There’s no stopping the outstanding innovation of small startups and cottage industry companies. We’re excited to share seven of the latest and greatest, quirkiest and coolest ultralight backpacking accessories out there, made by some of the finest folks in the fold. Beyond being fun, these lightweight finds are also supremely functional, aiding all facets of life on trail.
Made of featherlight, super packable and temperature regulating Alpha Direct fabric — and framed around the face with a soft, stretchy polyester — these handcrafted balaclavas are the perfect addition to your outdoor adventure kit.
The collar opening is thoughtfully sized for easy off and on, yet slim enough to tuck into your sweater or jacket for ultimate warmth. The Alpha fabric is soft for sleeping and cozy around the campfire with a functional fit that you can wear on the go.
Each Peak Warmer is handmade in Framingham, Massachusttes and is available in a range of different colorways and weights. One size fits most human heads, but if you find yourself needing to size up or down, Vado UL founder Bernie Khalil is happy to help.
Weight : 1 - 1.4 oz (depends on colorway)
Ben Bogler knew he could make an ultralight, super strong, sought after, aluminum trowel for digging catholes in the backcountry, and boy was he right!
Made with aircraft-grade aluminum, this ultralight trowel barely moves the needle at just 0.48 oz. One of the lightest cathole diggers on the market and one of the best looking, too, the sharp tip of the trowel is great for breaking through roots and hard ground in a hurry.
The colorful, plastic tip at the end of the handle makes it comfortable in your palm, easy to leverage against the ground, and hard to forget in the dirt when you’re done. With several fun color options, including purple, pink, blue and grass green, who says business needs to be serious?
Weight : 0.48 oz
These bright, bold and impeccably handcrafted fanny packs are a fun and functional way to keep your frequently used adventure utensils within arm’s reach, both on and off the trail.
Each Double Pocket Scrappy Pack has a large main compartment, with an inner divider pocket, kept secure with a water-resistant zipper; as well as an exterior zippered pocket for your easy-access items.
To create this lightweight fanny pack, Hartford Gear Co. founder Georgia Wetmore utilizes scrap pieces from previous X-pac projects, color blocks them like a boss, and then seam seals the inside for ultimate water resistance.
The 1” side release buckle is easy to use and the strap slider makes it a cinch to adjust. These Scrappy Packs, like all Hartford Gear Co. pieces, are a hot commodity, so if you get the chance to snap one up, don’t wait too long!
7.25” long, 4” tall, 1.5” wide
Weight : 3.9 oz
This ultralight drawstring pouch is designed for carrying your tent stakes, but is spacious enough to also house your spare guy lines and tent pole repair pieces.
Don’t worry about overloading it, as its reinforced bottom makes for a burly bag. Crafted from Dyneema Composite Fabric (DCF), this tent stake bag is easy to open and close, while still keeping the items inside secure.
With reinforced stitching at high-use points and a webbing loop for clipping to a carabiner or hanging off a branch to dry, Packback Designs has managed to create a tent stake bag that’s both ultra-useful and ultralight.
9” long x 3.5” wide
Weight : 4g
Fun to use and impossible to lose, these ultralight, fluorescent food bags are easy to spot when stumbling groggily out of your shelter in the morning, in search of your bear bagging line.
Available in two sizes, the small bag (7 - 8L) weighs in at 1 oz and is good for 1-3 days worth of food for one person, while the large bag (12 - 13L) is 1.2 oz and works well for 3-7 days for one hungry hiker.
Beyond being super bright and fun to look at, the translucent nature of the 1.43 oz Dyneema material also lets light in, making it easier to see the contents inside, which is especially helpful when it’s getting dark.
Handmade in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, Hilltop Food Bags feature a flat bottom, so they can stand on their own, helping with loading and unloading. The snap, roll and buckle closure system, coupled with their taped seams, also makes these bags highly water-resistant — no soggy crackers here.
Small11” x 17” (flat)
7 - 8 L (1 - 3 days food/one person)
Weight : 1oz
16” x 19” (flat)
12 - 13 L (3 - 7 days food/one person)
Weight : 1.2oz
Handcrafted in small batches by the dynamic duo, Mike and Shelby Adams-Calway-Fagen, these sub 2oz, carbon fiber tent stakes are both rugged (when used properly) and weightless all at the same time.
The aluminum points are tooled for easy insertion into the ground, and the round carbon fiber shafts make them comfortable to hold. @Stakes can be used in most types of terrain, holding well in anything but sand or snowpack, and durable enough to handle all but rocky terrain. When inserting @Stakes into hardpack ground, place a damper (bark, matchbook, etc) between your hand and the top of the stake and push down with consistent force (vs hammering).
Well-attached, color-coordinated pull cords make for easy stake extraction, and the rubberized, neon coloured tops only need a few minutes of light exposure in order to make them glow-in-the-dark at night (and hard to leave behind in the morning).
These well-built, bright colored, ultralight tent stakes are a great way to lower your base weight and add some fun and functionality to your shelter system. I recommend grouping them with an elastic band for easy carrying and less jangling.
.25” D x 6” L
Weight : 0.15oz
Small but mighty, these flavor-packed toothpaste tabs lead to long-lasting fresh breath, a sparkly white smile, and far less pesky plastic tubes in the landfill. Lightweight, packable and easy to ration, Huppy tablets also make oral hygiene while out adventuring a total breeze.
Available in three easy to crush, fun to brush flavors — peppermint, charcoal mint and watermelon strawberry — each tab is jam packed with all-natural ingredients that gently scrub, cleanse and polish, leaving your teeth, tongue and gums feeling great.
Huppy uses a coconut-based sulfate to create a fun foaming experience, while their Nano-hydroxyapatite (N-HA) is a revolutionary, non-toxic fluoride alternative that aids in enamel strength and keeps teeth safe from decay.
Proudly made in SoCal, Huppy toothpaste tablets are vegan, cruelty-free and come in recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging. Switching from tube paste to tooth tabs is an easy and downright fun way to lower your environmental footprint!
62 tablets per pouch
Weight : 1.5oz
Ali Becker is a freelance adventure writer and narrative storyteller who shares compelling conversations about personal transformations, overcoming limitations, wellness education and adventurous situations. You can follow her rambling adventures on social at @thisisalibecker or at her blog thisisalibecker.com.