Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider Backpack Review
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Jun 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm #1275061Addie BedfordBPL Member
Companion forum thread to:Jun 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm #1746189
Thanks for the review, Will. My 2011 SW version with dyneema gridstop pockets in Large and aluminum stays weights 25.7 oz on the nose.Jun 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm #1746190Joe ClementBPL Member
Is that even legal, since you're not in the SW?Jun 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm #1746191
Joe – I am still waiting for my invite to the SW…..Jun 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm #1746215Eugene SmithBPL Member
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
David, consider this an invitation, I can submit it formally in writing if you would like. :)
That's one sharp pack, it's definitely not groundbreaking in any way, but has a really solid feature set… but that cost….oh the cost.Jun 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm #1746219Robert CowmanBPL Member
@rcowmanLocale: Canadian Rockies
The Cost is not much more really. How much is a prophet with the same features(hipbelt pockets added) plus it has stays and an internal foam frame. And there isn't a wait time of after the season on them like other packs out there.Jun 7, 2011 at 10:41 pm #1746331Warren GreerSpectator
They might as well make the stays a bit stronger so it can carry loads even better. It's not like its the UL king, but then it isn't trying to be. There are others here who have bought this pack. Can't wait to hear what they say.Jun 7, 2011 at 11:10 pm #1746338. .BPL Member
@biointegraLocale: Puget Sound
"Recommendations For Improvement: Reduce the weight of the pack"
This pack seems like a great idea and I think Will's recommendations are spot on. It really would be handy if it were truly waterproof and lighter weight than the current model. It seems if a 1.5 oz. Cuben fiber were used it should still be plenty durable, more waterproof, and lighter weight.Jun 7, 2011 at 11:37 pm #1746342Eugene SmithBPL Member
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
If only HMG can figure out how to make it look good too. Really though, besides the cuben/nylon hybrid pack body, the pack is nothing new, it builds off of well established UL pack features found in many other packs (ie. Gossamer Gear Gorilla and Mariposa, ULA Ohm and Circuit, Prophet and Exodus, etc.) The HMG Windrider does comes fully loaded if that's what you want in a pack, but personally, I like a stipped down simple ruck I can tweak, add to, strip down if I like. Sub 30lbs. is in that weight range where it's splitting hairs as to all day comfort on the trail for me, most packs with some padding will do just fine.Jun 8, 2011 at 3:03 am #1746350Chris WBPL Member
This model might be more up your alley, Eugene.
It should be up on their site soon.Jun 8, 2011 at 7:18 am #1746386
Yes – I suspect the stays could be stiffer. However, they easily formed to one's back which ups the comfort for most lightweight loads. I agree that if you add the hydration sleeve, belt pockets, and all padding, this pack is no heavier than comparable packs in the class and the fabric is 'bomber.' Thick and has the feeling of real durability. This isn't the cuben used in stuff sacks…; )
I will have to report back when I get some miles on mine.Jun 8, 2011 at 7:24 am #1746387BlackHatGuySpectator
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
"And there isn't a wait time of after the season on them like other packs out there."
Even with a slight mod, I got my Windrider within like three weeks. No mod and I would have had it sooner.
I bought mine as a winter pack, so I won't get a chance to use it til next fall, but I really like the feel of the pack, really like the way it seems to ride (I did load it up and try it on, but didn't do any significant walking with it). If it works out for me (and I have no doubt it will), it'll be replacing my Starlite. So I'm certainly not gaining weight with it.
Not revolutionary, no, but one sweet pack. I'm really looking forward to getting mine out on the trail.Jun 8, 2011 at 7:48 am #1746397t.darrahBPL Member
@thomdarrahLocale: Southern Oregon
Stiffer Stays: The Windriders stay sleeves will accomadate "doubled" stays. I have a 2nd set of stays coming from Mike at HMG and I will test and provide comments regarding using the doubled stays to add stiffness.
"Not revolutionary, no, but one sweet pack." Like Doug I use my custom Windrider SW as a winter pack. For this use the pack is near perfect IMO. My three season pack is the MLD Burn which I love, the HMG Windrider SW provides the additional volume and carrying capacity required when using true winter season type gear.
The 25 oz weight, IMO, is acceptable when considering the packs design features including the stays, the doubled bottom, the belt pockets and durable material (this weight also includes the 500d Hardline exterior pockets of the SW version). A well thought out design and high quality of workmanship and materials make the Windrider a pack worth considering.Jun 8, 2011 at 9:54 am #1746454Matthew ZionMember
@mzionLocale: Boulder, CO
"Even with a slight mod, I got my Windrider within like three weeks. No mod and I would have had it sooner."
Similar experience with mine. Went with no hipbelt, sternum strap, and stays and the pack weighs in at 16.5 oz. Mike is a pleasure to work with and prompt with returning messages.Jun 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm #1746493Rakesh MalikMember
I've been using a 2010 model Windrider for a while now, and so far my impressions are positive as well.
I used it as my day pack on Kilimanjaro, and I've been using it for bike commuting here in Seattle. On Kili, I carried around 35 pounds (most of the weight was water + photo gear) in it, and commuting I usually carry around 15. Having had it in the rain for hours at a time now, including a driving sleet/rain storm at Kili, and finding the interior dry when I reached camp, I've gotten to the point where I trust it to keep my stuff dry… so I carry books, an iPad, and last night a small computer in it, and just clothing to pad the stuff. Though I wouldn't treat it like a dry bag, I don't worry about rain with it.Jun 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm #1746559Dan @ Durston GearBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
I wouldn't use a pack cover with the Windrider. Sure there are pin holes from sewing etc, but the fabric is indeed waterproof as HMG claims and when tested in rain (as opposed to a bathtub) virtually none gets in. If you really want zero water getting in, a pack cover isn't going to accomplish this because it's open on one side of the pack. For normal use, I would say the Windrider is waterproof enough as it is, but if you want to be 100% water tight then either seam seal the pack or use a pack liner.
It is good to know that the fabric absorbs weight. I do wonder how much of these weight was soaked in the packs padding as opposed to the actual cuben/nylon fabric.
My wife has the Windrider and she's been very happy with it through about 2 weeks of trail time so far. We did snip the top strap system off because it makes the pack a lot more time consuming to open and close. These straps would be handy for a bear canister or large rolled CCF pad, but she doesn't carry these so out came the snippers. The hydration sleeve is also going to be snipped shortly.Jun 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm #1746689Matthew ZionMember
@mzionLocale: Boulder, CO
I spoke to Mike about the 'waterproofing' at trail days and he explained that all the seams are taped with the exception of the seams on the back panel. This is where they close up the bag during production and is also where the back padding is located. I trust the packs ability to repel water with all of my down insulation–jacket and quilt.Jun 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm #1746701Greg MihalikSpectator
If you buy a drybag that says "Waterproof" you know what you expect.
That is not the case here…
"…Super-Resistant, Most Seams Taped, that Usually Keeps Water Out"Jun 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm #1746702W I S N E R !Spectator
$255? Looks pretty typical to me.
You can't buy the perfect pack.
It's a proven hokus-pokus Cosmic-ZenThing:
The perfect pack only appears when you're ready for it. The perfect pack can only be found when you stop looking for the perfect pack.
It's probably already in your closet…if you let it be.
Find something that fits good enough, accept the fact that every pack has its pros and cons, that 30 lbs will always feel $hitty after 25 miles, and forget about packs.
Behold. You've found the perfect pack.Jun 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm #1746703BlackHatGuySpectator
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
Excellent advice Craig! Even works for relationships. Except, perhaps, for the bit about the closet…..Jun 8, 2011 at 6:49 pm #1746714Lawson KlineBPL Member
I think the price is very reasonable considering most packs are made in Asia using much lower priced materials. Keep up the good work HMG.Jun 8, 2011 at 7:02 pm #1746719W I S N E R !Spectator
That's a good point Lawson, I'm completely ignoring the origin/manufacturing process when griping about the price.
Sorry, I edited right before your response David.
But yes, a Jam is $150. I paid $70 used and have been going for ~4 years, with many more to come.
Is an extra $105 dollars worth a made in the USA logo and extra weight? That's for each to decide on their own.
I already have the perfect pack though, so I'm not in this game.Jun 8, 2011 at 7:05 pm #1746722
The retail price on a Jam is $150. You need to compare apples to apples.Jun 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm #1746724te – waBPL Member
blah blah 26 ounces blah blah 260 dollars
Ray did 3x better 25 years ago. just sayin'.Jun 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm #1746754
"Ray did 3x better 25 years ago."
Lay off the sauce.
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