Gear Reviews

The Best Budget Thru-Hiking Gear

Thrifty options that get the job done.

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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


This fashion brand actually makes a decent down jacket.

ULA Circuit


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

Tarptent Rainbow


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



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


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

Frogg Toggs Ultra Lite


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