Want to know what are the best backpacking gear? We’re here to share with you our thoughts and ideas on what we think is the best backpacking gear for outdoor adventures. There are definitely many different ways to backpack and it depends on personal preferences and the type of activities.
Backpacking isn’t just about packing all the essentials. It all comes down to preparing your necessities and bringing them with you along your trip to reconnect with mother nature. Great gear may even help enhance your backcountry trips. You may have the freedom to explore mother nature but you’ll need some tools to keep you warm, dry, comfortable and safe.
There are so many different kinds of backpacking gear out there—all advertising themselves as the best of the bunch—that it can take a lifetime to make sense of them all. To make it easier for you, we’ve made use of our experience in outdoors gear to shortlist the candidates. We hope that the tips here we provide are able to help enhance your outdoor trips!
Our top picks
|Product name||Weight||Dimensions||Defining feature||Price|
|Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Sleeping Bag||3 pounds||8 x 13 x 8 inches||Camping and hiking||Check price on Amazon|
|The North Face Verto Storm Jacket||0.4375 pound||Not specified||Climbing and backpacking||Check price on Amazon|
|GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper||4.15 pounds||5.8 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches||Camping||Check price on Amazon|
|Merrell Woman’s Moab Gore-Tex Hiking Boot||3 pounds||15 x 10 x 6 inches||Hiking||Check price on Amazon|
|DeLorme Earthmate PN-60 Portable GPS Navigator||1.6 pound||5.8 x 4 x 7.8 inches||Hiking, climbing, and hunting||Check price on Amazon|
|Jetboil Sol Advanced Cooking System||0.65 pound||6 x 4 x 8 inches||Camping and hiking||Check price on Amazon|
|Gregory Mountain Products Z 30||2.8 pounds||Not specified||Backpacking and hiking||Check price on Amazon|
|Patagonia Men's Ultralight Down Hoodie||0.5798 pound||Sleeve: 36 inches,|
chest: 46 - 48 inches,
neck: 17 - 17.5 inches,
waist: 38 - 40 inches
|Hiking and backpacking||Check price on Amazon|
|Black Diamond Innova 60||3 pounds||Fits torso: 15.5 – 18.5/ 17.5 – 20.5 inches, |
fits waist: 30 – 35/ 34 – 39 inches
|Backpacking||Check price on Amazon|
|MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent 2-Person 3-Season||2.25 pounds||5 x 5 x 17 inches||Backpacking||Check price on Amazon|
Things to consider before buying
Now you must be wondering, what is the best backpacking gear that you should be bringing with you on your outdoor trips? No matter where you plan to go, there are a few things that you absolutely must have in your backpack. Among them are as follows.
This is the essential backpacking gear! Before going out on a camping, backpacking or hiking trip with your friends, the first thing that determines your level of comfort would be the clothing you’ll be wearing while you’re out camping. This is why it is important to always choose clothing that are of an excellent quality, will wick away sweat, is light and comfortable, and also breathable.
We would always recommend bringing a jacket with you when you’re going on an outdoor trip. Get a lightweight, breathable and compact jacket. The weather can be rough in the outdoors, and it pays to have one that’s also waterproof, for those days when an unexpected rainstorm hits you.
Picking the right pair of shoes is not only important for your comfort, it’s also important for your safety. Having shoes that are reinforced keep your feet safe, and will reinforce the strength of your ankles to minimize any sprains from occurring. The terrain can be tough, so keeping your feet safe will definitely make your experience more enjoyable.
You can never leave the house without a water purifier, especially when you’re going for an outdoor adventure! One can never drink directly from the stream, river or pond because they’re likely to be filled with harmful bacteria, protozoans and viruses.
If you don’t have a water purifier yet, do get one. And when you’re dehydrated, you’re going to need to find some way of quenching your thirst. That’s why it’s essential to include one in your backpacking gear so that you won’t jeopardize your health.
One of the best backpacking gears that you must own, for both protection and safety, we need a headlamp to light up the path during the darker hours. Whether you’re going to the bathroom at night, or you happened to get lost on a hike after the sun goes down, you’ll need a way to see. Look for headlamps that have a variety of features, such as flashing lights and LEDs of different colors for use in an emergency.
For the hikers and campers who are going to stay outdoors for the night, a tent is something that should definitely bring. Also, it’s the best backpacking gear because it is a great shelter. We suggest you look for the ultralight backpacking tents that are great for backpacking and camping. Not only does it provide good balance and weight, it can be roomy enough to wait out a prolonged storm without going stir crazy.
