10 Gear Upgrades for Every Kind of Backpacker
These innovative technical pieces make wilderness camping more fun and less work
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Backpacking is not what it used to be—and we mean that in a good way. Thanks to advancements in everything from poles to packs to pads, you can customize your kit to whatever specifications you desire, whether you’re a gram-counting fast-packer or a backcountry gourmet.
MSR Thru Link Inline Water Filter ($40)
Compact and simple, this device clicks into any hydration reservoir to turn it into a filtration system.
Hydro Flask Trail Series Ultralight Titanium Bottle ($100)
This 21-ounce insulated bottle is backcountry light but still keeps beverages cold or hot for hours.
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Poles ($180)
With a full-carbon shaft, an ergonomic grip, and updated aluminum locks, each of these poles weighs just 8.6 ounces.
Sierra Designs Granby Pad ($100)
Synthetic insulation makes the Granby a light three-season pad, and it packs down to the size of a burrito.
Helinox Chair Zero ($120)
In terms of comfort to weight, it’s impossible to top this one-pound chair.
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent with Mtnglo Lights ($500)
Twenty-five LEDs in the overhead seam make nights more fun. The 3.5-pound Copper Spur’s other upgrades include a tear-resistant fabric and vestibules that transform into awnings.
Icebug Rover RB9X GTX Shoes ($160)
The Rover is a low-rise speed hiker with a Gore-Tex membrane and no-tie Boa lacing. The result is stable, durable, and comfortable enough for long, loaded hauls.
Therm-a-Rest Corus 20 Quilt ($280)
We shaved ounces and still stayed warm with the Corus. The 650-fill quilt uses hydrophobic down that absorbs less water and dries faster than non-treated down. A foot box slips over your pad to eliminate drafts.
Gregory Maven 55 Pack ($230)
The 3.4-pound Maven features a hybrid suspension system that hits a happy medium between overstructured and ultralight. A back panel keeps the pack close and stable, and features cross-cut venting for maximum air flow.
Fjällräven Abisko Midsummer Trousers ($145)
The Abisko was designed with gram-counting, warm-weather hikers in mind: it’s made from breathable recycled polyester and organic cotton, with articulated knees, side ventilation, drawcord cuffs, and four pockets.