Osprey Hornet 46 Ultralight and Compact

I own an Osprey Aether (no longer made) at 1 pound, nine ounces and an Osprey Atmos 35 (discontinued) at 2 pounds, 4 ounces and love both. The Atmos 35 is really solid with a frame, mesh net at your back and really stretchy pockets all around. You can go for a week or more in this 35-liter pack. Just when I thought Osprey had completely abandoned the ultralight market with many packs at 4-5 pounds (not ultralight), I was pleased to discover the Hornet series at sub-two pounds. They have lots of choices for men and women. Worth a look at the company website.

Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.

The Full-size NeoAir Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Pad Weighs Just 14 Ounces

I own three Therma-a-Rest pads (2.5 pounds, my original; 1 pound, four ounces (full size) and a 3/4 body version at 15 ounces) and a Downmat 7 (filled with down and really warm) that comes in at a little over two pounds. Of course, the 3/4 pad would be the first choice for the ultralight backpacker. But the lightness comes with a trade-off:  you  sacrifice comfort and warmth by having your lower legs and feet hanging off the mat. If the weather is warm, it’s not a problem. But now you don’t have to settle for less comfort to get the advantages of fewer ounces.

I was at REI last week just checking out gear when I came across the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir.

The new NeoAir pad is full size, a couple of inches thick and packs down really small — about the size of a one-liter bottle. It’s worth a look.

Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.