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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

The 9 Best Backpacking Water Filter



Man standing on a brown rock looking at the water.

Along the many paths and trails that course around the world, streams and rivulets trace the track traversed by backpackers in search of a connection with the natural world. Rivers often cut through the route and lakes feature into backpackers’ most hallowed destinations, rest stops, and camping sites. No matter if they’re at their intended destination or simply stopping to admire their surroundings, hikers and backpackers are frequently reminded of their growing thirst by water features journeyed over in the backcountry. At these moments many a backpacker has pondered the water before them. “It’s nice,” they think, “but can I drink it?” 

In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

[amazon box=”B075Y2XCRN”]

And here’s an overview of the best backpacking water filters on the market today:

[amazon table=”14751″]


A filter can turn any river or lake into a water source, making dirty water from any source potable to quench the backpacker’s thirst. From clear water that tastes a bit brackish to turbid water that could contain heavy metals or dangerous bacteria like e.coli or parasites like cryptosporidium, the right water filter can be paired with a suitable water bottle to make them all into drinking water. Clean water is absolutely essential to any outdoor journey and the right water purifier on the right water bottle can cut down on the amount of drinking water backpackers have to carry with them along the way.

What a solar charger can do for your electronics, a water filter can do for your body when you’re out backpacking. Some places that might have seemed off-limits, especially in foreign countries where the drinking water might be unpotable for visiting backpackers.  There are tons of advantages to this little piece of equipment compared to the small weight it will add to a rucksack. 

We’ve taken a look at many of the best water filters for backpacking on Amazon and selected a few to mention here. Take a look at what we found, as well as our top pick for the best backpacking water filter, in the list below. Add one to your pack of gadgets and stay hydrated and refreshed the next time you go out backpacking. 


Two people hiking in the mountain terrain.

A water purifier can turn every stream you pass into a water source.


Best Backpacking Water Filter – Overview


1. Lifestraw Personal Water Filter

[amazon box=”B006QF3TW4″]

Lifestraw has a few solid water purification products, but this personal water filter is an award-winning ultralight tool that no backpackers or hikers should ever leave out of their rucksack. Each Lifestraw personal water filter will filter a minimum of 1000 gallons of water, a large quantity of water for such a compact purification system. Lifestraw has designed this straw filter to work without any moving parts or batteries and designed it to operate without chemical treatment of any kind, such as chlorine dioxide or iodine. It’s a great choice for backpackers who are looking for alternative purification methods and don’t necessarily want to invest in a filter bottle. 

Even with its intuitive ease of use, the Lifestraw personal water filter does a good job purifying dirty water. All the user needs to do is remove the caps at both ends, prime the filter end for 10 seconds by leaving it in the water, take a few quick sips to start the water flowing, and then it’s ready. Make sure to empty the filter of water by blowing into it after each use. This Lifestraw has a high flow rate to make drinking directly from the water source easy. It has an impressive water filtration system, which is primarily a hollow fiber membrane with pores smaller than bacteria, parasites, and microplastics that filters at 0.2 microns and will remove 99.9% of waterborne protozoa parasites such as cryptosporidium and giardia, as well as waterborne bacteria like e.coli. 

This is definitely one of the best backpacking water filters for emergency use and quick outings, but users should bear in mind that while it can be used for general purifying in any water source, this Lifestraw personal water filter is not equipped to filter out heavy metals, chemicals, or human waste. Be wary of streams near industrial plants and tap water in some countries. It will not work on seawater or other saline water sources. All that being said, Lifestraw has crafted a lightweight, portable, effective way to filter water in this long-lasting straw filter.



  • 0.2-micron filtration
  • High flow rate
  • Ultralight & portable
  • Long-lasting
  • Chemical-free
  • No power source required



  • Does not clean water of heavy metals or chemicals
  • Not a water purifier for seawater


2. MSR MiniWorks Ex Water Filter

[amazon box=”B000BBF2RY”]

This hand-pump operated water purifier by MSR is a step up from smaller pen filters. Rather than drinking directly from the water source like with the Lifestraw personal water filter, the MSR MiniWorks Ex is designed to fit almost any water bottle, such as Nalgene or CamelBak. There is a simplicity and ease of use designed into this product that makes it a great way to clean water for backpackers and hikers, and it’s portable enough to bring along on the trail as well. The bottom of this filter screws onto the water bottle and then the hose goes directly into the water source. The hand pump will push water up through the filtration system and into the water at an impressive one liter of water per minute. 

