Ultralight Backpacking

Carry a featherweight load without leaving comfort behind.

May 5, 2009
Outside Magazine
Ultralight Backpacking Gear

   Photo: Photograph by Shana Novak

1. POLES The carbon-fiber shafts of Komperdell's C3 Carbon Duolock keep the weight of each pole to a mere seven ounces, yet on the trail they feel as sturdy as anything else. $160; komperdell.com

2. PACK At 2.5 pounds, Osprey's Exos 58 is half the weight of most weekend packs, but its solid suspension easily handled more than 30 pounds of gear. $220; ospreypacks.com

3. SHELL The North Face's 5.4-ounce, waterproof-breathable Triumph Anorak is just enough jacket to get you through a summer storm. $180; thenorthface.com

4. TENT The numbers shouldn't add up, but somehow Big Agnes's Copper Spur UL 2 boasts 29 square feet of floor space and a liberal 42 inches of headroom but weighs just 3.4 pounds. $400; bigagnes.com

5. BOOTS With a Gore-Tex membrane and a high cut, Inov-8's flexible Roclite 390 GTX is a real boot. But at 14 ounces, it weighs about as much as your trail runners. $160; inov-8.com

6. BAG Because it's stuffed with ultra-compressible (and lofty) 850-fill down, Marmot's 30-degree Hydrogen packs smaller than a loaf of bread and weighs less than 1.5 pounds. $320; marmot.com

7. PAD There are lighter pads on the market, but Therm-a-Rest's new full-length Prolite Plus is warm enough to use on snow and has the best comfort-to-weight ratio we've seen (1.5 inches thick, 1.5 pounds). $100; thermarest.com

8. STOVE Not only is Primus's 15-ounce EtaExpress more efficient than lighter stoves (so you can carry less fuel); its windscreen allowed the flame to roar while other test burners were sputtering in the breeze. $95; primuscamping.com

9. COOKSET GSI's 21-ounce Pinnacle Dualist packs all the essentials—bowls, mugs, and utensils—into one 1.8-liter pot. $60; gsioutdoors.com

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