We Just Got a Sneak Peek at Next Year’s Coolest Ultralight Gear
Our favorite weight-saving products from this month’s Outdoor Retailer show
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Outdoor Retailer—the industry trade show where manufacturers show off new designs for everything from socks to tents to kayaks—took place in Denver early August. While the show was smaller than previous years due to the pandemic, we still managed to get the lowdown on some interesting new ultralight gear to share with you We have yet to test these products, but as they’re at the vanguard of cutting weight for the gram-conscious hiker, we’re excited to try them out.
Rab Phantom Pant
Rab was among the larger companies at the show, and while not widely known for ultralight gear, it’s adding some neat-looking pieces to its collection for 2022.
The Phantom Pant is a 2.7-ounce, ultrapackable, waterproof/breathable pant, the compliment to the Rab Phantom Pull-on, which we gave an Editors’ Choice Award to in 2020. Like the pull-on, the Phantom Pant is made from 2.5-layer, 7-denier Pertex Shield fabric with stretch and articulation built in. It has a lower leg gusset with a snap fastener at the cuffs to make the pant easy to slip on and off over trail shoes. The Phantom Pant packs down smaller than a baseball, and will retail for $140.
Vargo Sierra Magna
Vargo, which is known for making ultralight titanium products, is expanding its line with a new selection of camping cups with slanted sides and graduated measurements. The Sierra Magna is a 900-milliliter version; it’s large enough to double as a pot, and weighs just 6.3 ounces. The Magna comes with a strainer lid, adding more functionality for cooking. Its folding handle secures the lid and it has enough space to hold an ultralight stove and fuel inside. It’s out now, and costs $70.
Snow Peak Titanium Aurora Bottle
Hear us out: The Titanium Bottle isn’t the lightest water vessel we’ve ever seen, but it’s one of the most eye-catching. At 5.2 ounces this anodized bottle is right in line with other ultralight drinkware, but where it stands out is the warm, graded hues that adorn the outside of the bottle. In an ultralight gear world where most products lean towards bland aesthetics, it’s a refreshing change. At $129 you will have to pay for those good looks, though.
Komperdell Carbon Cloud Trekking Poles
Komperdell says the Carbon Cloud will be the lightest adjustable, three-section, telescoping pole on the market when it lands next spring. Each pole weighs in at 6.6 ounces, so a pair is much less than a pound. Packed down, the poles collapse down to 26 inches for storage and adjust from 41 to 55 inches. The Carbon Cloud will also feature a foam/cork grip and padded strap. It will retail for $200 per pair.
Klymit Everglow Light Tube
If you’re looking to make camp a little more homey, check out the ultralight Klymit Everglow Light Tube. It certainly isn’t a necessity, but it is a nice piece of light, packable camp gear. The Light Tube weighs just 1.9 ounces and, once inflated with a breath or two, it expands to 18 inches long and 3 inches wide. The tube provides 160 lumens of diffused light via LEDs enclosed in the inflatable housing, which will cast an even glow over your campsite if you’re cooking, reading, or just hanging out. A loop on the back makes the tube easy to attach to a tent roof or to tie to a tree limb with paracord. When deflated and rolled up, it’s smaller than a spice bottle. The Everglow keeps weight low by not including a battery, but it can connect to a power pack via an attached USB-A cord. This product starts at $20 for a size regular, and will be available soon.