Culture

Girlfriend Collective Launched the Perfect Athleisure Collection—Here’s What We’re Buying

Girlfriend Collective Launched the Perfect Athleisure Collection—Here’s What We’re Buying

Signs of a good week include sunshine, the perfect cold-brew-to-oat-milk ratio, and an exciting Girlfriend Collective launch. Today, the activewear and loungewear brand dropped the Stretch Woven collection, which consists of five easy-to-wear styles in a new fabric. Different from the brand’s cult-favorite Compressive or Float fabrics, Girlfriend’s Stretch Woven fabric is a durable, lightweight, slightly stretchy recycled polyester and spandex blend. The collection includes The Short Sleeve Button Up Jumpsuit, Sleeveless Button Up Romper, Everyday Easy Shorts, Tapered Joggers, and Wrap Skort. Like all of Girlfriend Collective’s pieces, the Stretch Woven collection comes in sizes XXS to 6XL. Each piece is available in three colors (so far); you can choose from black, dark olive green, and royal blue.Another reason to love Girlfriend Collective, besides its excellent activewear and size inclusivity, is its commitment to sustainability. Sustainability is tricky for brands to nail, especially since the best way to be eco-conscious is to, well, stop buying things. But the brand is famous for making more than 50% of its clothing and packaging out of recycled and recyclable materials (like plastic water bottles, nylon, and fishing nets). Plus, any well-loved Girlfriend activewear can be shipped back to the brand and upcycled into leggings for someone else—and you’ll get store credit in return. You can read up on the brand’s extensive sustainability efforts here.Keep reading to see each of the pieces in the new Girlfriend Collective launch, plus why we love ’em so much. All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The 14 Best Robot Vacuums That Do the Dirty Work for You

The 14 Best Robot Vacuums That Do the Dirty Work for You

If you’re still lugging around a clunky, corded traditional vacuum cleaner from room to room, stop right there. The best robot vacuums do all that gross, grimy work for you so that you can spend your time in other, more important ways. By now, you’ve likely contemplated buying one or know someone who has and raves about it. If you’re ready to take the plunge, let us help.What does a robot vacuum cleaner do?At the basest level, robot vacuum cleaners are circular appliances that roam your home and employ powerful suction to pull dust, dirt, dander, and pet hair into a built-in dustbin which you later empty, or if it’s a certain model it automatically self-empties. If it’s a self-empty robot vacuum cleaner you usually only have to dump the bin every month or so saving you more time. These vacuums have sensors that map out floor plans, no-go zones, and obstacle avoidance (so they don’t keep banging into your furniture). When finished cleaning, the vacuums return to their charging docks to recharge (or, in some cases, recharge and resume cleaning where they left off). From there, robot vacuums increase in their fancy features. There are all sorts of models and brands that address your home size, flooring, and needs. Many have lengthy battery lives, strong filters for better air quality at home, and are designed to navigate hardwood, high-pile carpeting, and tile. The high-end robot vacuums mop if you need them to, can be given multiple cleaning schedules, spot-clean, self-empty, sync up to apps via Wi-Fi, and respond to Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. Wild, right? Plus, with spring allergies here, a robovac can help keep the inside of your home pollen-free.Of course, with all trendy appliances, there are so, so many models on the market to consider. To simplify shopping, below, we’ve researched and assembled top picks for the best robot vacuums. These best-sellers come from big-name brands like iRobot, Eufy, Shark, Deebot, and more and can be found at retailers such as Amazon, Target, and Best Buy. Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, you can expect to grab one of these robot vacuums for a great price so be sure to check out our Memorial Day sales page for markdowns.