2,000 liters of water can be treated by this unit before the ceramic filter needs to be replaced. On the bright side, replacing the ceramic filter is cheaper than buying a new water purifier. The MSR MiniWorks Ex will filter bacteria, protozoa, and organic compounds out of dirty water at 0.2-microns. It’s field maintainable without any extra tools, but for maximum longevity, the ceramic filter should be boiled and the hose cleaned back at home and allowed to dry before stored away. This MSR product is not designed to filter out petroleum-based products so it isn’t ideal for use at a lake where boats are on the water. However, for clean drinking water without any chemical treatment, the MSR MiniWorks Ex is dependable and a bit more robust than some of the ultralight options on Amazon. 



  • Replaceable ceramic filter
  • Filter lasts for 2,000-gallons of water
  • Field maintainable
  • Fast hand pump
  • Fits Nalgene bottles



  • Not good for use around boats
  • Not for saline water sources
  • Not ultralight


3. Katadyn Hiker Pro Transparent Water Microfilter

[amazon box=”B075TTTX2R”]

Another hand pump-operated water purifier operating on squeeze filters, this Katadyn Hiker Pro is ultralight and has the same ease of use you’d expect from water filtration systems that don’t use a chemical treatment to clean water. The pleated hollow fiber filter keeps out bacteria and protozoa down to 0.2-micron. Activated carbon in the core reduces chemicals and delivers drinking water with a clean water taste. The transparency of the Katadyn Hiker Pro allows you to see the water filtration system working and an included protector screen for the hollow fiber filter extends the life of the cartridge and can be cleaned in the field. 

Katadyn has designed this mini hand-pump model to be compatible with hydration bladders so backpackers won’t need to bend over or lie down next to a water source in order to drink. Simply attach the Hiker Pro to a hydration bladder, put the hose directly in the water source, and use the hand pump to fill the bladder. This means fewer stops for stopping to filter water and refill water bottles. The Katadyn Hiker Pro doesn’t screw on to Nalgene bottles but can still refill them.

It’s probably best used with hydration bladders and not water bottles. The hollow fiber filter is good for purifying 300 gallons of water, which is not as long-term as some other models. Like other water purifiers in this guide, this Katadyn is not designed for brackish or saline water sources. For an ultralight water purifier that does the job well, the Katadyn Hiker Pro is a good option for backpackers.



  • Ultralight
  • Hand pump
  • Hollow fiber filter
  • Simple ease of use
  • No chemicals



  • Doesn’t screw on to Nalgene water bottles
  • Shorter lifespan per filter
  • Not for brackish or saline water sources


4. Katadyn Gravity BeFree Microfilter

[amazon box=”B07H3X962R”]

Another water purifier option from Katadyn, this BeFree is a model called a gravity filter. Basically, what that means is the 3.0-liter soft bottle flask has its 0.1-micron filter at the bottom and lets gravity do the purifying work as water leaves the bottle and travels into a water bottle or hydration bladder.

The hollow fiber membrane in the filter is smaller than most, and so filters out a range of smaller-micron protozoa like giardia and cryptosporidium that other models might allow through. The filter is also easy to clean, requiring a simple shake in the water source to remove debris. The Katadyn BeFree has a high enough flow rate that backpackers and hikers can rehydrate quickly or use the hose to dispense water into cooking pots or dog water bowls. 

With 3 liters of storage space, the Katadyn BeFree is ideal for backpackers who are going to camp overnight or establish a base camp. It rolls up when empty of water and packs easily. It is ultralight but still durable so even backpackers not looking to establish a camp can bring it along with them. The gravity filter purification system means this Katadyn will have to be suspended from a branch or other high point, but the included hose and carry strap make it fairly easy to accomplish this.

There is no carbon element to improve the taste of the drinking water, but that could slow down the flow rate so there is a tradeoff. It will require a dedicated stop to fill and wait, but the large size could cut down on refill stops overall. In any case, for backpackers who are planning to camp, the Katadyn BeFree is a solid option. 



