We’ve all been there. Walking on a steep uphill trail at the end of a tiring day of hiking, while the backpack seems to get heavier with every step.
The truth is, packing light for long hiking trips isn’t an easy task. The first step is to choose the right hiking gear that’s lightweight without compromising on the performance.
In this article, we will list down some of the tried and tested lightweight hiking gear for long-term travel that will help you to hike comfortably. We have gone through the best options in each category, gathered all the feedback, and shifted through pages of specifications to make sure they are worth it.
Honestly, not all of us are super organised when it comes to packing light. But by picking these items, you can reduce the weight on your back by a lot.
Let’s check them out.
- Best Lightweight Hiking Shoe
- Best Lightweight Tent
- Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag
- Best Lightweight Backpack
- Best Lightweight Backpacking Stove
- Points to Consider While Picking Lightweight Hiking Gear
Best Lightweight Hiking Shoe
Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex
The X Ultras have been one of the best-selling models from Salomon for some time and not without reason. The best part is, they are featherlight but rugged enough to handle tough terrains.
- Like its predecessors, the X Ultra 4 is an incredibly comfortable shoe. The gusseted tongue and the ortholite sock liner keep your feet comfortable at all times. While using it, we never had any rough corners or seams bothering us.
- The chassis is designed to offer excellent support to the feet. The midsole has the right level of rigidity that can easily support heavier backpacks. The overall fit keeps your feet snug and secure.
- The Contagrip lug pattern in the outsole offers excellent grip, even during tricky downhill descents. The synthetic upper with welded seams also provide excellent durability.
- Lastly, we love using the Quicklace lacing system from Salomon. However first-time users may take some time adjusting to the feel.
- Great all-terrain performance
- Lightweight at 360 grams
- Good foot support
- Some users may not prefer Quicklace
Best Lightweight Tent
Big Agnes Copper Spur hv ul3
When it comes to multi-day hiking trips, you need a lightweight tent that’s versatile. Enter the Big Agnes Copper Spur- a durable and comfortable tent that’s large enough for three people. It can also be a roomier version for two people.
- The tent is made from proprietary rip-stop mixed denier nylon with an ultralight mesh. The fly and floor material is denier nylon with a waterproof coating. Another addition is the TipLok tent buckles for an easy and secure setup.
- When it comes to space, you get 29 square feet of floor space and a vestibule area of 9 square feet. What stands out is the ample storage area. There are two large pockets and multiple small pockets to organize your gear.
- The tent offers a great balance between ventilation and weather protection. The vestibules can be arranged in many styles based on preference.
- Lastly, it offers great portability and is lighter than most other options in the market.
- A 3-season tent
- 5 oz footprint weight
- Large dual doors
- A rugged build
- It’s pricey
Best Lightweight Sleeping Bag
Western Mountaineering Summerlite
Weighing just above a pound, the Summerlite is one of the best mummy sleeping bags with some great features. This isn’t a cheap sleeping bag, but in reality, mummy sleeping bags are expensive. But considering its overall performance, we feel that it offers solid value.
- In terms of design, there are dual nylon shells separated by 850 plus down. In addition, there’s a continuous layer of baffles for delivering more warmth. The overall cut is a bit tighter below the waist, but that results in a snug fit on freezing nights.
- The other thing is the high down weight to fabric weight ratio. That makes it extremely comfortable when the temperature drops. On warmer nights, you can pull the full-length YKK zippers down for better ventilation.
- The 12 denier shell fabric offers excellent durability and is filled with 10 oz down for warmth.
- It’s as light as any quilt and packs down to a compact size. Even after stuffing it inside a backpack, there was hardly any loss of loft.
- Rated for 32° F
- An insulated draft tube
- Great durability
- High thermal efficiency
- The hood is shallow
- The cut is tight
Best Lightweight Backpack
Anyone looking for a lightweight but sturdy backpack will love using the Blaze. After considering the affordable price, we feel it’s the best value option in the ultralight category. All in all, a great backpack that’s built for the wilderness and handles heavier loads like a champ.
- Firstly, the use of 100D Robic high-tenacity nylon makes it durable and 100% waterproof. In addition, 210D Robic nylon has been used in the abrasion zones to increase durability.
- Secondly, there’s an excellent suspension system to support heavier loads. The use of an Air Current frame makes it one of the most breathable options in this category. The plastic frame is flexible enough to adjust to the contours of your back but resists buckling very well.
- Next, there are plenty of additional features including side water bottle pockets, extra large hip belts with pockets, and a front and side compression straps mechanism. In addition, the top lid can be removed and used as a front pack.
- Weighs 3 pounds
- 50-pound load rating
- Excellent storage options
- Top-notch durability
- Shoulder and hip straps aren’t breathable.
Best Lightweight Backpacking Stove
BRS 3000T Stove Backpacking Stove
Need a lightweight backpacking stove that delivers a steaming hot mug of cuppa on a bone-chilling morning? With a weight of just 0.06 pounds, the BRS 3000T is an incredibly lightweight option in this category.
- Honestly, this is the smallest gas-powered stove we ever used. Surprisingly, it can generate 2700 W of power. That said, with the burner design using it in open, windy campsites isn’t easy. So using a windshield is necessary. But the super lightweight design makes up for it.
- Once it gets going, the flame is super steady. The control valve is super smooth which makes operation easy. The three-pot supports come with a teeth pattern and keeps the pots and pans stable.
- The overall fuel efficiency is good but not great. The average boil time for a liter of waterways close to 5 minutes in an enclosed space.
- The super-lightweight design is balanced by an affordable price tag. That makes the deal even sweeter.
- Super lightweight
- Compact size
- Cheap price tag
- A small burner head
Points to Consider While Picking Lightweight Hiking Gear
Whether you are a pro hiker or a newbie, picking the right gear is essential for a memorable trip. Here are a few points that you need to keep in mind while picking hiking gear.
- Fix a budget before picking hiking gear. It’s best not to compromise on quality by picking cheap products. If you’re a beginner, don’t pick the costliest gear in the market.
- Choose durable gear that will easily last for multiple hiking trips. You don’t want your gear to fail during a hike.
- Pick a piece of gear that you can depend on. In other words, it should offer the same performance every time you use it.
- Apart from the weight also consider the size of the gear you pick. A larger size will reduce your ability to pack all necessary items in the backpack.
- Every piece of gear needs some amount of maintenance. However, make sure that it’s not too frequent and time-consuming.
These are some of the best bits of lightweight hiking gear you can choose to make your long-term easier.
Reducing the overall load in your backpack not only allows you to walk comfortably but also helps you to conserve energy with every step. So at the end of a long day of hiking, you will have enough energy to explore the beautiful campsites or enjoy some fun time with the family.