Packing Tech

Ultralight Travel Packing List — Carry On Packing Guide – Guide To Backpacking Through Europe

Ultralight Travel Packing List — Carry On Packing Guide - Guide To Backpacking Through Europe

We love touring mild.

However ultralight journey takes it to the subsequent degree by limiting your self packing every part right into a small carry-on measurement backpack. It requires self-discipline. It forces you to be sensible about what you pack. However it’s additionally one of the crucial liberating methods to journey.

On this information, we’ll inform you every thing you want to find out about really touring mild and we’ll speak about our favourite clothes and kit that’s completely fitted to one bag journey.

Ultralight Journey Tips

  • One Bag: You solely want one carry-on sized backpack. 45L is the max measurement that the majority finances airways will permit however skilled one-baggers go for round 22L-40L.
  • Maintain Weight Down: 22lbs (10kg) is the max carry-on weight for many finances airways. Nevertheless, 22lbs is type of heavy for a small backpack so we propose holding your load to round 15lbs.
  • Be Choosy: All the things you deliver must be used a number of occasions. In the event you assume you may use one thing you then in all probability don’t want it.
  • Impartial Colour Garments: Each piece of clothes ought to look good when paired with some other piece of clothes. Primarily, you need to be capable of dress at midnight.
  • Excessive Tech Materials: Excessive-tech materials (each pure and artificial) allow you to put on your garments longer while not having to be washed. That is important for ultralight journey.
  • Backpack Measurement Does NOT Equal Journey Measurement: Keep in mind, you possibly can wash your garments as you journey. So packing for 5 days is admittedly no totally different than packing for 30.
  • Fewer Higher Gadgets: High quality over amount is the secret. Select fewer high-quality gadgets over a number of low cost issues.


The golden rule of ultralight journey is just utilizing one backpack. And we’re not speaking an enormous mountaineering backpack. We’re speaking a small backpack that’s carry-on measurement.

The utmost carry-on sized backpack appears to about 45L — however we’re speaking about ultralight journey so we’ll concentrate on touring with 20L-35L backpacks.

Keep in mind, the smaller the bag the extra you pressure your self to pack mild.

What we love about small backpacks:

  • By no means pay checked baggage charges.
  • By no means fear about airways dropping your baggage.
  • By no means have to attend in your luggage at baggage declare.
  • Simply navigate practice, bus, and aircraft aisles.
  • Simply stroll by way of crowded streets and busy practice stations.
  • Simply retailer your luggage above your seat on trains (so that you don’t lose sight of them).
  • Handsfree journey.
  • Quick and nimble journey so you’ll be able to hit the bottom operating
  • Navigate stairs with ease.
  • You don’t seem like a vacationer (properly, you no less than mix in higher)
  • Much less weight = pleased again.

Backpacks We Advocate

One bag journey has exploded over the previous few years so there at the moment are a handful of nice journey backpacks constructed particularly for ultralight city journey. We’ve listed one of the best backpacks under (in no specific order) — every has its personal execs and cons so take a while researching which options are most necessary to you.


ultralight travel tortuga outbreaker

Tortuga has two backpacks we actually like — the Outbreaker 35L ($269) and the Setout 45L ($199).

The Outbreaker 35L is a heavy-duty and full-featured bag with loads of storage/group choices. It’s a bit of boxy nevertheless it’s sleek-ish and has minimal branding. It has thick padded shoulder straps and a hip belt so it’s snug to put on. The fabric can also be waterproof. However all these options add to the load (Four.6lbs.) and it’s a bit of costly ($269).

Notice: See our Outbreaker Evaluate

The Setout 45L is a bit greater than the Outbreaker and it’s designed as a “maximum-sized keep it up for metropolis vacationers” — which suggests it’s as huge as potential with out going over the carry-on measurement restrict. It’s principally a extra scaled-back model of the Outbreaker so it has thinner shoulder and hip belt padding, fewer group pockets, and fewer options. It’s additionally lighter at Three.3lbs and cheaper ($199).

Out there from the Tortuga web site.

AER Journey Backpack

ultralight travel aer

The Aer Journey Backpack is one other nice choice that will get a number of love from the ultralight journey group. This 33L bag weighs in at Three.7 lbs so it’s large enough to hold your stuff whereas not being too heavy or cumbersome. There’s a respectable quantity of padding on the shoulder straps, loads of pockets to maintain your stuff organized, and the bag is made rather well.

We additionally assume the bag seems good and doesn’t instantly scream “vacationer!”

Observe: See our Aer Journey Backpack Evaluation

The Aer Journey Backpack is $220 from the Aer Web site.


ultralight travel osprey porter

Osprey has been making wonderful mountaineering backpacks for over 40 years they usually at present make a number of nice journey backpacks — specifically the Porter and the Farpoint.

The Osprey Porter 30L is a full-featured backpack that weighs in at solely 2.8lbs. The shoulder straps have an honest quantity of padding and there’s a modest hipbelt. It is among the smaller luggage on our listing however additionally they have a 46L model (which is a bit giant). We like how the Porter doesn’t have any unfastened straps nevertheless it does have a little bit of turtle shell form so it’s not probably the most “trendy” backpacks (it’s not too dangerous although).