The Best Parachute Memorial Day Sale Finds to Shop Right Now

The Best Parachute Memorial Day Sale Finds to Shop Right Now

Your bedroom is a sanctuary from the worries of everyday life.  What better way to do just that than by shopping the long-awaited Parachute Memorial Day Sale? Outfit your bed with the softest blankets, the coziest linens, and the fluffiest pillows you can find. From Monday, May 23 through Monday, May 30, you can score 20% off anything up for grabs on Parachute’s site, including furniture. The sale isn’t just happening online, though. You can head in-store and shop steep Memorial Day discounts, with sale pricing automatically applied on the Parachute digital storefront. This is definitely an event to get excited about, especially as Parachute rarely advertises major sale events. You can generally expect Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales from the retailer as well as Memorial Day blowouts, and now the time has come. When you can score 20% off the entirety of Parachute’s collection, you can give your bedroom a considerable upgrade, whether you’re looking for a supportive new mattress or a new linen sheet set to top things off. Want to focus on the rest of your home? Parachute is much more than just bedding and bath essentials, with a variety of scented candles, sleepwear, rugs, and more to choose from. It can be difficult to sift through the entirety of Parachute’s online collection, however, so we’ve selected some of the best sales we could find. Below, find picks on some of the best Parachute Memorial Day sale products we could find, including sheet sets, fluffy towels, plush bathrobes, dinner sets, and more. Swap your old go-to sheets with a crisp new set and climb into bed to catch some serious Zs with picks from this sale. Looking for other great bedding deals? Find more on our Memorial Day mattress sales page.All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

21 Excellent Outdoor Gear Deals at the Backcountry Memorial Day Sale

21 Excellent Outdoor Gear Deals at the Backcountry Memorial Day Sale

If you’re gearing up to spend the summer in the great outdoors, the Backcountry Memorial Day Sale is a can’t-miss event. Best-selling items and past season styles are on sale for as much as 50% off at the outdoor retailer now, and these Memorial Day deals will be good through the long weekend—no coupon code required.Whether you’re shopping for a backpacking trip or just refreshing your old camping gear, you can find discounts on major outdoor gear brands like Black Diamond, The North Face, Marmot, and more at this year’s Backcountry Memorial Day sale. Some of the most exciting deals we’ve seen trending already include markdowns on running shoes, women’s apparel, and camping essentials like tents and sleeping bags. If you’ve been meaning to save up for a fancy piece of equipment or high-quality outerwear, you just might find it at a delightfully lower price right now.But even if you don’t have a shopping list in mind, there are plenty of deals to browse on Backcountry.com. To help you get started, we’ve highlighted some of the best sale items currently available below. Keep in mind that the sizes and colors you want might not last long, so make sure to fill your cart and check out ASAP. Then, if you’re in the mood for more Memorial Day weekend sales, we’ve got you covered on everything from Memorial Day patio furniture sales, clothing sales, mattress sales, and Amazon items. Happy scrolling!All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

I Didn’t Always Embrace My Chinese Heritage. Here’s How I Plan to Change That for My Son.

I Didn’t Always Embrace My Chinese Heritage. Here’s How I Plan to Change That for My Son.

When people looked at me growing up, I’m not sure exactly what they saw. They probably couldn’t tell I had ancestors from Italy, England, Scotland, Slovakia (Vikings, no less, but that’s a story for another day), and, yes, China. These identities met and mingled, and eventually melded into the DNA of a quarter-Asian girl living in Akron, Ohio.What I do know is they saw someone… different. As a kid, I never quite fit in, with comments from classmates like “What are you?” and “Where are your chopsticks?” jolting me out of a lulled sense of belonging and laying the groundwork for life-long anxiety.The biggest difference between me and the other Asian kids I knew, was that most of them grew up with parents who immigrated to the United States, so they had the shared experience of living in their home country to connect them—something I never had. The only thread I had was my grandfather who immigrated to the U.S. when he was a teen, before the dawn of communism in China. When he came here for high school, stayed for college and medical school, eventually met and married my white grandmother, and settled in Ohio, there wasn’t a whole lot of culture left. My dad and uncle grew up in the 50s and 60s, a time when embracing your Chinese heritage wasn’t exactly the norm. Once my brother and I came along in the 80s, our grandfather was the only person who held the key to that part of our identity.For us, that meant hanging out at the local Chinese restaurant eating braised tofu and shark fin soup (something I was embarrassed to even mention to my friends), dodging the Peking duck hanging from the ceiling in our grandparents’ basement, and listening to stories of my grandpa’s adventures as a young man. My grandfather was gregarious and loved by the community, but most of all he was loved by me, the so-called “apple of his eye.” He died when I was seven, and although I can’t say that I immediately embraced being Chinese, as it took over a decade to feel that pride, his memory is a big part of why I want to wrap myself in the armor of my Asian heritage and teach my young son to wear it proudly, too.In the flash of a devilish grin or the tilt of my son’s head thrown back in giggles, I can sometimes see a glimpse of my dad or grandfather. But to the untrained eye, my son doesn’t look Chinese at all, nor does he share my Chinese name (I kept it for myself after marriage for many reasons, but one was to hold on to that part of my identity).They say your genes are made up of all your ancestors who lived before you. Maybe you have the same smile as a great, great uncle who died well before you were born. Or maybe your laugh is identical to a long-forgotten sister who your grandmother cherished from way back when. I like to imagine that even though our ancestors are no longer here—we’ll never know the warmth of their hands or the bite of their humor—they are still within us, showing up for their great, great (infinitely great) grandchildren in these small ways. Maybe my son shares one of these traits with my great grandfather or his father’s father. I’ll never know for sure, but here’s how I plan to keep our culture alive through him.Connect through family recipes (with a vegetarian twist).Since my kid is all in on pizza and mac and cheese at the moment, this one may have to wait a few years. But we do have a collection of Tsai family recipes in a bound cookbook—stir-fried cellophane noodles are my favorite—and I want to share my love of these flavors with him. We may have to skip the Peking duck since we’re vegetarians (Peking tofu just doesn’t have the same ring to it), but we can improvise.

