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Mountaintop Backpack Review: Spacious and Supportive Enough to Carry All Your Gear

woman holding a camera on top of a mountain

Whether you're ready for a short weekend away or a long backpacking trip, you might be looking for a new backpack. In our Mountaintop Backpack review, we hope to shed light on one option for your next camping backpack.

There are tons of backpacks available, but not all of them are excellent quality. And if you're out camping, you want your gear to last. So, you want to make sure you choose the best backpack. If you're curious about Mountaintop, keep reading our Mountaintop Backpack review.

Initial Mountaintop Backpack Review


If you want to go camping, you need a sturdy backpack for storing your gear and personal items. There are tons of backpacks on the market, but you should look for a high-quality backpack that won't constantly need replacing.

The company Mountaintop has a ton of backpacks that you can choose from for your next camping trip. Their backpacks come in a variety of sizes and styles.

So, we wanted to look at a few backpacks. We found a smaller backpack, a huge backpack, and one in the middle. Each backpack has its own set of features.

 Small Mountaintop Backpack

If you're only going camping for a night or two, you don't need tons of space. The Mountaintop Unisex Hiking/Camping Backpack can fit 22 to 40 liters, depending on the color.

This backpack comes in about 20 different colors, and some have a smaller capacity, while others are slightly larger. Some colors include blue, black, and red.

Regardless of the color and capacity, the backpack has a front pocket with organization slots. You can store tools and gadgets for easy access within the front pocket.

This backpack also has a hip-belt pocket, a bladder sleeve, and two mesh bottle pouches. It has a sternum strap with an emergency whistle, and the padded shoulder straps provide air circulation to your back and shoulders.

The backpack itself is water-resistant, so you don't have to worry about water leaking into your stuff. There's even a laptop compartment if you want to take your laptop.

If you've ever gone on a long hike, you know that eventually, you'll probably want to take off your jacket. This backpack has a front loop, which is perfect for hanging a jacket or another lightweight item.

Mountaintop Backpack Medium

If you want something a little bigger than 40 liters, consider the Mountaintop Internal Frame Hiking Backpack. Depending on the color, its capacity ranges from 50 liters to 65 liters. Colors include blue, brown, and black.

The backpack has good quality zippers that open and close easily, and there are plenty of buckles that also keep your items contained. This backpack uses water-resistant fabric, and it also comes with a rain cover.

Mountaintop's medium-sized backpack has an extension collar with a drawstring that can increase the capacity up to five liters. The backpack also has plenty of pockets to organize your stuff.

This backpack has two hip-belt pockets, two lid pockets, a bladder sleeve, a front pocket, and two mesh bottle pouches. Like the small backpack, this one has a sternum strap with an emergency whistle buckle. The padded shoulder straps also let air circulate and reach the back and shoulders.

There are two key hooks in the main compartment where you can attach your keys or a water bladder. The backpack also has a trekking pole attachment and bottom loops for your hiking pole.

Both shoulder straps have a D-shaped hook where you can attach small items.

Mountaintop Backpack Large

Maybe you've gone on a weekend camping trip, and you're ready for something more. Well, in that case, you need a backpack that can fit everything you need. The Mountaintop Hiking Backpack also comes in larger capacities up to 80 liters.

Different colors come in different capacities, but black, blue, and red all fit up to 80 liters.

Regardless of the size and color, you can easily access the front pocket as well as the main compartment. This backpack has daisy chains where you can attach hiking poles, a tripod, or other accessories.

The backpack has eight compression straps. You can use them to tie up your pack or hang items like your tent or sleeping bag. This backpack is compatible with hydration systems, and you can access the water bladder from the side of the backpack.

You can also adjust the length of the backpack to fit your needs. If you get caught in the rain, the backpack comes with a rain cover.

What Customers Have to Say


2 man sitting while looking at the sea

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

While each backpack is slightly different, customers love all three backpacks. Amazon's average Mountaintop Backpack review for each tops 4 out of 5 stars. But of course, each backpack has its own set of ratings and reviews.

Let's go in size order.

SMALL

MEDIUM

LARGE

How to Choose a Backpack


backpacks and shoes for sale

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

Of course, backpacks come in different sizes and colors, and there are tons of companies that make them, too. That variety can make shopping for a backpack more confusing.

So we knew our Mountaintop Backpack review wouldn't be complete without some shopping tips.

MANY MATERIALS

BE LIKE GOLDILOCKS

WHERE TO SHOP

Searching for the Best


woman checking some things to buy

image source: unsplash.com via Joseph Devera

We could end our Mountaintop Backpack review here. However, we want to compare the backpacks to some of the competition.

Looking at the competition can help us make a more informed Mountaintop Backpack review because we can learn what else is out there. While the Mountaintop Backpacks have fantastic features, you don't want to narrow your search too much.

A BACKPACK FOR EVERY BACK

We found similar backpacks to Mountaintop. For our Mountaintop Backpack review, we found backpacks of varying sizes, so each competitor backpack is similar to a Mountaintop Backpack.

To figure out whether Mountaintop Backpacks are the best, we compared features such as size, materials, and comfort for each backpack.

OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack

The OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack has a capacity of 50 liters which puts it between the small and medium Mountaintop Backpacks.

It's an excellent weekend backpack, and you can use it for hiking, camping, and as a carry-on. The backpack has tons of pockets for organizing your stuff, and it's very durable. It even has a laptop compartment that can fit laptops up to 15.6 inches.

This backpack includes a waterproof rain cover, and the straps are comfortable. In addition to pockets, there are attachments for your tent, hiking poles, and other accessories.

The backpack comes in different colors, including black, blue, and red.

Multiple customers say it's great for different forms of travel. However, others mention the bag is pretty poor quality.

BOLANG Hiking Daypack

The BOLANG Hiking Daypack is a medium-sized backpack with a capacity of 45 to 55 liters. This backpack has good ventilation, which keeps you cool.

This backpack has padded shoulder straps that are comfortable. There are tons of compartments, so you can keep all of your gear organized. You can access your hydration system from the side of the backpack.

There's even a special compartment for storing dirty shoes.

