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Our Favorite Fastpacking Gear

Cut weight and save money for more backcountry enjoyment.

There are so many ultralight (UL) products on the market these days that choosing among them can be dizzying. Ideally, many pieces of your UL gear will be multi-purpose. Here's our favorite fastpacking gear.

Ideally, strive to keep your fastpacking kit under 200 pounds, and food and water under five ponds. This presents obvious challenges for spending multiple nights in the backcountry and might turn you into an obsessive ounce counter. Due to limited pack space, select food for its caloric density. Water is heacy, so plan to refill, filter and treat en route.

Will Thomas, who has summitted over 500 peaks (many of them while fastpacking) as well as Section J of the PCT in just 36 hours says, "I try to use the smallest pack possible for the outing. This helps me be mindful in the packing process to bring only the essentials and focus on multi-items and their compactibility. IF I start with a larger pack than needed, I add more and more discretionary items."

You can read the complete list of favorite fastpacking gear, written by Ben Luedke here.


May 6, 2022

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Trail Runner

Media Mentions from Trail Runner

Encouraging, informing and inspiring trail runners of all ages and abilities.


My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick


Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz


The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere