View Full Version : Light Weight MP3 Player

12-08-2010, 02:15
Hey I was wondering what MP3 players you guys carry. I am hoping to find a light one with a micro hcsd or hcsd slot that I can use to boost it's storage.

Right now I'm looking at the sansa fuze or clip...

12-08-2010, 03:03
i've got an 8gb fuze with an additional 8gb micro sd card. It's lasted for about 3 years, including 6 months on the trail. Now I use it everyday at work.

-light weight
-easy to use
-good battery life (i've gotten 20 hours out of one charge)

Serial 07
12-08-2010, 09:14
i have a MP3/fm tuner option that takes one singe AA battery...easy to keep powered up, better than one that requires a computer to charge...it's got a USB connector which is how the songs get onto the device, though it's only 2GB...the solution to this is i've put several GBs of music onto a mass storage site (google) and when i get to towns, i can change the music that's on the player...i'm pretty sure i got it at Target cheap...

12-08-2010, 12:08
I just use my Blackberry. Reduces the amount of electronics I need to carry around, and unlike the Ipod/IPhone you can swap the batteries around. I have 3 blackberry batteries I scrounged from old/broken blackberries from friends & family. I keep one in my small baggie of survival gear so that I always have a fresh battery if I need to make an emergency call, but have 2 other batteries that I can use for entertainment purposes. They charge quickly so I can fully charge one of them while I stop for a meal in a town or all three of them if I am staying at a hostel or doing laundry somewhere.

Another reason I really prefer the blackberry is the built in speaker. I've spooked a couple of rattlesnakes while out hiking, at about a distance of 4ft, so I shy away from earphones that might prevent me from hearing that critical BZZZZZZZ or maybe even a Bear or something right around the corner. The speaker lets me listen to music, talk with other hikers, while also listening for hazards.

I turn the phone transmitter off and listen to tunes from the microSD card to save battery life, but if i'm heading in to a town within the next day or two, and i'm up on top of a ridgeline, sometimes i'll stream a radio station from Pandora while hiking. If theres reception, maybe i'll facebook or youtube from my hammock before going to sleep.

Duracell also makes these little power packs with mini USB plugs or Iphone plugs that will fully recharge your mobile device, and you can in turn recharge the power-pack when you get to a town. These contain a higher power density then the same weight of AA's.

12-08-2010, 16:04
I have a Sansa Clip. It weighs less than an ounce, and the battery lasts forever. The Clip + would be a good choice, I think.

12-08-2010, 16:26
I have a Sansa Clip. It weighs less than an ounce, and the battery lasts forever. The Clip + would be a good choice, I think.

I just got one of those too. They cost about 35 bucks, they have a little memory card slot, and great sound. The only problem is you have to carry the little USB cord with you if you plan on charging it.


12-08-2010, 16:46
The best lightweight option is to just listen to the sounds of nature. It's much better than an MP3 player.

I have an Ipod Nano by the way - it just doesn't go hiking with me.

12-08-2010, 17:27
I wasn't planning on bringing an MP3 player but then I realized how light they are and how much I'll miss music. At less than an ounce wy not bring one?

12-08-2010, 17:36
From a thru-hiker's perspective, I like the Sandisk Sansa m200 --- solid state (no spinning disk), and uses a single AAA battery, easy to buy replacement batteries in town, easy to carry a spare battery or two (very light). Has an FM radio. Interface is fairly intuitive. Lightweight unit. Feels a little flimsy, but with care lasts a long time; my hiking partner carried his on the entire AT this year with no problems. I have an older unit I won't recommend as I don't think it's as easy to find anymore, and has a less intuitive user interface, but FWIW, it's about equally light and flimsy, uses a single AAA battery, and I've carried it on two thru-hikes now and it's still working fine too.

The reason I don't use my smartphone: battery power. With a separate MP3 player, I don't have to be concerned about whether I should or shouldn't listen to music or an audio-book, as if I run out of batter power I won't be compromising my ability to do other things (journal, take pictures, get a weather report, etc).

Another reason is that I like having audiobooks, and generally speaking they require some sort of digital rights management on the device, i.e., you can't necessarily get audiobooks to work on just any device. So picking a compatible device made it easy for me to put audiobooks on my MP3 player too.

Yet another reason, one that I think it becoming less of a factor, is memory. My old smartphone was somewhat limited, and audibooks take up a lot of space. My new phone has a whole lot more RAM, and accepts a much bigger microSD card, so less of an issue now with newer devices, but still, perhaps a factor.

12-08-2010, 17:45
Have an 5 year old Sansa C1002Gig player/FM Tuner that takes a AAA battery. I got one with a battery for traveling back and forth to Europe and I am very glad I did that rather than a rechargeable model.
I Use it daily for working out Battery lasts about a month. Tuner is awesome.
I then Bought my 10 year old the Sansa Clip last year - He loves it, but it needs to be recharged about every 10-15 hours, depending on you backlight settings.

12-09-2010, 00:09
I used a Creative Zen Nano - Doesn't have an expandable card (unfortunately), but I carried a 16GB USB stick with all sorts of stuff on it anyway (see Portableapps.com), and just swapped music as needed.

It uses a AAA battery (key in my mind, because there ain't no charger in the hills) and as FM Radio - Great for NPR, but I wish it had AM for some sports.

12-09-2010, 06:36
Look man, you don't want to use a MP3 player. Those are for Hipsters. One word: Walkman.


Although more serious get one that uses a standard battery, like folks are suggesting.

12-09-2010, 15:57
Look man, you don't want to use a MP3 player. Those are for Hipsters. One word: Walkman.


Although more serious get one that uses a standard battery, like folks are suggesting.

I'm gonna have to disagree on two counts here.

