Lately I’ve felt as though the quest for lightweight outdoor gear has taken all of the glamour and excitement out of backpacking and hiking. We’ve boiled it down to an exact science driven by weight reduction and peak performance. We have forced ourselves to live out of disposable packets like flimsy ziploc bags and drinking bottles. We aim for more miles in less time and at the minimal base weight, but I feel like we are missing the whole point of being where we are at that moment – outdoors in nature’s beauty.
Well I’m tired of it. I’m taking back my enjoyment of the journey. I’m picking gear that works great, is well made, and is enjoyable to look at, feel, and use. It’s time to slow down, enjoy the view and carry gear that stops making me feel like a darn hobo. Of course that doesn’t mean I’m going to go stupid heavy, (sorry Andrew Skurka, couldn’t resist) it simply means that a few extra grams here and there to allow for quality, durable gear is not going to kill me or ruin my enjoyment. Quite the opposite. In fact over the past two years I’ve trimmed over 40lbs off my body weight and increased strength and endurance so I figure that I have a big enough buffer to play with and can easily afford to add back some sensible gear weight. Here’s a perfect example.
Eagle Creek Ultralight Dopp Kit Bag
I’ve replaced my old nasty looking and well worn ziploc bag with an extremely well made, stylish ultralight Pack-It™ Specter Quick Trip dopp kit bag made by Eagle Creek. It weighs just 1oz and measures 10 inches x 4 inches x 5 inches. It has two external zippered pockets, one on either side of the massive (3 liter) main compartment.
The lightweight, water resistant silnylon ripstop that it is constructed from is slightly translucent which really helps in locating items inside the bag before unzipping it. There is a full width grab handle on the top of the bag and a small hang loop on the opposite end.
It is perfect for carrying all of my toiletries, basic first aid items, and emergency repair kit. And yes, that IS a full size toothbrush! I’ve been using this Eagle Creek ultralight dopp kit bag for several months now and have carried it with me for work, vacations, and on multiple hikes. It’s extremely well made, very well designed, and I get a strange kick out of the fact that I’ve made the switch to a real piece of gear that not only gets the job done efficiently, it looks and feels cool to use. And did I mention that it comes with Eagle Creek’s lifetime warrantee? Yeah a toiletry bag, who knew!
I’ll be taking a close look at the rest of my lightweight backpacking gear throughout the year to see where it makes sense to throw away the disposable items and replace them with high quality dependable gear that will last. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.
Disclosure: Brian’s Backpacking Blog was provided with complimentary samples of several pieces of Eagle Creek gear as part of their gear testing and Ambassador program, but was under no obligation to publish a review of this item.