Backpacking Light’s editorial team, guides, contributors provide their favorite gear choices in BPL’s Staff Picks gear guide for 2018.
Butt in a Sling (BIAS) is a cottage manufacturer based in Tennessee, USA that makes some of the lightest and most comfortable hammocks on the market. Their hammocks are all eleven feet (335 cm) long and use ridgelines for a consistent hang. The Weight Weenie Micro is the original model and is available in a variety of widths while the Weight Weenie Micro HD 1.0 is available in one width and uses a slightly heavier and softer fabric. Both hammocks are available with a variety of options. Add the BIAS Suspension Kit and Nano Buginator bug net, and you have a versatile, comfortable, and ultralight hammock setup!
Hummingbird Hammocks offers a variety of Made in the USA hammocks and accessories including three hammocks, two hammock tarps, a bug net, and other accessories. They have some unique features such as Button Links that eliminate the need for carabiners and integrated tree straps with whoopie slings which simplify the suspension system and make setup very easy. They also offer what is likely the lightest hammock on the market – the Single Hammock, which weighs a scant 5.6 oz. Can the lightest hammock also be the most comfortable?
The Big Agnes Insulated Double Z sleeping pad is a wide and comfy pad that adds luxury to sleeping in the backcountry.
Of the approximately 70 different sleeping bags I’ve used, the Patagonia 19 Degree Sleeping Bag is the most comfortable all-purpose mummy bag for use above freezing.
This Enlightened Equipment Revelation Apex Quilt Review features one of the most customizable and lightest weight synthetic quilts ever made.
This Hyperlite Mountain Gear Stuff Sack Pillow review features a waterproof stuff sack by day, and a pillow by night.
Back injuries and poor sleep patterns lead the author to purchase an expensive mat: will it be worth it? A trial of the Exped DownMat UL 7.