5 Great Dual Purpose Daypacks For Back-To-School

When the summer days begin to get shorter, and the temperatures begin to back off of summer highs, back-to-school shopping comes to mind. If you are looking for a good backpack for your books, computers, and supplies that can also double as an able daypack on the trails this fall, you have come to the right place. Below, we’ll highlight 5 great dual purpose daypacks for this back-to-school season.

The North Face Vault – $50

[amazon_link id=”B00IAUUU8O” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Vault Backpack Style: A93D-0M3 Size:One Size For AllSize For All[/amazon_link]This is a fantastic choice for back-to-school, and can also be used on the trail to good effect. The North Face Vault backpack features 26 Liters of interior space, two large double zippered compartments (one larger perfect for books, binders, computers, clothing, hiking gear, etc. and one smaller for smaller gear organization, calculators, pens, etc.), exterior daisy chain for lashing additional gear to your pack while on the trail, and support giving chest and waist fitting buckles. It also comes in several different color options. One customer review states the following:

“This backpack is made very well – it looks good, it is very sturdy and we anticipate it will last the entire school year – (not like some of the other backpacks we’ve bought in the past)!”

If you’re looking for an affordable, durable, and spacious daypack, The North Face Vault is a perfect option. Click the following link to pick yours up today.

[amazon_link id=”B00IAUUU8O” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The North Face Vault[/amazon_link]

Osprey Talon – $75

[amazon_link id=”B00HPM8TG8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Osprey Talon 22-Litre Backpack (Meteorite, Medium/Large)[/amazon_link]The Osprey Talon is a 22 Liter daypack that resembles more of a hiking backpack than the Vault does, but it is more than capable of hauling your day-to-day school books and supplies. The Talon features a ridge-molded foam back panel with grip mesh covering as part of its Airscape suspension system that provides superior comfort for hiking, biking, and everyday use. The hipbelt distributes weight across the body, and also features a modified ErgoPull closure to ensure a secure fit. The sternum strap harness is adjustable and features a safety whistle. There is also a helmet strap (LidLock) to keep your bike helmet with you at all times. One reviewer says:

“First off, it’s an Osprey. Great reputation, lifetime warranty, and the Talon-22 definitely lives up to its name.”

The Osprey Talon is a great lightweight daypack with the support and harness to haul heavier books or hiking gear. If you are into biking (or are biking to class), you’ll love the LidLock feature, and this pack is hydration compatible. Follow this link to get yours today.

[amazon_link id=”B00HPM8TG8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Osprey Talon[/amazon_link]

Gregory Miwok – $100

[amazon_link id=”B008NB4K72″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Miwok 22 (Prussian Blue)[/amazon_link]Gregory makes some of the most comfortable backpacking packs on the market, and their daypacks are no exception. The Miwok is lightweight and efficient for its ability to carry 22 Liters of gear or school supplies. From Gregory, “the Gregory Miwok 22 daypack is an ideal size for day hikes, long strolls, and other single-day adventures,” including a short or long day of classes. It features 6 pockets plus the main compartment, it is hydration compatible, and also features a lifetime warranty. The suspension system allows your pack to move with you, increasing the comfort. The key is the use of a set of flexible tendons that attach the shoulder harness and hipbelt to the pack body. See what this customer thought of the Miwok:

“Great product, I use it for everything from day backpacking to weekender, lately I have been using it as a carry on for flights across country.”

Gregory makes awesome backpacks, and the Miwok daypack is a fine choice for school or the trail. Pick yours up today by clicking the following link.

[amazon_link id=”B0045TB0FG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Miwok[/amazon_link]

High Sierra Cirque – $50

[amazon_link id=”B004EBRG3K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]High Sierra Classic Series 59102 Cirque 30 Internal Frame Pack Redrock, Auburn, Charcoal 21.5x12.75x9 Inches 1830 Cubic Inches 30 Liters[/amazon_link]This daypack features a whopping 30 Liters of internal space, enough for a laptop, several books and binders, or a ton of daypacking gear, and all under 2 pounds of weight. It offers a harness media pocket, daisy chains for lashing extra gear to the outside, suspension harness and padded hipbelt made of breathable mesh, and an integrated hydration compartment with dual exit ports.

One recent customer noted that they were “looking for a good sized hiking daypack that had a nice padded hip belt, and wasn’t terribly expensive. My initial reaction is very positive. I really like the design of this pack and it’s exactly the size I was looking for. The apparent quality of the materials and construction seem much higher than other packs I’ve looked at in the $50.00 price range, I’m actually really impressed with the quality at this price.”

If you are looking for a big daypack at a not so big price that is capable of hauling all of your school or trail gear, click the following link to buy yours today.

