Gizmodo’s Ultimate Backpacking Outfit Isn’t All That Ultimate

Last month I posted a link to technology/gadget site Gizmodo when they wrote a story on how to build a triathlon outfit for under $1000. Aside from the fact that they recommend getting your bike on Craig’s List, the rest of their gear suggestions were pretty solid. They’ve now followed up that article with similar post, this time announcing their selection for the Ultimate Backpacking Outfit.

Gizmodo gear-guru Brent Rose has put together quite a list of equipment and for many of their readers this list is sure to be adequate for their needs. The article starts with the “Core Gear” which includes things like a backpack (Osprey Argon 85), tent (Big Anges Copper Spur UL2) and a sleeping bag (Marmot Plasma 30). From there they fill out their Camp Kitchen with suggestions for a stove (MSR DragonFly) and cookware amongst other items. The “Apparel” section lists options for various layers and the “Stuff You May Want” includes extras that aren’t needed but could still come in handy.

If you’re just in the market for quality gear to replace an older item than this list isn’t especially bad. Most of the gear is high quality stuff from big name companies we’ve all known and used in the past. But the problem I have with Gizmodo’s choices is that for the money they are spending on some of these items there are often better – and lighter – options available. At the start of the article they note that this represents about 80 pounds (36.2 kilograms) of gear, which is an insane amount of weight, particularly when we are all trying to travel lighter and faster these days. Some of the suggestions are also quite subjective of course and many of the items simply wouldn’t be considered mandatory gear for most of us.

My advice to anyone using this article to select their gear is to shop around some and always keep your eye on the the price vs. weight. There didn’t seem to be much regard to either of those factors when the article was written and as a result, if you were to buy all of the suggestions you’d end up light in the wallet but very heavy on the trail.

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