feath­er­weight picks for gram- coun­ters

Backpacker - - ULTRALIGHT -

PACK ZPacks Arc Blast

“So many peo­ple had ZPacks on the PCT this year. The Arc Blast is the light­est ver­sion, which ev­ery­one likes for its pure sim­plic­ity and big, ex­ter­nal mesh pocket. But it’s ex­pen­sive and needs TLC.” –Lol­ly­gag $325; 1 lb. 5 oz.; 55L; zpacks.com

PUFFY Moun­tain Hard­wear Ghost Whis­perer

“For the weight, it’s one of the warm­est jack­ets out there, and there’s a model with a hood, too. It also folds up into its own pocket, which makes stor­age con­ve­nient. I didn’t tear it up in 2,650 miles, and I only saw a few holes in other hik­ers’.” –Zuul $320; 7 oz.; S-XXL; moun­tain­hard­wear.com

PAD Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite

“This pad has the low­est weight for the in­su­la­tion (R-value is 3.2) and cush­ion (2.5 inches) that I’ve found. It packs down to the size of a 1-liter bot­tle. Odds are good it will pop dur­ing a thru-hike, but field re­pairs are easy.” –Snorkel $160; 12 oz.; 72” x 20” x 2.5”; cas­cad­edesigns.com


“This wa­ter­proof skirt re­places rain pants, which are bulkier and heav­ier, and get sweaty. The ven­ti­lated ny­lon ma­te­rial keeps you dry in all but the wettest con­di­tions, while help­ing reg­u­late your tem­per­a­ture.” –Lol­ly­gag $30; 2.5 oz.; 24”-56” waist; ula-equip­ment.com

SHEL­TER ZPacks Hex­amid Solo

“If you’re al­ready car­ry­ing trekking poles, you can use them to pitch this one-per­son shel­ter and save the weight of tent poles. It’s just un­der a pound, which is ridicu­lous, so you get the weight sav­ings of a tarp but still have bug net­ting.” –Zuul $475; 15 oz.; zpacks.com

BAG Kata­batic Alsek 22

“With a quilt, you can get the warmth of a bag for 2/3 to ¾ of the weight. This is a good tran­si­tion model for new­bies be­cause you never feel the draft you would with min­i­mal­ist quilts, thanks to strong clips that se­cure it to in­flat­able pads.” –Snorkel $495; 1 lb. 5 oz.; 22°F; kata­bat­icgear.com

GRIT PRO­TEC­TION Dirty Girl Gaiters

“Ul­tra­lighters don’t like car­ry­ing ex­tras. But at just an ounce, these gaiters eas­ily jus­ti­fied their weight— es­pe­cially in the desert, where they kept rocks and stuff out of my shoes. I didn’t have to con­stantly stop and empty them. Bonus: great prints.” –Zuul $23; 1.2 oz; XS-XXL; dirty­girl­gaiters.com

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