10 Gear Upgrades for Every Kind of Backpacker

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)

camping
(Photo: Courtesy MSR)

Compact and simple, this device clicks into any hydration reservoir to turn it into a filtration system.

Buy Now


Hydro Flask Trail Series Ultralight Titanium Bottle ($100)

camping
(Photo: Courtesy Hydroflask)

This 21-ounce insulated bottle is backcountry light but still keeps beverages cold or hot for hours.

Buy Now


Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Poles ($180)

camping
(Photo: Courtesy Black Diamond)

With a full-carbon shaft, an ergonomic grip, and updated aluminum locks, each of these poles weighs just 8.6 ounces.

Buy Now


Sierra Designs Granby Pad ($100)

camping
(Photo: Courtesy Sierra Designs)

Synthetic insulation makes the Granby a light three-season pad, and it packs down to the size of a burrito.

Buy Now


Helinox Chair Zero ($120)

camping
(Photo: Courtesy Helinox)

In terms of comfort to weight, it’s impossible to top this one-pound chair.

Buy Now​​​​​​​


Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent with Mtnglo Lights ($500)

camping
(Photo: Courtesy Big Agnes)

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.

Buy Now​​​​​​​


Icebug Rover RB9X GTX Shoes ($160)

camping
(Photo: Courtesy Icebug)

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.

Buy Now​​​​​​​


Therm-a-Rest Corus 20 Quilt ($260)

camping
(Photo: Courtesy Therm-a-Rest)

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.

Buy Now​​​​​​​


Gregory Maven 55 Pack ($230)

camping
(Photo: Courtesy Gregory)

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.

Buy Now​​​​​​​


Fjällräven Abisko Midsummer Trousers ($145)

camping
(Photo: Courtesy Fjällräven)

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.

Buy Now​​​​​​​

Leave a Reply