Gear

M Premium content for members only | Not a member?

Refine Search by Term or Filter
SEARCH THESE RESULTS: SORT BY: FILTER:

Paginate

Gear Categories:
Gear ListsPodcastsReviews
SpotLite ReviewsStaff PicksState of the Market Reports


ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Review of Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes by John Vonhof
by Darin Banner
A very well-written book that is recommended for anyone interested in learning the best ways to take care of their feet. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only The Evolution of a Winter Stove - Part 4 - Lessons Learnt
by Roger Caffin
About 110 people bought the custom stove and served as beta testers. Their feedback highlighted some of the benefits and bugs of the stove. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only Paramo Bora Fleece & Windproof Smock Combo
by Matthew Pullan
The Bora Smock is certainly not at the pinnacle of ultralight gear, nevertheless it is a versatile piece of clothing that maintains breathability while offering warmth and excellent waterproofing. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Gear Guide: Packrafts
by Ryan Jordan
Review the current offerings in the packraft market and find out which boats are most appropriate for a variety of purposes including alpine lake fishing, incidental river crossings, flatwater boating, expedition packrafting, and whitewater paddling. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Jetboil Joule Review - Part 1, Overview
by Ryan Jordan
The Jetboil Joule is a high-volume cooking system that performs very well in ambient conditions; however more testing in cold conditions is needed to asses its overall performance. 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 Gear Reviews
Members Only Exped Lightning 60 Review
by Luke Schmidt
Due to a robust internal frame, this pack not only excels at carrying either heavy or light loads, but it's also rather comfortable and lightweight. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Jiva Coffee Cubes
by Roger Caffin
Perhaps a bit more exotic than your traditional black coffee, Jiva Coffee Cubes simplify the process of coffee making and are a viable option for backcountry coffee making. 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 Gear Reviews
Freestanding Double Wall Tents - A Cursory Review of 1P/2P Offerings from Mountain Hardwear, The North Face, and Nemo
by Sean McDevitt
Ultralight tents are becoming more lightweight and durable. This is good news for ultralighters. 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 REI Dash 2 (2-Person, Double Wall) Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
A lightweight, high performance tent great for ultralight backpackers looking for more comfort in the wilderness - most notably couples. 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 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 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 Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 Shelter Review
by Will Rietveld
With room for sleeping and gear storage as well as a durable construction that can handle a range of weather conditions, the HMG UltaMid is an ideal shelter for lightweight backcountry travel. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Backpackable Wood Stoves: Theory and Ultralight Application
by David Chenault
Backpackable wood stoves will add weight to your pack, but they have many benefits, such as, peace of mind, warmth, and the ability to dry wet gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Paradox Packs Evolution pack system review
by David Chenault
While it may be on the heavy side of ultralight, Paradox has worked hard to make each ounce count succeeding in creating a pack that excels at carrying extremely heavy loads. 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 Gear Reviews
Members Only Stephenson 2C Tent Review - Part 1
by Ryan Jordan, Mike Martin, and Roger Caffin
A preview 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
Peak Design Capture Pro Camera clip
by Roger Caffin
While the camera clip may be useful in some settings, it is not ideal for wilderness travel. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket Review
by Will Rietveld
Although certainly a very dependable jacket, the Plasma seems to be more of a technology statement rather than a high-value jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only Backpacking With A Thermometer
by Rex Sanders
A thermometer allows you to establish trends that relate temperature to how you feel while hiking and camping. This can lead to better preparation and execution in the field. 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 Gear Reviews
Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe Review
by Ryan Jordan
The quest for the perfect lightweight backpacking shoe continues. Don't hold your breath. While these shoes are great for most hikes they are less than ideal for seriously demanding trips. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only New Balance Leadville MT1210 Runners Review
by Roger Caffin
The Leadville Runners are light and we mean really lightweight. But don't worry you won't have to sacrifice comfort or stability as you conquer the outdoors. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Ultralight Group Cooking
by Peter Nelson
Going ultralight and cooking for a group can be a real challenge. The "Critter" stand is lightweight and takes the pain out of cooking for a group. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Backpacking Tights - Part 2
by Damien Tougas
Take a more in depth look at the tights best suited for the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Tenkara for Backpackers: State of the Market Report - Part 2
by Chris Stewart
Part 1 helped you choose the rod. After reading part 2 you'll be all set with the tackle needed to fish tenkara in the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Tenkara for Backpackers: State of the Market Report - Part 1
by Chris Stewart
A look at the best rods to bring into the Backcountry. It may not be what you think. Sometimes the best combination takes into account both the weight and the reach of the rod. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Backpacking Tights - Part 1
by Damien Tougas
Tights are a very versatile backpacking tool. Their close fit keeps you warm and quickly wicks away moisture. 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 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 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 Gear Reviews
Members Only Rab Xenon and Patagonia UL Down Hoody: Comparison and Long-Term Review
by David Chenault
New and evolving technologies necessitate a reexamination of the conventional wisdom of down versus synthetic fill insulation. 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 Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only Enlightened Equipment Revelation Review
by Chris Wallace
A well-made quilt that offers high-quality materials, high fill-power down, and excellent loft for an incredible price. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only True Lemon and True Lime Spotlite Review
by Roger Caffin
Bored with water in the backcountry? Need to make hydration more appealing for your group? Add some flavor to your water, and vanquish any fear of dehydration or scurvy. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 3: Satellite Texting
by Rex Sanders
Part 3 in our series on satellite communications focuses on the currently available two-way texting devices suitable for lightweight backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only New Balance 889 Multisport Review
by Roger Caffin
These new trail shoes have gone the way of the Vibram sole. How does this development affect performance? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 2 - Satellite Phones
by Rex Sanders
Part 2 in our 3 part series on satellite communications focuses on the currently available sat phones suitable for lightweight backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction
by Rex Sanders
Part 1 in our 3 part series on two-way satellite communications for lightweight backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Mountain Hardwear SuperMegaUL 2 Review
by Brad Groves
Mainstream manufacturers are catching on, and competition in the ~2lb tent range is fierce. The SuperMegaUL2 is a brilliant addition to this growing field. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Mountain Hardwear Speed 32 Sleeping Bag Review
by Brad Groves
A predominantly well engineered sleeping bag that suffers from a small, yet serious design flaw. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only Deuter ACTLite 40+10 Spotlite Review
by Roger Caffin
SpotLite Review of Deuter's new clean, yet multi-featured pack - perfect for thru-hiking in the Alps. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review
by Roger Caffin
How do these 3-section poles hold up to the rigors of thru-hiking? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Ibex Clothing Review
by Brad Groves
A merino wool layering system to keep you dry and comfortable on cool summer nights. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Sierra Designs Cloud 15 Review
by Brad Groves
A 29 oz sleeping bag featuring vertical baffles and Insotect technology... is it worth the weight? 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 Gear Reviews
Members Only Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter 4400 Backpack Review
by Ryan Jordan and Chris Wallace
Durable lightweight packs that can carry a larger volume (and higher weight) expedition kit. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Alpacka Stowaway Dry Suit Review
by Ryan Jordan
A 22-ounce waterproof dry suit designed for packrafters with an eye towards saving weight and bulk on longer expeditions. 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 Gear Reviews
Boreas Buttermilks 55 Review
by Brad Groves
Sure they look nice, but how do these clean, uncomplicated packs from new manufacturer Boreas handle the trails? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Olicamp Xcelerator/Fire-Maple FMS-117V Ti Stove Review
by Brad Groves and Ryan Jordan
Finally, a remote-canister stove without the extra weight. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Tools for Human Powered Oversnow Travel - State of the Market Report
by David Chenault
Fat bike, skis, or snowshoes? A discussion of the most efficient tools for oversnow travel. 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 Gear Reviews
Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum Tent Review
by Brad Groves
At 5 ounces less than its predecessor, is the new Fly Creek worth the extra price? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Brooks-Range Foray 2P Tent Review
by Brad Groves
With its polka-dots and odd shape, can this unique 3-season shelter be taken seriously? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sailors, Rappers, & Ultralight Backpackers: A Walk with the Timberland Cadion
by Brad Groves
Has Timberland found a niche the lightweight market? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Solo-Plus Tent Round-Up
by Chris Wallace
A look at five lightweight shelters with extra space for your partner, gear, or four-legged companion. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Down Jacket Shoot-out: GoLite Bitterroot vs. Rab Infinity
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
A comparison of two full-featured down jackets with Quantum GL fabric and 850 fill power down. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Rab Kinetic Jacket Review
by Chris Wallace
A fully featured hard shell at a minimal weight. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Zpacks Multi-Pack Review
by Chris Wallace
A unique accessory pocket that can be used in multiple ways. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance Minimus MT00 Review
by Chris Wallace
An extremely minimal trail runner with options for the wide footed. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Windshirts: 2012 State of the Market Report - Part 1: What is a Windshirt?
by David Chenault
Weatherproof, lightweight, breathable. Might the windshirt be the ultimate tool in the lighwieght backpacker's arsenal? 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 Gear Reviews
New Balance MT810 Review
by Roger Caffin
**(Updated 10/25: Addendum after Heavy Use)** A review of the latest in the New Balance 8xx series of light low-cut joggers and comparison to the previously-reviewed MT875 and MT876 shoes. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Timberland LiteTrace Boot Review
by David Chenault
Review of Timberland's new waterproof lightweight hiking boot. Do they belong in the lightweight backpacker's quiver? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Rain Pants State of the Market Report
by Brad Groves
A critical look at seven lightweight rain pants to keep you dry this spring. 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
Bask Light 69 Pack Review
by Roger Caffin
This lightweight mountaineering pack from Russia provides large volume, simplicity, and durability. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
OMM Kamleika Race Smock, Jacket, and Pants Review
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
Waterproof shells with a minimalist design and four-way stretch fabric Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 Review
by Brad Groves
Will it light the trails on fire? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
CAMP X3 600 Ski Pack Review
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
A lightweight ski day pack with a handy, hands-free ski carrying system. 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
Wilderness Equipment First Arrow 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 Reviews
MSR Dragontail 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
Vango Tempest 200 Review
by Roger Caffin
Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Mini Reviews 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
Hilleberg Nallo 2 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 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 Reviews
Berghaus Octans 40 Backpack Review
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
An adventure racing pack with innovative design elements, how does it perform as an ultralight backpack? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Easton Mountain Products CTR-70 Trekking Poles Review
by Ray Estrella
Does a bigger diameter result in stronger poles, and what's the weight trade-off? 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 Gear State of the Market Reports
Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report
by David Chenault
Part 1: Why should you buy a WPB rain jacket? And why would you buy one that weighs more than 8 ounces (227 g)? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Páramo Vista Rain Jacket Review
by Chris Wallace
An incredibly breathable full-zip rain jacket that manages to fend off precipitation without using a membrane. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Montane Slipstream GL Jacket Review
by Will Rietveld
A very lightweight hoodless windshirt utilizing Pertex’s newest lightest fabric – Quantum GL. In addition to his thorough evaluation, Will includes a discussion of the versatility of a windshirt. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Mountain Laurel Designs SuperMid Review
by Chris Wallace
A large but still lightweight pyramid that can shelter three to four adults in all four seasons. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Andrew Skurka's The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Book Review
by Luke Schmidt
Are You an Ultimate Hiker? Andy Skurka’s approach to backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
CAMP Flash Anorak Review
by Danny Milks
An innovative design makes this wind shell easy to put on and take off. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Crazy for Quilts – How Quilts Became My Sleep System of Choice, PLUS A Review of My Favorite, the Stateless Society Custom Quilt
by Ray Estrella
Take a walk through the backpacking addicted mind of Ray as he explains his journey to custom quilts, and read a review of his favorite model, a 14-ounce beauty made by fellow BPL-er Javan Dempsey. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Deep Freeze: A Cold, Hard Look at Winter Stoves
by Brad Groves
Investigating the lightest-weight options on the market and assessing ease-of-use, reliability, fuel efficiency, and time to boil. 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 Reviews
Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar Shelter Review
by Ryan Jordan
Simplicity and strength in an all-season shelter. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Nemo Obi Elite 1P Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
Nemo becomes a serious player in the ultralight tent category. The Obi Elite 1P is a cutting edge one-person double-wall tent that matches the weight and roominess of many single-wall tents. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Lightning Flash Snowshoe Review
by Will Rietveld
If unlimited traction is what you want in a snowshoe, the Lightning Flash delivers; it can rightfully lay claim to the title of lightest high-traction snowshoe available. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sony NEX-7 Digital Camera Review
by Ryan Jordan
Large sensor. High resolution. Small package. Interchangeable lenses. Is the DSLR finally dead for the backpacking photographer? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Rab MeCo Baselayers Review
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
Rab's new baselayers blend merino wool and synthetic fabrics - do they achieve the best of both worlds? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Altai Skis: The Hok Ski and X-Trace Universal Binding Review
by David Chenault
For fast, easy over-snow travel, combine the traits of a snowshoe and those of a ski. A short, fat ski would keep the maneuverability, packability and hopefully light weight of a snowshoe as well as the glide and easy trail breaking of a ski. How well does this theory play out in reality? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jacks ‘R’ Better Sierra Stealth Quilt Review
by Chris Arrasmith
The Jacks ‘R’ Better Sierra Stealth Quilt is an ultralight summer quilt designed “with the ground sleeper in mind.” As the lightest of three wearable quilts available from JRB, the Sierra Stealth has a resealable Velcro head hole in the center that allows the quilt to be used as a serape around camp - eliminating the need for a lightweight jacket in addition to sleeping gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Alternative Rainwear: State of the Market Report - Part 2: Overview of Individual Products
by David Chenault
Further discussion on the four individual categories, a review of the products tested within the context of each category, and a brief conclusion of ways in which various alternative rainwear products can be combined, both with each other and with WPB garments, to suit various hiking environments and conditions. 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 Gear Reviews
Kahtoola MTN 28 Snowshoe Review
by Ray Estrella
Incorporating a stand-alone trail crampon that works along with the snowshoe itself, the Mountain 28 eliminates the need to carry a separate traction device for conditions that call for grip, not float. Intriguing in theory, how did it work in practice? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Seek Outside VersaShelter 6-Person Tipi
