The way we see it, there are a few major ways to cut space and weight in the backcountry. One is to shell out for products featuring ultralight space-age materials like carbon fiber and Dyneema. Another is to go spartan and simply do without some creature comforts. A third approach, however, might be our favorite: pack items that can do more than one job. Which brings us to the Hydrolight Reservoir, a hydration sleeve that doubles as, yes, a camp lantern.

It’s a simple idea executed well. In addition to two liters of water storage — plus standard qualities like a slide lock, self-sealing bite valve and durable welded seams — the Hydrolight features a separate, water-resistant pocket. Simply drop your favorite headlamp in, seal it up, and use the included woven nylon strap and buckle to suspend the unit and illuminate your campsite or tent. Note that the light dispersal is optimized by having the reservoir full of water — you know, just how you want it for it’s primary purpose: hydration on the trail.

Oh, and if you are looking for a great headlamp, Biolite’s super light and comfortable new HeadLamp 200 ($45) is an office favorite.

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Steve Mazzucchi

Steve Mazzucchi is Gear Patrol’s outdoors and fitness editor. Outside the office, you can find him mountain biking, snowboarding, motorcycling or sipping a dram of Laphroaig and daydreaming about such things.

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