A simple, lightweight design with barely-there comfort.
A bag with down-like features for a fraction of the price.
Score a tent that has it all: low weight and impressive durability, plus ample living space and solid storm protection.
A light and packable miniature lantern.
A stove so compact it's almost not there.
A lightweight pack that doesn't skimp on features
Cross a super-warm bag and a weatherproof bivy and you get the Wraith.
This ultralight sleeping bag packs small but lofts quickly for a warm night.
On day two of the Summer 2012 Outdoor Retailer show, our reader test team tackled ultralight, three-season hiking, and breathability.
Cut weight and boost comfort with the best new ounce-shaving load haulers—tested and rated by tough-on-gear Grand Canyon National Park rangers.
A versatile pack that can be pared down or bulked up depending on your load and the terrain.
A roomy and comfortable ultralight bag.
The Olicamp Xcelerator Titanium was a favorite for our ultralight AT thru-hiker.
See a week's worth of terrain on an epic dawn-to-dusk hike.
Tired of the same old weekend loops? Looking to create memories your grandkids will talk about? In this how-and-where guide, we serve up 15 extraordinary escapes that will shatter your expectations of "normal." From adventure moviemaking to canyoneering, we'll take you places you've never been—but will long to visit again soon.
Ultralight stuff sack and daypack
Pack light and eat well with these two dinner options.
A 12-step program for cutting weight.
These six readers convinced us their gear needed an update! Look for their full makeovers in our January 2012 Readers' Choice issue.
Take our poll, then put your pack on a diet with tips coming in our August
This barely there trail runner has the perfect blend of breathability, support, and durability.
Don't just boil water, cook up a masterpiece
A full-size, three-inch blade that's sharp and light.
A polypropylene/polyester blended baselayer that wicks away sweat.
An extremely light and extremely packable windshell.
A titanium mug and pot/lid set that is super durable and lightweight.
An ultralight sleeping bag with 3.5 inches of loft and an extra-wide torso area
An ultralight poncho/tent with durable 15-denier, siliconized fabric
A 60-liter ultralight frameless rucksack perfect for long weekends
Just because you're sleeping on the dirt doesn't mean you have to be uncomfortable.
An ultralight pack that's under $100...and comfortable.
Ultralight shell pants that protect from snow and cold.
An ultralight softshell that wicks.
Backcountry cooking doesn't have to mean bland.
Quite possibly the world's lightest waterproof stuffsacks
Finally, a canister stove that thrives in cold weather.
A sweet, packable puffy with big warmth
A tee-shirt designed for super-hot weather
An ultralight daypack that fits in the palm of your hand
A great choice for mileage-oriented trekkers who want an ultralight pack that can handle any load.
4 featherweight sleepers for all types of ounce-counters, spring through fall.
It's tough to find the perfect something for everyone. These picks should give you some options.
weighing in at 2 lbs. 6 oz, this ultralight tent fits two with room to spare.
You need a good read on any over-nighter. Just don't pack War and Peace. With these books, you'll stay on the ultralight track.
Packing smart is the easiest way to go ultralight. Use these tips and you'll be set.
If you're planning to try ultralight in the summer, in a rainforest, in the desert, or in an alpine environment check out these must-take lists.
Be ready for humidity; hot temps; storms; bugs galore Look for waterproof/breathable shells; synthetic, quick-drying fabrics; well-ventilated shelters
Expect hot, sunny days; chilly nights; dry conditions; sharp and abrasive terrain Get warm, wicking fabrics; breathable footwear; durable gear; minimalist shelter
Expect intense cold and wind; sudden storm bursts; steep and rocky scrambling. Get down insulation; sturdy shelter; supportive footwear.
Looking to cut shelter weight in half this summer? A featherweight tent is just
Expect torrential rains; wet snow; big temp swings Get synthetic insulation (it's warmer when wet); breathable shells; quick-drying fabrics; waterproof footwear; well- ventilated shelters with big vestibules for gear and cooking
Ultralight defined. Plus, the most popular pieces of gear people either love or hate.
Your pack's excess straps weighing you down? Cut 'em off. Plus how to maximize the gear you do bring.
