Jan 9, 2013 at 1:07 pm #1297824
Im about to purchase an HMG Porter Pack, probably the Expedition. This has been on the market for a bit now and Im just wondering what kinds of experience people are having with its durability? I havnt seen any long term reviews yet.
Also, one of the reasons for this purchase is the "water proofness", to do away with any kind of liner or stuff sacks. Have people had good success in down pours and the contents of the pack staying dry?
Thanks and your experiences and views are very much appreciated!!Jan 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm #1942575
Anybody using this pack for awhile have any positive or negative fedback on durability and water proofness?
Guess ill just have to get one and see how it goes.Jan 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm #1942619
@kbugLocale: NW New Mexico
I bought a HMG windrider earlier in the spring a put around 45-50 days of trips into it this season (southern Rockies). Great pack and I might buy another if it lasts maybe another 2 years of similar usage. The cuben hybrid fabric has a crinkled 'used' look right away, but seems durable sort of (lots of small frays but no tears, especially where repeatedly folded at closure area around top and where bottom/sides meet the occasional sharp rock, but no rips). The over-abundance of HMG logo patches has been a problem as every single one has fallen off or is in the process of falling off leaving behind stitching holes in the middle of the sack panels (Easily sealed, but annoying for the price and billboard effect), also many of the stitched seams (cosemetic seams, not the structural seams that do not come taped) that were taped by HMG have extensive peeling of the WP tape on the inside of the bag.
As far as waterproofing,the bag surprised me with how many areas would need to be seam-sealed and has a hydration port that can't be totally sealed without modification, so I've always lined with a trash compactor bag on trips around moisture. Plus the above mentioned fraying of the surface fabric around the closure area at the top was un-nerving for stand-alone water'proof' use. But as BPL stated in their review, even when totally soaked the bag gains very little weight and dries incredibly fast.
Altogether a pretty great pack, but not quite the grand innovation amongst a sea of stagnation that it was originally 'hyped' as. A custom z-packs bag of the same fabric may have been the better route for me considering how easy it is to customize their features (no hydration port, pockets/straps where you want them,dimensions, maybe cheaper). Sorry no pics; hope this helps.Jan 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm #1942622
Thanks, …exactly the info I was looking for.Jan 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm #1942656
I've got the Expedition pack (now called the Porter 4400). I've had it out for about 10 days on the trail so far, and I've no negatives as of yet. I've gone through a two hour rain up in the Rockies with no issues. The pack has held up fine, and shows no indication of any kind of failure so far. Also, very comfortable to carry.Jan 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm #1942668
@nickbLocale: Los Padres National Forest
I've had my HMG Porter for about a year now and used it on 7 or 8 trips ranging from 1 to 3 nights each. A lot of these trips involved bushwhacking through scratchy, nasty chapparal or brushing up against rock walls and boulders.
Overall I'm still very happy with the pack and the way it's help up (especially considering I've worn a hole in ULA pack fabric on similar style trips).
Obviously with the white fabric color on the HMG packs, I've picked up a lot of dirt and grime. Much of the pack is faintly stained with various shades of dirt, mud, soot and vegetation.
Around the top opening of the pack, the cuben body material has acquired a lot of wrinkles and seems like it may have softened up a little. No signs of failure or critical degradation, just looks a little more worn in this area… presumably from all the folding and unfolding when opening and closing the pack.
The bottom of the pack is pretty scuffed up. There's areas where the pack fabric is a little fuzzy from the scuffing, but that's it. It doesn't appear to affect the pack material's performance yet.
Early on with the pack, I thought I had noticed a section of stitching along a seam starting to ever so slightly pull apart. The seam in question is the one that joins the side panel and the back panel and the area where the stitching looked like it was getting stressed was in between the point where the top of the shoulder straps attach to the back panel and the uppermost side compression strap. I thought maybe the shoulder strap and compression strap were pulling too hard in opposite directions. I've been monitoring the seam since I noticed it however and it hasn't appeared to get any worse.
Overall I've been impressed with the pack's ability to withstand some nasty brush. I also am really liking the variable volume of the pack (thanks to the compression straps and huge extension collar) and the modularity afforded by the abundant daisy chains. I've got all sorts of ways of attaching various pockets and/or equipment/tools and can customize this to suit my needs for each trip. I find the pack super comfortable at 35 lbs or less and with careful packing have been able to creep up above 40 lbs when hauling lots of water, etc. with comfort.Jan 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm #1942680
My Windrider experience is basically the same as Kevin's. Moderately peeling of the inner tape, more seams to leak than ideal, no need for the sewn on logo's but overall generally a good product.
It's nice to see HMG is branching out from white. The back panel becomes tan/brown over time on a white pack.Jan 11, 2013 at 7:47 am #1942823
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
Similar experience to Nick's as well. This is one of the seams that appeared stressed very early in use (between the back panel and upper compression strap). I spread some seam grip on them and they have not changed since I started using the pack.
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