  • 3 liter size
  • 0.1-micron hollow fiber membrane
  • High flow rate
  • Ultralight
  • Portable



  • Gravity filter takes time
  • Requires hanging
  • No carbon element for taste


5. Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System

[amazon box=”B00FA2RLX2″]

The Sawyer MINI is super-portable and ultralight, taking up about as much space as a few granola bars would, making it ideal for backpackers and hikers. The filter is made from a hollow fiber membrane that traps everything smaller than 0.1 micron like protozoa and cryptosporidium. Sawyer has designed the MINI to attach to its Sawyer squeeze pouch, which is included, and also to standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs, or for use as a straw filter by inserting it into the wide mouth of a Nalgene water bottle or similar product.

Sawyer has taken its time with this MINI water purifier, testing each and every hollow fiber filter three times to ensure quality. They assure this product will last for 100,000 gallons of dirty water, a much higher filter rating than competing models. 

Sawyer Products has also included a cleaning plunger with the Sawyer MINI. The cleaning process is slightly more involved with the MINI than with easy-clean models, but it is still simple enough. The plunger should be filled at the water source, or else with clean water than has gone through the Sawyer MINI already. Then, simply insert the plunger through the end opposite the drinking end and push the water through backward.

After a few rounds of this, the water should come out clean and the Sawyer MINI filter is clean for the next use. For its ultralight weight, ease of use, tiny size, and versatility in terms of water bottle pairings, this Sawyer MINI is probably the best backpacking water filter for ultralight backpackers who aren’t looking for water purification in large quantities of water. 



  • Ultralight & portable
  • 0.1 Micron hollow fiber membrane
  • Fits water bottles and hydration packs
  • Long-lasting
  • Ease of use and simple cleaning process



  • Not for brackish or saline water sources
  • Individual use only 
  • Doesn’t remove heavy metals


6.Platypus GravityWorks 4L Complete Water Filter Kit

[amazon box=”B075Y2XCRN”]

The Platypus GravityWorks is the most complete water filtration system we reviewed on the Amazon market. Especially when matched with its portability: though it’s larger than palm-sized straw filters or small hand-pump filters, it’s still very packable for backpackers considering it is capable of purifying 4 liters of dirty water within 2.5 minutes.

It’s a gravity filter with two reservoirs, one for clean water and the other for dirty water. Platypus has outfitted the GravityWorks with a hollow-fiber microfilter that will keep out harmful protozoa and cryptosporidium larger than 0.2-micron, which is not the smallest of the water filtration systems on this list but is enough to keep the family or group from getting sick from most water sources. 

Ideal for backpackers hiking in groups from 2-4 people, the Platypus GravityWorks is compact when empty and the purifying time is negligible. Water stops along the trail are more enjoyable because no one needs to stay near the water source busying themselves with a hand-pump. The hose dispenses quickly, with a great flow rate, so everyone can share. This is a great model for base camps, campsites, and brief water stops on day-hikes.

Like most other models in this guide, the Platypus GravityWorks is not suitable for water sources where harmful materials are dissolved in the water, like brackish or saline sources. But for the size, the quick filtering time, and the ultralight-weight and portability, the Platypus GravityWorks is our top pick for the best backpacking water filter. 



  • Portable complete water filtration system
  • Good for groups of backpackers
  • No hand pump
  • Great flow rate
  • Quick purifying time
  • Ultralight



  • Not for saline or brackish water sources


7. Aquamira Frontier Straw Filter

[amazon box=”B000OR115W”]

This Aquamira straw filter is great to keep handy for emergency situations or backpacking trips. Certainly not as robust as a gravity filter or hand-pump water purifier, this straw filter nonetheless works for immediate use at the water source. It’s effective on protozoa and filters up to 20 gallons of water. The flow rate is not shabby and this is absolutely the most ultralight option in this guide.

Because of its small size and the short lifespan, this Aquamira straw filter is better thought of as a throwaway water purifier, but it merits a mention in this guide for situations where backpackers might want a quick drink without taking out the hand-pump or gravity filter water filtration systems. 



  • Quick access, quick-use
  • Good flow rate
  • Effective on protozoa
  • Ultra-ultralight



  • Not for long term use
  • Individual use only 


8. MSR TrailShot Water Filter

[amazon box=”B01N7GC9Z6″]

MSR has this pocket-sized option available on Amazon for backpackers and hikers that like to jog or go for a run. The TrailShot has many features familiar to regulars on the water purifier market. Its hollow fiber membrane operates with squeeze filters and keeps out small-micron protozoa like giardia and cryptosporidium along with harmful bacteria like e.coli and salmonella. With an almost unrivaled ease-of-use, the TrailShot has been designed by MSR for immediate use at the water source for backpackers who want to make a brief pit-stop in the middle of a run. The TrailShot is also handy for drinking from a water bottle or hydration pack for use away from the water source.

