Greatest Low-cost Backpacking Gear of 2023 – Bearfoot Principle

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After I first began Bearfoot Principle in 2014, backpacking was one of many ways in which I turned immersed within the outside world. Every backpacking journey I went on pushed me to develop past my consolation zone and I all the time got here again with a larger perspective.

I consider that these experiences within the open air needs to be accessible to all individuals, no matter who you’re and the place you come from. So over time, I’ve requested many individuals about what obstacles stand of their approach of getting exterior extra. An excellent majority of the solutions I obtained revolved round one factor: cash.

I get it, cash is an actual and mandatory a part of our society, however I don’t need it to cease you from exploring our public lands and exquisite locations. Whereas there are specific objects mandatory to remain protected and comfy on a backpacking journey, it’s not all the time mandatory to purchase the most recent, most high-tech outside gear in the marketplace.

Beneath is my checklist of the perfect low cost backpacking gear that will help you purchase the required gear you have to keep protected and really feel snug with out breaking the financial institution.

Price range Backpacking Necessities

Backpacking Tent

The REI Co-op Trailmade 2 is a superb 2-person finances backpacking tent possibility that’s underneath $200. At 5lb 7 oz, it’s not as light-weight and stuffed with options that dearer backpacking tents have, however it has all the pieces you want for a number of nights out on the path. I really like the mesh high, which gives nice air flow in addition to stargazing on clear climate nights with the rain fly off.

This tent has two doorways and two vestibules so that you and your accomplice every have your individual entry/exit and equipment space for storing. Plus it even comes with a footprint, which is an additional buy for many tents. For those who’re additionally available in the market for a sleeping bag, you should buy a Trailmade Tent + Sleeping Bag bundle and save extra cash.

Store REI Co-op Trailmade 2 at:

Sleeping Bag

A 20-degree bag for underneath $100 is tough to beat which is why the Stoic Groundwork Sleeping Bag is our high decide for finances backpacking sleeping baggage.

This mummy-shaped bag has a draft collar on the neck degree to assist maintain heat in on chilly nights and its water-repellent shell sheds dew and moisture to maintain you dry. It’s vital to notice that although this bag is rated for 20 levels, it’ll probably be too chilly for temperatures underneath 30F (a ten diploma consolation distinction is widespread for sleeping baggage).

Store Stoic Groundwork Sleeping Bag at:

Backpacking Pack

The REI Co-op Trailmade 60 is a strong finances backpacking pack that provides a terrific mixture of performance, sturdiness, and affordability. This pack has a streamlined design with loads of pockets and compartments for storing all your gear and features a built-in rain cowl, making it good for all-weather adventures.

It’s laborious to discover a backpacking pack with as many options as this one at such an inexpensive value level. Whereas it’s not the heaviest backpacking pack in the marketplace, it’s not the lightest both, weighing 3 lb 4oz.

Store REI Co-op Trailmade 60 at:

In order for you a barely lighter pack and don’t thoughts spending a little bit extra money, the REI Co-op Flash 55 is one other strong budget-friendly pack possibility that we see out on the paths usually.

Sleeping Pad

The NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad is a traditional favourite for a lot of backpackers. It’s tremendous light-weight and doubles as a seat or a yoga mat whilst you’re out within the backcountry.

This finances sleeping pad gives average insulation between you and the bottom and the aluminized floor is designed to replicate your physique warmth again onto your sleeping bag to maintain you heat.

For straightforward storage, simply fold it up like an accordion and strap it to your pack. At lower than 60 bucks, this closed-cell foam pad is right for any light-weight backpacker wanting to avoid wasting cash on low cost backpacking gear.

Store NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad at:

For those who desire one thing with a bit extra cushion, the Therm-a-Relaxation Path Scout sleeping pad is a comfortable self-inflating finances alternative. It’s light-weight and has the next R-value than the froth pad above, so it’ll maintain you toasty on chilly nights.

Bearfoot Principle neighborhood member Mary Kathryn used this sleeping pad on all of her backpacking journeys for a few years and beloved it. Whereas it doesn’t compress as small as different pads in the marketplace, it’s a strong possibility for an affordable and comfy sleeping pad. It additionally is available in three lengths: common, lengthy, and brief.

Store Therm-a-Relaxation Path Scout Sleeping Pad at:

Price range Kitchen Gear

Backpacking Range

The Snow Peak GigaPower Range isn’t the most affordable possibility on the market, however it’s the most dependable finances backpacking range — and that’s actually vital! A less expensive range would possibly prevent cash to start with, however you’ll pay for it over time with damaged elements or by it failing within the backcountry.

At $50, the GigaPower range is a private favourite for lots of backpackers as a result of it’s light-weight, compact, and simple to make use of. In simply 3 minutes your water will likely be boiled and able to brew that morning cup of espresso or tea.

I like to recommend this light-weight, reasonably priced backpacking range for all of your backcountry cooking. Plus, it matches within the palm of your hand so it’s the last word area saver, one thing that may’t all the time be stated for many finances gear!

Store SnowPeak GigaPower 2 at:

Backpacking on a budget? Here is my favorite cheap backpacking gear, including the best inexpensive stoves for your backcountry adventures.
Kristen cooking on the Snow Peak Giga Energy Range

If the Snow Peak range is out of the finances, the next-best possibility is the GSI Open air Glacier Camp Range for $30. It’s designed for quick cooking and may maintain a pot as much as 5 inches in diameter, though it will get blended critiques on the longevity of the product.

Cooking Pot

The TOAKS Titanium 750ml Pot is a perfect alternative for backpacking attributable to its ultralight weight, sturdiness, and effectivity. Regardless of its sturdy building, it’s nonetheless a budget-friendly alternative underneath $30, good for these wanting to economize with out compromising on high quality.

Store TOAKS Titanium Pot at:

Water Filter

The Sawyer Mini Water Filter is hands-down probably the most reasonably priced and environment friendly alternative for round $25. Weighing in at simply 2 ounces (yep, 2 ounces), it’s tremendous compact and light-weight. This 0.1-micron filter removes 99.99% of all micro organism, together with salmonella, cholera, and E.coli in addition to 99.99% of all protozoa like Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

It comes with a 16 ozsqueeze pouch to fill with water to filter, however many reviewers observe the pouch is tough to replenish and breaks simply, so we suggest packing a plastic Sensible waterbottle (which the filter thread attaches to).

Then simply filter water proper from the bottle into your hydration bladder or clear water bottle – it’s that straightforward. You possibly can even connect the filter to your hydration bladder hose so you may sip away whilst you hike.

In order for you one thing with the next move price that may filter extra water without delay, the Sawyer Squeeze is one other budget-conscious possibility.

Consuming Utinsel

The humangear GoBites Uno Spork is a wonderful low cost backpacking utensil attributable to its light-weight and compact design, plus it is available in a ton of enjoyable colours! With a spoon on one finish and a fork on the opposite, you’re lined for every type of meals within the backcountry.

Moreover, the sturdy and BPA-free nylon materials ensures that it will possibly stand up to the pains of out of doors use and is straightforward to scrub.

Store humangear GoBites Uno Spork at:

Low-cost Backpacking Clothes & Equipment

Trekking Poles

The Montem Extremely Sturdy trekking poles are well-made and constructed to face up to rugged adventures within the backcountry — plus they’re half of the price of different trekking poles. With 99.9% 5-star critiques, you recognize these are legit.

I’m an enormous fan of trekking poles to take care of stability and shield my knees whereas mountaineering. It’s like having 4 legs on the bottom as an alternative of simply two. So, your physique weight will get dispersed extra evenly throughout the 4 factors of contact.

Mountaineering Boots

Okay, I’m not going to lie. These usually are not “finances” mountaineering sneakers, however that’s as a result of I don’t consider it is best to ever skimp in your mountaineering footwear. Investing in correct footwear is important to stop accidents and blisters on the path and maintain your ft pleased.

You probably have a pair of worn-in tennis sneakers, that’ll get you by in a pinch, however I really consider that investing in an excellent pair of mountaineering sneakers is a worthwhile funding. My go-to mountaineering boot model is Oboz, and I really like the Sypes Low Leather-based Waterproof Mountaineering Footwear. They’re extraordinarily snug, require little break-in time, and can maintain up for a whole lot of miles.

Insulated Jacket

The REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0 is a superb finances purchase for backpacking attributable to its wonderful warmth-to-weight ratio and reasonably priced value level – you’d be hard-pressed to search out one other down jacket underneath $100 that feels this good! That is BFT group member Courtney’s jacket of alternative and it’s tremendous heat and comfy.

The 650-fill-power down insulation gives ample heat whereas nonetheless remaining light-weight and compressible, making it a space-saving possibility for backpackers.

Store REI 650 Down Jacket 2.0 at:

Mountaineering T Shirt

The light-weight and breathable REI Co-op Sahara T Shirt is a mountaineering shirt that can final you season after season with out breaking the financial institution. Created from a mix of polyester and spandex, this shirt is each moisture-wicking and quick-drying, making it good for warm and humid climate. It additionally is available in a ton of enjoyable colours!

Store REI Co-op Sahara T-Shirt at:

Mountaineering Shorts

BFT group member Courtney has been rocking the REI Co-op Trailmade Shorts this season they usually’ve shortly grow to be a favourite on and off the path. Made with a mix of polyester and spandex, these shorts provide flexibility and luxury on the path and have a snug elastic waistband with an elastic wire for match adjustment. In addition they have ample pockets for storing small objects like your telephone, keys, and different necessities.

Store REI Co-op Trailmade Shorts at:


Simply because the solar goes down, doesn’t imply the night time’s over: headlamps are important for nighttime hangouts and that late-night toilet run. The Petzl Tikkina Headlamp is a vital addition to your backpacking gear assortment and can solely set you again $25. It delivers 250 lumens of brightness and has three white lighting settings: proximity, motion, and distance, and runs on AAA batteries.

