The Ultimate Ultralight Backpacking Gear list for 2019

Your search for the best deals and most reliable ultralight backpacking gear for 2019 is over. We at Wildist have put this gear to the test on some of the most challenging alpine routes in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and California.

Grab the full version of this list as a spreadsheet or PDF here to customize for your own needs!

◒ = indicates an optional item or item you may want to bring but leave in your car if conditions are favorable

Essentials

Item Our Recommendation Weight (oz.) Cost Link Notes Optional
Backpack REI Co-op Flash 65 Pack 58 $199 https://goo.gl/pQoaWn
Fitted internal frame pack, gear capacity 50-65L
Pack cover or heavy trash bag REI Co-op Duck’s Back Rain Cover 7.6 $16 goo.gl/mVVRrw To keep pack dry
Headlamp Black Diamond Spot Headlamp 9.8 $29 https://amzn.to/2Jlis5G Look for a model with a red light mode
Extra Batteries 1.5 $10 https://amzn.to/2xQDRhM For headlamp, GPS, etc.
Cordelette for bear bag 7mm BlueWater PreCut Accessory Cord 13 $18 https://amzn.to/2JfBvO5
Grab one rated for human weight (>10KN) so it’s useful for emergency climbing or lowering
Ultralight Multitool or Knife Leatherman Skeletool 5 $60 https://amzn.to/2JIKPdH
2-4 Liter Water Bladder CamelBak Crux Reservoir 100oz 9 $31 https://amzn.to/2JAcI7v
24+ oz Water Bottle Nalgene Tritan 32oz Wide Mouth Bottle 6.5 $11 https://amzn.to/2sI4a4R
Carry a hard (plastic or metal) bottle in case your bladder gets punctured
Water treatment system SteriPen Ultra UV Water Purifier 5 $99 https://amzn.to/2Ji1oO2 Filter, UV, chlorine or iodine treatment

Navigation & Communication

Item Our Recommendation Weight (oz.) Cost Link Notes Optional
Topo GPS mobile app GAIA GPS 0 $0 https://www.gaiagps.com
Be sure to cache the USGS topos to your device
GPS Garmin GPSMAP 64st 9 $264 https://amzn.to/2sRFI0h
Map and compass Suunto MC-2 Compass 2.6 $39 https://amzn.to/2M8dDdD
Solar charger Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel 12.8 $79 https://amzn.to/2LBe0fF If needed for trip length
Extra battery pack Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000 Ultra 9 $30 https://amzn.to/2JqIi4k If needed for trip length

Camp Kitchen

Item Our Recommendation Weight (oz.) Cost Link Notes Optional
Small pot/cup for boiling water Stanley Camp 24oz Cook Set 7 $12 https://amzn.to/2Ji6mdM
Fuel Jetboil Jetpower 4-season Fuel 8 $10 https://amzn.to/2sPqUPo
Sufficient for # of meals / melting snow for water
Measuring Cup/Coffee Mug Inlcuded in Stanley kit above 3 $0 https://amzn.to/2Ji6mdM
Ultralight Camp Stove Snow Peak Giga Power Stove with Auto Start 5.5 $37 https://amzn.to/2M5mDk1
Utensil TOAKS Titanium Ultralight Spork 0.4 $9 https://amzn.to/2xXQmbg
Lighter Standard Bic 0.75 $2 https://amzn.to/2JmiJFm
Water proof matches Coghlan’s 940BP Waterproof Matches 0.5 $4 https://amzn.to/2sGq0pl Backup fire source

Shelter

Item Our Recommendation Weight (oz.) Cost Link Notes Optional
Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad Big Agnes Q Core SLX Super Light 16 $160 https://amzn.to/2J5AQLB
20-30 degree Ultralight Sleeping Bag REI Igneo 25 26 $269 goo.gl/S2Xf77
REI Igneo line is top notch, affordable for ultralight and super lightweight
Bivy Sack Outdoor Research Helium Bivy 18 $175 https://amzn.to/2kYPhad
Lighter weight and faster than a tent, but less protection in a storm
Ultralight Tent MSR FreeLite 2 Tent 38 $330 https://goo.gl/nSucB4 Most tent manufacturer’s make good lightweight options
Tent Footprint or Tarp MSR FreeLite 2 Footprint 7 $34 goo.gl/AGYWH1
Inflatable Pillow Sea To Summit Aeros Pillow Ultralight 2.5 $35 https://amzn.to/2Jh2I3L