One-handed operation with the hand pump will filter one liter of drinking water in 60 seconds, so you’ll be able to catch up with the rest of the group after a few minutes of rehydration. The filter lasts for up to 2000 liters of dirty water. The TrailShot is ultralight and super-portable, but for large quantities of water backpackers will want to invest in one of the more robust models like the Platypus GravityWorks. Still, in tandem with other water purifiers or as a standalone option for day-hikes, the MSR TrailShot is handy for emergencies, jogging, and international travel. 



  • Pocket-sized
  • Ultralight
  • Hollow fiber membrane
  • Fast ease of use



  • Individual use only
  • Not designed for large quantities of water

9. SteriPen Ultra

[amazon box=”B00NK9948M”]

The technology in the SteriPen Ultra is enough to merit a mention in this guide. Rather than relying on a water filter system like a straw filter, hand-pump, or gravity filter does, the SteriPen Ultra uses an ultraviolet light UV purifier to change the DNA of micro-organisms so they can’t reproduce and cause harm. While the ultraviolet light tech is futuristic and honestly pretty cool, the micro-organisms do stay in the drinking water even after treatment from the UV light, so for those put off by that idea, better stick to the water filtration systems earlier on in this guide. The UV light in the SteriPen Ultra also isn’t going to remove anything from dirty water drawn from a turbid water source. 

Since this is one of the only models in this guide that operates by a power source, it’s more ideal for international travel backpacking where the water source is a questionable tap and not drinking directly from a river or stream. After a USB charge, the SteriPen Ultra works for 50 treatments so it’s still useful on the trail, but the water will have to be drawn from the water source in a water bottle. The UV purifier light doubles as a flashlight so it can be useful on backpacking trips if you’re going to the water source at night. Overall it’s more limited than analog water purifiers but it’s very handy and the UV light technology is impressive, making the SteriPen Ultra a useful addition to your rucksack.



  • UV purifier
  • Top of the line ease of use
  • Long-lasting
  • Good for international travel



  • Not suitable for turbid water sources
  • Micro-organisms stay in the drinking water
  • USB charge-operated


A hiker standing on a rock looking at the mountains.

Drink from any water source with the right water filter.


Our Winner:

[amazon table=”14752″]


For the volume of drinking water it can store, the superior flow rate, and the phenomenal ease of use, the Platypus GravityWorks 4L Complete Water Filter Kit wins our top pick for the best backpacking water filter. It’s ideal for backpackers and hikers that travel in pairs or in small groups and works wonderfully at a campsite or at a pit stop next to the water source. The hollow fiber water filter system keeps out almost all protozoa and cryptosporidium, along with harmful bacteria like e.coli and salmonella. 

The Platypus GravityWorks is really packable considering its output, and while many of the ultralight and even hand-held water purifiers have marginally quicker access, this Platypus has similar ease of use. The smaller models are for backpackers who like to go running or take a qucik jog, but this Platypus GravityWorks is for backpackers whose main goal is to go out into the great outdoors and take a bit longer to really take in the majesty of the natural world. For its overall usability and the ability to share it with fellow backpackers, the Platypus GravityWorks has ably earned our top pick for the best backpacking water filter. 


Bonus tip: Curious about our top pick? Check out this video to see the Platypus GravityWorks in action!



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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

How to have amazing experiences camping in Alaska?




Do you want to make the most of your camping experience in Alaska? Camping is the best way to cherish the mesmerizing Alaskan scenery and be in proximity to Mother Nature with your friends and loved ones.

Are you wondering where to camp, where to go, and what items to pack for an Alaskan camping trip? This article has all the answers regarding camping in Alaska! Moreover, this place comprises a few amazing bewilderments that make it different than other camping locations.

If you’re ready to explore Alaska and be immersed in its camping, here are the top 4 tips for a seamless camping experience in Alaska.

  1. Be ready for the varying types of weather

The temperature of Alaska is unpredictable. Hence, if you’re camping in summer in blisteringly hot weather, it would be great to carry something waterproof and warm clothes. In your Alaska travel and camping, it’s required to carry your bibbed waterproof rain pants, raincoats, and hip boots.

