Gear Shed

Q:

Help! I need light backpacking gear.

What's the best lightweight gear for a weekend backpacking trip?

Westcomb Specter LT Hoody jacket

Westcomb Specter LT Hoody     Photo: Courtesy of Westcomb

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Arc'teryx Beta SL jacket

Arc'teryx Beta SL jacket

A:It wasn’t that long ago a good rain jacket weighed between 20-22 ounces. No more. Westcomb’s new Specter LT Hoody ($300) weighshalf that, at 11 ounces. And it’s made from eVent, one of new-generation waterproof-breathable fabrics. Or take a look at Arc’Teryx’s Beta SL ($279), which uses Gore's tried and tested PacLite. It’s an excellent light rain piece, although it not great for grubbing around on rock climbs.

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