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GEAR SHOP Courses Wilderness Trekking
Backpacking Light BSA High Adventure Leader Training in Ultralight Backpacking (WS2-BSA)Backpacking Light BSA High Adventure Leader Training in Ultralight Backpacking (WS2-BSA)

In partnership with Montana Council BSA, Backpacking Light offers this program exclusively for registered BSA leaders and high adventure staff.

View Item DetailsOur Price: $199.99
GEAR SHOP Courses Wilderness Trekking
Backpacking Light BSA High Adventure Leader Training in Ultralight Backpacking (WS2-BSA)Backpacking Light BSA High Adventure Leader Training in Ultralight Backpacking (WS2-BSA)

In partnership with Montana Council BSA, Backpacking Light offers this program exclusively for registered BSA leaders and high adventure staff.

View Item DetailsOur Price: $399.99
GEAR SHOP Courses Wilderness Trekking
Backpacking Light Wilderness Skills I - Lightweight Backpacking (WS1-LWB)Backpacking Light Wilderness Skills I - Lightweight Backpacking (WS1-LWB)

WS1-LWB provides an introduction to lightweight backpacking philosophy, techniques, and gear (3 days).

View Item DetailsOur Price: $349.99
GEAR SHOP Publications Subscriptions
BackpackingLight.com BackpackingLight.com Forum Membership - AnnualBackpackingLight.com BackpackingLight.com Forum Membership - Annual

Join the most dedicated and passionate community of backpacking experts in the world. The Forum Membership gives you write access to all of our public forums, so you can enjoy active participation with our membership.

View Item DetailsOur Price: $4.99
GEAR SHOP Publications Subscriptions
BackpackingLight.com BackpackingLight.com Annual Online Subscription (Premium Membership)BackpackingLight.com BackpackingLight.com Annual Online Subscription (Premium Membership)

Join the most dedicated and passionate community of backpacking experts in the world and gain access to the BackpackingLight.com premium content and archives.

