Ultralight

Trick question. They’re the same thing. Last year, Dyneema acquired the Cubic Tech Corporation, the primary manufacturer of cuben fiber, and rebranded the material as Dyneema Composite Fabrics. So if you’re interested in shelling out for the very lightest weight fabric currently being used for outdoor gear—and have been confused by this name change on gear specs…

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There’s a general truism when it comes to ultralight tents. As manufacturers shave down the ounces, they often shave inches off the tent’s length. Which is fine if you’re less than 6 feet tall. But if you’re tall like me (6 feet 5 inches), there’s nothing fine about having your head and/or feet pushing directly against…

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Part of an ongoing series on Northeast-based gear companies. I’ve long been attracted to the ultralight offerings of Mountain Laurel Designs, especially their diverse line of pyramid tents and packs. Even better, the company is based in AMC’s region, in Roanoke, Va., where they produce all of their gear. If you’re shopping for ultralight equipment—and want to…

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When it comes to backcountry camping, I’m often a base camp kind of guy. I like to hike in to a great campsite, set up for two nights or more, and then spend the intervening days day-hiking to nearby destinations. It’s a method I’ve embraced all the more now that I’ve started backpacking with my…

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ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKING GEAR might seem like a modern phenomenon, featuring the latest and lights high-tech materials, but the idea dates back to the very beginning of organized hiking in New England. More than two dozen outdoors organizations attended the first meeting of the New England Trail Conference (NETC) in 1916. These college outing clubs, hiking…

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It’s phrases like this that endear me to The Trek: “if Ghengis Khan and the Terminator had a baby and this baby was raised by Oprah and Miss Janet inside of REI, said baby would be The Badger Sponsorship 2017.” We’ll get to the Badger Sponsorship at the end (read: chance to win a ton of free gear), but first a quick…

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There’s a new entry in the world of ultralight backpacks, and it’s right here in the Northeast (Coplay, Pa., to be exact). Appalachian Ultralight is a new one-man gear shop that just opened for commercial sales earlier this year. Its specialty? Small- to mid-sized (30- to 45-liter) ultralight backpacks, including a 6.25-ounce, 30-liter marvel of…

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Consider this an adventure into the extremes of ultralight backpacking gear. It’s a place you go once you’ve moved beyond cutting ounces and entered the sub-ounce realm of counting grams. And in this realm lies the genre of ultralight toothbrushes. Here are some of the options. The Toob It’s the “fun go-anywhere refillable toothbrush!” The…

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Ultralight sleeping bags weigh almost nothing, pack down smaller than a water bottle, and one can easily last for the rest of your backpacking life. Yes, it’s an expensive investment but its longevity, comfort, and incredible stuffability make it much easier to rationalize—especially if you’re the type who expects to be out in the wilds as…

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Your backpack is one of the most important items of gear you own. A quality ultralight pack will not only eliminate several pounds from your back, it will also ensure a comfortable ride for many miles and days. As we rapidly march into hiking season in the Northeast, here are three ultralight backpacks worth considering…

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