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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 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 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 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 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 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 State of the Market Reports
Members Only Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 3
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Multi-purpose three-season down jackets balance light weight, warmth, and features. These jackets are designed to please as many people as possible, in as many activities as possible, while keeping the overall weight light enough to impress the average consumer. Our evaluation includes comparative specifications, calculated parameters, warmth testing, ratings, and identifying the standouts for different situations, needs, and preferences. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Seriously lightweight down jackets – those most suitable for ultralight backpacking and other lightweight pursuits. Our evaluation includes comparative specifications, calculated parameters, warmth testing, ratings, and identifying the standouts for different situations, needs, and preferences. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 1
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
A state-of-the-art overview of ultralight down jackets – we analyze the components and discuss “baffling” issues like shell fabrics, down quality, fill weight, packing density, loft, and warmth. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 State of the Market Reports
Internal Frame Backpack Review Summary
by Jay Ham
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Frameless Pack Review Summary
by Jay Ham
Summary review of frameless backpacks for the 2004 season. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Waterproof Breathable Fabric Technologies: A Comprehensive Primer and State of the Market Technology Review
by Alan Dixon, BackpackingLight.com Product Review Program Director
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
LED Headlamp REVIEW SUMMARY 2003: Petzl, Princeton Tec, Black Diamond, and Photon
by the Product Review Staff
A comprehensive review of sub-6-ounce LED headlamps from Princeton Tec, Black Diamond, Petzl, and Photon. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
2001 Raingear Roundup Review Summary
by the Product Review Staff
Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Wind Shirt Wars Review Summary
by the Product Review Staff
Wind Shirt Wars Review Summary Read More...

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