Hyperlite Mountain Gear product reviews

A backpacker hiking the Dawson Pass Trail above Pitamakan Pass in Glacier National Park.

The Best Ultralight Backpacks of 2024

By Michael Lanza

Do you need an ultralight backpack? Many backpackers might answer “no” when, for many reasons, their answer should logically be “yes.” These packs aren’t just for thru-hikers. Typically weighing roughly between under two pounds and three pounds empty, ultralight packs have support for carrying 25 to 35 pounds—making them ideal for more than just ultralight backpacking. For many backpackers, that represents the range of pack weight they either carry on most trips—or could carry on most trips, with smart packing and reasonably light gear.

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Backpackers hiking past a tarn off the Highline Trail (CDT) in Wyoming's Wind River Range.

The Best Backpacking Gear of 2024

By Michael Lanza

Glacier National Park. The Wind River Range. The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. Iceland. The John Muir Trail, Wonderland Trail, and Teton Crest Trail. Yosemite. The Grand Canyon. Yellowstone. Southern Utah’s Escalante canyons. The North Cascades and Pasayten Wilderness. The High Uintas Wilderness. The Tour du Mont Blanc. These are just some of the numerous places where I’ve tested the backpacking gear and apparel reviewed at The Big Outside—so that I can give you honest and thorough, field-tested opinions that help you find the best gear for your adventures.

And that’s exactly how I came up with these picks for today’s best backpacking gear.

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The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid-1 ultralight solo backpacking tent.

Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid-1 Ultralight Solo Tent

Ultralight Solo Backpacking Tent
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid-1
$599, 16.8 oz./476.3g

After crossing Texas Pass, at around 11,460 feet, a friend and I descended into the incomparable Cirque of the Towers in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, reaching the shore of Lonesome Lake—where the sky suddenly darkened, soon followed by thunder and lightning. We hustled to pitch the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid-1 as a temporary shelter and both dove inside just as the full force of that thunderstorm walloped us with pounding wind and rain, even spawning a new, little stream that flowed under one end of the tent. But we stayed warm and dry inside it while waiting 30 minutes or more for the storm to pass. And that’s just one tale of the weather the Mid-1 endured, demonstrating its value as one of the very best ultralight solo backpacking tents available today.

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Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2 ultralight pyramid tent with Ultamid 2 Insert.

Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2 Ultralight Pyramid Tent

Ultralight Backpacking Tent
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2
$699, 1 lb. 2 oz./510g

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2 Insert with DCF11 Floor
$399, 1 lb. 4.5 oz./581g

I’ve encountered every form of mountain weather over more than three decades of backpacking, but rarely conditions like my son and I faced over three days in August in the Wind River Range: hours of daytime hiking through cold rain and wind and long nights of sheltering from that weather. Besides our invaluable time together in the wilderness—and even occasional glimpses of the mountains through a veil of air impersonating gumbo—the trip provided the redeeming benefit of seeing how impressively the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2 performed, keeping us comfortable and dry.

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The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 ultralight backpacking tent in the Wind River Range.

Review: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 Backpacking Tent

Ultralight Backpacking Tent Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 $900, 1 lb. 12 oz. hyperlitemountaingear.com For six nights on a 96-mile traverse of the Wind River High Route—two-thirds of it off-trail and camping in the alpine zone between 10,000 and 12,000 feet—the Dirigo 2 endured rain and strong winds. But our last night had me worried. Camped in a completely exposed …

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