Essentials

The Best Gifts for Ultralighters of 2020

Help the gram-counter on your list go lighter and faster.

Ultralighters are, shall we say, different. Not just any old piece of outdoor gear will make them happy; it has to be engineered to match the mile-eating task at hand. Impress the ultralighter in your life with one of these 10 gifts.

GSI Outdoors Halulite Minimalist II — $30

GSI Outdoors Halulite Minimalist II

Even ounce-counters should be able to make hot coffee and oatmeal in the morning. This half-liter aluminum pot heats up quickly and evenly; when you’re done cooking, you can flip the lid and throw on the insulated sleeve to turn it into a mug. Plus, the Halulite Minimalist has grooved measurements on the outside and includes a silicone pot gripper and a telescoping spork that adjusts from 4 to 6 inches. Everything nests together, but still leaves room for a small stove and fuel canister. Buy now at GSI

GoSun Flatware Travel Cutlery Set — $24

GoSun Flatware Travel Cutlery Set

How portable is this cutlery? Well, it collapses down to the size of a credit card (yes, you read that correctly). The 1.4-ounce weight is practically unnoticeable, and the stainless-steel spoon and fork are durable and extend to 5 inches long. Buy now at GoSun 

Ombraz Dolomite — $140

Ombraz Dolomite

Weighing less than an ounce, these staff-favorite armless frames now come with beefier nose pads and built-in side visors for better ventilation, less fogging, and reduced peripheral glare. The new version also has an adjustment cord made from a softer—yet more durable—nylon that never gets caught in your hair. You can customize the style of the Dolomite circular frames with different polarized lens colors. Buy now at Ombraz

Appalachian Gear Company All-Paca Fleece Beanie — $32

Appalachian Gear Company All-Paca Fleece Beanie

Alpaca fleece is not only a sustainable insulator, but the fibers make it exceptionally breathable and grant unmatched temperature management (yup, even better than merino wool). Even though it weighs only 3 ounces, this beanie is also laudably durable, so it’ll last you for years of battling the elements. Buy now at Appalachian Gear Company

Primus Firestick TI Stove — $120

Primus Firestick TI Stove

Windy conditions can put a damper on your trail dinner plans, but the recessed burner on this minimalist stove will keep the flame burning as the gusts swirl around you. And, not only does the titanium stove weigh only 3.1 ounces, but it folds into a tube shape for streamlined packability. Buy now on Amazon

Uncharted Supply Co. Triage Kit — $62

Uncharted Supply Co. Triage Kit

You should never sacrifice safety for weight, but this ultralight emergency kit provides reliability and peace of mind without the usual bulk. A tough, 30-denier nylon exterior protects kit’s contents, which include bandages, zip ties, waterproof matches, and a space blanket. Best part? It weighs just 5 ounces. Buy now at Uncharted Supply Co.

Outdoor Research Thru Gaiters — $39

Outdoor Research Thru Gaiters

These 1.9-ounce gaiters are built for keeping debris out on hot days. The nylon/polyester/spandex material is highly breathable and has UPF 50+ sun protection. The gaiters pull on like a sock, and strike a balance between stretchy and snug to stay in place—even over the heel area—with the shoelace hooks and durable underfoot straps. Buy now at REI

HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX — $170

HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX

This shoe hits the sweet spot between light weight, year-round wearability, and mile-crushing comfort. A Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable lining will keep your feet dry, while the padded cuff and grippy rubber outsole with 5-millimeter-deep lugs add stability and security. Buy now in men’s and women’s at REI

Rab Cirrus Alpine Jacket — $200

Rab Cirrus Alpine Jacket

This jacket will keep you warm even in soggy conditions thanks to a synthetic fill made from recycled water bottles, but it weighs just over a pound. A durable, 30-denier nylon shell with DWR coating enhances the weatherproofing. The Cirrus also has an elastic hood that fits over a helmet, and adjustable hem, and cuffs that stretch over gloves. Buy now in men’s and women’s at Moosejaw

Tracksmith Brighton Base Layer — $88

Tracksmith Brighton Base Layer

This baselayer top keeps things light and airy with its blend of merino, nylon, and polyester mesh around your core, while a closed-knit blend on the sleeves warms the extremities. The seamless construction means no irritation or chafing, even with the close-to-body fit. Buy now in men’s and women’s versions at Tracksmith