View Item DetailsOur Price: $24.99
Member Price: $19.99
ARTICLES Trends
Lightweight Backpacking News: Digest No. 17
by Jonathan Davis
News this week: Rising Arctic Temperatures, California’s El Nino, Yellowstone Rangers Save a Man’s Life, Turn a Low-Cost Tent into a Great Tent, and Much More. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Flash Reviews
Flash Reviews No. 7
by Jonathan Davis
Flash Reviews No. 7: Kestrel Knives Ultralighter, Eddie Bauer Men's Quantum T, Survive Outdoors Longer Pocket Survival Pak Plus. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Flash Reviews No. 6
by Jonathan Davis
Flash Reviews No. 6: Fenix HL23 Headlamp, MSR Windboiler Stove, Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Making a 2-man Cuben Fiber Tent
by Jeremy Hankinson
Making your own tent will challenge your ingenuity, but it gives you total control over your shelter. The process can be simplified with this step-by-step guide for making your own lightweight tent. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Flash Reviews No. 5
by Ryan Jordan and Jonathan Davis
Flash Reviews No. 5: Excalibur Dehydrator #3526TCDB, Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze, LuminAid PackLite 16 Version 2 Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Hanging Stove System
by Darin Banner
In the winter, depending on snow conditions a fully-enclosed shelter can be preferred in which case a hanging stove system will still allow you to cook from the comfort of your shelter. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only New Balance Leadville MT1210 Runners version 2 Spotlight Review
by Roger Caffin
Very similar to the first version, these lightweight shoes perform well for trail running or hiking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Backcountry Brews
by Paul Magnanti
Still not great as the real deal, Pat's Backcountry Brewery is a nice lightweight option to enjoy some beer in the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only Candle Stoves
by Russell Lawson (with minor assistance from Roger Caffin)
The quest for the best ultralight stove continues...and it depends on how you define the "best". What the Candle stove lacks in for speed it certainly makes up for in efficiency. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Ultralight Hunting: Towards a Coherent Definition
by David Chenault
Much like the ultralight backpacking movement, ultralight hunting is beginning to grow in popularity due to gear innovation as hunters look for a more holistic hunting experience. As new gear begins to push the envelope, we turn our discussion to a what is the definition of 'ultralight hunting'? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Flash Reviews
Flash Reviews No. 4
by Ryan Jordan
Technology is revolutionizing our sport. Here are some products pushing the envelope: Sonim XP7 Ultra-Rugged Smartphone; Fenix HL22 Single-AA Headlamp; and Casio Pathfinder PRG-270 Watch. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Rab Vapour-rise Lite Alpine Jacket review
by Dave Chenault (photos by Meredith Chenault)
The Rab Vapour-rise Light Alpine is an extremely well designed windshirt, but when compared with other similar weighted windshirts the value is tough to see. However when compared with other soft shells it quickly becomes irreplaceable. Read More...
ARTICLES People Interviews
Members Only Clinker: A story of hardship and triumph on the AT
by Eric Vann
Cheryl McCormick at age 63 decides to conquer one of the most famous thru-hikes, the Appalachian Trail. Her story inspires us all and reminds us to chase our dreams. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Media Reviews
Lightweight Backpacking News: Digest No. 4
by Eric Vann
Backpacking Light has scoured the web and will now bring you salient backpacking news stories, gear releases, and trip reports. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Packrafting without a Good Map
by Luke Schmidt
Despite losing their map during a stream crossing early in the trip, the adventurers trek on determined to hit the big water. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Media Reviews
Lightweight Backpacking News: Digest No. 3
by Eric Vann
Backpacking Light has scoured the web and will now bring you salient backpacking news stories, gear releases, and trip reports. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Flash Reviews
Flash Reviews No. 3
by Ryan Jordan
Introductory reviews of the Sil-Dripper Coffee Brewer, the Elemental Horizons Pocket, and the Klymit Motion 35 Pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Lightweight Mealtime Routines for Group Cooking
by Ryan Jordan
Simplifying the process of planning, preparing, and cooking for groups in the wild. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Flash Reviews No. 2: Deuce of Spades, Helinox Ground Chair, and Vargo vs. MSR Pot Lifters
by Ryan Jordan
Introductory reviews of noteworthy lightweight gear new to the author. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Pockets for Hyperlite Mountain Gear Packs
by Darin Banner
Make your own lightweight and effective side pockets for HMG porter. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only The Best Backpack in the Whole Wide World
by Darin Banner
MYOG: A pack that weighs less than a pound, carries 30 pounds while transferring load to the hips, and is ideal for multi-day ultralight expeditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Trekking the High Uintas Wilderness: Circumnavigation of the Rock Creek Shelf
by Ryan Jordan
Featuring the author's live journals as well as a detailed assessment of trekking gear used on the trip. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Where the Mountains Meet the Sea: Trekking the Olympic Range (Photo Essay)
by Ryan Jordan
Boy Scouts tackle the Olympic range - from rainforest to snowy divide - in lightweight style. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Research Reviews
Members Only Evaluating outdoor gear with open source hardware
by Matthew Morrissey
As customers of the outdoor industry we want to know which gear works the best. Using open source hardware is a great way to evaluate our gear choices. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Technical Canyoneering for the Ultralight Backpacker
by David Chenault
Canyoneering is challenging as it offers an opportunity to tackle a variety of terrain using new gear. Combining canyoneering with backpacking is a recipe for a legendary trip. Read More...
ARTICLES People Interviews
Unseen Africa: Francis Tapon’s Four Year Journey Circumnavigating Africa
by Ryan Jordan
Taking an ultralight mindset to Africa requires an adjustment, but the lessons learned and the experiences had in Africa are rarely matched. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Deejo UL Knives
by Roger Caffin
A very lightweight and practical backcountry knife. Useful for food prep with good hardness for its price. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Members Only Bikepacking at the Cusp
