List nr. 1: By plane in temperatures above zero, mostly with accommodation
We tested the equipment listed below on our last mont-long trip to Taiwan, where we went through a diverse environment including cities, jungles and mountains at altitudes from 0 to 3500 m and temperatures from 2 °C to 35 °C. Before departure, our luggage weighed just over 5 kg and we had everything we needed. Moreover we enjoyed the feeling of freedom acquired by having such light backpacks. We wish you all can experience the same.
We have compiled this list for adventure trips, where you travel by plane and sleep mostly inside in hostels, hotels or at locals. The clothing is adapted mainly for summer temperatures, but it is prepared for various climatic conditions, including the tropics and shorter stays in temperatures close to freezing. The list covers a wide range of activities from exploring cities, through staying by the sea to alpine tourism. With this equipment you can travel to most world destinationsand practically indefinitely.
The basic equipment in an ultra-light design in this list weighs about 5 or 6 kg, including the clothes and shoes you will be wearing! In addition, if you travel with more people, there are some things you can share, so that only one of you needs to have them. Even with the addition of almost all optional items (marked "+" or put in the "Other" category), which we recommend to include to increase travel comfort, so it is not a problem to get "under 7 kilos" luggage. Important note for ladies: our weight calculations are based on equipment for men who tend to wear bigger and heavier clothes, so you can pack a few extra pieces without any worries.
– main luggage
It is best to choose such a size that fits in the limit for cabin luggage - the strictest is usually 55x35x20 cm, i.e. about 40 liters. You will save money on check-in fees and time at the airport. And at the same time you will be sure that your luggage will be no problem on small local planes.
Smaller luggage is also a great way to discard unnecessary equipment and reduce the weight. Unnecessary things just won't fit in and you will have to consider what you really need and what you don't. Save some space for food and souvenirs.
We recommend a light travel backpack of cabin dimensions with storable straps in case of check-in and with the possibility of opening the "lid" and packing like a suitcase. All you have to do is unzip the luggage at the hostel and there is no need to unpack everything or to look for a needed item for a long time.
Our choice: Gregory Border Carry-On 40, 1315 g
– second smaller luggage
Something you will normally walk with when you leave your main luggage in the hostel. It can be either a packable backpack or a light shoulder bag or a handbag. It is important that the second piece of luggage easily fits into the main luggage, at least during flights between destinations. The second piece of luggage will also allow you to carry more things temporarily, for example after buying food. On the way back, you can use it as a hand luggage if you have no more space in the main one due to the amount of souvenirs.
Our choice: Sea To Summit Day pack, 68 g
+ backpack raincover
Pack up only if you are planning to go to the mountains with a backpack or if you are going to destinations where it often rains.
Our choice: Osprey Raincover, 85 g
We chose the clothes so that it is universal, easily layered and maximally casual in appearance, while maintaining top parameters. At the same time, the materials are easy to maintain and quick-drying, because regular washing by hand or in a washing machine in hostels is expected.
– lightweight waterproof jacket
Protects you against wind and rain. Unlike the raincoat, it is breathable. It warms up, but not too much so that it can be worn even in higher temperatures. Compared to Gore-Tex and similar materials, it is lighter and takes up minimum space when packed.
Our choice: Montane Minimus Jacket, 227 g
– fleece jacket
A quality fleece jacket or sweatshirt (we recommend the Polartec Classic micro material) has the best ratio of insulation and weight compared to other sweatshirts (roughly twice that of merino wool and four times that of cotton), so it is an ideal thermal insulation layer. At the same time, it is easy to maintain and dries quickly. A full-length zipper will give you better thermoregulation.
Our choice: The North Face Glacier 100 Full zip, 281 g
– 2x-3x merino wool T-shirt
T-shirts made of merino wool (we recommend a weight of 150) resist the bad odour for about 3 times longer than cotton and also dry faster. Therefore, you can change your T-shirts with only hand washing. To a humid environment or if you sweat more, we recommend 3 pcs. In addition, these t-shirts are really comfortable and functional.
Our choice: Icebreaker merino T-shirt, 145 g
– convertible multifunctional trousers
Trousers and shorts in one will save you a lot of space. They also don't have to look like mountain pants. It is very comfortable to add the trousers legs into your backpack / handbag and put them on after dark when it gets cold. We recommend to choose light and quick-drying materials, detachment above the knees and rather lighter colors in the heat.
