Welcome to the second edition of the Advnture Awards, recognizing the very best gear for hiking, trail running, camping, and more. The last few years have been a difficult time for all of us, and there's never been a better time to enjoy the restorative power of nature – and our awards celebrate the very finest equipment to help you do exactly that.
The winners were selected by a panel of Advnture staff and contributors, all of whom are seasoned adventurers with a passion for the outdoors and deep knowledge of their subject areas. Below you'll find the winners for hiking, trail running, camping, and tech.
This year also sees the introduction of a new award category for sustainability, which recognizes a company that’s going above and beyond to preserve the natural environment, and make sure that generations to come can enjoy exploring the great outdoors.
All the products recognized here are ones that we'd reply on ourselves, and recommend to any adventurer to help them explore in safety and comfort.
Hiking award winners
Best hiking boot: Salomon Cross Hike Mid GTX
The Salomon Cross Hike Mid GTX feels more like a running shoe than a conventional hiking boot, and is amazingly light. During our tests we found it needed no breaking-in period, and was ready to go straight out of the box. They stay light throughout your hike too as the well-spaced lugs don’t hold onto mud, but still provide plenty of grip (even extending up the toecap for climbing).
Best hiking shoe: Scarpa Rush Trail GTX
A hiking shoe that fits comfortably straight away thanks to a soft suede inner and well-padded collar, the Scarpa Rush Trail GTX is thoughtfully designed and well suited to a wide range of trails. There’s extra protection around the toe box and heel, and a well balanced midsole that provides enough stiffness for edging on rocky routes, but isn’t too rigid for less demanding terrain. In our tests, we found their cushioning soaked up the impacts of hours of walking, without soaking up too much energy.
Best hiking apparel: Fjallraven Keb Trousers Curved
These tough technical trekking pants are built to last, with elasticated panels providing a great range of motion and a surprisingly flattering fit. They’re full of thoughtful touches, including openings for knee pads, ventilation zippers from the hip to the knee and down the calves, and reinforced knees, rear, and deep pockets for scrambles, seats, and stumbles. They’re certainly not cheap, but made to give you many years of service and in our tests we found that the quality justifies the price tag,
Best waterproof jacket: Outdoor Research Helium AscentShell
A waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of gear you’ll ever buy, and the Outdoor Research Helium AscentShell is simply the best, particularly for climbers. The whole jacket is designed to accommodate climbing gear, from the stretch panel underarms to the roomy hood that works perfectly with a helmet. It’s a great all-rounder too, and our reviewer particularly appreciated just how light this jacket is, without compromising on breathability or durability.
Best large backpack: Osprey Kestrel 48L
We’re big fans of Osprey’s Airscape back panel, which keeps the bulk of the pack away from your body and allows for much-needed airflow, and the Kestrel 48L is an excellent example. During testing we also appreciated the foam ridges that keep the pack comfortable during long hikes, even when fully loaded with bulky kit. The large side zipper is a great addition too, allowing you to reach your gear without unpacking the entire bag, and we wish more backpacks had one!
Best daypack: Lowe Alpine Cholatse 32:37
This comfortable, lightweight daypack is designed with comfort and breathability first and foremost, shaped to transfer weight to your hips and lumbar region, and with strategically placed padding and mesh to balance softness and ventilation. It’s tough too, thanks to its ripstop nylon construction, and the body length can be adjusted by about six inches, helping you get the perfect fit. For comfort and durability, it’s tough to beat.
Trail running awards
Best trail running shoe: Saucony Peregrine 12
Fast, nimble, and lightweight, the Saucony Peregrine 12 takes our award for the best trail running shoe of 2022. Saucony has shaved a few grams off the weight for this edition of the Peregrine, making it even speedier than previous models, and although the lugs are ever so slightly smaller, it’s not at the expense of grip. During testing, we found the Peregrine 12 well-ventilated and quick drying, and they rapidly became our go-to trail shoes.
Best trail running apparel: Montane Lite Speed Pull-On
This award goes to trail running clothing other than footwear. The Montane Lite Speed Pull-On is one of the lightest running layers we’ve ever tested, and so compact you can easily tuck it away in your backpack or hydration pack for those moments when the weather turns sour. Its slim-fitting design with elasticated cuffs and hem means there’s nothing flapping in the breeze, and our tester reported that it kept her warm when it was cold, was breathable when she was sweating, and kept her dry in rain showers.