This is how you don’t worry about the sudden rain and catch fish all day. Moreover, camping without a bathing suit doesn’t seem right! Camping and cruising go hand in hand; hence, a trip to Alaska will help you get the most out of your Alaska trip.

  1. Pick a campground mindfully

Although you are not mandated to stay at a campground run by the federal government if you wish to go tent camping, it may be the best bet if this is your initial camping trip. Establishing your individual camping place in the bush might feel more adventurous. Still, when camping with small children, you should remain closer to society in case a bear visits your campsite.

When you opt to lease a camping site, you must make your booking ahead because the more renowned campsites might fill up rapidly. Look on the internet for campgrounds near the events and routes you want to visit.

  1. You will have the option to relax or unwind

Although some corporate Alaska campers provide cable TV and Wi-Fi facilities, none of the federal campsites do. Whether you come here expecting to remain up to date on all the accouterments of technologies (or your beloved TV show), you may feel frustrated. But what if you treat your camping vacation as a time to relax and enjoy the unique stunning scenery surrounding you? It feels exciting.

  1. Keep the bears at bay

Bears are amazing animals, which doesn’t imply you should invite them with welcoming hands inside your camp. You must be capable of keeping bears away from your campground if you wish to enjoy the woods with them without causing mishaps. Below are a few suggestions:

  •     You can bypass bear highways by not camping along riverbanks or pathways.
  •     Do not even camp alone: for your safety, striving to remain close to others would be better.


These are the top 4 tips to enjoy camping in Alaska. What are you thinking of? Dive into the best experiences of camping, and cherish the moments forever. Happy camping! 



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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

Why Duck Boots are Good for Hiking



are duck boots good for hiking

The quest to find the perfect hiking shoes is never-ending, so the next option we’re going to explore is Duck Boots. Duck Boots have been around for more than 100 years and they’re used for all sorts of outdoor activities, so we can’t discount them as a hiking boot. Let’s dive in a little deeper into what duck boots are, and whether they’re an ideal choice for your next hike.


A pair of Bean Boots.

The legendary Maine-made L.L.Bean Boot was designed by “L.L.” himself in 1912 and has been keeping feet dry and comfortable ever since.


What are Duck Boots?

Duck Boots, also known as Bean Boots, were created by Leon Leonwood Bean, who founded the company L.L. Bean. Bean, who got sick of wet feet during hunting trips, wanted to create a boot that would keep his feet dry while still being ideal for the outdoors. He theorized mixing together two types of boot, combining the rubber sole of a work boot with the leather upper of a casual or hunting boot.

The rubber sole would provide all the necessary protection from the elements, while the leather upper would retain the flexibility and comfort of a regular leather boot. Thus, the Duck Boot was born and became a huge success. Other brands now produce this style of boot, but you can never forget the original waterproof boots.

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A pair of Duck Boots in a puddle of water.

When choosing which hiking boots you should buy, Duck Boots should be considered for their weatherproof design.


What makes a good hiking shoe?

If you’re considering Duck Boots for use as a hiking shoe, you should first know what you’re looking for. There are so many elements to consider when searching for the perfect boot, as there is no one size fits all. Different shoes are optimized for different conditions, different situations you might encounter on the trail, so finding the right shoe isn’t an easy task.

Various terrains put different pressures on your shoes during hikes. This is why hiking boots are usually split into three main categories, each optimized for a different sort of hike. Lightweight hiking shoes (trail shoes), which resemble trainers, are essentially reinforced running shoes. They provide some support, but their main purpose is to be light and breathable while still protecting your foot.

These shoes are designed for day hikes, but they’re actually a favorite among long-distance backpackers. A sturdier shoe would provide more support, but trail shoes are a popular choice long-distance as they aren’t as heavy or constricting as other boots, while still providing enough protection to keep your feet safe and happy during a hike. The only downside of trail running shoes is their lack of ankle support, which leaves you at risk of twisted ankles and other injuries.

Related: The Top 10 New Hampshire Camping Sites

 On the other end of the scale are mountaineering boots, designed for terrains which present more of a challenge to traverse. If you’re hiking through rocky territory or icy glaciers, this type of boot provides all the necessary extra protection. They’re much more heavy-duty than hiking shoes, often warmer, water-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and provide much more support to your foot.