The Porter 30 prices round $100-$120. Verify newest costs on Amazon and Zappos.

The Osprey Farpoint 40L is Osprey’s extra strong journey backpack. The shoulder straps and hip belt are snug and there’s loads of area in your stuff. Once more, the bag isn’t probably the most trendy however it’s not too dangerous — particularly the black shade. The Farpoint 40 weighs Three.1lbs so it’s pretty light-weight. Ohh, and it is available in S/M and M/L sizes in order that’s a pleasant function.

Observe: See our Farpoint 55 Evaluate

The Farpoint 40 prices round $120-$160. Examine newest costs on Amazon and Zappos.

Minaal Carry-On 2.Zero

ultralight travel minaal

The Minaal Carry-On 2.Zero is a glossy and attractive backpack. The fabric feels very nice and the general bag is nicely designed and well laid out. In our opinion, it’s the perfect wanting backpack nevertheless it’s additionally costly at $300.

We’d say that the Minaal is actually geared towards ultralight vacationers. Minaal doesn’t record its liter measurement however its dimensions are LxWxH: 55cm x 35cm x 20cm (absolutely packed) / 21.6in x 13.7in x 7.87in. Principally, you’re pressured to be choosy about what you pack (however that’s the entire level about ultralight journey).

The straps have modest padding however they’re snug. Plus, the shoulder straps have load-lifters, which is uncommon on smaller backpacks. There isn’t a hipbelt however you don’t want it because you’re pressured to pack mild. It has a separate laptop computer compartment which is tremendous useful at airport safety. The Minaal Carry-On 2.Zero solely weights Three.12lbs so it’s one of many lightest luggage on our listing.

Out there from the Minaal web site


ultralight travel goruck

GORUCK backpacks have created a cult following — and rightfully so. Their luggage are constructed within the USA they usually’re loopy robust… like actually battle-tested by the US Particular Forces robust. It’s principally a backpack that ought to final perpetually (it even has a lifetime guarantee). However, they’re additionally costly and comparatively heavy.

First, we now have the GR1 — which is available in 21L and 26L variations. They each value $295. The 21L bag weighs in at Three.2lbs. We love the minimalist/army/industrial/badass look. Once more, this can be a compact massive bag so that you’ll want to completely subscribe to the ultralight journey philosophy.

The GR2 is a much bigger model of the GR1 and it is available in a 34L and 40L model. Personally, we expect the 34L is simply concerning the good measurement for ultralight journey (the 40L is just too cumbersome and heavy until you’re a very tall dude/woman). The GR2 has loads of pockets and it’s large enough to hold no matter you’ve got. The 34L model is Four.35lbs and prices a $395 (whew).

Obtainable from the GORUCK web site

Clothes Packing Listing

ultralight packing list

The important thing to packing mild is limiting the quantity of clothes you convey — which suggests it is advisable be sensible about what sorts of clothes you select. That’s why ultralight vacationers have a tendency to purchase garments which might be particularly designed for journey.

It’s All About The Material

Fancy Swiss Material
Some materials even repel water.

Right here’s the deal: you might want to restrict the variety of garments you deliver so meaning it’s a must to put on issues a number of occasions earlier than washing — which is why you want materials that gained’t odor.

The 2 greatest materials for multi-day put on are merino wool and artificial high-tech efficiency materials.

Merino Wool naturally blocks odor, dries shortly, moisture wicking, and is breathable — which makes it a superb choice for underwear, socks, shirts, and base layers. Sure, light-weight merino works properly in the summertime, and no, it isn’t itchy.

However there are some downsides… Merino Wool is dear, it requires particular washing (washed in cool water and air dry), and it’s not all the time tremendous sturdy.

Excessive-tech artificial efficiency materials are very sturdy, breathable/moisture wicking, they usually’re often extra reasonably priced. Nevertheless, many manmade materials maintain on to smells. Fortunately, most high-end materials have anti-bacterial coatings — which helps forestall smells.

Lately you’ll see a whole lot of Merino Wool/Artificial blends — which provides the material traits of each supplies.

Fast Word About Journey Clothes

Nowadays there are a selection of corporations making superb journey clothes that’s each trendy and useful. These use excessive tech materials (both man-made or natural) which might be sturdy, have stretch which provides you a higher vary of movement, resist odors, dry shortly, resist wrinkles, and a few even repel stains and liquids.

Nevertheless, these garments are typically costly — partially due to the standard materials used and partially as a result of most of those corporations are small companies.

That stated, we’ll do our greatest to incorporate extra budget-friendly choices on this information as a result of we understand not everybody needs to drop some huge cash on new garments.