The backpack also has compression straps, which are great for hanging your tent or tying up your backpack. This backpack is also waterproof, and you can use it for day hikes or overnight trips.

One customer loved that it can fit a lot despite looking small. However, other customers mentioned the bag is pretty cheap and not for serious hikers.

TETON Sports Explorer 4000

The​ Explorer 4000 from TETON Sports is a good option for longer trips or when you just need to bring more stuff. It's versatile and suitable for men, women, and children.

This backpack's capacity is 65 liters, which is perfect for trips up to 5 days long. You can adjust the torso at different points, so you can customize it to fit your body.

The shoulder straps are also adjustable. This backpack has padding that keeps air moving through your back and shoulders.

It also includes compression straps and a variety of pockets, which means you can carry a lot of stuff with the backpack. There's also a rain cover. You can protect your gear in the rain and store the cover when you're not using it.

This backpack has a compartment just for your sleeping bag. It also includes a water bladder pocket.

Multiple customers love the bag's quality. However, other customers say you get what you pay for with this backpack.

On the Mountaintop


A man holding his cellphone on top of the mountain

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

For our Mountaintop Backpack review, we looked at three popular choices. Each of the backpacks is a different size, but they all have very similar features.

If you're set on a Mountaintop Backpack, you only need to worry about the best size. But what if you're not convinced Mountaintop is for you?

That's why we included some competitors in this Mountaintop Backpack review. We wanted to find out if Mountaintop makes the best backpacks.

While we think there are tons of great features, there's nothing unique about Mountaintop Backpacks. Each of the backpacks we looked at had good and bad customer reviews.

So, we think you should choose the backpack that fits your needs, whether it's from Mountaintop or not.

Have you used a Mountaintop Backpack? Leave your own Mountaintop Backpack review down in the comments!

Discover the Best Yoga Mat of 2019: Reviewed

yoga mat
Caucasian prime adult females in yoga class.

Yoga is a great way destress and build flexibility. Every yogi needs a yoga mat that can contribute to the best possible workout, but it can be hard to find the mat that’s right for you. With this top 10 list, you can easily choose a  yoga mat that fits your needs.

Product FAQs

1. What Factors Are Important When Picking a Yoga Mat?

2. Why Does Mat Thickness Matter?

The Benefits of Using a Yoga Mat

This prop has become essential for yoga, but is it really essential to purchase a mat? We believe so! Here are some of the top benefits of using a yoga mat during exercise.

Creates a Space to Exercise

If you have limited space to exercise, a yoga mat helps to create a physical space that’s dedicated to yoga. Roll out your mat and devote a specific space to use. No matter where you are, you can create an area that’s specific to relaxing your mind and stretching your muscles.

Offers Stability

If you’ve ever exercised on an uneven surface - such as a carpet - you’ll appreciate how difficult it becomes to hold a pose and remain stable. The best yoga mats remain grounded, so nothing is impacting your stability. Therefore, you can to stretch to your full potential. A yoga mat also makes the transitions between different moves much smoother.

Provides Comfort

Another great benefit of purchasing a yoga mat is having the additional padding and comfort when you’re performing your moves. This is ideal if you have sore joints, but it’s also a sensible solution to prevent any discomfort.

Hygienic

Yoga is difficult, so you’ll likely break a sweat. Many of the yoga mats we’ll present to you later are designed to absorb sweat. This feature is more hygienic than having to wipe up sweat off the floor.

How We Reviewed

We based all our choices on features and quality. We looked at the top yogi reviews and determined which yoga mats stand out and why.

Top 10 Yoga Mats

1. Hugger Mugger: Eco Para Rubber Mat

Hugger Mugger: Eco Para Rubber Mat

This product is a high-quality yoga mat known for its unique textured traction on both sides, preventing the mat from sliding. The mat is 6.35 mm thick and has a colorful, calming design.

Where to Find It

You can find this mat almost everywhere, including Yoga Outlet, Amazon and Hugger Mugger’s official website. It generally comes in two sizes: 70” x 24” or 78” x 28”.

Warranty

N/A

Coupons/Deals

You can find all kinds of coupons and deals on websites such as Groupon and Coupon Cabin.

Pros

  • nice cushion to help stabilize your pose and protect your joints
  • natural rubber is also eco-friendly
  • durable and made to last for years of yoga practice

Cons

  • rubber is quite heavy when it comes to traveling or transportation
  • doesn’t absorb sweat as well as other top-performing mats and can be pricey for beginners

[amazon box="B07B67R93N"]

2. Lululemon: The Reversible (Un) Mat

The Reversible (Un) Mat

Lululemon is known for making wonderful yoga mats that people love. This  71” x 30” mat is a top favorite of customers because it is so lightweight and easy to travel with. It’s only 1.5 mm thick and has a polyurethane top, which absorbs sweat.

Where to Find It

You can find this mat on Lululemon's website. Lululemon has free shipping for all of its products.

Warranty

N/A

Coupons/Deals

RetailMeNot has discounts and deals available for Lululemon.

Pros

  • perfect to take anyplace
  • a great alternative to heavier and bigger yoga mats

Cons

  • mainly for low-sweat workouts
  • become slippery when sweat increases

3. Manduka Pro Mat

manduka mat

Yogis love this mat for its high quality. It’s durable, and it has a 6 mm thickness to help support your knees during any workout. The standard size is 71” x 26,” or you can choose the extra-long size, which is 85” x 26”.

Where to Find It

A variety of colors and add-on accessories can be found on Manduka’s site as well as on Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Warranty

Manduka has a lifetime warranty.

Coupons/Deals

Manduka is a favorite among users and is widely known. You can find coupons and deals on Groupon or other coupon websites.

Pros

  • phthalate-free and made with eco-certified PVC
  • comes with a lifetime guarantee and can handle a lot of wear and tear
  • helps you avoid odors

Cons

  • does not have sweat-absorption qualities
  • become slippery when sweat increases
  • can get slippery if you are doing a high-intensity workout

[amazon box="B078VJ81M2"]

4. Yoloha: Chakras Native Cork Yoga Mat

Yoloha Chakras Native Cork Yoga Mat

If you’re looking for a mat that is different than ones you’ve tried in the past, consider looking at this product. It’s made from recycled cork, which contains antimicrobial qualities and has a lot of traction. This mat has the chakras aligned so that you can remind yourself why you practice yoga.

