perform well during active use or in cold and wet environments. You need and deserve special underwear for hiking, and these boxers are just that.

Not all underwear are created equal. But these high performing undies will have you travelling comfortable all day long. In this review we look at the best hiking underwear for women, covering both merino and synthetic options.




A land of volcanoes, mountains, glaciers, and progressive citizens. Iceland is one of the most fascinating nations on the globe. It is both surreal and astounding. If the mountains appear to be liquid lava frozen in time, that's because they are. It is a landscape that must be seen to be believed. And the Laugavegur Trail crosses some of the most varied scenery in the country.  

Jasper National Park is home to some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the Canadian Rockies. And the stunning Tonquin Valley is one of the jewels in the Jasper crown. This 27 mile / 44 km hike takes in some of Jasper’s most epic mountain ranges, peaceful valleys, serene alpine lakes, and best wildlife spotting opportunities.

One of the most stunning alpine wilderness areas in New Zealand, Nelson Lakes National Park consist of dramatic mountain ranges interspersed by river valleys covered in dense native bush. And to top it off, it is home to the clearest freshwater lake in the world!

At the bottom end of New Zealand lies one of the last land stops before Antarctica. So remote that it provides one of the few remaining areas of shelter for the iconic native kiwi bird. And with a resident population of 381 inhabitants, and more than 80% of the area declared as a protected national park, Stewart Island is a bushwalkers paradise. 

Straddling the France-Spain divide, the Pyrenees is one of the largest mountain ranges in western Europe. The long distance High Route Pyrenees (HRP) covers the full length of the range, but also offers opportunities for shorter (e.g. one week) excursions. This is walking on the rooftops of Europe, in ultimate alpine style.

Trollheimen, Norway (in progress!)


Norway is well known for it's dramatic coastline and jaw-dropping fjords. But this long narrow nation also has a dramatic backbone. The mountains and plateaus of inner Norway provide breathtaking scenery. And, depending on where you choose, you can have a whole valley to yourself whilst camping out under the northern lights. 




Dehydrated backpacking meals provide a healthier and cheaper alternative to the freeze dried backpacking meals commonly seen on the trail. Dehydrating can be done at home, so you can eat like a king out on the trail with your favourite recipes on the menu!

Various terms get used for referring to wilderness exploration on foot. Hiking. Trekking. Backpacking. Are they the same? Or are they different? Or are they different but kinda the same? Well let’s find out.

Almost all baselayers are made from either merino wool or polyester. But what are the benefits of a natural fibre like merino versus a synthetic fibre like polyester? In this article we examine them in detail so that you can make an informed choice for your next hiking adventure.