Ditching weight means going farther faster.
Sierra Designs High Side I Tent ($280)
This petite 2.4-pound package is a breeze to set up. And even in a windy late-October Arkansas deluge, the featherlight aluminum poles held securely and kept testers dry.
Jetboil Flash Stove ($100)
Faster than ever, the updated Flash can boil half a liter of water in 100 seconds flat. For maximum happiness, order the coffee-press attachment ($10) and enjoy a quickly brewed cup of joe in the morning.
Ortovox Cortina Tunika Sleeveless Shirt ($140)
Fashion meets function in this roomy, Alps-style merino-wool tunika, with enough sleeve to prevent pack straps from rubbing on your shoulders.
Outdoor Research Optimizer Jacket ($399)
Unseasonal 18-degree Minnesota blasts didn’t catch us out in this waterproof-breathable, windproof jacket made from 12.9-ounce Gore-Tex Active.
NEMO Jam 30F Sleeping Bag ($350)
NEMO’s innovative spoon shape isn’t actually for spooning, but it does offer more room for side-sleepers’ knees and elbows. A tapered waist shaves extra weight.
NEMO Tensor 20R Sleeping Pad ($120)
At 14 ounces, the three-inch-thick Tensor is light despite its full size (72 by 20 inches). The 20-denier outer fabric is pleasantly soft and quiet, and low-stretch baffles ensure a stable sleeping surface.
Oboz Sapphire Mid Waterproof Boots ($160)
Oboz’s R&D on women’s fit—supportive arch, low-volume last, roomy toe box—paid off in spades with these light, comfy boots. The proprietary waterproofing is so airtight, we actually sought out puddles.
Gregory Deva 60 Pack ($300)
The 4.7-pound Deva isn’t the lightest backpack we’ve used, but with its generously padded hipbelt, it might be the most comfortable. A detachable daypack makes trail life easier still.
Maloja Pila M. Multisport Pants ($149)
No itchy fabric or androgenous styling here. With four-way-stretch nylon-polyester and a straight-leg design, the Pila excels on long hikes.