22 for '22: Our Favorite New Hiking Gear of the Year

We may have been quiet for much of 2022, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been pounding the trails all over Oregon. We’ve been exploring lots of Oregon’s backcountry with the latest hiking gear and apparel as we work on a brand-new guidebook that will be coming soon! Read on and check out some of our favorite gear from the year.


Montbell Permafrost Light Down Jacket

Year to year, Montbell is one of our favorite outdoor brands. For keeping warm in camp this year, we packed along their Permafrost Light Down Jacket. With a silky, matte finish, the Permafrost features a GORE-TEX Infinium Windstopper shell and 800-fill Power EX Down insulation. This exceled at keeping the cold and moisture outside, and the warmth inside. Aiding with that, the Permafrost is equipped with adjustable cuffs, and microfiber lining on the collar and in the hand pockets. There are also two large, internal stash pockets, and it comes with a small stuff sack. 11 ounces; M/W; $299

Prana ReZion Pants and Shorts

For staying cool and comfortable on the trails, we spent most of this summer in Prana’s Stretch Zion II Pants and Shorts. These comfy, breathable men’s garments are constructed of Prana’s ReZion nylon fabric. This Bluesign-approved, recycled material is abrasion-resistant and stretches with every movement, and features a DWR finish for repelling moisture. The pants can even snap up into a knicker for more versatility. Both pants and shorts feature an integrated web belt for tailoring a custom fit, deep hand pockets, and a side thigh pocket. Similar Halle styles are available for women. $75–$95

Vasque Breeze Hiking Boots

This Vasque classic trail boot is back, better than ever, and we loved our hiking time with them. The new and improved Vasque Breeze starts with a leather and polyester mesh upper, and is supported by an Enduralast Bio EVA midsole. Best of all, its dual-density footbed provides out-of-the-box comfort for getting right to it, with little to no break-in time required. While light and cool in summer months, the VasqueDry waterproof liner keeps them dry and comfy in wet conditions. The new Breeze is constructed of sustainable, durable fabrics, with 25% recycled material. 40 ounces/pair; M/W; $160

Hoka Kaha 2 Low GTX Runners

At first hike, these new Hoka runners were super-comfy out of the box, but felt a little wonky on the trail. But we gave them another chance and had a much better experience, and subsequently packed on plenty of miles in them through spring and summer. The Kaha 2 Low GTX is constructed of a GORE-TEX-lined leather upper with a dual-density foam midsole, and a beefy Vibram Megagrip outsole for sticking to any trail surface. All this is built around a plush, neutral footbed that keeps them comfy mile after mile. Also available as a midrise boot. 17 ounces/pair; Low is M only; M/W in boot style; $220


Gregory Focal 58L Backpack

For much of our summer trekking this year, this lightweight, multiday pack carried our load from camp to camp and back again. The Focal 58L Backpack prioritizes comfort while keeping things simple. Its ventilated mesh backpanel and FreeFloat harness provide a personalized fit, and are constructed of moisture-wicking, odor-control materials for going the distance without getting funky. Just enough pockets help keep gear organized and accessible, including dual-entry bottle pockets, front mesh pocket, and a floating lid. Available in S, M, and L sizes; 2.6–2.8 lbs; $240

Osprey Exos 58 UL Backpack

A few years ago, we were raving about the introduction of Osprey’s Exos UL backpack (review here). This year, the Exos 58 UL was redesigned to be better than ever. In addition to all the great features we loved, there’s now more padding on the hipbelt, an adjustable suspension system, and the addition of hipbelt pockets! It’s a little heavier than the previous model, but the improvements are definitely worth the few extra ounces. The icing on the cake: the Exos is now made with Bluesign-approved, 100% recycled materials. Also available as the women’s Eja 58 UL. S/M and L/XL sizes; 2.8–2.9 lbs; $260

Outdoor Research Double Hull 35L Pack

Perfect for Northwest weather, we liked this lightweight pack for local dayhikes and getting around town. The Double Hull 35L is a fully weatherproof pack that features an abrasion-resistant shell, and comes with a seam-taped, internal dry bag for keeping clothes and valuables doubly-protected from the elements. The pack’s internal sleeve can hold a 15-inch laptop, or a hydration system. With its dual bottle pockets, external zip pocket, and ergonomic shoulder straps, this makes the Double Hull Pack equally useful for work or play. Constructed of partially recycled materials. 34 ounces; $169


Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2

A carryover from last year, Big Agnes’ Tiger Wall UL2 continues to be our go-to ultralight tent. Weighing just 2.5 lbs., the Tiger Wall ensures a quick and easy setup with a single, hubbed DAC Featherlite pole system and Dirt Dagger UL stakes. The seam-taped fly and tent floor keep the keep the rain and moisture on the outside, while keeping the interior nice and dry. Our favorite feature is the built-in gear bin that’s perfect for stashing gear and clothing, and providing a less-cluttered living space. Three additional interior pockets help keep essentials accessible. Also available in 1P and 3P models. $450

Exped Ultra 3R Sleeping Mat

For our sleeping comfort this year, we packed along Exped’s all-new Ultra 3R Sleeping Mat. The Ultra 3R features the new Synmat Technology, which welds a layer of insulation to the interior surfaces of the mat, ensuring comfort and warmth, while cradling the body from head to toe. The Ultra 3R has a 2.9 R-Value rating, making it ideal for 3-season use, and comes with a Schnozzle Pumpbag for easy inflation. Best of all, the recycled polyester surface material isn’t noisy! Packed up, the Ultra 3R is about the size of a 1-liter bottle, and weighs just 16 ounces (size medium). Available in four sizes, S–LW; $150  

Klymit Horizon Backpacking Blanket

Whether for sitting around the campfire, or opting to ditch your sleeping bag on warmer summer nights, Klymit’s Horizon Backpacking Blanket is a solid choice that won’t break the bank. The Horizon Blanket utilizes a moisture-resistant 20D polyester shell filled with synthetic Primaloft Silver Insulation. This helps it dry quickly after damp or sweaty nights outdoors. For packing up, it crams into its own compression sack. You can even wash (delicate) and dry it at home so it’s fresh for each trip. $110  

Sea to Summit Spark UL Sleeping Bag

Even at high elevations, we never got the chills in Seat to Summit’s Spark UL 28F Sleeping Bag. This was pretty amazing for such a ridiculously lightweight (17 ounces!) and compressible sleeping bag, that still gives you room to manuever. Under the 10D nylon shell, the Spark boasts an 850-fill Ultra-Dry Down insulation for keeping comfortable down to freezing temps. This is aided by its baffle-backed half-zip and an easy to manage hood cinch system. For putting away, it packs up nice and tight in the included Ultra-Sil compression sack. For more sleeping freedom, try the Ember UL 35F Quilt. $369–$389  

Therm-a-Rest Air Head Down Pillow

Good sleep on the trail is essential for long-distance endurance. That’s why we never hike without a good pillow in our sleep kit. It’s way more comfortable than a wadded up jacket—and totally worth the extra few ounces in the pack. The Therm-a-Rest Air Head Down Pillow packs up to about the size of a softball, and weighs just 5 ounces (regular size). Just inflate it to your desired firmness and rest your head on a warm, insulated pillow for a good night’s sleep anywhere you go. After your trip, the down slipcase is removable for washing. $60

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Silipint Cups & Bowls

For many of our car camping outings this year, we got a lot of use out of these handy, silicone containers from Bend-based Silipint. Made to be reusable and unbreakable, Silipint Cups and Bowls are BPA-free, and can take some abuse, while maintaining their shape and integrity. We liked the bowl with lid set for packing along food and snack items, and the original pint glass for enjoying our favorite camp beverages. Silipint cups and bowls so versatile, they can even be frozen, microwaved and baked, and are dishwasher safe. Just don’t put them on your campfire! Available as single items, or in sets. $5–$60

Sea to Summit Camp Kitchen Toolkit

If you’re like us, quick-boiled, freeze-dried meals don’t always cut it. We like to eat good in camp, so are willing to pack along a little extra for some quality crafted meals to enjoy while watching our backcountry sunsets. Sea to Summit’s 10-Piece Camp Kitchen Toolkit is just right for this. It comes with a spoon, spatula, several bottles for our favorite condiments, and all the cleanup equipment we need for after dinner—all in a compact, 11-ounce folding package. Our favorite item is the little tiny cleaning brush with integrated soap bottle holder! It’s great for car camping, too! $40