by Damien Tougas
This single-wall, three/four-season, tipi-style shelter is the largest tipi in the VersaShelter line. A significant amount of the weight savings comes from the use of an all carbon fiber pole. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
CAMP Xenon 4 Pole Review
by Danny Milks
These highly anticipated poles made quite a splash at 2011 ORWM. The Xenon 4 Trekking Poles are light, compact, easy to use and reasonably priced. How did they stand up to testing? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Nemo Pentalite Review
by Damien Tougas
A versatile shelter with a unique design, the Pentalite manages to bring something new to the realm of pyramid tent design: a large floorspace and optional full bug protection without a full-height inner bug net. The size, weight savings, and flexibility of this design make it a good candidate for a group backpacking, car camping, or base camp use. So far, so good, right? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Twin Brothers Shelter Review
by Damien Tougas
On paper, the palatial space and bare-essentials engineering of this tent make it appear like a dream come true for ultralight group travel. How does it actually perform in the real world? 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
Hilleberg Nallo 4 GT Review
by Damien Tougas
Capable of handling all four seasons as either a single-wall floorless shelter or a fully bug-proof double-wall tent, the Nallo 4 GT can easily be tailored to meet a wide variety of environmental conditions. Is it the right tent for your family backpacking outings? 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 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 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 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
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 State of the Market Report: Family/Group Backpacking Tents
by Damien and Renee Tougas
Tired of solo trips? Ditch the tiny tarp for one of these multi-person shelters and share the weight with your friends and family. You may even save a few ounces! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Backpacking Checklist (Gear List): 3-Season, 3-Day
by Ryan Jordan
An example of what a lightweight backpacker might take on a 3-day outing. 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 Gear Reviews
Berghaus Mount Asgard Smock Review
by Danny Milks
The Mount Asgard Smock is a minimalist mountaineering shell meant to withstand hard use and bad weather. If Superman needed a jacket, would this be the one? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Patagonia Ultralight Down Shirt Review
by Will Rietveld
Patagonia introduces the lightest down jacket to be found. We now have four good contenders for an ultralight down jacket shootout; which one will come out on top? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Lightweight Mid-Height Trail Shoes: Montrail
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-reviews of the Montrail Sabino Trail Mid GTX, Mountain Masochist Mid GTX and AT Plus Shoes Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Lightweight Mid-Height Trail Shoes: Treksta
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-Review of the Treksta Evolution Mid GTX Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Lightweight Mid-Height Trail Shoes: GoLite
by Roger Caffin with Will Rietveld
Mini-Reviews of the GoLite Timber Lite, Surge Lite, and Carbo Lite Shoes Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Mid-Height Trail Shoes State of the Market Report 2011
by Roger Caffin with Will Rietveld
Do they have any advantages over simple trail runners? And who makes lightweight W-I-D-E shoes for hikers with duck feet? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Lightweight Mid-Height Trail Shoes: Salomon
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-Review of the Salomon 3D Fastpacker Mid GTX and Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX Ultra Shoes 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
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
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
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
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
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 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
Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Airmats - State of the Market 2011
Part 1: Important Factors When Choosing an Airmat

by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Why use an airmat instead of a closed-cell foam pad? Lightweight airmats that rival a closed-cell foam pad in weight now exist, so you don't need to carry extra weight to get good comfort anymore. This survey is restricted to airmats weighing less than 400 g (14 oz) for summer use and 800 g (28 oz) for winter use. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Hennessy Hyperlite Asym Zip Hammock Review
by Brad Groves
Can a lighter, easier hammock hang convert this avowed tent user? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Minimalist Footwear for Fall/Spring Backpacking
by Damien and Renee Tougas
The second in a series exploring the use of minimalist footwear for backpacking, Damien explores what works when summer is gone. Keeping your feet warm in barely-there shoes is no mean - ahem - feat. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Fizan Compact Trekking Poles Review
by Danny Milks
Straightforward, reliable and lightweight adjustable, collapsible aluminum trekking poles. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Granite Gear Virga Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
An old stalwart among frameless backpacks, the Virga has remarkable fit and comfort, but it has a few quirks as well. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Frameless Backpacks State of the Market Report 2011: Part 4 – Packs for Lightweight Backpacking and Load Hauling
by Will Rietveld
For lightweight backpacking, how does a larger volume frameless backpack compare with a lightweight internal frame backpack? We address that question, provide specifications and ratings, and identify the standouts among 10 larger volume frameless packs. Plus we pick the best packs for "Sherpa duty." Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Equinox ARAS Eagle Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
The Eagle is the Platypus of frameless backpacks: it has some unique design features, loads of comfort and convenience features, and it's a great value, but is it the right pack for you? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance MT814OD Review
by Roger Caffin
Just slightly heavier than the 740s, do the 814s finally hit all Roger's sweet spots despite their weight? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
ZPacks Dyneema X 26 Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
ZPacks offers a range of pack sizes, fabrics, and innovative pack options that minimize weight. You end up with a really lightweight custom pack. How does the tested ZPacks Dyneema X 26 compare to other lightweight frameless packs for ultralight backpacking? 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
Vasque Mindbender Trail Shoe Review
by Brad Groves
Created to eat up miles without eating up your feet, but is Brad suitably impressed? 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 Wood-Burning Camp Stoves - State of the Market Report 2011
by Chris Murphy
We put eleven different wood-burning models to the test. Check out which performed best, and which stove had catastrophic failure during testing. But don't worry: no forests were harmed in the making of this SOTM! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Terra Nova Laser Ultra 1 Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
Terra Nova maintains their reputation with the latest “lightest double-wall shelter in the world,” weighing just over 1 pound. This one has a Cuben Fiber canopy and floor. 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
GoLite Tumalo Storm Jacket & Pants Review
by Ray Estrella
The Tumalo line is GoLite's most affordable WPB rain gear, yet only gives up a little weight on their top-of-the-line offerings. How does it perform? 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 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 Gear Reviews
Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA) CDT Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
The CDT is a really nice frameless backpack that would be even better with a few revisions. And there is one thing you really need to know… Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Members Only The Global Test III: Trekking in Russia
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
From the Gulag Archipelago to the Pearl of Siberia: between gear choice mistakes, gear failure, corrupt officials, and aggressive cows, at what point does backpacking cease to be fun? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Sky International Evolution 2P Tent Review
by Ray Estrella
Creation vs Evolution: one of the thorniest questions ever and one I prefer to stay away from most of the time. But Bob Molen’s latest creation is the ever-evolving Evolution 2P, and one I feel comfortable tackling. It is almost divine... Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Primus Eta Solo Stove Review
by Roger Caffin
A heat exchanger stove in the now fairly standard upright format. Does the Primus Eta Solo outperform the competition? 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 Gear Gear Lists
Members Only The Global Test Part II: Evaluating System Efficiency for a Round-the-World Journey
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
In Part 1, we answered the question "What should you pack?" Mid-way through our global trek, we now visit the question "How's that working out for you?" Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Carbon Reflex 3 Tent Review
by Ray Estrella
Dropping two full pounds from my current tent weight to use a sub-five-pound three-person double-wall tent all summer sounded too good to be true. How did MSR's lightest 3P shelter work for the Estrella family? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review
by Brad Groves
Does the strong appeal, on paper, of the Integral Designs eVent Pullover materialize in real-world use? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Minimalist Footwear for Summer Backpacking
by Damien and Renee Tougas
Unlike more traditional running shoes, there is no set pattern established and accepted as to what characteristics make a good minimalist shoe. We scan the currently available products and test some out to see how applicable these designs are for ultralight backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Kelty Cosmic Down 20 Sleeping Bag Review
by Brad Groves
It's a $100 DOWN bag. Too good to be true? You may be surprised... Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
A higher volume (59 L) durable fabric frameless backpack with superb design, construction, and options. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
PHD Mountain Software Yukon Down Pullover Review
by Will Rietveld
Featuring 900 fill-power down, baffled construction, high loft, and a nearly waterproof shell, the Yukon Pullover is a well-balanced four-season down parka. Is this the ultimate ultralight down garment for cold weather pursuits? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Katabatic Sawatch 15 Quilt and Crestone Hood Review
by Roger Caffin
Very warm, quality gear from a cottage manufacturer dedicated to innovative lightweight sleeping solutions. 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
Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Pole Review
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight, collapsible, fixed-length poles that use avalanche pole technology to lock the sections. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo Ultralight Modular Shelter System Review
by Will Rietveld
These Cuben Fiber shelter systems are among the lightest out there, consisting of a tarp, mesh insert, and front beak and providing five useful shelter options! 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
GoLite Peak Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
The frameless 36 L Peak backpack has been redesigned: we take an in-depth look, with commentary on the revised Jam and Pinnacle packs. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
High Gear ATF8 Multi-Function Device
by Ray Estrella
The ATF8 is almost everything I am looking for in a multi-function watch, without being merely a watch. It has proven to be accurate, durable, and easy to learn and use. 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
Black Diamond Infinity 60 & Innova 50 Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Freedom of movement is the next advancement in internal frame backpack technology, but it appears to have limitations. 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 Reviews
Big Sky International Mirage 1P Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
Two-pound free-standing single-wall solo tent with lots of interior usable space, good ventilation, good wind and storm protection, and it sets up in one minute! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
POE Ether Elite 6 2/3 Length Air Mat Product Review
by Roger Caffin
We know plain air mats tend to be rather cold, but can this be alleviated by including a very thin layer of synthetic insulation inside the mat on one surface? This is what Pacific Outdoor Equipment have attempted to do with this very light Ether Elite 6 air mat. 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
MontBell Tachyon Anorak and Dynamo Wind Pants Review
by Will Rietveld
This very lightweight wind shirt and pants are remarkably useful and versatile. 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 Reviews
ULA Epic Pack Review
by Ed Tyanich
This improved pack handles heavy or awkward loads with ease, for your Epic adventures. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Ex-Officio Give-N-Go Briefs Review
by Roger Caffin
Most of us (males) want to wear something under our trousers, but what? Ordinary cotton underpants have several disadvantages: the waist band often conflicts with the hip-belt on the pack, and when they get wet they can take a very long time to dry. The Ex-Officio Give-N-Go Briefs largely solve those two problems. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sierra Designs Vapor Light 2 Tent Review
by Ray Estrella
The Sierra Designs Vapor Light 2 has the lowest trail weight of all the company’s two-person double-wall tents at 3.44 pounds (1.56 kg). An interesting pole design adds room to make it more livable inside. Will the Vapor Light be one we want to share, or will it turn out to be Vapor Ware? 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
GoLite Quest and GoLite Odyssey Packs
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 2: The Packs
by Roger Caffin
A rundown of all the packs tested in the 2010 Lightweight Internal Frame Pack SOTM. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Osprey Exos 46 and Osprey Exos 58 Packs
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
ULA Circuit, ULA Catalyst, and ULA Camino Packs
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell Versalite 50 and MontBell Versalite 50 Short (Japan)
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Crux AK47 and Crux AK57 Packs (UK)
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
JanSport Big Bear 63 Pack
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
REI Flash 65 and REI Flash 50 Packs
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Lowe Alpine Nanon 50:60 and Lowe Alpine Zepton ND50 Packs (Italy)
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Elemental Horizons Northern Lite Pack
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Lightwave UltraHike 60, Lightwave Fastpack 50, and Lightwave Wildtrek 55w Packs (UK)
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
One Planet Shadow Pack (Australia)
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Granite Gear Escape AC 60, Granite Gear Vapor Flash Ki, and Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone Packs
by Roger Caffin
Mini-review for the 2010 State of the Market Report on Internal Frame Backpacks. 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 Gear Reviews
Sierra Designs LT Strike 2 Tent Review
by Ray Estrella
The Sierra Designs LT Strike 2 uses a radical pole design to make a roomy two-person tent, but does condensation leave us all wet? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1B: Theory and Technology
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 Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Internal Frame Packs: a State of the Market Report - Part 1A: Testing Overview and List of Packs Tested
by Roger Caffin
We survey light-weight 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 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
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment
by Chris Murphy
A quality, lightweight shelter that's easy to assemble, but does a condensation issue leave us all wet? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Nemo Espri 2P Tent Review
by Ray Estrella
While not the lightest of tents, this shelter can handle such a wide range of multi-tasking to make it worth a closer look. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Members Only The Global Test: One Gear List for Two Years and Five Continents
by Kristin Tennessen with Danny Milks
Part 1: Backpackers are all over the map when it comes to answering the question... What should I pack? 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 SpotLite Reviews
Benchmade 530 Folding Knife Review
by Roger Caffin
Many walkers find a razor blade adequate, but there are plenty of situations where a bit more is needed. This knife, with a blade over three inches long yet weighing only two ounces, may suit many lightweight walkers. 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 SpotLite Reviews
Monatauk Gnat Stove Review
by Ryan Jordan
A big burner head, simple design, minimal use of materials, and light weight (1.7 oz) put the Monatauk Gnat at the head of the pack for ultralight canister stoves. 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
Sierra Designs Gnar Down Sweater Review
by Will Rietveld
Coming out in fall 2010, the Gnar is a good balance of sizing and fit, features, and overall light weight, but it could be a little warmer. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Crux Halo Top Review
by Will Rietveld
Q: What’s a Halo Top? A: an ultralight down-insulated minimalist anorak that weighs just 7.9 oz (225 g), and it’s sized well for taller people. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Integral Designs Wedge eVENT Bivy REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A three-pound solo shelter made of almost-magically breathable eVENT fabric and designed for alpine climbing, it can handle wild weather, but is it comfortable to live with? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Brooks-Range Alpini Mountain Anorak Review
by Will Rietveld
The Alpini is a lightweight furnace and lands on our recommended list, but how about a version for non-climbers? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Brunton 7DNL Compass Review