Our choice: The North Face convertible pants, 390 g
– 3x-5x boxers/panties
We recommend quick-drying synthetic fibers such as Coolmax, or natural merino wool (weight 150), which also dries relatively fast and, in addition, resists odors longer. These functional materials will also ensure your comfort on long flights and hikes.
Our choice: Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers and Icebreaker Siren Bikini
– 4x-5x socks
Due to frequent washing, we recommend light, quick-drying, functional merino wool socks.
Our choice: Darn Tough
+ scarf or kerchief
Light but large scarf is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing. It can be used around the neck, on the head, as a seat pad or as a blanket. It can also be used by women to cover their head or shoulders when entering temples or they can tie it as a simple elegant skirt or top.
Our choice: Traveler’s Tree Insect Shield Sarong, 71 g
+ head cover
In a hot weather it is necessary to protect yourself from the sun. Choose bright colors. For some, the above scarf may be enough.
Gentlemen have the advantage that the swimsuit will also serve well as a second short.
If you do not need long-term weather protection, you can replace the waterproof jacket with only a light backup raincoat / poncho.
Our choice: Light poncho, 43 g
+ city clothes
Especially ladies like to look good in cities. As we wrote in the introduction, they are lucky that their clothes usually do not take up as much space as men's, so they can, for example, take more T-shirts without penalty. As an additional alternative to a fleece sweatshirt, we recommend a light sweater or a shirt or T-shirt with long sleeves. You will look better than in the sweatshirt and you will expand your layering options. Another pants, shorts or even skirt can also be considered.
Our choice: Icebreaker merino T-shirt with long sleeves, 200 g
– sports ankle boots
Choose as light as possible and waterproof. You can wear them for mountain hikes and cold weather.
– flip flops
Light, comfortable and easy to wash. They take up almost no space and you can use them in the heat, on the beach and in the hostel, incl. shared showers.
For some, sandals are enough instead of ankle boots and flip-flops in warm counditions.
+ city shoes
For example ballerina shoes don't add too much weight, but they add to the style and ellegance.
– quick drying towel
They are more compact than the normal ones, there is a chance that they will dry properly on the road, and they are also antibacterial which helps against odor. Choose a size so that you can use it on the beach, at least half body.
Our choice: Lifeventure Soft Fibre Trek Towel L, 160 g
– universal soap
Universal soaps can be used instead of shower gel, shampoo and detergent. We recommend either very concentrated liquid (100 ml is enough for about 3 weeks) or lighter solid one, but these are a little less comfortable to use. Of course, you won't need a soap in hotels.
Our choice: Lifeventure All-purpose soap 100 ml, 130 g
– foldable toothbrush
Our choice GUM Travel, 15 g
– small package of toothpaste
For longer trips, concentrated toothpastes are suitable. You will need 5 times less of it than usual.
Our choice: Ajona Stomaticum 25 ml, 43 g
Try to get the most compact and lightest package possible. The best variety is among solid antiperspirants.
Our choice: Deocrystal Purity Vision, 43 g
– paper tissues
– 100 ml bottles
Dispense all liquid products into bottles or containers with a capacity of max. 100 ml so that you can take them to the aircraft cabin. If you need more than 2 bottles of one product for longer trips, you should buy it on the spot. We recommend collapsible soft plastic bottles, which will shrink as you use the contents.
Our choice: Bottles of different volumes, weight from 7 g
Or: GSI Soft-sided Travel Paks, 9 g one
Spray bottle: Spray bottle 20 ml, 9 g
Pump bottle: Pump bottle 15 ml, 14 g
– transparent 1 litr sack
For airport inspection, all liquids, creams and gels in hand luggage must fit into a transparent resealable bag with a volume of max. 1l. If it is durable enough, you can also use it as a toiletry bag.
Our choice: Lewis N. Clark 3-1-1 Carry-on Pouch, 34 g
+ wash bag
Better organizing and more comfortable to use compared to a resealable bag can be worth the extra burden.
Our choice: Deuter Wash Bag I, 110 g
+ nail clippers
Necessity for long journeys, because classic scissors cannot be taken into the aircraft cabin.