Opinel Picnic+ Set

Tired of trying to slurp noodles with a spoon? This incredibly compact and handy utensil set had us leaving our titanium spork at home. The Opinel Picnic+ Set starts with a No 0.8 Opinel folding knife. This French classic features a wooden handle and stainless steel blade, with its unique Virobloc locking safety ring. The set gets even better with its matching stainless steel fork and spoon inserts. These lock securely in place on the knife’s handle with a simple twist. And all three elements wrap up in a convenient microfiber napkin/carry case. And the whole set weighs only 3.4 ounces! $35

Lifestraw Peak Squeeze 1L Bottle

For fast and easy—and safe—drinking in the backcountry, we love Lifestraw’s new Peak Squeeze 1L Bottle. Extra-tough and weighing just 4 ounces, this flexible filter bottle can take some abuse and never spring a leak. Just scoop water right out of a stream or lake and sip or squeeze through the filter cap for clean drinking, cooking and washing. The compact membrane microfilter protects against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, silt, sand and cloudiness. This durable bottle also eliminates the need for throwaway plastic bottles, making it more friendly for the environment. $38

GSI 2 Can Cooler

This clever little item was one of our favorite new gear picks from this past summer’s Outdoor Retailer show. Is it practical for backpacking? Not really. Is it light enough for the long haul? Absolutely not. But for car camping or day hiking, the 2 Can Cooler is pretty darn sweet for packing along a couple of cold beverages to enjoy at the summit or the lakeshore. Pro tip: It keeps hot stuff hot too, so stick a burrito or hot sub in there for a tasty, toasty meal at your outdoor destination. 14 ounces; $30


OtterBox Power Bank 15K Battery

We’ve been carrying a backup battery on the trail for years. This year, we upgraded to the OtterBox Fast Charge 15K mAh Power Bank. A little bigger than a deck of cards, and weighing about 12 ounces, this compact battery carries enough juice for recharging even the biggest smartphones several times on trail. It’s equipped with both USB-A and USB-C ports to accommodate most charging cords—even letting you charge two devices at once! And a small LED indicator lets you know how much charge you have left, and when it’s time to power it back up. $45

Day Hiking Mount Hood

Our most recent guide, Day Hiking Mount Hood will help you discover every creek, meadow and waterfall there is to see on and around Oregon’s tallest volcanic peak. Hiking the PCT: Oregon author Eli Boschetto highlights 85 dayhikes that reveal the best trails and views this iconic NW peak has to offer. The handy Hikes at a Glance chart guides you to the best trails for wildflowers, cloudy days, walks with kids, and winter rambles. Each hike features driving directions, trail map and difficulty level, in addition to seasonal suggestions, natural and cultural history, and permit requirements. $22

Klymit Everglow Light Tube

This little gadget was one of our favorite new items this year. Constructed of durable TPU material, the Everglow Light Tube is a lightweight, inflatable camp lamp that packs down small and can be used just about anywhere. All it takes is a puff or two of air to inflate it, then hang it in your tent or around camp. The USB power cord features an on/off/dimmer switch to let you control how much light to use. We paired it with a tiny USB battery for a complete kit that packs away in the light’s own stuff sack—which even doubles as a diffuser lantern! Available in three sizes; 2–4 ounces; $25–$40

Moskinto After Bite Patches

Mosquito bites are unavoidable, regardless of what repellent you might wear. And in recent years, they seem to be getting worse. Now when we get a mosquito bite, we just slap on a Moskinto After Bite Itch Relief Patch. They’re drug-, chemical-, and latex-free, are coated with a skin-friendly adhesive, and are waterproof for up to seven days. The unique grid shape helps relieve itching and swelling, and promotes faster healing. We used them on some particularly bad bites, and they really worked! Now Moskinto Patches are a permanent addition to our trail first aid kit. $12–$27

Klean Freak Body Wipes

After a few days of slogging down the trail under the sweltering summer sun, it’s nice to clean up a bit. This year, we packed a couple Klean Freak Body Wipes on our longer, multiday trips. Klean Freak wipes are all-natural, antibacterial and alcohol-free, with safe, active ingredients such as chamomile, aloe vera and calendula. They even come in a variety of invigorating scents, and don’t leave a sticky residue on your skin. And each individually-wrapped wipe weighs less than an ounce, and is 100% biodegradable—though you should still pack your used ones out. Available in packs of 12 or more. $16

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