Where to Find It

You can find this mat on Yoloha’s main website. When you order the product, the company specifically waits to roll up the mat until after you have purchased it, helping your mat lay flat for your first practice.

Warranty

If you aren’t happy with your yoga mat, you can exchange it or get a refund within 60 days.

Coupons/Deals

Groupon may have coupons available for your use. You may have to search the internet for coupons or deals that can be useful to you.

Pros

  • non-slip qualities, this mat is great for hot yoga
  • eco-friendly and durable, helping you make a difference while you work out

Cons

  • it is very expensive for a beginner or intermediate yoga fan

[amazon box="B073HJKL2F"]

5. Gurugrid: Eco-Friendly Premium Yoga Mat

Gurugrid: Eco-Friendly Premium Yoga Mat

This mat features a pattern of circles and numbers that help you align your body correctly in any pose. Placement is everything in yoga and can often be the difference between a good workout and a boring one. It’s 5 mm thick and is made with natural rubber and polyurethane.

Where to Find It

The only place to buy this mat is on Gurugrid’s website.

Warranty

N/A

Coupons/Deals

Promopure’s website has some great fitness and exercise deals that may supply you with a few Gurugrid coupons. Groupon may also have available deals.

Pros

  • allows you to track your progress by helping you notice how closely you can align with the poses correctly
  • rubber material offers excellent grip as well

Cons

  • alignment may not work for people who are a lot taller or shorter than the average height

6. Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat

Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat

This is the perfect yoga mat for beginners. It has a non-slip surface and extra thickness to provide cushioning. It’s also lightweight and easy to carry. It comes in many stylish designs, too.

Where to Find It

You can get this mat on Amazon with free shipping if you’re an Amazon Prime member. You can also find it at Walmart, Yoga Outlet and Gaiam’s website.

Warranty

Gaiam has a lifetime guarantee on its yoga mats. If you aren’t satisfied or believe your mat is defective, you can submit a claim for a replacement mat.

Coupons/Deals

Gaiam is well known, so you can often find coupons and deals for their mats. Coupon Cause and Coupon Cabin often have several discount deals for this company.

Pros

  • an affordable buy for yogis who are starting out or don’t want to invest in an expensive mat
  • also non-toxic and comes with a free downloadable yoga workout to help you get motivated

Cons

  • have a strong chemical smell, so you may need to wash it before using

[amazon box="B005OSMDT4"]

7. Jade: Harmony Mat

Jade Harmony Mat

This product is a popular choice for many yogis. It has great traction and comes in three accommodating sizes (68”, 71” and 74”). There are also many colors to choose from.

Where to Find It

Jade has a reliable website you can purchase the mat from, and you can be sure that they will plant a tree after you buy the product. You can also find it at REI and Yoga Outlet.

Warranty

You can get a full refund or exchange if you contact the store within 30 days of your purchase. This specific mat has a 1-year warranty, as well.

Coupons/Deals

Coupon Follow and RetailMeNot have some great coupons for Jade products.

Pros

  • very comfortable and durable product
  • Jade plants a tree for each product that it sells and have planted over a million trees so far

Cons

  • This mat isn’t ideal for hot yoga, but it can work better when washed.

[amazon box="B000EC9LMM"]

8. Liforme: Original

Liforme Travel Yoga Mat

This yoga mat is another excellent option for alignment. With specific markers on the mat, you can place your body to get the most out of your workout. This mat is longer and wider than most, and it has great grip.

Where to Find It

Liforme is a little bit cheaper than Amazon and has free worldwide shipping.

Warranty

N/A

Coupons/Deals

Deals Cove, Coupon Okay and Wethrift have some available coupons.

Pros

  • great for yogis who sweat a lot during the workout
  • it’s eco-friendly
  • alignment guide is etched into the product rather than printed
  • the mat supports your knees

Cons

  • mat is expensive and can be a pain to carry around

[amazon box="B01CI6SJCO"]

9. Aurorae: Synergy Yoga Mat

Aurorae Synergy Yoga Mat

This mat is known for its comfort. With a 5 mm thickness and eco-friendly design, it’s made to support your body in any pose. It’s very soft and comfortable and comes in different colors.

Where to Find It

You can mainly buy this mat on Amazon, but Yoga Outlet and Aurorae’s website are also good options to buy from.

Warranty

You can receive a 2-year warranty if you buy through Aurorae or Amazon.

Coupons/Deals

Groupon may have some coupons that are available.

Pros

  • grip of this mat is exceptional
  • it absorbs sweat and doesn’t become slippery
  • five times thicker

Cons

  • heavy mat and sometimes has a chemical smell when it first arrives.

[amazon box="B07BV6YCRR"]

10. Pogamat: XL Yoga Mat

Pogamat XL Yoga Mat

This is the top choice for many who have longer limbs or torsos. The mat is very resilient and has a 7 mm thickness that is comfortable and supportive.

Where to Find It

Pogamat’s website is one of the best places to buy this mat. You can also find it on Amazon and Yoga Outlet.

Warranty

This mat has a lifetime warranty.

Coupons/Deals

Groupon, Coupon Cabin and RetailMeNot may have available deals.

