Big Light Backpack

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    slavenya slavenya
    BPL Member


    Locale: Israel


    I'm looking for really light backpack with good suspension system and with capacity ~5000 cu. in. (My stuff + my girlfriend's stuff)

    I was thinking about Cilogear Worksack 75L for couple of month but it seems that Graham will not start shipping this backpack for awhile.

    Any ideas?


    Stuart Burke


    Locale: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

    You should check out granite gear's stratus latitude. It is around the same weight and volume as the worksack 75L. I have not used this pack but I have used GG's nimbus ozone and the suspension on that pack was great.

    Dave .
    BPL Member


    The Osprey Aether 75 would be another option that would suit you. I have the Atmos 35 and my brother has the Aether 60 and I've found that the Osprey packs have great suspension and that, although they weigh more than most ultralighters would like, they do a superb job of transfering your pack weight to your hips so that you aren't encumbered by your pack weight any more than is necessary.

    I believe that there is an Aether 75 for sale in the Gear Swap forum too.

    Andrew Richard


    Locale: The Desert

    I see alot of people make mention of the Osprey packs, but dont overlook the Deuter brand. I think they are more comfy and less stress on your wallet. YMMV. Check out the new line of Deuter's Vario and ac-Lite packs.

    Brett .


    Locale: CA

    Another vote for the Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone. Ive bought three GG packs and am never disappointed. They are not the lightest, and not the cheapest, but they have the highest combination of volume/weight ratio AND comfort I've found. Especially when fully loaded with some of the 2nd person's gear (as I also travel). With the extension collar you can get way more than 65 liters from the N.O.

    Timothy Roper


    Locale: Alabama

    I'll second the Osprey Aether. I have an 85 that I use during winter to haul my stuff, plus my 4 year olds stuff. I always take extra clothing and insulation to safeguard the kid when it's cold, and my Osprey is pretty comfy for such a big pack.

    Dave .
    BPL Member


    One point on the GG packs: As Brett and others have pointed out, there are backpackers who rate them quite highly and who have had good experiences with them. However, if you're tall like me (6'3"), then you may have trouble getting a good fit with the GG bags. I've tried them on in my local shop, and I they just don't fit me well. So, they work great for some, but they seem to fit tall wearers significantly poorer than the Osprey bags.

    I wish they fit me better actually. They're a neat design.

    Mike Klinefelter


    Locale: Southern California

    Actually some of the Granite Gear Packs come in long size. I'm 6'6" and the long size fits me pretty well in the Vapor Trail. I did notice that most of the beefier suspension internal frame packs only come in short and regular, so that would be a problem for someone tall.



    According to, the 75L is in production and should be shipping shortly. It looks like a massive pack.

    David Wills


    you could try and convince her she would appreciate the trip more if she carried it :)

    While your at it, you could tell her she would appreciate it doubly if she carried YOUR things too. Just be prepared to have a red hand shaped mark on your face for a while.

    David Ure



    Dave .
    BPL Member


    >>The beefier suspension packs have fully adjustable torsos – 4 points. I would be very surprised if you could not get a custom fit, given that the shoulder harness is also 'swapable' in three sizes and two widths (belts too).

    That's awesome. Thanks for pointing that out. Not sure why I didn't catch that while looking into it the first time.


    Brett .


    Locale: CA

    Good point on the customiziation options for the GG packs which have tepex frames. Also, the shoulder straps can be re-positioned at more than one horizontal position, for those with wider or narrower shoulders.

    Sumi Lavin


    go to

    they have a pack called the windsauk that's big and light

    slavenya slavenya
    BPL Member


    Locale: Israel

    Mchalepacks are perfect, but a LITTLE pricey.
    And they requests being in USA for couple of months.
    Since, I am not USA resident this is quite impossible.

    Other packs (that was named in this topic) mostly have much less volume that requested 5000 cu in.

    I think I will wait for Cilogear 75L Worksack.
    Maybe, I will try EMS for some backpack on sale.

    Roger B
    BPL Member


    Locale: Denmark

    Sorry slavenya I do not agree, McHale will send a backpack anywhere, however, he is also concerned about the fit, so if you live outside the USA you will get a quality pack, that fits you, takes time to arrive BUT it will fit YOU.

    Yes I am biased but for me a pack that fits and can carry a load comfortably is very important.

    BPL Member


    Interesting that nobody is asking about the type/length of hikes or the expected gear weight…

    Maybe OP just needs more space for his two big, fat, but not all that heavy Quallofil synthetic sleeping bags? Or is he expecting to carry lots of heavy gear and water?

    OP — it will be helpful to let us know the above. And in case you haven't purchased your gear pieces (or at least the major items) — it's best to decide on those first — then select a pack with the appropriate size and carrying comfort.


    Gosh and gee whiz Ben, you’re sounding just a bit practical, even bordering on logical here. If Slava uses this approach he might actually save some money and miss the joy of attempting to unload his mistakes in the Gear Swap forum.

    slavenya slavenya
    BPL Member


    Locale: Israel

    OK, I see your point.
    My treks will be mostly in 2 regions:
    1. 7 days Desert Climate treks without water sources and without resupply.
    2. 7-14 days treks in Alps.
    3. If she would like – longer trips.

