The best outdoor kit of 2022: Advnture writers pick their favorite gear

Two hikers on mountaintop
(Image credit: Getty)

As that noted philosopher Ferris Bueller once pointed out, life moves pretty fast. That's undoubtedly true in the world of outdoor gear, so we assembled the core Advnture team to talk about the new kit that's been getting them most excited in 2022. 

It's a varied selection featuring running shoes, backpacks, a running watch, a jacket a brilliant alternative to a hydration pack, and one very big surprise from a low-cost supermarket. So read on to find out Advnture writers' top picks of the last 12 months...

Amazfit T-Rex 2

Amazfit T-Rex 2 GPS watch

(Image credit: Future)

I’ve already written about why the Enduro 2 was the best Garmin watch of 2022, but out of all the gear I’ve tested, my overall favorite this year was the Amazfit T-Rex 2. Yes, Garmin, Apple, Coros and Polar have all released some fantastic devices over the last 12 months, but the T-Rex 2 gives you so much for your money, which is super important when wages are stagnating and the cost of living is only going up.

It packs in the kind of features you’d expect to find in watches costing twice as much, and is built like a tank to handle the knocks and drops of life on the trails. It has a gorgeous high-res AMOLED display for maps and navigation, dual-band GPS for accurate location tracking, and is a pleasure to use. Amazfit’s parent company Zepp has invested a lot of time and effort updating its app over recent years, and it’s really paid off. Put it all together, and you’ve got a truly impressive adventure watch that costs just $229.99 / £219, and is my top pick for 2022.

Cat Ellis (editor)

Jack Wolfskin Crosstrail 32 LT daypack

Jack Wolfskin Crosstrail 32 LT

(Image credit: Jack Wolfskin)

I’ve been lucky enough to test everything from air-beam tents to gravel e-bikes and origami kayaks this year, but for me the piece of kit that I have repeatedly returned to and used over and over again on myriad adventures is the super versatile Jack Wolfskin Crosstrail 32 LT daypack. The capacity is such that it can be used on day hikes or for lightweight overnight escapades, and it has all the features you will ever require on a pack, including loops and hoops for trekking poles and ice axes, and several safety elements. 

The ACS (Air Control System) harness is also excellent, supplying genuine airflow to your back, but what makes it really stand out is the design of the main compartment – or more specifically, the way you can access this part of the pack. Aside from the standard top access, there’s also a large semi-circular zip that goes right around the pack, so you can literally open the entire thing up and find whatever you’re looking for without emptying the entire contents of your bag all over the oft-soggy side of a trail.

Pat Kinsella (contributing editor)

Lifestraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze 1L water bottle with filter

Lifestraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze 1L Water Bottle with Filter on a rock

(Image credit: Julia Clarke)

For me, it's got to be the Lifestraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze 1L water bottle with filter. It comprises a soft water bottle with a LifeStraw membrane microfilter that inserts into the bottle with a drinking spout and it was a total game changer for me hiking the West Highland Way this summer. It meant I hardly had to carry any water with me at all, nor did I have to squeeze a hard water bottle plus a filter into my backpack. As a result, my load was much lighter during those long days, but I was always able to source water safely when I needed it. 

You can simply fill up the bottle from any stream or lake and safely drink directly from the bottle, or remove the filter and drink directly from the river, like using a straw. When it's empty, it rolls away to almost nothing, so it's even replaced my regular bottle when I'm traveling as I can just leave the filter at home and roll it up in my hand luggage. I'm never venturing into the wild without it again!

Julia Clarke (staff writer)

Osprey Duro 6

best hydration packs: Osprey Duro 6

(Image credit: Osprey)

For me, the Osprey Duro 6 is the best bit of new kit I've had the pleasure of testing this year. It's a superb hydration pack, featuring barely-there comfort and full of handy, stretchy storage pockets. Everything I need to hand is easily accessible, while adjusting the pack on the go is straightforward too. It's a pack that I felt immediately in tune with and on long wilderness runs it almost felt like a part of me, which is exactly what I want from a hydration pack. Six liters is the perfect capacity for the sort of adventurous outings I enjoy the most, where there's a heady mix of running and hiking. Better still, the Duro is made from 100% recycled fabrics.

Alex Foxfield (contributor)

Altra Mont Blanc BOA

Altra Mont Blanc BOA

(Image credit: Claire Maxted)

The Altra Mont Blanc BOAs have been a fantastic shoe to review this year because they're the first pair using the turning-dial BOA lacing system that fit my feet properly. Previous BOA shoes use only the one dial, but the Mont Blancs use two - one around the midfoot and one in the usual place just below the ankle. This means you can tighten the laces much more precisely around the midfoot and even widen or tighten the fit quickly and easily during your run if your foot happens to swell or you didn't quite get the tension right before you set off. 

Not only that but the BOA dials make lacing and unlacing so easy my toddler can do it. They're not cheap at £185, but if you like a wide-fit, zero drop shoe and hate faffing with laces, these might just be worth a try. 

Claire Maxted (contributor)

Montane Spine running jacket

Montane Spine jacket

(Image credit: Montane)

Taking its name from one of the UK’s toughest trail running races, the Montane Spine jacket is very lightweight and packable, yet also brilliantly weather resistant. It is made of breathable and waterproof 13 Denier Gore-Tex Active shell and apart from some inner condensation when running in warm but wet weather, it works a treat.

The styling is minimal with a nice neat fit, but also with enough useful features, such as two zipped hand pockets, a full-length front zip, an adjustable hood and lower hem drawcord. The sleeves and the back include small reflective details. The fabric is also reasonably quiet and it’s soft enough to wear against the skin if you have only a short-sleeved baselayer. 

I have worn the Spine numerous times since it was launched and it has become my favorite waterproof running jacket

Fiona Russell (contributor)

Aldi Adventuridge tent

Aldi Adventuridge

(Image credit: Aldi)

Unexpectedly, my favourite piece of gear this year was probably the two-person Adventuridge tent from Aldi. It might not be the most innovative tent on the market, nor might it be the lightest or most packable tent I tried this year. But it was certainly the most surprising. 

Costing only £29.99, this little shelter – sold at a grocery store, no less – was way better than I expected it to be, and I can't stop recommending it to friends as the perfect starter tent! Obviously, it pales in comparison to higher-end models, but it outperformed all of my expectations when I tested it on one of Wales' highest mountains earlier in the year. It easily fended off both wind and rain, and I'd confidently use it on 3-season wild camping trips in the future.

Craig Taylor (contributor)

Adventuridge 2 Man Tent:£49.99£29.99 at Aldi

Adventuridge 2 Man Tent: £49.99 £29.99 at Aldi
The Adventuridge tent we took up Pen y Fan is currently on offer with £20 off, making it even cheaper than usual. 

Advnture team

Launched in July 2020, Advnture is the ideal destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Whether you're into epic hikes through the wilderness, camping trips with the family, climbing with your friends, or looking for a trail running personal best, our team of experts will point you in the right direction, with top buying advice and in-depth guides to help you get the most of your time in the backcountry.