Backpackers Do It With Less
You'll never have to check a bag again—and pay that annoying $15 fee—with these lightweight and compact items beloved by hikers and campers.
Total weight: Under 6 lbs.
Convertible pants serve double duty, with zippers around the knees that allow you to detach the legs when you want to wear shorts. columbia.com, $70.
Rolled up and tucked inside its attached pouch, this nine-ounce pillow is the size of a football. Fully expanded, it's 18 inches long and thicker than an airplane pillow. thermarest.com, $23.
Black Diamond headlamp
A favorite tool of campers, an LED headlamp is handy when you're trying to read in bed or find an outhouse in the middle of the night. bdel.com, $20.
This silk blend liner adds 10 degrees of warmth to the inside of a sleeping bag. You can also use it to stay warm on a drafty plane or bus, or to replace the sheets at a cheap hotel. seatosummit.com, $55.
Great for a daypack, the Reactor weighs just 1.5 pounds and has adjustable shoulder, hip, and sternum straps, which distribute the weight of your load across your back. gregorypacks.com, $69.
Mountain Hardwear long-sleeve T-shirt
A golden rule of hiking is to never wear cotton, which gets heavy when wet. This synthetic shirt weighs five ounces and is quick-drying. mountainhardwear.com, $35.
Eastern Mountain Sports parka
EMS's parka is made of a breathable material called System III that won't trap sweat against the skin. It also scrunches up inside a pocket, saving a ton of room in your bag. ems.com, $99.
Laguna H2 sandals have an inch-thick rubber sole and a covered toe, so they're practical for walking in the city, mountains, or beach. keenfootwear.com, $90.