by Roger Caffin
Small, light, easy to use, and about the right size for a simple baseplate model. 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
Terra Nova Laser Tent Review
by Ray Estrella
With the 2.47-lb (1.12-kg) Laser, Terra Nova takes aim at the lightweight backpacker that wants to travel in comfort. Will the Laser hit the bull’s eye, or will we just be blinded by the light? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Darn Tough Vermont Boot Sock Review
by Roger Caffin
In a world where most clothing seems to come from China and be of debatable quality and life, these thick, durable, woollen Made-in-Vermont socks are a standout - and have a well-deserved cult following. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Hubba Hubba HP Tent Review
by Ray Estrella
With new fabrics, a strong design and plenty of pitching options, the HP is quite attractive. Will this relatively lightweight double-wall abode have us exclaiming with enthusiasm or will we hurry on to the next cutie? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance MT910GT Joggers Review
by Roger Caffin
Totally synthetic, solid soles with a good tread and a range of width fittings, a Gore-Tex 'Extended Comfort Footwear' lining, but a slightly stiff sole. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Marmot Venus Jacket Review
by Janet Reichl
With 800 fill-power down and weighing less than 12 ounces, does this attractive and warm jacket ultimately put fashion over function? 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 Gear Reviews
Members Only Ultralight Down Pants: Light, Warm, and Versatile
by Will Rietveld
Ultralight down insulated pants from MontBell, PHD, and Western Mountaineering are reviewed and compared. Down pants provide the most warmth for their weight, and are especially versatile for colder weather camping. Wear them to stay warm in camp and to extend the warmth of an ultralight sleeping bag. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Soto OD-1R Canister Stove Product Review
by Roger Caffin
This Japanese stove is small, light, and well-made, with a unique miniature pressure regulator instead of a needle valve. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
JakPak All-In-One Garment Review
by Chris Murphy
Is this the "Three Musketeers" of backpacking gear (all for one, one for all!), or does it leave Chris feeling cold? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Ultralight Three-Season Down Mummy-Style Sleeping Bags: State of the Market Report 2010
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Mummy bags win hands down as the most thermally efficient bag design. An ultralight down mummy combined with an ultralight down jacket and pants creates a remarkably warm and versatile sleeping system for colder conditions. Join Will as he rounds up and rates the lightest three-season down mummy bags. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Eddie Bauer First Ascent Downlight Sweater Review
by Will Rietveld
This jacket really rocks - an excellent balance of light weight, basic features, warmth, wind and water resistance, and cost. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sierra Designs Nitro 30 Sleeping Bag Review
by Will Rietveld
Remarkably lofty and warm for a 30 F (-1 C) rated bag – this is the first sleeping bag I have tested that’s warmer than its claimed temperature rating! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
REI Quarter Dome T2 Tent Review
by Ray Estrella
There's a lot of bang for the buck in this roomy, lightweight, double-wall tent! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
PHD Minim 400 Sleeping Bag Review
by Janet Reichl
This zipperless down mummy-style 23 F rated sleeping bag is elegant for its simplicity, light weight, and high loft-to-weight ratio. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Petzl Tikka XP2 and Tikka Plus2 LED Headlamp Reviews
by Rick Dreher
Petzl has been busy upgrading and gives us two new versions of an old stand-by. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
PHD Mountain Software Ultra Down Pullover Review
by Will Rietveld
The ultimate down jacket for ultralight backpacking and lightweight cold weather pursuits. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell Ex Light Women's Down Jacket Review
by Janet Reichl and Will Rietveld
The lightest down jacket to be found, but the women’s version doesn’t have as much loft and warmth as the men’s version. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountain Hardwear Nitrous Jacket Review
by Will Rietveld
An ultralight down jacket that performs well in active pursuits, but it’s not the best choice for ultralight backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Marmot Hydrogen Sleeping Bag Review
by Will Rietveld
The Hydrogen is a well designed, high loft, roomy, warm, mummy-style down 30F-rated sleeping bag, but its shell fabric is heavy and wets out too easily. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Lowrance Endura Sierra GPS Review
by Ray Estrella
Lowrance adds touchscreen functionality with its top of the line Sierra GPS. With a plethora of multimedia options, it comes across as more entertainment device than a dedicated navigational aid. How does it work for backpacking? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Tent Review
by Ray Estrella
Big Agnes raises the bar for two-person double-wall tents by creating their lightest offering ever. In fact, it is the lightest tent in this category from any manufacturer. Will it Fly high, or leave us up a Creek? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell UL Spiral Down Hugger Sleeping Bag Review
by Will Rietveld
A lot to like and a great value for a 30 F rated down mummy bag weighing only 19 ounces. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Pak-Rifle Review
by Ryan Jordan
My expectation for a small game rifle is to be able to shoot a very small and compact group on a target at 25 yards or less, and the Pak-Rifle makes my heart beat faster. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Olympus E-P1 Camera Review
by Ryan Jordan
Sure, it's lighter than its DSLR brethren, but it's also heavier and bulkier than its compact cousins. Does it offer improvements to justify carrying the additional weight and bulk? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews
by Darin Banner
GoLite Footwear has developed a unique underfoot suspension system that largely accomplishes their intentions. The shoes are comfortable, but there are durability concerns for the soles. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 Sleeping Bag Review
by Will Rietveld
A warm, refined sleeping bag, but not the lightest in its class. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Rab Microlight Jacket Review
by Will Rietveld
Trim-fitting ultralight three-season down jacket with a great shell and basic feature set, but its numerous horizontal seams allow down fragments to leak out. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Olympus E-620 Digital SLR Camera Review
by Alan Dixon
The E-620 is the lightest mid-sized or "crop sensor" format DSLR with all the functionality and image quality for serious backcountry still photography - even in difficult situations like handheld shots in low morning and evening light. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
Lower volume ultralight backpack with removable stays and other components - so you can set up the pack for individual trips and personal preferences to your heart's content. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
The North Face Beeline Sleeping Bag Review
by Will Rietveld
The specifications look great, but the devil is in the details. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance MT875OR Joggers Review
by Roger Caffin
Totally synthetic, luggy soles, and a breathable draining upper, plus a range of width fittings including really wide (4E). (Updated 9/22/09) Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
The North Face Thunder Jacket Review
by Will Rietveld
Not the lightest down jacket to be found, but it's an excellent balance of warmth and durability, and versatile the year around as an outer layer or midlayer. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Alpacka Ultralight Paddle Review
by Ryan Jordan
A packrafting paddle is not a particularly special thing. It’s simply a kayak paddle, capable of being broken down into two or four pieces for easy stowage while inside or attached to a pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Made in China - A State of the Market Report
by Roger Caffin
If almost everyone is taking manufacturing to China, what are the short- and long-term consequences for both the developed and developing worlds? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoPro Wide Helmet Cam Review
by Ryan Jordan
Practical application review on using the helmet cam in the backcountry... essentially, how does it do? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Garmin Oregon 550t Handheld Color Mapping GPS Review
by Alan Dixon
Garmin trumpets the addition of a camera to this gadget, but are the improvement they DON'T mention even more impressive? 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 Gear Reviews
Western Mountaineering Hooded Flash Jacket Review
by Will Rietveld
Perfect balance of warmth, light weight, and performance for less extreme conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Two in One Boat: Sharing a Packraft on a River Trip
by Ryan Jordan
With 40 lbs from skin out for both father and son, would our contingency plan of "snuggling for warmth" come into play? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Nemo Nano Elite Tent Review
by Ray Estrella
The Nemo Nano Elite is marketed by the manufacturer as a lightweight, fast set-up tent aimed at adventure racers and the fast-and-light crowd. Since I can't run with the former, I try to hang with the latter. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
New Balance MT1110GT Joggers Review
by Roger Caffin
Totally synthetic, good soles, and a XCR membrane for wet weather use, plus a range of width fittings including really wide. Very good under some winter conditions, but with a curious defect which limits their use. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Tarptent Scarp 2 Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
Although the Scarp 2 incorporates several weight-saving and space-making design elements to create a friendly, roomy, well ventilated, and stable tent for two campers, these benefits do not come without compromise. 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 Gear Reviews
Members Only Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Sleeping Pad Review
by Roger Caffin, Mike Martin, and Ryan Jordan
Backpacking Light has been able to spend time with a pre-production Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Pad in the laboratory, in our living rooms, and in the field. Does the product deliver? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
MSR utilizes lightweight fabrics, carbon fiber poles, and elegant design to achieve a sub-three-pound double-wall tent for two. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Functional Design Sweetie Pie Bag Expander Review
by Marty Coatney
The Functional Design Sweetie Pie Bag Expander is a versatile, zip-in, sleeping bag expander that can be used singly for individuals that enjoy more space, or together with another expander as a sleeping bag doubler. Two expanders can also be zipped together to form a child-sized bag allowing for an adventurous toddler to have his own space. Read More...
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 Gear Reviews
Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt Review
by Will Rietveld
At one ounce per pair, these waterproof/breathable rain mitts are designed for ultralight backpacking, but should they be worn over a jacket sleeve or under it? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Terra Nova Laser Competition Review
by Doug Johnson
Prior to the Terra Nova Laser Photon Elite, the Laser Competition was listed by Guinness World Records as "the lightest two-skin (double-wall) tent." While no longer the record-holder, at just over 2 pounds, the Laser Competition is still among the lightest double-wall tents on the market. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Hooded Inferno Jacket Review
by Will Rietveld
Great value on a super-warm, lightweight, 800 fill down parka. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Sky International Montana 2P Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
At 2 pounds, 10 ounces, the Montana is the lightest two-person double-wall tent available, but extreme lightness comes with a few tradeoffs. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Salomon Tundra Mid WP Insulated Boot Review
by Will Rietveld
Ultra-warm, ruggedly-built, waterproof, lightweight boots insulated with Aerogel. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sigma DP1 Review
by Chris Townsend
The Sigma DP1 is a unique compact camera with a large sensor capable of taking superb quality photos but it is slow to use with some poor design features. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GSI Outdoors nFORM Ultralight Nesting Bowl and Mug Set Review
by Roger Caffin
Two nesting bowls, strong polypropylene, ~20 fluid ounces capacity each, about 1.5 ounces weight each and US$8.95 for the set: they can't be too bad! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Tarptent Sublite Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
Tarptent's newest, lightest solo tent is innovative and available in breathable Tyvek and traditional silnylon versions. At 18.5 ounces, the Tyvek Sublite is the lightest breathable fabric tent available. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Exposure Lights - Joystick MaXx and Enduro MaXx Review
by Doug Johnson
The Exposure Lights Joystick MaXx and Enduro MaXx are rechargeable lights with excellent versatility for multi-sport pursuits. They can go from the bicycle to the backpack very easily, offering exceptional brightness, light weight, and a weatherproof design. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Members Only Lightweight in Wonderland
by J. Sinclair Oal
Circumnavigating Mount Rainier's premier walk with lightweight gear has J. Sinclair Oal grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Podcasts
Podcast: Carol Crooker Puts Waterproof Footwear to the Allegheny Test
by Carol Crooker
Four footwear systems in as many days: Carol does her best to get cold feet. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Osprey Exos Backpack Review
by Will Rietveld
Osprey's new Exos 46 and Exos 58 backpacks are designed specifically for lightweight backpacking, and, at just over 2 pounds, set a new weight standard for an internal frame backpack with a built-in frame. Plus, they're durable and full-featured. 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
Photon ReX Review
by Roger Caffin and Rick Dreher, with contributions from Will Rietveld
The Photon ReX looks like another one of those little button-cell LED lights, but it has a couple of very nice surprises - and it even works well. Testing it presented some difficulties, but these were generally easy to overcome. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Patagonia Traverse Softshell Review
by Don Wilson
Don Wilson explores the new Patagonia Traverse Softshell clothing, with input from Ryan Jordan. 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
MSR Hyperflow Microfilter Review
by Roger Caffin with Will Rietveld
A new development in the area of microfilters which is both light and field maintainable, but does it work well enough? There are problems when the water is not crystal clear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs Refuge/Refuge X Tent Review
by Doug Johnson
At 25.2 ounces for the Refuge and 15.8 ounces for the "world's lightest two-man" Refuge X, Six Moon Designs now has two of the lightest floored single-wall shelters on the market (and the only floored tent made of Cuben Fiber). Were the design compromises and added expense worth the weight savings? 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 Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Light Packs for Heavy Loads: State of the Market Report
by Chris Townsend
Chris Townsend reviews the options in lightweight packs for heavy loads. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs Serenity Net Tent Review
by Carol Crooker
A seven-ounce mosquito-free haven which, when mated with the Gatewood Cape, becomes the inner half of an eighteen-ounce double walled tent system. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Montbell Thermawrap Pant Review
by Will Rietveld
This full-featured synthetic insulated pant really fits well, and it’s a great value – if you want or need the features. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Agnes Cyclone SL Chair Kit Review
by Carol Crooker, with input from Will Rietveld
Camp chair aficionados rejoice - the ten ounce barrier has been convincingly broken by Big Agnes with their six ounce Cyclone SL chair kit. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad Review
by Will Rietveld, with input from Carol Crooker
Finally - a really lightweight, thick, comfy inflatable sleeping pad. Used properly, it's a cushy alternative to a thin torso length pad. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Sky International Convertible 2P Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A unique feature of the Convertible it that a third pole can be added to "convert" it from a three-season tent to a "WinterLite" four-season tent. At 3.5 pounds for a complete two-person double-wall tent, the Convertible in three season mode is 2.6 ounces heavier than Big Sky's award-winning Evolution 2P, but new design elements make it more stable and versatile. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Montbell Alpine Light Down Parka SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight, extremely versatile hooded down jacket that can be worn as an outer layer or midlayer. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE Review
by Will Rietveld
Great fitting, lightweight, exceptionally versatile eVENT pant. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Montbell Thunderhead Jacket SPOTLITE REVIEW Review
by Will Rietveld
One of the lightest Gore-Tex Pro Shell jackets available, with weight and performance (with supplemental ventilation) comparable to a lightweight eVENT jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
New Balance MT1110GT Joggers SpotLite Review
by Roger Caffin
Totally synthetic, good soles and a XCR membrane for wet weather use, plus a range of widths, including really wide. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Outdoor Research DryComp Summit Sack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
This multi-purpose bag serves as a waterproof day pack, compression stuff sack, dry bag, and pillow. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear The One Shelter REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
The One optimizes light weight, roominess, features, convenience, and weather/bug protection in a seventeen ounce single wall tent. 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 Gear Reviews
SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker - Full Review
by Alan Dixon and Roger Caffin, with assistance from the other members of the SPOT testing team: Mike Martin and Steve Nelson.
