Tent, Backpack, Sleep System

ULA Equipment ULTRA Circuit

33.8 oz | $380

Thanks to Challenge UltraX fabric, the most popular pack on the PCT, ULA Equipment Ultra Circuit, it is now lighter weight, more water-resistant, and more durable than ever before. It meets or exceeds all of our preposterously high backpack standards in every regard. The ULTRA Circuit has exceptional weight transfer thanks to its workhorse frame comprised of an aluminum stay plus a carbon fiber and plastic U-shaped suspension hoop. The full suite of massive, best-in-class external pockets grants easy access to gear, including the expansive UltraStretch Mesh front crisscrossed with shock cords. Its decked out with all of the right features, including superb load lifters, easy-to-use buckles, dual reverse pull hip belt adjusters, and a Y-strap top. Read more in our extremely positive, full-length ULA Ultra Circuit Review.

Zpacks Offset Duo

19.7 oz | $799

The Zpacks Offset Duo Tent is the best and most spacious 2P Zpacks brand tent to-date, and one of the very best trekking pole supported tents on the entire market. Offset Duo builds on the success of Zpacks’ flagship Duplex design by increasing its length and width, adding vents, zippered storm doors, magnetic roll-ups, a 32″ end strut, and ingeniously offsetting its trekking pole placement towards the head-end to maximize ceiling space directly above where users sit up. Learn more in our full length Zpacks Offset Duo Review.

Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20

Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20

18.4 oz | $430 

Quilts are the most effective way to sleep in the backcountry, and the Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20 with 950 fill power down and 7d nylon is the single best tool for the job; our pick for best overall quilt. This versatile sleep system offers a stellar warmth-to-weight ratio, cold-spot-preventing U-baffles, A grade materials, and a flawless minimalist design. We strongly recommend this quilt. Truly an excellent piece of ultralight backpacking gear.

NEMO Tensor All-Season Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Pad

14.1 oz | $200

Wow, the NEMO Tensor All-Season Ultralight Insulated is a dang impressive sleeping pad and our new preferred model. With an R-Value of 5.4, and weighing only 14.1 oz, it clocks the highest R-Value-to-weight-ratio among 3-season pads, besting the esteemed Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT, despite being an ounce heavier in total. This is achieved with two suspended layers of thermal mirror film – ultralight insulation, but ultra efficient. You also get the industry standard, ultra comfy 3.5″ thick NEMO Spaceframe baffles and overall quiet sleep experience. What’s more, Tensor’s predecessors had been known for durability issues, but this is solved with the increase to 40d ripstop nylon underside, up from 20d. Great work, NEMO!

AnyGear 7075 Aluminum Tent Stakes

AnyGear 7075 Aluminum Tent Stakes

0.5 oz | $0.66 per stake

The starter stakes that came with your tent are OK. But we prefer these inexpensive & far stronger Y-stakes as they make tent pitching easier and more secure in rocky dirt. The ANYGEAR 7075 Aluminum Stakes have a Y neck and only a single notched rib at the head making them extremely resistant to bending and damage when pounding in with a rock.

Packed Apparel

Zpacks Goose Down Jacket

Zpacks Goose Down Jacket

6.8 oz | $399

The Zpacks Goose Down Jacket blows the hubcaps off competitors like the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer. In particular, it’s almost two times warmer for the weight. This is because it’s filled with top-tier 950 fill power down (and more of it) vs mid-tier 800 fill. And they didn’t skimp on features either. The Zpacks Goose Down Jacket still has a drawcord hood, two pockets, full front zipper, and drawcord hem to seal out drafts. It isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s still a great performance to value ratio costing only marginally more than Ghost Whisperer. Read more in our full-length Zpacks Goose Down Jacket Review.