Also consider which sleeping bag you would be able to get a good night’s sleep in. Looking for some deep trail sleep? In our opinion, no sleeping bag beats the warmth, weight, functionality and affordability of the Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt. Do check out on this product as it is a sleeping bag that we would recommend for your outdoor camping trips.
It can be easily attached to the sleeping pad to create a toasty den, even if you tend to squirm around during the night. You’ll love and enjoy the freedom of the revelation if you give it a try! This is also one of the best backpacking gear we would encourage our outdoor enthusiasts to get.
When it comes to looking for backpacks, look for a roomy backpack that comes with lots of pockets, easy-access water bottle holsters and good weight capacity. When we look for backpacks, the two main things we need would be more storage and weight capacity, keep that in mind!
Another best backpacking gear to have are sunglasses. They protect your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun and allow you to take in the majesty of your surroundings. Looking into the beautiful mother nature with the best sunglasses is what you need! Trust me, these sunglasses are a change for your vision of the entire world.
Trekking poles may also be necessary as they’re very useful as backpacking gear, as camping usually involves hiking. It helps to reduce the impact of hiking on our knee joints and leg muscles. Depending on your needs and personal preferences, trekking poles vary from sizes, material, weight, durability and packability.
Best products on today’s market
Now that we have shared our list of the best packing gears, it’s time for a few reviews on some excellent backpacking gear that we think you should get! Have a look at the reviews we have on the following products.
Price: $140 – $175
Weight: 3 pounds
Dimensions: 8 x 13 x 8 inches
Specific features: 50D Down proof polyester; 50D polyester taffeta liner; 600 fill power DriDown; thermal-comfort hood; natural fit footbox; locking zipper; dual slider
Best use: Camping and hiking
The Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Sleeping Bag is made of great quality fabric and polyester which covers the durability department. To be specific, it features a 50D Down proof polyester, 50D polyester taffeta liner and a 600 Fill power DriDown. It comes with 21 ounces of down insulation but with its roomy cut, it might be the more suitable sleeping bag for temperatures 25 – 30 ºF.
Enjoy the thermal-comfort hood and natural fit footbox that also comes with the sleeping bag. It has a locking zipper and dual slider. Compared to other down bags, it is lighter and more compact – especially when compared to similar products in the same price range.
And speaking of the price, the Cosmic 20 excels in terms of value. What we have here is sleeping with decent quality, good compressibility, lightweight, down filled and for less than $200. That’s a hard value to beat for sure.
- Effectively warms you up to a temperature of 20 ºF
- Thick and well-made but also lightweight
- Packs small
- Useful bells and whistles
- Quite expensive
- Zipper is not quite as well-made as the rest of the bag
Related: In case you are looking for a cheaper sleeping bag, this TETON Sports TrailHead +20F Sleeping Bag could be the one for you. At around $100 cheaper, it’s quite a major price difference. But if you’re looking for true quality, Kelty Cosmic is definitely the better choice.
Price: $70 – $110
Weight: 0.4375 pound
Dimensions: Not Specified
Specific features: Ultra-lightweight HyVent fabric; zippered pocket with a carabiner clip-in loop; alpine handwarmer pockets; no manufacturer warranty; waterproof and windproof
Best use: Hiking, backpacking, climbing
The ultra-lightweight The North Face Verto Storm Jacket is waterproof, windproof and very compressible. The product can be easily stowed into its own zipper pocket with a carabiner clip-in loop. It is compact for stowing and it has great visibility color. It is also lightweight.
It is suitable for climbers and backpackers as it has a comfortable cutting and style that fits well for climbers and backpackers. For any outdoor activity where weight is a significant factor, the jacket is perfect.
The inclusion of a harness enables this jacket to be quite the pack-friendly option. On top of that, the alpine handwarmer pockets are definitely a nice touch. However, it does have a somewhat bulky profile. What can we say? The Verto does a great job of striking the balance between ultralight and performance.
- Ultra lightweight
- Waterproof and windproof
- A bit bulky
- On the expensive side
- No manufacturer warranty
Related: This storm jacket is for men. If you’re looking for one suitable for women, The North Face Thermoball Vest offers a great alternative. Not only is it warm, it also packs really small so you would have space left for everything else in your backpack.
