To go backpacking, you need a backpack, a tent, a stove, and a sleeping bag and pad. Here are five awesome options to hit the trails.
Take less than these five items, and you sacrifice comfort for weight. Taking more is up to you, but every ounce counts. Hence, the five essentials. With both REI and Backcountry’s massive memorial day sales, we curated a list of well-performing gear for backpacking.
Everything you need in a backpacking bag, nothing you don’t, and comfortable as hell: The Osprey Aether and Ariel are seriously well-made backpacks. The bags have enough storage for all of your gear and food, convenient external storage pouches for trailside necessities, and multiple compression straps. They’re functional and will operate for short or extended trips. On top of it all is Osprey’s Anti-Gravity technology to lift the pack off your back (airflow) and place its weight on your hips.
Jetboil Flash Stove: $75 (25% Off)
Your pot and stove in one, the Jetboil Flash cooks up meals in, well, a flash. This convenient and packable cooking system is easy to use and fuel-efficient, so one canniseter goes that much further. We like Jetboils for everything from a morning cup of joe (they boil water super fast) end-of-day spaghetti feasts.
The North Face Blue Kazoo Sleeping Bag — 20 Degree Down: $210 (25% Off)
The North Face Blue Kazoo is a good value in a sleeping bag. For $210, you get a 20-degree bag made with 700-fill down that weighs just north of 2 pounds (2 pounds 2 ounces). Twenty degrees is a great temperature rating that should work for most spring and fall trips. And if it’s hot in the summer, just unzip the bag!
Big Agnes Frying Pan SL2 Tent with Footprint: $150 (40% Off)
One of the bigger discounts at REI, the Big Agnes Frying Pan SL2 Tent (normally $250) is a lightweight backpacking tent for two people. With steep-walled design, the Frying Pan feels roomier than its two-person, lightweight specs might give on. The trail weight on this tent is 4 pounds 5 ounces.
Big Agnes Q-Core SLX Sleeping Pad: $105-165 (25% Off)
For one pound, you get a comfortable pad for the backcountry. The Q-Core SLX is a 4.25-inch sleeping pad with multidirectional support and stability. Big Agnes used a lightweight double ripstop nylon fabric to improve tear strength and durability by 25 percent.
For more gear reviews and savings see below.