by David Chenault
Nice gear is an added bonus, but don't get distracted by the research or gear hunting - the main goal is to get outside often! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Soul Bivy Review
by Ryan Jordan
While not commonly found in most hiker's packs, the lightweight and superior construction of this bivy offers good value for a bivy that occupies a narrow market niche occupied by very few products. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Featured Routes
The Massanutten Ridges of Virginia
by Michael Martin
Just a stones throw form the DC metropolitan area, the Massanutten Trail offers outstanding views and challenges for new and experienced backpackers alike. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only The Care and Feeding of Lindal Valves
by Roger Caffin
Lindal valves are what makes your stove work (or not work). Their proper care can keep your stove running for years. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody review
by David Chenault
For their first ever attempt, Black diamond created a versatile, durable, and waterproof windshirt that raises the bar for ultralight windshirts. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Concerning the Wilderness Serape
by David Chenault
Despite the added weight, a Serape is a versatile piece of backpacking gear that can help manage the sudden weather changes. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Gränsfors-Bruks Mini Hatchet Review
by Ryan Jordan
While not a part of the traditional lightweight backpacker's gear list, a hatchet is a great piece of gear that can bring a unique perspective to fire building and shelter making. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Stephenson 2C Tent Review - Part 2
by Ryan Jordan, Mike Martin, and Roger Caffin
A performance review of the Stephenson 2C - the smallest and lightest "climber's" version from the ultralight line of tents from the Stephenson family of New Hampshire. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Lil' Bugout Shelter Review
by David Chenault
An uncommon design transforms the Lil' Bugout into a weather fortress. And it has plenty of space to keep you cozy as you weather the storms. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only New Balance MT910V1 and MT910V1GTX Trail Shoes Review
by Roger Caffin
The flagship of New Balances's 2014 lineup, the MT910s perform well in a myriad of conditions and provide comfort and stability while on the trail. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only AT Nordic Ski Systems: Discovering the Best of Backcountry Nordic and Alpine Touring Systems Through Hybridization
by Ryan Jordan
Combining the best of both worlds, AT Nordic ski systems give you comfort, stability, and lightweight as you explore the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Thru Running New York’s Long Path
by Kenneth Posner
New York's long path is a gem - nestled in the middle of a sprawling metropolis, this path cuts through the city taking you northward to the peaceful woods. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Lightweight Stove Systems for Group Cooking Part 3: Performance of Inverted Canister and White Gas Stoves For Boiling Water and Melting Snow at Subzero (F) Temperatures
by Ryan Jordan
A series of tests exploring the winter performance of inverted canister and integrated canister stove systems for large water volumes and snow melting. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Staff Picks
2013 Staff Picks
by BackpackingLight.com Staff
As we close out the year, take a minute and see which gear our staff uses often. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Lightweight Stove Systems for Group Cooking Part 2: Exploring the Effects of Cold Temperatures, Canister Inversion, Snow Melting, and Heat Exchanger Systems
by Ryan Jordan
A series of tests exploring the winter performance of inverted canister and integrated canister stove systems for large water volumes and snow melting. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only Backpacking With A Voice Recorder
by Rex Sanders
A voice recorder is a great way to reflect on your journey without compromising safety or the experience. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Contoured Side Panels for Improved Load Carry in Frameless Packs
by David Chenault
Overpacking is a major issue with frameless packs. Implementing side panels can help distribute your load in a more effective way. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Members Only Moto-Backpacking
by Eric Vann (Photos: Jeremy Hanks)
Looking to jumpstart your backpacking experience? Try motorcycling to your next trip - it will get you into the lightweight mindset from the moment you step outside your door. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Techniques for River Corridor Camping
by Ryan Jordan
Tarp camping is tricky enough. Couple that with unstable ground and strong winds and that perfect campsite can quickly become a nightmare. Learn all the tricks to stay dry and happy. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only The Evolution of a Winter Stove - Part 3
by Roger Caffin
Dissatisfied with what was commercially available at the time, the author has been working on the design of a lightweight winter canister stove since 2007. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only The Evolution of a Winter Stove - Part 2
by Roger Caffin
Dissatisfied with what was commercially available at the time, the author has been working on the design of a lightweight winter canister stove since 2007. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Members Only The Politics of Cottage Consumption
by Benjamin Payne
Defining the role we, as consumers, play in shaping the lightweight industry. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
The Evolution of a Winter Stove - Part 1
by Roger Caffin
Dissatisfied with what was commercially available at the time, the author has been working on the design of a lightweight winter canister stove since 2007. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Ultralight Gaiters: State of the Market Report 2013
by Will Rietveld
Balancing weight and durability, ultralight gaiters are crucial to keeping your feet dry and free from debris. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Test Reports
Members Only Torso Simulator to test Heat Loss in Outdoor Gear – Radiation
by Jerry Adams
Measuring the affects of radiant heat loss to help you better prepare for the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Part 4b: Gear Reviews (Continued)
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only Exped Airmat Pumps Spotlite Review
by Roger Caffin
An overview of two pumps used to inflate sleeping pads, to relieve your lungs in the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Part 4a: Gear Reviews
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 2C: Selecting the Lightest, Most Functional Gear - Cooking, Water, Trekking Poles, and Accessories
