My PCT gear review is an honest report on how I thought my gear performed while hiking the PCT.
Table of Contents
- PCT Gear Review
- Sleeping Bag – PCT Gear Review
- Kitchen – PCT Gear Review
- Shoes and Socks – PCT Gear Review
- Clothing – PCT Gear Review
- Down Jacket – PCT Gear Review
- Other Clothing – PCT Gear Review
- RainGear – PCT Gear review
PCT Gear Review
Shelter – PCT Gear Review
- Tent # 1 – Big Agnes – Fly Creek Ul 2P– I started with this tent but I’ve never really liked the tunnel tent. Its light, simple to erect and was one of the most popular tents on the PCT. Great tent for most people but just not for me.
- Tent # 2 – Big Agnes – Copper Spur UL 2 Person TENT– The second tent I used on the PCT. I love the side entry, great for comfortable camping (hiking the PCT is not a camping trip) and cooking while in the tent when the weather is bad. Stable in bad weather, double wall and very waterproof. Would be ideal for 2 hikers as a couple. But is on the heavy side, there are lighter options out there.
If I hiked the PCT again – I like the following tents for ultralight thru hiking on the PCT:
- Nemo Hornet Elite 2P – 2lb 1oz (933grams)
- Fly Creek HV2 Carbon 2P – 22oz (625grams)
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultramid 2 -18.85oz (534g)
Read about the best lightweight tents for the PCT in 2021:
Best Lightweight Tents.
Pack – PCT Gear Review
- Backpack – Osprey Packs Exos 58L – Lightweight and comfortable, able to carry heavy loads and still be comfortable, bear barrel will easily fit inside pack both vertically and horizontally.
If I hiked the PCT again – I like the following Backpacks for ultralight thru hiking on the PCT:
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 2400 – 50 litre – 30oz / 852 grams
- Osprey Exos 48 – 48 litres – 36oz / 1030grams
- Osprey Exos 58 – 58 litres – 37oz /1060 grams
- Osprey Levity 45 – 45 litres – 28oz – 780 grams
Read more about the Best Lightweight Backpacks for the PCT in 2021:
Best Lightweight Backpacks.
Sleeping Bag – PCT Gear Review
- Sleeping bag – Sea to Summit Traverse Xt1 -7C (20F) – Note: This sleeping bag is no longer available. There is a lot of choice of very high quality Sleeping bags or ultralight backpacking quilts.
If I hiked the PCT again – I like the following Sleeping Bags and Quilts for ultralight thru hiking on the PCT:
- Feathered Friends Flicker UL 20 Quilt – 20F / -7 – 26oz / 748g
- Enlightened Equipment Revelation – 20F / -7C – 22.5oz / 639g
- Feathered Friends Hummingbird – 20F / -7C – 24oz – 680g
- Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20F / -7C – 29oz / 820g
Read more about the best Sleeping Bags and Quilts for the PCT in 2021:
Best Lightweight Sleeping Bags and Quilts
Sleeping Mat – PCT Gear Review
- Sleeping Mat – Therm-a-Rest NeoAir – Lightweight and it just works great for a comfortable nights sleep.
If I hiked the PCT again – I would use any of the pads listed below.
- Thermarest Uberlite – 8.8oz/250g
- Thermarest Neo Air Xlite – 12oz/340g
- Sea to Summit Ether lite – 12oz/350g
- Nemo Tensor Insulated – 14oz/410g
Read more about the best Sleeping Pads for the PCT in 2021:
Best Lightweight Sleeping Mats
Pillow and Stuff Sack for Clothes – PCT Gear Review
- Therm-a-Rest Stuff Sack Pillow – Light and comfortable.
If I hiked the PCT again – I now use and love the Nemo Elite Pillow
Kitchen – PCT Gear Review
- Evernew Ti Dx Titanium Stove – I started with this stove but moved to a gas stove. Open flame fires from Alcohol stoves are banned from many areas on the PCT. Go with a gas stove like Jetboil.
- Lighter and waterproof matches
- Gas cannister
- 1 litre Titanium pot and lid
- Sea to Summit foldable X-Cup
- Titanium Spoon
- Gerber STL 2 knife
- 2 x 2 Litre Platypus collapsible bottles –
- Sayer Squeeze Filter System – I broke all of the squeeze bladders, they are poor quality. The filter also broke and was replaced under warranty.