1. Most hipsters would rather use a walkman than an mp3 player

2. IMO, rechargable internal battery is the way to go. They can weigh less and cost less in the long run. You can charge them using a library or hostel computer, or carry a wall charger ( I have one with two ports, so I can charge my phone and mp3 player simultaneously)

12-09-2010, 16:02
1. Most hipsters would rather use a walkman than an mp3 player

That is true. I heard tape sales are up.

12-09-2010, 23:59
I just wanted to say that using in ear ear bud head phones that block other noises means you have to do not have to turn the volume up. You will get a much longer battery life. To double the volume you need ten times the energy. So when you can turn the volume down you can save a lot of battery life. These are the head phones I use some thing like this.... http://www.rei.com/product/814350

12-10-2010, 01:30
Aren't all MP3 players light wt?

12-12-2010, 22:48
I have to second the Sansa clip. It's a great little player and doesn't take much to recharge. My 8gb version fills up fairly fast when i start adding big audiobooks which is why I adore the card slot. I plan to have audiobooks mailed in as part of my mail drops - if I turn out to listen to them a lot on the trail. On shorter hikes I only ever turn the player on if I have no company.

12-12-2010, 23:10
http://www.toxel.com/tech/2008/08/30/boombox-backpack-by-joonas-saaranen/ (http://www.toxel.com/tech/2008/08/30/boombox-backpack-by-joonas-saaranen/)

Is this going too far?:confused::-?:eek:

12-14-2010, 11:45
Aren't all MP3 players light wt?

My iPod isn't. I took it on the last hike and it came in handy. We spent a full day cooped up waiting for the weather to clear and I was able to listen to music and play some games. Even though it's heavier I'll probably take it the next time since now I can read books through the Kindle app and leave the actual Kindle at home. It's a little heavier but provides a lot of functionality.

12-15-2010, 08:28
I am sure musical purists would retch at the idea, but those without a large library of songs might appreciate the "Slot Radio" feature on the newer Sansa Clip.

On the Clip you get FM and 4 or 8 gb for your own music, but can also buy a pre-loaded card with 1000 songs (you pick from several different genres) for about $40 more.

I got the Classic R&R card, and the quality of the song selection really surprised me. The only catch is that while you can skip any song currently being played, there is no directory to find a specific song or artist. There are several subcategories to choose from on the card, though.

04-21-2011, 14:32
I'll jump in here with my experiences in mp3 players for backpacking. My preference is for players that use standard AA or AAA format batteries. I have several proprietary battery players but don't want to deal with the recharging issues on the trail.

I didn't include battery life times because I don't have my own data and don't really trust the manufacturer provided times. I've run alkaline, lithium and rechargeable batteries in all these players, and prefer lithium for backpacking for the low weight and extended playing time. These players all have mono screens with limited features so I assume they will come out around the same given the battery size. My preference is for a player with FM in case of emergency, and ability to record (seems like it could come in handy). There are pictures and user reviews on Amazon and elsewhere.

Folder navigation can be a pain on all these small display players. In my case it's alright because what I typically do is dump all my music to the root, select shuffle and walk on.

The format is:
embedded memory / additional memory option installed, and max / FM radio / battery / interface to computer / weight in ounces with lithium battery and memory card

iRiver IFP-799
1GB / no additional memory / FM / Recorder / AA battery / mini USB cable / 1.85
Great player - my first, no longer commercially available, 1 GB memory too small for a long hike

iRiver T10
1GB / no additional memory / FM / Recorder / AA battery / mini USB cable / 2.22
Another great player - I really like the iRiver products, no longer commercially available, 1 GB memory too small for a long hike - there is a T60 4GB model also discontinued that may be found used but is spendy

RCA Pearl TH1102
2GB / 2GB microSD, up to 2GB / no FM / Recorder / AAA battery / USB (no cable required) / 1.19
I want to like this player for its weight and form factor, but the software is just plain fiddly. For instance, it has a resume feature, but it's rather complicated (must pause song first and then switch off) AND it only works for onboard 2 GB memory but not 2 GB microSD card. In general I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to do basic things and navigating menus.

TrekStor i.Beat xtension FM
1GB / 8GB SDHC, up to 32GB reported by users / FM / Recorder / AAA battery / USB (no cable required) / 1.46
This one is my winner - The combination of the memory, AAA battery and direct USB is nice. The software interface is easy, and resume works properly without effort. It has FM and recording. It uses the larger SD card and the card sticks out rather unattractively. The controls and the card opening are not very bad weather friendly but I carry it in a small Aloksak sealed around the headphone wires anyway. This model is not offered anymore but their site shows a new 4GB model. However I don't see any current "xtension" models with the ability to add a memory card.

My observation is that there are less and less options for standard format battery mp3 players in the marketplace. It's a pity because they definitely have a place, but the market is not significant and we will likely see fewer options if at all in the future.

For headphones (another whole topic) I use Koss "The Plug" earbuds at .49 ounce.

Just my opinions, and I would love to hear from others who have used standard battery mp3 players.

04-22-2011, 01:02
Sansia Clip 4gig has a slot for extra SD memory, has an FM reciever, sounds great, battery lasts 17hours continuous play (I tested it by leaving it on all night), USB charge in 1hr AND is not expensive.

05-23-2012, 22:46
I think that the Sansa e200 series is a great, cheap mp3 player. depends on how much you want to spend on the video mp3 player (http://www.sencart.com/Supply-mp3-players_c123).

Del Q
05-24-2012, 22:57
I find MP3 players great for steep ups when you are tired, helps me take my mind off that and keeps me at a nice pace. Also nice for those endless woods walks with no views...........prefer no noise 90% of the time, the other 10% music is nice to have.

Andrew King
05-24-2012, 23:03
http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666364221 Just got this and it is awesome.. Think it will do great on trail on those rough days with puds.