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 2B: Selecting the Lightest, Most Functional Gear - Rainwear, Insulation, Headwear, Handwear, and Footwear
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 2A: Selecting the Lightest, Most Functional Gear - Backpack, Shelter, Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Pad
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 1: Concepts and Scope.
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Integral Designs Traverse 2 Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Backpacking: Baby on Board - Part 2: Trekking with a Toddler
by Nick Meynen
In Part 1, Fany and Nick embarked on a challenging journey with an unlikely companion: their 3 month old. Two years and another 750 km later, 30 month old Flora has completed the entire traverse. Thru-hiking with a toddler can be as rewarding as it is challenging. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Trend Reports
Members Only Recent Developments in Canister Stoves
by Roger Caffin
Recent developments in canister stoves have the potential to upset a lot of the industry, as the leadership seems to have passed out of the hands of Western brands and into Asia. Stoves that were trumpeted as the state of the art by well-known Western brands now look a little old, tired, heavy and, well, clunky. We look at a few of the leading edge stoves from 2012 to see where things are going. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Spring Snow Trekking Gear List
by Ryan Jordan
Ryan shares his ideal gear list for late-winter, early-spring trekking. By utilizing a snow shelter and making a few adjustments to your kit, you can push the limits of your conventional 3-season gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Test Reports
Members Only Impact of Wind on Insulation Loft
by Tim Hawthorne
During a winter storm, strong winds can render your lightweight puffy useless. This article examines the effect that compression can have on various types of insulation, and presents recommendations for staying warm and alive. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Yellowstone River Packrafting
by Ryan Jordan
An Introduction to Packrafting in the Yellowstone River Corridor between its headwaters and Big Timber, MT. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Commentary
Boys in the Wild (Short Film)
by Ryan Jordan
A short film about the challenges we face when trying to expose young men to backcountry experiences. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Westcomb Focus LT Hoody Review
by Ryan Jordan
Superb fit and finish, high breathability, and nice mix of features, but durability insurance doesn't come with the $280 price tag - and at 9 oz, is it light enough? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only An Introduction to Nordic and Backcountry Ski Gear: Part 2 - Advanced Nordic Ski Mountaineering on UL Tele Gear
by Forrest McCarthy
It is natural for skiers, as their skills improve, to seek more challenging terrain. And, with access to mountainous landscapes, it is inevitable for a skier to enter the realm of ski mountaineering. An overview of UL backcountry ski mountaineering gear and discussion of proper gear choice. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only How Packs Work
by David Chenault
The evolution of the frameless backpack and an analysis of current technology and features of four lightweight packs: the Golite Jam, Mountain Hardwear Thruway, Black Diamond Demon, and the authors MYOG Black and White pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Test Reports
Members Only The Future of Baselayers
by David Chenault
A glimpse into the future and a mini-review of the Mammut All-Year long sleeve crew. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Windshirts: 2012 State of the Market Report - Part 2: The Present and Future of Windshirts
by Dave Chenault, Photos by Meredith Chenault and the author
Weatherproof, lightweight, breathable. Might the windshirt be the ultimate tool in the lightweight backpacker's arsenal? Read More...
ARTICLES Places Photo Essays
Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness: Photo Essay
by Ryan Jordan
Photos and a Gear List from the 2012 Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Supplex Pants
by Jerry Adams
Step by step guide to simple, lightweight, inexpensive trekking pants. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Science, Theory & Math
Members Only A Survey of Water Hazards and Water Treatment Methods - Part 6: Ultra-Violet Light Methods
by Roger Caffin, with help from Will Rietveld, Ray Estrella and Rick Dreher
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Black Diamond Axiom 40 Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
A lightweight sub-3-pound internal frame backpack that’s well designed, durable, comfortable, and features freedom of movement innovations. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Trip Reports
Members Only Honeymoon at Isle Royale (Trip Report)
by Travis Leanna
Newlyweds Travis and Gretchen Leanna walk and packraft through Isle Royale National Park Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Rackless Carry Systems for Lightweight Bikepacking
by David Chenault
Reviews of the Revelate Designs Viscacha and Porcelain Rocket Booster Rocket Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Light and Fast Packs for Bikepacking
by David Chenault
In Part 2 of our exploration of Lightweight Bikepacking, Dave reviews some notable packs and examines their utility for bikepacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Stephensons Warmlite 2R Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vango Tempest 200 Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Hilleberg Nallo 2 Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Exped Aries Mesh Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Macpac Olympus Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Wilderness Equipment First Arrow Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Dragontail Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 3: The Mini-Reviews
by Roger Caffin
Part 3 of this tutorial gives the details on the seven tunnel tents included in this report. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 2: Details and Commercial Models
by Roger Caffin
Part 2 of this tutorial examines the specifics of tunnel tent design and functionality and lists the commercially available tents. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Malpais Trinity 3-Layer Liteshell Jacket Review
by Brad Groves
On paper, the Malpais has everything a gear junkie could possibly want, but does real-world experience with the jacket remind us of the disparity between some online dating profiles and the actual person? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 1: Definition and Pitching
by Roger Caffin
How tunnel tents work, why they can handle extreme weather, and how to pitch them under extreme conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Ultralight Waterproof Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report
by David Chenault
Part 2: Details on the ten jackets in the report. Read More...
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 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 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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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 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...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review
by Will Rietveld
MontBell’s body-hugging stretch technology is lightweight and adds warmth, yet the bag extends to accommodate a wide range of sizes, shapes, and sleeping positions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
SPOT2 Personal Locator Review and Extensive Field Test
by Alan Dixon and Amy Lauterbach
Results of 80 days (750 hours) of field testing of the new SPOT2 in Alaska, the Andes, the Pyrenees, and the Lower 48, including the Sierras and a southwest canyon system. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Therm-a-Rest Haven Down Top Bag Review
by Rick Dreher
The Therm-a-Rest Haven is a simple sleeping bag: a zipperless down mummy bag with a bottom opening and pad straps that qualify it as a top bag. At about a pound and a half the Haven is light, packs small, and is relatively affordable for its (claimed) 20 F (-7C) rating. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only State of the Market Report: Two-Person Double-Wall Tents (2010)
by Ray Estrella
A lot of designers are moving to add lightweight options in their double-wall tent line-ups. Some have so many advantages and low weights that they may challenge the benefit of choosing a single-wall shelter! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vaude Power Lizard UL Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
The Power Lizard lays claim to the lightest two-person double-wall tent in the world, but does that make it the best one? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
SteriPEN Opti Review
by Roger Caffin
The SteriPEN UV wands have been through several generations of development, reaching a very satisfactory state with this SteriPEN Opti unit. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Patagonia Down Sweater Review
by Janet Reichl and Will Rietveld
This popular jacket has been around and evolved over the years. We love the sizing and fit, but how does it stack up for backpacking? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Westcomb Chilko Down Sweater Review
by Will Rietveld
The Chilko is cutting-edge, as you would expect from Westcomb, and “heats up” the competition in the already “hot” ultralight multi-purpose down jacket category. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1C: Main Bag & Comfort
by Roger Caffin
We survey lightweight internal frame packs with a maximum weight of 1.6 kg (3.5 lb) and a volume generally in the range 50 L to 75 L. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Hand Sanitizers: My Journey Towards Discovering Best Practices for Wilderness Hygiene
by Ryan Jordan
Facilitating the transportation of fecal hitchhikers from your exhaust pipe orifice to your fuel filler neck orifice is one of the biggest backcountry threats. Stop these illegal immigrants en route, because we all know you can't close the border! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Montane Anti-Freeze Jacket Review
by Will Rietveld
A lightweight three-plus season down insulated jacket that excels in blustery conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sierra Designs Vapor 15 Sleeping Bag Review
by Will Rietveld
850 fill power down, 15 F temperature rating, 30 ounces – the lightest 15-degree mummy style sleeping bag to be found. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Eastern Mountain Sports Ascent Sector Down Sweater Review
by Will Rietveld
If you’re looking for a good, lightweight, multi-purpose, fully-featured and warm down jacket at a reasonable cost, this one deserves your consideration. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater Review
by Will Rietveld
A very attractive multi-purpose down jacket suited for a wide variety of outdoor activities... does that include backpacking? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Demaree Canyon Jacket and Anorak Review
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Attractive fully-featured multi-purpose insulated down garments, but are they warm enough for our backpacking needs? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Salomon Minim Down Sweater Review
by Will Rietveld
This is one of the more impressive jackets in our ultralight down jacket roundup, but it has a few shortcomings and uncertainties. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Pole Review
by Doug Johnson
What happens when you take the highly rated fixed length Lightrek 3 poles and add adjustability and optional straps? Are extra weight, flexibility, durability, and slipping concerns, or does Gossamer Gear nail it with the Lightrek 4 poles? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 3
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Multi-purpose three-season down jackets balance light weight, warmth, and features. These jackets are designed to please as many people as possible, in as many activities as possible, while keeping the overall weight light enough to impress the average consumer. Our evaluation includes comparative specifications, calculated parameters, warmth testing, ratings, and identifying the standouts for different situations, needs, and preferences. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Seriously lightweight down jackets – those most suitable for ultralight backpacking and other lightweight pursuits. Our evaluation includes comparative specifications, calculated parameters, warmth testing, ratings, and identifying the standouts for different situations, needs, and preferences. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 1
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
A state-of-the-art overview of ultralight down jackets – we analyze the components and discuss “baffling” issues like shell fabrics, down quality, fill weight, packing density, loft, and warmth. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance MT876OR Review
by Roger Caffin
The latest in the New Balance 87x series of light low-cut joggers - and they're even better than the previously-reviewed MT875ORs. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Primus Express Spider Stove Review
by Roger Caffin
A good remote canister stove, heading in the lightweight direction. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Western Mountaineering Expedition Down Bootie Review
by Will Rietveld
Well designed, lightweight, warm down bootie with an integrated tall gaiter and performance equivalent to a multi-layer system. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Test Reports
Members Only Heat Exchange Stove Shootout: Part 3
Heat Exchanger Stoves

