Hyperlite Mountain Gear, an ultralight gear brand based in Maine, recently released a ‘Big 3’ kit designed specifically for thru-hikers. The ‘Unbound System’ includes a 40L pack, 2-person tent, and 20-degree quilt.
“It’s been in the works for years and, like all our products, it's been on the backs of many trusted testers,” Hyperlite said in a newsletter announcing the new collection.
“Each piece of the kit was designed with consideration of the others to form a system that works together to increase efficiency, comfort, and confidence while decreasing weight, redundancy, and complexity.”
Long an innovator of lightweight packs and shelters made out of Dyneema® Composite Fabrics, Hyperlite Mountain Gear is a newcomer to backpacking quilts. It first dipped its toe into the market with the release of a 40-degree quilt this summer — and now a 20-degree quilt, as part of its Unbound System.
“To keep the chill at bay, the 20-Degree features 1000fp RDS-Certified Grey Goose Down, generously stuffed in 1.5” three-dimensional baffles for premium loft and warmth. The durable exterior shell is 7D micro-ripstop nylon for superior air permeability and compression,” Hyperlite says on its website. The ‘regular’ size of the 20-degree quilt weighs 20.10 ounces (or 1.26 pounds).
For long-distance hikers, perhaps the most interesting piece in Hyperlite’s new collection is the Unbound 40 liter pack, which weighs between 28 and 32 ounces depending on pack size.
“Efficiency is the key to happy hiking, and everything about the Unbound 40 encourages forward momentum,” Hyperlite said in a newsletter.
“The outer pockets have the right volume for the gear you want access to during the day, while the simple and spacious interior welcomes those big items that only need to come out at camp. Low-profile daisy chains allow exterior cargo hauling customization if you need it, and all-around seam taping provides superior protection against the elements, so you don’t have to scramble to keep your essentials dry.”
The last of the Big 3, the Unbound 2P Tent, weighs in just shy of 24 ounces, and features vestibules on both sides, along with 3-dimensional side walls. “You might call it forecast friendly, roomy, airy, elegant, or clever, but at the end of a long day in wild places, you’ll definitely call it ‘home,’” Hyperlite says on its website.
While Hyperlite’s Unbound Collection is undoubtedly turning heads, causing more than a few hikers to drool, commenters in online forums such as Reddit and BackpackingLight have been critical of the price point, with the 20-degree quilt costing $599, the 2P tent coming in at $699, and the 40L pack setting you back $369 — totalling $1,667. Then again, when standing on Katahdin, or whatever your personal peak or trail terminus may be, a system that works seamlessly, we all usually agree, is worth its weight in gold.
What are your thoughts on Hyperlite’s new Unbound System? Are you chomping at the bit to get it on trail? Or do you give this one a hard pass? Leave a comment below!