The travel kit list: fastpacking essentials for 2022

Great gear is the foundation of outdoor adventures that combine the best of ultralight backpacking and trail running.

By Amy Sedghi
Published 17 Mar 2022, 15:00 GMT, Updated 17 Mar 2022, 16:34 GMT
ECCO Biom 2.1 X Country Trail Running shoes; Garmin InReach Mini 2; On Long Tights; Finisterre Biosmock insulated jacket.

ECCO Biom 2.1 X Country Trail Running shoes; Garmin InReach Mini 2; On Long Tights; Finisterre Biosmock insulated jacket.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

1. ECCO Biom 2.1 X Country Trail Running shoes

Newly launched, these high performance and lightweight shoes from ECCO are perfect for trail running, fast hiking and cross-country pursuits. The ECOO Biom 2.1 X Country also features Biom Natural Motion technology, which is designed to encourage the foot to move more naturally and efficiently. The ultra-light phorene midsole is great for bounce, while a rubber outsole aids stability and provides grip on testing trails. £130.

2. Garmin InReach Mini 2

Fastpacking can take you into remote and wild landscapes, which can be joyful, but Mother Nature should always be respected. Be prepared with this palm-sized satellite communicator from Garmin. It weighs just 100g and the rechargeable battery on this latest model offers up to 20 days of use. As well as being able to send interactive SOS alerts, it can also be used to share location details and messages with those back home so they can track your progress. £299.99.

3. On Long Tights

The best running leggings almost feel like a second skin and this pair by Swiss athletic brand On don’t disappoint. Made from 50% recycled materials, the high-stretch long tights are designed to keep legs warm, with protective inserts above the knee for protecting tendons in cold weather. Handy ankle zippers make them easier to slip on and there’s a useful covered back pocket that’s big enough to pop valuables, such as a phone, into. £95. 

4. Finisterre Biosmock insulated jacket

Finisterre’s latest launch, the Biosmock, has been designed with the utmost consideration for the life cycle of its product. The brand’s first fully circular, biodegradable jacket is built to perform over a lifetime of adventures, before breaking down safely. It’s also earned them a globally recognised seal of approval for its innovation, quality and functionality. Insulated, water-resistant and highly comfortable, the attention to detail is impressive: natural organic cotton stitching is used throughout the jacket and fully biodegradable, recycled plastic poppers replace zips. £250.

Falke energizing knee-high socks; Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking/Running Poles; Rab storm bivi bag; Ultimate Direction Fastpack 30.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

5. Falke energizing knee-high socks

Socks are an unsung hero, but an essential piece of kit when spending hours running and scrambling across testing terrain. Purveyors of high-quality socks, German brand Falke have got you covered with these hard-wearing and breathable knee-high running socks. As well as working to delay fatigue, thanks to their gradual compression, they also help protect against supination and over-pronation. A fibre mix containing polyamide means they also provide a cooling effect and dry quickly. £46.

6. Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking/Running Poles

When it comes to lightweight and foldable trekking poles, mountaineering brand Black Diamond knows a thing or two, having been pioneers in this field. Crafted from carbon with a z-pole fixed length construction, these trekking and running poles are durable, simple to collapse and weigh a mere 150g per pole. When not in use, they can be attached to a pack and even come in handy for propping up a tarp if needed. £130. 

7. Rab storm bivi bag

Protect yourself from the elements with this fully waterproof bivi bag from British mountaineering brand Rab. It’s built with two weights of tough nylon and finished with a fluorocarbon-free water repellent coating, making it suitable for rough and unpredictable weather. Breathable mesh panels along the opening help minimise condensation, keeping you warm and dry while you sleep. It also packs down small, ready to be stashed away in a pack. £120.

8. Ultimate Direction Fastpack 30

A firm favourite amongst fastpackers, Ultimate Direction’s Fastpack 30 tick a lot of boxes. Combining a hydration vest with a pack, there is space up front for two water bottles, plus a zip-down main compartment for fuss-free access to gear, a breathable back panel, sliding rail sternum straps and a T-hook waist belt. Weighing in at 690g, it can expand up to 30 litres or pack down easily, thanks to its roll-top closure. £155.

Published in the April 2022 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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