by Roger Caffin
When do these stoves offer a weight reduction when compared to the baseline of Part 2 of the series? Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Test Reports
Members Only Heat Exchanger Stove Shootout: Part 2
Upright and Remote Canister Stoves

by Roger Caffin
Setting a baseline: we survey a good range of conventional canister stoves for performance, setting us up for the comparison in Part 3. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Panasonic Lumix LX3 Digital Camera
by Rick Dreher
A compact digicam with a professional pedigree, the LX3 tempts outdoor photographers with a fast wide angle (f:2.0/24 mm equivalent) zoom lens, RAW file capability, high-definition video and solid performance. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Klymit Kinetic Vest (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)
by Mike Martin
Klymit launches their first products based on their noble gas inflation technology. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Terra Nova Laser Photon Elite Tent (2008 Model) Review
by Will Rietveld
With a trail weight of just 1 pound 11 ounces, it's the Guinness World Record holder for the lightest double-wall tent commercially available, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Hyperflow Microfilter with Modified Cartridge Review
by Roger Caffin
The MSR Hyperflow was previously reviewed in 2008, and was found to be light and convenient for crystal clear water, but it died very quickly in any other water. MSR acknowledged this problem and modified the cartridge to handle poorer water quality. The modified cartridge is tested here to see if there is an improvement. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
ZPacks Blast 18 Backpack Review
by Ryan Jordan
At less than four ounces and roomy enough for a weekend of SUL gear (30L), the ZPacks Blast 18 certainly qualifies as "SUL" by the standard set several years ago by the Gossamer Gear G6, but is far more durable (yet has a similar weight as the first G6). Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only The Performance of Alcohol Fuels for Backpacking Stoves
Part Two: Water/Alcohol Blends

