According to conventional wisdom, lighter gear is more expensive. While that’s broadly true, you can still cut your pack weight without bankrupting yourself. All you need to do is know where to start looking.
Cottage gear companies are a great way to save money. Although lesser-known, these brands often produce top-notch equipment at a fraction the cost of larger manufacturers. Because they’re small shops, they usually have longer lead times, and may run out of inventory. But as long as you’re prepared to wait for a few months before receiving your gear, you can get a great kit for less than you’d pay from a retailer.
Below, we’ve sketched out an affordable ultralight kit you can buy right now for less than $700; we’ve also added some options in case you need better weather protection or more warmth. Add a few more ounces for your extra layers, toiletries, and essentials like a light first-aid kit, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a great adventure.
Weight: 3 lbs. 12 ounces
Weight Capacity 15 lbs
[Editor’s Note: Since our last update, rising prices have pushed the cost of this kit up, but design tweaks and a headlamp swap shaved the weight down. From 2023 to 2024, this kit’s cost…