Our Journey Clothes Standards

We search for a couple of traits when selecting the perfect journey garments:

  • Trendy: We solely purchase journey garments that we’d truly put on anytime — that is obligatory. Cargo pockets? Bizarre zip off legs? Plastic feeling? Unflattering cuts? NOPE! Save that for the mountain. We solely put on issues that might look completely regular on the streets of Paris.
  • Sturdy: You’re going to be sporting your garments so much so they should stand up to some abuse.
  • Odor Resistant: It’s straightforward to work up a sweat however it’s not all the time straightforward to seek out the time to scrub your garments — which is why odor-resistant materials are a should.
  • Snug: You need to be snug whereas touring so we search for garments which might be breathable and versatile.
  • Fast Drying: You may end up washing your garments in your sink so that you need materials that may air dry in a single day.
  • Impartial Colours: If all of your garments are impartial then every part will match. Plus, darkish colours assist disguise stains.

Underwear: Three-Four Pairs

light packing list - underwear

We wish to convey three or 4 pairs of underwear. You’ll be able to in all probability get away with two pairs by washing one pair whereas sporting the opposite… however underwear takes up nearly no area so we convey a number of pairs. You possibly can learn extra about why we love journey underwear however principally, we love them as a result of they’re fast drying, moisture wicking, breathable, odor blocking, light-weight, and cozy.

The most effective journey underwear is both made out of particular artificial supplies or light-weight merino wool (nicely, it’s often a merino/artificial mix). Artificial is often cheaper and extra sturdy however merino has higher odor safety however is costlier.

Our Favourite Journey Underwear
  • ExOfficio (Artificial): ExOfficio is the preferred journey underwear model — they virtually invented journey underwear. We personally have a number of pairs and we put on them even once we’re not touring. They’re not too terribly costly — often round $18/pair (costs fluctuate typically). ExOfficio has a number of cuts and types for each women and men. Out there on Amazon and REI
  • SAXX (Artificial): I’ve been sporting SAXX Quest 2.Zero for a number of months and I’m very impressed. The truth is, Nationwide Geographic referred to as them the “final journey boxer” (if meaning something). They’re quick-dry, anti-stink, ultra-light, and have a pleasant pouch in entrance (that’s SAXX’s factor). They’re usually priced round $30/pair. Obtainable on Amazon or SAXX web site.
  • Uniqlo Airism (Artificial): Uniqlo is likely one of the few giant manufacturers that really make respectable high-performance clothes at a low worth — usually $10/pair. Their Airism underwear is common within the journey world as a result of they’re tremendous light-weight (particularly the mesh ones), fast drying, and have anti-microbial/anti-odor properties. I personal a couple of pairs of Airism they usually’re fairly good — they’re not tremendous odor resistant and the reduce won’t be proper for everybody. That stated, they’re solely $10 so there isn’t a hurt in making an attempt them out. Out there from Uniqlo.
  • REI Co-Op Boxer Briefs (Artificial): REI has their very own model of journey underwear that will get pretty good evaluations. They’re usually priced round $22/pair however they’re typically on sale for beneath $15. Obtainable at REI.
  • Underneath Armour (Artificial): UA is one other fashionable model that makes a variety of artificial underwear that works properly for journey. They make numerous cuts/types for each women and men they usually’re obtainable on Amazon.
  • Wool&Prince (Merino/Artificial Mix): Wool&Prince is a small firm that blew up after elevating a bunch of money for merino wool shirts on Kickstarter again in 2013. They now additionally promote 78% merino wool, 22% nylon boxer briefs that get numerous love from the ultralight journey group. Nevertheless, they’re costly at $38/pair. Obtainable at Wool&Prince.
  • Wooly (Merino): Wooly is likely one of the few manufacturers that make a 100% merino wool underwear. They’re additionally pretty reasonably priced as properly. Search on Amazon and you may typically discover them round $25-$30/pair. Nevertheless, some individuals report that they begin to develop holes after a number of months. Obtainable at Amazon

Socks: Four-5 Pairs

packing light socks

Socks are one other issues we don’t like to scrimp on. Identical to underwear, the perfect socks are both made out of particular artificial supplies or light-weight merino wool (nicely, it’s often a merino/artificial mix). Artificial is often cheaper and extra sturdy however merino has higher odor safety however is costlier. Keep away from cotton.

You possibly can in all probability get away with round three pairs, however we favor 4 or 5 pairs so we don’t have to fret about sporting soiled socks. Then once more, I do know individuals who put on a pair for a few week earlier than washing (alternating days between wears).

Professional tip: carry an additional pair of socks in the course of the day and change them out in case your ft begin to get sweaty — it’s a fantastic feeling.

Our Favourite Sock Manufacturers

Relating to socks we have a tendency to stay to some manufacturers. From there, you decide which weight and reduce greatest matches your journey type. Right here is an in depth information to our favourite journey socks.

Listed here are some manufacturers to take a look at:

  • Darn Robust Vermont: We love Darn Robust socks (and so do many vacationers) — particularly since they provide a lifetime guarantee. Virtually all DT socks are merino/artificial mix.
  • Smartwool: Smartwool is among the hottest manufacturers of merino wool mix socks. They make a ton of various types so check out the varied choices.
  • Outlier: Outlier makes a pair of very nice merino wool socks (47% Merino) that use tremendous high-quality wool. They’re pretty costly at $25/pair.
  • Wigwam: Wigwam is an effective high quality price range choice. Most of their socks are a wool/artificial mix.
  • Thorlo: Thorlo makes high quality artificial mix socks which might be very reasonably priced.
  • Balega: Balega will get numerous love — particularly as a result of they make high quality no-show socks (which is kinda uncommon). All their socks are artificial they usually’re reasonably priced.