Leave this gear on the bedroom floor.
Learn what gear to ditch and what to keep so you don't sacrifice comfort. Plus, a little lightweight reading material.
Get started with these three simple tips.
Want to hike farther with less effort this summer? It's easy–just cut your pack weight in half with our foolproof 33-tip plan.
Get outside earlier and faster by taking less with you. Here's how to ditch excess gear and pack light, tasty food.
Going ultralight may be the ultimate get-out-quick scheme: It took me all of 60 minutes to shop and pack for a 5-day hike and all of 10 minutes to pitch or pack up my simple camp.
Pick the gear I can carry on a trip to determine how low one man can go.
These versatile jackets weigh less than a pound and pack smaller than a grapefruit.
Shop smarter, hike farther with this guide to the guts of today's lightest load haulers.
Trim fitting, highly durable, and easily packable, this is one shell you'll never question packing.
With a fleece lining, and Gore Windstopper fabric, chills are blocked and breathability is excellent.
While editors were wringing out their socks, nothing penetrated the Mica's waterproofing.
With a puffy insulated layer and the clean anorak design, this ultralight did the trick in wet Welsh weather.
Make the Eclipse your go-to pack for long treks and backcountry bushwhacks.
The Outdry treatment and ultralight weight mean this hiking shoe will go wherever you do.
For all-around performance, check out this ultralight and super comfortable boot.
For lightweight versatility, lace up this low-cut and supportive shoe.
Hit the trail with this waterproof and ultralight boot from Teva.
Run and hike through any terrain thanks to the sticky outsole of this shoe.
These trail runners are the perfect mix of waterproof and breathable.
If you want the perfect pair of trail runners, look no further than the Gel-Trabuco's.
Vaude created a simple, no-frills pack high on stability with the Versametric Ultralight 60+10.
If you want ultralight, look no further than Deuter's tough and roomy ACT Zero 60+10 pack.
The ultralight Osprey Exos 58 backpack is high in stability and smart features.
Scramble around the trail with Granite Gear's ultralight and stable Vapor Flash backpack.
The Vaude Cross Ultralight Comfort 35 is the ideal lightweight bargain pack for dayhikes or weeklong treks.
The Millet Elevation 30 has everything you want in a pack—stabilty, support, and even wrist loops.
Pack up the weekend toys for your outdoor activity of choice in Marmot's ultralight–and ultra cheap–Alpha 25 backpack.
For dayhikes and light overnights, strap on the simple and smartly configured Deuter Speed Lite 30 pack.
Want rugged? Go for the Crumpler Bumper Issue, a rough and tough pack that takes on narrow slot canyons and unforgiving brush fields.
Run, climb or ski with the low profile Black Diamond RPM pack.
Ultralight meets ultra-comfortable in this roomy sleeping bag.
Shed useless pack weight, not luxuries
The best gear in the world can be worthless in the wrong conditions. That's where Backpacker's Perfect System comes in.
From an ultralight knife to a full-service multitool, prepare for your Survivorman moment. Or lunch.
Save yourself from squinting, and get the most of the view you've worked for with these essential specs.
Packs, tents, boots, and bags--that's easy. Now comes the hard part: Everything else. Below, you'll find our top picks for all the lust-worthy backcountry essentials you'll need to make your trip safe, fun, and simple.
Packs, tents, boots, and bags–that's easy. Now comes the hard part: Everything else. Below, you'll find our top picks for all the lust-worthy backcountry essentials you'll need to make your trip safe, fun, and simple.
You won't go far with sore feet. So our testers went the distance–5,000 miles, to be exact–to bring you the best shoes for every foot and hike.
The secret to a great day outdoors? Start with a great night. Sleep well in all conditions with one of these snooze-tested bags.
You can test-drive a car, but not a tent. So our crew did the shakedown for you, logging 600-plus nights under stars and storms. Here's what we liked.
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack.
The Goal: Hit the trail and forget you're even wearing a pack. The Solution: One of these 30 field-tested vanishing acts.
What to eat when you're one person spending one day on the trail and looking to travel light
Strip off the pounds with our ultralight checklist and hit the trail light as a feather.