by Tony Beasley and Roger Caffin
The performance of a particular alcohol stove fuel is generally related to the amount of heating energy in that fuel, which changes when you blend water into different alcohols. But how does it change, and which blend should you use? Read More...
GEAR SHOP Courses Wilderness Trekking
Backpacking Light Wilderness Skills I - Introduction to Packrafting (WS1-IPR)Backpacking Light Wilderness Skills I - Introduction to Packrafting (WS1-IPR)

WS1-IPR provides an introduction to flatwater and Class I-II river packrafting philosophy, techniques, and gear (3 days).

View Item DetailsOur Price: $449.99
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
REI Flash 50 and Flash 65 Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
Three-pound internal frame backpacks with great fit, features, versatility, and value. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Staff Videocast: Cowboy Coffee
by BackpackingLight.com Staff
How do BPL Staffers stay warm, hydrated, and caffeinated in the backcountry? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Snow Stakes Revisited
by Roger Caffin
After using the original snow stakes in extreme conditions, the design has been enhanced to extend the life of both your snow stakes and your guylines. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only State of the Market Report: Single Wall Tents (2008)
by Will Rietveld and Chris Townsend
Veteran gear editors Chris Townsend and Will Rietveld unlock the mystique of the single wall tent - identifying their advantages and disadvantages, evaluating designs and technologies, listing specifications on the lightest ones available, picking their favorites for a range of applications, and speculating on future trends. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
AntiGravityGear O2 Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
This new single wall tent provides convenience and ventilation, plus loads of room for one person and gear and can accommodate two people when needed. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
Two-person single wall tent with a twist: one side is double wall, so the fly can be rolled up in good weather for extra views and ventilation. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review
by Doug Johnson
With a natural bamboo overlay and a leather grip and strap, these poles have a beautiful and classic look. Underneath the bamboo is a modern tapered carbon fiber trekking pole that is both lightweight and very stiff. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 3 Trekking Pole Review
by Doug Johnson
With all-new, tapered and oversized carbon fiber shafts, the Gossamer Gear Lightrek 3 is significantly stiffer than previous models. As reigning “lightest trekking pole” champ, how does this affect the pole’s overall weight? Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Appealing Apparel (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008)
by Mike Martin and Will Rietveld
Mike Martin and Will Rietveld have the highlights on new apparel from ORSM08. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Plush Pads (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008)
by Mike Martin
Exciting things are happening in sleeping pads this year at Cascade Designs (parent company of Therm-a-Rest) and Pacific Outdoor Equipment. Cascade Designs has an extensive new lineup of products that will surely interest lightweight hikers, including a revolutionary new pad technology that promises substantial performance improvements over existing designs. Meanwhile, Pacific Outdoor Equipment is moving towards more eco-friendly materials and is launching a very innovative product design program of which you can be a part. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Hot Stoves (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008)
by Mike Martin and Will Rietveld
Stove technology continues to advance this year, with trends of additional remote canister stoves with preheat tubes that are suitable for cold-weather operation, new alcohol and canister "cooking systems" that combine stove, windscreen, and pots into highly efficient and compact packages, plus a further move towards lighter stoves in general. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Decision-Making and the Lightweight Pack
by Mike Clelland and Phil Schneider, edited by Mike Martin
Carrying a lightweight pack has consequences, but they might not be what you think. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Track Notes Part 1: GR5 in France
by Roger Caffin
Roger Caffin shares his notes on trekking the GR5 in France. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Rab Top Bag AR Review
by Will Rietveld
An old favorite gets some important upgrades and stands out as a great value for an ultralight 30 °F sleeping bag. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG Titanium/Carbon Fiber Ice Axe
by Steven Evans and Roger Caffin
Following the Review of the ULA Helix Potty Trowel, there was considerable discussion on the Backpacking Light Forum (MYOG, DIY walking axe) regarding the use of a light "ice axe" in areas where one's life or ultimate safety would not be an issue. The author, Steven Evans, asked specific questions regarding the required length of such an ice axe, the general use of such an ice axe, and what people used in situations where a UIAA-certified ice axe would be overkill, but where a tool of some sort would be nice to have. Such a tool could be used to assist in small steep sections of snow and ice and general up-hill travel in less then desirable conditions, but it would have a weight which would be negligible on one's back when not in use. This project was born from that discussion. Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Research Reviews
Members Only Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or not? Supplement 1: The MSR Reactor
by Roger Caffin
Roger Caffin revisits the carbon monoxide emissions performance of a production model MSR Reactor stove. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Lightweight Insulated Footwear Roundup (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008)
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
We searched the Outdoor Retailer Show to find footwear to keep feet warm and dry while winter hiking and snowshoeing. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Big Sky International Convertible 4P (Light 4-Season) and Montana 2P (4-Season) (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008)
by Will Rietveld
Both tents have multiple configurations available. The summer version of the Montana is a two-person double-wall tent that weighs as little as 2 pounds 1.7 ounces and the winter version is just 3 pounds 9.5 ounces! Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Trends in Water Treatment Technologies (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007)
by Ryan Jordan
Water treatment technologies are evolving and offering more options for backpackers to save weight, save time, and stay hydrated. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
AntiGravityGear Caldera Kitchen (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007)
by Alan Dixon
Finally a compact Caldera Cone Stove System! Read More...
ARTICLES Technology Test Reports
Members Only Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or Not?
Part 5: Laboratory Measurements for Solid Fuels

by Roger Caffin
Several solid fuels are surveyed at different power levels to assess their carbon monoxide emissions. The results are not good. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2007 Rab Summit Extreme Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Based on the previous Outdoor Designs tent, the Rab Summit Extreme is a rare eVENT tent that provides the ultimate in single wall breathability. It is built to handle the most extreme alpine environments and has few peers in its extreme mountaineering niche. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Northern Lites Backcountry Snowshoe REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Durable, loads of flotation, and less than 3 pounds per pair – a lightweight snow traveler’s dream. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Forty Below Light Energy TR Overboot and Simple Slipper SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
An extremely versatile and warm footwear system for snowshoeing and snow camping in frigid conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Baffin Outback Boot SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Heavy-duty warmth and comfort, and good moisture management, for snow travel in frigid conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Snow Peak Giga Power LI Stove, Metal Crab
by Ken Knight
Another entry into the expanding remote canister stove market featuring support for canister inversion. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Strong, light, fixed-length carbon fiber poles with one useful extra feature - the ability to break the poles down into two sections for easy transport. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
St. Moritz Watches: Momentum VP-1 and VS-1 Digital Altimeters and Momentum Logic (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2006)
by Ken Knight
Digital Altimeters with numerous features and a space-age materials analog watch that will stun you. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only SuperUltraLight Backpacks REVIEW SUMMARY
by Will Rietveld
These specialized packs are constructed of high-tech materials, weigh as little as 2.75 ounces, and are capable of carrying your sub-5-pound SUL kit for several days. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Suunto X9i GPS REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Wrist-mounted 2.7 oz GPS unit targeted at done-in-a-day activities, tested with Topo! 4.0 mapping software. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only 2005 Lightweight Rainwear Review Summary and Gear Guide Overview
by Don Wilson
Woven waterproof/breathable rainwear weights are dropping as technology improves. Read More...
ARTICLES Places Notes from the Field
Members Only Notes from the Field: SuperUltraLight in the Cascades with a Sub-4-pound Pack
by Doug Johnson
Perspectives from the field, with commentary on gear and technique for high mileage backpacking with a sub-4-pound base weight pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Osprey Exposure Packs First Look (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2005)
by Alan Dixon
Read More...
ARTICLES Trends Outdoor Retailer News
Jetboil – French Press Option First Look (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2005)
by Alan Dixon
Read More...

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