backpacking among wildflowers

The 5 Essentials of Backpacking: On Sale Now

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.

Osprey Packs Aether & Ariel AG Backpacking Packs: $217-232 (25% Off)

Osprey Packs Aether & Ariel AG Backpacking Packs

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)

Jetboil Flash Stove

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.

See the Jetboil Flash Stove

The North Face Blue Kazoo Sleeping Bag — 20 Degree Down: $210 (25% Off)

The North Face Blue Kazoo Sleeping Bag

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!

See The North Face Blue Kazoo Sleeping Bag

Big Agnes Frying Pan SL2 Tent with Footprint: $150 (40% Off)

Big Agnes Frying Pan SL2 Tent with Footprint

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.

See the Big Agnes Frying Pan SL2 Tent

Big Agnes Q-Core SLX Sleeping Pad: $105-165 (25% Off)

Big Agnes Q-Core SLX Sleeping Pad

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.

See the Big Agnes Q-Core SLX Sleeping Pad

For more gear reviews and savings see below.

GearJunkie Best Sleeping Bags
The Best Sleeping Bags of 2021
From versatile camping bags to wallet-friendly picks, we've found the best sleeping bags for every use and budget. Read more…

sale Salomon x ultra aero hiking shoe
Our Favorite Hiking Shoe of 2019 Is on Sale: Salomon X Ultra Aero
The Salomon X Ultra Aero beat out dozens of shoes to claim the spot as Best Hiking Shoe of 2019. And now it's on sale. Read more…

Nate Mitka

Midwest born, Nate Mitka is based in the GearJunkie Denver office. He is an advocate of all outdoor activities and has developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.