10 Gear Upgrades for Every Kind of Backpacker
These innovative technical pieces make wilderness camping more fun and less work
Backpacking is not what it used to be—and we mean that in a good way. Thanks to advancements in everything from poles to packs to pads, you can customize your kit to whatever specifications you desire, whether you’re a gram-counting fast-packer or a backcountry gourmet.
MSR Thru Link Inline Water Filter ($40)
Compact and simple, this device clicks into any hydration reservoir to turn it into a filtration system.
Hydro Flask Trail Series Ultralight Titanium Bottle ($100)
This 21-ounce insulated bottle is backcountry light but still keeps beverages cold or hot for hours.
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Poles ($180)
With a full-carbon shaft, an ergonomic grip, and updated aluminum locks, each of these poles weighs just 8.6 ounces.
Sierra Designs Granby Pad ($100)
Synthetic insulation makes the Granby a light three-season pad, and it packs down to the size of a burrito.
Helinox Chair Zero ($120)
In terms of comfort to weight, it’s impossible to top this one-pound chair.
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent with Mtnglo Lights ($500)
Twenty-five LEDs in the overhead seam make nights more fun. The 3.5-pound Copper Spur’s other upgrades include a tear-resistant fabric and vestibules that transform into awnings.
Icebug Rover RB9X GTX Shoes ($160)
The Rover is a low-rise speed hiker with a Gore-Tex membrane and no-tie Boa lacing. The result is stable, durable, and comfortable enough for long, loaded hauls.
Therm-a-Rest Corus 20 Quilt ($280)
We shaved ounces and still stayed warm with the Corus. The 650-fill quilt uses hydrophobic down that absorbs less water and dries faster than non-treated down. A foot box slips over your pad to eliminate drafts.
Gregory Maven 55 Pack ($230)
The 3.4-pound Maven features a hybrid suspension system that hits a happy medium between overstructured and ultralight. A back panel keeps the pack close and stable, and features cross-cut venting for maximum air flow.
Fjällräven Abisko Midsummer Trousers ($145)
The Abisko was designed with gram-counting, warm-weather hikers in mind: it’s made from breathable recycled polyester and organic cotton, with articulated knees, side ventilation, drawcord cuffs, and four pockets.