Dec 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm #1283039
I'm relatively new to BPL, and I'm less interested in getting my backpacking load under 20 lbs than I am getting my mountaineering load under 40 lbs. I currently use a Gregory Makalu Pro (69 L, 5 lb. 9 oz, minimalist but burly load hauler) and have carried up to 65 lbs in it. It's a great pack, but I'm not thrilled with the weight and I won't need it if I can get my load under 45 or 40 lbs. I've done a ton of searching for a new pack and so far I have the following on my list:
Cilogear 60 L worksack (4 lb, 3 oz)
Black Diamond Speed 55 (3 lb, 5 oz)
HMG porter (2 lb, 0 oz with stays)
I'm worried about the durability of the BD and HMG packs, and the weight of the Cilogear. I've looked at a lot of other bags and counted most out for one reason or another.
The bag I want would be 55-65 Liter, 3ish pounds, under $300, minimalist, durable, and carry 45 lbs without maiming me. Am I missing any standouts?Dec 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm #1812150Dec 14, 2011 at 1:45 pm #1812198
Herb TassinBPL Member
If you're interested in selling that Makalu Pro, send me a PM. I might be interested.
-HerbDec 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm #1812206Dec 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm #1812214
eric chanBPL Member
did i miss something … but there seems to be no ice axe loops on those new dead bird …
now granted you dont NEED one … but they are convenient for axe and tools … and they dont weight much at allDec 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm #1812215
Not bad. Found a weight of 1400 g for the Nozone 55 here:Dec 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm #1812216
I think you stick the pick between layers of fabric so that it goes under the "NOZONE 55" lettering. And then there might be a strap high up the red daisy chain for the shaft…Dec 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm #1812220Dec 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm #1812224
eric chanBPL Member
i saw something similar on the altra and i remember not being terribly impressed
often the side straps are used for other gear, which i personally dont like to loosen whenever taking off the axe … but thats just meDec 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm #1812226
I see it now…
The upper side compression strap is stitched to the body of the bag at one point. The shaft goes up through the loop (right of stitching in image) and then the pick goes sideways into fabric holder and is clipped with buckle.
That wouldn't work for technical tools though… I guess those would have to be strapped to the daisy chain.Dec 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm #1812235Dec 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm #1812239
My go to pack:
-3ish pounds (Check)
-45lb load (Check)
Randy also offers custom designs such as added daisy chains, rope strap, helmet strap and he will even remove items that you do not need.
I have had my pack for years– in fact mine is still the old design with the tool "tubes" as opposed to the more traditional ax "loops"– and it is still going strong. The pack is most certainly bomber and can stand up to abuse. FWIW, I also own the Valdez and wouldn't hesitate to purchase a new one when they they finally die.Dec 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm #1812275
@earn_my_turnsLocale: New England
I really like this pack. Very minimalist, the few pockets and straps that it has seem to be in the right places and right size to hold all of my stuff. My only complaint is that it doesn't really hold an ice axe that tight to the pack. Not the lightest but I think it has a great weight to durability compromise.
3lb 8ozDec 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm #1812315
Durability as you pointed out is very key IMO for a mountaineering pack. I have used essentially ripstop nylon stuff sack summit bags and they get shredded darned quick and I quit using them as they began to resemble throw away garbage bags with shoulder straps attached.
The BD Speed 55 doesn't really have proper external attachment points. The old BD Shadow 55 is good. BD now makes a 60L pack equivalent to the old Shadow 55 that I have used for the last 10 years but I believe its even heavier.
Have several friends with Cilogear packs and they love them.
If you have the money get a McHale Backpack, it frees up your arms so that you can climb more efficiently with a pack on as the straps aren't bearing down on your shoulders. They squeeze down as well for summit day. I am currently saving my pennies for such a pack. Dyneema rules in mountaineering.
My brother has used a ULA P2 now called catlyst? and it has performed so-so. It is not durable enough on the bottom though and has no crampon attachment point so you must have someone else carry the pons.
If you can find an old kelty white cloud grab it. Made from Dyneema.
You can go lighter like the HMG porter, but will pay dearly on the approach as their frames, stink.
I have never been inclined to any dead bird or osprey product.
You might want to look at European packs though they generally do not have 55L size as Europeans all go climbing from huts so they don't have to carry a tent/bivy/heavy BBag/cooking gear as they hop from hut to hut and eat what is provided there.Dec 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm #1812328
ed hyattBPL Member
@edhyattLocale: The North
I didn't realise we all hopped from hut-to-hut carrying tiny sacks – that's where I went wrong back in the day :-)
As above – Crux packs are light and tough – I have an RK30, AK37, and AK47.
Prolite gear used to sell them in the US?Dec 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm #1812330
"I have never been inclined to any dead bird or osprey product"
I don't know, one of my climbing partners has an Osprey Variant 37 and it is a well designed pack complete with tool holders, crampon pocket etc and I used to own an Osprey Exposure that I liked a lot
For the OP, Osprey also offer a larger version of the Variant but at 52L it is slightly below your 55L limit– but it is certainly worth looking at IMHO.
As for Arcteryx packs– they are mostly designed with skiiers and boarders in mind and not so much mountaineering; the packs are also pretty pricey for what you get.Dec 15, 2011 at 5:29 am #1812382
That pack is no diff than the BD speed 55L. Has the same problem. No external attachment points. Its great for hauling up a cliff face, but rather poor in getting your gear to base camp.
Good luck getting pons/climbing gear/a weeks worth of food in/on said pack, don't forget the camera. No way in heck will that happen. The OP is not looking for a summit/overnight pack which should be more like 30L anyways without a framesheet etc. Never really understood why someone would buy a 50L pack with no external attachment points. Its just an oversized climbing pack IMO.
To each their own.
PS. Bet 45lbs crushes said pack frame. That and it has no effective hip belt.Dec 15, 2011 at 6:37 am #1812394
Never looked at the larger Variant, but you would have no issues packing the following:
-Crampons (dedicated crampon pocket)
-Snow shovel blade (crampon pocket)
-Snow shovel handle (right side compression)
-Probe (right side compression)
-Tent (ridge side compression)
-Snowshoes (left-side compression)
-Helmet (under lid or 'binered to the haul system or compression straps)
-Ice axe or tools (axe loops)
That leaves 53L to fit everything else inside. FWIW, my Chernobyl is 50L and I have managed comfortably for a 4 day winter trip and that included a rope and a small trad rack. I guess it really depends on how well you have your gear dialed in. Heck, my climbing partner carries all of the above (minus tent) on his 37L Variant since it is all standard winter gear regardless of if you are doing one day or multi-day routes.
I would imagine you could fit everything on the Speed 55 just the same that I outlined above since they are pretty similar in design even down to the 'pon pocket except you would need to keep the blade attached to the handle. However the one added feature of this pack that I like is the rope strap. In fact, I wish I had gotten Randy to add one to both of my CCW packs.
However, you do make a valid point– could either of these packs handle a 45lb load? I have no idea, I would say go to a store a load them up and see how they handle– fit and comfort is pretty individual.Dec 15, 2011 at 7:54 am #1812420
I guess I didn't describe what "minimalist" means to me. I do need some way of attaching crampons/shovel/snowshoes to the outside of the pack. As long as there are some daisy chains and at least 2 side compression straps on the bag, that should suffice. The BD Speed 55 looks like it has little recessed loops to thread cord through for crampon attachment, but this is definitely inferior to simply daisy chains.
My Makalu is really exactly what I want, I just can't get over how heavy it is. It is unnecessarily overbuilt in many areas.
Good suggestions though! I didn't know about the new Arc'teryx bag or Crux in general.Dec 15, 2011 at 8:12 am #1812429
If I was in the same market as you then I would go with either:
-Ciligear Worksack 60:
They both have a stripped down design, have two compression straps, crampons attachments and ways to lash the rest of your gear via daisy chains. Also, as I mentioned before Randy at CCW will customize any of his packs– you want an extra daisy chain or you want it in a different location? No problem.
You won't find too many people with anything negative to say about these packs.Dec 15, 2011 at 8:36 am #1812432
Yup, Paul, CCW makes good mountaineering packs. Not the lightest but durable. My kind of pack. Only reason I didn't buy one is due to $$$ and went with the BD at the time. Guy I go climbing with has an Andinista that he has had for 20 years. Still going strong minus the polyurethane coating of course.
Given enough extra tie points on the outside one doesn't need a "pack" larger than 35L or so. Food/clothes can go in stuff sacks and tied on. Done that plenty though the hike in/out generally isn't nice as their frames are none existant.
Think my ultimate mountaineering "pack" would be a modular frame that one can add/subtract hibelt/tool loops/stays/framesheet/bag size. Essentially what I really want is a simple "frame" with a minimal bag for food/water/camera/emergency kit/clothes that extra bags or ropes/pro/tents get tied to.Dec 15, 2011 at 9:06 am #1812437
I have always liked the Andinista, well the one with the crampon straps that is out of stock but it is far too big for purposes. I actually own the Guide pack for my one day routes in the spring when I still need 'pons, snowshoes, ice axe but not the bulky winter belay jacket etc. It also makes a pretty good overnight summer bivy bag too.
You are right, one doesn't really need such a big pack with so many lashing points. I like my 40L Valdez for one day winters and the 50L Chernobyl for multi-day routes.
I believe that Ciliogear's packs are at least semi-modular with removable frame sheet, strap set, bivy pad, crampon pocket, sternum belt, hip belt and the aluminum stay which is a neat concept– but something I would never take advantage of which is why I opted for the simpler design of the CCW pack when I was in the market.Dec 17, 2011 at 9:53 am #1813261
I really like the HMG porter (in theory) for trips where I can get away with 35-40 lbs of stuff, but I think I'm asking it to do way too much if it's going to replace my Gregory Makalu for all trips.
I think I might just keep the Gregory for huge load (60 lbs) trips and also get the HMG. I didn't think that was an option but maybe I can find the money somewhere. I also saw an HMG coupon mentioned on here that would help…Dec 17, 2011 at 10:49 am #1813275
The problems I see with the HMG:
-Roll top closure could be a royal pain trying to keep the spin-drift out.
-Lack of a place to secure a rope
-Can cuben really stand up to true mountaineering? Being hauled over talus, spiked by 'pons and the general abuse that these packs go through.
-The pack is fairly new– there are not any reviews for it. How is the craftsmanship, will the seams withstand the pressure after a couple of years.
Personally, I would avoid the Porter like the plague until it has been tried and tested for a year or two under real life mountaineering conditions. I would stick with the Cilogear 60 that you adore– built my mountaineers, for mountaineers and it has been tried, tested and passed for years and years. Not to mention that you will save $15 and KNOW you are getting quality that has been proven to last.Dec 17, 2011 at 11:09 am #1813278
Padding is more than sufficient for the recommended loads. Nice wide belt. There are numeroud places to secure a rope as the Porter has two vertical daisy chains that have attachement points every inch or so. That is the point of this pack – modularity.
The fabric is thick – probably a 210d at least. Not as abrasian resistant as full spectra but more so than dyneema gridstop.
I can't see how the roll top would be an issue. Even Arcteryx has used this approach on their climbing packs.
Craftsmanship is excellent. Seams very tight. Comparable to my Mchale.
The Porter has been tested for many months independently.
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