Pros

  • It’s eco-friendly and has no chemical smell
  • material doesn’t peel or fade over time, and the design prevents the mat from slipping

Cons

  • this mat might not be the best option for people who are shorter
  • don’t like a lot of yoga mat space

[amazon box="B00HET4WEK"]

Product

Image

manduka

Details

Hugger Mugger: Eco Para Rubber Mat

Hugger Mugger: Eco Para Rubber Mat

Mat Thickness: 

6.35 mm

Eco-Friendly:

Yes

Non-Slip:

Yes

Lululemon: The Reversible (Un) Mat

The Reversible (Un) Mat

Mat Thickness: 1.5 mm

Eco-Friendly:

Yes

Non-Slip:

No

Manduka Pro Mat

manduka

Mat Thickness:

6 mm

Eco-Friendly:

Yes

Non-Slip:

No

Yoloha: Chakras Native Cork Yoga Mat

Yoloha: Chakras Native Cork Yoga Mat

Mat Thickness:

1.5 mm

Eco-Friendly:

Yes

Non-Slip:

Yes

Gurugrid: Eco-Friendly Premium Yoga Mat

Yoloha: Chakras Native Cork Yoga Mat

Mat Thickness:

5 mm

Eco-Friendly:

Yes

Non-Slip:

Yes

Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat

6. Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat

Mat Thickness:

5 mm

Eco-Friendly:

Yes

Non-Slip:

Yes

Jade: Harmony Mat

Jade: Harmony Mat

Mat Thickness:

5 mm

Eco-Friendly:

Yes

Non-Slip:

No

Liforme: Original

Liforme Travel Yoga Mat

Mat Thickness:

4.2 mm

Eco-Friendly:

Yes

Non-Slip:

Yes

Aurorae: Synergy Yoga Mat

9. Aurorae: Synergy Yoga Mat

Mat Thickness:

5 mm

Eco-Friendly:

Yes

Non-Slip:

Yes

Pogamat: XL Yoga Mat

Pogamat: XL Yoga Mat

Mat Thickness:

7 mm

Eco-Friendly:

Yes

Non-Slip:

Yes

The Verdict

Yoga is all about you. Choosing the best quality mat with the right features for your routine is important. With this guided article, you can see the top mats that can benefit you in different ways. That said, the Manduka Pro Mat has been recommended as the top yoga mat for most expert yogis. Despite what you choose, these mats can each benefit you and your workout.

The 8 Best Trail Running Shoes for Sure Footing When You’re Off the Beaten Path

two men running on a trail

Choosing the best trail running shoes is a different process from picking shoes for the gym or road running. Trails are uneven terrain, ranging from muddy or sandy to hardpacked dirt or slick rock. Picking the best trail running shoe is an exercise in knowing your trail, and knowing your run.

Some trail running shoes will keep you stable on wet mud and sand, digging in with big teeth known as lugs. Others are built for long-distance endurance, making sure you don't blow out a shoe when you're miles away from the trailhead.

To pick the best trail running shoes, you need to be sure of what you'll use them for since some work better for endurance while others emphasize speed.

Comparison Table

[amazon box=”B01N3Q05GK,B07D3FVYCG,B07DDN3BXD,B01NAWA6KS,B01FSDD280,B079H5C84Z,B073JXDCF7,B07FFKJ6MH” template=”table”]


Why You Need Trail Running Shoes

a person tying his shoelace

Image Source: Pixabay.com

If you've spent any time trail running, you know that it's a lot different from running on the road. The terrain is uneven, with rocks and roots threatening to throw you off balance. Dirt and gravel can be slippery, and there's always a chance you'll end up crossing a stream.

What you need is a shoe that can handle anything nature can throw at it. It should be rugged, durable, and most importantly, comfortable. We'll help you decide what makes the best trail running shoes work for you.

Picking The Best Trail Running Shoes


a pair of running shoes

Image Source: Pixabay.com

When it comes to picking the best trail running shoes, REI recommends three criteria to look for.

The first one is the shoe's grip. On rugged and difficult terrain, trail running shoes will help you traverse things like mud, slabs of rock, and gravel.

You'll also want to look for foot protection. A shoe that can handle dangerous terrain won't do any good if it can't also help your feet handle it! The construction of the sole should focus on protecting your feet from rocks and sharp objects. At the same time, the upper should be able to withstand damage and not rip open.

Finally, look for a sturdy shoe. Trail running shoes need to let you adjust your stride to the terrain. But, if they're not stiff enough, it could result in a rolled ankle. Think about the type of trail you usually run on and find the best trail running shoes to meet those conditions.


How We Picked The Best Trail Running Shoes

a person wearing running shoes

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Our first step for selecting the best trail running shoes was to consult professional reviewers and gear experts. Some of the best places to go for reliable reviews are Switchback Travel, Runners World, and Outdoor Gear Lab. These sites are among the best for detailed and thoughtful reviews of the best trail running shoes and other outdoor gear.

Of course, they're not the only sources to consider when it comes to finding the best trail running shoes for you. One of the most important sources of reviews around is the customers who buy and wear these shoes.

And wear them they do. Every day runners put these shoes through their paces, wearing them down in ways that reviewers may not be able to.


How Much Will You Pay For The Best?

a man running on a trail

Image Source: Pexels.com

Trail running shoes are an investment. They elevate your run and protect your feet, and you'll pay a bit more for them than you would a general pair of sneakers. But you shouldn't confuse price with quality.

Most of the best trail running shoes cost between around $ and $$$. Often, the shoes with fewer advanced functions cost less than those that are extensively engineered. However, this is not always the case. Several of the lower-cost shoes have similar materials and constructions techniques of more expensive models.

Whatever your budget is, we know you'll be able to pick a trail running shoe that works the best for you.


Our Picks For The Best Trail Running Shoes

We have listed our choices for the best trail running shoes below. We didn't rank them against each other but in alphabetical order.

ASICS Women's GEL-Kahana 8 Trail Runner


[amazon box=”B01N3Q05GK”]

The ASICS Women's GEL-Kahana 8 Trail Runner shoes focus on comfort and durability rolled into one great product. This product has several proprietary pieces of ASICS engineering that make it worth much more than its low price tag suggests.

It gets its name from the Rearfoot GEL cushioning, which gives you a smooth landing and lets you roll easily through your whole step. That combines with a SpevaFoam midsole and DuoMax support system that give you more cushioning, durability, and stability. These shoes protect your ankles and knees from impact, helping you run longer in the short and long term.

The ASICS Women's GEL-Kahana 8 Trail Runner is well-liked on Amazon.

[amazon fields=”B01N3Q05GK” value=”button”]

Brooks Caldera 3


[amazon box=”B07D3FVYCG”]

The Brooks Caldera 3 trail running shoes are heavily cushioned and come ready to protect your feet and keep them dry. With a special mesh upper and high-stacked midsole, you'll be ready to go the distance with the Caldera 3.

