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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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...

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