Does this highly anticipated technological breakthrough live up to the hype? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Coleman Pack-Away Lantern Spotlite Review
by Roger Caffin
A compact LED lantern, lighter than canister lanterns and fairly bright, but not yet perfect. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Garmin Colorado 400t Handheld Color Mapping GPS - REVIEW
by Alan Dixon and Steve Nelson
Garmin's latest mapping GPS has a large, high-resolution display, streamlined controls (including the new "Rock 'n Roller" input wheel), and topographic maps for the entire United States at 1:100K scale. In many ways, it represents an advance in handheld GPS for the general consumer...but it appears to have missed the mark for lightweight backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
GSI Outdoors Cascadian Cup SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Strong polypropylene, will not burn your lips, twelve fluid ounces capacity, 1.7 ounces weight and $1.75 USD: it can't be too bad! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
GSI Outdoors Cascadian Bowl SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Strong polypropylene, almost twenty-four fluid ounces capacity, 1.55 ounces weight and $1.50 USD: it can't be too bad! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Outdoor Research Endeavor Mitt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight durable shell mitt especially suited for snow sports or any situation where a more durable waterproof-breathable mitt is needed. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Komperdell Touring Glove Spotlite Review
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Gloves made with Komperdell's new seamless bonding construction get a mixed review. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Granite Gear Vapor Day Pack Review
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight, full-featured, very comfortable internal frame day pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Arc'Teryx Squamish WindShell Review
by Don Wilson
A full-featured, high quality windshell Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Kamik Viper Insulated Boots SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Good lightweight insulated boots for travel in dry snow, but they have some major drawbacks for wet snow travel and for normal hiking and backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear
Rab Latok eVENT Glove SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
These eVENT-lined gloves performed so well they left me wondering why eVENT gloves are not more common. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Ultra Quilt Review
by Steve Nelson
High-quality, 800-fill down quilt with Pertex Endurance “Arid Zone” patches at head and foot is a solid value. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Icebreaker Cross Cami SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Women's merino wool top with built in support. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
I/O Biocompatibles Contact Long Sleeve Crew SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
A new company provides another choice in technical wool clothing. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2008 LuxuryLite Big Survival Stik Walking Staff REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
This is a modern version of the traditional hardwood walking staff. Made of carbon fiber, it is much stronger and more robust than even the stiffest of trekking poles. It has an adjustable hand strap, breaks down into sections, and can even be converted into a “trail defense system". Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW
by Doug and Amy Johnson
The Golite Pinnacle is a replacement for the popular Gust pack and is the larger version of the popular Golite Jam2 backpack. It offers many upgrades over the Gust, but how do they affect the pack’s performance? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Ibex Balance Seamless Sport Bra SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Finally, the magic of wool is available in a bra. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Members Only Post-Trip Assessment of Lightweight Gear for Long Distance Hiking
by Roger Caffin
The gear list we took to France for 3 months is evaluated after our return Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
A Custom Backpack – Designed by You
by Will Rietveld
I worked with R2 Packs to design and build my dream pack, and report on my experience. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2007 Hennessy Hyperlight Backpacker A-Sym Hammock REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
The Hennessy Hyperlight Backpacker A-Sym hammock is a refined backpacking hammock that incorporates full rain and bug protection, and has a convenient entry/exit system. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Hennessy Hammocks Supershelter SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A lightweight system for using a Hennessy Hammock in the shoulder and winter seasons. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Garmin eTrex Vista HCx GPS REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
With the addition of a new ‘H’ high sensitivity receiver, the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx GPS sets a new benchmark for GPS performance in difficult reception areas Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR MIOX Purifier REVIEW
by Roger Caffin, with contributions from Backpacking Light staff members Doug Johnson, Mike Martin and Will Rietveld
A small electronic device for purifying water with a mixed oxidizer based on electrolyzing salt. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear Miniposa Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Removable carbon fiber stays make it the lightest and most versatile internal frame backpack in its size class, but curved stays would markedly improve its fit and comfort. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Coleman Powermax Fuel Adapter Spotlite Review
by Roger Caffin
An adapter to allow you to use your Coleman Xtreme stove in winter with screw-thread canisters rather than the hard-to-find Powermax canisters. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Rite in the Rain Weatherjet Paper SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
A waterproof paper you can use in your ink-jet printer to copy maps for field use. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Helix Potty Trowel REVIEW
by Roger Caffin, with forum contributions from members Brian King and Peter Lewis
A very light carbon fibre and aluminium alloy ‘potty trowel’ (which works quite well as such) which also functions very well as an ultra-light ice axe. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
AntiGravityGear TarpTent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
With over 38 square feet of floor area, this single person tent has the highest area to weight ratio in its class (single wall shelter with floor), but it has a few flaws. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lightest bug-proof one-person shelter on the market. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2007 Alpkit Carbonlite Trekking Poles REVIEW
by Ken Knight
These three section carbon fiber trekking poles are sturdy and stiff and are light in your hands AND on your budget. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs 2007 Comet Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A durable and versatile “convertible backpack” with removable stays that allow it to be used either frameless or as an ultralight internal frame backpack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2007 Deuter KangaKid Child Carrier REVIEW
by Marty Coatney
A lightweight internal frame child carrier that compacts for use as a day pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2007 Jacks 'R' Better “Down to Earth” Pad Converter REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
The Jacks ‘R’ Better Down to Earth Pad Converter converts any JRB quilt, including the No Sniveller, into a top bag system. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
2007 Feathered Friends Grouse Sleeping Bag SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Doug and Amy Johnson
A women-specific bag that’s properly sized for a women’s body and uses an ultralight Schoeller NanoSphere shell. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A well designed and capable lightweight internal frame backpack from REI with a great feature set, and it’s an excellent value! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Removable carbon fiber stays make it one of the lightest and most versatile internal frame backpacks on the market. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Indigenous Designs Terra Sport SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
A performance sweater made from all natural fabrics Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Score another winner for SMD – the Lunar Duo is a well-designed, roomy, lightweight, well-ventilated single-wall tent for two people. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Black Diamond Guiding Light Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Extremely versatile and lightweight four-season, four-person, single-wall, free-standing, breathable fabric tent. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Down Under Quilt REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A lightweight down hammock under-quilt designed for a Hennessy hammock that still allows for easy bottom entry. It can also be used as a top quilt or as a top bag. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Ultralight by child carrier standards, the Sherpani Rumba Superlight child carrier offers advanced features and a comfortable ride. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2007 Jacks ‘R’ Better Old Rag Mtn Down Quilt REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A cold weather quilt that can be used in a cold weather hammock system, as a quilt for ground sleeping, or as a winter overbag. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2007 Black Diamond Enduro CF Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Matt Eckhart
These poles use a mix of aluminum and carbon shafts with unique FlickLock adjustments and are solid performers for four season use. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Kahtoola FLIGHTsystem REVIEW
by Steve Nelson and Will Rietveld
Innovative snow travel system consisting of an overboot with cleats that click into a snowshoe deck. The design eliminates the snowshoe binding and allows the use of the overboots separately, which allows wearers to use lightweight trail running shoes inside, but there are a few significant drawbacks we discovered from our field testing. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Crazy Creek Backpacker Lite AIR Chair SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
For lightweight backpackers who crave the luxury of a chair (10 oz) plus a REALLY COMFORTABLE torso sleep pad (11 oz) - this is worth a look. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
AntiGravityGear TreeLine SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
One-ounce bear hang using flat weave Spectra cord that easily glides over a tree limb. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Keen Shellrock WP Trail Shoe SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
With its eVENT softshell upper, the Shellrock seems like it should be the perfect lightweight trail shoe for wet conditions, but my field testing revealed very mixed results. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Priced at only $189 for a 25 °F rated ultralight down sleeping bag, it’s a very nice bag in all respects, except for one major issue. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Ultralight Outfitters Lightning Access Backpack REVIEW
by Tanya Warnecke
Innovative frameless backpack with seven individual compartments you can reach without taking the pack off. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
2007 Birdiepal Umbrellas SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
For those that love umbrellas, Birdiepal brollies are the lightest available- and they are durable enough to survive the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Members Only Lightweight Backpacking Gear for Kids
by Jay Ham
A review of commercially-available, lightweight gear suited for - if not made for - backpacking with kids. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
2007 Jacks 'R' Better SilNyl Tarp SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A tarp that is larger than a stock hammock tarp and extends coverage for wet, cold, and snowy conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Kestrel 4000 Pocket Weather Tracker REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
The Kestrel provides the technically-minded backpacker much more useful information than a multi-function watch, and is easier to use. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Coleman Xtreme Stove REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
One of the few canisters stoves truly designed for winter use, the Xtreme features an innovative liquid feed system. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite VO24 Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight 1600 cubic inch multi-purpose frameless day pack. Score another winner for GoLite! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sierra Designs Flash Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Packed with 30 ounces of 800-fill down and other heat-retaining features, this lightweight bag earns its 0 °F rating but its snug fit and curved half zipper are its nemesis. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Staff Picks
Members Only Ultralight Knives and Other Sharp Things
by Mike Clelland!
