The Best Backpacking Accessories of 2022

These accessories might not make or break your trip, but you’ll sure be glad you packed them

Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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Gerber Armbar Slim Cut Multitool ($34)

Gerber Armbar Slim Cut Multitool
(Photo: Courtesy Gerber)

This 0.6-inch-thick gizmo ditches all but the most commonly needed trail tools: a 2.5-inch-long plain-edge folding knife, spring-loaded scissors, and a bottle opener. You can open the tools one-handed, and the slim frame slips easily into your pocket. “It covered all my precision cutting needs, like trimming duct tape to fit a tear in my tent,” said one tester after a trip to West Virginia’s Dolly Sods. 2.1 oz —Justin La Vigne

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Ledlenser NEO5R Headlamp ($80)

Ledlenser NEO5R Headlamp
(Photo: Courtesy Ledlenser)

There was a time when you had to choose between a bright headlamp and a compact one. The rechargeable NEO5R shows us that’s no longer the case. This light can put out up to 600 lumens but weighs just 3.7 ounces, less than half what a similar headlamp weighed a few years ago. The ultra-bright, ultra-compact bulb housing was comfy and easy to adjust while exploring a mountaintop campsite in Panama’s Parque Internacional La Amistad, while the flood and spot beams helped us avoid tripping on rough terrain. Caveat: no red light mode. 3.7 oz —Adam Roy

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Pact Bathroom Kit ($50)

Pact Bathroom Kit
(Photo: Courtesy Pact)

Gone are the days of carrying an ineffective trowel and a raggedy roll of toilet paper for your backwoods bathroom needs. The Pact kit has everything covered, including a bump in quality. It includes a sturdy, compact, half-serrated aluminum shovel, wipes that expand with just a few drops of water, and hand sanitizer, all rolled up in a durable neoprene carrying case that has extra pockets for storage. One compartment comes filled with fungal tablets to drop in your cathole to speed up decomposition. 11.9 oz —Eli Bernstein

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Leatherman Skeletool ($74.95)

Leatherman Skeletool

For the everyday emergency, the Skeletool has everything you need in 8 distinct features. Plus it all comes in under 5oz with a convenient carabiner so it’s easy to find when you need it most.

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Coros Vertix 2 GPS Adventure Watch ($700)

Coros Vertix 2 GPS Adventure Watch
(Photo: Courtesy Coros)

This watch goes big, both in size and feature set. It runs 60 days without GPS and 140 hours with GPS activated—more than double its competition. Notably, the Vertix 2 connects with all five major satellite networks (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, and QZSS) for spot-on location accuracy, which we appreciated while traversing remote drainages below Colorado Fourteeners. A 1.4-inch-wide face allows you to zoom in on contoured, full-color offline maps. Testers also praised the durable titanium bezel and sapphire glass, plus features like weather forecasts, heart-rate monitoring, oxygen-saturation reading, and an ECG sensor. 3.1 oz —Brian McElwee

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Sierra Designs Adjustable Trekking Poles ($30)

Sierra Designs Adjustable Trekking Poles
(Photo: Courtesy Sierra Designs)

These three-section, telescoping poles are among the best bargains we’ve ever seen in the category. A hundred miles of testing proved their durability: the aluminum shafts performed on par with pricier models during 4.5 miles and 3,900 feet of climbing on California’s Mount Baldy. Plus, 16 inches of adjustability (from 37 to 53 inches) and interchangeable snow and trekking baskets are rare for this price. 1.2 lbs —Patrice La Vigne

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Helinox Chair Zero High-Back Chair ($170)

Helinox Chair Zero High-Back Chair
(Photo: Courtesy Helinox)

This chair proves that luxury and low weight aren’t mutually exclusive. It weighs less than 2 pounds and packs down to the size of a roll of paper towels, but unfolds to a throne from which to spin campfire tales. With a 32.5-inch height it accommodates taller users for whom backcountry chair comfort is often unattainable, and the hubbed-pole design is easy to set up. 1.8 lbs —E.B.

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