Backpacking boots make a compromise between the two, as they aim to keep you prepared for any terrain. For multi-day treks, this type of boot is ideal as it’s durable and supportive enough to carry you through most challenges in the backcountry.

The materials used to construct a hiking boot define it, as the wrong fabric can cause so much suffering for your feet. Finding the right combination of waterproofing and breathability, while still being a comfortable shoe, can present a challenge. That’s why we’re going to break down the material considerations you’ll need to remember when deciding is a shoe is right for hiking.

Also read: The 7 Best Louisiana Tent Camping Sites

Full-grain leather is a very durable and versatile material, so many mountaineering boots are made using this fabric. For rigorous hikes which pass through rough terrains, full-grain leather is fully protective while remaining very comfortable. It has excellent waterproof properties, as well as being warm and highly durable. However, in return for this protection, you have to deal with the increased weight of these heavy-duty boots.

You may have heard the saying “one pound on your feet equals five on your back” and this applies to full-grain leather boots. They may not feel too heavy when you try them on, but five miles down the trail you might find yourself wishing for a lighter shoe. Of course, over rough terrain, the valuable protection full-grain leather provides is well worth the weight, but you don’t need such a heavy shoe for casual hikes.

Split grain leather offers reduced protection, but is more breathable than full-grain leather. It’s still a durable material, but it’s less heavy-duty and has reduced water-resistant properties. It’s often used in combination with synthetic materials, creating a compromise between protection and comfort, and this combination is the most common choice for casual hikers.

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Various synthetic materials are used in the construction of hiking shoes, such as nylon and polyester. One benefit of synthetic materials is that they are much easier to break in than leather. These shoes feel lighter and also dry faster, but lack the water-resistant properties of leather. Of course, you can improve the water-resistance, but this can affect the breathability. Check out how to waterproof hiking boots for more information.


A pair of boots in the grass.

Different hiking boots are better suited for different terrains and it’s best to find a pair of boots that fits your adventure.


Also, depending on the type of trekking you do, hiking boots are available in different cuts and heights. Lightweight trail running shoes are often low cut, meaning they end below the ankle. This allows for a wider range of motion but leaves your ankle vulnerable to injury.

Shoes like this are best worn on well-maintained trails, where there’s less risk of trail debris and uneven terrain. Mid-cut boots offer more ankle support and better balance and protection, but the most protective style of boot is high-cut. These boots reinforce your ankle fully and are necessary for off-trail adventures.

Many hiking boots are equipped with devices that provide extra internal support, the purpose of which is to protect both your feet and the soles of your shoes on uneven terrain. One option is shanks, which are 3-5mm thick inserts sandwiched between the midsole and outsole of your boot. These add load-bearing stiffness to hiking boots, which is important to ensure you stay stable and balanced.

Shanks vary in length, some running the whole way down the boot, others just half-way. This feature makes the sole of a hiking boot less flexible, keeping your feet in a mostly flat position.

This may seem counterintuitive balance-wise, but a flexible sole allows your foot to wrap around every root and rock you step on, which can be painful, and tires you out much faster. Having a reinforced sole is a big benefit, but it could make your boot heavier; it all depends on the material the shank is made from.

Related: Top 7 Best Microspikes for Hiking

Some hiking boots feature plates as a form of internal support, which are thin and semi-flexible. These can be used in conjunction with shanks, and they protect your feet from getting bruised by anything you step on.

All hiking boots have rubber outsoles, the part of your boot which spends the most time in contact with the ground. Some have additives such as carbon, which increases the hardness of the material. This is most commonly seen in mountaineering boots for extra durability, but the extra harness of the outsole can mean they feel slick if you go off-trail.

Traction is very important in a hiking boot for obvious reasons, so make sure you get a boot with enough traction to keep you comfortable. If you’re constantly trying not to slip, the increased pressure on your muscles can be painful and even damaging, whereas a boot with a good grip will make your hike so much easier.

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So, what makes a good hiking shoe? The ideal footwear for hiking finds the right balance between comfort and protection, and this depends on your own personal hiking preferences. In general, you need a degree of protection from the elements, water resistance, comfort, and breathability. A good hiking boot should protect your foot without hindering your process, and if you make the right choice then your hikes will be so much better for it.


A girl hiking in the mountains.

Duck Boots are well-known for their water resistance and ability to be easily cleaned, but are they the best hiking boot option?


Are Duck Boots good for hiking?