Find out what BPL staffers carry to cut, slice, chop, and snip. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sierra Designs Assailant Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
This four-season, one-person, single-wall tent is made of a fabric claimed to be more breathable than eVENT. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Mtn Sleeping Pad REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
The best sleeping pad in its class, but only because it has no competition as a sub-13-ounce, 1.5-inch thick self-inflator. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Lite Sleeping Pad SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Lightest self-inflator on the market but the length and shape are not optimal and degrade performance. 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
Black Diamond Mega Light and Mega Bug Pyramid Tent REVIEW
by Jay Ham
The Mega Light is a solid, well designed pyramid tent, but the weight-conscious should leave the bug liner behind. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Rab Drillium Jacket REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight eVENT multi-sport jacket with a terrific fit and feature set, but its appeal depends on whether you need a helmet-compatible hood or not. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Atlas BC24 Snowshoe REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
This showshoe lets you climb like a mountain goat, but needs more flotation and some weight reduction. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Ibex Shak Full Zip SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
A dense knit merino wool mid-layer Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2007 Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
The Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket offers great features such as a full coverage hood, drop tail, excellent sizing, dual vent pockets, and super-breathable eVENT fabric, all at a lightweight 11.9 ounces (size large). Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Montane Featherlite H2O Spotlite Review
by Don Wilson
A 3.5 ounce hoodless, waterproof jacket Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Members Only Lightweight Gear for Long Distance Hiking: Four Months in Europe
by Roger Caffin
Roger and Sue Caffin's gear lists for their upcoming 4 months in Europe Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear SpinnTwinn Tarp REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Gossamer Gear offers an ultralight spinnaker fabric catenary-shaped tarp for one or two people that weighs just 8 ounces! 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 Reviews
Adapt Gear Bison Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
This fixed-length carbon fiber trekking pole is not as elegant or lightweight as our top choice Gossamer Gear Lightrek pole, but it’s a strong performer and is the value champ at only $72/pair. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountainsmith PCT 45 Backpack REVIEW
by Ken Knight
A feature-rich, heavy load carrier, but it tries to be a bit too much for too many people. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Keen Growler Boot SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Janet Reichl
Lightweight synthetic fabric waterproof boot with Primaloft insulation - perfect for active snow travel and cold weather hiking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Polar Wrap Toasty Feet Insole SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Lightweight Insoles containing Aerogel for underfoot insulation. 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 Reviews
Marmot Atom Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Don Wilson
A one pound, three-season bag with top quality materials. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Forty Below Synthetic Fill Camp Booties SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Ultra warm non-slip booties for snow camping, and they coordinate well with daytime snow travel footwear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
RBH Designs VaprThrm Socks SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Vapor barrier socks with a good fit and loads of versatility, but slower to dry out when snow camping. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Seirus NeoSock SuperSock and StormSock SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Breathable neoprene socks and weatherproof/breathable socks designed to keep feet warm in cold weather pursuits. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Komperdell Featherlight Carbon Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Stiff, light, reasonably priced fixed-length pole with contoured grip and wrist strap. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Osprey Talon 44 Backpack REVIEW
by Rick Dreher
A roomy, comfortable, lightweight framed backpack with lots of pockets, good load control, an adjustable torso length, and a few weak spots. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only STATE OF THE MARKET REPORT: LED Headlamps (2007)
by Rick Dreher
Three years ago, LED lights couldn't compete with incandescent headlamps in demanding conditions. Today, it's a whole different ballgame. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
White Box Stove REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
While not the lightest around, this simple pressurised alcohol stove is remarkably robust. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Montrail Hurricane Ridge XCR Shoe SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
An old favorite gets a makeover, making it better than ever, but also a little heavier. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
SteriPEN Adventurer Water Purifier REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
A reasonably light and very effective means of purifying water to EPA purifier standards. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Gregory Iso Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Jay Ham
A full-featured and comfortable daypack using lightweight materials to keep the weight down. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Integral Designs VB Sock SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Simple lightweight vapor barrier socks that perform their function well. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Kamik Force Boot SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A comfortable and warm ightweight insulated boot with OutDry WP/B technology. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Manzella Silkweight Windstopper Glove SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Stretchy, grippy, warm gloves that weigh only 1.6 ounces per pair. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
MontBell Stretch Gaiter SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Designed for minimum weight and maximum functionality, but a little too small for big feet. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
MontBell U.L. Alpine Down Hugger #3/#5 SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Lightweight 725 fill power down filled sleeping bags with unique draw corded foot section. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
MontBell U.L. Thermawrap Action Jacket SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Jay Ham
A synthetic-fill, full-zip jacket with highly breathable stretch panels and thumb-hole wrist sleeves Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
MontBell Versalite 20 Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Jay Ham
An 11.5 ounce lightweight toploading daypack with top pocket, side panel pockets, and hydration compatability. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
NEOS Trekker Overshoe SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
A versatile and durable waterproof/non-breathable overshoe suitable for snowshoeing, snow play, and snow camping in frigid temperatures, but heavier than we would like. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Jay Ham
A lightweight travel/daypack with 3-point compression, pockets, and hydration compatability. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Rocky Gore-Tex Sock SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Creates a very versatile footwear system when worn in lightweight trail runners for snow or wet conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
SealSkinz ChillBlocker and Over The Calf Socks SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Durable and reliably waterproof socks, but have a couple of distinct drawbacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Outdoor Research Cascadia Gaiter SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
A tall trim-fitting Gore-Tex PacLite gaiter that covers the tops of low-cut trail runners and full-height boots equally well, but balks over bulky boots. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
MontBell Handy Scoop SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Jay Ham
A lightweight stainless steel trowel for digging cat holes in hard, rocky ground. 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 Gear Reviews
Montane Prism Jacket REVIEW
by Don Wilson
The lightest hooded synthetic fill jacket on the market. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Macpac Epic 450 SF Sleeping Bag SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
This waterproof sleeping bag functions like an insulated bivy sack - is it worth the extra weight and cost? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Macpac Interwool Mountain Warmth Baselayer SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A winter weight hybrid baselayer with a wool layer next to skin and a polyester outer layer to wick moisture away. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
2007 Sierra Designs Isotope Rainwear SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
The Isotope is the current lightweight champ for backpacking rainwear – and it’s full-featured! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
VersaLayer Ability Jacket SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A unique soft shell jacket with retractable insulation in the torso area. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Jam2 Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
GoLite makes some significant improvements on an old favorite – without increasing the weight! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Quest Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Right on target for the lightweight backpacker: 70-liter, 3-pound internal frame pack with the right load-carrying capacity and feature set. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Osprey Talon 33 Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
High performance sub-2-pound, 2000 ci frameless pack for active light pursuits. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Manzella Summit Mitt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Lightweight, dry, and warm handwear for most snow sports, but we found their limits when we used them for snow shelter building. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Origo Rendezvous Peak Multi-Function Watch REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
User friendly and useful as an outdoor navigational aid – if you master its functions and keep it calibrated. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Members Only Ultralight in the Icebox
by Andrew Skurka
Andrew Skurka, who pioneered the 7700-mile Sea-to-Sea Route, discusses his expectations, concerns, and gear choices for a frigid 400-mile hike through northern Minnesota with ultralight gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Members Only A Lightweight Guide to Backpacking in Sustained, Cold Rain
by Alan Dixon
Techniques, gear and clothing to keep your pack light and a smile on your face during continuous days of rain. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
La Sportiva Trango S EVO GTX Mountaineering Boot REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Ultralight mountaineering boots that are great on rock and ice as well as long approaches on the trail. But are they durable and warm enough? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
2006 Jacks ‘R’ Better “Down to Earth” Pad Converter SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Converts any Jacks ‘R’ Better quilt into a top bag sleep system with an attached sleeping pad. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
2006 Jacks ‘R’ Better Old Rag Mtn Quilt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A versatile cold weather quilt that can be used in a cold weather hammock system as well as for “ground sleeping”. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
2006 Jacks ‘R’ Better Nest Quilt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A well-designed under quilt that integrates beautifully with Hennessy hammocks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
MSR Titan Mini Cookset SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
A reasonably minimal titanium cookset - very light, works well, but not very low cost. Take just one pot? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
MSR Titan Kettle SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
A reasonably light two-man titanium kettle - very light, works well, but not very low cost. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Western Mountaineering Summerlite Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Hooded, down mummy bag rated to freezing that weighs a mere 19 ounces. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Wingnut Adventure 2006 Backpack REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Small volume (1600 ci, 26 L) adventure racing pack that is ideal for biking and adequate for hiking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only STATE OF THE MARKET REPORT:
Bivy Sack Technologies, Products, and Applications (2006)

by Ryan Jordan
Performance factors, ratings and specifications for 14 sub-2-pound bivy sacks, staff picks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
CiloGear 60 Liter WorkSack Backpack REVIEW
by Matt Eckhart
Durable and adjustable, but initially confusing to set up. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Petzl e+LITE Headlamp REVIEW
by Rick Dreher
One ounce of fresh innovation: rotary switch, white-and-red LED array, modular form, storage capsule, waterproof. But not perfect - our tests reveal some weaknesses. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Princeton Tec Quad LED Headlamp REVIEW
by Rick Dreher
Waterproof, four-LED headlamp with a wide, regulated beam. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Montane Jetstream Windshirt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ben Smith
2.8 ounces, full zip - is there a downside? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Grand Shelters Icebox Igloo Building Tool REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
The Icebox does the igloo engineering for you, but you still have a steep learning curve. Once you master the technique, you may discover a new and fun wintertime activity. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Montane Prism Jacket SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Pertex Microlight shell, PRISM synthetic insulation, 12 ounces with hood Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3 Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A lightweight double-wall three-person tent with full storm protection and great views - but is it really sized for three? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Tarptent Double Rainbow Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Introduces some major advancements in single wall tent design and provides user friendliness not seen before in a single wall tent, but there are a few details that could be refined. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Tarptent Rainshadow 2 Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Ultralight (just over 2 1/2 pounds) single wall tent with a bathtub floor and plenty of space for three adults - or maybe the whole family. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Valandré La Fayette Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A four season bag that offers excellent loft for the weight. The center zip has advantages, but is it the right solution for you? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Hilleberg Rajd Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight single wall, two-person shelter with lots going for it: quality materials and construction, ease of set up, interior space and headroom, and storm worthiness – but it has one major problem. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear / Tarptent Squall Classic Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
At just over 1 ½ pounds, the Squall Classic improves on the original Tarptent Squall design with bathtub floor, spinnaker cloth construction, Easton aluminum stakes, and guyline adjusters. It drops significant weight from the Tarptent Squall 2 but does it go far enough to justify the cost? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Tarptent Contrail Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Tarptent introduces the 1+ person Contrail, a throwback to the original minimalist Tarptent, but loaded with refinements and new design elements. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Fibraplex Fibrapole 292 Carbon Fiber Tent Poles REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Fibraplex carbon fiber tent poles can save ounces of tent weight - are they durable enough? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Crescent Moon Silver 10 Backcountry Snowshoes REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lots of nice features, climbs like a goat, and would be near perfect if they were lighter. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Yowie Snowshoes REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Radically different snowshoes using an injection-moulded flexible deck with all-over grip, a fast webbing binding and tough crampons, claiming great agility on all slopes. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Marmot Atom Sleeping Bag SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
20 ounces in size long, Pertex Quantum shell, over 4 inches of loft Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Multi-Sport Backpack REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
If you can fit your gear into 30 liters, for 1 pound 5 ounces you get a bomber pack with almost every conceivable feature (except a frame). Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape Rainwear/Shelter REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
The Gatewood Cape has the same dual functionality as a poncho/tarp, but promises better shelter. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only The Backpacker's Digicam Manifesto
by Rick Dreher
BPL's techno guy discusses the attributes of the lightweight backpacker's perfect digital camera - and laments the fact that no one is making it yet! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Valandré Mirage Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Beautifully constructed, lightweight, and highly-efficient mummy for three-season conditions. But does it have the versatility you need? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Tent Comparison: Tarptent Squall 2 and Six Moon Designs Europa
by Alan Dixon
These two outstanding tents vie for the title of best two-person ultralight single-wall shelter – which one has the edge? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs Europa Tent REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Possibly the finest 2-pound two-person shelter on the market - providing you don't intend to use it above tree line in intense winds. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Tarptent Squall 2 Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Winner of the 2005 Lightitude Award for best single wall shelter, the Squall 2 improves on the classic Squall with several important updates. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Visor Buff Evo-2 Hat SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
A versatile ultralight outdoor cap from Buff. Is it funky or cool – you decide. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Balloonbed Inflatable Sleeping Pad REVIEW
by Mike Martin
Amazingly light and compact sleeping pad. Just be prepared for giggles from your friends. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
If you’re looking for a lightweight backpack to carry 25 to 35 pound loads, this is one you gotta check out. It rocks! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Hilleberg Kaitum Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
With a massive total area of 58.3 square feet and a weight of less than 6 pounds, the Hilleberg Kaitum delivers serious livable space for the weight. But how does it stand up to the rough alpine and winter environments it was designed for? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Integral Designs Hot Socks SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
So much warmth in such a light package. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Meridian Designs AquaStar Plus Ultraviolet Light Water Purifier REVIEW
by Ken Knight
Treat your water using this robust, 3.9-ounce, ultraviolet light based, water purifier. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Montrail Hardrock Trail Shoe SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Designed for the grueling Hardrock 100 endurance race – and that’s no exaggeration! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles Review Summary and Gear Guide Overview
by Doug Johnson
Carbon fiber construction has made its way into the trekking pole industry in a big way. The result is a bunch of really light poles. Which are better? We put twelve all-carbon and carbon/aluminum hybrid trekking poles through some seriously tough testing and rate their performance and features. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Komperdell C3 Airshock Men Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Don Wilson
While the Komperdell C3 Airshock poles are not the lightest trekking poles around, they pack adjustability, grips with comfortable straps, and an antishock system into a very lightweight pole. 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 Gear Reviews
Leki Carbon Ergometric Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Rick Dreher
The first carbon trekking pole from Leki - top quality and very expensive. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
simBLISSity UnSlack Pack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
If your backpack doesn’t have convenience pockets for your camera and snacks, here is a good way to add them. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Integral Designs eVENT Shortie Gaiters SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Elegant in their simplicity and functionality, they’re like putting your socks on in the morning. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Alpkit Carbonlite Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Stiff, lightweight, and reasonably priced, the Alpkit Carbonlite poles are the carbon trekking pole value leaders. How did they stand up to months of abuse? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear Lightrek ‘06 Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
The lightest poles on the market, now with stiffer shafts and more contoured grips. Are the shafts stiff and durable enough for serious trail usage? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Komperdell C2 Carbon Tour Duolock Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Matt Eckhart
Two-section carbon poles that are very light weight, adjust for different size users, and perform great in the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Komperdell C3 Duolock Women Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Ken Knight
Three-section carbon fiber trekking poles that combine sturdy construction, rigidity, and vibration absorption in a very light and compact package. This “Women’s” pole is sized for most hikers, regardless of gender. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Life-Link AT Superlight Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Super stiff, super strong, these are bomber fixed-length mountaineering and bushwhacking poles! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Pacerpole 2-Section Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Marty Coatney
