testing zpacks triplex tent for a featured gear review

Featured Gear Reviews

The Adventure Alan Featured Gear Reviews are comprised of deep dive write ups on a selection of recent and/or highly relevant hiking gear and apparel, with a focus on ultralight models. All of these products come highly recommended. As we publish new in-depth single product content, we will add it to the featured gear reviews section.

For even more gear, including a wide array of micro-reviews, jump over to the All Reviews section.

hyperlite mountain gear unbound 40

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 40 & 55

31.oz oz | $399

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 55 is waterproof, incredibly durable, and similar to HMG’s 3400 series packs in volume, weight, and price. But it delivers a seemingly improved suite of pockets and bonus features that make for a nice little upgrade.

therm-a-rest neoair xlite nxt sleeping pad

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT

12.5 oz | $210

New for 2023, the Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite NXT is currently the undisputed best performance sleeping pad for backpacking that money can buy, and it has no equal. It is statistically superior in almost every way and across all measurements when compared to all other sleeping pads.

hyperlite mountain gear 20 degree quilt

Hyperlite Mountain Gear 20 Degree Quilt

20.1 | $499

Our first sleep system with 1000 fill power down, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear 20 Degree Quilt is unmatched when it comes to materials performance. And weighing only 20.1 oz, it has an incredible warmth-to-weight ratio. This HMG backpacking quilt is one of four ultralight quilts in a league of their own, far surpassing the competition when it comes to raw performance. Its peers are the Enlightened Equipment Enigma, Zpacks Solo Quilt, and Hammock Gear Premium Burrow, and all four are roughly equal in terms of warmth-to-weight.

osprey eja pro ultralight backpack

Osprey Exos Pro 55 & Eja Pro 55

33 oz | $290

New and exciting for 2023, the Osprey M’s Exos Pro 55 & W’s Eja Pro 55 ultralight backpacks are slimmed down versions of their forebears.  They are the best ultralight backpacks from a mainstream outdoor brand, with the comfiest and most high tech frames in their weight class. This is a big upgrade in weight savings from Osprey for a small increase in price. and if you liked the original, you’re sure to love the pro models!

zpacks duplexl ultralight tent

Zpacks DupleXL

20.8 oz | $719

While many similar trekking pole shelters exist, we believe that Zpacks DupleXL is the best overall ultralight backpacking tent design, and a big upgrade over the original Duplex. Constructed with high end, durable, ultralight, waterproof, zero-stretch Dyneema, it rebuffs the weather without sagging and offers a very sturdy dual apex pitch. Compared to its predecessor, the XL boost is a couple ounces heavier for an additional 6″ inch of length to accommodate taller campers. But anyone can appreciate the extra space for gear storage.

HOKA speedgoat 5

HOKA Speedgoat 5

HOKA Speedgoat 5 is the trail runner we love most! We find it to be very comfortable and grippy in all situations, and the fifth edition is a big improvement over the fourth, making it lighter and more breathable. Alan and Jaeger were both hiking in Speedgoats as their trail running shoes of choice for going over snowy passes on the Wonderland Trail in 2022.

jetboil stash stove for backpacking

JetBoil Stash Stove

7.1 oz | $145

The lightest fully integrated stove-pot combo system available! We love Jetboil Stash Stove‘s amazing heat output and fuel efficiency, and how nicely all of the components nest into the pot. This is our go-to stove, and a very smart piece of ultralight backpacking gear. No other stove is this good for backpacking.

hipro 20 backpack


7.5 oz | $18

We’re pleasantly surprised to recommend this $18 super ultralight backpack from a heretofore unknown Amazon brand, HIKPRO 20L. If this sounds too good to be true, then we’re on the same page. But surprisingly, it continues to hold up well and Alan has taken it out on a number of hikes.

enlightened equipment torrid pullover

Enlightened Equipment Torrid Pullover

8.6 oz | $185

This is not a down jacket, but the Enlightened Equipment Torrid Pullover outperforms most down jackets in its price range when it comes to warmth-to-weight ratio.

We’ve been tracking the continuous improvement trajectory of synthetic insulation, and it doesn’t surprise us that the highest warmth-to-weight products are still coming out of the ultralight cottage industry.

arcteryx beta lt jaacket

Arc’Teryx Beta LT Jacket

13.9 oz | $450

If you’re looking for the burliest waterproof hiking rain gear money can buy, the Arc’teryx Beta LT Jacket is for you. This what we would wear for hiking into a torrential downpour, and we would feel safe and confident in doing so because it’s totally bomber. Everything about the design in premium. We just wish it was a bit lighter.

Adventure Alan Featured Gear Reviews Conclusion

We hope you’ve found something you like in our featured gear reviews. Stay tuned and check back often as we’ll be adding more content to this section. Happy hiking!


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