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Top: A Cuben laminate with 150d black face polyester face fabric. Bottom: The 210d Robic nylon that is standard on ULA packs.

Reader question: Are Cuben Fiber shelters & backpacks worth the cost?

A question from reader Patrick H.: Most backpackers who look beyond REI while researching gear have probably learned of Cuben Fiber, either in a standalone conversation or as a fabric option for shelters, backpacks, and accessories made by cottage brands like Hammock Gear, Katabatic Gear, Mountain Laurel Designs and others. Cuben stands out, partly because equipment made with it is exorbitantly […]

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The Sonic Shorts are more "tight shorts" than "compression shorts," especially after a few wears.

Long-term Review || Running favorite: Under Armour HeatGear Sonic Compression Shorts

For the past three years the Under Armour HeatGear Sonic Compression Short has been my go-to running short. After 500+ runs — including my biggest races like Run Rabbit Run 100, the Colorado Marathon, and San Juan Solstice 50 — I feel very confident in writing a long-term review. I use the Sonic Shorts primarily […]

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Extensive snow coverage on the north side of Mather Pass, looking towards Palisade Lakes, after a very wet winter. Taken June 28, 2006.

Reader question: Should I change my High Sierra itinerary due the heavy snowfall?

A reader question from Gabino: I’m sure that every backpacker planning to undertake the PCT, JMT, Sierra High Route, Kings Canyon High Basin Route, or any other high-elevation route in California’s High Sierra is wondering the same thing right now. Here are some thoughts: California’s snowpack: The Facts There are many ways to record and analyze […]

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The FC features six exterior pockets: two on the hipbelt, two side pockets, one top lid pocket, and a shoulder strap pocket.

Giveaway: Win a Flex Capacitor Pack & The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide

Sierra Designs is putting on a giveaway that you’ll want to get in on, through this Thursday (Feb 24). Enter to win a Flex Capacitor 40-60 Pack and a signed copy of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide. Enter here at SierraDesigns.com Update. This contest has closed.  Congrats to the winners: Laura H. of Denver, and […]

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Points of difference: First vs. Second Editions of the The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide

The upcoming release of the Second Edition of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide has prompted the obvious question: What are the points of difference between it and the First Edition? Or, more to the point, “If I already own the original, is the new version worth it?” In this post I will detail the changes. In […]

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