Unique molded grips add extreme comfort and power to these heavier two-section aluminum/carbon fiber hybrids. But are they worth the weight? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Titanium Goat, Goat Poles Trekking Pole REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
The Goat Poles rock for simplicity, stiffness, and light weight - but there are a few flaws that need attention. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
New Balance 872 Off Road Trail Shoe SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
A superb shoe for ultralight backpacking on-trail. Off-trail, they performed exceptionally well, except for one weakness. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Tarptent Contrail (Sneak Preview) SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Tarptent returns to its roots with a new fast and light bivy-weight 1-person tent. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
SuperUltraLight Favorites Gear List 2006
by Carol Crooker
Taking a summer, long weekend backpacking trip carrying only 10 pounds on your back is easy, comfortable, and safe with the right gear. Here’s a list of the Backpacking Light editors' favorite SUL gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Coleman Fyrestorm Ti Stove REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Innovative dual-fuel stove for canisters and white gas and variants that works very well with canister fuel and reasonably well with white gas. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Primus Gravity MF Stove REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Innovative multi-fuel stove for canisters, white gas and kerosene that performs well with canister fuel but is difficult to use with the other fuels. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Komperdell Avalanche Carbon Shovel REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
This carbon fiber snow shovel is the lightest, most versatile, and most beautiful on the market… but also the most expensive. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Trail Designs Vari-Vent Windshield Spotlight Review
by Roger Caffin
A neat solution to windshields getting out of control. 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 SpotLite Reviews
Integral Designs eVENT Unishelter SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
31 oz bivy sack with hooped pole and a rich feature set for excellent breathability and ventilation. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Integral Designs eVENT Overbag and Micro Bivy SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
Utilitarian bivy sacks that perform their core functions well in the absence of excess luxuries and weight. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountain Laurel Designs 2006 Prophet Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Does the perfect frameless backpack exist? The Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet comes pretty darn close. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountain Laurel Designs Revelation Backpack REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Built for the gear-obsessed SUL crowd, the 3.2 ounce Mountain Laurel Designs Revelation pack is the lightest pack on the market while still offering a usable set of features. Further, it is the first commercially-available pack to be constructed of high-tech Cuben Fiber fabric. Impressive – yes, but how does it stand up to the rigors of off-trail hiking? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA) Conduit Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Looking for a weekend frameless pack that is both lightweight and durable? Check out the new ULA Conduit. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Dunham Waffle Stomper Alcatraz Shoe SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Really lightweight shoes for water sports and hiking in wet conditions, but they tortured my toes on steep downhills. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs Essence Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Panel-loading ultralight frameless backpack with a large top pocket - a great feature set - but it also has a few limitations that affect its field performance. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Danner Agitator 230 XCR Trail Shoe SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
This low-cut trail shoe performs like a boot – really tough, supportive, and stable. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
TechSpun Environmental Sock System SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
TechSpun makes some strong claims for these socks; is it hype, or do they really work? We tested them in summer and winter to find out. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Dunham Waffle Stomper Terrastryder Extra Boot REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
The feature set of this new boot from Dunham suggests that it might be an ideal lightweight, insulated, waterproof boot for snowshoeing and snow hiking. That would be true, if it were not for one serious problem… Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Dunham Waffle Stomper Terrastryder Mid Boot REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
With the new 2006 edition of the Terrastryder, Dunham has corrected the seam failure problem of its predecessor. The new boot merits high marks, except for one annoying carryover problem. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Outdoor Research Flex-Tex Gaiters SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Lightweight, durable, breathable, water-resistant, and stretch to fit a variety of footwear – but we had a couple of problems with the snaps and sizing. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Tarptent Rainbow Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
This radically different Tarptent is destined for greatness, but needs a few refinements here and there. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Headsweats Race Hat SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Way cool hiking hat that really manages the moisture and stays put, but snags fairly easily. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sacks (Production) SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
The lightest dry sacks, but also the leakiest (compared to lightweight dry sacks from four other companies) when subjected to harsh conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA) Relay Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Both lightweight AND durable, the new ULA Relay is a full-featured frameless daypack capable of comfortably carrying a heavy load - but there are a few nits to pick. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Cascade Designs SealLine Storm Sack Dry Sack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Top performing lightweight dry sack with roll top closure and taped seams. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Granite Gear Drysack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Fairly lightweight dry sack with roll top closure and taped seams. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Outdoor Research HydroLite Dry Sack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
The lightest dry sack available - almost. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Pacific Outdoor Equipment WXtex Pneumo Lightweight Dry Sack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Lightweight dry sack with a twist - purge/inflate valve and welded seams. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Modified Vargo Triad XE Stove REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Robust, lightweight, stable titanium alcohol stove that can be hard to get going - until a small modification is made. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vargo Triad Stove REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Lightweight, simple titanium alcohol stove with very stable, secure legs but just adequate heat output. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
GoLite DriMove Long Sleeve Top SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight, good fit, very comfortable, really wicks moisture away, but snags easily. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
CW-X Sport Support Bra and Firm Support Bra REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Good looking, quality construction, supportive - and comfortable too? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mini Bull Designs Sketti Stove REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Powerful, dead easy to light, sturdy alcohol stove - just be careful lifting a pot off before it burns out. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Jetboil Group Cooking Sytem SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
The second generation Jetboil stove system - efficient, but speed of heating can vary wildly. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Inov-8 F-Lite 300 Shoes SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Very lightweight (300 g, 10.5 oz US men's 9). Are they lightweight backpacking capable? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Oware Poncho/Tarp REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
The lightest silnylon poncho/tarp we have reviewed, but also the shortest. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Oware Silnylon Rain Chaps REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Lightweight (3 oz), simple, and long. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Headsweats Protech Hat SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Mike Martin
Headsweats offers an alternative to a conventional wide-brimmed sun hat. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
GSI Bugaboo Cookpot SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Light Teflon-lined aluminium cookpot for two people that is lighter and cheaper than the GSI Hard Anodised Extreme set. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
GSI Hard Anodised Extreme Cookpot SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Light Teflon-lined aluminium cookpot for two people. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
NEMO Hypno AR Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Slick, two-person inflatable single wall tent. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Jacks 'R' Better Biker Quilt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Down quilt that surrounds a top-entry hammock. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Patagonia Micropuff Vest REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Simple, lofty and light - to be replaced fall '06 with a heavier version - too bad. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Western Mountaineering Flash Vest REVIEW
by Don Wilson
The lightest down vest on the market, with a full zip but no neck coverage. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Innovations by Fin Finbar Hood REVIEW
by Stuart Bilby
A big (almost 7-ounce), synthetic hood for cold weather. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jacks 'R' Better JRB Down Hood REVIEW
by Stuart Bilby
Seals perfectly with the head opening in the JRB poncho quilts and has lots of puff for the weight, but the non-adjustable neck opening can let in drafts when it is used for sleeping. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jacks 'R' Better JRB Down Sleeves REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Lightweight, stand-alone down sleeves to pair with a vest or wearable poncho quilt. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Aubrin Heinrichs
Compared to a poncho/tarp, is it possibly a better poncho AND a better shelter? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Unconventional Sleep Systems Review Summary and Gear Guide Overview
by Ryan Jordan, Michael Martin, Alan Dixon, and Stuart Bilby
State of the market report and ratings for top bags, quilts, and wearable sleeping bags. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Fanatic Fringe PG Delta 30 Quilt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Mike Martin
Looking for an ultralight quilt, but don't trust down insulation? With a few compromises, this may be your solution. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Feathered Friends Rock Wren Sleeping Bag SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
A wearable down sleeping bag designed to replace, and thus serve as, your insulated clothing. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
GoLite Hut 1 SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Mike Martin
Roomy, bombproof floorless shelter for one. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Feathered Friends Vireo Sleeping Bag SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
A hoodless, ultralight down sleeping bag designed for integration with an insulating jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
2006 Unconventional Sleep Systems Manifesto
by Ryan Jordan (Author) and Mike Clelland! (Illustrator)
A Comprehensive Primer and Market Analysis of Top Bags, Quilts, and Wearable Systems Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
The North Face DIAD Jacket SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Well under 9 ounces, including pit zips - but those pit zips are pretty small Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Outdoor Research Nimbus Sombrero REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A warm weather, wide coverage, rain hat from the makers of the classic Seattle Sombrero. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Outdoor Research Women Cloudburst Hat REVIEW
by Doug and Amy Johnson
Outdoor Research Women introduces a lightweight, warm weather, sun and rain hat. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Boy Scout Gear List: Philmont Scout Ranch, New Mexico, Summer
by Doug Prosser
Philmont Guidebook to Adventure: "Remember, the key to successful backpacking is to go lightly." Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Patagonia Base Layers SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Patagonia revamps its Base Layers for Fall 2006 Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Photon Freedom LED Micro-Light SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Rick Dreher
This miniscule wonder has most of the functionality of a regular headlamp, at a fraction of the weight. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Double Wall Tents Review Summary and Gear Guide Overview
by Doug Johnson
Comparison of, and performance ratings for, lightweight double wall backpacking tents. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Sky Evolution 2P Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Other double-wall tent manufacturers claim that their tent is “ultralight” or even “hyperlight,” but the Evolution 2P really IS light without sacrificing anything in features or convenience - but of course it's not perfect. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sierra Designs Hyperlight Tent REVIEW
by Alan Dixon and Alison Simon
Spacious, durable, wind-stable 4.5 lb tent - while very light for its size, it still can't match the area to weight ratio of our highest rated double wall tent. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Sky Revolution 1P Shelter REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
There are lighter and roomier silnylon tents, but this is the lightest freestanding breathable fabric (Epic) solo tent on the market. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountainsmith TrekLight AT 55 Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Cutting edge design and materials, loaded with features, user-friendly, load capable, and fits like wearing a vest - but a tad heavy by lightweight standards, and needs a few tweaks here and there. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Big Sky Evolution 1P EX Tent SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
Lightweight, solo, double wall tent, with two vestibules. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Snot Spot Nose Wipes SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Got snot? Slip a Snot Spot over your glove or mitten. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Agnes Lost Dog 50 Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Stuart Bilby
Generously sized summer synthetic top bag that is on the heavy side of lightweight. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jacks 'R' Better Shenandoah Summer Quilt REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Rectangular down quilt that weighs less than a pound and has features that adapt it for top blanket or hammock underquilt use. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell U.L. Alpine Down Hugger Thermal Sheet Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Summer weight sleeping bag or winter bag liner with great features, but a fairly trim fit. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Mountain Laurel Designs Devotion 40 Sleeping Bag SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Is an 11-ounce, 40-degree bag possible? Nunatak thinks so, and now so does Mountain Laurel Designs. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Black Diamond Shadow 55L Backpack REVIEW
by Stuart Bilby
A solid - read, heavy - and well-designed climbing pack with a unique Y-frame capable of carrying a lot of weight. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gregory 2005 G Pack Backpack REVIEW
by Rick Dreher
Comfortable, light (but it should lose half a pound), and compact backpack with enough capacity and load control to support multi-day outings. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Osprey Exposure 36 Backpack REVIEW
by Don Wilson
A feature-laden pack designed for alpine climbing and ski mountaineering that doesn't translate well for general purpose use. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Osprey Stratos 34 Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
New for 2006, the Stratos 34 daypack provides all the features, fit, and comfort you can ask for from a general use daypack. It’s also bomb-proof, and heavy by our standards. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
MontBell U.L. Thermawrap Parka SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
A synthetic-fill parka with full front zip, handwarmer pockets, and hood. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Timberland Delerion Pro Shoes SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
A trail running shoe with minimal water absorption, excellent flexibility, integrated gaiter, and an effective tread pattern. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Rodeo Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight and versatile snow sports pack with nice features, but falls short in some areas. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Integral Designs Pertex Wind Jacket SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
A 4.5 ounce jacket with quality components. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Petzl MYO XP LED Headlamp REVIEW
by Rick Dreher
Three-watt collimated LED headlamp with rear-mount battery pack that misses perfection by just a couple of features. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Hilleberg Akto Tent REVIEW
by Matt Colon and Ryan Jordan
A four-season solo tent that weights just 3 pounds, offers excellent usable space, is very durable, and provides full storm protection...does the Hilleberg Akto have a down side? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Hubba Hubba Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Double wall tent for two that weighs just over 4 lbs and has a unique pole hub system that makes it a breeze to pitch. 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 Reviews
Vaude Lightwing Ultralight Tent REVIEW
by Ken Knight
Two-person, three-season, double wall tent with a high price but a sturdy build. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Metal Frame Snowshoes Review Summary and Gear Guide Overview
by Will Rietveld and Jay Ham
Backpacking Light staff apply lightweight principles to rate eleven snowshoes based on field testing and lab measurements. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
GoLite Virga Rain Jacket SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
6 ounces! 80 bucks! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Sierra Designs Isotope Rain Jacket SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Full featured rain jacket that is under 6 ounces. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountainsmith Fusion 35 Backpack REVIEW
by Jay Ham
An all-day, off-piste or hut-to-hut snow sport pack with features that might just validate the weight. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Redfeather Alpine 30 Snowshoe REVIEW
by Marty Coatney
A heavy, all-purpose snowshoe with an excellent crampon system. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Helly Hansen Mars/Venus Windshirt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
The lightest windshirt? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Dunham Cloud Contrail-Mid Boot REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight, comfortable, and supportive - yes. Live up to all the manufacturer's claims - no. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
EMS StarLight II Tent REVIEW
by Andrew Rice
Not the lightest two-person double wall tent we've seen, but a good value nonetheless. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Lightwave zrO cylq Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Double wall tent that weighs 3 lbs, fits 1.5 people and does well keeping rain out, but... Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell Monoframe Shelter Hexagon Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Two-person double wall tent that nearly breaks the 3-pound barrier but gives up some features. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Redfeather Trek 30 Snowshoe REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Lightweight snowshoes at a great price, but there are issues. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vaude Hogan Ultralight Tent REVIEW
by Loren Lee
Two-person semi-freestanding double-wall tent that weighs less than 4 lbs but sacrifices in some areas to achieve that weight. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
GSI Lexan Cutlery SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Light, cheap, Lexan eating utensils. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Montbell UL Wind Jacket SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
2.6 ounces, full zipper, does it hold up with use? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 Tent REVIEW
by Marty Coatney
Double-wall, two-person tent with a minimum weight of 3.5 lbs, good usable space, and an innovative design with some nice features but also a couple of drawbacks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Lightwave t1 cylq Tent REVIEW
by Blake Morstad
Although trim in usable space, this lightweight 4-pound tent is capable of handling a storm as well as many four-season tents. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Lightning 30 Snowshoe REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Wanna be Spider Man on snow? Here’s part of your outfit. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vaude Taurus Ultralight Tent REVIEW
by Chris Arrasmith
Lightweight double wall three-season, two-person tent that can handle a serious downpour, but its cramped interior may cause cabin fever. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vaude Ferret 1 Ultralight Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Two-person, double wall tunnel tent with one small door, good usable space, and high quality construction at just over 4 lbs. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Six Moon Designs Essence Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
This 3,200 cubic inch, 13-ounce ultralight pack has loads of innovation and hits a sweet spot for one to three night ultralight backpacking trips. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Patagonia Houdini Full Zip Windshirt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
3.8 ounces, good features, soft and comfortable fabric - how does it work in the field? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 Tent REVIEW
by Jay Ham
A 3.3-pound double wall tent that uses an innovative Y-pole design to maximize interior space. The full mesh inner walls are good...and bad. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Exped Vela II Extreme Tent REVIEW
by Chris Arrasmith
