Ultralight Gifts for Ultralight Backpackers

Ultralight backpackers are difficult to shop for because they hate carrying things that they don’t need. So the trick to buying them holiday gifts is to buy them something that is lighter than the apparel or gear that they already own.

Here is a selection of awesome ultralight backpacking gifts that any ultralight backpacker (male or female) would lust for!

Mont Bell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket

MontBell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket

MontBell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket – 4.8 ounces – Unisex

Weighing just 4.8 ounces, the Montbell Ultralight Plasma 1000 Down Jacket is the ultimate in ultralight insulation. Filled with incredible 1000 fill power goose down and sporting a 7 denier DWR shell, this jacket is the state of the art in thermal insulation.

Fenix LD01 Ultralight Flashlight

Fenix LD01 Ultralight Flashlight

Fenix LD01 Headlamp & Flashlight – 1.0 ounce

Say goodbye to heavyweight headlamps!  Weighing just 1 oz, the Fenix LD01 headlamp and flashlight clips to a ball cap or visor and is small enough to attach to your keychain EDC. Fully waterproof to the IPX-8 standard, it has an LED light rated for 50,000 hours of use. With 3 lighting modes: high, medium, and low, it blasts a maximum of 72 lumens of light (burn time 1.5 hours) or 3 lumens (27 hours runtime) with a simple twist of the light’s head. Requires a single easy-to-find AAA battery.  Hat clip included.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Cuben Fiber Stuff Sacks

Hyperlight Mountain Gear Cuben Fiber Stuff Sacks – 0.6 ounces or less

Cuben fiber stuff sacks are the perfect, slightly expensive, stocking stuffer. Available in multiple sizes with insanely ultralight weights:

Ultralight Dispensing Bottles

Ultralight Dispensing Bottles

Plastic Travel Bottles in a Multitude of Sizes

Ultralight backpackers like to repackage liquid supplies into smaller lighter weight plastic bottles rather than bring a lifetime supply. It doesn’t matter if it’s olive oil, whiskey, shampoo, hand cleanser, or DEET, they want to bring as little of it as possible to save weight, and at a buck or two each, you can buy an assortment. They are super useful.

Beyond Backpacking by Ray Jardine

Ray Jardine’s Beyond Backpacking is the classic book that started the Ultralight Backpacking movement.

Beyond Backpacking by Ray Jardine

No UL hiker’s library is complete without it! It’s been hard to find the past few years, but copies are available once again.

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System

Sawyer MINI Water Filter – 2 ounces

Sawyer’s new MINI water filter is even smaller and lighter weight than the Squeeze water filter that was such a hit in the thru-hiking and ultralight backpacking community last year. Simply screw it onto one of the plastic water bags provided, onto a plastic soda bottle, or platypus hydration reservoir and start drinking. Weighing just 2 ounces, the MINI has an absolute filter pore size of 0.1 microns and removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli and removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium.

Goal Zero Luna LED Light

Goal Zero Luna LED Light

Goal Zero Luna LED Stick Lamp – 1 ounce

Sitting around in camp can burn up a lot of headlamp juice and doesn’t provide area lighting for multiple people. Save battery power and light up the night with the Goal Zero Luna LED Reading Lamp. With 10 super-efficient LED bulbs, it’s rated for 50,000 hours of burn time and can be powered with any USB-compatible battery pack. You can light up camp with this little light or use it in your tent to read at night. Also compatible with laptops and any USB capable power source.

MontBell Versalite Rain Pants

MontBell Versalite Rain Pants

MontBell Versalite Rain Pants – 3.6 ounces – Unisex

Heavy rain pants got you down? Shave a few more ounces by upgrading to MontBell’s Versalite Rain Pants. These 3 season, 2.5 layer Super Hydro Breeze (Water resistance: 20,000 mm Breathability: 20,000 g/m²/ 24 hrs) rain pants are fully seam-taped and made with  ultralight 15 denier Ballistic Airlight nylon. Featuring an elasticized waist draw cord they only weigh 3.6 ounces in a size M.

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18 Responses to Ultralight Gifts for Ultralight Backpackers

  1. Samantha November 18, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Philip – this is a great list! I definitely want one of those Plasma 1000 jackets. Not too expensive either. I’m forwarding this post to my husband!

  2. Burt November 18, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Are those bottles from REI? You American hikers have it made, I’d love to have that kind of selection avilable

    • Bob November 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      Definitely looks like an REi shelf and I have purchased several of those from them

  3. TurtleMan November 18, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Don’t think I’ve ever seen rain pants that lightweight before. I’m hgoing to check those out. Do you know how much they weigh in a size Large or XL. I’ve heard that Japanese sizing tends to run a bit small.

  4. cp November 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    The light looks cool, but it needs power right? Doesn’t seem that UL to me given that.

  5. UltralightMan November 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Ray Jardine’s first and most inspirational (to ultralight backpacking) book was “The Pacific Crest Trail Hiker’s Handbook”. “Beyond Backpacking” is his follow up, sans a lot of his religious, philosophical and political opinions and minus a info specifically about the PCT, and his current book is called “Trail Life”, which is further refined but still much of it a retread of the previous volumes.

    • Philip Werner November 18, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

      Less whacky each iteration. Than man is a nut job but inspired many of us.

  6. John November 18, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Great ideas. I would love to receive any or all of them!!!

  7. Stinkbug November 23, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    I’ve been using the myCharge 6000mAh battery pack all year to keep my “tronics” topped off and love it. All the right connectors. Don’t have to ration the phone or tunes or camera for a week at a time. Very versatile and lightweight. Check it out.

  8. Steve M November 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Should this be on the list?


  9. SnarkyNomad November 26, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    I’m a big fan of Montbell’s ultralight down and synthetic jackets. I wear mine 6 months out of every year (though I went with the synthetic insulation, because it’s rainy here). Their jackets tend to be some of the lightest of their category, so they’re great for traveling too.

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