Lightweight Backpacks 2008: Current Favorites and New Introductions (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008)
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Sep 19, 2008 at 2:39 pm #1451589Scott SmithBPL Member
@mrmuddyLocale: Idaho Panhandle
I just finished a 50 mile . week long trip ..luggin @ 48lbs total in my " 85" …. And . the pack performed …. Perfect !!!Sep 20, 2008 at 6:47 am #1451627Don SeleskySpectator
Clifford, Scott, thanks for your feedback on the Aether 85.Sep 20, 2008 at 9:16 am #1451641Tom CaldwellBPL Member
I sure like Z-Packs and ULA packs, but I don't see any reason to consider them as a real outdoor manufacturer. Customers, like myself, want to do business with a full-time operation, and not just a hobby type. If I wanted a ULA pack, could I find one right now?Sep 20, 2008 at 10:18 am #1451646Elizabeth ZaffaranoMember
I'm glad I'm not the only one puzzled by the "hump" in the atmos/aura bags! I bought an Aura 35 and it seemed like a good 20% of the capacity was taken up by the strut space. I returned it, and got the women's Venturi 30, and That seems to be working OK. Its a little smaller, lighter, but also feels easier to load.
My current favorite daypack is the Talon 11. It hugs the body nicely, but is also a bit sweaty. So I'd love to see a melding of the Aura and Talon in the Exos.Sep 20, 2008 at 10:32 am #1451647Greg MihalikBPL Member
@greg23Locale: ColoradoSep 20, 2008 at 11:59 am #1451665Mark JonesBPL Member
@hibisk55Locale: The Back of Beyond
Does anyone have experience with the Mountain Laurel Designs Arc or Exodus packs? Care to share your thoughts?
Thanks.Sep 20, 2008 at 1:13 pm #1451668Joe WestingMember
Sure Z-Packs, ULA, etc. aren't full on outdoor manufacturers, but they certainly aren't "hobby-types." They are in the cottage industry and they run a full-time business. I would much rather do business with the many cottage manufacturers that cater to the lightweight backpacking world due to the personal attention and excellent customer service of many of the cottage companies. The workmanship and quality of the gear made by companies such as Z-Packs, ULA, MLD, etc. is exceptional and way beyond that of any "real outdoor manufacturer." Sure there are often wait times for buying some of the gear, but I can wait for quality gear and service.
BTW, I am also interested in hearing people's experience with the MLD Exodus and Arc packs.Sep 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm #1451683Troy MeadowsBPL Member
@lightworkerLocale: Sierra foothills
I will have to agree that cottage industries are the way to go. Brian at ULA is a very personal and knowledgeable guy, besides the fact that he make wonderful products. Can you blame the guy for wanting a couple of months off to go hiking. I am personally very jealous.Sep 21, 2008 at 7:14 am #1451726Kevin LaneBPL Member
Is there any way to list the maximum torso size for each pack? Those of us over 22" have few optionsSep 22, 2008 at 2:41 pm #1451897Monty MontanaBPL Member
@tarasbulbaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Will, you state, "The Flash packs should be considered for purchase alongside the Osprey Exos packs (and other favorites in that category), rather than the SMD and Gossamer Gear packs." Is this because they have a higher volume, can carry more weight, or what? Would you clarify please. BTW, terrific review!Sep 22, 2008 at 9:04 pm #1451951Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Great that BPL featured the REI Flash packs. As with their other packs REI has continued to show design innovation and quality for an excellent price.
For week long, 3 season backpacking trips I own an REI Cruise UL 60 (60 L.) size Large, at 2 lbs. 3 oz. This pack features 2 tubular aluminum stays, Dyneema ripstop fabric, and many other excellent features and is quite commfortable after the proper adjustments are made. I recommend it highly for loads under 40 lbs..
But I have rsuggested to REI they make the hipbelt pockets much larger and make the lid detatchable for use as a fanny pack.
EricSep 24, 2008 at 12:59 pm #1452101Will RietveldBPL Member
@williwabbitLocale: Southwest Colorado
Monte asked me to clarify this statement: "The Flash packs should be considered for purchase alongside the Osprey Exos packs (and other favorites in that category), rather than the SMD and Gossamer Gear packs." He asked "Is this because they have a higher volume, can carry more weight, or what?"
I am not recommending that someone purchase the Flash pack instead of a SMD or GG pack. I am saying that, although the Flash packs are in the removable frame category, the packs are really more comparable to packs with a built in frame. Yes, they will carry more volume and weight with greater comfort, thus the comparison to Osprey, Gregory and other packs with a built in frame.
A clarification another post: the REI Cruise UL 60 weighs 3 pounds 3 ounces and the fabric is not Dyneema.Oct 26, 2008 at 2:26 pm #1456261Jason BrinkmanBPL Member
I have both an Osprey Stratos 40 and a Stratos 24 that I like. They are descendents of the Atmos line, but not as advanced or light as the new Exos. Main selling feature for me was the air mesh back panel. Not that you will feel a breeze back there or anything, but it is much cooler than padding against your back. The reduced volume between mesh and pack will be beneficial. I think the Exos 34 liter version should be a great size for UL 3-season trips.
Now a couple gripes about the Osprey Exos design (as pictured). The compression webbing over the side mesh pockets makes the pockets less useful. I like to carry PE water bottles in those pockets. Personally, I would cut off the side compression V webbing, and instead criss-cross the kangaroo pouch with cord for when I need to reduce pack volume. Also, the waist belt pouches look large enough, but once you put on the pack and tighten the belt, they are actually rather small and difficult to access. Some stretch material on the belt pockets would really help in this regard.
And finally, is that a camera/phone/GPS pocket attached to the shoulder strap? If so, three cheers for Osprey, as I have been attaching an aftermarket pouch there for years! Just hope it's the right [email protected]!Oct 26, 2008 at 2:35 pm #1456262Woubeir (from Europe)BPL Member
The side compression straps of the Exos series can be reconfigured so that they run underneath the mesh side pockets.Oct 26, 2008 at 5:34 pm #1456279Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Right. Good Exos pictures available here:
I'm quite interested, as the Talon is a very good pack but without the Atmos' trampoline back panel. Best of both worlds?Oct 26, 2008 at 5:57 pm #1456283A. B.Member
What does 2009 model mean? Is it like the auto industry where 2009 models arrive in 2008? I'm just trying to get a feel for when I could see this on the shelf. I really like the Atmos 50 and this Exos sounds like it addresses my complaints with the Atmos.Oct 30, 2008 at 8:23 am #1456833Jason BrinkmanBPL Member
The outdoor gear industry doesn't seem to be as consistent as the auto industry. In my experience, 2009 models often arrive in spring 2009 for summer gear. For winter gear I am not sure – will these coming months feature 2008 or 2009 winter gear?Sep 12, 2009 at 2:36 pm #1527197Ethan A.BPL Member
@mountainwalkerLocale: SF Bay Area & New England
Don, which higher volume lighter pack did you go with for winter? I've been looking at the Golite Odyssey as well, but haven't pulled the trigger yet.
PS You might want to add an email address for PMs – tried to PM you but said no email address specified.
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