The Best Budget Thru-Hiking Gear

Thrifty options that get the job done.
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Thrifty options that get the job done.

Sometimes, your dreams are just bigger than your budget. The good news: You don't need expensive or top-of-the-line gear to hike a long trail. Get going with these strong budget picks.

Uniqlo Ultralight Down Jacket

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This fashion brand actually makes a decent down jacket.

ULA Circuit

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You can find cheaper packs, but none that offer this combination of price, weight, and comfort.

Tarptent Rainbow

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It’s less expensive than other lightweight tarp options, but still plenty light considering it’s fully enclosed with a bathtub floor.

SmartWater

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It’s tall and skinny, so it’s easy to hold as well as grab out of your pack. Everybody uses one.

Gossamer Gear Nightlight

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“I don’t trust inflatable pads, so I use this torso pad with my feet resting on my pack.

Frogg Toggs Ultra Lite

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Lots of hikers carry Frogg Toggs shells, which are cheap and highly breathable, if not durable.

Enlightened Equipment Prodigy

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At $250 for the down or $160 for the synthetic, they’re as cheap as you’ll find for a quilt of that weight.