8 Gifts for Ultralighters – Backpacker

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8 Gifts for Ultralighters – Backpacker

Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 Carbon (Photo: courtesy)Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 Carbon, $1,000 If money is no

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Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 Carbon
Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 Carbon (Photo: courtesy)

Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 Carbon, $1,000

If money is no object in your gift-giving decision, the Tiger Wall 2 Carbon has a trail weight of just 1 pound, 6 ounces, making it one of the lightest freestanding two-person tents on the market. This gossamer two-door, two-vestibule shelter is made of  Dyneema, but its fabric is barely thicker than a snowflake, which leads to durability issues. There’s also a three-person version of the tent available if you need the extra space. Buy Now

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Mattress
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Mattress (Photo: courtesy)

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Mattress, $200

Help your ultralight trekker get better sleep without adding much weight to their pack. When rolled up, the 9-ounce Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Mattress is as small as a soda can. It also provides 2.5-inches of loft when inflated—enough to keep your giftee off the ground, even with a belly full of holiday cookies weighing them down. However, it has an R-Value of 2, so this pad is only suitable for warm weather conditions. Buy Now

Montbell Seamless Down Hugger WR 900
Montbell Seamless Down Hugger WR 900 (Photo: courtesy)

Montbell Seamless Down Hugger WR 900, $449

It’s not the absolute lightest sleeping bag out there, but at 1 pound, 3 ounces, the Seamless Down Hugger WR 900 can handle temps just below freezing (it’s rated to 30ºF), and testers felt like they could have slept comfortably below that temperature. Credit Montbell’s baffle-less technology for granting weight-savings. The bag’s comfort is enhanced by the company’s elasticized stitching, which allows it to expand from 53 inches at the shoulders to 73 inches. But the Down Hugger still compresses to 5.5 by 11 inches, or about the size of a football. Buy Now

Western Mountaineering NanoLite Quilt
Western Mountaineering NanoLite Quilt (Photo: courtesy)

Western Mountaineering NanoLite Quilt, $345 

If the Down Hugger isn’t light enough for your adventurer, you can check out Western Mountaineering’s NanoLite quilt. This 11-ounce quilt is only rated down to 38ºF, making it tailored to shoulder-season treks. Still, the NanoLite offers 68 inches of shoulder width, and users can choose to wrap it around themselves and their sleeping pad, or just use it like a traditional quilt on warmer nights. Buy Now

Hyperlite Junction 3400
Hyperlite Junction 3400 (Photo: courtesy)

Hyperlite Junction 3400, $355

Weighing in at 2 pounds and capable of hauling up to 40 pounds in 55 liters of space, the Junction (and its 1 pound, 14 ounce sibling, the Junction 2400) will last year in and year out. That’s thanks to the pack’s durable, waterproof, Dyneema-polyester fabric. For lighter loads, trekkers can remove the aluminum stays in the back, dropping its weight even more. Buy Now 

Rab Phantom Pull-On
Rab Phantom Pull-On (Photo: courtesy)

Rab Phantom Pull-On, $200

The Rab Phantom Pull-On is the lightest waterproof/breathable shell out there, an attribute which garnered it a 2020 Editors’ Choice Award. Sure, it’s not intended for the rigors of winter, but it’s ideal for three-season hiking and trail running. The Phantom weighs just 3 ounces and packs down to the size of a small peach. In testing, we found the 2.5-layer Pertex Shield fabric did well keeping us dry in pelting rain and protecting us from punishing gusts. Buy Now

RapidPure Pioneer Straw
RapidPure Pioneer Straw (Photo: courtesy)

RapidPure Pioneer Straw, $26

This water purifier is the lightest, smallest water purifier we’ve seen, making it an ideal stocking-stuffer for the ultralight hiker on your holiday list. It weighs just under 2 ounces, but this water purifier removes over 99.99 percent of bacteria, parasites, viruses, sediment, and more. The 2.5-inch-long, easily replaceable purifier cartridge is only $17.99, and designed to filter about 750 liters of water. Buy Now

Vargo Titanium BOT
Vargo Titanium BOT (Photo: courtesy)

Vargo Titanium BOT, $100

Whether your ultralight hiker cold-soaks their meals or carries a stove, gift them this multi-use vessel that they can cook food in and use as a water bottle.. The BOT is available in two different capacities (700 milliliters and 900 milliliters) and has a screw-top lid with a heat-resistant O-ring to seal it that doubles as a cooking lid. The wall of the BOT has graduated measurements visible from both the outside and inside. Since it’s titanium, the BOT heats up quickly, making it great for cooking. However, it does a poor job of keeping things warm. The 900 ML weighs in at 5 ounces—about an ounce less than a Nalgene bottle.  Buy Now 



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