The 44 Best Father’s Day Gifts for the Dads Who Do It All

The 44 Best Father’s Day Gifts for the Dads Who Do It All

If you’re like us, finding the best Father’s Day gifts for the dads in your life (whether they’re your own dad, partner, brother, grandpa, or friend) is never easy. What do you get the men who research everything before they buy it, or tell you they don’t need anything? The right gift is one they’ll truly love and use, that they’ve wish-listed, never knew they needed, or it reminds them of how special they are to you. Lucky for you, it’s our job to assemble great Father’s Day gift ideas, and we know there are plenty of thoughtful, unique presents for your papa.First, consider what kind of father you have and what his primary passions are. Maybe your dad (or hubby, bro, whoever) fancies himself a grill master, has to sample craft beer at every local brewery he passes or loves trying new recipes. Perhaps he geeks out over tech gadgets, maps, hiking trails, puns, podcasts, puzzles, birds, golf—the list goes on. Or maybe he’s a brand new dad who deserves kudos for his admission into parenthood (not to mention a lot of caffeine).Whatever type of dad you’re shopping for, below, we’ve highlighted some of the very best Father’s Day gifts from retailers like Nordstrom, Amazon, Uncommon Goods, Huckberry, and REI. From personalized gifts to useful gifts for the practical papa to cooking gifts for the top chef, we’ve got your dad gifts covered. Pro tip: Get your shopping done now, as Father’s Day is June 19 and closing in (although if you need a last-minute Father’s Day gift, we’ve got subscription gift ideas, too).Jump to:Best Father’s Day Gifts for DadsNo matter the type of dad you’re gifting this year, below, we’ve got ideas for the best dad gifts for all of them. Surefire winners include the water-resistant Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth speaker (which they can tote into the bathroom or backyard), multitools like a five-in-one pen that includes a built-in level, and comfy, shearling-lined Ugg slippers they’ll never want to take off. And of course, what dad doesn’t love a (SELF Fave) neck massager he can wear while he watches TV, an insulated Yeti tumbler he can use in his car, or a ridiculously cute puffer coat that keeps his beer from sweating on his hand?AmazonUltimate Ears Wonderboom 2AmazonNekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back MassagerThis kneading massage pillow comes equipped with eight massage nodes and a relaxing heating function to help soothe your neck, shoulders, and back. AmazonYeti Rambler Travel Mug (20 oz.)REIPuffin Beverage JacketBest Father’s Day Gifts for New DadsWelcome any new dad to his first Father’s Day with a gift that speaks to his needs. A sunrise alarm clock gently rouses him from the few hours of sleep he manages to grab, while a coffee subscription service like the SELF Fave Trade Coffee (or Atlas Coffee Club) delivers him the jolt of caffeine he needs on a daily basis without his having to leave the house. Tech gadgets do the double duty of being cool and helpful (like Echo Dot, an Alexa-enabled smart speaker that will let him schedule reminders for all the tasks his parent brain is liable to forget, or the nifty Qubii, which is a phone charger, hard drive, and automatic backup for all the photos he snaps of the baby).TradeTrade Gift Coffee SubscriptionAmazonPhilips Smart Sleep & Wake-Up Light Therapy LampAmazonQubii Photo Storage DriveBest Father’s Day Gifts for Boyfriends and HusbandsIt’s never a bad idea to give your boyfriend or husband a Father’s Day gift (assuming they’re dads, anyway). Active people will appreciate a splurge-worthy Theragun percussive massager, which eases pain in overworked muscles, or a handsome, lightweight track jacket from Lululemon. Dorky dads will lose it over this Traintrackr, a circuit board that shows the New York subway system’s train statuses in real-time. And hey, if you want to remind your partner that they’re as desirable as they are delightful dads, spoil them with a fun new sex toy from Lelo that feels great for you both.TherabodyTheragun Mini Percussive Therapy MassagerBest Father’s Day Gifts for BrothersMaybe your brother recently became a father, or perhaps he serves as a father figure in your family’s life. Whatever the case, Father’s Day is an excellent time to thank your bro. For the golfer, gift these very cool golf ball-shaped whiskey chillers. If he’s a beer fiend, a Hydro Flask cooler backpack or personalized bottle opener will go a long way, and if he never prints photos from his travels (or his kids), a set of prints from Artifact Uprising is a welcome gift.BackcountryHydro Flask Day Escape Soft Cooler Pack (20 L)Uncommon GoodsUncommon Goods Personalized Backyard Brews Bottle OpenerBest Father’s Day Gifts for GrandfathersLet’s not overlook the OG dad: your grandfather. Puzzle-loving grandpas