Pants: 1-2 Pairs

packing light - travel pants

There are many vacationers who solely deliver a single pair of pants. Fact is, you’ll be able to put on the identical pair a number of occasions they usually’re not going to odor. That stated, two pairs ought to be your max.

A high-quality pair of journey pants is an effective funding since you need one thing that’s snug, trendy, and sturdy sufficient to place up with all the things you throw at it. Plus, we solely purchase journey garments that we’ll additionally put on after the journey is over in order that they should look good.

Artificial supplies are actually the one choice as a result of they’re mild, sturdy, and dry shortly. Fortunately, there are lots of actually strong choices with regards to journey pants… sadly, one of the best ones are costly.

What’s the distinction between costly and cheaper journey pants? Principally, the top-of-the-line pants feel and appear identical to regular on a regular basis pants however carry out like technical pants. Cheaper pants begin wanting much more “technical” in order that they’re lots much less trendy.


One other motion shot.

Outlier has actually nailed it with their Slim Dungarees — some even say they’re the right journey pant. The fabric is stretchy so it’s snug nevertheless it’s additionally tremendous rugged and hard. They’re additionally breathable, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, they usually also have a coating to assist them repel liquid. You possibly can principally put on this stuff for months without having to scrub (plus, they are often machine washed and dried). Ohh, and the material feels and appears like regular pants — which is nice as a result of all the things we put on should move the “would this look good in Paris” check… and these move with flying shade.

The primary draw back is the price — $198 per pair. However, I assume that’s the worth you pay for made in USA clothes constructed from high-performance Swiss material. And, to be trustworthy, I might haven’t any qualms about packing these as my single pair of pants.


packing light - bluffworks pants

Bluffworks is the opposite go-to journey clothes firm that many vacationers actually love. They’ve two principal journey pants — the Unique ($98) and the Chino ($125). Each pants are tremendous robust, breathable, moisture-wicking, resist wrinkles, they usually’re light-weight. The Originals are probably the most light-weight however the material doesn’t stretch and appears a bit extra artificial. The Chinos use a extra stretchy material that’s softer, extra informal, and appears/seems like cotton. Out there at Bluffworks

Western Rise

packing light - western rise

Western Rise is an outdoor-inspired clothes firm that makes useful and trendy garments that we might describe as “outdoor-chic.” We’re actually digging the AT Slim Rivet Pant (out there in males’s and ladies’s). They appear to be regular slim-fitting pants however they’ve the advantages of technical material. The material has a pleasant construction, texture, sturdiness, and stretch nevertheless it does have a barely artificial really feel (which is nearly unavoidable).

AT Slim Rivet Pant retails for $129 and is on the market from Western Rise. Click on right here to get $20 off your first buy. 

Ministry of Provide

packing light - ministry of supply pants

Ministry of Provide makes probably the most dressy journey clothes we’ve ever seen. Their pants principally appear to be gown slacks and chinos however the high-performance material has stretch, is wrinkle resistant, wicks moisture, and repels water. These garments are just a little too dressy for our journey type however this can be a nice choice if it’s worthwhile to look additional snazzy.

They provide a couple of totally different types and cuts however they’re all priced round $145. Obtainable at Ministry of Provide.


packing light - uniqlo pants

Uniqlo is your go-to place for reasonable garments which are constructed from high-tech materials. In fact, you’re not going to get the identical high quality from Uniqlo as you’ll from different manufacturers on this listing however we advise testing their choices when you’re on a very tight finances. We additionally recommend making an attempt on their garments earlier than shopping for as we’ve discovered that sizing is usually a little inconsistent.


packing light - pants prana

Prana is among the extra trendy “outside” manufacturers and their Brion pants are their hottest merchandise. The material is sturdy, tender, has Four-way stretch, dries shortly, and repels water. Personally, we expect the pants are minimize somewhat too vast/unfastened in order that they nonetheless give off a slight outdoorsy/tech-y vibe… however you’ll be able to all the time get them tailor-made for $20-$30. They retail at $75 however you’ll be able to typically discover them on sale. Out there at Prana.


We’re not the most important followers of denims for ultralight journey however we nonetheless love the look of denim. These Newton Denims from Rohan are made with a mix of cotton and quick-drying Coolmax polyester. They gained’t dry as shortly as different pants on this listing however they do dry 30% faster than regular cotton denims.

Button Up Shirts: 1-2 Shirts

packing light - travel shirts

Most ultralight vacationers solely pack one or attainable two long-sleeve button-up shirts. The hot button is versatility so that you need one thing that appears presentable at a restaurant however can also be informal for on a regular basis put on. Button ups are additionally good as a result of you possibly can roll up the sleeves when it’s scorching or roll them down if you want extra heat or a extra polished look.

Persist with darkish materials as a result of these disguise stains higher and wrinkle resistant materials are an enormous plus. You’re additionally going to put on your shirt a number of occasions earlier than washing so merino wool and high-tech artificial materials come in useful right here.

Wool & Prince

packing light - wool and prince shirt

Wool & Prince makes wonderful merino wool button-down shirts in a number of colours. As you possibly can see, these are nice wanting shirts. The material feels good, seems nice, is sturdy, and is pretty smooth. I personal two and have worn them for a number of days and by no means had any points with any odor. In truth, the proprietor wore his for 100 days with out ever cleansing or ironing so you would simply put on this shirt day-after-day of your travels. The one actual care instruction is that it may possibly’t be machine dried.

The primary draw back is the worth. Every shirt is $128. However, they need to final for years with correct care. Out there at Wool & Prince.


packing light - outlier

Outlier is our different best choice on the subject of trendy and practical journey shirts — particularly their NYCO Oxford ($120). The NYCO Oxford is 76% cotton, 24% nylon so it breaks our “keep away from cotton” rule however I nonetheless actually like this shirt. It makes use of a particular weave and a particular coating that helps repel water shocking nicely. Like all Outlier gear, it ain’t low cost… however the high quality is top-notch. Out there at Outlier.

Ministry of Provide

packing light - ministry of supply shirt

Ministry of Provide is your go-to model for high-tech dressy journey garments. Their Apollo Three Gown Shirt is tremendous breathable and versatile (the material was developed by NASA). Plus, the wrinkles fall out after you put on it for about 10 minutes and the shirt is mechanically cleanable. Their Aero Button Down is analogous nevertheless it’s a bit extra informal however it’s nonetheless definitely “dressy” wanting. Each shirts are $115. Out there at Ministry of Provide.


packing light - bluffworks

Bluffworks makes a pleasant wanting high-performance shirt that’s tremendous light-weight and breathable. It’s manufactured from two-way stretch artificial material that doesn’t wrinkle and has antibacterial properties. It is available in three totally different colours and we additionally like the way it is available in each basic and slim match. We additionally like how it may be dressed up or worn extra casually. Their Meridian shirt prices $125. Obtainable by way of Bluffworks

T-Shirts: 2-Four Shirts

packing light - travel tshirts

We all the time journey with a number of impartial colour t-shirts. You’ll be able to definitely get by with as little as two t-shirts however we personally want to pack three of 4. Our best choice is merino wool (or a wool/artificial mix) as a result of it tends to look a bit of nicer than artificial shirts they usually last more earlier than smelling. Plus, it makes a pleasant base layer in colder temperatures.

The primary draw back to merino, aside from the fee, is the sturdiness. Merino wool tends to be a bit extra fragile when it’s light-weight however higher-quality merino tends to be thicker so it holds up higher. Including in a little bit of artificial materials actually helps with the sturdiness — which is why you’ll see many corporations providing a mix.

Once more, merino wool shirts are costly. Many finances vacationers will decide up one good shirt after which deliver a number of cheaper artificial choices for once they need to give the merino a break.

Additionally, artificial isn’t essentially dangerous. It dries shortly, could be tremendous breathable (which is superb through the center of summer time), is sturdy, and wicks moisture properly. Most artificial materials are likely to look “artificial” in order that they’re not all the time trendy however we’ll attempt to record a number of good choices. One observe: low cost synthetics will maintain on to odor (typically even after you wash them) and should require a particular detergent to get the stink out.


packing light - outlier tee

I personal two Outlier Ultrafine Merino Wool T-shirts ($110) they usually all the time make it into my backpack once I’m on the street. It’s a pleasant weight, delicate, and constructed rather well (mine are three years previous they usually’re nonetheless holding up properly). Outlier additionally has a long-sleeve model ($125). There’s additionally a extra light-weight model referred to as the Runweight Merino ($88) that’s s a merino/polyester mix — that is in all probability higher for journey within the lifeless of summer time.  However, like every thing from Outlier, these are costly. Obtainable at Outlier.

Wool & Prince

packing light - wool and prince tee

The Wool & Prince Crew Neck is one other strong wool/nylon mix t-shirt that we love. Their tees get plenty of reward from the journey group as a result of they’re well-made they usually are available a ton of various colours. The brief sleeve shirts are $68 and the lengthy sleeve shirts are $84. Obtainable at Wool & Prince.


packing light - olivers shirt

Olivers Convey Tee ($68) is one other 100% merino wool choice that’s in style within the ultralight journey mild group. There’s additionally the Olivers Terminal Tech Tee ($68) which is 54% merino, 46% polyester so it’s somewhat extra sturdy and dries somewhat faster. Obtainable at Olivers.


packing light - unbound shirt

Unbound is one other firm that makes 100% merino t-shirts. We like that these are simply easy, well-made shirts with no branding they usually are available black, gray, and navy. Priced at $65 every, it’s a strong merino t-shirt for the worth. Out there at Unbound.