The first thing you may notice about the Caldera 3 is how thick the sole is, also known as its stack. With a high stack, the Brooks Caldera 3 will shield your feet from any hazard.

Just know ahead of time, you won't be able to feel the trail as well if that's something you want in your shoe.

The Brooks Caldera 3 strives to keep your feet protected in all trail conditions. Its Ariaprene mesh upper keeps your foot airy and breathable while drying out quickly, should you come into contact with water.

[amazon fields=”B07D3FVYCG” value=”button”]

HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 3


[amazon box=”B07DDN3BXD”]

HOKA ONE ONE's Speedgoat 3 should inspire confidence based on its namesake. They named their shoe after the record-holder for the most 100-mile race wins. With that in mind, you should consider the Speedgoat 3 for shoes that will endure the longest distances you can put on it.

The HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 3 has increased durability and stability, which are both crucial if you're going to be running long distances. The midsole and toe box are also wider than previous versions for additional comfort, and this iteration of the shoe has heel support to cradle and protect your foot.

On the outside, the HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 3 has a mesh upper that maximizes breathability so your foot won't get too warm on long runs. These shoes have a Vibram Megagrip outsole, and the lugs are 5mm, so you'll grip onto any surface with absolute ease.

[amazon fields=”B07DDN3BXD” value=”button”]

Merrell Women's Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner


[amazon box=”B01NAWA6KS”]

The Merrell Women's Vapor Glove 3 are minimalist trail running shoes which emulate a barefoot running experience while giving you a comfortable and protected running shoe that will give you traction on slippery trails.

Merrell made these shoes with a Vibram sole. Vibram soles are famous for their advanced traction capabilities, so even with a barefoot feel you'll be able to keep your grip.

Alongside a TrailProtect pad, the Vapor Glove 3 shields your foot without stopping you from feeling the ground. These shoes are also incredibly light, which helps you feel like you're running barefoot.

You can purchase them on Amazon and the Merrell website.

[amazon fields=”B01NAWA6KS” value=”button”]

New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail


[amazon box=”B01FSDD280″]

The New Balance Minus 10v1 Trail shoes fall into the barefoot running trend. They're small, light, low-profile shoes that protect your foot while giving you protection from hazards on the trail.

The upper of the New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail is synthetic and mesh, which is flexible and extra lightweight. You won't have to worry about feeling your shoes weigh you down with the Minimus.

However, the shoe does have a midsole wrap which locks your foot into place. Your foot won't slide or slip inside the shoe.

One of the most important parts of a barefoot shoe is that you aren't actually barefoot. With this in mind, the sole is the most complex part of this shoe. Performance foam provides support and protection from rocks and roots. At the same time, a grippy Vibram outsole adds traction and maneuverability.

[amazon fields=”B01FSDD280″ value=”button”]

Salomon Unisex S/LAB Sense 7


[amazon box=”B079H5C84Z”]

Salomon is usually known for its heavy-duty, endurance-focused shoes. These shoes, the S/LAB Sense 7 are a shocking red color and built for running trail races rather than enduring heavy duty use.

In order to achieve this, the S/LAB Sense 7 shoes are lightweight and closely fit your foot. Since responding to the terrain is essential to a good run, Salomon engineered the Sense 7 shoes to have a superior ground feel. You'll be able to react perfectly to the ground under you.

To make sure your shoes carry you to victory, the Sense 7 has a breathable upper which dries quickly, supporting your foot through the whole race.

Cushioning from the EnergyCell+ midsole layer gives you reactive energy, which conserves yours for those long races. Plus, Wet Traction Contragrip rubber ensures hold in every condition, so a wipeout won't keep you from the finish line.

[amazon fields=”B079H5C84Z” value=”button”]

Salomon Women's Speedcross 4 Trail Sneaker


[amazon box=”B073JXDCF7″]

The Women's Speedcross 4 features Salomon's trademark durability, combined with lightweight shoes that can maintain traction on any terrain. With an abundance of cushioning and specially engineered fit, the Speedcross 4 Trail Sneaker will serve you in the worst of conditions.

Salomon's Women's Speedcross 4 Trail Sneaker emphasizes use in wet, muddy, and otherwise challenging trail conditions. Salomon makes sure you won't take any spills with its Wet Traction Contragrip that will grab onto any terrain. Plus, the upper focuses on protecting your feet from debris and mud with a mudguard.

An easy-to-use Quicklace system keeps your shoes on tight in any condition and makes sure that laces soaked in water and mud don't come undone at the worst time.

It's available on Amazon and Backcountry.

[amazon fields=”B073JXDCF7″ value=”button”]

Saucony Peregrine ISO - Trail


[amazon box=”B07FFKJ6MH”]

These shoes are the trail iteration of Saucony's

popular Peregrine ISO running shoes. Saucony updated their award-winning Peregrine model with a foam midsole and an outsole that grips on rugged trails.

The most notable addition is Saucony's proprietary PWRTRAC rubber outsole. This coating is especially grippy and durable, so it will hold up when you find yourself running on slippery terrain.

Plus, the sole of this shoe has large lugs, the teeth that help you grip into muddy or soft soil.

Saucony's Peregrine ISO - Trail also has an EVERUN topsole for energy return, so the shoes propel your foot forward with the energy you use to step. And the ISOFIT dynamic upper hugs your foot for a better fit.

As a side note, these shoes are the Men's S20483-2 Trail Running Shoe on Amazon, but it's still the Peregrine ISO - Trail.

[amazon fields=”B07FFKJ6MH” value=”button”]


Which Are The Best Trail Running Shoes For You?

a man running on a trail

Image Source: Unsplash.com

So which are the best trail running shoes for you? It all depends on the kind of experience you want when you're on the trail! Some of these shoes are made for speed and ground feel. Others will give you contact and protection at the cost of weight.

For women, the ASICS GEL-Kahana 8 Trail Runner is an excellent all-purpose trail running choice. It's a low-cost option, especially compared to other trail running shoes we have mentioned.

But despite costing less than other shoes here, it has quality grip and cushioning that rival the most expensive. If you trail run for fun, or are training for bigger events, the GEL-Kahana 8 is a great option.

