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!
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 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.
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:
- Nano – 4″ x 6″. perfect for cell phones or wallets. weight – 2 grams.
- Small – 8″ x 10″. sized for organizing toiletries or first aid, weight – 6 grams.
- Medium – 9″ x 12″. good for an insulation layer, socks and hat. weight – 8 grams.
- Large – 1o” x 14″. a good size for holding misc clothing and base layers. weight – 10 grams.
- Extra Large – 12″ x 17″. large enough to hold a summer sleeping bag or quilt. weight – 12 grams.
- Jumbo – 14″ x 19″. big enough to store a winter sleeping bag. weight 16 grams (0.6 ounces)
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.
- Nalgene Drop-dispenser bottle – 2 fluid oz
- Round bottle with flip-top-dispenser – 1 fluid oz
- Round bottle with flip-top-dispenser – 3 fluid oz
- Round bottle with flip-top-dispenser – 4 fluid oz
- Flat oval bottle with screw on lid- 2 fluid oz
- Flat oval bottle with screw on lid- 4 fluid oz
- Flat oval bottle with screw on lid – 8 fluid oz
- Polyethylene pill or cream container with hinged lid- 0.25 fluid oz
- Polyethylene pill or cream container with hinged lid – 1 fluid oz
- Nalgene Multipurpose Vial Kit
Beyond Backpacking by Ray Jardine
Ray Jardine’s Beyond Backpacking is the classic book that started the Ultralight Backpacking movement.
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 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 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 – 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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