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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 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 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 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 State of the Market Reports
Members Only Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 3: The Mini-Reviews
by Roger Caffin
Part 3 of this tutorial gives the details on the seven tunnel tents included in this report. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 2: Details and Commercial Models
by Roger Caffin
Part 2 of this tutorial examines the specifics of tunnel tent design and functionality and lists the commercially available tents. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Tunnel Tents Tutorial and State of the Market Report - Part 1: Definition and Pitching
by Roger Caffin
How tunnel tents work, why they can handle extreme weather, and how to pitch them under extreme conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Members Only Ultralight Waterproof Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report
by David Chenault
Part 2: Details on the ten jackets in the report. Read More...
ARTICLES 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 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 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 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 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
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
MontBell UL 90 and MontBell UL 120 Mats
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Mats State of the Market Report 2011 Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
Vaude Norrsken Insulated Mat
by Roger Caffin and Will Rietveld
Mini-review for the 2011 Lightweight Inflatable Sleeping Pads State of the Market Report Read More...
ARTICLES Gear State of the Market Reports
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 2005 Lightweight Rainwear Review Summary and Gear Guide Overview
by Don Wilson
Woven waterproof/breathable rainwear weights are dropping as technology improves. Read More...