Find out what happens when four people hike the 221-mile John Muir Trail in just a week. Then learn how to bag the classic in more sensible lightweight fashion.
No, it's not an oxymoron. You, too, can say buh-bye to endless energy bars and instant rice glop--and eat like royalty for less than two pounds a day.
A 10-step plan for getting your base pack weight under 15 pounds
In 10 days, carrying just 25 pounds, you can pound through the John Muir Trail...happily. Get the plan.
Shave pounds from your whole packing list.
Got a few days off, a pair of healthy feet, and a pain threshold higher than Dean Karnazes? You can (possibly) blaze the length of America's Most Beautiful Trail
An ultralight pack that can hold a sizable load.
Pick up the pace with these lightweight trekking poles.
A compact, superlight canister stove to call your own.
An aluminum cookset that's light in your pack and on your wallet.
A weather- and bug-proof tent of negligible weight.
A spacious ultralight tent that stays dry.
5 ways to get rid of unneeded pounds without buying a new pack
A cookset that will be your new ultralight favorite
The lightest freestanding double-wall tent in the universe.
A pack that cuts the weight without sacrificing the comfort.
A traditional tent with ample room for one.
An economically-priced sleeping bag that's one sweet deal.
Capture every backcountry moment with this wafer-slim digital camera
Slash weight, not weather protection, with this year's top new ultralight tents.
Introducing a new breed of synthetic boots: fast, nimble, and surprisingly supportive.
Multi-use cookware fit for gear geeks, geniuses, or anyone willing to sacrifice soup for space.
This upgrade suits the fastpacker's need for a roomy, bugproof tent during hot and humid nights.
Cram all of your stuff and your hiking partner's five extra bags of gorp into this light daypack.
This ultralight weekender stabilizes any load
Carry less, enjoy the cold months more with the latest four-season tents, gloves, hats, and gaiters.
3 surefire ways to light a reluctant fire
They kill swiftly and silently. They flit like ghosts through enemy forests. And they will brew you a fine cup of cowboy coffee. Meet America's deadliest hikers as we hump ruck with the Special Forces.
The One-Pan Gourmet shows how to eat like a king.
No frame, no pain--if you try these simple backpack solutions.
How to acquire your very own Navy SEAL Protective Combat Uniform.
This trick will help you find just what you're looking for in the dark.
This classic snack offers more then just a tasty treat for backpackers.
No need to bring along a big, bulky container for your water in camp when you have this great compact suggestion.
Carrying around those little extras just got easier with this trick.
Determine direction without your compass.
Who would have thought a piece of golf equipment could be really useful to backpackers?
10 surprising uses for your water bottle.
Here's the best way to make a lightweight and inexpensive camping mattress.
A do-it-yourself guide for sewing space-age hats and other performance outdoor gear.
With strong legs and an ambitious plan, you can see more wild country in 12 hours than some backpackers see in a week, and still make it home in time for dinner.
The best ultralight cookers built by BACKPACKER readers.
Nine features that can turn a small sack into your favorite backpack.
Torrential rain and wind expose chinks in our author's ultralight armor, but don't dampen his enthusiasm for the pleasures of unencumbered trekking.
Jon provides first-hand advice for ultralight beginners.
Follow this BACKPACKER reader's tip to get the most out of your candles on the trail.
Try this homemade, ultralight bowl for long distance treks.
Camping without stove or fire gains you freedom, flexibility, simplicity, and compactness, and sometimes a lighter load.
While hiking light may seem like a new trail trend, nearly 20 years ago, many outdoor manufacturers were beating the ultralight drum.
How light can you go? Six friends face off to determine whether carrying less gear makes you half as macho, or twice as smart.
Consider these points when deciding if an approach shoe is right for you.
A techno-packer and a yard-sale minimalist go stride for stride to find out what kind of equipment is best for a good time. Or more importantly, does it really matter?
Putting the Ray Jardine ultralight way to the test.
He rocked the world of climbing, challenged the accepted wisdom in sea kayaking, and now Ray Jardine turned his renegade way of thinking to backpacking.