Your canoe is undoubtedly your heaviest piece of gear and offers the biggest opportunity for weight savings. Carbon and aramid models now boast weights in the mid-30s, and new composite technology is allowing for integrated gunwales—reducing the weight of alumi- num and wood trimmed composite canoes even further. Yes, it costs more—but we expect you’ll find these beauties worth the price a mile into your first expletive-free portage. Our Pick: The 16-foot Keewaydin by Swift Canoe is a show-stopper at just 34 pounds and features 100-percent carbon parts—no wood, bolts or screws to be found here.
34 lbs | $3,400 | www.swiftcanoe.com
You’ll want a carbon fiber blade to match your high-tech boat. Carbon paddles are ultra stiff, ultralight and perfect for lakewater trips. Our Pick: Grey Owl’s lovely Raven with a 12-degree bend will be the envy of your trip mates. We’ve paddled for hours (and hours!) with this blade, and actually sort of forgot that a canoeist’s arms can ever even get tired.
12 oz | $230 | www.greyowlpaddles.com
For seriously lightweight tents, take a page out of the handbook of backpackers and sacrifice a bit of interior space for weight savings. Treated right, ultralight tents can last for years. Our Pick: A serious contender for the title of lightest freestanding tent ever, Mountain Hardwear’s new Ghost UL2 has to be hefted to be believed. At 2.2 pounds it offers solid protection for half the weight of an average two-person backpacking tent. Pair this tissue thin material with a footprint...