+ travel (foldable) comb/hairbrush
Despite established shaving habits, there is no need for shaving foam or gel, Just use anything that reduces friction - a suitable soap, cream or just water. We use shaving oils that take up little space, last a long time and do not leave dry skin. Otherwise, feel free to take your regular razor, if it is not heavy, possibly supplemented by a travel protective cap.
Our choice: Lifeventure Shaving Leaves
+ antibacterial gel
Helps maintain hygiene before eating in places where you cannot wash your hands with water and soap.
Long live the mini advertising samples or small dispensers.
our choice: Traval Classic HD perfume bottle, 16 g
A mini pack of a universal cream such as Nivea, which you can use on dry, irritated or burnt skin.
+ universal sink plug
A practical tool for hand washing, because plugs are often missing in hostel washbasins.
Our choice: Lifeventure Bath/sink plug, 12 g
+ clothes line
It will help you to hang your laundry in a hostel and thus dry faster. It can also be used as a multi-purpose string. We recommend a double "pinless" cord. A good alternative is a light solid cable about 5 m long or even lighter dental floss.
Our choice: Sea to Summit Clothesline, 22 g
– first aid kit
We consider patches, bandages, pain and fever medications, diarrhea medicines, tea tree oil as disinfectant, or cold medicines and antimalarials as the essentials.
– insect repellent
If you are not going to encounter insects daily (like you do in jungle or Scandinavia), just a small bottle of spray or a little repellent cream dispensed into a small container will do. Although the DEET-based repellent is chemical, it certainly works everywhere.
Our choice: Lifesystems Expedition 50+ 25 ml, 32 g
Our choice: Lifesystems Sport SPF 50, 50 ml, 68 g
+ strong alcohol
It will help you to avoid stomach problems and get to know the locals better :).
Our choice: Homemade Moravian plum spirit
+ lip balm with UV protection
Our choice: Lifesystems Mountain SPF 30+ Sun Stick, 15 g
6) Documents and money
The basic documents include a passport (in the EU just an ID card is sufficient), a backup copy of the passport, a travel / health insurance card, or visa, European and international driver's license and sometimes international vaccination card.
– money + wallet
The basics are s bank card, local money and US dollars as a backup. Lighten your wallet as much as possible and take everything you don't need out of it, or replace your standart with a light pocket. Do not carry all money in one place.
Our choice: Mighty Wallet, 14 g
– other documents
Itinerary, tickets and reservations should be printed, just to avoid problems.
+ waterproof sack
We recommend using it at least for documents or also for mobile phones.
Our choice: aLOKSAK Waterproof Sacks, cca 6 g
+ safety of your documents and money
Belts with a hidden pocket and other hidden bags and pockets worke best for us, but form is a matter of preference.
Our choice: hipbelt with a hidden pocket Pacsafe Cashsafe, 70 g or hidden body wallet Go Travel Body Wallet, 26 g
7) Other equipment (optional according to destination and your needs)
– mobile phone and accessories
There is no doubt that a smartphone will make traveling a lot easier for you thanks to the internet and navigation. Sometimes it can also replace a camera. The charger can be slightly improved by using a retractable USB cable, which is usually lighter and more compact than the standart one. If you rely on your mobile phone, a backup power source is also suitable. Compared to your phone, you will also not be so afraid to leave it unattended to charge at the hostel. Small solar chargers are not that reliable and can only be recommended for longer trips outside civilization.
– socket adapter
Inform yourself hereif you need an adapter for your destination. Choose universal adapters only if you are going to areas with multiple types of outlets or to more than one country.
Our choice: Universal adapter Easy Camp,97 g
Nowadays, a relatively heavy paper guidebook may seem kind of oldschool, but in terms of reliability (it doesn't need a battery) and the ergonomics of use, it surpasses both a mobile phone and a tablet.
You may have it on your cell phone, but a small compass is a great tool for navigating in a new place.
– flashlight (mini headlight)
Occasional light in the dark is provided by a mobile phone, but for longer adventurous trips we definitely recommend a flashlight. Mini headlamps with warning flashes for night returns from trips have proved their worth.