might get a kick out of this Minted puzzle you can customize with any family photo, while the grandpa who makes groan-worthy dad jokes may talk for years about these socks customized with his grandkids’ faces. If he’s a big gardener, here’s a handy kneeler that will cushion his knees while he prunes (and turns into a stool when he wants to appreciate his work). And if he’s always talking about a movie you’ve never heard of from his youth, a subscription to Criterion Collection gives him access to classic and contemporary films he can’t find on Netflix (which he may enjoy watching with you).Minted.Minted Warm Flannel Custom PuzzleAmazonMypupsocks Custom Face SocksBest Father’s Day Gifts for Dads Who Want NothingBig S/O to all the dads who claim they want nothing as gifts for Father’s Day, their birthday, Christmas, or whenever. That’s cool. Except sometimes they don’t really mean it, or sometimes you want to show them love anyway with something they’ll appreciate (instead of taking up space). This stainless steel Bindle water bottle keeps him hydrated and stows essentials like earbuds and car keys, while a SELF Fave weighted blanket feels wonderful at the end of a long day. He can sample interesting new fruits on a monthly basis with Harry & David’s Fruit of the Month Club. And listen, perhaps the best gift of all? A SELF Certified Tushy bidet attachment, which he can easily install and which will leave him feeling so fresh and clean in sweaty summer.LaylaLayla Weighted Blanket (20-Pound)Best Father’s Day Gifts for Grilling & CookingIf you’ve got a dad who loves to cook or who stations himself next to the grill come warm weather and doesn’t leave until Labor Day passes, give him a grilling gift that’s more exciting than a meat thermometer. A personalized maple cutting board, monogrammed steak brand, or corny apron ensures everyone knows who’s the BBQ boss. And a helpful gift set of grilling tools acts as a flashlight so he can grill even after sunset. If no food is ever spicy enough, give him a hot sauce kit so he can DIY his own. And if you’re looking for the perfect foodie gift to go in on with your siblings, an Ooni pizza oven will be his new favorite toy.AmazonMiracu Grill Apron for DadSur La TableSur La Table Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Pellet Pizza OvenAmazonDIY Gift Kits Hot Sauce Making Kit Deluxe EditionBest Father’s Day Gifts for the Outdoorsy DadDads who can’t get enough time in nature will appreciate gifts that enhance their time spent outside. We love this $40 packable knife set from GSI Outdoors, which packs away essential, high-quality, stainless steel cooking knives (with protective sheaths), a foldable cutting board, quick-dry cloth, and refillable soap bottle inside a carrying case—an excellent gift for any camper or hiker. This growler keeps 64 ounces of his favorite craft beer close, chilled, and carbonated all day (and has a lockable dispenser tap), while an Aeropress acts as a coffee maker on the go. Lastly, here’s a fire pit, which brings the campfire to his backyard for the times when he just wants to relax at home.REIGSI Outdoors Santoku Knife SetFood52GrowlerWerks Keep-It-Carbonated Growler to GoAmazonAeropress Coffee and Espresso MakerBest Father’s Day Gifts for the Tech-Loving DadIf you have a techie in your life, maybe it’s time you finally upgraded their $20 earbuds to Apple AirPods (or, hell, Bose noise-canceling headphones). A handsome catch-all tray that acts as a wireless charging station for his phone and Apple Watch will look great on a nightstand; a Fitbit will track his activity and sleep. Speaking of sleep, the SELF Certified Oura Ring will help track their health and sleep and for the mornings this SELF Fave Ember Smart Mug will keep his coffee at precisely the temperature he likes it for hours.AmazonFitbit Charge 4The friend who goes hard in a home workout will get lots of use out of the Fitbit Charge 4, which tracks workouts in real time and even buzzes once your target heart rate zone is reached. For socially distanced runs, the Fitbit also includes a built-in GPS system to let your friend keep track of their pace and distance, plus provides access to music, calls, and texts.AmazonEmber Temperature Control Smart Mug 2 (10 oz.)AmazonApple Watch SE 40 mmApple Watch SE 40mmBest Subscription Gifts for Father’s DayLast but not least, we have subscription gifts, the presents that keep on giving past the holiday itself. From Masterclass subscription gift cards that offer in-depth, virtual lessons from legends such as Stephen Curry, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Gloria Steinem to meal-kit delivery services like Home Chef that give him a chance to try exotic recipes and ingredients to wine subscription boxes like Winc that send him new blends, there are all sorts of subscription gifts for Father’s Day.WincWinc Custom Gift CardCairnCairn Gift Subscription

