Great Backpacking Gear

2020 Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent beside a lake

Staff Picks | Best Backpacking Gear 2022

Our Staff selects the best backpacking gear in existence


If you’re looking for the best backpacking gear in existence, then you’ve come to the right place. In this list, you’ll find the lightest, smartest, and most innovative products on the market. This is what we take to Alaska, Patagonia, Utah, Appalachia, and everywhere in between. It’s what we recommend to our closest friends, and it’s what we recommend to you if you want to improve your experience in the backcountry. Depending on the item, we may provide one to four options, taking into account different environmental needs, personal preferences, and budgets. Happy trails!

Read More…

lightweight backpacking gear - hiking gear

Ultralight Backpacking Gear List | 9 Pound 2023

Nine pounds of backpacking gear is all a hiker needs to be safe and warm. So, if you want to reduce pack weight without reducing comfort, look no further! The hiking gear in this guide is suitable for all 3-season conditions on trips around the world, from Alaska, to Patagonia, to Utah. Simply put, it’s better backpacking gear.

6 Pound Practical Lightweight Backpacking Gear List

5 Pound Practical Ultralight Backpacking Gear List

Looking to reduce backpack weight to the absolute minimum? Then you’ve come to the right place. This ultralight backpacking gear list has the lightest possible gear that still makes practical sense. If used properly, a five pound ultralight pack will keep you just as safe, warm and dry as heavier, more traditional gear. In fact, the core of this list can be used with great success on most three-season trips around the world.

Ultralight Day Hiking Checklist

Hiking Gear List | 3 Lb Ultralight Day Hiking Essentials

Day hiking is supposed to be fun. And part of the fun is a light pack for easy walking. Unfortunately, most day hiking checklists are way too heavy. But on the other hand, you DO want all the right gear to be safe! So what to do? This ultralight day hiking checklist will help you select the right gear to keep your daypack light, a spring in your step, but still, keep you safe and happy.

More Gear Lists

Best Backpacking Gear of 2023 | Staff Picks

Avoid being on the trail and not having what you need. Here's our top picks for the best backpacking gear in 2023!

Best Backpacking Gear on Amazon Prime

There is a lot of Lightweight Backpacking Gear on Amazon Prime! Here are our top picks for backpacking gear!
couples ultralight backpacking gear for couples

Couples Ultralight Backpacking Gear

Backpacking with a partner? Try these tips for couples backpacking gear & ultralight backpacking gear to make your shared trip the best!

13 Essentials for the Modern Hiker – A Realistic “10 Essentials”

This article proposes a more realistic 13 Essentials that will better keep the modern hiker safe. This is because the Classic 10 Essentials (first proposed in the 1930's) need an update for the 21st Century given the realities of a modern…

Two Great Lightweight Backpacking Gear Lists

These Two Great Lightweight Backpacking Gear Lists, 5 Pound or 9 Pound, will save you a lot of pack-weight but still keep a smile on your face. You will most likely be warmer, more comfortable, and sleep better than most campers carrying 2 to 3 times the weight in conventional/heavier backpacking gear.
6 Pound Practical Lightweight Backpacking Gear List

Techniques for Ultralight Backpacking

The lightest gear that still makes sense! Whatever you like to do: enjoying great views, photography, swimming in a lake, fishing, getting some extra camp time, or just putting in some trail miles this efficiency focused, 5 Pound Practical Lightweight Backpacking Gear List will give you more time to do it.
adventure alan looks out on the AT using a 5 lb super ultralight gear kit

Practical Light Gear List Appalachian Trail

Just how light can you go on backpacking gear for the AT and still be an efficient hiker? I believe this "Practical Light Gear List Appalachian Trail" is very close to the lower weight limit of gear to efficiently walk long days on the AT without sacrificing comfort, functionality or miles hiked per day. My goal is a sub 12 pound total pack weight (gear, food, water & fuel) to do a ~100 mile section of the AT without resupply.

8 Pound – Appalachian Trail Gear List

A three season (spring, summer, fall) Appalachian Trail Gear List This gear list is fine tuned to the climate and terrain of the Appalachian trail rather than the more generic 9 Pound – Full Comfort – Lightweight Backpacking Gear List which…

7 pound Ultralight Gear List for Sierras – circa 2001

At under $700, this is a good example of how you can assemble a great kit of light gear for not too much money—even tho it's over 10 years old. While much of the gear on this list not the latest model, there are current inexpensive analogs…

2.4 Pound Extreme Ultralight Backpacking on the Appalachian Trail

, ,
2016 Update: I have redone this with a a new post "5 Pound Practical Ultralight Backpacking Gear List" which I believe is a far better approach to light on the AT. This new gear list is both light and practical. It can be used by many AT…

30 Pound Weight Savings for Lightweight Backpacking

Food and food storage: 6.5 lbs (5.2 lbs food, 1.3 lbs bear cans) The biggest weight savings of the trip and nobody went hungry. Again the greatest weight savings was in food. See below. Clothing:  5.5 pounds Less clothes, no Polarfleece,…

4.7 lb Super Ultralight Pack in the Sierras

, ,
A 15 lb pack (with food & fuel) for 7 days in the High Sierra It’s been six years since Colin dropped 30 pounds from his pack. Time to drop some more pack-weight! Once again the brothers and their sons ventured into the Sierras…

Utah Canyoneering 2009 – Ultralight Backpacking and Canyoneering

, ,
Down to the Canyons of Utah - Another year of the spiritual spaces and beauty of the canyons and mesa. With a focus on photography.

Packrafting Alaska 2013 – Talkeetna & Susitna Rivers

A 100 mile rafting and backpacking trip from the headwaters of the Talkeetna River to the town of Talkeetna via the Talkeetna and Susitna Rivers. Route: Bush plane drop at the headwaters of the Talkeetna River. Float Talkeetna R to Prairie Creek. Heinous bushwack out of the Talkeetna River and cross the plateau to the Susitna River. Another challenging bushwack down to Gold Creek on the Susitna. Then float the Susitna to the Town of Talkeetna.

1999 Sierra Trip – Discussion of Weight Savings

, ,
Killer Packs - Never again! Good planning (e.g. having a light pack) can make or break a backpacking trip, especially with kids. I found this out the hard way when I took my kids on their first extended trip to the high Sierra. Our experiences sparked my interest in ultralight backpacking

1999 Sierra Trip – Photos & Narrative

, ,
This was a fantastic trip! Even a heavy pack can't spoil the incredible Sierras. Fabulous scenery, rugged routes, solitude, remote campsites, and great fishing. Please look at the photos of this trip as they say a lot more than anything I can write.

Text Summary of Weight Savings 1999 to 2001

All weights savings are per person Food and food storage: 6.5 lbs (5.2 lbs food, 1.3 lbs bear cans) The biggest weight savings of the trip and nobody went hungry. See a special note on food and food storage. Clothing:  5.5 pounds Less…

Table of Weight Savings from 1999 and 2001

A savings of 30 pounds in 1999 - His pack was 55 pounds in 2001 - His pack was 25 pounds Sierra trip comparison 1999 and 2001 (Note: this is not a complete list) Note: 1999 trip had 3 people. 2001 trip had 4…