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Gear Reviews

The Best Ultralight Gear from REI's Winter Clearance Sale

Cut down your pack weight but not your bank account with these 7 perfect packs, sleeping bags, tents, and more.

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Cheap and light: The two don’t go together as often as we’d like. If you’re looking to shave pounds off of your pack weight without blowing your budget, waiting for a sale is one sure-fire way to do it. We went through REI’s 2020 Winter Clearance Sale and picked out 7 BACKPACKER-approved products to help you hit your dream pack weight without slimming down your wallet.

Pack: Granite Gear Vapor Trail

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Going light doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort. The proof: This pack, which features a comfortable hipbelt and a stiff internal frame, but weighs in at just 2 pounds, 4.8 ounces. Buy Granite Gear Vapor Trail now for $93 (45% off) 

Jacket: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer and Ghost Whisperer/2

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Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost Whisperer is a well-established favorite, melding 800-fill QShield-treated dry down into a toasty package that weighs under eight ounces (credit the trim cut and lightweight nylon fabric). The Ghost Whisperer/2 takes that jacket and boosts the sustainability with 100% recycled fabric and Responsible Down Standard-certified insulation. Buy Mountain Hardwear Men’s Ghost Whisperer/2 Down Jacket now for $210 (30% off) / Buy Mountain Hardwear Women’s Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket now for $227 (30% off)

Shoes: Altra Lone Peak 4 and Lone Peak 4 RSM

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There’s a reason these lightweight trail runners are so ubiquitous on long trails around the country: These zero-drop shoes and their wide toe box are comfortable as all get-out. The RSM version adds protection from mud, snow, and water, thanks to an eVent membrane. Buy Altra Women’s Lone Peak 4 now for $60 (50% off) / Buy Altra Men’s Lone Peak 4 RSM now for $120 (20% off)

Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite

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Stick this tester favorite in the light-but-comfortable category: It weighs just 8.8 ounces for a regular size, but is plenty plush at 2.5 inches thick. Buy Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad now starting at $105 (25% off)

Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes Pluton UL 40

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“We’ve carried freeze-dried dinners that weigh more than this summer sack,” our reviewer said after trying out this 15-ounce sack. Despite the weight savings, it still packs in nifty features, like a two-way zipper that let us vent on warm nights. Buy Big Agnes Pluton UL 40 now for $262 (25% off)

Pack: Exped Lightning 60/45

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This adjustable toploader lugged everything from tents to skis (via external lash points) for our winter adventures, yet weighs in at just a hair over 2 and a half pounds; the women’s version is on sale now. For men, the 45-liter version shaves off an additional ounce. Buy Exped Lightning 60 now for $172 (25% off) / Buy Exped Lightning 45 now for $129 (35% off)

Tent: Nemo Spike 2P

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One quick way to ditch weight: Ditch your tent’s floor. The Spike does just that, keeping trail weight down to a slim 1 pound, 10 ounces for this two-person shelter. Unlike other floorless tents, however, the Spike has built-in skirts to help keep water and blowing snow outside. Buy Nemo Spike 2P now for $162 (35% off)

BACKPACKER takes gear reviews seriously; the products in this article were chosen without input from sponsors. Read our affiliate policy here.