Get Hulu for Just $1 Per Month for National Streaming Day 2022

Get Hulu for Just $1 Per Month for National Streaming Day 2022

Ready to keep up with Kim and the rest of her brood with The Kardashians? Want to dive into a juicy new drama? To celebrate National Streaming Day, Hulu is offering up a great deal for new and eligible returning subscribers. Starting now through May 27, you can get your first three months of Hulu’s ad-supported plan for just $1 per month. So if you’ve never tried out the streaming service before or if you recently canceled your account (at least over a month ago), you can sign up now during this special deal right now. How Does It Work?If you’re considering a Hulu subscription with this offer, here’s what you need to know. Once you sign up you can cancel anytime, and when your three months are up, you’ll be automatically charged $7 per month—or you can upgrade to a non-ad-supported tier. It’s up to you. The $7 per month subscription comes out to $70 per year.This is the first time that Hulu has ever run this type of promotion so act fast because it won’t be around for long. This Hulu deal only lasts a week!How To Sign Up For The Hulu Streaming OfferStep 1: Head to Hulu and activate this limited-time deal by clicking the Try Now button below. Step 2: Choose the ad-supported plan, which should be listed for $1 per month for three months, then $6.99 per month after. Step 3: Complete your signup by creating an account with a valid email address and password as well as the rest of your personal information. Step 4: Add a valid credit card to begin your subscription. Step 5: Enjoy! Why Try Hulu?Hulu has an extensive library of shows and movies, including their Hulu Original Series like The Handmaid’s Tale, Only Murders in the Building, The Dropout, and more. Unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime, with Hulu you can stream popular TV series from traditional networks and you only have to wait a week or in some cases just a day. New TV shows like Abbot Elementary, for example, stream Tuesdays on ABC and you can watch the show the following Wednesday night. Celebrate National Streaming Day with a variety of shows, from your favorite network TV to originals, exclusive live streams, movies, and more.Related:

Sheikh Hamdan Celebrates His Twins’ First Birthday by Sharing the Very First Photo of Their Faces