Best women's trail running apparel: The North Face Lightriser Futurelight Running Jacket
This category recognizes trail running gear designed specifically for women. Choosing a winner was no easy feat, but ultimately the Lightriser Futurelight Running Jacket took the prize. Its Futurelight material keeps out rain without allowing moisture to build up inside, and the sleeves are tailored to stay in place without ever feeling restrictive. Unlike many running jackets, it’s fully waterproof, and we found that the adjustable hood stays up even in strong winds to keep you dry.
Best backpacking tent: Robens Starlight 1
The Robens Starlight 1 takes our prize for the best lightweight backpacking tent of 2022, weighing just 2kg and packing down to a mere 39 x 15cm. It’s quick and easy to set up, and the tunnel style means it handles high winds well. It’s affordably priced too, making it a great buy for backpacking on a budget. Highly recommended.
Best car camping tent: Robens Chinook Ursa
The Chinook Ursa is a tipi style family tent that’s made from high quality materials, is easy to pitch (essential when you’re camping with kids), and can be opened out into an airy canopy during the day. We also appreciate the vent for a stove pipe, allowing for use of a camping stove and making this more than just a tent for car camping in the summer months.
Best sleeping bag: Mountain Equipment Helium 600
As the name suggests, the Helium 600 is a super light sleeping bag that packs down to a mere 25 x 20 x 20cm, making it a great choice for backpacking from spring through to fall. Its lofty down is comfortable and quick drying, and keeps its shape and warming properties well over time. We also appreciate the Helium 600’s snug fitting hood, which keeps you cozy overnight.
Best sleeping pad/mat: Klymit Insulated Static V-Lite
For us, this winter-ready sleeping pad really stands out from the crowd due to its generous width, accommodating rectangular cut, and thickness of 6cm when inflated, keeping you warm and comfortable overnight. Two lines of 'rails' help center you in the pad, whether you're a front, back, or side sleeper, and the 30-denier polyester feels soft and inviting. When we tested the Klymit Insulated Static V-Lite pad, we found its unusual shape surprisingly comfortable to lie on, and it felt good in all weathers.
Best camping light: Black Diamond Storm 500R Headlamp
The Black Diamond Storm 500R is small but mighty, combining the convenience of a rechargeable headlamp with a punchy maximum brightness of 500 lumens and impressively light weight. Its brightness memory is a particularly handy function that 'remembers' the current setting after you turn it off, and a battery meter on the bottom lets you easily see how much juice is left before it needs another charge. During testing we found its distance mode excellent for trail running, and its elastic headstrap comfortable even for long runs and hikes.
Best GPS watch: Garmin Fenix 7
We've seen lots of great new GPS watches this year, but for us the Garmin Fenix 7 offers the best balance of power, battery life, features, and style. It offers Garmin's signature GPS accuracy (during our tests it handled even tricky situations like enclosed tunnels with ease) and it's packed with training tools to help you hit a new personal best on the trails or the roads. Mapping and navigation are excellent as well, and if you opt for the largest size (the Fenix 7X) you'll also get a built-in flashlight that doubles as a strobing running light to keep you safe and visible after dark.
Best navigation app: Komoot
Komoot takes our award for the best navigational app for exploring the great outdoors thanks to its comprehensive maps, and the ability to easily share routes with others adventurers. Whether you're researching a trail walk, run, or multi-day backpacking trip, you can plot a route that will suit your preferences and level of experience, and plan to stop by local landmarks along the way. You can also add your own points of interest as you go, making the experience even richer for everyone.
Best brand for sustainability: Patagonia
The sustainability prize is a new addition to the 2022 Advnture Awards, and celebrates the brand that has made the biggest commitment to preserving the great outdoors we all love. It was tough to choose a winner, as more and more outdoor companies are stepping up and taking responsibility for their manufacturing processes and supply chains, but Patagonia took this year's prize due to its commitment to sustainable business practices, reuse and repair program, responsible sourcing of materials, and support for environmental organizations (opens in new tab).
All the latest inspiration, tips and guides to help you plan your next Advnture!
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).
All the latest inspiration, tips and guides to help you plan your next Advnture!
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