As for the best men's trail running shoes, the Saucony Peregrine ISO - Trail is one of the best around. These shoes are based on several iterations of great shoes, and offers a good balance of grip and weight.

As a bonus, its midsole gives you energy return so you can run harder for longer. It also comes in at a reasonable cost.

However, while both of these shoes are great options, none of the shoes here are in any way bad. It's all about the running you plan to do, and the terrain you're running on.

What kind of running do you do? What do you wear on your feet? Tell us about it in the comments!

Featured Image Source: Pexels.com


What Size Kayak Do I Need? An Intro To Personal Watercraft

kayaks
image source: pixabay.com

I've found that there are few things more fun than a day on the water, paddling on a paddleboard or kayak. But when searching for the right kayak for a few hours in calm water, I found myself asking, "What size kayak do I need?"

If you've been in the same position, you may be surprised to know that the answer isn't so direct. The size of the kayak is usually related to what you're using it for. Plus, it depends on how many passengers you plan to take on it.

To find out what size kayak you need, you'll have to ask yourself a few questions. The most important is the kind of water you'll be rowing on. This could be a placid lake, a flowing river, or choppy ocean waves. Also, you'll need to consider how long you plan on being out in your kayak.

Knowing how to answer these questions will help you pick the right size kayak.

What Size Kayak Do I Need?


kayaks and people

image source: pixabay.com

When you're out on whitewater with your kayak, you want to be able to maneuver it through tight turns and dangerous water. If you're on the ocean or a lake, you'll want to go for a kayak with a little more stability. It should have room to keep supplies like water, sunscreen, and other safety tools.

The place you plan on kayaking, whether on a river or the ocean, determines what size kayak you need.

You should also look out for the number of people you usually kayak with. If you like to row with a partner, it stands to reason that you'll need a kayak with two seats. If you usually go solo, a single-seater kayak is best.

The Various Types Of Kayaks

It may surprise you to learn that there a lot of different kayaks, based on use and capacity. A lot of times, the size of the kayak is not just in terms of hull size. It also includes storage capacity and cockpit size. These are important to consider when you ask, "What size kayak do I need?"

It's not just about the size of the boat, but how much room you have inside!

Sit-inside

Unless you have experience with kayaks, the sit-inside kayak is probably what you picture first. Sit-inside kayaks are great options if you plan on moving faster, and if you plan on being in your kayak for a while.

They keep you dry down in the cockpit, protecting you from cold water. Sit-inside kayaks, in general, have the added bonus of keeping you dry. That's something their counterparts don't guarantee.

This is great for long kayaking trips. If you plan on being out on the water for multiple days, you probably don't want to get wet every day! They can also protect your supplies from getting wet. A sit-inside kayak may not necessarily be bigger (or smaller) than other options, but that choice is as important as size.

Sit-ins, because they protect you from the elements and are more stable in rough water, work best in rough water and on long trips.

One sit-inside kayak you may consider is the Perception Sound Sit Inside Kayak. This kayak has an adjustable seat and storage spaces.

It works best when used in still water, and has storage for fishing poles, coolers, and other supplies. At 10 feet and 6 inches, this kayak will work well for solo fishing trips. It only weighs 46 pounds.

Sit-on-top

Sit-on-top kayaks may sound a bit counterintuitive at first. These kayaks are more like platforms with seats than they are strictly boats.

But their open structure is actually much friendlier to beginners than the sit-inside, even though the sit-inside feels more protected. That is because the sit-on-top type of kayak is very forgiving to mistakes.

Sit-on-top kayaks are often wider than sit-insides, so they are easier to get onto. They are more stable, especially on smooth flat water.

If you plan on taking a sit-on-top kayak onto rougher water, make sure you have a little more experience. Sit-on-top kayaks can easily flip, since the center of gravity is higher than a sit-inside.

If this happens though, sit-on-top kayaks have your back. They actually have what are known as scupper holes. These allow your kayak to drain if it flips over, and your sit-on-top kayak will never actually sink.

If you want a sit-on-top kayak, why not check out the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Kayak? This kayak is on the long side, but it sits two or three people and is great for fishing trips.

At 12.2 feet long and 72 pounds, this kayak is big enough to fit you and two angler friends. It's also light enough that you and another will easily be able to carry it.

Picking The Right Kayak For Your Adventure


people kayaking

image source: unsplash.com via Razvan Chisu

All of this doesn't quite answer the question of, "What size kayak do I need?"

Whether sit-on-top or sit-inside, it doesn't affect how big the kayak can be. What's more important to answer the question of "What size kayak do I need" is to determine how many people you plan on kayaking with, and where you want to go.

Kayaks broadly fall into three categories, which are recreational, day-touring, and touring or sea-touring. These different types of kayaks depend on what kind of water you'll be on and how long you'll be sitting in them.

Where Are You Going?

Take a moment, especially if you're a new kayaker, and visualize your goals. Where will you be taking your kayak?

Are you going for day fishing trips, or planning a trek up the coastline? Knowing where you want to end up, literally and figuratively, will help you answer, "What size kayak do I need?"

Staying on the lake

Recreational kayaks are generally the smallest, with enough space for one or two people. They also have the least amount of space when it comes to storage. Whether it is a sit-inside or a sit-on-top kayak, recreational kayaks require the least amount of space and skill to use.

They are great if you plan on going out on the lake or a slow river, and will be heading back to shore -- maybe with a few fresh fish! They are definitely too small to support you for more than a few hours.

Out for the day

If you're more adventurous and like to spend a weekend on the water, a day touring kayak is the option for you. These kayaks are larger than their recreational cousins.

Longer kayaks actually move more efficiently through the water, letting you cover more distance with each stroke. Plus, they have room for your cooler and other needs.

These kayaks are pretty much exclusively sit-in. Since they keep you from getting wet, while you're guaranteed to get wet riding a sit-on-top, they are certainly more comfortable over long distances.

Going out to sea

"What size kayak do I need for kayaking on the ocean?"

If you want to take on the big blue, you'll need the biggest and sturdiest kayak available. These hefty kayaks are made to carry you long distances. They let you keep supplies in your craft that will support you over days or more. Plus, they can stay upright in waves and currents.

