Getting out is good for you: Whether you’re doing a #HotGirlWalk in your neighborhood, hiking a trail, or car camping with a group of friends, being outdoors gives you the opportunity to move, to rest and play. Part of any successful adventure is having the gear you need to feel safe, comfortable and prepared, which is why we’re excited to share the first SELF Outdoor Rewardsfeaturing the products that outdoor experts, adventurers and writers swear by time and time again.
To choose our winners, we asked passionate outdoor experts to name and rate their all-time favorite products. Then we combed through all of their suggestions, taking into account research we’ve done on these types of products in the past, to select the winning list of items that stand the test of time. These are the products that outdoor adventurers rely on for a successful trip, whether camping, backpacking, backpacking, running, and more.
Below, check out the 51 winners of the SELF Outdoor Awards 2022.
Clothing, shoes and accessories
Best Backpack: Gregory Maya 22 Liter Backpack
This low-profile backpack is specifically designed for women and even comes in a large 16-litre version, an unfortunately rare option among many popular outdoor brands. On this pack, the foam back panel provides ventilation to help keep your back from sweating, and the quick-stash pockets on the shoulder harness and hip belt let you easily access items like sunglasses or snacks.
SE says: As SELF has already pointed out, the best hiking backpacks should be multifunctional and designed with all the features that will help make your day hike a success. The Maya Pack does the trick and more with its range of included sizes.
Best Waist Pack: UST Gear Swerve Hip Pack
The modular design of this fanny pack makes it versatile and easy to customize to suit your preferences or adventure needs. Wear it around your hips, as a shoulder strap, or even strap it to your handlebars as a bike bag. Padded pockets keep items like sunglasses and phones safe. Plus, there’s a specially sized pocket for lip balm.
Experts say: “It’s very spacious and flexible,” says outdoor enthusiast and hiker Brandi Small. “I like being able to keep things separate and take parts of them or take parts of them.” Small also notes that this fanny pack is functional, easy to clean, stylish and sturdy – zipper included. She uses it on short hikes and when walking and training her dog.
Best Standing Carrier: Piggy Back Rider
Carrying your little one on a hike just got easier with this lightweight baby carrier. Here’s how it works: you wear the Piggy Back Rider like a backpack and your little one stands on a metal bar to support it. A harness keeps your child secure and connected to you at all times, but still allows them to move a little more freely than a traditional baby carrier.
Experts say: “We discovered this product on Instagram and have been using it for about a year and a half now,” Zenovia Stephens, founder and CEO of Black Kids Adventures, told SELF. “We use it when our youngest son is tired or doesn’t feel like hiking. It’s easy to carry, easy for the child to get on and off, and has optional attachments for carrying additional items. The most notable feature? a great view,” Stephens says.
Best Hydration Pack for Kids: CamelBak Kids’ Mini MULE 50-Ounce Hydration Pack
Basically a mini of the CamelBak hydration packs adults know and love, this kid’s version holds 1.5 liters of water and features reflective strips and a whistle to keep your family adventures safe. The breathable mesh back panel and harness help reduce sweat and the zipped pockets ensure your little one won’t leave a trace of their belongings behind.