Price: Approximately $140
Weight: 4.15 pounds
Dimensions: 5.8 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches
Specific features: 2L pot with lid/fry pan; a 3L pot; hard anodized aluminum with Pinnacle coating; non-stick; nylon strainer lids; folding gripper; mugs, bowls, and plates
Best use: Camping, outdoor cooking
The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookware Set includes a 2L pot with lid/fry pan and a 3L pot made of hard anodized aluminum with Pinnacle coating for non-stick and protection. It also features two crushproof, heat-resistant nylon strainer lids that would be great for pasta lovers and pasta chefs!
You’ll also find four insulated mugs and four bowls with four plates to make a complete four-person cook set. The cookware set also includes a folding gripper for the pots. You’ll also be able to find the welded stuff sack that fits into doubles as a sink or wash basin in the Cookware set.
It is the perfect cookware set to be brought to camping trips where you may be staying a night in the woods and when cooking is necessary when you’re outdoor. The fully-equipped and exceptionally durable cookware set is just the cookware set you need for a camping trip!
- Comes with many extras, such as the bowls and the mugs
- Great value for money
- Lightweight but durable
- Its great design makes cooking outdoors a very simple affair
- Extras such as plates and mugs are a bit small and not as durable as the pot itself
Related: For the complete outdoors cooking experience, you need the GSI Outdoors Destination Kitchen Set. Used in conjunction with the Pinnacle Camper, you’d be able to whip up all kinds of delicacies. Nothing beats good food eaten while being surrounded by nature.
Price: $80 – $150
Weight: 3 pounds
Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 6 inches
Specific features: Synthetic and mesh material; Vibram sole; GORE-TEX lining; waterproof
Best use: Hiking, mountaineering
The Merrell Woman’s Moab Gore-Tex Hiking Boot features synthetic and mesh material, with a Vibram sole providing good comfort for your walks. The Vibram lug patterns provide the much-needed stability which of course should come in handy when you’re hiking in a particularly tough terrain.
The shaft measures at approximately 4.75 inches from the arch, the heel measures at approximately 1.5 inch and the platform measures at approximately 0.75 inch. The product features a waterproof fabric, GORE-TEX lining.
It’s a pair of shoes perfect for your hiking trips. When you wear these hiking boots to the woods, you won’t feel like slipping as it provides a good support. Wear it with a pair of wool hiking socks for warmth when you hike.
All in all, Merrell did a great job on this pair that has all the bells and whistles of a great hiking shoe.
- Great grip and traction
- Very durable – last for a good many miles
- Very comfortable
- Lightweight but feels very sturdy and well-made
- Runs a bit small, so you might want to ramp up the size number
Related: Although the Gore-Tex version is waterproof, it’s not specially made to be so, so it can only do so much. If you want a truly waterproof pair of shoes, the Merrell Women’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is the better option. If you want a version of these shoes that’s designated for men, the Merrell Men’s Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boot is the answer you’re looking for. If your feet suffer in narrow shoes, the Merrell Women’s Moab Mid WTPF Wide Hiking Boot is the better option.
Price: Approximately $200
Weight: 1.6 pound
Dimensions: 5.8 x 4 x 7.8 inches
Specific features: Elevation profile cutaway view; 3.5 GB flash memory; DeLorme power management system; PN-60 GPS; 3-axis electronic compass
Best use: Hiking, climbing, hunting
The DeLorme Earthmate PN-60 GPS Navigator features an intuitive icon-based user interface for easy on-device navigation. It has an elevation profile cutaway view that pinpoints the user’s position. It also comes with a 3.5 GB flash memory available for users.
Enjoy the latest DeLorme power management system which features an ambient light sensor for optimal battery life. With this device, you’ll be able to navigate worry-free with complete U.S. topographic detail, extensive trail coverage, which includes US, Canada Streets, roads and places of interest such as fishing spots and prime hunting spots.
The PN-60 GPS is an improvement from the PN-40, with a longer lasting battery life. The device is cleverly designed for your outdoor adventures as it supports all popular outdoor activities with its highly-accurate 3-axis electronic compass that works when held in any position, moving on foot or standing still.
- Affordable compared to other similar products
- Does what it says
- Great value for money
- Lots of useful features for an adventurer
- Takes some getting used to
- Not very user-friendly
Related: If you decide for some reason that the DeLorme Earthmate is not the right device for you, there are two other similar options: Garmin eTrex GPS and Magellan CX0310SGXNA eXplorist 310 waterproof hiking GPS. Magellan is around $60 cheaper than DeLorme Earthmate and its performance reflects that. It works suitably well, but if you’re looking for a truly smart piece of technology, the DeLorme Earthmate is the perfect one.