- Water treatment tablets
Also, initially I stored my food in a LockSac smellproof plastic zip lock bag. They were constantly breaking and a spent too much money replacing them.
I stored my food in large zip lock bags on all sections of the trail except the Sierras where a Bear Proof, approved, barrel is necessary.
There were no problems with bears or mice attacking me or my food. I did have a rodent (or similar) make a hole in my tent one night (I slept through it) but no food was eaten and I can’t even be sure it got entered my tent. Zip Lock bags worked fine for me and I will continue to use them again in the future to store my food. Oh and by the way, almost every hiker keeps their food inside their tent at night.
Electronics and Camera – PCT Gear Review
- Iphone 5S + headphones + Lifeproof case 149 grams
- Canon PowerShot G16 + Memory Card + Case + Spare Batteries – 473Grams
- Petzl Tikka rechargeable headlamp 85 Gram
- PowerGen 12000mAh USB Battery 425 Gram
- USB electrical charger + Cables 105 grams
Pros – Loved all my electronics and camera.
Cons – I broke 2 x cameras (one with a badly scratched lens, one I dropped in the snow in Washington and the rear screen stopped working, but it still took great photos).
I used 2 lifeproof cases. The first was so badly scratched I couldn’t see the screen very well. I purchased another one in Ashland, Oregon.The microphone adapter for the 2nd lifeproof case stopped working after only 3 weeks, I will return and exchange it.
A waterproof and drop proof case is a must for thru hiking the PCT.
If I hiked the PCT again – I have changed some of my gear and recommend the following:
- Apple iPhone XR unlocked + headphones + cable 149 grams.
- Sony RX100 + spare battery + case + spare memory card 473Grams.
- GoPro – Highly recommended
- Anker 10000mAh Battery Bank plus wall charger- 155 grams (5.47 oz)
Shoes and Socks – PCT Gear Review
Merrell Moab Ventilators with custom orthotics 780 grams Pros – Great price and long life (I was getting 1000+ miles out of these shoes), they make a wide version which is great for my wide feet.
Cons – Not as light as some of the Trail running shoes. I lost many toenails. Is it from the shoes? I don’t thinks so but thought I’d mention it anyway.
If I hiked the PCT again – I have used and personally love all of shoes mentioned below:
Pros Everything, lifetime warranty against holes and you will get holes. Many outfitters along the trail will exchange them if you get holes, no questions asked (just wash them before returning them. Just buy them.
Cons Nil, well I did get holes after 2400 miles!
If I hiked the PCT again – Highly recommended. Just buy these socks.
Clothing – PCT Gear Review
- Short sleeve smartwool shirt 150 grams and Long sleeve smartwool shirt – Awesome, I love everything (except it’s durability) about Merino for hiking on the PCT
- Kathmandu Barga zip of shorts/pants – Below average stay away from them. Better options are: PrAna Stretch Zion Convertible Pants
- Patagonia running shorts – Awesome
- ExOfficio underwear – Great. Long lasting, they reduce bad body smell and feel great
Down Jacket – PCT Gear Review
- Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket – Lightweight, high quality, but there are better option now
Check out this review of all The Best Ultralight Down Jackets
Other Clothing – PCT Gear Review
- Sunhat Sea to Summit 55 grams – Good lightweight
- Sunglasses 50 grams I broke 2 pair of sunglasses on this trip but I need them and they are needed by all in the Sierras in the snow
- REI Merino Wool beanie 60 grams Pros Everything Cons Some brands shrink when washed and dried in a dryer. I had no problem with the REI brand (so far).
- Gloves 65 grams – Great and needed for the cold mornings
- Bandana 66 Grams – Great but I’m not much of a bandana user
RainGear – PCT Gear review
- Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket – Great windproof and waterproof jacket, great choice of colours, lightweight
- Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants – Lightweight, windproof and waterproof. Bottom leg zip broke and was replaced under warranty. Great customer service
The gear I have is almost all high quality. Despite a lot of wear and tear is still good enough to start another thru hike with. Some gear will be replaced or repaired under warranty. There are many other brands that are lighter than the brands I used. Some of which is higher quality, some is less durable, some more expensive.
I hope any future PCT hiker finds this helpful.
Follow my journey and get involved on my Facebook Page
You might like to read: