Five Awesome Ultralight Gear Companies

These five companies don't appear on the shelves of major outdoor retailers, or on many retail shelves anywhere. No, these are small niche gear makers who sell mostly online and specialize in producing high-quality ultralight shelters, backpacks, and other camping gear. If you're serious about saving weight, you've likely heard of at least a few of them. If not, maybe it's time to get started.

Six Moon Designs 
Backpacks and shelters for less than a pound. Check out the 11-ounce Feather pack (2,500-plus cubic inches total capacity, available in three sizes, $140).

Tarptent by Henry Shires 
Innovative, proven ultralight shelter designs, with some good options for one-plus or two-person styles. Check out the Double Rainbow (2 pounds, 5 ounces; $275).

Trail Designs
Excellent source for ultralight alcohol stove systems. They measure their gear in grams, including the Sidewinder Ti-Tri system, an integrated, fit-in-your-pot cook system for 2 ounces.


Ultralight Adventure Equipment
Or "ULA Equipment," specializes in ultralight packs, including large-capacity versions such as the Catalyst (4,600 cubic inches, 48 ounces, $250).


Gossamer Gear
One of the largest manufacturers in the ultralight gear niche. Offers a wide variety of high-quality options across the gear spectrum, including ultralight trekking poles and its flagship Gorilla backpack (25 ounces, 3,000-cubic-inch total capacity, $225).

For more on ultralight gear, check out these recent posts:

Ultralight Sleeping Bags
One-Pound Sleeping Bags (2011)
Ultralight 15-Degree Sleeping Bags (2010) 
Ultralight Winter Sleeping Bags (2011) 

Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tents Weighing 2 - 3 Pounds (2010)
Ultralight Floorless and Single-Wall Tents Under Two Pounds (2010)
Ultralight Tarps (2010)
Bivy Sacks (2010)
Floorless Pyramid Tents (2009)

Ultralight Stoves
Pack Heat, Not Weight: The pros and cons of alcohol stoves (2011)
Alcohol Stoves: Useful Resources (2011)

Ultralight Gear and Accessories
Ultralight Trekking Poles (2011)
Ultralight Wind Shells (2012)

“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.