Sheikh Hamdan Celebrates His Twins’ First Birthday by Sharing the Very First Photo of Their Faces

Photo: Instagram.com/faz3
Since the birth of his twins, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed has proved to be a doting father, often taking to Instagram to post precious moments of his time with his son and daughter. Now, on their first birthday, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai has shared a heartwarming picture taken on the day of their birth, which also shows their faces for the first time.
The photo sees a smiling Sheikh Hamdan holding his newborns, one in each arm, and dressed in all white. “Feels like just yesterday this picture was taken. It’s been one year today,” wrote the royal. “Happy birthday Rashid & Shaikha, and to all the children of the world.”
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, with his grandchildren. Photo: Instagram.com/faz3
Previous photos shared by Sheikh Hamdan show him spending his time outdoors and sharing his love for animals, especially horses, with his children. While one post sees the children hanging out with their father and looking at giraffes, another saw them gently reaching out to horses. “Training and education should start early on,” the Crown Prince had captioned a photo taken with their Godolphin steed. “Rashid and Shaikha came to see Adayar & wish him the best!”

Below, take a look at more photos of Sheikh Hamdan with his children.
Photo: Instagram.com/faz3
Photo: Instagram.com/faz3
Photo: Instagram.com/faz3
Photo: Instagram.com/faz3
Photo: Instagram.com/faz3
Read Next: Sheikh Hamdan Launches Initiative to Reduce Plastic Waste By Using Refillable Water Stations

19 Outdoor Deals to Shop at The REI Anniversary Sale 2022

19 Outdoor Deals to Shop at The REI Anniversary Sale 2022

Summer is well on its way, and with the rise in temperatures, we’re seeing prices drop—especially at the REI Anniversary Sale, which is begins Friday, May 20. From now through Memorial Day (May 30), you’ll find up to 30% off on everything you need for outdoor adventures, from running to camping to doing nothing at all. This is the biggest sale of the year for the outdoor retailer, so you won’t want to miss out.The REI Anniversary Sale is a great time to stock up on fitness, camping, hiking, and recreation essentials, including moisture-wicking running shorts, water bottles, hiking boots, and backpacks from best-selling brands like Osprey, The North Face, and Hydro Flask. You’ll also find serious discounts on Garmin fitness trackers, Nathan hydration vests, Smartwool socks, and so much more.REI Co-op members will get to enjoy even deeper discounts with exclusive coupons. For the duration of the Anniversary Sale, members can take 20% off one full-price item in stores or on REI.com, and an extra 20% off any REI Outlet item. Interested in an REI membership but don’t have one? It’s easy to join with a lifetime membership after paying a one-time fee of $30. And if you sign up during the Anniversary Sale you can take advantage of those members-only promo codes. Of course, there’s a lot to sift through in the sale section, so we’ve done some digging for you and highlighted some of the best deals you can grab at the REI Anniversary Sale right now, for REI members and non-members alike. Read on for fantastic discounts on outdoor gear and clothing, while supplies last.All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The 14 Best Backpacks for Camping, Backpacking, and Day Hiking

