Ultralight essentialism is everywhere in the outdoor space these days. The benefits of a low weight, less gear philosophy are clear, for casual weekend warriors and thru-hike veterans alike. Less weight on your back, means more miles with less effort—and less impact on Mother Nature, too. Like any good outfit, this movement has layers, extending to DIY, sustainability, and beyond.
With ultralight's growth, it’s no surprise to see a major player like Patagonia join the party with gear focused on saving weight and keeping things simple. Their newly released Untethered Kit consists of four essential pieces: a pack, sleeping bag, cooking vessel, and stove. We realize not everyone’s looking to go all the way down the UL rabbit hole, but these pieces are a great place to start for those even moderately interested.
Read on a below for a breakdown of the new Patagonia kit, or diverge and dive into our ultralight backpacking guide, which breaks down the UL movement's rise, from a nutty niche hobby to pandemic-fueled mainstream acceptance.
Starting by ditching gas canisters, the kit begins with the Wood Burning Stove made from a lightweight stainless steel (261g) that’s sturdy enough for a lifetime of use. Though the stove doesn’t break down flat, it does come apart for a more compact travel from use state. Once your kindling is up in flames, the stove is said to boil a liter of water in 16 minutes. Not ideal for those in need of a quick meal or venturing across fire banned drought regions, but the simplicity of not having to pack fuel however is a great trait.
Price: $99 SHOP NOW
Patagonia teamed with Seattle-based drinkware specialists MiiR to create the QuantuMiiR, a cookpot designed to function seamlessly with the aforementioned stove. At its base is an integrated heat exchanger that allows for maximum air flow in addition to trapping heat under the pot. Convenient features of the 340g stainless steel pot include volume markings and an included silicone lid for trapping in heat. The single liter pot is sized to nest the Wood Burning Stove within, saving your pack valuable space.
Price: $49 SHOP NOW
The Lightweight Sleeping Bag keeps you cozy on a warm night and acts as a liner on cold evenings when paired with a heavier bag. Not a zipper or cord pull is present—it’s like a close-fitting sock for your body, insulated with 40-gram PrimaLoft Gold. The 335g bag packs down impressively small, so it’s a great backup layer for trips when temperatures are unpredictable.
Price: $199 SHOP NOW
(Ed Note: We love an insulate quilt as a sleeping bag alternative, especially when freezing temperatures are not a concern. Check out our top picks for the Best Down Throws & Insulated Quilts here for our favorite options).
Rounding out the collection is the Middle Fork Pack 30L, a wildly minimal pack that uses a superlight, 100% recycled ripstop nylon fabric. Forgoing any use of foam in the pack is another sustainability win (foam being a petroleum-based, non-biodegradable material high in environmental impact and difficult to recycle). A PU coating and DWR finish takes care of keeping weather out, but it might be a good idea to use some dry bags inside. A series of lash points force users to rethink what they need quick access to without the help of exterior pockets. And only one small interior pocket is present, strictly for essentials. The pack weighs in at 473g, or just one ounce over a pound. Not bad.
Price: $149 SHOP NOW
Though the Untethered Kit collection is hardly an “everything you need to go UL” sort of setup, it is a great way to jumpstart a transition to a lower weight backcountry kit even if you opt for just one or two pieces. Save some grams, and your body will thank you at the end of the day! Need further convincing? Read this.