Price: Approximately $120
Weight: 0.65 pound
Dimensions: 6 x 4 x 8 inches
Specific features: Thermo-Regulate technology; push-button igniter; 0.8 liter FluxRing cooking cup; fuel sold separately
Best use: Camping, hiking, outdoor cooking
The Jetboil Sol Advanced Cooking System boasts a true 4-season upright canister functionality with an advanced Jetboil Thermo-Regulate Burner Technology that delivers consistent heat output down to 20 ºF. It is very convenient and it comes with a push-button igniter.
One of the things that this system excels is in the convenience department. The reliable push-button igniter really does wonders in terms of making sure you get it to work – even in the toughest conditions. It uses fuel that’s sold separately, though, so you might want to stock up on that before you take this cooking system with you on a trip. Also, despite its name, it’s not really suitable for cooking food because its temperature cannot be adjusted to a simmer. It’s mostly just for boiling water.
Overall, it’s a lightweight, efficient and very compact stove that should be great for shorter trips.
- Lightweight but strong and durable
- Great fuel efficiency
- Unbeatable when it comes to boiling water
- Responsive customer service
- Not for cooking food
- A bit difficult to pack and carry
Related: If you don’t mind going through a bit of trouble for a low-budget device that serves the same purpose, the StoveTec Deluxe 1 Door Stove is around $40 cheaper than the Jetboil Sol. However, you’ll have to collect sticks and wood as fuel. There’s definitely no shortage of those in the wild. The question is whether you’ll feel up to it or not.
Price: Approximately $120
Weight: 2.8 pounds
Dimensions: Not specified
Specific features: CrossFlo suspension; 100% nylon; ventilated EVA foam; hybrid top
Best use: Backpacking, hiking
For the best backpacking gear, if you’re planning to hit the trail, we recommend getting the Gregory Mountain Products Z 30 Backpack as it is 100% made of nylon and is lightweight. When hikers go on a trip outdoor, they would always go anything that is lightweight as it is more convenient and comfortable.
We know you’d be looking for a backpack that has enough compartments for all the gears you’ll be bringing along. The Gregory Mountain Products Z 30 backpack is made of 100% nylon and consists of 1 interior slip, 1 interior zip and 4 exterior compartments. It’s lightweight and the CrossFlo suspension technology gives it a balanced feel throughout. The ventilated EVA foam around the shoulder harnesses will alleviate the pressure around those points.
This backpack is quite expensive but it does its job really well. It has a great design so you can stuff a lot of things into it and take out what you want along the way without much trouble thanks to the hybrid top.
- Lightweight and really durable
- Has a balanced weight
- Hybrid top makes it easy to take out things
- Lots of slips, zips, and compartments for storage
- A bit expensive
- The water bottle pocket is not placed correctly; you’ll have to put down the bag first to grab it
Related: Gregory is a well-known brand when it comes to backpacks. Other backpacks by Gregory that you might want to consider are Gregory Zulu 30 Backpack, Gregory Mountain Products J 28 Backpack, and Gregory Mountain Products Z 35 Backpack. They’re all around the same prices, with J 28 being the most expensive.
Price: $200 – $350
Weight: 0.5798 pound
Dimensions: Sleeve: 36 inches, chest: 46 – 48 inches, neck: 17 – 17.5 inches, waist: 38 – 40 inches
Specific features: 800-fill-power; 100% traceable down
Best use: Cold weather hiking, backpacking
The Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody is built with the lightest weight fabric and is highly compressible 800-fill-power 100% traceable down (goose down that can be traced back to birds that were never force-fed, never live-plucked). The down itself is surprisingly high quality despite the slim profile. It offers good cold protection which makes it a popular choice in cold weather climbs.
With its low-profile hood and a slim, thermally efficient silhouette, it layers easily in colder conditions. Despite having down insulation, it’s a very lightweight hoody without having to sacrifice essentials like durability and comfort. And for a lightweight hoody, we are surprised that it actually has pockets.
The sewn-through construction gives it quite a clean look and the DWR coating just sheds off moisture effortlessly. Overall, this is not the lightest option available but you should know that it doesn’t compromise in terms of warmth and durability.