Duck boots are constructed using a rubber sole and lower shoe, whilst incorporating a full-grain leather upper. This means Duck Boots have excellent water resistance. Full-grain leather is highly waterproof, as is rubber, so with these shoes, you’ll never have to worry about wet feet.

Of course, Bean Boots claim to be the “original antidote to wet feet”, so water resistance is one thing we know they’re good for. A good hiking boot should always be water-resistant, as there’s a high chance of encountering puddles, streams, and other wet terrains when you’re on the trail. There’s also always the possibility of rain, so even if you step around the puddles, your boots always need to have a good degree of water resistance. If there’s one thing Duck Boots are, it’s waterproof.

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L.L. Bean’s Duck Boots use a steel shank for additional support, and this is a great feature for a potential hiking boot. Reducing the flexibility of the sole means more protection for your feet, so this feature of Duck Boots is a big benefit. Remember, this only applies to L.L. Bean’s branded Duck Boots, as there are many other boots of the same style available which might lack this additional internal support.

Duck Boots are known for being very comfortable. Boots are the number one most important piece of equipment for a hiker, and comfort is paramount. If your hiking boots are uncomfortable, it can make you hate every minute you wear them. On the other hand, finding a pair of boots that are comfortable for you is a big first step towards having the right shoe, so regarding comfort, Bean Boots get a pass from us.

Another benefit of Duck Boots is that they’re easy to clean. This isn’t as important as other factors, but after a long hike through muddy and dirty conditions, these boots only need a quick spray from a hosepipe and they’re clean and ready to go.

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We’ve covered the benefits of wearing Bean Boots for hiking, and there are a number of reasons you might think they’re a good choice. Duck Boots are highly waterproof, very comfortable, and feature shanks which are a big help towards stability. However, there are some elements of these shoes which might mean they aren’t the best choice for hiking.


A man climbing on rocks.

While Duck Boots offer great water resistance, their ankle support is not the best which may deter some people from using them for longer hikes.


Why Duck Boots might not be the best choice

Ankle support is a big deal when it comes to hiking boots; as we explained before it can be the difference between a successful hike and a painful injury. Duck Boots are high cut, meaning they rise above your ankles. This means they do provide some support, but it’s minimal, and ideally, a hiking boot would offer more structure around the ankle. For hikers traversing rough terrain, more protection is needed, as if you miss a step in Duck Boots there isn’t much to save you from injury.

Another important thing to consider is traction. Duck boots are designed specifically to handle wet weather, and they do it very well. If you’re in wet, muddy, slushy or otherwise slippery conditions, Duck Boots are ideal, as they have plenty of traction and grip.

However, mud isn’t the only thing which hiking boots have to put up with. On the trails, the traction Bean Boots provides is considerably reduced compared to hiking boots, the difference is noticeable and unfortunately, the traction on the soles of Duck Boots just isn’t strong enough for any sort of serious hiking.

Related: Best screen houses for camping

The materials from which Duck Boots are made make them excellently waterproof. However, rubber and full-grain leather aren’t the most breathable of materials. Although they may do a good job of not letting in water from the outside, they also keep it in.

The lack of breathability here can be very uncomfortable, leading to hot and sweaty feet. This can cause blisters, and for this reason, we would not recommend them as a hiking shoe. All hikers need waterproof boots, but there are others available which won’t make you suffer.

Blisters are something which all hikers have to deal with at some point, but if your boots aren’t breathable then they’re much more likely and threaten to ruin your hike. The best hiking boots keep your feet dry while staying breathable and comfortable, so don’t make an exception here.

If you’re keen on mountaineering, then your hiking boots need to be crampon compatible, which Duck Boots are not. Crampons help with grip when scaling rocky terrain, so having a boot they work with is necessary for safety reasons.

We have no choice but to conclude that L.L. Bean’s Duck Boots are no good for hiking. Although they are comfortable and highly water-resistant, the lack of extra support and breathability means they aren’t the best hiking boot.

A boot specifically designed for hiking could offer the same level of comfort while giving you much more support on the trails. Hiking boots made from Gore-tex would provide the same level of excellent waterproofing while still maintaining breathability, so there are better options out there.


A pair of Duck Boots on a ladder in the snow.

While Duck Boots may not be the best option for hiking, they are still a great overall winter boot.


What are Duck Boots good for?

Although we cannot avoid the conclusion that duck boots are no good for hiking, they’re still an excellent outdoor shoe. Bean Boots are ideal for making your way through snow and slush, so we do recommend this style as a general winter boot.

For any outdoor activity in cold weather, these shoes are ideal, as their warmth and waterproofing will keep your feet happy, while their traction is perfect for walking in the snow. Duck Boots are much closer to snow boots or rain boots than they are hiking, so for these weather conditions, we can whole-heartedly recommend these high-quality shoes.


Other branded duck boots

L.L. Bean was the original creator of the duck boot, but other brands have made their own version. Sperry offers a shoe called the Watertown Duck Boot, and its design is very similar to the original. Sperry’s version boasts a rubber lug outsole with no-slip traction, which could mean improved grip compared to L.L. Bean’s shoe. However, this is still not a hiking sole, so it’s not ideal for outdoor adventuring.


Final Verdict:

So, are Duck Boots good for hiking? The short answer; no. Although Duck Boots make an excellent winter boot, ideal for cold and wet weather, they just aren’t up to the same standard as hiking boots in other areas. The traction Bean Boots provide is optimized for wet conditions, such as snow and slush, but it’s simply not good enough for hiking in the backcountry.

The ankle support is admittedly better than trail running shoes, but more protection is needed if you do anything other than light and easy hikes. For your next hiking trip, Duck Boots aren’t the best choice, even though they’re comfy. If you’re still looking for an outdoor shoe, you might wonder, are Timberlands good for hiking? Read our article on the subject to find out if Timberlands might be the answer you’re looking for.

Bonus tip: To learn more about L.L. Bean’s original legendary boot, check out this interesting video we found below!

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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun Review/The Best Massage Gun for Sports Lovers



Massage guns have become popular in recent years as a way to help people relax and ease pain. They are especially popular among those who enjoy sports, as the massage guns can help to reduce muscle soreness after a workout resulting in faster recovery and improved performance. 

Some other benefits associated with the use of massage guns include:


Increased blood flow– Massage guns can help to improve circulation by increasing blood flow, which helps to reduce inflammation and swelling in the muscles. This is especially important for those who are involved in sports or exercise, as increased blood flow can help to repair damaged tissue faster.


Improved flexibility– Massage guns also help to improve flexibility by loosening tight muscles and tendons. This allows the body to move more freely, resulting in improved performance during physical activity.


Reduced stress– The massage gun can also help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Massaging the muscles helps to release endorphins, which are hormones that act as natural painkillers. By releasing these endorphins, people can feel less stressed and relaxed after using a massage gun.


Relieves pain– Massage guns are great for relieving pain and discomfort, as the vibration helps to loosen tight muscles and release tension. This can help to reduce pain caused by inflammation, arthritis, or other aches and pains.


Enhances performance– Massage guns can help to improve performance when it comes to physical activities, as they help to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness. This helps people perform better in their chosen sport or activity.

Why Choose the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun 

It’s well known that massage guns are a great way to relieve tension and soreness after a long day or workout. But with so many different massage guns on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. In this Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun Review, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of this popular massage gun to help you decide if it’s the right one for you.


If you are an athlete or just someone looking to soothe sore and aching muscles, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is an ideal choice. This powerful massage gun is designed to provide deep tissue relief through its variety of adjustable speed settings and interchangeable massage heads. The ergonomic design allows for comfortable use during longer sessions, and the lightweight body makes it easy to transport and store. With its powerful motor, the C2 Massage Gun is capable of providing up to 3200 revolutions per minute. With five different intensity levels, this strong force helps to penetrate deep into muscle fibers and provides effective relief from soreness and pain.


The Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun is designed to help athletes and active individuals recover faster after strenuous activity. It provides a deep-tissue massage that can reduce soreness, improve flexibility, and increase the range of motion in the body. This massage gun also comes with four interchangeable heads for various massaging techniques including a flat head for larger muscle groups, a round head for deeper tissue work, a U-shape for joint relief, and a conical head for smaller areas like the neck or hands. With this variety of massage heads, the C2 helps to target specific areas of discomfort and provides customized relief.



Overall, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable and powerful massage gun that can provide effective relief from muscle soreness after exercise or long days. With its adjustable speed settings and interchangeable massage heads, it is sure to meet your needs. So if you’re an athlete or just someone looking to give their muscles some well-deserved love and attention, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is a great investment.


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