The 14 Best Backpacks for Camping, Backpacking, and Day Hiking

The best backpacks are versatile pieces of outdoor gear—and every devoted outdoor enthusiast probably has at least two stored away in their gear closet. They’re necessary for multiday backpacking trips but also come in handy when you’re driving to your campsite. When it comes to camping backpacks, we separated them into two categories: Backpacking packs (which normally holds things like a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tent) and backpacks for day hiking and camping (that don’t hold overnight gear). Backpacking packs are intended to carry all your gear to hit the backcountry campsites, and packs for day hiking and camping are more for shorter trips like car camping and day hiking. Read on for our top picks for backpacking trips, camping trips, day hikes, and other outdoor adventures. Best Packs for Backpacking If you’re planning a trip into the wilderness, you’ll need a backpacking pack. Backpacking packs are different from standard backpacks because they have a larger carrying capacity and feature more complex suspension systems that consist of sternum straps, load lifters, compression straps, and hip belts. You can adjust all of these straps to disperse the pack weight across your torso and hips so that you can hike for miles in comfort with a lot of gear on your back. Size and features ultimately come down to personal preference, but here are a few factors to consider: Fit: “Fit and comfort are key to any backpack,” says Jonathan Smith, founder of CamperGuide, because if you don’t achieve the correct fit it will be “harder for you to carry your load.” Smith measures his torso length and hip-width prior to buying a pack to achieve the correct fit. You can compare your measurements to pack measurements online. Addis suggests that when you order online you purchase from a store (like REI) that “has a good return policy,” so you can try the bag on at home with weight in it. “You won’t know if it works for you until you try it with weight in it,” she explains.Gender-Specific Design: Not everyone will need a gender-specific backpack, but they can be incredibly beneficial to achieving the right fit. “A lot of the backpacks I tried were unisex and just didn’t fit my back properly,” explains  Carys Rees of This Girl Walks. “So I tried an Osprey one specifically designed for women, and it was an absolute game-changer.” Many brands design women-specific backpacks with hip belts and harness systems designed with women’s proportions in mind.Liter Capacity: The first thing to consider when deciding your pack capacity is “how many days you’re going for and if you will need a bear can or not,” explains Kristin Addis, owner of the women’s travel blog Be My Travel Muse. (A bear can is a plastic bearproof canister that you’ll need in destinations like Yosemite. They take up a lot of space in a pack.) Generally, 65 liters will be a great option for most casual backpackers. It’s a versatile size that will allow you to go on weekenders to week-long trips. However, if you are trying to go ultralight, have super packable gear, or just want to go on overnight trips, you can opt for a 45- to 55-liter pack.Features: Decide your priorities and reference what type of gear you have. Pockets will allow for maximum organization and are crucial if you backpack with water bottles instead of hydration bladders, but these features add to the pack weight. Ultralight backpackers may prefer a more simple design.Osprey backpacks have almost a cult following, constantly topping “best of” lists. “My favorite backpacking pack for shorter trips is Osprey’s Atmos AG 50 (the women’s equivalent is the Aura AG 50),” says Scott Cundy, cofounder of the Wildland Trekking Company. “It’s large enough to handle a four- to five-day trip, has a built-in rain cover (brilliant!), comfortable suspension, and a great selection of pockets for organizing gear.” AmazonOsprey Aura AG 50 Backpacking BackpackA personal pick of mine is the Kelty Coyote backpack. I worked as a backpacking guide for years in various climates—from Yosemite to Olympic National Park—and my go-to pack was always the Kelty Coyote. It’s durable, has tons of pockets for quick access, and is incredibly comfortable for all-day wear. It’s worth noting that, as a guide, my pack regularly weighed over 60 pounds. It’s the perfect pack for the ultra-organized backpacker who likes to have a place for everything.Smith uses Gregory packs because they are “sturdy and will surely last you a lifetime.” The new Gregory Facet 45 is the perfect blend of functionality and ultralight design. It weighs in at an impressive 2.5 pounds (for reference, other packs on this list are almost five pounds) but doesn’t skimp on the features that backpackers crave. It has a cushy hip belt and a side-access water bottle pocket so you don’t have to take off your pack to take a sip. Best of all, the zippered hip belt pocket is large enough to stow your cell phone. This internal-frame pack is perfect for multiday treks when you need to go the distance. A hidden zipper provides quick access to the main compartment of your pack, which is a super handy feature if you ever stash your rain jacket in the middle of your pack. Ripstop nylon allows you to toss your pack onto rocks without thinking, and the removable top lid converts to a fanny pack or crossbody pack if you need a day pack for hikes from camp.REIGranite Gear Blaze 60 PackIf you struggle to find a comfortable pack, the Aircontact line features an ergonomic