The Best-Performing Lightweight Hiking Gear

The new Danner Trail 2650 is a lightweight hiking shoe that should be the staple of your warm-weather hiking gear.

lightweight hiking gear gear patrol full lead
Gear Patrol Studios

As temperatures trend upward for the season, there’s an opportunity to shed some weight for days on the trail. Keep it breezy and minimal and you’ll enjoy your hike that much more with plenty of mobility. Whether trekking a section of the Pacific Crest Trail or something a bit more laid back, lightweight gear can meet all your needs while keeping you cool and quick on your feet.

You’ll want a kit that offers breathability and comfort as well as durability. And that is most important when it comes to what’s on your feet. Your footwear especially should inspire confidence with each step on all terrains. With warmer months just on the horizon, we’ve put together a list of the best-performing lightweight hiking gear — including a cutting-edge pair of hikers — to keep you moving and feeling comfortable on any type of trail.

Danner Trail 2650

When it comes to spring and summer footwear, you’ll probably want to shed those heavy-duty insulated boots but without sacrificing stability. Danner understands this delicate balance and built its lightest hiker to date, the Trail 2650. Available for both men and women, the Trail 2650 gives your feet all of the support you’re used to while remaining breathable and ultra-light. Most hiking boots have a rigid heel counter inside the boot for added stability. Danner decided to move it to the exterior with the EXO Heel System, achieving a secure fit without sacrificing comfort.

The Vibram 460 outsole with Megagrip offers deep, multi-directional lugs, providing the ultimate grip in a variety of conditions such as wet and slippery rocks or loose gravel — this capability on any terrain reveals why the Trail 2650 is named for the total mileage of the multi-surfaced Pacific Crest Trail. A mesh liner and strategic perforations in the leather upper assist with airflow so your feet stay cool and dry at all times. At only 24 ounces per pair, the Trail 2650 will keep your focus on the trail and not your footing.

Buy Now: $150

Everything Else to Keep it Light

Index 15 Backpack by Arc’teryx $59
River Shorts by Topo Designs $79
Method Short Sleeve by Rhone $74
Holbrook PRIZM Black Polarized by Oakley $183
Houdini Air Jacket by Patagonia $169
Stow 500mL by HydraPak $14
Uncommon Train Tab by Stance $12
Instinct by Garmin $300
Kor Preshell Hoody by Mountain Hardwear $130
Skeletool CX by Leatherman $80
Houdini Pants by Patagonia $99

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