Really light “ultra-light hiking gear” is actually quite rare and often very expensive. As a passionate hiker and minimalist, I was always looking to better my equipment and often didn’t find what I wanted.
I’ll start the story of Gear Swifts many years ago with a prolonged cold storm during a hike in the mountains. All our clothing under different rain ponchos and jackets got soaked; also the gear in our backpacks under the pack rain covers. It appeared that many waterproof materials were not waterproof after all. I searched for a solution and found the strange and impressively light material – “cuben fiber”, now known as Dyneema™ composite. I made a simple poncho and finally kept the rain out. I used it on many rainy days and as a tarp for many nights. But sleeping under a tarp has its limits – no protection against mosquitos. So other shelters had to be designed and made – a bivi bag and later a tent.
In time, more equipment for hiking, ultra running and biking adventures was made. At one point it was only natural to start making gear for my hiker friends too.
Every product I make starts with my wish to better something in my gear list and belief that I can make it lighter than the existing gear. Then I make a design and prototype to test it during my hikes and other outdoor activities for months. The gear always changes while testing and I never say “it’s perfect”. The next version is always more comfortable to use and even lighter.
Mentioning the weight – well, I am quite the gram-counting nerd – constantly checking gear lists and reading about new products and materials. The designs are always very minimalist and every material is carefully chosen. I use a variety of Dyneema composite fabrics, ultra-light ripstop-nylons, titanium, and carbon fiber – the lightest I can find for the application. Every “Swift” design I show you here, is being used on hikes and in everyday life by me and the people close to me and there is more gear, currently being tested and developed. It’s always a great excitement to find or design something new and update my outdoor kit, so feedback and ideas are very appreciated – let’s talk about ultralight gear!
Hope to meet you in the wild, until then, happy trails!