Enlightened Equipment Visp Rain Jacket

6.4 oz | $250

Choose the Enlightened Equipment Visp Rain Jacket because it is the most breathable ultralight rain shell with an unprecedented MVTR rating of 83,000. The three layer Visp weighs just 6.4 ounces in a unisex size medium, has a very layer-accomodating fit, and comes with most of the bells and whistles including pit zips for even more breathability. The only downside is no pockets, but hey, this is Alan’s preferred rain jacket and we know you’ll love it too!

Zpacks Vertice Rain Pants

Zpacks Vertice Rain Pants

3.2 oz | $149

Fully waterproof, preposterously breathable, and only three ounces, the Zpacks Vertice Rain Pants are top tier rain pants for minimizing weight. Vertice has a breathability rating of 56k, that’s more than than triple Gore-Tex, perfect for high intensity movement. True, this isn’t the most durable pair of rain pants, but we find them to be sufficient for on-trail use and are the current best option for an ultralight gear list.

Senchi Designs Alpha 90 Hoodie Pocket

Alpha Direct Hoodie

~5.0 oz | ~$100

A hoodie made with Alpha Direct fleece is lighter weight, has a higher warmth-to-weight ratio, higher breathable, less water absorption, and a faster dry time than any competing alternative. However, it is also far less durable than average and has zero wind resistance. But they’re basically perfect for fastpacking and super ultralight backpacking. Use it respectfully and pair with a UL windbreaker or breathable rain shell for maximum modularity, versatility, and surprising warmth. Read more in our guide to the Best Alpha Direct Hoodies.

Fox River Fingerless Ragg Gloves

Foxx River Ragg Half-Finger Gloves

1.9 oz | $17

Half-finger gloves like the Fox River Ragg offer a significant dexterity boost for only a modest sacrifice to overall warmth. They can be worn without impeding tasks like pitching a tent, using GPS, or operating a stove. Despite the lack of full coverage, the insulation on the rest of your hand will improve blood flow and circulate warmth to your fingertips. We view this as a worthwhile proposition for backpacking. Any fingerless gloves will do, but these are particularly affordable, durable, and comfortable. Biggest drawback is that the wool-nylon blend is a bit scratchy.

FarPoint Alpha Drifter Cap

Alpha Direct Beanie

.7 oz | $30

Polartec Alpha Direct is the lightest weight and highest warmth-to-weight ratio among all genres of fleece. Therefore, it makes sense to choose an Alpha Direct Hat. Because Apha Direct beanies are only made by Ultralight Gear Cottage Industry brands, we recommend shopping around on Garage Grown Gear. 120gsm is a good fabric weight for this purpose. Also, you don’t need too much hat, considering this kit also has a sun hood, a fleece hood, and a down hood.

Hydration, Kitchen, Bathroom

Katadyn BeFree water filter

Katadyn BeFree Water Filter

2.1 oz | $40

Squeeze-based water filters are where it’s at, and Katadyn BeFree has the best flow and the most usable shape. Critically, the .6L size can be front-shoulder-strap mounted, which is the fastest and most efficient option for drinking from water sources as you pass by. It’s lighter and more compact than Sawyer Squeeze and MSR QuickDraw, albeit slightly less durable.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear The Bottle Pocket

Hyperlite Mountain Gear The Bottle Pocket

1.2 oz | $39

Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s Water Bottle Pocket is high quality, highly user-rated, and good all-around. This model is made with stretch mesh; easier to work with but lower durability. It can fit up to 1L sized Smartwater, but definitely prefers the mid sized models for a more secure fit. It is our current pick for mounting a Katadyn BeFree .6L filter.

Pair of 1L Smartwater Bottles

Pair of 1L Smartwater Bottles

1.2 oz | $2 per bottle

Ditch those heavy Nalgenes for a significantly lighter water storage unit. We prefer to use 1L Smartwater bottles. Incredibly durable for a “single use product,” this thru hiker favorite fits the Sawyer filter and can last an entire season of backpacking or longer. Also works for storing on a shoulder holster, and slides in and out of side pockets better than wide bottles.

MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe

2.9 oz | $85

The MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe is one of the two best stoves money can buy, and our editor’s choice award winner. It features a cupped head for wind resistance, pressure regulation for use in cold and with near-empty canisters, a built in ignitor, fold out arms with good balance, and high BTU output for quick boil times. Combine PRD with a heat exchanger pot to assemble a SuperStove system.

 

Firemaple Petrel Pot

5.7 oz | $24

The new Firemaple Petrel Pot is exciting because it is one of, if not the first standalone heat exchanger pots with built-in stove arm notches. The HX improves stove boil time and fuel economy by trapping heat and blocking wind. It features a superb Tritan plastic lid, with a flip up lid-locking handle. Petrel actually holds 800ml, but 600ml to the conservative fill line. It is one of the very best pots on the market for solo use, and likely the single most compact, held back only by its slightly-too-narrow-to-be-optimal diameter.

Bic Mini Lighter

0.4 oz | $2

Smaller lighters save weight, and are just as good at lighting stoves. The Bic Mini has been with us for decades and is always reliable.

TOAKS Titanium 450ml Mug

2.7 oz | $20

Built with sturdy, ultralight titanium, the TOAKS Titanium Single Wall 450 is our go-to camp mug. It holds 15 oz, is a great value, and may just last forever. Pro tip – ditch the orange mesh bag – you don’t need it.

TOAKS Titanium Long Handle Spoon

TOAKS Titanium Spoon

0.7 oz | $11

It’s hard to imagine any backcountry spoon scoring better user ratings than the TOAKS Titanium. At time of publication it averages 4.7 out of 5 stars on 145 reviews at REI Co-op. The $11 price point is lower than we expect to see relative its ultralight and ultra durable titanium construction. Plus, it features an upward tilted bowl for ease of lifting food out of a meal bag.

Benchmade Mini Bugout Grivory best hiking knife

Benchmade 533-04 Mini Bugout Grivory Knife

1.5 oz | $153

The Benchmade Mini Bugout is lightweight and made with extremely high quality CPM-S30V stainless-steel. Yes it’s spendy, but it stays sharper for longer in the backcountry, making quick work of food prep with a 2.8″ blade. The Grivory handle is lightweight and grippy, and has a secure locking mechanism for sure-fire cutting. Also great as an everyday carry.

Bogler OutdoorCo Trowel

BoglerCo Ultralight Trowel

.5 oz | $18

BoglerCo makes an exceptional ultralight trowel; superior to our previous top pick, the Deuce #2. BoglerCo’s is longer, lighter, stronger, digs better, and is more comfortable to press down on thanks to its plastic top. The serrated edge easily cuts through small roots. This trowel is miles ahead of the classic orange Coghlan’s design.

Zpacks toothbrush

Zpacks Ultralight Travel Toothbrush

.6 oz | $5

Literally any sub-one-ounce toothbrush will get the job done and the Zpacks Ultralight Travel Toothbrush is fine. We recommend avoiding models with half handles.

Navigation, Communication

Nitecore NU25 UL 400 Headlamp

1.6 oz | $37

If you don’t have a rechargeable headlamp yet, now is the time to upgrade. The Nitecore NU25 UL 400 Headlamp is our go-to for super ultralight fastpacking endeavors. But it works just as well as for short backpacks and as an emergency light for a day hiking kit. NU25 has a good battery, basic controls including locking, red or white light, different levels of brightness, and can generate up to 400 lumens of light. The two thin straps are marginally less comfortable than a wider one.

Garmin inReach Messenger

4.0 oz | $300

Garmin inReach Messenger is the latest contender in the satellite communicator genre, and offers best-in-class battery life, signal receptivity, and nearly all of the most desirable features for just $300 and four ounces. As such, it takes our top slot award, narrowly beating out ZOLEO and inReach Mini 2.

Gaia GPS App

Gaia GPS App

0 oz | $40

Available on iPhone or Android, Gaia GPS offers a Google Maps-like experience but pinpoints you on topographic maps with trails and routing. No cell service or internet is required, so long as you download the maps in advance. It’s much lighter, more affordable, and user-friendly than dedicated GPS units. Gaia GPS is our primary backcountry navigation tool, backed up by paper maps. And, if you subscribe to your first year of Gaia GPS by clicking the button below, they’ll give you 20% off! Considering that phone apps are weightless, we think this is some pretty great ultralight backpacking gear.

Nitecore NB10000 Gen 2

Nitecore NB10000 Gen 2

5.3 oz | $60

The Nitecore NB10000 Gen 2 has the best power-to-weight ratio of any 10k mAh battery we researched, and is also the lightest overall. It delivers at least two full 0-100% phone recharges, can charge two devices at once, and has a built-in USB-C port. The carbon fiber casing is lighter weight and superior to metals in cold weather. And the whole thing is water resistant! A clear best-in-class for its category.

Suunto M-3D Compass

Suunto M-3 D Leader Compass

1.6 oz | $65

The Suunto M-3D is a simple and durable lightweight compass with all of the essential features, including declination adjustment. Should always carry along with paper maps as a backup to GPS.

Paper Topo Map

Paper Topo Map

.5 oz | Variable

A paper topo map is still important! We prefer printed topographic quadrangles at 1:24.000. Store in a Ziploc bag. High quality prints can be purchased on waterproof paper. You can also use online mapping software like Gaia GPS or CalTopo to print your maps freely. Nat Geo maps are nice, but heavy.

 

Gear Storage

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Stuff Sack Pillow

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Stuff Sack Pillow

1.7 oz | $59

We love the 9L Hyperlite Mountain Gear Stuff Sack Pillow for dry gear storage and improving quality of sleep. A great 2-for-1 and an ideal piece of ultralight backpacking gear. Constructed with waterproof durable Dyneema, zipper access, and a reversible fleece interior lining for pillow-mode. It gives a lot of utility for 1.7 ounces. The large size fits a puffy better and is comfier to sleep on.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Roll Top Stuff Sack

HMG Roll Top Stuff Sack 25L

1.6 oz | $69

The HMG Roll-Top Stuff Sack in the 25L size capacity is our preferred workhorse dry bag for backpacking quilts and sleeping bag storage. The DCF11 construction is super durable and waterproof, and HMG has paid every attention to detail. The 25L volume is likely a bit overkill for summer, but only weighs .4 oz more than the 10L model, and easily flexes into the colder months without requiring you to buy a larger dry bag to store a 0 degree sleeping bag. If you’re going to splurge on a Dyneema dry bag, choose this one, at this size, because you can use it all year long for many years to come without ever over-compressing your down.

Hyperlite drawstring stuff sack

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Drawstring Stuff Sack

.7 | $50

For storing, organizing, and protecting accessories that you need to keep in exterior pack pockets, we recommend the HMG Drawstring Stuff Sacks. While not truly waterproof due to the drawstring closure, the DCF fabric is waterproof, and the system is protective enough in all but the wettest of conditions. The 4L is slightly larger than a one gallon Ziploc bag, and the 9L is great for storing a heap of accessories.

LOKSAK OPSAK Odor-Proof Barrier Bag 12×20

LOKSAK OPSAK 12×20

0.8 oz | $16 MSRP

Nesting perfectly in an Ursack Major Bear Bag, this giant, ultra-heavy-duty-Ziploc-style bag called LOKSAK OPSAK will keep your food dry when it rains, and prevent smells from escaping when properly closed. A necessary pairing to fully protect your food from the elements and animals. Each bag lasts 1-2 hiking seasons, depending on use.

First Aid, Repair Kit

Homemade First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

2.5 oz | Homemade

The best first aid kits are homemade. Ours typically include some combination of the following: Leukotape, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, benzoin tincture, assorted bandages in different sizes, gel blister cover, 4×4″ gauze pads and gauze roll, neosporin, Benadryl, nitrile gloves, alcohol wipes, Pepto-Bismol, Imodium, caffeine pills, heavy duty pain killer, personal prescriptions, nail clippers, tick removal, safety pin.

If you’re unable or unwilling to make your own first aid kit, these “ultralight watertight” bundles will do in a pinch.

Homemade Backpacking Repair Kit

Repair Kit

1.5 oz | Homemade

Our homemade repair kit includes duct tape, Therm-a-Rest glue dot and patch kit, Tenacious Tape, Krazy glue, alcohol wipes, zip ties, safety scissors, needle, and a spare sawyer gasket. Use floss for thread, and safety pins from first aid kit. We find this is all we need to make small fixes to ultralight backpacking gear.

Worn, Held, Pocketed

HOKA Speedgoat 5

10.3 oz | $155

Our staff pick trail runner! The HOKA Speedgoat 5 is technical, cushioned, very sturdy, and very very grippy, even on challenging terrain. This shoe is great for hiking long days thanks for the comfortable cushion and wide toe box. The average overall width of shoe keeps feet from sloshing about on sloped terrain and provides accurate, stable footfalls. Perfect for everything from casual day hiking to super ultralight fastpacking, and everything in between. Read more in our full-length HOKA Speedgoat 5 Review.

Paka Performance Socks

1.7 | $24

For the ultimate blend of comfort and functionality, pull on a pair of Paka Performance 3/4 Crew socks, our editor’s choice award winning model for hiking socks. They have all of the right features, and are made with a dreamy blend of alpaca wool, Tencel, recycled nylon, and spandex that keep your feet comfortable, thermo-regulated, dry, blister-free, and less smelly, all day long. We’re even prepared to say that alpaca wool is superior to merino.

 

Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Trekking Poles

Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

15.6 oz | $65

Sturdy, lightweight, durable, well-built, the CMT Carbon Fiber Collapsible Trekking Poles for $65 are an incredible deal on ultralight backpacking gear. Marginally lighter options from traditional brands go for $150-$250. These aren’t fancy, but we just can’t stress enough how preposterously good of a value proposition Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are.

Outdoor Research Swift Cap

Outdoor Research Swift Cap

2.5 oz | $30

A simple UPF 50 sun cap gets the job done best. The Outdoor Research Swift Cap is comprised of a lightweight, breathable mesh, with a 3-panel nylon layer on the crown to block the harshest UV. It also has a moisture wicking sweat band and adjustable at the back. We’ve worn this one all around the world.

Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie

Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie

5.2 oz | $75

For a majority of three season hiking, we recommend the Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie. This sun hoody is incredibly light, stretchy, comfortable, breathable, airy, quick drying, moisture wicking, and rated to UPF 15-20 (depending on color). This shirt does it all, and is perfect compliment to an ultralight backpacking gear kit. Pack a sun hoody and you’ll find that you will save weight carrying less sunscreen and also get less sun burns. We’ve worn this shirt around the world and are always impressed. What’s more, it’s built with eco-friendly recycled polyester!

Kuhl Renegade Pants

Men’s Kuhl Renegade Pants

15 oz | $99

There’s so much to like about the Men’s KUHL Renegade Convertible Pants. But most importantly, tons of discreet cargo pocket storage,  immaculate durability for bushwhacking and scrambling, UPF 50, roomy fit, quick-dry fabric, and a dash of stretch for comfort. Our only knock is that they’re a bit heavier than average, but it’s not a huge deal since you wear them rather than carry them.

Womens Kuhl Freeflex Roll-up Pants

14 oz | $99

The Women’s KUHL Freeflex Roll-Up Pants offer spandex-free stretch, which doesn’t sag or bag. But more importantly, they have much sought-after dual cargo pockets on the thighs for handy storage of knickknacks like lip balm or a small tube of sunscreen. As the namesake implies, they have mid-calf snaps for converting into a capri. A functional and flattering design from KUHL. There’s no question as to why these pants get rave reviews.

 

Patagonia Multi Trails Shorts

4.0 oz | $79 M’s | $69 W’s

We love the wearing the Patagonia Multi Trails Shorts because they offer the best blend of stretch, comfort, breathability, and zippered pocket security. This is a great all-purpose pair of shorts that’s particularly good for hiking, but also great for trail running and athleisure. Pro tip – cut the liners out and use your preferred underwear. Read our full-length Patagonia Multi-Trails Shorts Review.

Arcade Belts

Arcade Belts

2.5 oz | $32

Arcade Belts could be a big upgrade for hikers. It’s made of polyester webbing that is soft to the touch and stretchy, so it doesn’t dig into your skin or bite, even when you have it pulled taught. Adjusting this belt is straightforward, the clasp is very secure, it holds tightness, and does an excellent job of keeping pants up. Highly recommended if you’re still using something old, heavy, leather, or otherwise uncomfortable.

Boderry Voyager Black

Boderry Voyager Watch

2.6 oz | $97

Boderry Voyager offers the most bang-for-your buck of any field watch, and nothing else even comes close. This watch combines extremely accurate SEIKO automatic movement with a rugged, Bertucci-inspired titanium case with four o’clock crown, and has nearly all of the most desirable features and performance traits with very few drawbacks. Most major brands would sell a watch of this quality for $300-400, but Boderry, a relatively new Chinese company, offers it for just under $100 on Amazon.

Apple iPhone 15

iPhone 15 Pro

6.6 oz | $999

We have nearly two decades of experience with Apple iPhones and find the battery life, app reliability, user-friendliness, durability, and cameras to be top notch. For hikers, the titanium casing and emergency satellite network SoS feature are great bonuses. The iPhone 15 Pro series is worth investing in over the base model because it offers a 5x optical telephoto zoom, upgraded from 2x. This is important for capturing wild life, faraway hikers, and plenty of other scenes you’re likely to encounter in the backcountry.

Ultralight Wallet Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear list

CTUG Ultralight Wallet

0.5 oz | $16

For storing cards, cash, permits, and other valuables in a reusable, highly water-resistant, slim, zippered case, choose the Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear Ultralight Wallet. We used to use Ziploc bags, but this is wasteful, and they’re prone to breaking. While highly durable and water resistant, this wallet is not seam taped, nor submersible.

Tifosi Swank Sunglasses

Tifosi Swank Sunglasses

1.0 oz | $30

Backpacking is hard on shades. They tend to get scratched, lost, crushed, or otherwise damaged. That’s why we recommend a basic, functional, and more economical option like the Tifosi Swank Sunglasses. They look great and you can replace them without breaking the bank. But you may never have to as they polycarbonate lenses are shatterproof, 20x more impact resistant than glass, and provide 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays. The frames are similarly durable.

Glacier Gloves Ascension Bay

Glacier Gloves Ascension Bay Sun Gloves

1.7 oz | $22

The Glacier Gloves Ascension Bay are our editor’s choice best sun gloves for hiking as they’re the most durable, longest lasting, and least expensive pair in the round-up. The entire Adventure Alan & Co team prefers this model, and we recommend it very highly. It comes in a basic light gray colorway, as well as a cool water camo print with thru-hiker fashion appeal and fisherman functionality.

Luxury and/or Situational Ultralight Backpacking Gear For Warmth, Critters, & Traction

Shamma Sandals Warriors

Shamma Sandals Warriors

6.0 oz | $95

Shamma Sandals Warriors are our editor’s choice best ultralight sandals. They really have it all from tread to Vibram rubber soles, to a secure fit. And they’re also lightest-in-class aside from the Mayfly design, which is much less functional than Shamma’s. This is an impressive sandal to behold in every possible way. We also recommend picking up a pair of power straps, which you may wish to add at your discretion for more intense walking or fording. They add an additional connection point looping around the front of the ankle.