Not the lightest double wall tent at nearly 6 lbs, but it's storm-worthy and can shelter two people and loads of gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell Monoframe Diamond Tent REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Double wall tent that weighs only 2.5 lbs; fly and pole weigh 1.5 lbs and can be pitched as a tarp. Of course, there's a drawback to these light weights. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Oware Cattarp 1.1 Tarp REVIEW
by Marty Coatney
Solo silnylon catenary ridgeline tarp at a nice weight, size, and price but it requires a lot of room to pitch. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Sierra Designs Lightning Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Lightweight, freestanding double wall tent with Easton FX Carbon poles. Is this the ultimate compromise in a do-it-all three-season tent? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Team Backpack REVIEW
by Marty Coatney
Lightweight, frameless, water-hauling, 3300 ci backpack with lots of features - too many for non-adventure racers. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Galaxy Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight for the volume, plenty of weight-carrying capacity, and user-friendly features, although the water bottle pockets could be more easily accessible. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vaude Rock Ultralight 25 Backpack REVIEW
by Ken Knight
Tough, tiny (1525 ci) frameless daypack or overnight pack for minimalists. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Vaude Cross Ultralight 35 Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
For those with short torsos, this is a lightweight and durable pack, with some clever design features. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountain Laurel Designs Silnylon Pro Poncho Tarp REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Why use a silnylon poncho/tarp when spinnaker is lighter? The answer may surprise you. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountain Laurel Designs Spinntex Pro Poncho Tarp REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A poncho/tarp is a good choice for SuperUltraLight backpacking. With this one you get a good shelter, rainwear, and pack cover for only 7 ounces. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Fanatic Fringe Thompson Peak Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Improves on the classic (now discontinued) GoLite Breeze, and cuts the weight by a third. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear G5 Hyperlight Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
It’s made of spinnaker fabric and must be "handled with care," but the volume to weight ratio will knock your socks off! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet 25 Backpack REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A well-designed, low volume 4.4-ounce pack for dayhikes or SuperUltraLight overnights. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Jacks 'R' Better JRB Down Sleeves SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Sleeves that can be worn under the No Sniveller wearable quilt or with a vest. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Jacks 'R' Better JRB Down Hood SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Simple hood that mates with the No Sniveller quilt. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
AntiGravityGear Universal Alcohol Stove Accessory Pack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Marty Coatney
The primer pan is the darling of this set. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Mini Bull Designs Sketti Stove SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Roger Caffin
Robust and powerful alcohol stove that doesn't require a pot stand. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only 2005 Lightweight Down Jackets Review Summary and Gear Guide Overview
by Don Wilson
We rate and compare the lightest down jackets on the market based on our measurements and their performance in the field. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Cumulus Jacket REVIEW
by Don Wilson
A comfortable and lofty 14-ounce jacket with some nice features, but missing ultralight appeal. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Feather-Lite Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
We found a “sleeper” - the Feather-Lite has 1.5 inches more loft than specified. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear Whisper Uberlight Backpack REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Minimal features and prone-to-abrasion-damage spinnaker fabric make this the lightest 2000-cubic inch backpack on the market. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear Spinnshelter REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Full three-season (non-bomber) weather protection for one person for only 11.2 ounces including guylines and stakes. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Mountainsmith Fusion 35 Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Jay Ham
You won't see this one in stores, or on the Mountainsmith website yet. We take a first look at a super comfortable and well designed alpine/snow sport backpack; a precursor to our full review. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Macpac Epic 150 SF Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A waterproof sleeping bag may sound like overkill, until you think about the possibilities – like sleeping under the stars without getting damp or wet insulation, and leaving the bivy sack at home. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell Down Inner Jacket REVIEW
by Don Wilson
The MontBell Down Inner Jacket is only $139, but lacks the loft of the leading jackets. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell U.L. Down Inner Jacket REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
The lightest down jacket on the market. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
2006 Osprey Aether 60 Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
What a conundrum! The upgraded pack has some great improvements, and is now an outstanding value, but (darn it) it's also heavier. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Western Mountaineering Flight Down Jacket REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Lofty, light, warm, and durable for its weight - although it does lose a few feathers at the seams. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Crescent Moon Booties SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Jay Ham
This snowshoeing accessory adds warmth and water resistance to any shoe, without adding much weight. Will their one-size offering fit your shoes? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Feathered Friends Hyperion Jacket (Epic Shell) SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Loren Lee and Don Wilson
Weather resistant Epic shell, good loft, great price - but heavier than the lightest down jackets of similar loft. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Atlas 10 Series All Mountain Snowshoe REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Not the lightest snowshoes we tested, but wonderful performers. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Crescent Moon Gold Series 9 Snowshoe REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Nice innovations including a shape that allows a more natural walking gait, but heavy. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear NightLight Sleeping Pad (Torso Length) REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Durable, resistant to compression, and very comfortable for the weight, but a couple of extra inches would be nice. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Northern Lites Elite Snowshoe REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
The lightest snowshoes on the market, but with less traction than heavier shoes. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Tarptent Virga 2 REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
This upgrade to the classic Virga is a quarter pound heavier and includes some nice improvements, and some changes that need more tweaking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Tubbs Elevation Snowshoe REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Clever, simple, user-friendly, and durable; but heavy. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Nunatak SkahaPlus SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Lofty, 9.6 ounce hooded down sweater. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Patagonia Down Sweater SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
New full-zip 11 ounce down sweater. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Crescent Moon Gold Series 12 Snowshoe REVIEW
by Jay Ham
A sprinter's dream with lightweight - although less durable - materials, narrow tapered tails, and an aggressive toe cleat. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Dion Model 168 Rec/Fitness Snowshoe REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Modular design allows you to customize these snowshoes to the person and snow conditions, or upgrade instead of buying new snowshoes. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jacks 'R' Better No Sniveller Universal Quilt REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Puffy down quilt/underquilt/poncho - so nice! Just trim the footbox please. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Jetboil French Press and Companion Cup REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Two accessories to add utility to your Jetboil Personal Cooking System. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Innovative, with traction - and weight - to spare. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Tubbs Catalyst Snowshoe REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
An asymmetric frame and lightweight durable materials - like titanium crampons - give these racing shoes a lot of attitude, but they're not cut out for general backcountry use. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Redfeather Alpine 30 Snowshoe SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Marty Coatney
Tapered snowshoes for multi-purpose use. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Redfeather Trek 30 Snowshoe SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Value priced aluminum-framed snowshoes. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Fanatic Fringe Alpine Trail Backpack REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
A durable small volume pack for SuperUltraLight backpacking or day hiking that would benefit from load control features. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Comparison: Brunton Liberty Mantleless and Vaude/Markill Peak Illuminator Canister Lanterns - Is Mantleless Better?
by Will Rietveld
A mantleless canister lantern is breakthrough technology, but how does it compare with a conventional mantle-type lantern? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Brunton Raptor Canister Stove REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Wide pot supports and rugged - but heavy - stainless steel construction, for only 40 bucks. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Kovea Camp 3 Canister Stove REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Titanium stove - identical twin to the Markill Peak Ignition, and sister to the Vargo Jet-Ti - that has some problems in wind. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Kovea X2 Canister Stove REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A good value for a sturdy, but heavy canister stove at approximately $27 US (where it’s available). Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Markill Peak Ignition Canister Stove REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Compact and lightweight but sensitive to wind. Identical twin to the Kovea Camp 3, and sister to the Vargo Jet-Ti sold in the US. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
2005 GoLite Wisp Wind Shirt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Ryan Jordan
Only 2.8 ounces, fits well, but limited utility. 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 Gear Reviews
Rab Quantum Top Bag Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Will Rietveld and Jay Ham
The original top bag is state-of-the art in some ways, and an antique in others. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mo-go-gear Fire-fly Alcohol Stove REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Lightweight alcohol stove cooking system with great fuel economy that needs a pot stand redesign. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Montane 180 Rain Shell REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
This waterproof/breathable polyurethane laminate pullover is light, but could lose more weight by eliminating extra features. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Montane Air Jacket Rain Shell REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Full-featured multi-purpose eVENT rain jacket that weighs less than 13 ounces, but what's the deal with the wire brim on the hood? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MontBell Peak Jacket Rain Shell REVIEW
by Don Wilson
A full featured rain shell with pit zips that weighs only 11.2 ounces (size L), but how does the fabric - MontBell Breeze Dry-Tec three-layer waterproof/breathable - perform? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Equinox Full Moon Chaps REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Silnylon rain chaps that are freakishly light but limited in application and best paired with a poncho or cagoule. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Reed Rain Pants REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
The lightest waterproof/breathable rain pants available: nearly perfect, with one glaring problem - that we show you how to address "easily enough" without adding a lot of weight. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Ultra-Lite Poncho/Tarp REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Just because Skurka and Coup chose this raingear/shelter for their record-setting thru-hikes, that doesn't mean it will work for you. Here's the scoop on a tough poncho that makes a great shelter but suffers a little in raingear mode. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero Rain Hat REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A functional and lightweight waterproof-breathable rain hat that becomes a performance liability in warm conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Oware Gore-Tex Rain Chaps REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Bushwalkers take note: these chaps are tough, breathable, and weigh less than six ounces. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Exped Wallcreeper Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Marty Coatney
Two-pound down bag rated to freezing with a foot section that can be opened, armholes, and full front zip to convert it into a vest. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Nunatak Arc Ghost Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Innovative variable girth top bag that weighs under a pound and is rated to freezing. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Markill Peak Illuminator Canister Lantern SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A mantle-type canister fuel lantern that puts out lots of light, is silent, and gets good gas mileage Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Speer Hammocks Frog Sac Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Warm weather, full-length center zip, PrimaLoft insulated sleeping bag. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Speer Hammocks PeaPod and Top Blanket REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Down blanket that completely surrounds a hammock and sleeper, along with a narrow down top blanket designed specifically for hammock use. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Members Only Backpacking Food List: Vegetarian
by Amy Friends Stone
Yes, vegetarian fare can fuel endurance activities like backpacking! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs Comet Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Removable stays, an internal pad pocket, and adjustability over a wide torso length range make the Comet unique. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Speer Hammocks 8.0 A Hammock REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Simple, rugged, top entry hammock with large silnylon canopy. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Black Diamond Zenix IQ LED Headlamp REVIEW
by Rick Dreher
Combines 1-watt LED technical lighting prowess with more economical standard 5 millimeter LEDs for non-technical pursuits. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Princeton Tec Corona LED Headlamp REVIEW
by Rick Dreher
Eight-LED array powered by three AA batteries. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Tarptent Rainbow (Sneak Preview) SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A free-standing Tarptent with side-entry, loads of headroom, and under two pounds! Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Sky Products (SummitShelters) Revolution 2P UL Tent REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Light weight, single-wall Epic shell, two-person freestanding tent. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
RailRiders Adventure Top SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
A well-vented top that excels in warm weather Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Marmot Essence Rainshell SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Marmot's Precip Plus 7 ounce rain jacket Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Ultralight Outfitters Ultralight Beercan Cook Pot and Stove SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Nifty cooking system where the pot converts into a double walled mug. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Cow Canyon Flatware SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
Anodized aluminum flatware that is light - and aesthetically pleasing. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Vision Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A panel loading internal frame pack with a small volume and very low profile that offers comfort with excellent organizational features. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gregory Spectrum Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
An internal frame panel loading pack with a polished design, plenty of features, and rock solid performance. The Lexus of small volume panel loaders? Perhaps. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountainsmith Ghost LT Backpack REVIEW
by Rick Dreher
Panel-loading single-compartment 3000 cubic-inch (50 L) internal frame backpack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Outdoor Research Celestial Rain Shell SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Gore-Tex PacLite fabric rain jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Tarptent Virga 2 Single Wall Tent SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
More headroom, usable volume, and pitch options. Also a little more weight and complexity. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Jacks 'R' Better Summer Universal Blanket SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
A sub-1-pound summer weight quilt that can be used as a top blanket or hammock under quilt. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Integral Designs Silcoat Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Simple, lightweight, and versatile. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Bomber Tents REVIEW SUMMARY and GEAR GUIDE OVERVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Field performance and features comparison of four lightweight mountaineering tents designed to handle the toughest weather. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Sedona Trading Company Trail Gourmet Seasonings SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ken Knight
Spices for those of us who want no fuss, no muss, and little weight Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Crux X2 Storm Tent REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
The lightest double-wall four-pole mountaineering tent available. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountain Hardwear EV2 Tent REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Roomy two-person mountaineering tent with fire retardant waterproof/breathable canopy fabric of pre-stretched polyester. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Outdoor Designs Summit Extreme Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Single wall, low-profile, and built for altitude: the Summit Extreme belongs on a high mountain ridge. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Mini Bull Design Elite Stove SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Mini alcohol stove that doesn't require a pot stand or priming. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Nemo Tenshi Tent REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Two-person bomber tent constructed of eVENT - waterproof, very breathable, and now rarely available in tents. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sacks SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Lightest woven fabric dry sacks on the market today. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Big Sky Products (Summit Shelters) Evolution 2P Tent SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan and Will Rietveld
Double wall two-person tent with two doors, two vestibules, easy setup, and interior pockets for organizing gear: all for just a shade over three pounds. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Jacks 'R' Better 8'x8' Square SilNyl Tarp SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
First look at the Jacks 'R' Better 8'x8' Square SilNyl Tarp. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Jacks 'R' Better No Sniveller Universal Quilt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
A first look at a lightweight down quilt for saving weight on your 3-season sleep system. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ground Cloth SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Ultralight and ultra-tough, a ground cloth for the masses with a weight that appeals to the fringe. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Crux AK47 Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
New in the USA: simple packs that redefine the notion of "lightweight durability". Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Aarn Liquid Agility Backpack REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
Dynamic suspension and a unique redistribution of weight breaks the industry mold in backpack suspension design. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Brasher Supalite GTX Hiking Boot SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
Full grain leather, leather lined, waterproof, and truly ultralight at two pounds per PAIR. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Brunton Liberty Mantleless Canister Fuel Lantern SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Hallelujah! No fragile mantles! Good fuel efficiency and bright output make this a tempting gadget for winter camping. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
GoLite Galaxy Internal Frame Backpack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Internal frame, enough volume for a long trek, and light weight = more appeal for traditional backpackers looking to "go light" without gettin' freaky about it. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Ion Alcohol Stove SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Fuel miser and a SYSTEM (burner + wind screen + pot support) weight of less than an ounce...take notice. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Mo-go-gear Go-torch Alcohol Stove SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A folding windscreen keeps this stove kit small but offers the power for boiling larger volumes of water. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Mo-go-gear Fire-fly Alcohol Stove SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A tiny stove well suited for backpackers that view pint sized cooking mugs as group cooking devices. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Montane 180 Waterproof/Breathable Shirt SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Rain shirt? Jacket? Who cares: It's 7 oz and has the ability to disappear in a corner of your pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Patagonia MicroPuff Vest SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Don Wilson
A worthy successor to the long-missed Puffball: less than seven ounces and packs to the size of a (insert cliche here: grapefruit! softball! water bottle!). Read More...
