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Gear doesn’t always deliver real storm insurance, but this 2012 Editors’ Choice Award-winner proved reliable in rain and wind, offers two doors and vestibules—and weighs less than four pounds. Plus, it packs up small so—when split between two campers—it will easily slip into your weekend packs. (Tip: One person packs the canopy, while the other takes the fly, poles, and stakes.)
$239; 3 lbs. 14 oz.; llbean.com
This pack is actually a two-fer because it’s light enough that you won’t begrudge it for a quick weekend jaunt (especially if you remove the 15-liter toplid), yet it can also handle longer and heavier loads. It’s comfortable, well-organized, well-ventilated, and it won’t kill your budget.
$185; 3 lbs. 7 oz.; 50 liters; deuter.com
Warm right down to its 30-degree rating and similar in packed size to a pitcher of beer, this 700-fill down (on top) and synthetic fill (on bottom) hybrid is a good buy. Best for sturdy types (the shoulder girth is a generous 63 inches), this bag also proved very durable after our tester hammered over a half dozen trips in sandstone country. $180; 2 lbs. 6 oz.; 30°F; milletusa.com
Cut moleskin or duct tape, fix a busted tent pole, or just spread some peanut butter. This tool does it all, and it’s so svelte it doesn’t require a belt holster like so many other fully-featured multi-tools. Just slip it in your pocket and it’s there when you need it. And you will need it. $60; 4.4 oz. leatherman.com
This tiny powerhouse topped our most recent headlamp review for its brightness,
affordability, and easy ergonomics. $40; 3.3 oz.; blackdiamondequipment.com
It’s light, packable, efficient, fast. What other adjectives do you need?
$100; 15 oz.; jetboil.com
Zap your water clean in 90 seconds. This UV purifier doesn’t change the taste of your water (like chemicals do) and it requires no time-conuming pumping (like filters). $90; 3.8 oz.; steripen.com
Spring fever is in full tilt. Long, warm days are just around the corner (they are, right? They have to be!) and we’re getting ready to kick our planning into high gear. With that in mind, we’ve put together 7 pieces of gear that are perfect for weekend backpacking trips.