Table of contents

CleverHiker Gear Guide

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Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.
CleverHiker Gear Guide Homepage

Our Top Gear Picks Of 2024

The Clever Hiker Top Picks page is reserved for our personal favorite gear. When we hit the trail, this is what we carry in our packs.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes (Men’s / Women’s) offer a good balance between weight, water protection, durability, and comfort for those who need their footwear to be a bit more protective.

Hiking Boots

Boots offer solid support and great durability for rugged adventures. We’ve researched, broken in, and trail-tested dozens of hiking boots to bring you our lists of the very best hiking boots (Men’s / Women’s) on the market.

Trail Runners

Trail running shoes are great for both running and hiking. They provide a great balance of weight, comfort, and performance for long days on the trail. We’ve tested dozens to bring you this list of the best trail running shoes (Men’s / Women’s).


Backpacking Tents

Packing a top-notch tent is one of the best ways to increase comfort, safety, and enjoyment on backcountry trips. So when you’re in the market for a new shelter, pick up one of the Best Backpacking Tents.

Camping Tents

Choosing a tent that is comfortable, spacious, and easy to setup can make or break a camping trip. Here’s our list of the Best Camping Tents.

Sleep System

Backpacking Sleeping Bags

Looking for some deep trail sleep? Then snuggle up with one of the Best Sleeping Bags.

Backpacking Sleeping Pads

Nobody likes waking up with numb hips. Get the restful trail sleep you’ve earned with one of the Best Sleeping Pads.

Camping Sleeping Bags

Don’t let an uncomfortable night ruin your trip. It’s easy to get restful sleep outdoors with the right sleeping bag.

Camping Mattresses

Camping is all about relaxing and sleeping under the stars. The right camping mattress can be a real game changer.


Best Backpacks

Backpacking Backpacks

If you’re planning to hit the trail this year, you’ll probably want one of these badboys on your back. Here’s our list of the Best Backpacks.

Best Daypacks


A solid daypack should be a staple of every outdoor enthusiast’s gear collection. Ranging from minimalist to fully featured, we bring you our trail-tested Best Daypacks.

Camp Kitchen

Backpacking Stoves

A steamy cup of java on a crisp, quiet morning is just about the perfect start to any day in the wilderness. So pick up one of the Best Backpacking Stoves and make that morning moment happen.

Best Camping Stoves

Camping Stoves

There are lots of excellent stoves on the market to make your culinary adventures a success, but not all camp chefs have the same needs. We’ve been boiling and sautéing up a storm in our outdoor kitchen to bring you this list of the best camping stoves on the market.


Down Jackets

Down jackets are lightweight, packable, and highly efficient at trapping body heat. For those reasons (along with pure coziness), they’ve become our most beloved pieces of clothing for hiking and everyday wear.

Best Rain Jackets

Rain Jackets

Whatever your pleasure; walking, running, biking, or hiking – being equipped with the right mindset and a quality rain jacket will empower you to seize any opportunity to get outdoors, regardless of the forecast.

Other Outdoor Gear

Best Water Filters

Water Filters

Staying hydrated and avoiding parasites in the backcountry is critical. We explain the key differences of each water treatment method and share our personal favorites in our list of the Best Water Filters.

Best Headlamps


With all the technical data to sift through and seemingly endless choices on the market, it can be a real challenge to figure out what to buy. We researched and tested dozens of headlamps to put together this list of this year’s Best Headlamps.

Best Trekking Poles

Trekking Poles

Trekking poles can add a lot of stability and comfort to your hike.We tested dozens of trekking poles to narrow the list down in terms of durability, comfort, weight and value to determine this year’s Best Trekking Poles.

CleverHiker Tutorial Videos

HD Tutorial Videos

We’ve created over 30 instructional backpacking videos in two series – Essential Trail Skills & Lightweight Backpacking Foundations. Our focus is building educational resources to help backpackers of all levels feel more comfortable in the wilderness.

Gear Review Policy

We designed the CleverHiker Gear Guide to share our favorite backpacking equipment and to simplify the often frustrating gear buying process. We’ve spent thousands of hours researching and testing the equipment we recommend and we hope you find our suggestions helpful.

We regularly update the CleverHiker gear guide to add new products and make modifications. If you feel like we’ve missed a great tool or you’d like to provide feedback on an item, please get in touch with us to let us know.

Our main focus with the CleverHiker Gear Guide is recommending gear we trust from companies we believe in. The trust of our readers is our number one priority, so we work very hard to promote only the best of the best. Our gear recommendations are completely independent choices based on our personal experience and opinions. We never accept payments for reviewing gear, but we do occasionally get to keep free testing samples. We also include affiliate advertising links on our gear guide, which helps us keep CleverHiker up and running.

Just like our tutorial videos, this guide is all about spreading knowledge and helping raise the bar for future innovations. We focus on recommending only the best gear and that’s why our audience keeps coming back for more.

It’s also important to remember that great gear can really enhance a backpacking trip, but at the end of the day, it’s more important to get out and hike than to spend weeks mulling over what gear to buy. So go have an adventure! You’ll learn a lot about what gear you prefer by gaining experience in the backcountry.