[amazon_link id=”B004EBRG3K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]High Sierra Cirque[/amazon_link]

Kelty Redtail 30 – $60

[amazon_link id=”B00AATSCY2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Redtail 30 Daypack (Cobalt, One Size)[/amazon_link]Another 30 Liter bag rounds out our selection, and this one is from another company that is known for offering a lot of features for the price. The Kelty Redtail daypack is a great option for those interested in a large pack for hiking or carrying a lot of school supplies. It features a webbed hipbelt for lighter loads which is also removable, plenty of pockets for organization or school supplies or backcountry gear, side compression straps, mesh construction on the suspension harness and back panel, daisy chain, and a reservoir sleeve. It is lightweight and low profile. One reviewer said this about the Redtail daypack:

“Light…great padded straps…nice size for my gear and nice design on padding for your back…purchased another one for the wife.”

With a limited lifetime warranty from Kelty and all of these features, the Redtail is a great option for you. Click the link below to order yours today.

[amazon_link id=”B00AATSCY2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Redtail[/amazon_link]

The Bottom Line

This concludes our look into 5 great daypacks for back-to-school season. Any one of these is a great choice, whether you are getting ready to hit the books or hit the trails this fall, or both. Thanks for reading, and happy trails (and studying)!

What is your favorite daypack? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks!

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The Best Lightweight Summer Sleeping Bags On The Market

Summer Night CampingWhen it comes to finding a summer sleeping bag for your next backpacking trip, many trekkers look for the lightest option available. Summer is the best time to experience ultralight or minimalist backpacking at its finest. Summer sleeping bags are usually rated at 40 degrees or higher, and because of this, they have less insulation, which means the bags are lighter, smaller, and more compact. It is not uncommon to find a summer bag that is close to a pound in total weight, which means you are well on your way to packing less than 10 pounds of gear (usually the cutoff for ultralight backpacking). If you are looking for a summer sleeping bag to add to your equipment arsenal, this is the place for you to be. Below, we will highlight our favorite lightweight summer sleeping bags out there on the market today.

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45 – $170

[amazon_link id=”B00314H5EQ” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45 Degree Sleeping Bag - Jungle LH[/amazon_link]The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45 is very high on our list of best summer sleeping bags. It is a lightweight 800-fill down sleeping bag that weighs only 1 pound 3 ounces. It is cut to snuggly fit your body to maximize warmth and minimize weight. Mountain Hardwear sleeping bags are known for their comfort, and the Phantom is no exception. The price is right, especially if you can find it on sale at Amazon (which at the time of this writing it currently is). Click the following link to purchase yours today!

[amazon_link id=”B00314H5EQ” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45[/amazon_link]

Marmot Atom 40 – $290

[amazon_link id=”B003C17HWS” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Atom Down Sleeping Bag, Regular Left, Red[/amazon_link]Marmot is another name in the industry that has a devout following. The Marmot Atom 40 is one of their ultralight sleeping bag offerings for summer month backpacking, and is a 2008 Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice award winner. Coming in at 1 pound 5 ounces, this bag is super light, compacts down to the size of a Nalgene bottle, and will keep you warm below 40 degrees with a simple base layer. The Atom features 850+ fill power goose down, which is the best weight to warmth down on the market today. Click this link to order your Marmot Atom 40 today!

[amazon_link id=”B003C17HWS” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Atom 40[/amazon_link]

Marmot Always Summer – $200

[amazon_link id=”B00AO5NBKW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Always Summer Down Sleeping Bag, Regular-Left, Red[/amazon_link]Appropriately named, the Marmot Always Summer is a perfect summer sleeping bag for backpackers of all types. While not as light as the Marmot Atom or some of the other bags on this list (coming in at 2 pounds 3 ounces), the Always Summer makes up with its attractive price point of under $200. It features a slightly heavier 650-fill down, so it won’t be as compactable as higher-fill down sleeping bags, but the bag is rated down to 40 degrees. This is an all-around great summer sleeping bag, and offers great value at its price point. Get yours today by clicking on the following link!

[amazon_link id=”B00AO5NBKW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Always Summer[/amazon_link]

MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger – $320

[amazon_link id=”B007LL3RG0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]MontBell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger 40 Degree Sleeping Bag Blue Ridge Regular / Left Zip[/amazon_link]This is a sleeping bag that I was personally excited to test myself. First of all, it comes in multiple temperature ranges, but the 40 degree bag is by far the lightest and most economical of them all. The Spiral Down Hugger features 800-fill power goose down that weighs an amazing 1 pound 2 ounces. That is truly ultralight. This sleeping bag also features a stretch woven fabric that allows the bag to conform to your body as you sleep. This stretch keeps the bag snug to your body but does not constrict your nightly movements. I loved this bag, for all of the reasons discussed above, and would recommend it to anyone seeking a truly ultralight summer sleeping bag for backpacking. To get your MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger today, click the following link!

[amazon_link id=”B007LL3RG0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #4[/amazon_link]

Big Agnes Pitchpine SL – $330

[amazon_link id=”B004MQSM58″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Big Agnes Pitchpine SL 45-Degree Sleeping Bags(800 Down fill), Reg Left Zipper[/amazon_link]Another summer sleeping bag that gets really close to the one pound threshold is the Pitchpine SL by Big Agnes. Rated to 45 degrees and insulated with 800-fill power goose down, the Pitchpine SL offers a 1 pound 2 ounce package that compacts to a very small overall size (5”x6”).  This is a comfortable bag that has a lot of comfort add-ons, like a pillow pocket, sleeping pad loops that allow flexibility in the legs, and a water repellant surface treatment to keep you dry and warm.  The Pitchpine SL is a true ultralight summer sleeping bag that offers a lot of bang for your buck. Click on the following link to get yours today!

[amazon_link id=”B004MQSM58″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Big Agnes Pitchpine SL[/amazon_link]

Lafuma Lightway 45 – $125

[amazon_link id=”B00B6QLSDU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Lafuma Lightway 45-Degree Down Right Zip Sleeping Bag, Olympic Blue[/amazon_link]A more economical choice (around $125), the Lafuma Lightway 45 will still allow you to approach that ultralight backpacking concept. Weighing in at 1 pound 9 ounces, the Lightway features 600-fill power duck down which is more affordable than higher power goose down. This is a perfect summer sleeping bag option that has an attractive weight and price tag. To get your Lafuma Lightway 45 today, click the following link.

[amazon_link id=”B00B6QLSDU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Lafuma Lightway 45[/amazon_link]

Kelty Cosmic Down 40 – $100

[amazon_link id=”B009PRN4QG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic Down 40-Degree Sleeping Bag, Yellow, 6-Feet[/amazon_link]The most affordable sleeping bag on our list, the Kelty Cosmic down 40 sleeping bag comes in right around $100. It features 550-fill power down, which adds a little to the overall weight of 1 pound 13 ounces. It also includes hang loops for storage, sleeping pad security loops, internal liner loops for those cooler summer nights, and a form fitting and snug shape. If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, the Kelty Cosmic down 40 sleeping bag is for you. Click the following link to order yours today!

[amazon_link id=”B009PRN4QG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic Down 40[/amazon_link]

Exped Ultralight 300 45 – $350

[amazon_link id=”B0087XXFEK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Exped Ultralite 300[/amazon_link]The 1 pound 4 ounce Exped Ultralight 300 lives up to its name as one of the best summer lightweight sleeping bags on the market today.  Featuring a high loft 840-fill goose down insulation and a waterproof packsack and net storage bag, the Exped Ultralight 300 is a great choice for ultralight backpackers. To order your Ultralight today, click on the following link.

[amazon_link id=”B0087XXFEK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Exped Ultralight 300 45[/amazon_link]

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

You probably noticed that every single sleeping bag on this list is a down bag. It is just a fact that natural down has a better warmth to weight ratio than synthetic insulation does. Technologies change, and this might flip in the future, but right now, if you are looking for the lightest sleeping bags, especially for summer ultralight backpacking, down is the way to go.

The list of sleeping bags above has a wide range of prices. The cool thing is that the more affordable sleeping bags actually stack up quite well against the higher priced bags. My favorite summer bag is the MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger with its 1 pound 2 ounce weight and excellent comfort, but a close second is the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45 (one ounce heavier than the Super Spiral). Any one of these sleeping bags would provide excellent summer sleeping comfort, and exceptional warmth to weight. Hopefully, this guide will get you started on your search for a summer sleeping bag to fit your needs.

What do you think of the list of summer sleeping bags above? What is your favorite summer sleeping bag? What sleeping bag do you use for ultralight backpacking? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

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The Top 5 Down Sleeping Bags – Weight, Warmth Important

Down is one of two types of sleeping bag filling (the other being synthetic filling). Down has fabulous insulative properties, but only as long as it remains dry. Down is also very light for the amount of insulation it provides compared to most synthetic insulation out there. Down is also downright soft and comfortable!

When it comes to choosing the best down sleeping bags on the market today, several factors have to be considered. Price, weight, comfort, and warmth rating are all important factors for backpackers out there. But they all vary depending on the type of hiking. If you like to backpack in the summer only, you won’t worry as much about the warmth rating. Weight is an especially important consideration, especially for the minimalist or ultralight hikers.

This was a difficult task in rating the top 5 down sleeping bags on the market, especially since there are so many different needs. But we think we have a very good list based on the considerations mentioned above. Below you will find our top 5 down sleeping bags.

#5 – Kelty Cosmic 0, 20 Degree $150-$220

[amazon_link id=”B009PRMZMA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic Down 0-Degree Sleeping Bag, Autumn, 6-Feet[/amazon_link]Kelty is one of those brands that you just love because of the impressive value that you get from their products. The price of this bag compared to the others on this list is what bumped it into our top 5. Coming in at $150 for a 20 degree bag and $220 for the 0 degree bag, the Kelty Cosmic is a great deal for the amount of warmth you get. 550 Fill-Power Down is used as the insulation, which is heavier than higher power down, so the bag is a little on the heavy side (for this list). The regular 20 degree version weighs 2 lb 7 oz, the regular 0 degree weighs 3 lb 12 oz. This is a fantastic 3 season sleeping bag that won’t break the bank. Click the image or one of the links below to buy yours today!

[amazon_link id=”B009PRMZMA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree Down Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B009PRNEY8″ target=”_blank” ]Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

#4 – Marmot Helium 15 Degree $400-$470

[amazon_image id=”B000JM9ODI” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large” ]Marmot Helium 15 Sleeping Bag – Cobalt Blue/Dark Azure Long/Left Zip[/amazon_image]

There are two down sleeping bags on this list by Marmot. And while they are the two priciest bags, they are amazingly soft, warm, and lightweight. They are also both Backpacker Editors’ Choice award winners, with the Helium winning 2008’s Gold award. The Marmot Helium is the lower priced of the two, ranging between $400 and $470, depending on whether or not you want the added waterproof and breathable MemBrain outer fabric, which bumps the price up. Lightweight 850+ Fill-power goose down will keep you toasty warm down to 15 degrees without adding too much to the overall weight.  Each weighs 2 lb 5 oz, which is light for a 15 degree bag, and it compresses into a very small package. The Marmot Helium is a fabulous choice for its warmth, weight, and comfort, even if it is a little on the expensive side. Click on one of the following links for more purchasing information.

[amazon_link id=”B015OVGCNS” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Helium[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B0037SN2Z2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Helium MemBrain[/amazon_link]

#3 – Sierra Designs Nitro 0, 15, 30 $250-$400

Sierra Designs Nitro 30 Degree 800 Fill Down Ultralight Sleeping Bag (Long)

Sierra Designs Nitro down sleeping bag is our #3 rated option, and for good reason.  Their bags are labeled as ultralight, and this isn’t an exaggeration. Their warmth-to-weight ratio is fantastic, and their price fits right in with other bags on this list. The 0 degree Nitro has a price tag of $400 and a weight of 2 lb 15 oz. The 15 degree bag costs around $300, and weighs 2 lb 2 ounces. The 30 degree Nitro is a great 3 season bag that costs around $250 and weighs a measly 1 lb 10 oz. With 800 Fill-power goose down, you will stay nice and warm even on cold nights. The stretchy baffles around your upper body help you feel like you aren’t mummified, and the footbox on the 30 degree Nitro zips open for a nice cool draft on warmer nights. The Nitro by Sierra Designs is a great choice of down sleeping bag for any season. If you are interested in getting this sleeping bag, visit Sierra Designs‘ site today!

 

#2 – Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0, 15, 32 Degree $200-$400

[amazon_image id=”B00BQ743B8″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large” ]Mountain Hardwear Unisex Phantom 0 Bag Reg RH RED[/amazon_image]

Coming in at #2 on our list is Mountain Hardwear’s Phantom series of down sleeping bags. There is a 0 degree, 15 degree, and 32 degree option, in men’s and women’s.  They range in price from $200 (the 32 degree option) up to over $400 (the 0 degree option). The Phantom employs 800 Fill-power goose down, which offers excellent warmth-to-weight ratio as well as a soft and comfortable lofty construction. They also feature down filled draft tubes that keep cold from seeping into your bag at the openings and zippers. The 0 degree bag weighs 2 lb 10 oz (for the regular size), the 15 degree bag weighs 2 lb (5 ounces lighter than the Marmot Helium), and the 32 degree bag weighs a paltry 1 lb 6 oz. Light, warm, comfortable, and competitively priced, the Mountain Hardwear Phantom series of down sleeping bags is a winning bag for all seasons. Below are the links to get more ordering information on the Phantom bags.

[amazon_link id=”B00BQ741YW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0 Degree Down Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B00AYH8DQ2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 Degree Down Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B00EF43QTE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 Degree Down Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

#1 – Marmot Lithium 0 Degree $490-$550

[amazon_link id=”B0161YP4T0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Lithium MemBrain Down Sleeping Bag, Regular-Left, Orange[/amazon_link]Our #1 rated down sleeping bag is the Marmot Lithium. This bag is very similar to the Marmot Helium down at #4, but with extra insulation that should keep you warm and comfortable down to 0 degrees. It is also a Backpacker Editors’ choice winner. The Lithium does this by utilizing the same 850+ Fill-power goose down that is employed in the Helium. This down offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio. This sleeping bag compresses to a very small overall size, which when coupled with its weight of 2 lb 12 oz, makes for a very portable, lightweight, and compact package. The Lithium MemBrain ($550) adds a breathable waterproof fabric to the outside of the bag, increasing its durability while protecting the insulative properties of down. One reviewer notes that this bag is “as light as a feather and warm as a oven.” Well said. This is the winner of our survey and is rated the best down sleeping bag on the market. Click one of the below links to get the #1 down sleeping bag today!

