Nov 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm #1296058Nov 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm #1928463
Luke SchmidtBPL Member
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
Looks interesting but my thought is "why?" In my opinion the regular Porter was a great size and with the three compression straps it could compress down nicely. I just don't see why you'd want to buy the mini porter when it doesn't save much weight and it can't be stuffed full for the occasional winter trip.
On the other hand I could see a few people liking this. People with SUL type gear but spine problems might like a smaller pack with more support. People packing a lot of water in the desert might light a small but supportive pack too.Nov 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm #1928617
The biggest difference between these two packs is the extension collar on the regular Porter, which isn't always needed. The 2400 cube rating is for the main bag so it is still a decent sized UL pack. At 26oz, with a stiff frame and functionally rainproof, this has much more appeal to me than say a ULA Ohm for off trail excursions.
Since when is saving 5 oz not important….Nov 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm #1928644
Luke SchmidtBPL Member
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
Well if the main difference is the extension collar that's not too bad. Looks like they also took off the bottom compression strap which probably isn't needed on such a small pack. Definitely both Porters are impressive packs.
A pack that is 26 or 30 oz and can carry weight that well is a pretty impressive thing.Nov 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm #1928660
Looking at it a little more closely, it is only 20 bucks cheaper and 5 oz lighter. I think for the majority of people, the regular Porter would be a better option.
Their packs are really intriguing, but I just can't justify spending that much on a pack that comes with no accessories.Nov 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm #1928661
"At 26oz, with a stiff frame and functionally rainproof, this has much more appeal to me than say a ULA Ohm for off trail excursions."
After having used an OHM off trail for several years now, I can say with confidence that is does just fine, in terms of performance on rough terrain and durability. I moved to an OHM 2.0 this year and was delighted with its performance on a section of the SHR. It weighs 23.0 oz, stripped of all the optional bells and whistles, but including spacious hip belt pockets(Circuit hip belt) and the best side pockets I have ever found, on any pack. It also has a durable Cordura bottom, which stood up to some fairly serious abuse, as did the Dyneema fabric of the pack body. This is not to "diss" the Mini Porter, which I am sure is a fine pack, but to propose that the OHM does not suffer by comparison, at least not as far as I can tell. The main advantage of the Mini Porter seems to be in its near waterproofness, which the OHM definitely lacks. Maybe it boils down to the environment one packs in and personal preference as to features? Does anybody know how much the Mini weighs with hipbelt pockets and side pockets, to make an equivalent feature weight comparison?Nov 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm #1928662
David, are you saying that the dimensions are largely the same except for the height of the extension collar? Admittedly, the Porter collar is quite tall, but that seems like a lot of weight to save by shortening it and then cutting out a compression strap.
Given how HMG makes their stuff in-shop, I think it's a great move to offer more options like this. I think I still prefer the original Porter. But I can totally see how someone who doesn't need that kind of volume would prefer to save the 5 ounces, especially in burly areas where a waterproof pack is essential.Nov 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm #1928663
These Zimmerbuilt pockets weigh 1.5 ounces each, and they look fairly spacious. They aren't Ohm spacious, but they still look nice.Nov 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm #1928666
"They aren't Ohm spacious, but they still look nice."
Agreed, but now the weight is up to 29 oz, with no hipbelt pockets.Nov 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm #1928671
And then the front stuff-it pocket adds another 4.2 ounces, if you want it. Not sure how much the hip belt pockets weigh?
I think the moral of the story here is that every pack (and piece of gear, for that matter) requires compromises, and the HMG packs are no exception. If waterproofness was important to me, the pack would be high on my list.Nov 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm #1928675
"I think the moral of the story here is that every pack (and piece of gear, for that matter) requires compromises, and the HMG packs are no exception. If waterproofness was important to me, the pack would be high on my list."
