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Appalachian Trail Gear Scores | Average Hiker

Zpacks Plex Solo I used on the second half of the Appalachian Trail

These are only my opinions. I would love to hear yours.

There are longer gear reviews for some gear, and I’ll create more reviews as time allows.

Return to this page as I continue adding the equipment I used!


Katabatic Flex Quilt with a full zipper.

9/10 – The Katabatic Flex 15-Degree Quilt is lightweight, compresses well, is warm, and durable. This quilt meets all my requirements for long-distance hiking, and I would carry it again. I also have a Sawatch quilt that is just as good as the Flex. I prefer the Flex because it has a full zipper, which makes it a more versatile quilt for three-season hiking. See Review

9/10 – The Katabatic Flex 30-Degree Quilt is another excellent quilt by Katabatic. I used the quilt from Connecticut until the AT was completed on 9/7. It is an incredibly lightweight quilt at only 20.3 ounces for the regular and performs as well as all my other Katabatic quilts. The difference is that I ordered a WIDE this time and will order wide quilts in the future since I toss and turn so much.

Therm-A-Rest Neoair Xlite Sleeping Pad

8/10 – The Therm-a-rest Neoair X-lite Sleeping Pad is lightweight, and the updated NXT is thicker and warmer. I have used the NXT’s predecessor for years and find it comfortable and durable. I gave it an 8 because it developed a slow leak on my recent AT thru-hike after about 5,000 miles of use. I will be upgrading to the NXT. See Review

10/10 – I give the Gossamer Gear 1/8″ Thinlight Pad such a high score because it has so many uses for me. Mostly, I cut it in half and put it under my sleeping pad to keep it from sliding around in my tarp tent. It is also my sleeping pad and a great backup pad when my inflatable decides to dive on me. See Review

Aeros Premium Pillow Gift

10/10 – This Sea-to-Summit Aeros Premium Pillow is one of those pieces of gear I wish I had purchased years ago! It is lightweight and durable, and it has about 3,000 miles on it now. Sleep makes a huge difference in my hiking, and this pillow has vastly improved my sleep quality. This is one of my favorite pieces of gear.


ULA Circuit Backpack

9/10 – The ULA Circuit is the backpack I used on my AT thru-hike this year. The pack is comfortable, lightweight, and durable. I’ve used a lot of backpacks over the years, and this pack finds the right balance of comfort and weight. I currently use the regular Circuit, but the lighter, highly water-resistant Ultra version of the pack has been ordered.


9/10 – The Zpacks Plex Solo tent is only 13.9 ounces, which is why I chose this tent. Finding the balance between weight and comfort has become more important as I’ve gotten older. I switched to the Plex Solo in Harper’s Ferry when the hub on my new Big Agnes Tigerwall broke. I have also used the Altaplex and Duplex, so I know I get a solid shelter when I order from Zpacks. I have reviews for both shelters.

Big Agnes Tiger Wall on the New England Trail

7/10 – The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL1 tent is not a tent I would use again on a thru-hike. It is a tent I would use for short-section hikes. My review is at the Big Agnes link above. Tentmakers are in a rush to make the lightest tents on the market now, which is reflected in the materials used to make these tents. I recently switched to a Hammock Gear Tarp and look forward to no tiny zippers!

This page has affiliate links for products and gear I purchase and use. If you click on one of these links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. There may also be Amazon links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more about my thoughts on affiliate marketing.

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