Who We Are

Welcome to USBackpacks.com.

Our mission is to empower all walks of life to be ambassadors of the outdoors.

We do this through our core values:

We are stoked.

On nature, on campfires, on trail songs. On backflips into alpine lakes and giving the thirsty pup some water. On roasting marshmallows with whittled sticks and gazing at the night sky. We are facilitators of fun, and want to hike alongside you.

We are you.

From the walk around the park to the cross-country trail, we are the people who seek outside for the sake of outside. Anyone can love and live in the outdoors, and we think everyone should. We’re here to do it with you.

We are mindful.

About keeping our lands pure. About gear that lasts. About disconnecting from the world to reconnect with nature. About the trail, and the beer after the trail. Mindfulness means thinking critically about our experience in the outdoors, from the products we use to our impact on the wild.

Our Content

Our core values and mission are communicated through the content we produce. This includes Gear Reviews, Outdoor Guides, Trip Reports, our database of curated outdoor gear products, images, videos, and interaction on our social channels. It also includes the way we categorize gear into Backpacker Types and price ranges, which give you a clear idea of the best gear for your life.

Gear Reviews

Our goal is to provide you with straightforward choices when it comes gear. While gear is not a requirement to explore and enjoy the outdoors, the right gear in the right context goes a long way to being comfortable and safe. Our gear reviews focus on these elements:

  • Story: Reading about specs is boring as hell. Our gear reviews tell an epic story in addition to critically evaluating the product’s performance.
  • Images and Video: We know you want to do more than read about gear. Images and videos show you how we used the gear, what it really looks like, and what you can expect if you decide to purchase.
  • Star Qualities: Newer reviews have stars. These highlight the most important aspects of that gear category and are a clear, simple way for you to know how something performs at a glance.
  • Purchase Links: If you are interested in the gear you’re reading about, we provide links for you to purchase. These links help us make money so that we can continue creating content for you. Read more about that here.

What Gear Do We Review?

There are more gear manufacturers than vegetables on this planet, and most of them put forth products that are worthy of use. So, how do we choose the gear we’re going to review?

We read copious reviews and usage reports from every gear resource around, including our internal staff, user reviews left by online customers, forum discussions, other prominent gear review websites, and knowledgeable employees at brick and mortar stores. We then develop shortlists of the best gear for our Backpacker Types, determine through research what we think will perform best, and send a tester out with the gear.

We review the gear, and if it does exceedingly well, we might give it an award. If it doesn’t live up to expectations, we write a review and go back to the drawing board to find the best gear for that Backpacker Type.

Are we influenced by gear manufacturers?

No. Manufacturers do not sway our Picks, they do not send us money, and they offer no incentives whatsoever. Finally, our policy is to return the gear after testing, or buy the gear if we can’t source it.

How We Review Gear

When it comes to actually reviewing gear, we test the gear in the standard conditions a standard backpacker would face. Our aim is to give you, the average backpacker, an honest opinion — one that you would also come to after using the gear.

This means we take each piece of gear on the trip it was built for and use it in the context of its primary purpose. This might mean nights in the wild for some gear, epic day trips for others, or even a metro ride during rush hour.

Our team has a deep knowledge of the gear industry at large, and knows a solid piece when they use it. Gear is always built for a specific use, and we test gear as it was meant to be used.

Get In Touch

Stoked on Backpackers.com? Send us a note on our Contact page. We’d love to send you a sticker! And remember…

Gear up and get outside.