Clothing

Item Our Recommendation Weight (oz.) Cost Link Notes Optional
Dry Bag Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack 1.6 $15 https://amzn.to/2xR6bke For packing clothing in wet conditions
Stuff Sack Sea to Summit Stuff Sack 2.5 $11 https://amzn.to/2JsQgKp For packing clothing in dry conditions
Approach shoes 0 $90 https://amzn.to/2sOfJH0 Best for fast alpine traverses with lots of climbing
Trail runners 0 $90 https://amzn.to/2xRXYMv Overall best comfort when doing less climbing
Bandana/handkerchief 0.2 $10 https://amzn.to/2JubFTt
Buff Buff UV Headband 1.5 $12 https://amzn.to/2Hz2pvh
For covering your face or as a sweatband
1-2 pairs Wicking/synthetic Undies https://amzn.to/2kTWA2B
Wicking/synthetic T-Shirt The North Face Men’s Hyperlayer Crew 2.5 $30 https://amzn.to/2kWOrdW base layer
Rain Shell/Windbreaker outermost layer
Long-Sleeve synthetic shirt mid layer
Synthetic/compressible UL Puffy insulation layer
Tough Quick-Drying Pants
Ultralight Strap-on Sandals Z-Trek – The Lightweight Packable Sport Sandal 8 $60 https://amzn.to/2sRWtbG for fording streams, at camp
Hiking Socks Synthetic or wool
Sun-Shielding Hat/Cap Wide brim, quick drying, packable
Light Gloves
Warm Hat
Rain Pants
Ultralight Thermal bottoms Optional depending on conditions
Pack Towel
Microspikes Kahtoola MICROspikes 12 $65 https://amzn.to/2JAOuKt
Climbing helmet Mammut Skywalker 2 Climbing Helmet 13 $60 https://amzn.to/2LvsvSj Recommended if rock fall is a danger

Personal items

Item Our Recommendation Weight (oz.) Cost Link Notes Optional
Allergy medications 0
Any RX medications 0
Painkillers (aspirin, ibuprofen) 0
Car keys 0
Small Hand Sanitizer
Toilet paper / wipes 0.5
Toothbrush / floss 1
Sunscreen
Insect Repellent
Lip Balm

Food

Item Our Recommendation Weight (oz.) Cost Link Notes Optional
Stuff Sack (or Bear Canister) Sea to Summit Stuff Sack 2.5 $11 https://amzn.to/2JsQgKp For food, hang-able as bear bag
2 Dehydrated meals per day Breakfast and dinner
3 Trail snacks per day No-prep lunch and snacks
Instant coffee singles/powder creamer
Hot chocolate/tea
Energy/electrolyte powder
Energy Food (Bars, Gu, Chews, etc)
Extra day’s food supply
Ziplock bag for trash 0.05

Non-essentials

Item Our Recommendation Weight (oz.) Cost Link Notes Optional
Camera and/or Smartphone
Sunglasses
Headphones
Ultralight Hammock 6.5 $50 https://amzn.to/2HygcCq
Trekking poles

Emergencies

Item Our Recommendation Weight (oz.) Cost Link Notes Optional
First-Aid Kit 16
We’ll provide a deep dive into 1st Aid Kit contents in an upcoming post
$60 cash 0 For emergencies, car issues, etc.
Personal Locator Beacon ACR 2880 ResQlink 4.6 $244 https://amzn.to/2LCdz58 Good idea if going solo
Repair Kit for Sleeping Pad, Tent 2.5
Patching, seam seal & small amount of duct tape

Selecting and using outdoor gear

This equipment list has been developed specifically for the conditions we experience in the Rocky Mountain region during the summer mountaineering season. Equipment must function well in a wide variety of conditions. Everything you pack should fit securely inside your pack.

Low temperatures on high peaks often drop to slightly above freezing and daytime highs can range anywhere from 30°F to 80°F. Mountain winds are not uncommon and should be taken into consideration when planning your clothing system.

Take the time to carefully prepare and understand your equipment. Use your gear in the field before any major treks so you are prepared. Properly label and identify all items of personal gear. Your name on a garment tag or a piece of colored electrical tape on carabiners and miscellaneous items is an easy way to label your gear; fingernail polish on hard goods is excellent.

If you are preparing for travel, please remember that lighters and stove fuel are not allowed on aircraft. Stoves that have been thoroughly cleaned can be put in your checked baggage.

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