    This is the list of gear I already have:
    1. Montbell ULSS Hugger #4 + Montbell ULSS Hugger #3
    2. Optimus Nova + SL3 Firesteel
    3. MSR Titanium Cook set 1L + 1.5L
    4. Smartwool underware (microweight + medium weight)
    5. MSR PackTowl
    6. Mountain Hardware Pack Pants + Canyon Shirt
    7. Lowa Trekker no seams leather boots
    8. Bridgedale socks
    9. Petzl Tikka XP

    During next month I will be at New Hampshire (business trip) for one week only, here is the list of gear I'm planning to buy:

    1. Backpack – I was thining of Worksack 75L
    2. Tent – I was thinking of MSR Mutha Hubba
    3. Rain Gear Pants and Shirt- have no idea.
    4. Wind Shirt – if I will find one.
    5. Waterproof sacks – Sea-to-summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack do not know what sizes I need.
    7. Foam Insulated Mug + some cookware.
    8. Trekking Poles.

    During my stay I will be at North Conway, NH and Durham, NH. The only suitable stores I find is EMS and KitteryTrandingPost. Of course, I can order online to hotel address.

    Request for comments, Slava

    BPL Member


    7-day desert hike with no water sources or resupply??? Wow, you can forget about any and all light weight backpacks. Methinks you will need both large capacity AND serious suspension. Assuming one gallon (~4 liters) of water per day, that's 7 gallons or 56lbs — just water alone!

    One thing that comes to mind. For desert camping (or any camping in temperate/warm areas with low to moderate humidity) — consider a tarptent — such as Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo or Henry Shires Tarptent Double Rainbow — and save a couple of pounds over the MSR Hubba Hubba.

    You should add up your gear weight, plus food and water. Then shop for an appropriately beefy pack — or you may find yourself looking into alternative routes(!).

    As for Alps, I imagine that will be hut-to-hut? Should be much less stress on gear weight and volume…

    slavenya slavenya
    BPL Member


    Locale: Israel

    Thats why I am still thinking of WorkSack 75L. Which by the way looks bigger than 75L. Pack that probably will suit me in both situations.

    "As for Alps, I imagine that will be hut-to-hut? Should be much less stress on gear weight and volume…" – no, it would be regular treks, and yes I know these is illegal.

    Michael Skwarczek


    Locale: Sudamerica

    We've been focusing on gear weight but Ben is touching some important points regarding consumables. Personally, I'm consuming 2.25L of water, with cooking, every day in the desert up to 70F. But 2.5L at 80F. On up. And I'm 5'10", 158lbs, in good, lean shape doing 20mi a day. Lets consider an average of 3L per day for you (not knowing more). That'll be 21L for 7 days, which will weigh more than 42 lbs. This is just for you alone. You should also be consuming 2 lbs of food per day, that's another 14lbs. Just for you.

    min. 56 lbs in consumables for 7 days.

    I'm guessing that you're heading toward a base weight min. of 15+lbs.

    This is looking like 71 lbs in the desert for 7 days, without the overflow of your G/F's gear/consumables. All assuming an unsupported strategy.

    I just have no suggestions, sorry. To me, it's beyond unreasonable. I couldn't physically carry the weight. Are you prepared for that?

    Ben, who is that guy over at with the 90+lbs pack for 26 some-odd days unsupported? Sounds like they should talk.

    slavenya slavenya
    BPL Member


    Locale: Israel

    OK, I see you point.

    So I need add some more explanations:
    I live in Israel – as you know it is not really desert here. Then yes I can buy water at some local facilities or ask dayhikers for some.

    Basically I need 3 liter of water per day. So I can do it 3 up to 4 day without water resupply. (15L of water). I did it with my Hagor 80L pack, but this pack is not build for trekking, this was kind of torturing experience.

    Anyway, if I was know what should I buy I would buy it and not ask for info from you guys. But, since I unexperienced in gear buying I asking you for advice.

    Could you please review gear list I made (posted in previous messages) and provide me with your reviews and comments about it?

    BPL Member


    Sounds much more reasonable now…

    I am not familiar with Cilogear, but that aside, the three brands that you should also take a look at are:

    o Granite Gear
    o Gregory
    o Osprey

    As for gear pieces, my thoughts are that your total weight is going to be heavy — even for three days of water — esp. if you will also be carrying some of it for your girlfriend. I would suggest being very aggressive about cutting weight — esp. on those "nice to have" items.

    1. Tent — did you look at the two tarptents I mentioned? They are very suitable for desert camping and this is probably your best place to shave weight (as compared to the Hubba Hubba).

    2. Sleeping bags — good choices — just be sure that the No. 4 is sufficiently warm for desert nights in your area.

    3. Sleeping pads — you will need these. Blue foam is the lightest but uncomfortable. Consider either air pads or self-inflating pads (e.g. Prolite) — aiming for 1 to 1.5 lbs. per pad.

    4. Cooking – Are you doing real cooking or just boiling water to rehydrate freeze-dried meals? I would highly recommend choosing the latter. For 3-4 days, you should use an alcohol stove + denatured alcohol fuel. Another alternative is a canister stove. I would not want to haul an Optimus Nova — or any other liquid-fuel stove — plus sundry cookware! With freeze-dried meals, a mug can double as a pot — so you can leave all the other cookware at home.

    5. If rain is exceedingly rare, all you need is a wind shirt. Otherwise, carry a rain jacket. You won't need both. For light rain, you probably won't need rain pants either.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit: I will be visiting your country next month (3/19-29). I am looking forward to it! :)

    slavenya slavenya
    BPL Member


    Locale: Israel

    Thank you for reply,

    "Sleeping pads — you will need these." – Since I need buy gear for two of us I was thinking of two Z-lites, one Prolite3 Regular for her and one Prolite3 Short for me.

    4. Cooking – I do not know exactly, buy I think you can't buy freeze-dried meals. You always can prepare for youself, but it's work consuming. Anyway, I would take your advice seriously.

    "5. If rain is exceedingly rare, all you need is a wind shirt. " What do you recommend?


    BTW: What are you going to do during your stay period?

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