May 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm #1302538
My base weight has been slowly shrinking over the last several years from 17 lbs down to about 12 (+ camera gear ! ! !). For several reasons I have resisted the urge to switch to a truly ultralight backpack, however. I used to have some back issues which justified having a pack with real support. Thankfully, the back issues have cleared up. Also, my kids were younger and family hiking generally meant carrying the lion's share of the gear…another reason to have support.
So…now that the kids are bigger, I'm thinking about getting a sub-two-pound pack. I've resisted getting it for so long that I am out of touch with the market on frameless packs. Of course, there is a wealth of info on this site, but I thought I'd just post this and get a little input. (If you want to troll me for not spending hours doing research…move along…nothing to see here).
I'm 6'2" tall, average to thin build. Would someone with my build give me a recommendation or two?May 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm #1983244
If you have the cash, you could do worse than talking to Joe at Zpacks. His custom bag would be perfect. Restrain yourself on the accessories and it's a really nice bag. Just don't use it as a sled…May 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm #1983248
What total weight for trips are you anticipating? What do you use now?May 4, 2013 at 6:36 pm #1983252
Currently use a modified Deuter zero series – older model, huge…but I loved the fit and support (I've noticed that the Deuter users tend to be tall guys).May 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm #1983256
My favorite packs have been from ULA and Gossamer Gear. The ULA Ohm 2.0 or GG Gorilla might be a good fit for you. If you plan on using a bear canister I'd step up to a slightly larger capacity pack than those such as the ULA Circuit or GG Mariposa. You can also go lighter than this but if you've had previous back issues you might want to go for a little more support. I'm not near your dimensions, but have friends who are and love these packs.May 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm #1983264
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
Another option would be Zimmerbuilt. I have a pack he made with a Gossamer Gear style frame. Its right at two pounds. Very nice, he does frameless packs as well. If you're ever in the Denton/Dallas area let me know, I'd be happy to let you take a look at mine.
I imagine Mountain Laurel would do a custom torso length for you if you asked.
Edit – If support is a concern I think your best bet would be an HMG pack (any model). According to Ryan Jordan it handles weight much better then other packs like the Gorilla. Even if you are not going to be carrying 45 pounds it still stabilizes the load nicely. And since its basically the same weight you're not losing anything there.
My theory is a 2 pound pack with a frame is more comfortable then a 1 1/2 pound pack without a frame unless your total weight is under 20 pounds. If you have a 12 pound baseweight you might be on the heavy side for a frameless pack.May 4, 2013 at 8:55 pm #1983280
@azajacLocale: South West
I'm 6'4" and have never had any problems getting a pack to fit. This could be because I'm just lanky (36" inseam, idk my torso length). Some people are taller in the torso, so you could try measuring your torso if you haven't already. My pack is currently the older model GG Mariposa plus large and that fits me just fine. I've also found that it simply matters less with lighter loads if that is any consolation.May 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm #1983290
Congrats on getting your baseweight down! I hope that you will be happy to hear that you can have a frame and a sub 2 pound pack. While going frameless is great, with a 12 pound baseweight I would feel more comfortable with a sub-4 ounce frame. It will barely add any weight to your pack and might make you a lot more comfortable.
That being said, I am a similar build- 6'2 and 150 pounds- so I'll throw in my 2 cents. I have most recently used sub-2 pound Gossamer Gear packs and the slightly heavier ULA Catalyst. I think that you could be really happy with a Gossamer Gear Gorilla- I know I have been. I currently use the new version in size large, with a small hipbelt. At a pound and a half with a frame, its pretty awesome.
Full disclosure: I became a Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador this week (yay!). However, I very much enjoyed my Gossamer Gear Gorilla on my 2010 PCT hike and have enjoyed the Gorilla on many hikes since then, especially my new version that I bought a year ago. My 48 hour long status as a Trail Ambassador has not shifted my views on this product.May 5, 2013 at 6:49 am #1983340
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
What's your torso length? If it's more than 21 inches you won't have many options. Bear in mind that most (all) companies estimated user fit for a given size tends to be rather optimistic. E.g. the tall HMG packs fit a 21, perhaps 22 inch torso max. Some ULA packs and the GG Mariposa have what I'd call a true tall size.May 5, 2013 at 6:53 am #1983341
@amaronyLocale: South Dakota
+1 for the GG Gorilla. Love mine and I wear a large at 6'1".May 5, 2013 at 6:58 am #1983342
@breymanLocale: Rocky Mountains
+1 on David Chenault's comments. Height is less important than torso length. If you're tall, but have really long legs, you can get an "average" pack. Measure your torso length and then look at what's available.
I also agree with David – if you're 21-22+, a GG Mariposa is a very solid choice if you don't want to go custom as it has an intentionally tall version.
How to find your torso length:
http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacks-torso-hip-size.htmlMay 5, 2013 at 7:25 am #1983346
If you have a long torso, consider the Granite Gear Crown in Large. It is almost abnormally long in the torso.May 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm #1983518
There's a Stealth on the Gearswap board and I was wondering if anyone had any experience with them. They are certainly cheaper than other ultralights.
(ultralight gear is like bikini bottoms…you pay more for less)
And does anyone know why almost all ultralight packs are made out of just plain ugly materials?May 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm #1983543
@azajacLocale: South West
My girlfriend bought the borah gear stealth in medium with the 140D fabric for our sobo PCT thru-hike this year and she likes it a lot so far. She only got it recently so I can't comment on long-term durability or on the sizing except that the medium is too small for me, but fits her well. She's 5'8" and I'm 6'4" so that isn't too surprising. So far, she has only used it on day-hikes for getting in shape. It has wide shoulder straps, a good hip-belt for light loads, and all of the other features that she was looking for so she is very pleased with it.The only thing she would change is the roll-top closure system to a drawstring closure, but that is pretty minor.May 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm #1983557
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
I've got a drawstring Stealth. I'm 6' tall and went with the long torso option and it fits great. Mine is the Dyneema X version and I'm really happy with it. I've only used it on one day hike and one overnight trip but its been just as comfortable as my ULA Conduit. I went with the Stealth because of the price and because John was great to work with.
And I happen to think the dark grey Dyneema X looks pretty cool :D Here's a couple of photos:
AdamMay 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm #1983907
Andrew / Adam – thanks for the input…and Adam, thanks for the pics. Gear websites always show packs that are full of…well, who knows what they're full of–it sure isn't actual gear.
Thanks everyone. I'm going to make a short list of candidates and see what pops up on gear swap. That's what I love about this place…I can buy it used, try it out, and sell it for about the same price if it doesn't work for me.
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