Memorial Day weekend has long been the indicator that Spring is nearly complete and everyone is ready to jump headfirst into Summer! It’s time for warm nights, backyard BBQs with friends, and channeling your inner weekend warrior to crush all the objectives you’ve been dreaming of in the off-season. Here are our top gear picks for this summer to help get you back in action!
Hyperlite Southwest 3400 $355
The Southwest 3400 pack carries up to 55L of gear with ease on long treks. The Southwest utilizes waterproof fabric that is durable and offers abrasion protection with 3 easily accessible external pockets. This pack is ideal for weekend, section, or thru-hiking and adapts easily to carry however much gear you need it to hold. It’s made specifically for the rough and tough adventures where normal ultralight backpacks would shred from tight maneuvers and sharp rocks. We recommend white instead of black because it’s infinitely easier to see what’s in your pack when rooting around for that one small tube of sunscreen you know you dropped in there during the last break.
Internal Volume 55L | 3400 cubic inches
External Volume 9.8L | 600 cubic inches
Materials DCH50 (Main Body) DCH150 (Bottom)
Weight 1.98 lbs | 31.7 oz. | 899g
Load Capacity up to 40 lbs
Gossamer Gear The 2 $375.00
This tent is perfect for weight and space saving in your bag without compromising on interior square footage. The 2 weighs in at a very light 23.5 oz/667 g and has fully taped seams. The entire tent is waterproof and made of nylon ripstop material. Instead of including tent poles, this tent uses 2 trekking poles with guy lines staked out to keep it upright. It has 2 large vestibules (and doors), is roomy even for tall people, and reflective guy lines prevent you from tripping over them at night.
Author’s note: I’ve used this tent a few times and even though I was skeptical about having no poles, I was surprised at how easy it was to set up and use. We were in the Desolation Wilderness where dirt can be hard to come by but we managed with guy lines wrapped around big rocks when staking wasn’t possible. It held up well in the constant wind we had all night and packed up impressively small and light! Comfortable for 2 people with gear in the vestibules and protective against wind and rain.
Length (of bathtub floor): 84”
Head End Width: 48”
Foot End Width: 42”
Length of Ridgeline: 64”
Interior Height at Ridgeline: 43”
Thermarest Vesper Quilt 20F/-6C $429.95 Reg $459.95 Long
Everyone loves a good night’s sleep when on the trail and what better way to stay cozy and save weight than with a quilt? The Vesper exceeds this goal with its ultralight design, snap neck closure, perimeter side baffles, and an insulated foot box. It has 900 fill Nikwax Hydrophobic down that is responsibly sourced and packs down smaller than ever before due to the lightweight materials. It has SynergyLink™ Connectors to integrate it with an insulated sleeping pad for optimal efficiency and comfort.
Specs (for Regular):
Weight: 1 lb 3 oz / .55 kg
Width: 58” / 147 cm
Length: 75” / 191 cm
Packed Dimensions: 5.5x8” / 14x20 cm
EN Comfort: 32F / 0C
EN Limit: 20F / -6C
Fill Material: 900 Fill Goose Nikwax Hydrophobic Down, RDS
Fabric: 10D Nylon Ripstop (Shell fabric treated with DWR)
Zipper Side: Left
Altra Olympus 4 $170
The all-new Olympus trail shoe has maximum cushion for maximum comfort on any adventure. They redesigned the tongue to enhance comfort and provide a more locked-in feel. The mesh upper is both breathable and durable, ventilating your feet without letting debris sneak in. The sole is Vibram for maximum grip and the shoes come with built in gaiter traps to integrate with gaiters, keeping you clean and moving all day long.
Platypus QuickDraw $44.95
Stay hydrated on the trail with a QuickDraw from Platypus. The filter and bag combined weigh 3.3 ounces and roll up smaller than a t-shirt. Platypus has been a frontrunner in filtration for years, and they use a hollow fiber filter to effectively clean water with fast flow rates. The QuickDraw filters up to 3L per minute and is compatible with Platypus bottles and reservoirs, as well as Smart water bottles. Each microfilter is individually tested to ensure it meets all EPA & NSF guidelines for the removal of 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa*.
*This includes Giardia, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Salmonella and Cholera.
Soto WindMaster Stove $64.95
Need a stove that weighs next to nothing and can boil water in windy conditions? Look no further than the Soto WindMaster which maintains a strong flame on blustery days. Weighing in at 2.3 ounces, the WindMaster has a micro regulator that creates a steady flame even in cold temperatures and when the fuel canister gets lower. There’s a built-in piezo igniter so a lighter isn’t required (but we recommend always having one in your pack) and it runs through the center post of the stove for increased durability. The three prongs are ideal for holding small pots and the stove can boil a liter of water in just over 4 minutes.
Good To-Go Meals $8.50-14.75
Good To-Go Meals are made in Maine and contain healthy, freeze-dried ingredients to fuel all of your adventures! They conveniently come in 1 and 2 serving pouches so you can choose how much food you’ll actually eat. Some of our favorites? The Mushroom Risotto and Chicken Gumbo!
Other things to make your trip a breeze:
Kula Cloth $22.50
Kula Cloths are a staple for women who don’t like to drip dry or carry around used toilet paper for going #1. “Reusable pee cloth?” I hear you questioning me from here. Yes. A reusable pee cloth that will quickly become your 11th essential item. One side has a pretty pattern made out of waterproof fabric and the other is black and dimpled microbial fiber that you wipe with. It has snaps to keep it closed and a loop to easily affix to your pack. There’s even reflective stitching near the loop to make it easier to find in the dark when you have to rush out for a 2am pee.
Author’s Note: I’ve had one of these since my sister gifted it to me in 2019. I was skeptical initially and thought it was a weird invention, but once I got over myself and began using it, my life was changed! No more post-pee discomfort, no need to pack even more TP in and out of the backcountry, and no waste! I use mine often (like every adventure), and hand wash in the shower with castile soap. After all this time, it’s still odor-free and in great shape. I take my Kula Cloth on every single adventure, no matter how short, because nature always calls. 10/10 would recommend.
Z Bloc Sunscreen Stick 45 SPF $12.95
This sunscreen stick is great when you’re on the go, wearing gloves, or need to apply to small areas. Rub it on hands-free and keep moving. It’s convenient for alpine adventures when sun is coming from above and reflecting off the snow below. The thicker consistency stays put and is sweat and water resistant, ideal for working hard.
Author’s note: I use this when climbing Hood and other alpine objectives. It’s nice to be able to apply sunscreen while moving or eating and not have to remove gloves. The stick makes it easy to apply in hard to reach places like inner nostrils and I usually smear some on my lips since it provides better protection than lip balm.
XPED Sit Pad Flex $19.95
Need to take a load off? Enjoy relaxing with your pack off on the XPED Sit Pad. Weighing in at 3.5 ounces, this pad is barely noticeable in your pack. It has a tri-fold design to save space and since it’s foam, it insulates you from whatever you’re sitting on-be it cold snow or pointy rocks!
Author’s note: I’ve had a sit pad for years and never regret bringing it. It’s great to sit on and would make a small splint in an emergency (I used it successfully during my WFR course). I regretted bringing mine on a ski tour, my friend had his and stood on it to keep his feet warm while we waited for the bulletproof ice to soften up. My toes froze and his did not. Won’t make that mistake again!
Peregrine Refuge Lite Hammock $29.95
Feeling like lounging instead of perching on a foam sit pad? The Peregrine Refuge Lite is calling your name. After toiling to your campsite and getting everything set up, you deserve to take some time to chill and enjoy the wondrous nature surrounding you. If you’re feeling brave, hammocks are a great alternative to sleeping in tents, just make sure you try in warm temps or use an underquilt to stay comfortable. The integrated stuff sack makes a great pocket for a book or beverage while you’re in full relaxation mode.
Mountain Shop offers try before you buy so you can rent selected items to test out before purchasing!
- Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60L backpacks
- Gossamer Gear 2 UL tent
- Osprey Rook and Renn 65L backpacks
- Bear canisters