Backpacking Gear Essentials 2023: Top Picks from Outdoor Life in Collaboration with Sawyer Filters

Backpacking Gear Essentials 2023

Whether you’re in the middle of your first thru-hike or planning out next season’s adventures, upgrading to ultralight backpacking gear is a smart investment. The more grams you shed, the farther you’ll be able to travel day-to-day and the better experience you’ll have. To help you choose the best ultralight backpacking gear for your kit, we’ve rounded up our top picks from side-by-side tests conducted in the field. The Outdoor Life team has conducted numerous side-by-side tests of the top-ranked backpacking gear, from the best backpacking water filters to the best trail runners to the best backpacking quilts. The gear on this list were the top performing lightweight or ultralight picks from those tests. If we’re recommending it, we’re confident that it will work well across any terrain that backpackers travel in.

Sawyer Filters: Providing Clean Water Solutions Worldwide

Through the installment of Sawyer filters, all of Marshall Islands will receive access to clean water in 2023. Clean Water for Honduras International Project. The cost of transporting high volumes of water or bottled water gets expensive and heavy real quick. Sawyer gravity filtration system and tap filtration systems not only provide significantly more clean water, they also make room for other incredibly important medicine and supplies.

Sawyer filters have made a significant impact in various countries around the world. With the help of Sawyer filters, Fiji will become one of the first nations with a border to border clean water solution. Sawyer filters will bring clean water to the nearly 25% of the population that does not have access to a treated water supply. Similarly, with the help of Sawyer filters, Liberia is now the first developing country with clean water, border to border, as of December of 2020.

To support the mission of bringing clean water to those in need, you can make a tax-deductible donation to The Sawyer Foundation. Additionally, you can join your local Rotary Club’s effort or get your club involved. Charities, churches, and NGOs can also contribute by helping bring clean water and hope to developing nations.

For more information, you can follow the international blog or the Instagram page of These platforms provide stories, experiences, and updates on the mission to bring sustainable, clean drinking water across the globe.

Outdoor Life: Top Picks for Backpacking Gear

Outdoor Life is a reputable source for outdoor enthusiasts, providing reviews, guides, and recommendations. They have conducted numerous side-by-side tests of backpacking gear and have rounded up their top picks for ultralight backpacking gear in 2023. These gear recommendations have been tested in the field and are trusted by backpackers across various terrains.

Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?

Outdoor activities like backpacking and mountain hunting often involve being exposed to natural water sources. It is essential to ensure access to clean and safe drinking water in such scenarios. The article from Outdoor Life discusses the importance of water filters and their necessity for backpackers and mountain hunters. It provides valuable insights into the risks associated with consuming untreated water and highlights the benefits of using water filters.

Lyme Disease Epidemic: Tick-borne Illness Cases Skyrocket

Ticks pose a significant risk of transmitting diseases, particularly Lyme disease. A study mentioned in The New York Times reveals a shocking increase in tick-borne illness cases in rural America. The article emphasizes the importance of taking precautions to protect against ticks and prevent tick-borne diseases. It highlights the need for awareness and effective measures for tick control.

Sawyer Picaridin: An Effective Repellent Against Black Flies

Black flies can be a nuisance and pose a challenge during outdoor activities. The article suggests Sawyer Picaridin as a potential solution for repelling black flies. By providing a reputable product recommendation, it offers readers a practical option to combat this issue and enhance their outdoor experiences.

Sawyer Squeeze Systems: Inexpensive and Versatile

The Sawyer Squeeze systems have gained popularity among serious backpackers due to their affordability and versatility. They are lightweight and easy to use, making them a top choice for ultralight backpackers. The article highlights the benefits of using Sawyer Squeeze systems, making it a reliable recommendation for backpacking gear essentials.

Top Picks for Ultralight Backpacking Gear in 2023

To help backpackers choose the best ultralight backpacking gear, Outdoor Life has compiled a list of their top picks from their side-by-side tests. These gear recommendations have been extensively tested in the field and have proven to perform well across various terrains. The list includes backpacking water filters, trail runners, and backpacking quilts, ensuring that backpackers have the essentials for a successful and enjoyable outdoor adventure.

Here are some of the top picks for ultralight backpacking gear in 2023:

  1. Therm-a-Rest Vesper: A lightweight sleeping bag with excellent warmth-to-weight ratio.
  2. Therm-a-Rest Uberlite: An ultralight sleeping pad that provides impressive comfort.
  3. Sawyer Squeeze Mini: A compact and efficient water filtration system for clean drinking water on the go.
  4. GSI Pouch Spoon: A lightweight and versatile utensil for eating during backpacking trips.
  5. Garmin inReach Mini 2: A compact and reliable satellite communicator for staying connected in remote areas.
  6. TheTentLab The Deuce #2: A lightweight and durable trowel for backcountry sanitation needs.
  7. Montbell Versalite: A waterproof and breathable rain jacket for protection against the elements.
  8. Montbell Light Down Pants: Insulated pants that provide warmth in cold weather conditions.
  9. Crazy Levity: A lightweight and sturdy backpack for carrying gear on backpacking trips.
  10. Altra Lone Peak: Trail running shoes known for their comfort and durability.
  11. Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Hiking Sock: High-performance socks that offer comfort and durability on the trail.

By investing in these ultralight backpacking gear essentials, backpackers can significantly improve their overall backpacking experience. The lightweight nature of these products allows for easier and more efficient travel, enabling backpackers to cover more distance and explore new terrains.


In conclusion, upgrading to ultralight backpacking gear is a wise decision for outdoor enthusiasts. With the right gear, backpackers can maximize their enjoyment and efficiency on the trail. The top picks for ultralight backpacking gear in 2023, as recommended by Outdoor Life, provide reliable options for backpackers of all levels.

Additionally, supporting organizations like Sawyer Filters can make a significant impact in providing clean water solutions to communities in need. By making donations or getting involved with initiatives, individuals, charities, and NGOs can contribute to the mission of bringing clean water and hope to developing nations.

Remember to stay informed about outdoor safety, such as the risks associated with untreated water and tick-borne diseases. By following reputable sources like Outdoor Life and The New York Times, outdoor enthusiasts can make well-informed decisions and take necessary precautions for a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.

So, pack your backpack with the essential gear, stay hydrated with clean water, and embark on unforgettable backpacking adventures in 2023!


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