Casey Handley
Senior Gear Analyst

Casey is an experienced hiker and gear expert who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the CleverHiker team. She has a passion for ultralight backpacking, years of experience working at REI, and a deep understanding of what people need and want from their gear. Casey has spent years researching, testing, and writing about outdoor gear to become CleverHiker’s Senior Gear Analyst.

Casey has also hiked thousands of miles on some of the most beautiful and challenging trails in the country, including thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, John Muir Trail, Arizona Trail, Colorado Trail, and Long Trail.

She has a background in English and writing, and her meticulous attention to detail is evident in the content she produces for CleverHiker. She also has a keen eye for style and design, making her a valuable contributor to our site’s visual and written content.

Casey lives in her van somewhere in Central Oregon with her partner, dog, and cat. She spends her free time studying maps to plan her next thru-hike, shooting film in beautiful backcountry spots, and looking for ways to shave an ounce off her pack weight.

Articles by Casey Handley

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol vs. NEMO Switchback Review

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol vs. NEMO Switchback Review

Author
Closed-cell foam sleeping pads are a popular option among thru-hikers and lightweight backpackers on a budget, and the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol has dominated that market for many years with very little competition. New in 2019, the NEMO Switchback offers some long overdue updates. We were curious to see how the two matched up, so we tested them side by side to determine a winner.
NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad Review

NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad Review

Author
For years, the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad has been the industry leader foam pad with very little competition, but the NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad brings some long overdue updates to the closed-cell foam pad market. The Switchback features improvements to comfort and packability, and we find it to be superior to other foam pads we’ve tried.
REI Co-op Flash 55 Backpack Review

REI Co-op Flash 55 Backpack Review

Author
The REI Co-op Flash 55 Backpack is one of the most affordable and customizable packs we’ve ever tested. It boasts a lightweight design without sacrificing comfort or features, which earned it a spot on our 10 Best Lightweight Backpacks and Favorite Budget Backpacking Gear lists.
10 Best Backpacking & Camping Pillows of 2024
A backpacker relaxing on the shore of an alpine lake surrounded by mountains on an inflatable sleeping pad and the Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight Pillow

10 Best Backpacking & Camping Pillows of 2024

Author
No need to wake up with a knot in your neck. Our list of the best pillows for camping and backpacking has the comfiest options available.
Best Backpacking & Hiking Water Filters of 2024
Closeup of the Sawyer Squeeze water filter in front of an alpine lake

Best Backpacking & Hiking Water Filters of 2024

Author
We’ve filtered out the nonsense to bring you our purest recommendations of the best water filters around.
10 Best Ultralight Tents of 2024
The Zpacks Duplex and Tarptent Motrail ultralight backpacking tents in front of a jagged mountain peak at sunset

10 Best Ultralight Tents of 2024

Author
Every gram counts when finding the best ultralight tent. Our hand-picked list of UL shelters passed the test from our scale to the trail.
10 Best Backpacking Tents of 2024
The NEMO Hornet OSMO 2 and Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 backpacking tents pitched in a campsite surrounded by granite peaks in the Sawtooth Mountains

10 Best Backpacking Tents of 2024

Author
We put the most promising backpacking tents on the market through the wringer to find the ones with the best balance of comfort, weight…
10 Best Backpacking Stoves of 2024
The MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe backpacking stove in front of a jagged mountain with red bands

10 Best Backpacking Stoves of 2024

Author
We’ve spent years cooking up this list of the best backpacking stoves around so backcountry chefs and Cup Noodle connoisseurs can find their perfect match.
10 Best Hammocks for Backpacking & Camping in 2024
A backpacker relaxing in a red Eno Ultralight Sub6 hammock near a mountain lake in the Enchantments

10 Best Hammocks for Backpacking & Camping in 2024

Author
We’ve been kicking back in the backcountry to bring you our trail-tested top picks for hammock camping in comfort. Put your feet up and chill out with…
Best Backpacking Backpacks of 2024

Best Backpacking Backpacks of 2024

Author
Our team of seasoned backcountry experts hiked thousands of miles using the best backpacking packs on the market to narrow down this list of…
10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags of 2024
A backpacker sitting on a rock in the REI Magma 30 sleeping bag at sunset

10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags of 2024

Author
From summer summits to winter wanderings, our trail-tested list of the best backpacking sleeping bags will keep you warm and cozy in…
10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads of 2024
A backpacker holding the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite in Yosemite National Park

10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads of 2024

Author
Whether you’re looking for inflatable or foam, ultralight or ultra-plush, we’ll help you get a great night’s sleep in the backcountry with our trail-tested picks…
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