Best fastpacking kit for multi-day adventures

A pick of some of the top gear you’ll need if you’re planning a running trip over several days

Whether you’re racing a mountain marathon or fastpacking a National Trail, multi-day running adventures demand a lot from your kit. Lightweight and packable is key for equipment such as tents, stoves and sleeping bags, while clothing needs to be comfortable, protective and quick-drying. Shoes should offer protection and grip for the terrain and weather conditions, and a perfect fit.

Here’s our pick of the best...

Women’s gear

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Ultimate Direction FastpackHer 20 Pack £125 
470g
ultimatedirection.com

The new women’s-specific FastpackHer range offers a well-thought-through solution to carrying larger loads. The roomy main compartment has a roll down top and is also accessible from a full-length side zip. There are good-sized stretchy back and side pockets for easy stashing, plus a range of pockets on the straps for on-the-go essentials.

Verdict: Well-designed women’s-specific pack that’s ready for years of abuse.


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Vaude Larice 2.5L Jacket £195 
245g (size M)
vaude.com 

Designed for high-intensity activity in cold, wet weather, this Fair Wear, blue sign-certified jacket is PFC free and uses a PTFE-free Ceplex membrane under a tough Nylon face fabric. It’s soft and comfortable to wear yet brilliantly protective with an adjustable hood, reflective detail, zipped pockets and zipped underarm vents.

Verdict: Well-featured, comfortable and protective waterproof jacket.


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Icebreaker Cool-Lite Sphere Long Sleeve Low Crew £75 
160g (size S)
uk.icebreaker.com 

This great-looking, lightweight and breathable top is comfortable enough to wear all day long, as a baselayer or on its own. Technically-advanced Cool-Lite fabric combines responsibly-sourced Merino wool for outstanding temperature regulation and odour control; wood pulp-derived Tencel for silky coolness; and a little Nylon for durability and support.

Verdict: Comfortable, versatile, technical long-sleeve top you’ll never want to take off.


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La Sportiva Mutant Shoes £115
290g (UK size 6.5) 
lasportiva.com

With its ultra-sticky sole,
multi-directional lugs and snug, wraparound design, these great-looking trail shoes are outstanding over almost any terrain. Precise and protective in the mountains, they also have enough cushioning to comfortably deal with roads and rocky trails and cope with all but the deepest of great British mud.

Verdict: Outstanding all-round trail shoe with top comfort
and performance.  


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Raidlight ¾ Trail Raider Tight £65
145g (size M)
raidlight.com 

These well-featured recycled polyester tights are brilliantly comfortable with soft hems at the knees and a wide, elasticated waistband. Great for longer runs, they have a zipped pocket in the back and two large mesh pockets on the sides, allowing easy access to snacks, phone and other essentials, plus plenty of reflective details.

Verdict: Well-featured tights with great comfort and plenty of storage.


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Women’s Inov-8 Roclite 275 Shoes £130
366g (UK size 6.5) 
inov-8.com

The lightest model in the Roclite range, the 275 combines a breathable, durable mesh upper with graphene grip for great traction over any terrain. The sole unit offers a good balance of cushioning, protection and flexibility, while the 8mm drop and roomy fit make them ideal for all-day wear.

Verdict: Comfortable, protective and grippy. A good all-round off-roader.


Men’s gear

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Aussie Grit Long Tights £77
200g (size M) 
aussiegritapparel.com

Full-length tights are great for multi-day adventures, offering protection and support without restricting movement and drying quickly ready for day two. These Nylon/Spandex tights have a comfortable, fitted cut, reflective details, flatlock seams which don’t chafe, and an adjustable waist drawcord. Good-sized thigh pockets are a useful addition.    

Verdict: Comfortable, practical and well-designed running tights. – ready for adventure. 


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Salomon S/Lab NSO Tee £85
90g (size M) 
salomon.com

A superlight close-fitting polyester tee with some clever technology designed to reduce fatigue and improve performance. Oxide mineral patches are designed to reflect energy onto specific trigger points. While it’s hard to test the effectiveness of these, the tee fits well and feels great to run in, it dries quickly, and the patches feel comfortable and cooling.  

Verdict: A comfortable and supportive tee with performance-enhancing credentials.


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Montane Minimus Waterproof Jacket £160
210g (size M)
montane.co.uk

A classic lightweight waterproof with protective Pertex Shield. Designed for fast and light adventures it has an excellent adjustable hood with a wired peak, protective, longer-length sleeves, and a dropped tail which doesn’t ride up under a pack. The chest pocket doubles as a vent.   

Verdict: A cleverly designed waterproof, perfect for fast and light adventures. 


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Raidlight Revolutiv Shoe £135
321g (UK size 11)
raidlight.com 

The Revolutiv is both comfortable over long distances and fun to run fast in on technical trails. The design combines a grippy 6mm studded outsole with a dual density EVA footbed and a 6mm heel to toe drop. The two-layer upper is tough and supportive, and features  a comfortable neoprene inner sock.

Verdict: Comfortable, protective and grippy for multi-day, multi-terrain escapades.


Adidas Terrex Free Hiker Shoes £169.95 
470g (UK size 11)
adidas.co.uk

Adidas combines its Boost midsole with a Continental rubber outsole and a knitted upper to create a super-comfortable fastpacking shoe. It’s best on hardpacked trails, offering a plush ride but less stability and precision than some trail-specific shoes. The upper is supportive and acts as a debris gaiter. Sized slightly large. 

Verdict: Comfortable and supportive for longer adventures on easier trails.


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OMM Phantom 20 Pack £120 
295g
theomm.com

Brand new from OMM, the lightweight Phantom series features a neck yoke rather than traditional shoulder straps, designed to align the pack with the back rather than the shoulders. With careful adjustment we found it bounce-free and comfortable to run in. Deeper front pockets would make it even better. 

Verdict: A good, lightweight running pack requiring careful adjustment.


Equipment

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GSI Outdoors Halulite Minimalist Complete Stove kit £93 
297g
gsioutdoors.com

An ingeniously-designed, lightweight and powerful canister-top stove for boiling water quickly and efficiently. The burner and a small gas canister pack into the pan, leaving space for a lighter and tea bags. The insulated pan sleeve keeps drinks warm and means the pan can double as a bowl.

Verdict: An ingenious, tessellating stove system – not cheap but light and efficient.


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Petzl NAO+ Headtorch £160 
194g
petzl.com

This powerful headtorch isn’t cheap, but packing 750 lumens of light and featuring reactive technology that automatically adjusts the beam brightness to the situation, it’s one of the best we’ve tested. Incredibly stable to wear while running, the rechargeable battery lasts up to 15 hours and you can carry spares.   

Verdict: Outstanding, super-stable, reactive headtorch for awesome night-time running.


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Terra Nova Laser Compact 1 Tent £450 
970g
terra-nova.co.uk

The new, compact version of this classic lightweight tent uses shorter pole sections giving a tiny 30 x 14cm packed size; 12cm shorter than standard. Designed for one person but it will fit two friends and kit. It’s easy to pitch and the single main pole creates a sturdy three-season shelter.  

Verdict: An outstanding racing or adventure
tent with a new, even tinier pack size.


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Mountain Hardwear Lamina -1 Sleeping bag £150 
985g

mountainhardwear.com

The Lamina series uses synthetic Thermal Q insulation welded to a polyester outer to avoid cold spots. Combined with its sarcophagus shape, this results in a great warmth-to-weight ratio. The synthetic fill makes it less prone to moisture retention than down. Different temperature ratings and women’s-specific versions also available.         

Verdict: A top quality, high-performance range of synthetic sleeping bags.