Ultralight is no passing fad, it’s a way of life. A slimmed down life that allows you to move quickly, suffer less pain, and truly connect to the natural world without the distraction of all those “things.” You are one with the wilderness, and have a consistent obsession with gear, and the reduction of that gear.
You saw off the end of your spare toothbrush. You dream about objects that nest together. You can calculate ounces to pounds to grams faster than a calculator, and you have at least one spreadsheet that references the function, purpose, and weight (obviously) of your gear. Or, maybe you don’t have all this stuff in your head; you simply know that less weight on the trail means you can reach the tallest peak, the deepest lake, and get into the true heart of the wild.
Our Recommended Gear and Outdoor Guides for the Ultralight Backpacker take into account that while you may or may not be a gearhead, you know how to cut the obese chaff from the titanium wheat. So do we. While this inherently caters to long distance thru-hikers, the ultralight movement is not exclusionary. Beginners can be ultralight; old-schoolers can convert. There is no club and the only hazing is when, inevitably, someone asks about your tiny pack on the trail.
Contrary to common belief, ultralight doesn’t have to cost your firstborn. It can be enjoyed by anyone with basic wilderness skills. Our approach is a bit like a missionary: Convert those who are curious to the ultralight ways, thereby lightening the collective load.
Explore Recommended Gear and Outdoor Guides for Ultralight Backpacker below!
Ultralight Backpacker Gear Reviews
Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt Review: A durable backpacking quilt with a hood and insulated arm pockets sounds too good to be true, but it’s not.
The Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody weighs next to nothing, packs down to nothing, breathes like you’re wearing nothing, and is a whole lot warmer than nothing.
Outdoor Research Helium Pants review: They’re lightweight, pack up tiny, and have a pocket! If you need a go-to pair of ultralight rain pants, this is it.
The Rockay Flare Half Tight Shorts are form-fitting performance shorts that are eco-friendly, wonderfully comfortable, and chafe-proof.
The Patagonia Baggies thrive in the “chill” department. They are no-fuss, good-looking, surprisingly quick-drying shorts that you can wear for days on end.
Sunski Headlands Review: Simple, effective, and polarized, an affordable, do-it-all solution to active sunglasses. Get them for the ease of use, keep going back for the Lifetime Warranty.
Patagonia Quandary Shorts review: stretchy, durable adventure shorts that have ample pockets and breathe with the best of them.
Sierra Design Flex Capacitor review: cleverly designed for the modern ultralight backpacker with adjustable volume and decent load bearing.
Ombraz Dolomite Armless Sunglasses review: Ample sun protection with premium materials, wide coverage, and striking style. Oh, and no sidearms.
Ultralight Backpacker Outdoor Guides
The best fleece jackets are cozy, breathable, versatile, full of zippers and have unique features. We list the best here, and what makes them shine.
Rain ponchos are the preferred rain protection of many outdoorsy folks. Why? Cause they’re versatile. Here are the best Rain Ponchos of 2021.
The best down jackets will keep you cozy in the wilderness, on the couch, or at the bar. We have tested many, and list the best down jackets for you, here.
Windy weather doesn’t have to put a damper on your hike, as long as you come prepared for the conditions. Learn how to hike in high winds.
We highlight the best hiking boots after researching and testing. Find the perfect lightweight, midweight, or heavyweight hiking boot for you!
Hiking shorts are the underrated all-stars of gear. The best hiking shorts kick sweat and chafe to the curb, and keep you trekking mile after mile.
The best backpacking chairs will make camp way more comfortable. Lean back, get comfy, and prepare to find the right backpacking chair for you!
Get a comfy night’s rest with the best sleeping pads for backpacking. We list 10 of our favorite models, and give tons of sleeping pad advice on finding the right sleep for you.
We showcase the best outdoor holiday gifts for 2020. Packed with stocking stuffers and showstopping gear for the outdoor adventurers on your shopping list.