design that will change your perception of backpacking packs. It’s all about customization: You can use the straps to fine-tune and achieve the perfect fit. Plus the breathable back panel is made of open-cell foam to maximize airflow and keep you cool. The interior pocket is compatible with most hydration systems, and the front attachment points allow you to stash trekking poles when you’re not using them.REIDeuter Aircontact Core 45 + 10 SL PackLong adored by thru-hikers, the ultralight packs from ULA are garnering attention from casual backpackers too. While it won’t carry the heavy loads of other packs on this list, it’s ideal for backpackers who try to keep their pack weight under 30 pounds. It has a giant mesh front pocket so you can stow layers and incredibly roomy side pockets that can each fit two one-liter water bottles. While most ultralight gear has the reputation of sacrificing durability, this backpacking pack is made with high-quality technical materials that will last you thousands of trail miles. Addis runs women’s backpacking trips around the world and uses REI packs for all her guiding. “I find the REI bags stand the test of time. I have both the 35- and 70-liter bags,” she tells SELF. “They don’t have many bells and whistles but they are well-made. I’ve taken mine on more than 20 multiday backpacking trips and nothing has ever broken.” The REI Flash backpacking pack is a great option for backpackers who go on a variety of trips, from overnights to longer treks, due to the roll top design that lets you cinch down the pack when you don’t fill it to the brim. The ventilated back panel helps you wick away sweat, and the removable shoulder strap allows easy access to a phone or snacks. It also has a water-resistant lining on the top lid and pockets, but if you get drenched you’ll still need to pair this pack with a rain cover.REIREI Co-op Flash 55 PackWe know we already included Osprey’s most popular model, but we couldn’t help throwing another into the mix. The Renn 65 is a great entry-level pack that comes at a more affordable price point. Rees uses this pack because it “has lots of pockets, an adjustable torso length, brilliant ventilation to stop my back from getting too sweaty, and is fairly lightweight for its size.” REIOsprey Renn 65 PackBest Packs for Hiking and Camping If you’re car camping, backpacks are a great way to transport gear. Whether your camping trips consist of hiking to the nearest peak, swimming in an alpine lake, or just lounging in your favorite camp chair, you should consider one of the following options.This do-it-all day pack is perfect for day hikers, climbers, or campers. The exterior is sleek and streamlined so you don’t need to worry about it getting snagged on a tree branch, and the clamshell top lid makes it intuitive and easy to pack your hiking gear. It’s big enough for long hiking days yet compact enough to take up minimal space in your car.For days when you’re camping by a lake or near the beach, a backpack cooler is a great option. The Hydro Flask 20L Day Escape Soft Cooler backpack is the ultimate companion for camping. It can fit 36 cans (without ice), has a stretchy side compartment for a water bottle, and is way more comfortable than lugging around a heavy hard-sided cooler. It’s also light but cushioned enough that you can use it as a standard backpack when you don’t need cold bevies. Photographers need a backpack designed to keep camera gear secure while hiking and camping, and outdoor photographer Daniel Gajda uses this bag from F-stop because it is one of the best on the market. “I love it because it is super durable, has an incredible organizational system, and has plenty of straps on the outside to strap anything and everything to,” Gajda explains. But it also has comfortable shoulder straps and a hip belt to help you lug your camera gear wherever your hike takes you. B&Hf-stop AJNA DuraDiamond 37L Travel & Adventure Photo BackpackPurses aren’t an excellent camp accessory because you need something a little more durable that can withstand some rough terrain or weather at camp. This mini backpack works as a great alternative to a purse for easy camping. Topo Designs is perfect for carrying—and keeping track of—your small goods, like a wallet, phone, car keys, and chapstick. It’s designed with the outdoors in mind, as it’s made of water-resistant, 420-denier nylon. Plus it has side compression straps to cinch it down and an internal padded pocket big enough for a tablet so you can watch movies in your tent. AmazonTopo Designs Rover Pack MiniIf you plan on camping or hiking in rainy weather, it helps to have a seriously waterproof hiking backpack. This minimalist daypack does the job well. It has a roll top closure seen on dry bags and a front zipper pocket (also waterproof!) to store smaller items. The full suspension system is comfortable with an adjustable sternum strap to disperse the load weight. If you’re bad at packing light, you may want to consider packing a duffel bag for your next camping trip. But traditional duffels are heavy and awkward to carry. This Cotopaxi duffel carries in two ways—just stow away the carry straps, break out the backpack harness, and throw it over your shoulders. While we wouldn’t take this on a hike (there is no suspension system), it’s perfect for carrying your gear around at camp. There’s even a mesh pocket so you can separate your dirty laundry or shoes from your clean clothes.AmazonCotopaxi Allpa 50L Duffel BagRelated Reading:

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