Outdoor Vitals Highline Thermal Ultralight Gear Fleece Leggings

Outdoor Vitals Highline Thermal Leggings

3.5 oz | $80

Thanks to their exceptionally low total weight and high warmth-to-weight ratio, the sub four ounce Outdoor Vitals Highline Thermal Leggings have become our preferred camp legwear for cool weather use. The brushed interior surface of these ultralight fleece tights makes them soft, cozy and warm. The TORAY fabric is 100% polyester, which has sufficient stretch and zero elastane to slow down dry time. Their only feature is the gusseted mesh crotch, but that’s fine by us! Note, these run small, so size up if in between.

Sea To Summit Mosquito Head Net

Sea To Summit Mosquito Head Net

1.0 oz | $15 MSRP

Weighing only one oz and totally bug-proof, you barely notice the Sea to Summit Mosquito Head Net. Yet in early summer, it might be the hardest working piece of ultralight backpacking gear you carry. It’s comfy see through, and outperforms bug repellent sprays and lotions. We like the version treated with InsectShield permethrin to further ward off mosquitos. This is a must-bring in June and July in the mountains.

Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent

Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent

0.5 oz | $10

The efficacy of DEET without harsh chemicals. Sawyer Picardin Insect Repellent is our go-to skin protection against mosquitos and ticks. We prefer the lotion to the spray-on, which lasts 8-14 hours. And you don’t need to carry much, since you’re only applying once or twice per day. Buy the 4 oz container and decant half an ounce into an empty hand sanitizer bottle. That’s more than enough for an entire hiking season.

Ursack Major Bear Sack

Ursack Major Bear Sack 10L

7.6 oz | $90

Unless a canister is strictly required by land management, we always prefer the Ursack Major Bear Sack, now made with ballistic grade Spectra. It’s lightweight, comfy to carry, and does actually protect your food in the overwhelming majority of bear encounters. We recommend pairing it with the Loksak Opsac bag as a smell-proof, waterproof, liner system. When full, it holds about 4-5 day worth of food.

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent

11 oz | $48

Much like first aid, bear spray is one piece of gear you never want to have to use. Counter Assault Bear Deterrent has been the gold standard in scaring off curious ursine for decades now, and we trust this product. The lock mechanism is very secure.

 

Kahtoola MICROspikes

Kahtoola MICROspikes

11 oz | $75

Often copied but never equaled, the Kahtoola MICROspikes are the go-to option for walking on steep snowy and icy terrain. They have incredible traction, last forever, and are the preferred option of PCT thru hikers in the Sierra Nevada mountains during high snow years.

C.A.M.P. Corsa Ice Axe

C.A.M.P. Corsa Ice Axe

7.1 oz | $120

For periodically ascending steep-but-non-technical snowy passes and peaks, the ultralight C.AM.P. Corsa Ice Axe is all you need. It serves the primary purposes of self arrest and acting as balance point, while also saving more pack weight than any other ice axe when stowed. We think it’s the best ice axe for hiking and backpacking.

Table Format 9 lb ultralight backpacking gear list

Adventure Alan’s 9 Pound Ultralight Backpacking Gear List

Bonus Material

Want to see more recommendations per item? Check out our Staff Picks Guide to the Best Backpacking Gear.

Want to go even lighter? Check out our 5 Pound Super Ultralight Backpacking Gear List.

Carry your weight comfortably with our guide to the best backpacks for backpacking.

Stay dry with our guide to rain jackets for hiking.

Stay warm with our guide to down jackets and pants for backpacking

9 Pound Ultralight Gear List Conclusion

As you’ve now read, this is a true ultralight backpacking gear list with a sub 10 lb base weight. From dry storage to first aid, we’ve counted every single gram to compile a true guide for those looking to shave pack weight. While fancy, ultralight gear is a factor in this guide, the ethos of minimalism also drives this list. Everything you need to stay warm, dry, comfortable, and safe while backpacking is included here for 3 season trips.

If you have any questions about any of the ultralight gear listed (or not listed), let us know in the comments below!