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Gear Reviews / January 29, 2017

This week in gear: 4 ways to go ultra-light

Written by: Stewart Moore

Almost all backpackers agree: lighter packs make for happier campers. And those few that don’t agree? They haven’t been backpacking long.

Pack weight matters. So this week, we rounded up four pieces of gear that will shave off a few ounces.


ULA Equipment’s CDT Pack

The 54-liter CDT is big enough for a Continental Divide thru-hike (if you pack properly), but not too bulky for a weekend trip. And because it doesn’t have a frame, it runs quite a bit lighter than most packs of equivalent size. The medium CDT weighs in at just 24 ounces.

Like most backpacks, the CDT comes complete with a hip belt, side pockets, and an attachment for shoulder pouches. But unlike most backpacks, it doesn’t have a frame. That means it’s best used to carry loads that weigh less than 18 lbs.

The CDT is custom-made to order. It sells online for $145.


YAMA’s Cirriform DW 2-Person Tent

If you know tents, you know it’s hard to find a double-walled two-person tent that weighs less than two pounds. And if you don’t know tents, you’ll just have to trust us when we say the Cirriform DW 2-person tent is a rare find.

When erected, the tent offers a 26 square foot base and 44 inches of headroom. Its double-walled construction reduces condensation and holds up to even heavy rain. The tent relies on two trekking poles and seven stakes for its structure.

The Cirriform DW is made to order, and can be customized in several ways. The tent sells online from $355.


ZPack’s Down Sleeping Bags

Probably the easiest way to cut weight on a sleeping bag is to get one specifically designed for your body size. And thanks to the folks at ZPacks, that’s an option.

The company’s 900-fill goose down bags are available in three girths (56″, 61″, and 66″), and four lengths (that fit bodies from 5’0″ to 6’8″). Bags can also be customized by temperature, ranging from 10 to 40 degrees.

Bag weight varies by size. Example: for a 30-degree bag, a slim/short bag weighs in at 12.9 ounces, while a broad/xx-long tips the scales at 20.8.

Prices also vary by size and temperature, with the cheapest costing $335 and the most expensive $475. The bags sell online.


GossamerGear’s NightLight Sleeping Pad

Serious ultra-lighters have time-tested secret for trimming ounces: take half-sized things. If you’re comfortable sleeping with your legs dangling off the couch or recliner, GossamerGear’s sleeping pad is a way to cut back even more.

Generally speaking, egg-crate sleeping pads are actually lighter than inflatable ones, and the Nightlight pad takes it even further by only providing a torso-length version of that pad. It’s more comfortable than it looks.

The sleeping pads sell online for $24.

Have a super-duper-light piece of gear that didn’t make this list? Email [email protected] to let us know!

about the author

Stewart Moore

Stewart Moore is a writer and endurance athlete based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Originally from Alabama, Stewart has hiked over 1,000 solo miles, completing the Colorado Trail in 2015 and a 500+ mile trip linking the Tahoe Rim Trail and the John Muir Trail together via the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016. Outside of hiking, Stewart enjoys trail running, snowboarding, ice climbing, fly fishing, and yoga (subjects which he also finds himself writing about).

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