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Examples of Lightweight Backpacking Equipment


This page on lightweight backpacking equipment is an update to The Ultralight Backpacking Site, with examples of what's available now, at least for the big three items (backpack, tent, sleeping bag). There are also links to other pages about gear further down this page -- and some of these have also been recently updated.


41 ounces - The REI Quick UL 45 was selling for about $100 last time I checked, and has a capacity of 3,000 cubic inches. Some owners complain about there not being enough pockets--never a complaint of mine, since pockets add weight. Others recommend keeping the load under 30 pounds--I would never go close to that heavy anyhow.

39 ounces - The Osprey Talon 44 sells for around $160, and has a capacity of 2,600 cubic inches. It is highly rated, with some comments about the fragility of components, and is good for up to about 25 pounds.

6 ounces - That's not a misprint. The Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet costs around $130 and has a capacity of 2,750 cubic inches. It is meant for carrying loads of 15 pounds or less (my kind of backpacking), which gets easier when you start with a pack that is this light.


Under 3 pounds - There are a few tents this light available from GoLite. I am currently using a GoLite screen tent (one-man) that weighs about a pound, pitching it under a one-pound tarp, for a total shelter weight of around two pounds if I leave half of the stakes home and use natural materials instead (easy to do in most places).

23 ounces - The Photon Elite Tent, from Terra Nova, sleeps two (tightly perhaps), and is actually a double-wall tent (it has a rain fly). The titanium stakes weigh just a gram each--one of the ways they kept the weight down. The tents normally sell for more than $300.

16 ounces - There are still tarps from several manufacturers that come in at less than a pound.

7 ounces - The Thermo-Lite 2.0 Bivy Sack is essentially plastic with screening for ventilation at the foot. I have used one of these on a rainy night without getting to damp inside it. I did keep my head outside the bivy (under a small umbrella) so I wouldn't add the moisture of my breath. The last time I looked these sold for about $30.

Sleeping Bags

16 ounces - The Marmot Atom Sleeping Bag: 40 Degree Down sells for around $230 and is an ounce lighter than even my old Western Mountaineering bag.

16 ounces - The Western Mountaineering HighLite is still for sale after all these years, and I see that the regular length is a bit lighter than mine. I love my HighLite. They sell for about $260 now, and although they rate it as good to 35 degrees Fahrenheit, I have stayed warm in mine down into the 20s.

12 ounces - The Laser 300 Elite from Terra Nova has to be the lightest real sleeping bag I have seen. They say 11.64 ounces, to be precise, and it is good to about 46 degrees Fahrenheit. I didn't even know they made 900-fill down (900 cubic inches per ounce). It sells for about $330 at the moment.

Lightweight Backpacking Equipment Pages

Lightweight Backpacking Tents - As well as other options like tarps and bivy sacks.

Lightweight Sleeping Bags - The lightest and other alternatives.

Lightweight Backpacks - The various options for internal frame, external frame and frame less backpacks.

My Ultralight Sleeping Bag - Over ten years old, just 17 ounces, and still works fine.

Hiking Clothes - Some of the options for things you can buy and... make?

The Lightest Backpacking Gear - Examples and suggestions for keeping it light.

Ultralight Backpacking Equipment - Examples I posted in 2008, worth reading for the "extra" information.


The Ultralight Backpacking Site | Lightweight Backpacking Equipment