[amazon_link id=”B0161YP4T0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marmot Lithium[/amazon_link]

Summary

Obvisouly, with only 5 spots on the list, we had to leave off some excellent down sleeping bags. What did we miss? What is your favorite down sleeping bag? Did we get the list right? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

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New To Backpacking? Get Started For Under $300

Are you interested in backpacking, but not willing to commit a large amount of money upfront until you know you are going to like it? Are you on strict budget? If you answered yes to either of these questions, this article will hopefully help you to see that you don’t need to spend a small fortune to get into this great hobby. Below, I will go over some of my favorite low cost (but still high quality) gear to consider.

For the sake of this article, we will assume you have no backpacking gear. That means you will need to buy a backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and other items to keep you going, less the consumables (food, fuel, etc). Let’s say you have a strict budget of $300 to get all the gear you need to go on a summer weekend (3 day, 2 night) backpacking trip that is more or less on a flat trail.

Here is a breakdown of the items, and below will be more details of the gear choices:

  • Backpack$115 [amazon_link id=”B009R4CV3E” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Coyote 80 Backpack[/amazon_link]
  • Tent$110 [amazon_link id=”B0043HH5CW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Eureka! Apex 2XT 2 Person Backpacking Tent[/amazon_link]
  • Sleeping Bag$40 [amazon_link id=”B006WPZBBA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Ledge Sports Scorpion 45 Degree Ultralight Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]
  • Water Prep – $25 [amazon_link id=”B004DZMD08″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Seychelle 28 Ounce Flip Top Water Filter Bottle[/amazon_link]
  • Food Prep$10 – [amazon_link id=”B000P9IR8I” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Stainless Steel Mess Kit[/amazon_link]
  • Total Cost = $300

Backpack – $115

[amazon_link id=”B009R4CV3E” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Coyote 80 Internal frame Backpack, Forest Night, Medium/Large[/amazon_link]For the backpack, the Kelty Coyote 80 [amazon_link id=”B009R4CV3E” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]can be picked up off of Amazon currently for $115[/amazon_link]. That is a great deal for a backpack that boasts 78 Liters (4750 cubic inches) of interior space. This is more than large enough for a 3 day excursion. It is more suited for a longer trip, but at that price point, it’s hard to pass this deal up. Additional features in this pack include:

Bag Features:

  • Top loading
  • 420-denier polyester Ball Shadow body fabric
  • 420-denier polyester Oxford reinforcement fabric
  • Hydration compatible
  • Reservoir sleeve
  • Front-panel access
  • Zippered side pockets
  • Mesh water bottle pockets
  • Side compression straps
  • Load stabilizer straps
  • Spindrift collar
  • Ice-axe loops
  • Daisy chain
  • Key fob
  • Zippered waist belt pockets
  • Lid converts into lumbar pack
  • Carry handle

Suspension Features:

  • CloudLock II adjustable suspension
  • LightBeam II dual aluminum stays
  • HDPE frame sheet
  • Removable HDPE reinforced dual density waist belt
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Ventilating back panel
  • Load-lifter/stabilizer straps
  • Sternum strap
  • Patented Scherer Cinch

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 4,750 cubic inches (78-liters)
  • Weight: 5 lb. 9 oz.
  • Measures 16 x 34 x 16.5 inches (W x H x D)

Highlights of the Kelty Coyote 80 backpack are the price point, the capacity, removable waist belt and lid (converts into hip pack), and construction. The pack is on the heavy side at 5 pounds 9 ounces empty, but as long as it isn’t over packed for a 3 day trip, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Tent – $110

[amazon_link id=”B0043HH5CW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Eureka! Apex 2 - Tent (sleeps 2)[/amazon_link]The tent of choice is the Eureka! Apex 2XT tent. This is a lightweight 2 person backpacking tent that is also a very palatable price right around a hundred bucks. We chose the Apex 2XT tent because of the price, as well as a few features, such as: the 2 door design with 2 vestibules totaling 27 additional square feet, solid construction, and light weight (6 pounds 5 ounces). Here are some additional features and specifications:

  • Seasons: 3
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Floor dimensions: 7′ 6″ by 4′ 11″
  • Center height: 3′ 10″
  • Minimum weight: 6 pounds, 5 ounces
  • Frame: Freestanding, shock-corded fiberglass
  • Vestibule: 2, with 13.8 square feet of storage each
  • Storage pockets: 2 mesh
  • Clothes line loops: 4
  • Flashlight loop: Yes
  • Warranty: Lifetime

This is great tent, and for the price, you won’t be disappointed. [amazon_link id=”B0043HH5CW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Pick yours up today[/amazon_link].

Sleeping Bag – $40

[amazon_link id=”B006WPZBA6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Ledge Sports FeatherLite +20 F Degree Ultra Light Design, Ultra Compact Sleeping Bag (84 X 32 X 20, Red)[/amazon_link]Since this is a summer trip, we can get away with suggesting a summer sleeping bag. And that is completely fair, because if you are new to backpacking, you probably don’t want to get into a cold weather trip right off the bat because you might ruin your outlook on the hobby. Start with a mild, warm weather trip to see if you like it first, then as you get more experience and become more adventurous, expand. Back to the sleeping bag of choice – [amazon_link id=”B006WPZBBA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Ledge Sports Featherlite 20 degree ultra light sleeping bag[/amazon_link].

The price is right at $40, and the weight is also a bonus coming in at 3.4 pounds. This sleeping bag is nice because is compresses well and takes up minimal room. It is a synthetic fill sleeping bag, so even if it gets wet, it should keep you warm down to 30 degrees or so. It also comes with a stuff sack. Pick up one of these affordable 3 season sleeping bags today!

Food and Water Prep – $35

For cooking your food, this [amazon_link id=”B000P9IR8I” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]stainless steel mess kit[/amazon_link] is just right. It offers a frying pan, pot, two lids (plates) and a plastic 8 ounce cup. At just over $10, all you need to have is a bed of hot coals and you can cook food or heat water.

[amazon_link id=”B004DZMD08″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Seychelle 28oz Flip Top Advanced Filter Water Purification / Filtration Bottle[/amazon_link]As for purifying your water, the [amazon_link id=”B004DZMD08″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Seychelle 28 ounce flip top water filter bottle[/amazon_link] is a high quality option that is affordable ($25). It removes 99.99% of bacteria, virus, contaminants, and pollutants from water. It can filter up to 100 gallons of water, depending on the quality of the water (dirtier water = less filtering capacity). It weighs just 11 ounces and you can fill it up from any body of water along the trail.

The Bottom Line

If you are just getting into backpacking, and you are worried that you won’t like it, it doesn’t make sense to spend a ton of money on gear. I can tell you that if you like nature, exercise, the outdoors, and camping in general, you are going to absolutely love backpacking. But keeping your start-up costs low just in case you don’t is a good idea. The nice thing about all of these items is that they could all be sold used to recoup most of your money if you decide you don’t like backpacking. Another nice thing about all of these items is that if you do like backpacking, they are high quality products that you will be able to enjoy for a long time.

Use this list to find the right gear for your needs. This is just a list of the most essential gear items. I didn’t include hiking boots because they require such a specialized fit and vary greatly in price. For a flat 3 day hiking trip, sturdy tennis shoes should be alright. Other items might include a good flashlight, first aid kit, survival kit, GPS, fitted hiking boots, multi-tool or pocket knife, and a sleeping pad. They will greatly increase your comfort and safety in the backcountry. As always, happy trails!

Do you agree with this list? What would be your $300 starting setup? Leave a comment below. Thanks!

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Kelty Cosmic Sleeping Bag Series

The Kelty Cosmic sleeping bag is a versatile option on the market today. With different temperature ratings, the Kelty Cosmic sleeping bag allows you to purchase exactly the right bag for your backpacking needs. Whether you are a summer trekker or a winter wet and wild backpacker, there is a Kelty Cosmic model that fits your needs, and most importantly, your budget. Let’s look at the features of the Kelty Cosmic sleeping bag below.

Features

[amazon_link id=”B009PRMZMA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic Down 0-Degree Sleeping Bag, Autumn, 6-Feet[/amazon_link]The Kelty Cosmic sleeping bag offers a full collar neck baffle, an insulated hood baffle, a zipper draft tube, ground level side seams and differential cut to provide you maximum warmth. The fill of the Cosmic is a synthetic insulation called CloudLoft Pro. There are internal liner loops, which allow you to add additional liner insulation. There are also sleeping pad securing loops that allow you to attach your bag to your sleeping pad to help make sure that you get the best night’s sleep. An included stuff sack allows you to compress your sleeping bag down to a reasonably compact packing size.

There are multiple options when it comes to the Kelty Cosmic. Here is the breakdown of the temperature rating and the weight (regular – long):

  • Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree Synthetic: 4 pounds 11 ounces – 5 pounds 1 ounce
  • Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Synthetic: 3 pounds 9 ounces – 3 pounds 14 ounces
  • Kelty Cosmic 35 Degree Synthetic: 2 pounds 5 ounces – 2 pounds 7 ounces

It is important to note that the Kelty Cosmic 35 does not include the insulated baffles, because it is more of a warm weather sleeping bag. This helps cut down on unnecessary weight as well, making this sleeping bag in the regular size a very lightweight option.

The down Kelty Cosmic options utilize 550 fill goose down and feature many of the same features as the synthetic models. The breakdown of the temperature rating and weight of the down Kelty Cosmic models is as follows (regular – long):

  • Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree Down: 3 pounds 11 ounces – 3 pounds 14 ounces
  • Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down: 2 pounds 8 ounces – 2 pounds 12 ounces

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

The Kelty Cosmic sleeping bags all come very highly recommended by our staff of writers. The affordable price tag is very appealing, and there isn’t a whole lot in the features and weight categories that are lost from similar temperature rated sleeping bags on the market. I have used my Cosmic 35 on many summer backpacking trips, and have been very impressed with its comfort on nights that have dipped close to freezing. If you are looking for one of the best values from a line of sleeping bags, consider purchasing one of the Kelty Cosmic sleeping bag options. Click one of these links below to make your purchase.

[amazon_link id=”B004K1GQGM” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B004K1D9OO” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B004GDB600″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic 35 Degree Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B004K1GQDA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree Down Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B004O706S6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

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Kelty Light Year Sleeping Bag Series

The Kelty Light Year series of sleeping bags offers many different options for backpacking enthusiasts around the world. Kelty is a name synonymous with value in the outdoor world, as they often create gear that is affordable, yet loaded with features and built with high quality materials. The Kelty Light Year sleeping bag series can be broken down into a few categories, so let’s look at the features and specifications of these bags below.

Features

Light Year Down 0 Degree

[amazon_link id=”B004K1KN0M” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Light Year 0 Degree Down Sleeping Bag, Regular , Molten Lava[/amazon_link]The Light Year 0 degree down sleeping bag is for cold weather backpacking expeditions. The insulation used is 600 fill power down, which is lightweight and very compressible. The Light Year is equipped with sleeping pad loops, which keep your bag connected to your sleeping pad. It also features ground level sealed seams, an insulated hood baffle, and a full baffle neck collar, all designed to keep body heat inside. Internal liner loops allow you to insert a sleeping bag liner to add extra insulation. There is a zippered chest pocket that allows you to easily store important items that you want to keep close to you and warm inside the bag.

The down Light Year sleeping bag comes in regular and long sizes, with the regular weighing 3 pounds 10 ounces, and the long weighing 3 pounds 13 ounces. A storage compression sack is also included, and allows you to compress the down sleeping bag to roughly the size of a soccer ball.

Light Year Down 20 Degree

[amazon_link id=”B004H8Z83U” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Light Year 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag, Long , Russet[/amazon_link]The Kelty Light Year 20 degree down sleeping bag has the same features as the 0 degree bag discussed above, but has less down fill. It is rated to 20 degrees, and the regular weighs 2 pounds 13 ounces and the long weighs 3 pounds 2 ounces.

Light Year Down 40 Degree

[amazon_link id=”B004H8X80K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Light Year 40 Degree Down Sleeping Bag, Regular , Lemon[/amazon_link]The Kelty Light Year 40 degree down sleeping bag is a great summer camping option. With all the same features as the 0 and 20 degree down bags discussed above, the 40 degree has less down fill, dropping the weight for the regular to 1 pound 13 ounces, and the weight for the long to 1 pound 15 ounces.

Light Year XP 20 Degree

[amazon_link id=”B004LR5WI8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Light Year XP 20 Synthetic Sleeping Bag, Regular, Dark Citron[/amazon_link]The Light Year XP 20 degree sleeping bag is a 3 season synthetically insulated alternative to the down options above. The insulation is Ecopet Soft, and truly is soft and comfortable. It weighs 3 pounds 5 ounces in the regular and 3 pounds 9 ounces in the long.

Light Year XP 40 Degree

[amazon_link id=”B004LR5WHE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Light Year XP 40 Synthetic Sleeping Bag, Regular, Blue Aster[/amazon_link]The synthetic version of the summer sleeping bag is a great option for backpackers who like to trek during warmer weather. Weighing a paltry 2 pounds 4 ounces for the regular and 2 pounds 9 ounces for the long, the Light Year XP 40 degree sleeping bag from Kelty is a lightweight synthetic option that has all the same features as the XP 20.

 

 

 

 

 

All of these sleeping bags are right side zippered for the men’s and women’s versions.

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

The Kelty Light Year series of sleeping bags offers a tremendous amount of value for the features that are included with their sleeping bags. The Light Year Down 20 degree sleeping bag was named by Backpacker Magazine as the ‘killer 3-season deal.’ Down sleeping bags are lighter than synthetic models, but loose their insulating ability when they get wet. If you are looking for an affordable ultralight backpacking sleeping bag, look no further than the Kelty Light Year series. Click on one of the following links to purchase one of these sleeping bags today.

[amazon_link id=”B004K1KN0M” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Light Year 0 Degree Down Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B004H8Z83U” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Light Year 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B004H8X80K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Light Year 40 Degree Down Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B004LR5WI8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Light Year XP 20 Degree Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B004LR5WHE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Light Year XP 40 Degree Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

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Kelty Coromell Sleeping Bag Series

[amazon_link id=”B009PRNQ4G” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Coromell 0-Degree Sleeping Bag, Orange, 6-Feet 6-Inch[/amazon_link]Kelty has been making affordable high quality outdoor gear for a long time now, and they have put out some impressive sleeping bag options that rival some of the best known brand options with regards to features, comfort, weight, and especially price. The Kelty Coromell line of sleeping bags is no exception. With two different temperature rated options available, one at 0 degrees and one at 25 degrees, the Kelty Coromell down filled sleeping bag offers 4 season and 3 season sleeping bag features with a competitive price tag. Let’s go over the features of the Kelty Coromell sleeping bag below.

Features

The Kelty Coromell 0 and 25 degree down filled sleeping bags are designed to offer you more room to move around in while you sleep. If you are a mobile sleeper, ie you toss and turn naturally, than the Coromell is a perfect option for you. There is an insulated hood baffle to provide your head with extra warmth. There are also internal liner loops that allow you to attach an additional internal liner for additional insulation. Sleeping pad security loops keep your mattress or pad under you at all times. Exterior hanging loops allow you to hang your sleeping bag up to dry or to air out after a long trip.

A cool feature of this bag is that two Kelty Coromell sleeping bags can be zippered together to form a double-wide sleeping bag for two. One Coromell can also be unzippered and used as a blanket. If you don’t need the hood during a warmer weather backpacking trip, the hood can be removed to save weight.

Both the 0 degree and the 25 degree Kelty Coromell sleeping bags feature 550 Fill Power Down. This is a very compressible down, and offers lightweight comfort and insulating properties. The weight of the two options breaks down as follows (regular – long):

  • Kelty Coromell 0 Degree Down: 4 pounds 1 ounce – 4 pounds 7 ounces
  • Kelty Coromell 25 Degree Down: 2 pounds 15 ounces – 3 pounds 4 ounces

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

[amazon_link id=”B004H8V5R8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Coromell 25 Degree Down Sleeping Bag, Long, Molten Lava[/amazon_link]The Kelty Coromell delivers when it comes to comfort and portability. While these sleeping bags are not the lightest on the market, they are designed to be roomier than other options are. They are designed as semi-mummy, semi-rectangular for extra room that would be perfect for any backpacker who is not keen on tight spaces or constricted sleeping quarters. If you like what you have read about the Kelty Coromell sleeping bag options, click one of the following links to purchase one today.

[amazon_link id=”B009PRNQ4G” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Coromell 0 Degree Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B004H8V5R8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Coromell 25 Degree Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]

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Kelty Coyote 80 Backpack – Bargain Backpackers Pack

[amazon_link id=”B0113LLUEE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Coyote 80 Internal frame Backpack (Cypress, Medium/Large - 17.5 - 21 Torso)[/amazon_link]Kelty is a name that is well known in outdoor circles. Their products are high quality and durable, and their prices don’t break the bank. The Kelty Coyote 80 backpack is no exception. Built on an internal frame system, the Coyote 80 pack offers several features to the bargain minded backpacker. Let’s look at some of these features and highlights below.

Features

The Coyote 80 features S-shaped shoulder pads that fit the contours of your body, providing comfort and stability without causing excess chaffing. The Rip-and-Stick adjustment allows you to configure the frame to fit your torso length. Several stability adjustments, including the sternum strap, stabilizer straps, and belt stabilizers help to stabilize the load while hiking uneven and rough terrain.

Other highlights include:

  • Hydration sleeve and port
  • 8 exterior pockets + main interior compartment
  • Two access points – top and side
  • Daisy chain for extra gear attachment
  • Two ice axe loops
  • Removable lid converts into waist pack

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

The Kelty Coyote 80 offers great value to any bargain minded backpacker. It is simply loaded with features and pockets, and provides a large amount of interior capacity (4750 cubic inches) for the overall weight of 5 pounds 9 ounces. If you are looking for a mid-sized backpack capable of carrying heavy loads for extended trips with the added bonus of not breaking the bank, the Kelty Coyote 80 pack is a great option for you. Click the following link to purchase yours today!

[amazon_link id=”B0113LLUEE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Coyote 80 Backpack[/amazon_link]

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