Ultralight Gifts for Backpackers Made Easy

A Gift-Buying Guide For People Who Love Gearheads

RePurpose Bottle

Whoever started calling the holiday season “the most wonderful time of the year” obviously never spent much time on the top of a mountain at the height of summer. That’s ok though, here at Hyperlite Mountain Gear we like to say that there are only two types of people in the world: those who have yet to fall in love with life on the trail, and those of us who already have.

You probably have a few of the former in your life. You might overhear them say things like, “She/he is out in the garage messing with that scale again” or “He/she just disappears into the woods for weeks at a time with nothing but a backpack and comes home with a huge grin on his/her face.” Specifically, they may be uttering about, well… you.

If that’s the case, you might want to consider a complete re-working of your current Gift Idea Suggestion Strategy (GISS)–in the spirit of fostering maximal yuletide cheer, of course. After all, it could be all that stands between you and a veritable rainbow of ill-fitting new turtlenecks at the end of the month.

We get it: buying ultralight gifts for backpackers must be daunting. Ultralight gear is highly technical stuff by nature; simplicity, it turns out, is kind of complicated. That’s why we put together this gift-buying guide for gearheads, but tailored to non-gearheads. It’s cool: Just let us do the explaining for you, it’s our job.

All you have to do is paste this url into an email to mom/dad/grandpappy/bubbe/spouse/partner/sister/bro/friend, share it on their Facebook wall, link, tweet, etc. If we’ve done this right, you should be all set.

To kick things off, allow us to introduce the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Gift Ease Index (HMGGEI). It’s a numerical rating scale based on the relative ease of gift purchasing decision, from 1-10 with 10 being easiest and 1 being most difficult or complicated. We took into account things like price, awareness of the giftee/gearhead’s actual activities in the field, knowledge of current state of giftee/gearhead’s quiver and several quantitative overall radness measurements (ORMs) for the HMGGEI rating of each of our products. Here goes nothing!

How to Buy Ultralight Backpacking Gifts For the Total Gearhead in Your Life

Hi!

Welcome to HyperliteMountainGear.com. Odds are, someone you love–or at least like a lot–sent you here. Probably because they’d really like something we make this holiday season. Well, we’re happy to help and have compiled this handy guide to our products to get things going.

First, a note about us: We’re a small business based in Maine. We design and manufacture some of the finest backpacking gear in the world in a historic textile mill. By embracing a minimalist ethos and using space age materials, we help people have more fun in the great outdoors.

Below you’ll find a list of our products ranked in order of how easy they are to give as gifts. Each product name is a direct link to the product page in our store, and next to that you’ll find a Gift Ease Index Score for each item. That’s a totally made up metric; call it our hunch on the overall giftability of a few of the things we make.

 

1. e-Gift Card $20-10,000 | Gift Ease Index Score: 11 

Hyperlite Mountain Gear e-Gift CardWhat is it?
An electronic gift card, pretty self-explanatory.
What’s it do?
Liberates you from the shackles of anxiety! How easy is a gift card to give? So easy it scores 11 on the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Gift Ease Index! Eleven. Even though the index only goes up to ten.
Who’s it for?
Anyone. Anything. Anytime.
Things to consider:
You can customize the e-gift card with your own message and get back to scarfing gingerbread asap.


2. Ultralight Stuff Sack Pillow | Gift Ease Index Score: 10

Stuff Sack Pillow

What is it?
A super-innovative packing system and pillow all in one.
What’s it do?
Ultralight backpacks are marvelously simple things. On ours, we strip out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary, in part because those things (zippers, compartments) are also usually the heaviest parts of a pack. Ultralight stuff sacks are how adherents to the ultralight lifestyle organize the things that go into their pack. Clothes in one, food in another, electronics in another, etc. This particular stuff sack can be emptied at night and turned inside out to expose a soft fleece surface—the perfect backpacking pillow.
Who’s it for?
Any backpacker who doesn’t like to lug around a super heavy load, the ultralight gearhead who doesn’t have one yet, or even people who travel a lot and need a hybrid pillow/storage device that does more than just take up space in their bag.
Things to consider:
There are two sizes: 10” x 14” and 12” x 17”—go big unless the giftee has a spreadsheet printed out next to their gear rack.

 

3. Stuff Sacks | Gift Ease Index Score: 9 

Hyperlite Mountain Gear DCF8 Stuff Sacks

What is it?
See above.
What’s it do?
When used together, stuff sacks stack inside a pack, making it more comfortable and easier to find the things you need, when you need them. We make them in a variety of sizes, from nano (4” x 6”) to jumbo (14” x 19”), one for every combination of gear possible. They’re also highly, highly water resistant (our lawyer says we can’t say “waterproof”) and ridiculously tough.
Who’s it for?
Any backpacker will be stoked to get one of these. If they have a bunch of them already, they’ll be stoked to get one more. They’re also great for keeping things like camera batteries dry when you’re traveling or doing pretty much anything else in the outdoors.
Things to consider:
They come in a huge range of sizes and materials, but there isn’t a bad option. Choose one or two that fit your budget, or a set if you want to be extra-nice.

 

4. Minimalist Wallet | Gift Ease Index Score: 8 

What is it?
It’s a wallet made of material that’s stronger than steel but floats on water.
What’s it do?
Looks great, works better.
Who’s it For?
Everyone in the world should have at least one.
Things to consider:
It’s awesome.

 

5. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Water Bottles | Gift Ease Index Score: 7 
What is it?

A water bottle made out of either recycled aluminum or plastic so tough that Superman would break a nail if he tried to smash it.
What’s it do?
Inserts life-giving nectar into your mouth hole.
Who’s it for?
If you’re buying for one of the aforementioned spreadsheet aficionados, their first reaction is going to be to run to a scale with one of these things. That’s when you say, “It’s not all that light, but you can use it around town or at work/school to remind you of that free, free feeling you get when you’re out on a trail guzzling from a beat up SmartWater bottle.
Things to consider:
White is shiny, black is matte, plastic is stupid tough. All three have cool Hyperlite Mountain Gear logos on them. Hard to go wrong.

 

6. The Breeze Hat | Gift Ease Index Score: 6

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Breeze HatsWhat is it?
A trucker hat with the Hyperlite Mountain Gear seal of approval embroidered right on it.
What’s it do?
Keeps the sun off the giftee’s face, gives gifter warm fuzzy feeling when they see pictures of giftee wearing it in all sorts of sublime, remote places on their Facebook feed.
Who’s it For?
The discerning outdoors person with excellent taste in ultralight gear (*ahem*).
Things to consider:
Graphite color is largest of the three, Lite Gray is slightly smaller, Royal Blue is smaller still.

 

7. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Tees | Gift Ease Index Score: 5

Hyperlite Mountain Gear TeesWhat is it?
One of three t-shirts made specially for us in New York, printed in Georgia and sold by us in Maine.
What’s it do?
Reads either a) Live Life One Blaze at a Time, b) Nothing More, Nothing Less, or 3) has an image of a hiker with three peaks in the background on it.
Who’s it For?
Someone who might understand the phrases above, or appreciate that it’s actually quite hard to source a t-shirt that’s entirely made in the USA these days.
Things to consider:
The fit runs a little slimmer than your standard tee, but not really “slim.” Also, they’re super soft and comfy.

 

8. Stuff Pack | Gift Ease Index Score: 4Hyperlite Mountain Gear Stuff Pack

What is it?
Like a stuff sack, only a stuff pack, i.e. a stuff sack with shoulder straps.
What’s it do?
Most people pack their sleeping bag in it, then empty it out and use it as a day pack when they want to summit a peak quickly, without a full backpack. The shoulder straps are so light as to be almost weightless.
Who’s it For?
Anyone who owns a sleeping bag with one of those old boat anchor nylon stuff sacks. Paying good money for a lightweight sleeping bag and then lugging it around in one of those things is like buying a Ferrari to drive your kids to school.
Things to consider:
It’s incredibly water resistant, too.

 

9. Trail Tote | Gift Ease Index Score: 4 Hyperlite Mountain Gear Trail Tote

What is it?

A cool, ultralight, minimalist tote bag for carrying stuff around.

What’s it do?

Acts as a carry-all when giftee is not out on an adventure, but wants to be out on an adventure.

Who’s it For?

The ultralight gearhead who has everything. Commuters who appreciate excellent, streamlined design. Storm Troopers on vacation.

Things to consider:

We’re getting into the pricier end of the guide, but just remember, your “oh, snap” reaction here will only be magnified in the intended’s “oh, SNAP!” reaction when they receive it.


10. Ground Cloth | Gift Ease Index Score: 3 Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ground Cloth

What is it?
The ultimate does-it-all piece of go anywhere outdoor equipment.
What’s it do?
Acts as a living room in the great outdoors, doubles as protection from the elements in a pinch.
Who’s it for?
Anyone with even a borderline ultralight obsession can find a use for one of these things, it’s money well spent.
Things to consider:
At 8’ x 4’3” it weighs less than an iphone. Also, we’re getting into the pricier end of the guide, but just remember, your “oh, snap” reaction here will only be magnified in the intended’s “oh, SNAP!” reaction when they receive it.

 

11. Packs | Gift Ease Index Score: 2

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultralight PacksWhat is it?
We make the world’s most technologically advanced backcountry access tools. Some people call them backpacks.
What’s it do?
Illuminates the splendor and glory of the outdoors by stripping away clutter in favor of pure, unfettered functionality. We pride ourselves on making packs that offer everything you need, nothing you don’t.
Who’s it for?
That’s the tricky part. There’s one for every hiker or adventurer, in varying sizes.
Things to consider:
Give us a call, we’ll help you get it sorted out. 1-800-464-9208

 

12. Shelters | Gift Ease Index Score: 1

Hyperlite Mountain Gear SheltersWhat is it?
A home for adventurers in the most remote, wild places on Earth. Seriously.
What’s it do?
Weighs less than two pounds, packs down to the size of a crumpled up windbreaker. Wins at existence.
Who’s it For?
Again, the rub: Ultralighters tend to be either tarp people, shelter people or pyramid tent people. And again, give us a call—we can help. And bless your heart for even thinking about stoking someone out this hard.
Things to consider:
Give us a call, we’ll help you get it sorted out. 1-800-464-9208