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Lightweight Outdoor Essentials

Three ultralight accessories for improving life on the trail

by Graham Hiemstra in Tech on 09 August 2012

When trekking hundreds of miles even the slightest reduction in carry weight can increase efficiency and longevity on the trail. In the ongoing effort to minimize pack impact many companies have begun experimenting with new materials unconventional to the outdoor industry. From fibers stronger than steel to space-grade titanium, the following three items innovate ultra-lightweight construction guaranteed to ease your load.

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Hyperlite Mountain Gear

As the name implies, Hyperlite Mountain Gear makes tents and gear bags that are lighter than anything else on the market. Much like Outlier's Minimal Backpack released last winter, the Summit Pack from HMG is constructed entirely of a cuben fiber—a flexible non-woven laminate made from a super tough polyethylene that's up to 15 times stronger than steel and up to 40% stronger than kevlar—and polyester blend. To improve on the ultra sleek design, HMG added two daisy chains and an adjustable bungie cord for attaching more gear. Almost entirely waterproof, sturdy enough for an overnight trek and weighing an unreal 10.7oz, the Summit Pack sells directly from HMG for $148.

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Sierra Designs

Similarly constructed with cuben fiber, the two-person Mojo UFO tent weighs in at just under two pounds and reportedly can be pitched in a matter of minutes. As an update on the nylon Mojo 2 tent, this space-age structure relies on just three carbon fiber poles to hold it up and off the ground. The rain fly is also built in to even further reduce weight. While the technology is undeniable, the element-resistant cuben fiber fabric comes at a hefty price. Sierra Designs expects to sell the Mojo UFO for roughy $1,800 next season.

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Slat Grill

With a design inspired by old time flat-pack balsa wood airplanes, The Summit collapsible grill can be constructed with just four sides and a handful of slats that double as cooking skewers. Precision-laser-cut from single sheets of titanium and hard-anodized to add strength and durability, the American-made grill measures just 9" x 9" x 4" when constructed—not bad for a fully functioning cooking surface that packs down to just over a few inches in profile. Visit Slat Grills online where the titanium Summit sells for $214.

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