ARTICLES Gear SpotLite Reviews
Six Moon Designs Comet Pack SPOTLITE REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Internal frame option, narrow profile, and ease of use are the hallmarks of this lighweight backpack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Granite Gear Wisp Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Technical day pack that keeps loads close (SUL'ers take note: you might be able to eke an overnight out this one...). Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Macpac 35 Amp Backpack REVIEW
by Stuart Bilby
Light materials with rugged durability, convenient gear access, and comfort for fastpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountainsmith Wraith Backpack REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Small, dense, heavy loads carry well in this durable internal frame pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Big Agnes Sarvis Superlight SL2+ eVENT Tent REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Single wall? Double wall? With eVENT and silnylon, the Sarvis may offer the best of both. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Boy Scout Gear List: New Scouts, Three-Season
by Doug Prosser
New Boy Scouts (and your parents!), take note: going light will leave your patrol leaders in the dust and there will be money left over from your paper route. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Aarn Bodypacks Featherlite Freedom Internal Frame Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Big loads carry well and redefine what it means to control your center of gravity. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
LuxuryLite Modular Frame Backpack REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Performance review of one of the lightest and most innovative external frame packs on the market. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mont-Bell Lightweight Alpine 60 Backpack REVIEW
by Blake Morstad
A product performance review of the Mont-Bell Lightweight Alpine 60 internal frame pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Moonbow Gearskin Backpack REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Product performance review of the Moonbow Gearskin frameless pack - a unique harness/compression system that acts like a pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Osprey Atmos 50 Backpack REVIEW
by Ken Knight
A durable and effective load carrier with an innovative back panel that keeps your back cool. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Book Review: Fixing Your Feet
by Flyin' Brian Robinson
"Flyin'" Brian Robinson reviews the seminal work about foot care for hikers, backpackers, adventure racers, and other outdoor athletes. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Wild Things AT Backpack REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
A lightweight classic for many years: does it still have what it takes to compete with the new breed of frameless packs on the market? Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Trekking Poles REVIEW SUMMARY and GEAR GUIDE OVERVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Comprehensive review of lightweight and ultralight trekking poles used for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
EMS Women's Ridge Lite Trekking Poles REVIEW
by Marty Coatney
Product performance review of the EMS Women's Ridge Lite Trekking Poles, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Komperdell Carbon Duolock/REI Peak UL Trekking Poles INITIAL REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Product performance review of the Komperdell Carbon Duolock/REI Peak UL Trekking Poles, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Leki Ultralite Ti COR-TEC Trekking Poles REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Product performance review of the Leki Ultralite Ti COR-TEC Trekking Poles, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Life-Link Guide Ultra Light Trekking Poles REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Product performance review of the Life-Link Guide Ultra Light Trekking Poles, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR Overland Carbon Trekking Poles REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Product performance review of the MSR Overland Carbon Trekking Poles, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Pacerpoles Trekking Poles REVIEW
by Ken Knight
Product performance review of the Pacerpoles Trekking Poles, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Exped Trekker Ergo Trekking Poles REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Product performance review of the Exped Trekker Ergo Trekking Poles, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Exped Alpinist Carbon Trekking Poles REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Product performance review of the Exped Alpinist Carbon Trekking Poles, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Exped Trekker Trekking Poles REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Product performance review of the Exped Trekker Trekking Poles, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Gossamer Gear Lightrek Trekking Poles REVIEW
by Doug and Amy Johnson
Product performance review of the Gossamer Gear Lightrek Trekking Poles, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Leki Ultralite Ti Air Ergo REVIEW
by Doug and Amy Johnson
Product performance review of the Leki Ultralite Ti Air Ergo, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Masters X-Light Trekking Poles REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Product performance review of the Masters X-Light Trekking Poles, lightweight poles for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Brunton GreenHeat Backpacking Stove REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Product performance review of the Brunton GreenHeat gelled alcohol stove including comparisons to alcohol and Esbit tablet stoves. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
First Annual Energy Bar Test
by Carol Crooker and Alison Simon
Backpacking Light staff members rate six "natural" energy bars on taste and nutrition. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Alcohol Stoves REVIEW SUMMARY and GEAR GUIDE OVERVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Comprehensive review of lightweight alcohol stoves used for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Members Only Performance Comparison Testing of Lightweight Alcohol Stoves
by Will Rietveld
Boil time and fuel consumption testing of alcohol stoves and windscreens in windy and calm conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Advanced Mountain Products Alumilite Stove Set Alcohol Stove REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Product performance review of the Advanced Mountain Products Alumilite Stove Set Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Etowah Outfitters Etowah II Alcohol Stove REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Product performance review of the Etowah Outfitters Etowah II Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
ThermoJet MicroLite Alcohol Stove REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Product performance review of the ThermoJet MicroLite Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Brasslite Turbo II-D Alcohol Stove REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Product performance review of the Brasslite Turbo II-D Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Etowah Outfitters Solid Fuel Stove with Alcohol Burner REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Product performance review of the Etowah Outfitters Solid Fuel Stove with Alcohol Burner, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Hiknakd Alcohol Stove Kit REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Product performance review of the Hiknakd Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Outdoor Research Zealot Rain Shell REVIEW
by Don Wilson
A product performance review of the Outdoor Research Zealot Rainshell, a 7-ounce full-zip jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Rhino Alcohol Stove REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Product performance review of the Rhino Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mini Trangia & Liberty Mountain Westwind Alcohol Stoves REVIEW
by Blake Morstad
Product performance review of the Mini Trangia & Liberty Mountain Westwind Alcohol Stoves, lightweight alcohol stoves for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
AntiGravityGear Mama’s Kitchen Deluxe Set Alcohol Stove REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Product performance review of the AntiGravityGear Mama’s Kitchen Deluxe Set Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Brookside Crafts Alcohol Stove Set REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Product performance review of the Brookside Crafts Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Clikstand S-1 Alcohol Stove REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Product performance review of the Clikstand S-1 Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Hike N' Light Alcohol Stove REVIEW
by Ralph Thornton
Product performance review of the Hike N' Light Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
OutdoorEquipmentSupplier Ultralight Backpacking Alcohol Stove REVIEW
by Stuart Bilby
Product performance review of the OutdoorEquipmentSupplier Ultralight Backpacking Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Patagonia Specter Pullover REVIEW
by Alan Dixon and Ryan Jordan
Product performance review of the Patagonia Specter pullover, a 6.5-ounce rain shell. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
AntiGravityGear Pot Cozy REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Product performance review of AntiGravityGear Pot Cozy including comparison data on how long contents stay warm in a pot with and without a Cozy in freezing and room temperature conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Isis Maia Pants REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Product performance review of the women specific Isis Maia convertible pants. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Isis Vivian Jacket REVIEW
by Alison Simon
Product performance review of the women specific Isis Vivian 2.5 layer WP/B jacket with Entrant DT10K coating. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Osprey Atmos 25 Backpack REVIEW
by Jay Ham and Alison Simon
Product performance review of the Osprey Atmos 25 small volume, internal frame backpack. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Princeton Tec EOS LED Headlamp REVIEW
by Rick Dreher
Product performance review of the Princeton Tec EOS 1-watt LED headlamp. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only 2005 High Loft Synthetic (Belay) Jackets REVIEW SUMMARY and GEAR GUIDE OVERVIEW
by Don Wilson
Comprehensive review of high loft synthetic insulated jackets (belay type) used for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Arc’Teryx Fission Belay Parka REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Product performance review of the Arc'Teryx Fission Belay Parka, a lightweight synthetic insulated backpacking jacket with a Gore Dryloft shell. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Cloudveil Enclosure Mountain Parka REVIEW
by Kevin Grove
Product performance review of the Cloudveil Enclosure Mountain Parka, a lightweight synthetic insulated backpacking jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Belay Parka REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
Product performance review of the GoLite Belay Parka, a lightweight synthetic insulated backpacking jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Integral Designs Dolomitti Jacket REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Product performance review of the Integral Designs Dolomitti jacket, a lightweight synthetic insulated backpacking jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mountain Equipment Co-Op Magma Jacket REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Product performance review of the Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) Magma jacket, a lightweight synthetic insulated backpacking jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Moonstone Cirrus Hooded Jacket REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Product performance review of the Cirrus Hooded Jacket, a lightweight synthetic insulated backpacking jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Patagonia DAS Parka REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Product performance review of the Patagonia DAS Parka, a lightweight synthetic insulated backpacking jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Wild Things EP Hooded Jacket REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Product performance review of the Wild Things EP Hooded Jacket, a lightweight synthetic insulated backpacking jacket with Epic shell. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Canister Stoves REVIEW SUMMARY and GEAR GUIDE OVERVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Comprehensive review of lightweight and ultralight canister stoves used for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Brunton Optimus Crux Canister Stove REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Product performance review of the Brunton Crux canister stove for backpacking and hiking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Coleman Exponent F1 PowerBoost Canister Stove REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Product performance review of the Coleman Powerboost canister stove - one of the hottest burning small stoves on the market. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Coleman Exponent F1 Ultralight Canister Stove REVIEW
by Stuart Bilby
Product performance review of the Coleman Exponent F1 Ultralight canister stove - a performance underdog among small stoves on the market. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR PocketRocket Canister Stove REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Product Performance Review of the MSR Pocket Rocket lightweight canister stove for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MSR SuperFly Canister Stove REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Product performance review of the MSR Superfly lightweight canister stove for backpacking and mountaineering. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Primus Micron Canister Stove REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Product performance review of the Primus Micron ultralight backpacking canister stove. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Primus TechnoTrail Canister Stove REVIEW
by Blake Morstad
Product performance review of the Primus TechnoTrail lightweight backpacking canister stove. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Snow Peak GigaPower Canister Stove REVIEW
by Will Rietveld
Review of one of the smallest and lightest - and now classic - canister stoves on the outdoor market. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Liquid Fuel Stoves Head to Head: MSR SimmerLite vs. Coleman Xtreme
by Roger Caffin
Performance comparison of two lightweight liquid fuel backpacking stoves. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Wild Things Belay Jacket REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Product performance review of the Wild Things Belay Jacket, a synthetic insulated backpacking jacket with Epic shell. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
High Gear Trail Audio 512
by Alan Dixon
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Western Mountaineering Pod 30 Sleeping Bag REVIEW
by Stuart Bilby
Review of one of the most coveted "top" bags from premium U.S. manufacturer Western Mountaineering. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Garmin Foretrex 101 GPS REVIEW
by Blake Morstad
Comprehensive review of the Garmin Foretex 101 GPS Review. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Garmin Geko 201/301 GPS REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Comprehensive review of the Garmin Geko 201 and Garmin Geko 301 ultralight GPS units. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Lightweight Synthetic High Loft Insulating Jackets/Pullovers and Vests: REVIEW SUMMARY and GEAR GUIDE OVERVIEW
by Don Wilson
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Golite Buzz Jacket REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Lightweight synthetic high loft insulating jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Integral Designs Logan Vest REVIEW
by Don Wilson
High loft insulating vest - warm enough for winter use. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
MEC Northern Lite Pullover and Vest REVIEW
by Carol Crooker
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Montane Solo Jacket REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Insulated jacket with integrated shell hood - lots of features to boot. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Inner Vest REVIEW
by Doug Johnson
Synthetic, no-frills, ultralight insulating vest. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Moonstone Cirrus Ultralight Jacket REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Patagonia Micro Puff Pullover REVIEW
by Alan Dixon
Lightweight Polarguard Delta-insulated pullover. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Camelbak Kronos Backpack REVIEW
by Don Wilson
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Single Wall Tents and Shelters Review Summary
by Doug Johnson
Comparison review of single wall tents and shelters for lightweight backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Dancing Light Gear Ultralight Brawny Tarptent REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo Tent REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
Performance review of a unique solo tent that offers weather protection, vestibule space, and ventilation for 24 ounces. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Gear Lists
Members Only Backpacking Food List: Protein-Powered Food for Sustained Energy
by Carol Crooker
Looking to boost energy while keeping the weight down? Try this protein-powered food list for backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Mandatory Gear Puppy Pile Tent REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
GoLite Den 2 Tent REVIEW
by Stuart Bilby
Single wall two hoop design provides exceptional headroom and interior space, and a full panel door offers terrific views and good ventilation. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Integral Designs MK1Lite eVENT Tent REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear Reviews
Eureka Zeus 2EXO Tent REVIEW
by Jay Ham
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear