Ultralight Packaging: Tips For Shaving Ounces

Hyperlite Mountain Gear believes that a well-organized ultra-light backpack system pays off in terms of weight savings and organization. The range of backpacks, shelters, and stuff sacks can help you streamline your packing list.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear emphasizes a backpack system to lighten the load and stay organized on ultra-light hikes. According to the theory, the more difficult the effort, the more benefit you will get from the weight savings.

If cyclists are known for their obsession with counting grams, ultra-light backpackers can’t be far behind. However, simplicity isn’t all about weight. A lightweight backpack helps you stay organized, optimize storage and protect your gear. This offers advantages on long hikes.

Discover Hyperlite Mountain Gear backpacks and packsacks

HMG ultralight tent. Photo courtesy Hyperlite Mountain Gear.

Save weight (and save money)

How we treated in Essentialism 101Packing light means reducing redundancies.

If you’ve never packed with an emphasis on weight loss before, take the time to lay out all of your gear on the floor. Go through a List of essential points and move these items aside. If you weigh everything individually, it is of course easier to calculate different packing lists on paper.

Next, make a list of accessories. A titanium spork is ultra light, but may not be worth the price compared to a plastic spork that barely weighs more.

The essentials like backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags are large items and worth considering based on their value for money. Even if you haven’t planned any other ultra-light hikes, lighter items can also be used for more casual outings and car camping.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear packsacksHMG stuff sacks. Photo courtesy Hyperlite Mountain Gear.

How things fit together

Deciding what to pack is also a matter of benefit.

To stay organized in a backpack, especially a minimalist ultra-light backpack, consider using a system that divides your gear. Pack sacks are a great way to keep sleeping gear, clothing, toiletries, and groceries separate.

Since you are handing out heavier items at the bottom of a pack, it’s likely that your tent and food will be at the bottom of your pack by the time it comes time to set up camp. It saves time unpacking (and repacking) sleeves and bags and setting them aside as loose clothing clutter your site.

After a long hike, looking for an item in a pack can be frustrating. It’s also important to make things that you likely need throughout the day more accessible and to have things that will be needed in the warehouse packed away.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear packsacks and pods

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Stuff Sacks product images

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Pack sacks are more robust and water-repellent than the usual nylon bags that come with tents and sleeping bags. Replacing the standard packaging that comes with your tent, bag, and pad provides a gateway to ultra-light materials that are intended to be used to shave ounces.

These Dyneema sacks also have a known durability that can protect against a stray tent spike or pole stuck in your gear. Beefier dry sacks also provide more redundancy in protecting items from moisture, especially if your bag collects morning dew.

Hyperlite offers Tips on what stuff sacks fits and protects your equipment. This all precedes your choice of backpack. Buying an ultra-light backpack only makes sense if you’ve cut down the lower-hanging fruit on your equipment list first.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear backpacks

Hyperlite Mountain Gear ultra-light backpacksUltralight backpacks: (from left to right) North Rim, Windrider and Southwest. Photo courtesy Hyperlite Mountain Gear.

In general, ultra-light backpacks do without the inner pockets, dividers and zippers of conventional backpacks. Hyperlite Mountain Gear makes four “Core” backpacks. The main packaging is similar but uses different outer pockets and materials depending on the environmental aspects.

For example, stronger outer fabrics protect them 3400 North Rim Canyoning pack. The north edge is big enough for hikes through, but can be made smaller for short hikes.

The 2400 wind riders is the brand’s original packaging with less protected outer pockets. Hyperlite Mountain Gear fixes the wind rider’s sweet spot on the Appalachian Trail and on trips that last up to 4 days.

In contrast, the roll top 2400 southwest aims to meet the needs of hikers of the Continental Divide Trail who expect a brush up on rougher terrain.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear also makes backpacks for snowy missions and when waterproofing is paramount.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear tents & shelters

Hyperlite Mountain Gear tents and sheltersThe Ultamid 4 Pyramid Tent and Flat Tarp Shelter. Photo courtesy Hyperlite Mountain Gear.

Your home away from home depends on your choice of comfort and ease of furnishing.

Tents provide walls from the elements and early morning sunlight. Hyperlite Mountain Gear makes several tents, from the big ones Ultamid 4 pyramid tent Architecture for Echo 2 Shelter System. Most models have mesh inserts that are sold separately.

There are tarpaulin shelters for the real minimalists. If you are hiking with poles (usually considered worth the weight) and riding in drier climates, a Flat tarpaulin can be anything you need.

If there are mosquitos, plan on packing nets to wear around your head.

Hyperlite Mountain Equipment Tent LandscapePhoto courtesy Hyperlite Mountain Gear

Ultralight doesn’t have to be overnight

Unless you haven’t planned a trek or are starting from scratch, assembling an ultralight kit over time is the most convenient.

As with the Pack sacksDipping your toe into the smaller item market can be an entry point to shedding ounces, especially if you’ve recently purchased a tent or pack that you don’t want to replace.

Another option is that Versa, Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s answer to the fanny pack. Hikers can definitely use this as part of an ultralight aircraft system.

It’s very weather resistant and weighs less than 3 ounces. So it can protect valuables like a phone and keep essentials like credit card, ID and snacks in one place. This allows you to take the Versa with you when you want to park your backpack for a trip to a creek or to look over.

Hyperlite-Mountain-Gear-Versa-Pack-LifestylePhoto courtesy Hyperlite Mountain Gear

Daypacks can be an important investment when you start building your kit, which offers a variety of benefits without the extra size (or budget) of a backpack designed for multi-night adventures.

The Daybreak Ultralite Pack has enough space for hydration, food, clothing for temperature changes, and other necessities. Versatile for different types of adventures, this type of pack is a worthy first entry into the world of ultra-light packaging.

No matter how you get into ultra-light backpacking, you know that everything is a balance between weight, cost, and benefit. Once you experiment with scaling down your gear and actually hike in a lighter pack, the payoff can mean more stamina and more miles.

Discover Hyperlite Mountain Gear backpacks and packsacks

This post is sponsored by Hyperlite Mountain Gear. Find out more about the ultra-light backpacks and packsacks Here.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear-Junction Samue Martin

‘Essentialism’ 101: Ultra-light packaging principles from Hyperlite Mountain Gear

Ultralight backpacking is a streamlined approach to covering a lot of terrain. Here we take a look at Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s lightweight, trail-tested gear. Continue reading…

Related Articles