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Light & Fast Backpacking Gear, Part One

Lighten your load with these time-tested goods.


Hyperlite UltaMid 2 Ultralight Pyramid Tent and Mesh Insert with DCF11 Floor

Field Test: The lightest tent I’ve ever tested, the Ultamid offers comfortable, four-season protection: I felt nary a drop during a recent Colorado rainstorm. And it’s easy to set up. The inner shelter blends mesh walls and waterproof Dyneema Composite Fabrics in the floor. An adjustable hiking pole (not included) stabilizes the center, while two vents keep air moving through a turret-style peaked roof.

Why It’s Timeless: In tumultuous weather you’ll want the whole rig, but when it’s nice, bring just the tent and go super ultralight. —Tracy Ross

Hyperlite Setup

$695-765 (tent) and $375 (insert)


Klymit Inertia O Zone Sleep Pad

At first glance, you’ll be skeptical: the 12.2 ounce O Zone is 72 inches long—and there are disconcerting holes built into the design. They reduce weight, but also lower the insulating quality. Still, it’s warm enough for summer camping, and it has a four-inch-tall pillow built into the pad.  —T.R.

Katabatic Gear Flex 30°F

Field Test: A patented cord clip attachment system secures this blanket-style bag to your sleeping pad with two options: a static, closer fit, which kept me cozy during a 30-degree night in the Grand Canyon, and another that allows more freedom of movement, ideal for warmer temps. The foot box can be cinched or left open to vent.

Why It’s Timeless: Endless combinations for 18.7–22.8 ounces, depending on the model.  —Kiran Herbert

Klymit Inertia O Zone


Katabatic Gear Flex 30°F



Hummingbird Hammocks Single+ and Ultralight Tree Straps

Built to FAA parachute rigging standards, this hammock can handle up to 350 pounds, but packs to the size of a soda can. The additional room in the Single+ makes sleeping more comfortable, but even with the tree straps, it weighs less than 10 ounces.  —K.H.

Hummingbird Hammock and Straps

$80 (hammock) and $30 (straps)


Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium Stove 

The titanium LiteMax weighs just 1.9 ounces and boasts hinged arms that collapse into a tiny package (buy the 6.2 ounce Trek 900 Titanium pot, and it’ll house the stove and fuel canister). I got it to boil two cups of water in less than five minutes at 8,000 feet. Better still, the flame is adjustable down to a simmer.  —T.R.

Toaks Titongs Set

This set is simply genius: A nylon, u-shaped connector turns a titanium spoon and fork into a set of tongs. Cutlery and a cooking utensil for just 1.2 ounces.  —K.H.


These biodegradable pouches contain an inner bag with military-style MREs, a heating element (essentially a handwarmer on steroids), and a utensil kit. Keep your meal (Southwest Style Chicken, Pasta Fagioli, Lentils with Beef, etc.) in its pouch, and pour two ounces of any liquid—stream water, snowmelt, even, god forbid, urine—into the larger bag to activate the heating element. Seal, watch it steam as temps reach 200-degrees Fahrenheit, and enjoy. The whole process takes about 10 minutes.  —T.R.

Sawyer MINI Water Filteration System

Sawyer’s lightest filter, the MINI, weighs 2 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand. Simply attach it to the (included) collapsible drinking pouch, inline on your hydration pack, or to a standard plastic bottle; in a pinch, you can use the straw to sip straight from a puddle.  —K.H.

Snow Peak Stove


Toaks Titongs Set




Sawyer Filter



Princeton Tec Helix Lanterns

Field Test: The line of collapsible Helix lanterns comes in four models, with the cheapest variation—the Helix Backcountry—weighing less than 5.5 ounces.

Why It’s Timeless: The bright LEDs won’t strain your eyes.  —K.H.

Princeton Tec Lanterns


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