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ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Fast and Light Shoulder Season Footwear Tips
by David Chenault
Avoiding wet feet in the shoulders seasons can be impossible. Follow a few simple principles to ensure your feet are happy, no matter the conditions! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Clikstand T-2 Alcohol Stove System Review
by David Chenault
Can 100% titanium justify the price tag? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Alternative Rainwear: State of the Market Report - Part 1: Introducing and Defining Alternative Rainwear
by David Chenault
An unruly, heterogenous group, Dave divided it into four categories: simple poncho-tarp, complex poncho-tarp, alternative upper-body wear, and alternative legwear. Read More...
ARTICLES People Profiles
Sunshine in the Sierra
by Eric Gjonnes
Everything about the Sierra portion of the PCT was harder this year. Balls and Sunshine faced record-setting snow, low food, dangerous water crossings, injuries, and a markedly slower pace. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Test Reports
Members Only Field Testing Air Permeable Waterproof-Breathable Fabric Technologies Part 3: Discussion, Conclusions, and Performance of Individual Jackets
by Will Rietveld
In this final part of the series we assemble the information gleaned from our field testing into an informative discussion with down to earth conclusions. We also present field test data for each individual jacket, comment on its utility, and identify standouts. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Test Reports
Members Only Field Testing Air Permeable Waterproof-Breathable Fabric Technologies – Part 2: Are There Detectable Differences Under Real World Backpacking Conditions?
by Will Rietveld
Manufacturers make lofty claims for the enhanced breathability of the new fabrics. I tested ten jackets under challenging and forgiving backpacking-type conditions, while recording temperature and humidity inside and outside the jackets, and reported my findings. Perhaps I didn’t experience “air and water vapor permeability so shocking you’ll swear it's magic,” but I did identify some standouts and some promising trends of interest to backpackers. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Integrated Canister Fuel Stoves State of the Market Report 2011: Part 3 – Wrap Up and Reviews of Individual Stoves
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
This part assembles the information from our testing and evaluations of integrated canister fuel stoves and provides a review of each stove. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jetboil Zip Cooking System Review
by Will Rietveld
A scaled down and inexpensive version of the original PCS, the Zip is lighter weight and a great value. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jetboil Flash Cooking System Review
by Will Rietveld
The Flash is basically a flashier PCS and will eventually replace it. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jetboil Sol Ti Premium Cooking System Review
by Will Rietveld
Jetboil’s lightest and most technically advanced integrated canister fuel cooking system. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jetboil Sol Advanced Cooking System Review
by Will Rietveld
Same features, nearly the same performance, and less expensive than the Sol Ti Premium Cooking System. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Monatauk Gnat Titanium Stove Review
by Will Rietveld
The lightest canister fuel stove in the world. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Primus Eta Solo Cooking System Review
by Will Rietveld
An integrated stove from Primus similar to the Jetboil PCS, with a few design improvements but similar performance. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Integrated Canister Fuel Cooking Systems State of the Market Report 2011: Part 2 – Trends, Stove Ratings, and Selections
by Will Rietveld
Integrated canister fuel cooking systems have advanced substantially in every way – they’re lighter, faster, more efficient, and have more cooking capacity and versatility. In this part we highlight this evolution, explore how these stoves can be very weight-efficient, and identify the top performing stoves for different situations and needs. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance 1000 Insulated Boot Review
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
The NB1000 replaces the discontinued Keen Growler as our favorite lightweight insulated boot; it’s made of lighter materials and has the same insulation and functionality. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vango Helium Superlite 200 Tent Review
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
A sub-40 ounce, two-person, double-wall, hybrid tunnel tent that sheds wind and rain with ease? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Integrated Canister Fuel Cooking Systems State of the Market Report 2011: Part 1 – Overview and Performance Evaluation
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
The Jetboil Personal Cooking System was a major innovation back in 2004. We reviewed it in-depth and reported on its strengths and drawbacks. It’s wonderfully fuel-efficient and wind-resistant, but heavy, a bit slow, and low in cooking capacity. Fast forward to 2011; now we have eight backpackable integrated canister fuel stoves. They are fast, fuel-efficient, wind-resistant, some are cold-resistant, they have a much higher cooking capacity, and some are truly lightweight and can be pared down to as little as 7.5 ounces (213 g). Got your attention? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Expeditions
With a Capital C: My 2011 Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic
by David Chenault
Race report, gear and food, and, for the really ambitious, pointers for entering a wilderness race. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
POE Ether Elite 2/3 and POE Peak Oyl Elite Mats
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Mats State of the Market Report 2011 Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
MontBell UL 90 and MontBell UL 120 Mats
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Mats State of the Market Report 2011 Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Vaude Norrsken Insulated Mat
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the 2011 Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Pads State of the Market Report Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Mammut Light Pump Mat
by Roger Caffin with Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the 2011 Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Pads State of the Market Report Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Klymit X Frame Mat
by Roger Caffin with Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the 2011 Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Pads State of the Market Report Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Gossamer Gear Thinlight Foam Mat and Generic EVA30 Foam Mat
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the 2011 Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Pads State of the Market Report Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Big Agnes Insulated Air Core and Big Agnes Clearview Mats
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the 2011 Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Pads State of the Market Report Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir, Therm-a-Rest ProLite, and Therm-a-Rest Deluxe LE Mats
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the 2011 Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Pads State of the Market Report Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Mats - State of the Market Report 2011 Part 2: Test Results and Mini-Reviews
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Why use an airmat instead of a slab of foam? Two reasons: an airmat is thicker and more comfortable, and an airmat has a higher insulation rating or R-value, to protect you from the cold underneath. But you don't want excess weight, so this survey is restricted to airmats weighing less than 400 g (14 oz) for summer use and 800 g (28 oz) for winter use. In Part 1 we looked at the sort of properties we might want in an airmat; in this Part 2 we look at actual airmats. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Kooka Bay GoosePad, Kooka Bay Synthetic Insulated and Kooka Bay TaperLite Mats
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Mats State of the Market Report 2011 Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Nemo Zor Short and Nemo Zor Regular
by Roger Caffin with Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Mats State of the Market Report 2011 Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Stephensons Warmlite Down Air Mat
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the 2011 Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Pads State of the Market Report Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Exped DownMat Pump 7, Exped SynMat UL 7 S Mats
by Roger Caffin with Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Mats State of the Market Report 2011 Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2011 – Part 2: Lightweight Backpacks, Stoves, and Accessories
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
OR delivers a fresh crop of lightweight, innovative, and useful gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011: Part 3 – Packs for UltraLight Backpacking
by Will Rietveld
Ultralight backpacking is by far the most popular use of frameless backpacks. We provide specifications and ratings, and identify the standouts among 23 packs currently available. Overall, the majority of these packs really rock, but some meet user’s specific needs better than others. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Elemental Horizons Aquilo Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
The Aquilo is the mouse that roared. I expected it to be a smaller frameless backpack based on its specifications, but it jumped into the high volume pack category, then it came out on top in that group. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011
Part 2B – Technical Evaluation – Measurement of Pack Load Carrying Capacity

