Welcome to www.BestofBackpacks.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 Team

Bestofbackpacks.com is global in its formation, but its heart is in Ventura, California. Team members and contributors range from San Francisco to Cape Town to Seattle to the mountains of Colorado and beyond.

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.

Gear Reviews

Our goal is to provide you with straightforward choices when it comes to 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 reading 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.
  • 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.

What Gear Do We Review?

Our main focus is on backpacks and 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 the product and send this to our gear tester team.

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.

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 review 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.

Outdoor Guides

Outdoor guides are long-form articles that focus on wilderness and gear education. These include our Best Gear Guides and Gift Guides, which are updated every year to keep things fresh.


While we love reviewing different types of backpacks, there are simply too many types to cover them all. It takes time but worth it.

Backpacker Types

We are lucky to live in a world where “backpacker” has different meanings for everyone. The wilderness trekker, the hiker, and the urban explorer can all raise their hands in the class of backpacking. We have discussed various types of backpacks in our backpack guide where you can’t check out all helping materials.

Here are some common backpack types that we’ve discussed in the guide:

How We Make Money

We have to pay our writers, photographers, and designers to create content for you! To do this, we have two different revenue streams.

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links are common in the outdoor industry and work well for our readers. On the site, you will see links to purchase gear. If you click these links and buy the product, we get a percentage of that sale. It doesn’t cost you an extra cent and allows us to passively generate income so we can create more content.

We are a very small team working hard to build a brand you will love and participate in. If you’re thinking about buying any product on our site, please use the links – they really help us. Thank you.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content is another traditional method of making money in the outdoor industry. For us, this means working with brands to create compelling content. Brands pay us money to create this content, and we are very upfront about that. Sponsored Content always has a large label in an article so you know it’s sponsored.

None of our gear reviews are sponsored, and they won’t ever be.

Get In Touch

Stoked on bestofbackpacks.com? Send us a note on mail@bestofbackpacks-650be6.ingress-earth.easywp.com. We’d love to send you a sticker! And remember…

***Gear up and get outside***