Budget Ultralight Big 3

Big 3 Budget Ultralight

As many of you may know or may not know my entire backpack was stolen during my A.T. Thru-hike in 2016 in Duncanon, PA. I now have fully rebuilt and replaced my kit and created a lighter and cheaper set up. In this post I will go through my gear and explain what it is replacing.

 

Big 3

The big three for me was a tough chose to be able to balance cost and weight. I previously had an Osprey Exos 58, Sierra Designs zissou 12 sleeping bag, Neo Air x-therm, and a GoLite tent. With extensive research I have now replaced my Big 3 with some great gear.

1. Equinox Aras Pack (Blue/Black)- $40.79 – 20.8oz

 Equinox Aras Pack

I decided to go with a frameless pack and settled on the Aras Pack because I found a screaming deal on amazon.com and I have a small torso size. This pack met all my criteria but the only thing I am not the biggest fan of is the bungie and wing flap system.

2a. Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20 quilt- $280 – 18.11 oz

enigma quilt

I decided to go with a quilt because I found that I tend to over heat with a tradition mummy bag and would have my bag fully unzipped into a quilt most nights. I love this quilt because of its packability and workmanship.

2b. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad Small- $34.95- 10 0z

z lite pad

I went with a foam pad because I liked how I could use it as a back frame for my pack and the durability. My sleeping pad on the A.T. got 3 holes in it over 2.5 months. This will allow me to lighten up my repair kit and not have to carry as much repair tape.

2c. Klymit Pillow X- $24.95- 1.95 oz

klymit_pillowx_angle_v1

I have chosen to go with the Klymit Pillow because it is just slightly lighter than the Sea to Summit Aeros UL pillow. and it was about $10 cheaper too.

3a. Paria Outdoor Sanctuary SilTarp- FREE– 20.5 oz

Paria Outdoor's Sanctuary Siltarp kit

I was fortunate enough that Paria Outdoor Products sent me an overstock model of their Sanctuary Tarp and I plan to use this when I know its not going to be buggy out. This is a very versatile tarp. You can check out my short review here. Along with the tent I do carry a poly-cro ground sheet that weighs 1.6 oz.

3b. Big Agnes Copper Supr HV UL 2- MSRP $449 (we got it cheaper with our REI dividend)- 42 oz/ 2lbs 12oz

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We chose to go with the Copper Spur HV UL2 for our main tent because of its larger floor plan, two doors, and how light weight it is. This has a very similar design to our old Golite tent that was stollen.

 

Summary

After replacing my big three I have roughly spent $570. Granted the quilt was a gift and we used a 20% off and our rei dividend on the tent so in reality I have only spent $250 dollars. Depending on my shelter set up my big three weigh in at 5.8lbs with the Tent and only 4.56 lbs if I go with my tarp set up. my current base weight weighs anywhere between 7.89-9.13 lbs. My old kit’s base weight was roughly 15lbs.

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Comments 2

  • Avatar
    Mike kwortnik : Apr 22nd

    How did your pack get stolen in duncannon? I’m planning on a section hike from swatara gap to duncannon in 2 weeks and would def like to avoid getting mine stolen.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Patrick Donahue : Apr 22nd

      Hi Mike,
      I had left my pack outside of a trail angels house on her deck when I went to grab food. I came back and it was gone. I would just say always keep and eye on your gear.

      Reply

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