by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
We “lab” test thirteen frameless backpacks to compare their performance in terms of load carrying capability. We also address the debate of whether a coiled or folded sleeping pad is better for creating a “virtual frame” for weight transfer to the hips. And we compare frameless backpacks with stays inserted to lightweight internal frame backpacks. Our data reveal some distinct differences among the packs and a few surprises. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Eddie Bauer First Ascent Expedition Weight Baselayers Review
by Will Rietveld
These lightweight synthetic baselayers are remarkably warm for their weight and highly versatile. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance MR740TR Review
by Roger Caffin
Another fine member of the lightweight low-cut New Balance jogger family. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011
Part 2A – Technical Evaluation – Measurement of Pack Volume and Volume Reduction Capability

by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
We “lab’ test thirteen frameless backpacks to measure their actual volume and compare their volume reduction capability, which are important factors when choosing a frameless pack. Our data reveal a few surprises! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
LAUFBURSCHE huckePACK Review
by Hendrik Morkel
German innovation hits the frameless backpacking market: water resistant with a volume that manages to work well for overnighters and week-long expeditions. Is it too good to be true? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Backpack Design
by Luke Schmidt
Tips and tricks expand upon previously published articles: check out Luke's six iterations and glean ideas for perfecting YOUR custom-made pack! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
A lower volume frameless pack constructed of a Cuben fiber/ripstop nylon laminate that’s cutting edge and raises the bar for frameless backpack elegance. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011: Part 1 – Choosing and Using a Frameless Pack
by Will Rietveld
One of the most important items in an ultralight gear kit is a frameless backpack, and it’s important to do your research and choose wisely. This five-part manifesto on frameless backpacks (including those with removable stays) is based on two years of field testing and weeks of lab testing. We compile data on all of the packs currently available and evaluate them in groups according to their appropriate use. Part 1 focuses on the intricacies of selecting and using a frameless backpack and provides a master list of frameless backpacks that meet our selection criteria. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Global Test Main Page
by BackpackingLight Magazine
Danny Milks and Kristin Tennessen left California in September 2009 to embark upon a two-year international backpacking adventure. Follow their travels, break down their gear lists, and step into their photos for a global adventure like nothing you've ever seen! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
24-Hour Gear Lists
by the BackpackingLight.com Readership
See the winners of our recent contest and download a zip file of all the submissions. Use your favorite to plan YOUR next trip! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: eVent Rain/Wind Jacket
by Jerry Adams with editorial assistance from Addie Bedford
Turning 2.5 yards of high performance fabric into a lightweight, breathable rain jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
SIA Nordic Ski On-Snow Demo 2011: New Waxless Ski Technologies
by Alan Dixon
While the new waxless technologies are mostly in Nordic race skis and high end touring skis, we see promise for their future use in backcountry skis as well. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Winter ISPO 2011: Day 3 - A Smorgasbord of Worldly Flavors
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
From practical (bras) to indulgent (a back-country electronics charger) to "they can do new things with zippers?", the ispo show floor has it all. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Therm-a-Rest ProLite Air Mat Product Review
by Roger Caffin
Cascade Designs upgraded their ProLite self-inflating mat once again, with another weight reduction. What were the consequences of weight loss on warmth? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vibram FiveFingers KSO Treks Review
by Ray Estrella
Will heavier mid and outer soles plus durable leather uppers make for backpacking bliss, or will the Treks leave our feet wrecks? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs Traveler Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
Larger volume frameless backpack, with removable stays, designed to be both a travel pack and a capable backpack once you get to your destination. Read More...

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