Ben Kilbourne

Ben Kilbourne

Title: Gear Tester and Writer

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Social Media Links:

LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Website


  • Topics of Expertise: Backpacking, ultralight backpacking, fastpacking, packrafting, gear reviewing, environment
  • Amount of Expertise: 20 years of backpacking, 10 years of ultralight backpacking, 4 years of fastpacking, 11 years of packrafting, 10 years of gear reviewing, and 4 years writing about the environment. Has authored over 20 essays about the intersection of recreation and environment and over 50 gear review articles, including testing more than 150 pieces of gear for more than 2,500 hours.

Education & Certifications

  • Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Painting and Drawing, University of Utah; Masters of Science, Environmental Humanities, University of Utah
  • Years of Professional Experience Relevant to iRunFar: 12
  • Club or Association Memberships: Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
  • Awards or Recognitions: Ethel Armstrong Rolapp Award for Excellence (BFA), Outstanding Seminar Paper Award (MS)
  • Other Relevant Positions, Current or Past: Contributing writer for Backpacker Magazine, Backpacking Light, Dark Mountain, and Section Hiker. Podcast assistant producer and co-host with the In Site Podcast.

A Word From Ben Kilbourne

I want to highlight the intersection of recreation and environmental issues to increase environmental awareness in recreation communities, including but not limited to the trail running world. I also try to identify the best gear for particular uses in order to prevent people from buying more than they need, thus reducing consumerism overall. My personal interests include backpacking, trail running, fastpacking, amateur naturalism, music/songwriting, podcasting, painting, and being a community member (in every sense of the word).