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Gear Reviews

The Best Gifts for Ultralighters of 2019

Help them go lighter and faster with these 15 trail-ready gifts.

Buying a gift for someone who likes to pack light and move fast? Don’t make them settle for subpar gear. From a headlamp that weighs less than an ounce to a tried-and-tested trail runner, anyone would be happy to get these 15 presents.

Tarptent StratoSpire LI – $689

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Lightweight doesn’t mean it can’t withstand the elements or lacks features. This two-door, two-vestibule trekking pole tent boasts 45 inches of peak head height with excellent moisture management and protection from winds, all of which weigh in sub 2 pounds. Buy Tarptent StratoSpire LI Now

MSR Titan Kettle

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Call it one kettle to rule them all: This versatile pot weighs less than 5 ounces, but can hold .85 ounces of liquid. Use it as a kettle for teatime, a pot for dinnertime, or a mug for fireside libations. Buy MSR Titan Kettle Now

Petzl e+LITE Headlamp – $23

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Headlamps don’t get smaller than this classic mini model, which runs for up to 15 hours on a single watch battery. Its 50 lumen output is enough to keep you moving after dark, and its tiny size disappears into a pants pocket. Buy Petzl e+LITE Headlamp Now

Altra Lone Peak 4 – on sale for $84

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As the popular wisdom goes, a pound on your feet will weigh you down as much as three in your pack. Keep your shoes feeling fleet with Altra’s updated Lone Peaks. The zero-drop trail runners have become a favorite on the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails, and Altra’s signature Foot Shape design allows toes to splay comfortably. Buy Altra Lone Peak 4 Now

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Versa – $70

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Admit it or not, fanny packs are back. Although this one weighs 2.9 ounces, it doesn’t miss the details. Waterproof with multiple pouches, this can fit everything from first aid to a phone to snacks to drinks and can be worn as a hipbelt or attached to your pack for versatile trail organization. Buy Hyperlite Mountain Gear Versa Now 

CTR Headwall Versatile Glove – $39

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Winter layering can get bulky, and that’s why we love this multifunctioning pair that turn from gloves into mittens with a water- and wind-resistant shell. Even though they’re just 2 ounces, they’re warm and dexterous enough for multiple pursuits. Buy CTR Headwall Versatile Glove Now 

Patagonia Nano Puff Earflap Cap – $59

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It’s your favorite puffy, but on your head. This 3-ounce hat boasts the familiar PrimaLoft insulation and water-repellent polyester ripstop shell, lining and brim for winter weather. The elastic earflaps are a bonus for style and warmth. Buy Patagonia Nano Puff Earflap Cap

Morsel Spork XL – $13

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This 10.5-inch dining tool is more than just a spork thanks to its flexible flat edge spatula and serrated knife edge. The rubber construction keeps it less than 1 ounce—yet strong and durable—for every morsel of food. Buy Morsel Spork XL Now

Backcountry Canyonlands Lighweight Wind Jacket – $100

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Stuff it, cram it, wear it. At just 5 ounces and compressing to the size of an apple, this jacket is built with a weather-resistant, wind-blocking material for protection on its own or paired with another layer. The elasticized cuffs and hood really batten down the hatches. Buy Backcountry Canyonlands Lighweight Wind Jacket Now

Nite Ize Runoff Waterproof Pocket – $30

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Nothing ruins a backpacking trip like wet gear, especially when you’re trying to move fast. Not only does this phone pouch have several attachment points for carrying, it features a smooth toothless zipper and a construction that is dustproof and waterproof for up to 3 feet immersion for 30 minutes. The translucent front even permits phone operation through it. Buy Nite Ize Runoff Waterproof Pocket Now

Stealth Razor Wallet – $55

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Backpackers often opt to leave their full wallet at home to save weight, but this razor-blade thin bifold wallet only tallies an extra .16 ounces. The durable construction is water-resistant and RFID-protected to carry any necessary cards and cash. Buy Stealth Razor Wallet Now 

Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock – on sale for $77

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Get off the ground with this featherweight hammock that sets up in minutes and packs so small, it can get lost in your pack. The breathable fabric keeps you cool on hot nights or lounging around camp after a hard hike. Bonus: Add on a bug net to keep those peaky mosquitoes away. Buy Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock Now

Julbo Aerospeed Segment Sunglasses

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When you are blazing down the trail, you rely on your field of vision to keep you safe. The sub-ounce Aerospeeds have a special photochromic lens that works in both low light and bright sun for optimal vision range. The vented sides help anti-fogging up with air penetration. Shock absorber around the nose translates to comfortable fitting and excellent grip. Buy Julbo Aerospeed Segment Sunglasses Now

Rawlogy Roller Balls – starting at $11

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Roll out quads, calves, shoulders and IT bands while on the trail with these compact massage balls made from upcycled cork. With the smallest weighing just .7 ounce, it’s worth more than its weight when muscle soreness kicks in. Buy Rawlogy Roller Balls Now

Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow – $40

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A backpacking pillow may seem like a luxury, but at a scant 1.6 ounces, the Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow adds big comfort with little weight. A button lets the user fine-tune softness for a custom, and comfortable, night’s sleep. Buy Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow Now