+1Nov 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm #1928679
Sorry Tom. Having owned an Ohm and now a Porter, the Ohm has proven to me not nearly as durable off trail. The proprietary fabric used by HMG is much more abrasion resistant as well as tear resistant. The cordage used on the Ohm will catch every branch. No such issues with the Porter. The frame is stiffer on the Porter as well. The Ohm is a fine pack but not what I would consider a bombproof lightweight pack, which the Porter has proven.Nov 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm #1928681
If you absolutely require external pockets for volume instead of the volume in the main bag, then the Windrider would be a consideration and still superior to the Ohm in every way. Carry better, rain proof, more durable, same accessories. No compromises in this case.Nov 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm #1928691
Not to derail the thread, but…
I find the Ohm Pockets superior to those used on the Windrider. In addition, I remember the Windrider suffering fairly significant torso collapse once it hit 25 lbs in the last SOTM report done by Will. So yes, there are compromises.Nov 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm #1928695
"Sorry Tom. Having owned an Ohm and now a Porter, the Ohm has proven to me not nearly as durable off trail. The proprietary fabric used by HMG is much more abrasion resistant as well as tear resistant. The cordage used on the Ohm will catch every branch. No such issues with the Porter. The frame is stiffer on the Porter as well. The Ohm is a fine pack but not what I would consider a bombproof lightweight pack, which the Porter has proven."
I guess I'd chalk it up to different environments, David, or maybe a different way of moving thru rough terrain. I have had no durability problems with my OHM's whatsoever in 4 years of hard use, other than one small tear in the kangaroo pocket on my first one. One environmental difference that occurs to me is that the Sierra is much more open than I imagine your Canadian arboreal terrain to be, although I have not had any issues with cordage(compression lines) hanging up on branches or fabric tearing other than the one I mentioned above, either in the Sierra or the Cascades when I have encountered that type of terrain. That said, I have no way of comparing, since I have not owned a Porter, but the OHM has proven plenty durable enough for any packing conditions I have encountered. If I were doing most of my packing in very rainy conditions, or wanted to carry loads over, say, 27-28 pounds, I would definitely consider a Porter. But for my typical load and climate, the OHM 2.0, which is $60 cheaper and a minimum of 3 oz lighter if you don't include side/hipbelt pockets, is a better deal.Nov 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm #1928696
I seem to remember that HMG changed the stays since then. Is that right?Nov 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm #1928697
That was with the previous, first generation straight thin stays. At the time, this was essentially a frameless pack. Last year, the Windrider adopted the stiff shaped stays of the Porter and the pack will carry well over 30 lbs without significant torso collapse. Compromise averted!
Edit: Clayton beat me to it.
Tom, indeed. Different environments. Cheers.Nov 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm #1928700
Tom, you can get hipbelt pockets on the Porter for an extra $10. And it's 28 oz with the Zimmerbuilt ones, but who's counting?
Honestly, I really enjoyed the Ohm 2.0 that I had tried out this summer. Had it fit me better, I would have kept it in a heartbeat. I still have yet to find side pockets equal to those on the Ohm.
However, fit and carry trump everything for me (and are intimately related). That is something I simply cannot compromise on. Everything else can be adjusted.Nov 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm #1928701
I stand corrected – I'm glad to see that they change the stays.
All things considered, for the conditions I backpack in, and for my uses, I find my Ohm 2.0 to suit my needs better than the HMG packs.
And the Ohm is quite a bit cheaper, especially when you add in accessories. Price-related compromise averted. ;)Nov 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm #1928704
>All things considered, for the conditions I backpack in, and for my uses, I find my Ohm 2.0 to suit my needs better than the HMG packs.
Having never used a HMG pack right? ;)Nov 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm #1928706
I was doing my best to ignore price…..darn
Well, I will use my telepathic powers to see if I can summon a 20% off sale.Nov 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm #1928707
I have seen and used both (as friends own them).Nov 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm #1928709
I know David! While I do like my Ohm 2.0 and am intrigued by my friend's HMG packs, I haven't been able to press the order button yet. Maybe one day!Nov 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm #1928717
"Tom, indeed. Different environments. Cheers."
Cheers, David. :)Nov 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm #1928727
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
David – would you be prepared to share what your role as an HMG ambassador involves? Please don't take this in the wrong way.
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