Backpackers.com May 2017 Highlights — Synthetic Jackets, Rain Jackets, New Outdoor Guide

Backpackers.com — May is typically a busy month. The sky clears up, flowers are in bloom, and trails begin to see the usual feet kicking up dust and dirt. We’ve got a jam-packed summer of backpacking and camping coming up — and we hope you do too! It’s just about stargazing time.

We’ve been busy testing new gear this past month, and have some fully featured recommendations to share. Below you’ll find the latest rain jackets and synthetic insulated jackets (puffy jackets!) we’ve awarded and recommended for all five Backpacker Types. Plus a new guide that dives deep on the marshmallow goodness of Sleeping Bags and Backpacking Quilts.

Your Backpackers.com update is here!

New Recommended Gear

This gear has been researched, tested, and found worthy. Follow the links to read the full reviews and get the gear!

Montbell UL Thermawrap Parka Synthetic Puffy — Budget Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker and Urban Hiker

The Montbell UL Thermawrap Parka is an ultralight packable jacket with super-cozy synthetic insulation. And it won’t break the bank.

Montbell UL Thermawrap packable jacket stuff sack featured image

Read the full review to see why we recommend the Montbell UL Thermawrap Parka as our Budget Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker and Urban Hiker.

Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody Synthetic Puffy — Premium Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker and Ultralight Backpacker

The Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody, featuring Coreloft insulation, is breathable, durable, uber water resistant, and more comfortable than your barcalounger.

Read the full review to see why we recommend the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody as our Premium Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker and Ultralight Backpacker.

Patagonia M10 Rain Jacket — Premium Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker 

The Patagonia M10 is wonderfully waterproof, beautifully breathable, lusciously light, and perfectly packable. It simply does everything you want an ultralight hardshell rain jacket to do. And yes, it can handle this kind of snow.

Patagonia-M10 ultralight hardshell Rain Jacket blizzard

Read the full review to see why we recommend the Patagonia M10 as our Premium Pick for the Ultralight Backpacker.

Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Synthetic Puffy — Budget Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker and Day Hiker

The Outdoor Research Cathode is a set it and forget it jacket. It’s a comfortable, warm, breathable insulated puffy that’s ready for any adventure. And yes, it’s available in “so bright you can see it from space” pink!

Read the full review to see why we recommend the Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket as our Budget Pick for the Wilderness Backpacker and Day Hiker.

Patagonia Torrentshell Rain Jacket — Classic Pick for the Car Camper, Day Hiker and Urban Hiker

The Patagonia Torrentshell rain jacket is a basic, highly functional piece perfect for rain, sleet, or spit-ball snow. It’ll make sure you don’t become a wilted springtime wildflower.

Read the full review to see why we recommend the Patagonia Torrentshell as our Classic Pick for the Car Camper, Day Hiker, and Urban Hiker.

New Outdoor Guides

We dug deep on this one. A new Outdoor Guide means a massive dose of information for our readers. That’s you. You can thank us later.

Backpackers Guide to Sleeping Bags and Backpacking Quilts

The guide goes deep on camping sleeping bags, backpacking sleeping bags, and backpacking quilts. Learn about temperature rating, insulation, features, and more.

sleeping bags and quilts guide

Stay Up to Date

We publish content weekly and update you every month. Visit Backpackers.com to see what new gear we’ve recommended, and what new guides we’ve penned for your reading pleasure.

jen nelson backpackers.com bio pic

Jen Nelson

Jen hates dirt but loves hiking in Southern California. She has ticked 42 states, 5 continents and 28 countries off her bucket list. When she’s not checking grammar and coordinating gear drop offs for the Backpackers.com team, you can find her sailing the Channel Islands or taking her adorable dog Daphne to the beach. She believes chocolate is a food group and bungee jumping is better than sky diving. Check her out on Instagram.