Duckworth Vapor

packing light - duckworth

Duckworth is a small firm based mostly in Montana that grows its personal sheep on their very own ranch and the shirts are made on website (which we expect it fairly cool). Their Vapor t-shirt is prime notch. It’s made out of 38% fantastic merino, 50% recycled Polyester, and 12% Modal. The Vapor is tremendous delicate, naturally odor resistant, sturdy, and breathable. They promote for $68 every and are available a number of colours.


Uniqlo makes a handful of artificial and artificial/wool mix shirts which might be tremendous low cost. Their AIRISM shirts are loopy light-weight, wick sweat, and dry tremendous shortly (their HEATTECH is designed for chilly temperatures as a base layer however I discover they work in the summertime as properly). They do have an artificial look however it’s not too dangerous. Additionally they have polly/cotton blends that look nearer to a regular t-shirt. Uniqlo’s development isn’t superb and sizing is usually a little inconsistent however their t-shirts solely value $6 to $15 so it doesn’t harm to provide them a attempt. Obtainable at Uniqlo.

Shorts: Zero-2 Pairs

packing light - travel shorts

We are likely to not put on shorts until we’re touring in Southern Europe however increasingly more Europeans are sporting shorts in the course of the summer time so that you gained’t actually “stand out” if in case you have shorts on. That stated, we advise a pleasant wanting pair that is a bit more fitted if you wish to mix in — i.e. don’t put on fitness center shorts or something with cargo pockets.


packing light - shorts outlier

Outlier makes two good wanting and excessive performing technical shorts — OG Free Methods ($175) and the New Approach (is available in lengthy for $130 and brief for $120). These are each nice shorts however they’re costly. However, if in case you have the money then go for it. Obtainable at Outlier.


packing light - prana shorts

The Hybridizer Brief is a pleasant wanting pair of 96% Polyester / Four% Spandex shorts which might be moisture wicking and fast drying. I want they have been an inch or two shorter however you’ll be able to all the time roll them up. They value $75.

One other nice choice is the Brion Brief. We expect they appear good they usually’re 97% Nylon / Three% Spandex in order that they’re dry shortly. Thet often value $65. Out there at Prana.

Myles Attire

packing light - myles shorts

The Myles On a regular basis Shorts are probably the most “athletic” of the shorts we advocate however they nonetheless handle to seem like regular shorts. We love the four-way stretch and their capability to repel water as nicely. Obtainable for $58 at Myles Attire.


We don’t have any particular suggestions as a result of Uniqlo modifications up their choices every season however they need to have a couple of choices.

Golf Shorts

A number of athletic manufacturers make golf shorts that use efficiency materials. Attempt a couple of on to see if any be just right for you.

Footwear: 1 Pair (Perhaps 2 pairs)

packing list - travel shoes Not my ft 🙂

The objective of ultralight journey is just bringing one pair of footwear. In fact, that’s simpler stated than completed.

For us, we are likely to put on snug sneakers. “Trend” sneakers are fashionable in Europe so don’t really feel such as you’ll look misplaced by not sporting fancy Italian leather-based footwear. Cool Nikes, New Stability, Adidas, Allbirds, and so forth. will all work

Waterproof footwear is useful should you’re touring within the spring, fall, or winter. Contemplate a sturdy pair of trainers within the winter.

In the event you do convey multiple pair, be certain that it’s a light-weight pair since you’re not going to have a lot room in your backpack.

Want extra ideas for purchasing footwear? Examine our information to the perfect journey footwear.

Rain Jacket (Elective)

packing light - rain jacket

You’ll be able to in all probability get away with not bringing a rain jacket in the summertime however it’s clever to deliver one within the fall/spring/winter. The secret is discovering one which’s tremendous light-weight and packs away right into a tiny ball when not getting used. We’ve listed our favorites under.

Patagonia Houdini

The Houdini jacket is loopy mild at Three.6oz (that’s principally a deck of playing cards). And, in fact, it packs down right into a tiny ball. It’s an amazing choice as a result of you possibly can throw it in your bag and overlook about it till you want it. Plus, we additionally dig the straightforward styling. Nevertheless, this jacket isn’t designed for sustained heavy downpours — nevertheless it’s nice for metropolis journey because you in all probability gained’t be strolling for hours at a time within the rain. It’s a strong summer time jacket. The Houdini often prices round $99. Out there by way of REI and Amazon

Outside Analysis Helium II

The Outside Analysis Helium II will get a ton of affection as a result of it’s insanely light-weight at round 6oz and it packs right down to the dimensions of an apple. It’s a fantastic summer time jacket. It often sells for $140-$170 so it’s somewhat expensive. Out there by way of REI and Amazon.

Outside Analysis Helium HD Rain Jacket

The Helium HD Rain Jacket is just like the Helium II however it’s just a little heavier at 9oz (which continues to be loopy light-weight). It does have a number of additional options like entrance pockets and pit zips. It’s additionally costly at round $200. Out there by way of Amazon.