- Very warm thanks to the 100% down
- Very lightweight
- Environmentally-friendly – uses traceable down
- Slim and packs down well in size
Related: For the women’s option, the Marmot Women’s Jena Hoodie provides an answer. It’s also made from ultralight fabric and stuffed with down fill. Design-wise, the two are quite similar.
Price: Approximately $220
Weight: 3 pounds
Dimensions: Fits torso: 15.5 – 18.5/ 17.5 – 20.5 inches, fits waist: 30 – 35/ 34 – 39 inches
Specific features: ergoACTIV suspension; OpenAir backpanel; interchangeable hipbelt; breathable 3D mesh; hydration compatible; 210-denier ripstop nylon; 420-denier nylon twill
Best use: Backpacking, camping
The Black Diamond Innova 60 Backpack features a patent-pending ergoACTIV suspension with OpenAir backpanel and a top loading pack body that features a floating lid to accommodate large or small loads. It also comes with an interchangeable hipbelt and a soft and breathable 3D mesh.
The backpack includes a hipbelt stash pocket, side stretch pockets and a front compression stretch pocket. The best thing about this backpack is that it is hydration compatible and it comes with retractable trekking pole or ice axe loops and removable sleeping pad straps. Innova 60 offers amazing load carrying support and a wide range of free mobility for the wearer. It is constructed with 210-denier ripstop nylon and 420-denier nylon twill to cut weight without sacrificing durability.
With such durability and number of features, this is one of the best valued backpacking backpack that you can get in the market.
- Great value for money
- Very durable and well-made
- Lots of useful bells and whistles
- Offers a balanced load
- Comfortable to carry thanks to the hipbelt and breathable mesh
- Should not be used to carry a load of more than 30 pounds
- Not waterproof or water-resistant
Related: In case you don’t mind spending a bit more on your backpack, Osprey Ariel 65 Pack – Women’s and Osprey Aether 60 Pack are two other great options that will make your next trip an easy one thanks to the way they spread out the weight of the load to make it easier for you to carry.
Price: Approximately $400
Weight: 2.25 pounds
Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 17 inches
Specific features: Double-walled; zipper-free vestibule; 7D nylon Ripstop polyurethane coated 1,200 mm rainfly; 10D nylon micromesh canopy; 15D nylon polyurethane coated 1,500 mm floor
Best use: 2-person camping, backpacking
The MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent is double walled and it is very light. Campers can enjoy the light weight of the tarp with the protection and the easy setup of the tent. It’s simple and non-freestanding design features allow you to save a great deal of weight which is of course a good thing if you’re packing light. The zipper-free vestibule is also a nice touch. The coated rainflies and floors offer a fair deal of weather protection, and the seams are taped which ensures that no rogue water will come inside your tent.
For an extra lightweight setup in mild weather, leave the tent body behind and use the rainfly and footprint (which is sold separately) with the poles and stakes. Overall, it’s a solid, lightweight tent that’s very easy to setup. A good backpacking tent for sure.
- Very simple to set up
- Pack-and-go design
- Made from high-quality materials
- Not very durable, especially around the joints
- Quite expensive
Related: The MSR Carbon Reflex is great for those that prioritize weight and mainly go to mild-weathered areas. However, for those who love to challenge places with a lot of wind and rain, you need heavy-duty tents that can withstand the elements such as Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum Tent, Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2 Tent, or MSR FreeLite 2 Tent.
In our opinion, these are the best backpacking gears that we think you should consider on purchasing for your outdoor adventures. We’ve put together this list to share our favorite backpacking gears and we hope this would help you enjoy the wilderness more when you’ve got the best backpacking gears with you.
A large aspect of the backpacking experience should be spontaneity, this doesn’t mean that a bit of prior research should be avoided completely. Be sure to do your own research on what are the things you may need before you start on a real trip outdoors.
Know what you should pack and what you don’t need to bring with you. This is the part where you need to be very attentive in making your purchases. Lightweight products are recommended for your convenience, so always go for things that have great packability when you’re going on a backpacking or hiking trip.
After being very sure on what you’ll want to include in your camping gear, be sure to do research and look at a few reviews online before coming down to a decision. This is important, as it’ll save you the cost of buying the wrong gears that will only cause inconvenience or may not be as useful as you expected it to be.
After reading this, we hope you’ll be able to find some great tools on our list to enhance your outdoor trips too! Have you got more ideas that you’d like to share with us? Feel free to share your thoughts with us!