The one factor I don’t love about this headlamp is that it’s not rechargeable (except you utilize rechargeable AAA batteries).

Elements to Think about Whereas Purchasing for the Greatest Price range Backpacking Gear

Shopping for the perfect backpacking gear comes down to a couple key components: weight, consolation, sturdiness, and value. Usually, the upper the standard, the lighter weight the gear will likely be. However, there are exceptions to this rule with a couple of respected outside gear manufacturers. As I stated, I’m a believer that you just don’t want the highest shelf, most costly gear, although there are some vital issues to remember if you’re discount looking for reasonably priced backpacking gear.


Whereas this may increasingly not make a lot of a distinction on a brief stroll to the campsite, it positively makes a distinction on a rigorous path and in long-distance backpacking. What’s in your pack and in your again could make or break your expertise. The rule for backpacking is that your complete loaded pack weight needs to be not more than 20% of your physique weight.

No matter what number of nights you’ll be out, you’ll have to maintain this in thoughts in terms of what you pack. Purchasing for light-weight backpacking gear is a smart factor to contemplate – your future self will thanks. For tips about find out how to shave off some weight, take a look at this weblog put up.


This one’s a no brainer. You wish to be snug even in uncomfortable moments, proper? Purchase gear and attire that matches nicely and feels good not simply whilst you’re making an attempt it on within the retailer, but in addition if you’re mountaineering uphill or scrambling over a rocky part.

It’s sensible to get fitted for objects that you just’ll be carrying in your physique, like a backpack. Backpacks usually are not common; every model designs its packs in another way, so what works for one particular person won’t work for an additional particular person. Carrying a backpack that doesn’t match correctly can hinder your expertise and efficiency on the path. To stop this, head to the closest outside gear clothes shop, like REI, and get fitted for a backpack so you recognize what model and dimension works nicely in your physique.

Hiker walking down narrow section of trail with rock wall on left side and steep rock slab drop off on right
It’s vital to search out gear that’s snug and matches nicely so you may get pleasure from your day trip within the backcountry


Whether or not you propose to do brief backpacking journeys otherwise you’re a deep backcountry explorer, buying outside gear is an funding and also you need it to final. It’s important that your gear holds as much as your wants on the path, particularly in the event you’ll be out within the backcountry. Plus, it’s extra environmentally pleasant to purchase gear that can final for a few years somewhat than buying new objects 12 months after 12 months. High quality backpacking gear will guarantee your adventures are successful, so search for quality-made merchandise made with sturdy supplies that may stand up to put on and tear. Additionally, remember to take correct care of the gear that you just personal to make it final so long as doable.

Try our gear upkeep and cleansing tricks to lengthen the lifetime of your tent.


I’m certain you’ve seen backpacking gear inside a variety of costs, and also you may be questioning if low cost value = low cost gear. Value issues, and if it didn’t you in all probability wouldn’t be studying this. However, that doesn’t imply that discounted or low cost backpacking gear is of poor high quality. In different phrases, reasonably priced backpacking gear doesn’t mechanically imply low high quality and high-cost gear doesn’t all the time equate to higher high quality. Excessive-quality backpacking gear is extra accessible than you would possibly assume.

First, I counsel you identify your finances for backpacking gear primarily based on the fundamentals you have to be protected, snug, hydrated, and heat. These are the essential necessities for the backcountry: a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, range, water filter, backpack, headlamp, and trekking poles (take a look at our full 3-Day Backpacking Guidelines for extra). Finally, you may combine different objects into your gear assortment down the street. However for now, we’ll give attention to the requirements that can get you the place you wish to go.

It’s vital to notice that purchasing new backpacking gear isn’t the one possibility. Shopping for used outside gear is an effective way to economize in your backpacking setup, plus it’s extra environmentally pleasant. These days, there are many nice used gear outlets that be sure that merchandise are nonetheless in good situation earlier than they’re offered. Listed below are a couple of locations that provide used outside gear:

Additionally, numerous backpacking and tenting gear usually goes on sale. Determine what objects you want and which of them you’ve acquired your coronary heart set on, then maintain a watch out for gross sales so you may snag them when the time is correct. It can save you some main money that approach, particularly on the larger objects like tents, sleeping pads, sleeping baggage, and backpacks. Learn our roundup of 17 Locations to Purchase Discounted Out of doors Gear for an entire checklist of locations to seek for discounted and used outside gear.

Another choice is to hire backpacking gear from a neighborhood store or REI. Renting backpacking gear is a brilliant transfer in the event you’re new to backpacking and aren’t certain you’re going to love it, or if you wish to check out numerous objects earlier than making the funding.

On the lookout for extra backpacking recommendation and equipment suggestions?

Get ready to hit the trails without breaking the bank! We've rounded up the best budget backpacking gear for your next outdoor adventure. From lightweight tents and durable backpacks to comfy sleeping bags and efficient stoves, we've scoured the market to find high-quality gear that won't cost you a fortune. Whether you're a seasoned backpacker or just starting out, we've got you covered with top-notch gear that will help you tackle the wilderness with ease.

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