Marmot PreCip Jacket

I’ve owned the PreCip Jacket for a few yr and it’s gotten me by way of wet days in Rome, Barcelona, Florence, and NYC. Positive, it’s not the lightest jacket on the listing (it weights respectable 11oz) nevertheless it’s nonetheless a lot mild and it feels sturdy. The PreCip often sells for about $100. Out there by way of REI and Amazon.

Patagonia Torrentshell

The Torrentshell weighs in at 12.1 ouncesso it’s slightly extra strong than different jackets on this record however it’s nonetheless very light-weight. It’s a real rain jacket and can hold you dry all day. It’s priced round $130. Out there by way of REI and Amazon.


It doesn’t harm to examine Uniqlo’s choices as a result of they often have a number of low cost jackets. They’re undoubtedly not going to be as mild or high-quality the opposite jackets on this record however they’ll be lots cheaper (often $40-$50).

Packable Puffy Jacket

packing light - down jacket

A light-weight down jacket is unattainable to beat for cool/chilly climate journey. Down is loopy light-weight however it supplies a ton of heat. On cool days down jackets work nicely as an outer layer and on actually chilly days it makes a superb insulating layer when paired with a heavy coat.

It can be compressed tremendous nicely so you’ll be able to smush your jacket right down to the dimensions of a shoe so it’s straightforward to pack away.

One factor to think about is whether or not you need a hood. We choose no hood in case you’re utilizing it as a mid layer or not in actually chilly climate as a result of the hood provides slightly additional bulk.

Nevertheless, there are a number of downsides to light-weight down jackets. First, they are often costly. And second, the material might be fragile so it might tear in case you get it snagged on one thing sharp.

NOTE: Down is comprised of duck or geese feathers. Some cheaper manufacturers supply their down from inhumane suppliers who pressure feed and live-pluck their birds. We urge you to purchase manufacturers who get their down from humane and sustainable sources (like Patagonia). Or you’ll be able to select a jacket that makes use of artificial down.

Patagonia Down Sweater

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody isn’t probably the most light-weight jacket on our record (it’s nonetheless actually mild at 13.1 oz) nevertheless it’s an amazing wanting jacket that may hold you toasty. There’s additionally a hoody model if you would like a hood. Priced at $229 — by way of Amazon and REI.

Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket

The Plasma 1000 is insanely mild at solely Four.eight oz. (it’s the lightest we’ve ever seen) But, it makes use of 1000 fill down which helps present a variety of heat (contemplating how mild it’s). This jacket is actually extremely minimalist so it has no additional options (i.e. pockets or hood). That is an costly jacket so anticipate to pay round $330 for this dangerous boy.

Montbell additionally sells the Ex Mild which is barely “heavier” at 6.2 oz. and it’s slightly “cheaper” at $270. Out there at Montbell

Patagonia Micro Puff

The Micro Puff is basically mild at solely 9.Three ouncesand it offers a shocking quantity of heat for its weight. It’s expensive at $299. Out there by way of Amazon and REI.

Patagonia Nano Puff

The Nano Puff (11.9 oz) is a bit heavier than the Micro Puff however it supplies just a little extra heat. It’s additionally extra reasonably priced at $199. Obtainable by way of Amazon and REI.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket

With a reputation like “Ghost Whisper” this jacket needs to be mild. And at solely 7.2 ouncesthey’re not mendacity. This jacket will get a number of love as a result of its water-proof and has pockets. The Ghost Whisper can typically be discovered for underneath $180 so it’s barely extra reasonably priced than different jackets. Obtainable by way of Amazon and REI.


Uniqlo all the time has a couple of artificial down jackets obtainable for very affordable costs — often round $60-$70. Don’t anticipate loopy function or extremely light-weight nevertheless it’s a great budget-friendly choice.

Packing Cubes

Touring with a small backpack poses somewhat extra problem with it involves packing all of your clothes — which is why packing cubes come in useful. They make it straightforward to separate all of your clothes so you understand precisely the place to seek out issues. It additionally makes packing and unpacking your backpack simpler since every part is contained in its personal area.

Virtually all packing cubes are pretty light-weight so one model isn’t that a lot totally different than the opposite. However in the event you actually need to minimize the load then the Eagle Creek Specter system of packing cubes is probably the most light-weight cubes we’ve come throughout. We use them they usually’re loopy mild and waterproof. Take a look at Amazon for packing cubes — there are a number of manufacturers they usually largely perform the identical so learn the critiques.

Toiletries / Private Care Gadgets

packing light - toiletries

Alright, let’s dive into toiletries. It’s essential to restrict what you convey since liquids, gels, lotions, and so forth. are tremendous heavy.

Toiletry Luggage

First, you want a toiletry bag. Some individuals simply use a plastic Ziploc bag (makes going via airport safety straightforward) however we favor a small, light-weight toiletry bag — ideally one with a hook (European loos are tiny) and water-proof.

  • The Sea to Summit Travelling Mild Hanging Toiletry Bag is nice as a result of it’s compact, light-weight, and had a hook — buts its sort of costly at round $35 (by way of Amazon)
  • The Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Fast Journey Toiletry Bag is small, tremendous light-weight, and reasonably priced however doesn’t have a hook (by way of Amazon for round $20). 
  • The NeatPack Compact Hanging Toiletry Bag has a hook and it’s reasonably priced however may be just a little huge for hardcore ultralight vacationers (round $18 at Amazon)
  • The Osprey UltraLight Zip Organizer is an alternative choice that’s mild and has a hook (by way of Amazon for round $35).
  • We use the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Wallaby however it’s typically unavailable… perhaps it’s being discontinued, unsure. You may have the ability to discover it at REI for round $30.


First, you want one thing to carry your liquids. The Humangear GoToob line of journey containers are the most effective as a result of they don’t leak — shampoo-covered clothes isn’t enjoyable. Verify Amazon to see the complete Humangear line however we propose the GoToob Three-Pack – Giant.

We pack fairly minimally on the subject of private care gadgets. Here’s what we use:

In fact, your wants is perhaps a bit totally different however you’ll be able to all the time purchase stuff once you arrive.

Journey Towel

packing light - travel towel

We advocate packing a journey towel for those who’re staying in hostels. That stated, some hostels will present towels however many don’t or they’ll cost additional for them.

What’s the distinction between a journey towel and a traditional towel? Easy: Journey towels are light-weight, extremely absorbent, dry inside a couple of hours so that you don’t have to fret about packing a moist towel — which can odor musty and make all of your garments odor dangerous. Regular towels take a number of hours to dry and are very cumbersome.

Journey towels come both artificial microfiber and pure linen. Most towels are comprised of microfiber however some individuals get actually irked by the texture of microfiber — particularly a budget stuff. If that’s you, take a look at linen. Linen doesn’t fairly carry out as properly nevertheless it does really feel quite a bit higher in your pores and skin.

  • Packtowl Private Packtowl is a microfiber towel that’s a favourite amongst vacationers. It absorbs 4x its weight in water, dries shortly, and it’s reasonably priced. It’s additionally fairly tender. It’s often round $25 at Amazon. 
  • Rainleaf Microfiber Towel is a superb finances choice that prices round $15 at Amazon.
  • The Outlier Grid Linen Towel is a private favourite. This 100% linen towel is produced from high quality material and we’ve used it a number of time. That stated, it’s additionally costly and It doesn’t carry out in addition to the Packowl — nevertheless it “feels” nicer. The massive prices $59 and the additional giant is $88.


Osprey Farpoint 55 with daypack eliminated.

We often carry a small, light-weight backpack in the course of the day. You simply need one thing large enough to hold a small pocket book, a number of pens, some snacks, an additional pair of socks, a digital camera, and perhaps an excellent mild rain jacket. You additionally need the daypack to be sufficiently small to pack away into your principal backpack for once you’re touring.

Observe: these ultralight daypacks aren’t designed to carry a lot weight. Most don’t have a lot (if any) construction and little or no padding — overloading will end in again ache.


packing light - electronics

Everybody vacationers with electronics today. For the ultralight traveler, the secret’s to be sensible about what you deliver.


A smartphone is the must-have journey gadget. Even when you don’t have knowledge you’ll be able to nonetheless discover loads of free WIFI so you’ll be able to guide tickets, do analysis sights, and scope out locations to eat. Plus, any trendy smartphone takes superb photographs. Take a look at our information to utilizing smartphones and knowledge plans in Europe.

Don’t overlook a transportable charger! We love the lip-stick sized Anker PowerCore+ charger ($20 by way of Amazon). Absolutely charged, it has sufficient juice to cost your iPhone two occasions. In the event you want extra power, Anker has a number of choices.

Pill/Laptop computer

Should you’re really touring mild then we propose skipping the laptop computer. As an alternative, we advocate an iPad. Critical customers can pair their iPad with a slim Bluetooth keyboard and also you’re set.

Compact Digital camera

A high-end compact digital camera is ideal if you’d like very nice pictures — massive DSLR cameras are out of the query for ultralight journey. Most common customers are proud of pictures from their smartphones. We’ve written a information about our favourite journey cameras however listed here are our prime picks:

Don’t overlook reminiscence playing cards!


Energy retailers are a scorching commodity in Europe. We’ve stayed in hostels that solely had two retailers in a room with 10 individuals. And lots of resorts and rental flats aren’t a lot better. The Belkin Journey Energy Strip with USB ports is a superb compact choice that additionally has USB — which is important today (Observe: you’ll want a plug adaptor as properly – see under).


You’ll want a number of plug adapters. We just like the Ceptics USA to Europe Journey Adapter Twin USB as a result of it should match about any European plug and it has USB. These Ceptics Extremely Compact adaptors are smaller however don’t have USB. 

Notice: voltage adapters are heavy and hulking they usually’re usually not wanted (plus, they typically malfunction). Learn our information for touring with electronics to seek out out extra details about utilizing electronics in Europe.

Journey Equipment

Listed here are a couple of random issues that may come in useful as you’re touring.

No Humorous Enterprise

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Thanks For The Help! — Susan and James

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