The Best New Spring Backpacking Gear

As spring blooms, it’s time to shake off the winter blues and cover some serious miles. For overnight wilderness trips, we’ve found the best new backpacking gear to keep you moving fast and well prepared out there.

LifeStraw 
Peak Series 3L Gravity Water Filter System

Your water filtration system can be your best friend (or biggest nemesis) out in the wild, so you need a kit that won’t let you down. LifeStraw’s new Peak series includes its classic minimalist straw ($20) and squeeze bottles ($33–$38) for solo hikers, but we recommend this bigger 3-liter system if you are traveling in a group. The revamped filter is easy to use, with a harder top than previous versions. Plus, the brand, which is a B Corp and climate neutral, provides clean water to one child for one year through your purchase. $60; lifestraw.com

Salewa 
Women’s MTN Trainer Lite Mid GTX

The perfect backpacking shoe combines the three superpowers of being lightweight, stable, and waterproof. Sale’s MTN Trainer scores across the board, weighing in at just over one pound but delivering the support of a heavier boot with a rubber toe cap and heel stabilizer. On soggy Appalachian trails, Gore-Tex keeps out the wet and, bonus, the laces stay secure thanks to a climbing lacing system. Also available in men’s sizes.$200; salewa.com

Exped 
Ultra 3R 

Weighing in at 16.4 ounces, this sleeping pad is a backpacker’s dream. It provides plenty of insulation thanks to head-to-toe air chambers that keep you warm and supported at night. Bonus points: The brand is certified carbon neutral, meaning you can sleep a bit easier. $150; expedusa.com

Osprey 
Women’s UNLTD Antigravity 64

Osprey continues to set the standard for women’s packs with a fit that makes this hauler feel like a part of your torso. The adjust-on-the-fly straps help dial in that fit on the trail, and the unique clamshell compression system means the weight of the pack stays balanced. Add in a top compartment that transforms into a day pack and you have a big-ticket item that will be worth the price tag on big adventures when your gear makes all the difference. $700; osprey.com 

Big Agnes 
Copper Spur HV UL5

Family backpacking can be a pain when you have to haul in one big heavy tent or multiple two-person options. This big, lightweight (6 pounds, 14 ounces) shelter keeps everyone together and cuts down on what the group has to carry. Crafted from ultralight ripstop nylon, the tent—which sleeps a family of five—provides impressive protection from the elements for its weight and it breathes on those hot humid days. $799; bigagnes.com

Mountain Hardwear 
PCT 55L Backpack

This unisex backpack is ready for action for anyting from weekend jaunts to commited peakbaggginig missions. Tipping the scales at approximately 4 pounds, 2 ounces, the trusty hauler can swallow up plenty of gear while withstanding the abuse of bushwhacking thanks to study recycled 210-denier ripstop nylon construction. It’s an ideal choice for a first pack, as well as a versatile option for experienced trekkers. $280; mountainhardwear.com

Outdoor Vitals 
Stormloft Down Topquilt 15 Degree

If you are like our editors, you rarely zip up your sleeping bag on summer trips—so why bother with all the extra weight and bulk? This cozy topsheet provides all the warmth you need (rated down to 15 degrees), thanks to DWR treated 800+ fill power HyperDry down (which insulates even when damp) and a design that ensures the quilt folds in snug around you when you are tucked in. $245; outdoorvitals.com 

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