Our choice: Mini headlight Petzl e+Lite, 26 g
– mini umbrella
During cloudbursts and also at higher temperatures, when you would not be able to wear a waterproof jacket, a small and light umbrella is invaluable. It can also be used as a parasol.
Our choice: Dainty mini umbrella, 177 g
– sun glasses + case
– sleeping bag/liner
If you are planning to sleep only in accommodation facilities of decent quality, you will not need anything. If you want to be able to sleep outdoors or on the floor from time to time, add a mini sleeping bag to your equipment. If you are afraid of poor hygiene conditions or even bedbugs in some hotels / hostels, but you do not want to sleep outside, it is better to reach for a sleeping bag liner. Those made of silk really take up a minimum space and can also be treated with insect repellent.
Our choice: Cumulus Lite Line 200 sleeping bag, 535 g or Lifeventure Silk Ultimate Liner, 147 g
– earplugs (+ sleeping mask)
Earplugs are often a necessity for good night sleep in hostels. If you get disturbed by light during sleep, consider an eye mask, it's good especially for long flights.
Our choice: Earplugs Go Travel Ear Plugs, 8 g and sleeping mask Daydream black, 17 g
In most developed countries, there will be at least a few sources of non-bottled drinking water, such as boiled water fountains in hostels. Your own durable bottle will therefore help you to save money and the environment. We recommend folding bottles that take almost no weight and space and fit easily under any tap.
Our choice: Platypus bottles
– knife and other tools
If you want to take your luggage to the aircraft cabin, forget about the knives…
Depending on your destination and your safety needs, consider whether you will need a lock. You can lock the zippers on your luggage, but you can still overcome them with an ordinary pen. The locks are suitable for lockers in hostels, where it is sometimes otherwise necessary to pay for them. We recommend locks with a small cable, which are lighter and can be used to lock both zippers and lockers.
Our choice: Lifeventure TSA Zipper Lock, 47 g
– notebook + pen
A notebook or a piece of paper is suitable not only for scraps and games. You will appreciate waterproof paper in a humid environment. We also recomment a miniature telescopic pen.
Our choice: water resistant notebook Rite in the Rain Memo Book, 72 g and a pen with a water resistant ink Fisher Space Bullet Pen, 20 g
– photo equipment
Let's face it, SLR and ultralight travelling don't go very well together. Hobbies are simply paid for by weight. A reasonable compromise if you're not a professional photographer is a good compact. A mini folding tripod for group and night photos might also come in handy.
– entertainment (book, headphones…)
Traveling itself is fun! Try to do without playing cards and similar weights. A book or headphones will probably help you shorten long flights and rides and occasionally free yourself from the surroundings. If you take a light "paperback" in English, you can exchange it for a different one in most hostels after finnishing it. As for headphones, earplugs are a clear choice. Consider investing in those with active ambient noise cancellation, you will appreciate it especially in airplanes.
– cloth badge
Represent and put a cloth badge with your national flag on your luggage! Here and there, someone will recognize it and have a conversation with you that would never have happened otherwise.
Our choice: Czech flag cloth badge, 2 g
– gifts for locals
Don't forget to take a few gifts for the locals! Sometimes someone will definitely help you and you wil want to repay them. E.g. handmade traditional fabric figurines and similar items from the markets do not weigh or take much and will always please others. According to one of our customers, as for people from Czech, pictures of the Infant Jesus of Prague are said to be the best when travelling in Christian countries with a large number of believers.
A few words in conclusion
This list is based on our experience and the experience of our customers. By no means do we want to convey that this is the only right mix of equipment. It may seem too limited to some, and it may contain useless stuff for experienced travelers. We compiled it with the aim of giving a guide to beginning travelers how to travel light and not stray too far from their civilization habits and comfort.
Be prepared that on trips with this equipment, you may need to buy or rent something from time to time, but the list is not about buying clothes or throwing away unnecessary things. Of course, it needs to be adapted to individual needs, whether it is specialized activities, health problems or movement in an environment that requires formal wear. Of course, very long journeys, long-term sleep outside and extreme environments also require adjustments.
We hope you have gathered useful information from the list and wish you a happy journey!
What would you change in our list? Did we forget something? Add a comment below! We will incorporate the selected comment suggestions into the list.