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Ultralight hiker – bringing the world of ultralight to Australia

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

The world of ultralight hiking has gone through a transformative change over the last few years but that change hasn't always been seen here in Australia. The ultralight gear which has become standard around the world is typically hard to find in Australia but Ultralight Hiker Australia is seeking to change that by offering this gear to an Australian market. Today I'm going to run through some of their most popular products and tell you if they are worth your time and money.



Who are Ultralight Hiker?


Before I jump into the reviews I thought that I would give a brief overview of who Ultralight Hiker are. Started in March 2019, Ultralight hiker was created to help fellow hikers here in Australia to get the ultralight gear you can find overseas but not here at home. Early on they identified this gap in the market here in Australia and built a brand trusted by hikers to provide the gear they were after.


As they became more established they started to produce their own gear including dry bags, pocket pouches and more. Now they are about to open their first store Black Rock, Melbourne which will take their passion for providing ultralight gear to a whole new level.


So that’s who Ultralight Hiker are but what do I think of some of their most popular products?


 

Ultralight Shoulder Pouch

This ultralight and convenient shoulder pouch has honestly been something I've wanted for a long time. My phone usually sits in my bag but this always made me frustrated when I wanted to get a good photo as we would need to stop, get out my phone, take the photo and then put it back.


This handy attachment to the shoulder strap of your bag solves this problem by creating an easy place to put your phone, snacks and other commonly used items. It is also really light… 28 grams light and that is one of its biggest selling points. The Siamese clip on the back of the pouch is super easy to attach to any bag, slipping under the tightening strap with the elastic band on the back then making sure it sits nicely on your bag.


Pros:

  • Sits nicely against your bag

  • Ultralight weighing just 28g

  • Allows for easy access of items

  • Australian made from Dyneema

Cons:

  • Quite expensive, costing $70 AUD

Our rating: 4.5/5


Our rating: 4.5/5



 

CNOC Vecto 2L Water Carrier

The CNOC 2L water carrier is one of the many different products that Ultralight Hiker import from overseas. This brand is an American company which provides quality ultralight gear and now you can get it in Australia too!


This bottle is a perfect alternative to a water bladder which I've personally fallen out of favour with due to the extensive cleaning involved after use due to the build-up of bacteria around the tube. Without the tube, this water carrier is really easy to clean and use allowing me to store water in my bag and transfer it to my bottle when I need it.


It’s also a really good way to carry extra water for when you reach a period along the trail which doesn’t have many opportunities to fill up. It can simply sit empty in your bag until you need it because it is so light and rolls up nice and small.


Pros:

  • The flexible material allows it to fit into any space in my bag.

  • Opens at both ends allowing me to let out a lot or little water.

  • Lightweight and only weighs 76g.

  • Price on par with similar quality products at $35 AUD.

Cons:

  • Cap doesn't feel as secure as I would like.

  • Maximum temperature rating is 49°C so you must let boiled water cool before you put it in.



Our rating: 4/5



 

Insulated Food Pouch Cozy

For some, having a dedicated insulated food pouch can seem a little excessive but I think if you are planning on eating a lot of freeze-dried meals on a hike then it’s almost a must. After filling up a meal with boiling water, a standing time of 5-10 min is often required. That standing time can sometimes let it go cold and I’m someone who likes to have my meals hot so this pouch was pretty handy at making sure they remained nice and warm before I ate them.


Though it is pretty good, if you are planning on leaving it in there for more than 20 min you may be disappointed in how long your meal will stay hot. This will keep your meals slightly warm for quite a long time but not forever so don’t go filling it up in the morning expecting it to be good for lunch.


Pros:

  • Helps keep meals hot while standing.

  • Closable lid for added insulation.

  • Very lightweight at just 20g.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t insulate for very long periods.



Our rating: 3.5/5



 

Dyneema Food Bag

Now this must be my favourite Ultralight Hiker product as it just blows any other dry bag and food bag I’ve ever owned out of the water. The ultra-pliable Dyneema moulds to whatever you put into the bag and then it easily rolls up to fit into your pack.


Even though it is made for food I’ve used it for practically anything including my sleeping gear which needs a tight fitting bag to slot into the bottom of my pack alongside my sleeping bag. When I’m entering a alpine or high precipitation environment I like to make sure that everything I carry is in a dry bag and this one is just miles above the rest. I thought I wouldn’t know the difference but once you get one, you’ll know the difference instantly… especial after years of a cheap K-mart equivalent.


This bag comes in three sizes of Small, Medium and Large, all of which are great for different types of gear and food. In addition to the food bags, Ultralight hiker also stock serveal other types of dry bags or a range of purposes.


Pros:

  • Moulds to the shape of the objects inside.

  • Super lightweight at just 34g.

  • 3 sizes allowing for lots of choice.

  • Easy clips for sealing the bag.

  • Quick seal button so everything stays in the bag while in use.

Cons:

  • No cons here!



Our rating: 5/5



 

Polycryo Ground Sheet

I don’t use a ground sheet too often as I like to stick out of the rain so I don’t find myself needing one but I can say that this ground sheet has something which you rarely see, though material while remaining lightweight.


Weighing under 100g and stretching 1.6m x 2.4m it fits pretty well under any 1 person and 2 person tents. It also won’t break the bank like most Ultralight gear costing you around $25 AUD on the Ultralight Hiker store.

Pros:

  • Durable and Lightweight.

  • Fits 1-2 person tents.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t fit larger or wider tents.



Our rating: 4/5



 

So that is what I think of some of the most popular Ultralight Hiker products. Just recently they announced they would be opening a physical store you can visit to check out all the gear in person at 3, 111 Bluff Rd, Black Rock VIC 3193. Their store opens January 10th 2022 and we hope you join them in celebrating this amazing achievement as we will!


Finally, a special thank you to Lisa from Ultralight Hiker for letting us test some of this gear out, you guys are doing amazing stuff!



Written by Josh Welch

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