Should you decide to go after this grandest of kayaking challenges, REI recommends you decide early. Buying a sea-touring kayak at the start of your kayaking journey will save you money in the long run. Plus, it might be more difficult at first. But handling a large kayak like that will help you improve quickly.

One such kayak is the Pakayak Bluefin 14 Foot Hardshell High Performance Sea Kayak. This kayak is a seafaring machine from bow to stern.

Pakayak modeled the hull after the bluefin tuna, so this kayak is fast and stable in ocean waters. Each end of the kayak has watertight hatches to hold all your gear. At 14 feet, you won't be cramped on long ocean rows.

Who Will You Go With?

Finally, know who you're going with!

If the question isn't "What size kayak do I need", but rather, "What size kayak do we need," a tandem kayak may be for you.

A tandem kayak lets you share the adventure with your loved ones. These kayaks are great if you know you're going to have a partner along. They are larger and usually have storage built in. However, you will have trouble if you plan on ever going solo. These bulky boats are hard to maneuver alone.

One tandem kayak you may want to try is the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak. This kayak is great for relaxed days with friends and family out on the water.

Cushioned, comfortable seats are adjustable and fit to you. Plus, footwells let you brace your feet for stability. At 12 feet long, there's plenty of room for two!

Which Is The Right Size Kayak For Your Adventures?


man kayaking

image source: unsplash.com via Pete Nowicki

So, the only clear answer to the question, "What size kayak do I need?" is, "It depends!" But, there are a few guidelines to follow.

The more serious you are, the larger a kayak you need. This excludes things like whitewater kayaking and focuses on long-distance or recreational uses.

Smaller kayaks and sit-on-top models are useful if you're packing one in on a car. They're light and maneuverable on and off the water. Kayaks as small as seven feet will work for you.

If you're planning on surviving with what you brought on your kayak, then obviously the bigger the better! You probably don't want to be out at sea on a glorified raft. So, if you are going into rougher and more dangerous water, sea touring kayaks can be as big as 14 feet.

Now that you know how to make the choice, which size kayak will you buy? Let us know in the comments below.

8 Best Hiking Poles To Keep You Upright On The Trail

Hiking poles stand in front of rocks

When I finally get a chance to go hiking, I want to cover as much distance as possible. The best hiking poles can help me achieve this goal, as I know now. While I have hiked a little in the past, it wasn’t anything close to a professional excursion. With the right equipment, though, I have high hopes of day-long treks and fun adventures.

My husband is usually reluctant about hiking trips, as his knees tend to ache rather quickly. Luckily, the best hiking poles may help prevent this issue as well. The poles will also improve stability, provide impact resistance, and provide some level of protection.

Looks like he can join me after all. But which poles are the right ones?

​Comparison Table

[amazon box=”B07CLL626X, B01C60RE5U,B01L2HYPNW ,B07CRZ974L, B017P3MKFC, B017QKE8D6, B01L0E9GLI, B00IE14G2K” template=”table”]

How the Right Hiking Poles Can Help You Become the Best Hiker Ever

The best hiking poles can be your key to becoming a pro hiker. Even if you’re just doing it for fun, you need the right equipment to stay safe and enjoy the hike.

Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of getting the best hiking poles.

It's all about redistribution

The biggest reason for getting the best hiking poles is to redistribute your weight across your whole body. Without the right poles, all your weight will soon tire out your back and knees.

With hiking poles, you’re reducing the weight from these sensitive areas. Even if the reduction seems minimal at first, it’s actually a huge deal on a long hike. If you’re touting a huge backpack full of snacks and supplies, this is even more important.

You’ll be able to store your energy levels

With the weight distribution, you’ll gradually notice that you’re feeling less fatigued. Downhill hiking is especially hard on the joints, so making the poles take some of the strain is essential.

If you use your poles correctly, you’ll be able to ward off fatigue, falls, and weak muscles.

You’ll feel a higher level of stability

Obviously, having the best hiking poles will give you a lot more balance. There’s only so much these two legs can take, no matter how strong they are.

Whether you’re navigating difficult terrain or a relatively flat one, hiking poles are extremely handy. Again, this is especially true if you're carrying a backpack. A heavy load throws off your center of gravity, which means that you need a little extra support.

You’ll experience faster hiking

At the onset, no one wants a good hike to end. As the day wears on, though, you may want to reach your destination faster. The best hiking poles will help you get into a rhythm, which will then propel you quickly across the ground.

You’ll get more rest

Hiking can put a lot of strain on those limbs, especially with a backpack. You need regular rests while hiking, but who has the time? A proper rest, if you take it too frequently, can actually make it harder to go on. That is where the best hiking poles come in handy.

With the right support, you can always stop for a minute or so to rest your aching body. You don’t need to find a tree for leaning on; your poles will provide that in a pinch. That bit of relief may not sound like much, but it definitely makes a huge difference in your stamina.

Climbing Mountains like a Pro: How to Pick the Best Hiking Poles

Now that we know why the best hiking poles are necessary, it’s time to consider the factors before choosing one.

There are several kinds of poles available today, but we should seek out the features we need the most. The discussion below will help in shortlisting your final decision:

Know about the number of poles you need

Some hikers prefer just one pole, keeping the other hand free. Though two poles provide more support, a single one will give you wider grips. So, if you’re going on a long trek, two poles are a better option.

Choose between flick and twist locks

Once you want to lock your poles after getting the required length, you should consider the option of flick or twist locks. For winter hiking, flick locks are best. That’s because they're operable even with gloves and won’t get stuck in freezing temperatures.

Twist locks, though, are great for summer hiking. You can easily adjust them and take them apart for adjustment without any tools. A flick lock usually needs a screwdriver for this purpose, but you may not always have one handy.

Check if the hiking poles are shock-absorbent

Aching joints and creaky knees need shock-absorbing poles. These will resist the impact from the ground and save your body in the process. However, shock absorbers do result in you losing power when trekking downhill.

Certain high-end models of the best hiking poles may have the option of turning the shock absorbers on and off. Even if these come in your budget, you should keep in mind that these are also heavier poles.

See if the hiking poles have a telescoping option

The original trekking poles always include a telescoping feature. That makes it easy to adjust the length according to your height. You can choose between two and three sections, with both choices having their pros and cons.

While two sections are harder, they usually have a heavier weight and a larger size. You may save those for your cross country excursions and snowshoeing weather.

Three sections are the most popular option. You can pack them up for long journeys, strap them in backpacks, and generally take them anywhere. They’re lightweight but not as durable as the two sections.

Materials

The best hiking poles come in carbon or aluminum forms. A carbon option is lighter, but also more delicate and expensive.

Aluminum is definitely heavier, but it won’t break your budget. Plus, it’s a much more durable option, so you should go with that one most of the time.

How We Reviewed Some of the Best Hiking Poles Available on the Market

We’ve reviewed a handful of the best hiking poles available now, taking care to only cover highly-rated products.

You need the very best on those trails. Therefore, you may expect to find a range of prices, features, and several other factors.

Top 8 Options for a Great Hiking Experience

hiker stanting on the rock looking a the great view of nature

​Via Pixabay

We now come to the top options for the best hiking poles today. Your perfect choice might be on this list.

Hiking poles for men

We'll be looking at the best hiking poles for men first:

1. MOON LENCE Adjustable Trekking Poles


[amazon box=”B07CLL626X”]

The MOON LENCE Adjustable Trekking Poles are a sturdy yet collapsible choice. These are perfect for mountaineering, backpacking, or wherever the hiking trail takes you. The telescopic feature ensures that you can carry them around easily without the fear of breaking.

At an Amazon rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, this choice is quite impressive. However, some have reported that these poles are a bit on the heavier side. This is surprising since they’re advertised as ultralight. It might be a matter of personal preference. The money-back guarantee will come in handy here.

2. Hiker Hunger Trekking Poles


[amazon box=”B01C60RE5U”]

The Hiker Hunger Trekking Poles are made of carbon fiber material, with cork grips and adjustable construction. There are also several excellent features, such as rubber tips, mud baskets, snow baskets, and rubber feet. What’s more, you’ll also get a carry bag as well as a wrist strap.

The Amazon rating is 4.6 out of 5 stars so we can estimate that the investment is worthwhile. The Quick Flip lock mechanism here is great for winter hiking, so you won’t be afraid to head out in the snow anymore. The only issue is that the baskets and protectors may add on some weight.

3. ​Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles


[amazon box=”B01L2HYPNW”]

The Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles come in a two-pack with a Quick Lock System and anti-shock properties. These are a great choice if you suffer from knee or back pain while hiking.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a novice or an experienced trekker; these poles are designed for all experience levels. The Amazon rating here is 4.7 out of 5 stars.

4. BAFX Products Anti Shock Hiking Poles


[amazon box=”B07CRZ974L”]

The BAFX Products Anti Shock Hiking Poles are suitable for hiking and backpacking in all sorts of weather. The shaft material of these hiking poles is aluminum while the grips are rubber. As is the case with most of the best hiking poles on the market today, the construction is adjustable.

We love the range of features here, which include anti-shock sprigs, carbide tips, mud baskets, and padded wrist straps. There’s also a turning lock adjustment.

One possible downside is that the tips tend to fall off. You may want to fix that with some strong glue. However, the Amazon rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars wouldn’t be there if this problem was in every single piece.

5. Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles


[amazon box=”B017P3MKFC”]

The Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles are available in both materials: carbon and aluminum. Granted, the carbon variety is more than double the price of the aluminum one.

If we look at the Amazon rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, the user experience is more than average. With the non-slip EVA foam extensions and the three-section design, these poles are certainly a brilliant choice.

The only possible issue we can find here is that its collapsing process is a bit awkward. A little practice will hopefully sort out any such issue.

Hiking poles for women

There are also some stellar options for women who are looking for the best hiking poles. Here are some of the top options for their excursions:

6. Sterling Endurance Hiking Poles


[amazon box=”B017QKE8D6″]

The Sterling Endurance Hiking Poles are excellent for any female who wants to trek anywhere and everywhere. They’re comfortable, enduring, and can adjust to any height. There's also an ultralight option, which works to decrease your fatigue when on the go.

There are foam grip handles that give you a soft holding experience. All this makes the Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars quite unsurprising.

But watch the screws, which may come loose. However, the instructions do have guidelines on how to tighten the screws to keep them from rattling.

7. Montem Ultra Strong Hiking Poles


[amazon box=”B01L0E9GLI”]

The Montem Ultra Strong Hiking Poles are a highly durable option. If you’re a female who likes hiking on multiple terrains, the tungsten tips here are your best bet. Plus, the EVA foam grips on the handles are stronger than the cork versions.

The support is unmatched while its aluminum is the kind used in airplane construction.

What’s even more delightful is that this 3-section pair has an Amazon rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

These poles are even recommended by physical therapists at times. So, you can imagine how lightweight and sturdy they are. However, you’ll have to stock up on some rubber tips as the ones with these hiking poles may wear out rather quickly.

8. Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles


[amazon box=”B00IE14G2K”]

The Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles are handy for all levels of hiking. Even grannies can get their support from these multi-feature models, provided they know their hiking rules.

You’ll get a great level of comfort with these hiking poles. And there’s no lacking in strength either. The aluminum shafts have a narrow diameter, which makes the experience lightweight. We especially love the teal and grey color options along with the baskets that let you explore several terrains.

But there aren’t any shock absorbers. That means this may be a deal breaker for some users. However, the Amazon rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars tells us that most users are more than satisfied.

The Hiking Pole Brand That Promises to Be Your Hiking Partner

Two hiker hiking on a rocky mountain

​Via Unsplash

For women who love hiking, the Montem Ultra Strong Hiking Poles seem to be the best option. They're not the most expensive pair but boast several high-end features. For the male hikers, the Hiker Hunger Trekking Poles will probably be a great way to cover all their requirements.

Now that you know how to get the best hiking poles, grab the most likely choice and hit the trails!

Have you ever hiked with hiking poles? Tell us about your adventures in the comments!

​Featured Image Source: Pixabay

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