Backpacking Gear Reviews

Get a handle on the best lightweight backpacking gear for your next outdoor adventure.


These days it seems like backpackers can have it all when it comes to their tent. Lightweight without sacrificing durability. Spacious yet still stable. Fully enclosed tents for the same weight as a tarp. Get up to speed with the latest designs through our in-depth review of the best backpacking tents

Backpack designs have come a long way since Eric Ryback first set out on his PCT thru-hike. New technologies and materials have led to lightweight backpacks that don't require sacrificing comfort or features. And novel designs like the Aarn bodypack are pushing the envelope even further. Get the lowdown on the best lightweight backpacks available for your next multi-day hike. 

A good quality sleeping pad is vital to ensuring you get a warm and comfortable night’s sleep out on the trail. Our list of the best sleeping pads includes some that will not only keep you warm and comfortable, but also are lightweight and packable.

A backpacking quilt offers more versatility and extra weight savings over a traditional sleeping bag. We also find them more comfortable since they are less constricting around the chest. For backpacking trips in milder climates, a quilt is always our first choice. In this article we review the best backpacking quilts you can currently get your mitts on.

A hoodless sleeping bag is great for those front, side or restless sleepers who find themselves getting tangled in the hood of a traditional bag. Our review of the best hoodless sleeping bags includes some great options that will help you sleep peacefully through the night out on the trail.

With a good backpacking pillow you’ll get a much better night’s rest and feel ready to hit the trail hard in the morning. And since the best backpacking pillows are lightweight yet still comfortable, even a lightweight backpacker can get a slice of this luxury.

On multi-day backpacking adventures a knife can be useful for cooking, the odd repair job, or small cutting tasks around camp. But it is an accessory that needs to be lightweight and packable for the 99% of the day that it is not in use. In our list of best pocket knives we choose those that provide a suitable balance between quality, usability, portability, and price.

Materials commonly used to make your city clothes — for instance, cotton — do not perform well during active use or in cold and wet environments. You need and deserve special underwear for hiking, and these boxers are just that.

Not all underwear are created equal. But these high performing undies will have you travelling comfortable all day long. In this review we look at the best hiking underwear for women, covering both merino and synthetic options

With the Aarn range of backpacks and bodypacks comes a whole new innovative design. The combination of a backpack and two front packs means that the weight of your load is balanced directly through your body's centre of gravity. And it works! In this review we look at the largest capacity pack in Aarn's Ultralite Series, the Aarn Natural Balance.

The Opinel range of traditional pocket knives are the perfect lightweight knives for backpacking. The quality is astounding for how low cost these knives are, making them great value. And with a wide range of sizes, you can choose the perfect blade to suit your needs.


At Ultimate Gear Lists we are obsessed with the outdoors and outdoor kit. We have invested hours upon hours researching and testing the best gear for our own backpacking adventures. Now — here in the Ultimate Gear Lists Backpacking Gear Reviews section — we collate that information for the benefit of all.

Our reviews are independent and unbiased. We never accept payment for reviews. We do use affiliate links on our website, which allow us to earn a commission from some purchases made by our readers. This adds absolutely no additional cost to the reader, but the affiliate income allows us to keep Ultimate Gear Lists running and keep doing what we love. In no way do the affiliate links included on this website influence our reviews or recommendations. In fact, many of the top picks in our reviews are from businesses and manufacturers that do not participate in affiliate programs (i.e. we receive zero commission if our reader chooses to purchase those products).

We tend to focus on lightweight backpacking. This means we provide gear recommendations that minimise trail weight, whilst not sacrificing comfort, safety, or functionality. We appreciate manufacturers who use innovative designs and high quality materials. Many of our gear recommendations are made by smaller manufacturers who focus on customised, specialised, or niche gear (sometimes referred to as the “cottage industry”). We believe these companies push the boundaries in innovation, and often provide better opportunities for customisation and personalised customer service.

Some of our reviews are "best-in-class" lists, whilst other reviews are for specific items or single pieces of gear. Check them out, and make sure you set off on the right foot for your next backpacking adventure.


Looking for more gear-fiend related articles? Why not check out our ultimate backpacking gear list.

Or perhaps you’ll love reading about inspiring hiking destinations:

Happy hiking!