What kind of gifts can you buy for an ultralight backpacker who’s a minimalist? It’s a quandary, isn’t it? Here are some tried and true gear favorites that all ultralight backpacker’s lust for. They may be minimalists, but they’re not stupid. They like great gear just like everyone else!
Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket (Men’s & Women’s)
Equally at home on the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, the Feathered Friends Eos Hooded Down Jacket excels at keeping you warm on its own when conditions call for moving light and fast, or as a layering piece when weather moves in.
Filled with premium 900+ fill down, Feathered Friends down clothing and sleeping bags are prized by hikers and backpackers around the world.
Western Mountaineering Summerlite Sleeping Bag
The Western Mountaineering Summerlite down sleeping bag is regarded as one of the finest lightweight sleeping bags available today. This 32 degree sleeping bag is filled with high quality 850+ goose down, with features such as continuous baffles and a draft collar that you only find on the very best sleeping bags.
Western Mountaineering sleeping bags are highly prized for their quality construction and longevity. While owning one is a bit of an investment, they can easily last for 20 years. Gear weight: 19 ounces.
Tarptent Protrail Trekking Pole Tent
The Tarptent Protrail Trekking Pole Tent ($209) is a storm-worthy trekking pole tent with a waterproof bathtub floor and amply bug netting that provides excellent ventilation as well as excellent views.
Quick drying and compact, the ProTrail sets up in under 2 minutes. Imagine: the weight of a tarp, with the comfort of a tent. Gear weight: 26 ounces.
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter Kit
The Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter system is the most popular water filter used by utralight backpackers today. With a field weight of only 3 oz., it makes filtering water as simple as filling a pouch and squeezing water into your mouth. No pills, no pumps and no wait.
Simply fill up the included water pouch at a lake or stream, screw the hollow-fiber filter onto the pouch and squeeze the pouch to push the water through the filter. The kit includes a 32 fl. oz. pouch; collapsible pouches are made from durable Mylar foil and can be reused hundreds of times. The Hollow-fiber membrane filter removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium. Gear weight: 3 ounces.
Therm-a-Rest Xlite Sleeping Pad
Go light without sacrificing on comfort. Get a short Therm-a-rest Xlite sleeping pad ($129.95) for your torso and lay your legs, which need less insulation, on top of your backpack.
Sleeping with a short pad is an old ultralight backpacking trick for slashing sleeping gear weight. Gear weight: 8 ounces.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Cuben Fiber Ground Cloth
The ultimate, super lightweight HMG Ground Cloth is for minimalist overnight backpackers who like to sleep under the stars, but who still want foolproof protection for their gear from moisture, mud and dirt.
Ideal for goal-oriented adventurers constantly on the move and in need of fast protection from inclement weather, it’s sizable at 96” X 52” (8’ X 4’3”) but weighs less than an iPhone. This is the last ground cloth they’ll ever need. Gear weight 3.4 ounces.
Petzl e+Lite Headlamp
Weighing less than 1 ounce and smaller than a walnut, the ultralight Petzl e+Lite headlamp ($29.95) w/ retractable strap, has a locking on off switch, red and white LEDS, as well as flashing light functions.
The e+Lite is powered by two coin-sized batteries, so spares are very lightweight to carry. Gear weight: 1 ounce.
Dirty Girl Gaiters
Available in dozens of **expressive** prints and colors, Dirty Girl Gaiters ($21), are the most popular ultralight backpacking gaiters available today.
So hike like a dirty girl! Gear weight: 1.5 ounces.
Toaks Titanium 750 ml Cookpot
Ultralight backpackers prize titanium cookware for its light weight and durability. This Toaks Titanium 750 ml (25.4 fl oz.) cook pot can be used as a pot, drinking cup, or eating bowl, saving weight because it can be used for multiple functions.
With a locking handle and internal fluid measurements in ml and ounces, it is large enough to fit a 4 oz. fuel canister for compact storage. Gear weight: 3.9 ounces.
Zimmerbuilt Custom Backpack
Backpacks are an intensely personal item and I wouldn’t recommend buying one for someone else. A much better solution is to give the ultralight backpacker of your affections $300-$500 dollars to spend at Zimmerbuilt to build a custom ultralight backpack.
Zimmerbuilt has pretty reasonable pricing when it comes right down to it, but this would be a special present, perhaps one that would last a lifetime. Estimated Gear Weight: 16 ounces.
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