May 5, 2013 at 9:09 am #1302561
So far my main pack has been a MLD Burn and I love it, with a base between 10-12lbs. and typically used for 3-5 day trips.
But this year, beginning with the JMT in August, I've decided thru-hiking needs to be a major part of my life. Next year the PCT.
So I bought a MLD exodus without really thinking about those occasional days when the pack will be tipping 30-35lbs due to extra water, food, canister, winter gear, etc. For example, I plan on not resupplying on the JMT for that last 100 mile section between Muir Ranch and Whitney Portal.
I had planned on using a GG sitpad and my folded Exped mat for the framesheet in the Exodus, however, now I'm wondering if the Exodus FS, despite the cost, would have been a better investment? (I want to stick with MLD).
I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has hiked with the Exodus at 30-35lbs, especially that section of JMT. Will the Exodus be only mildly uncomfortable until food weight is reduced? Or, since I will now be hiking longer distances on a regular basis, would the Exodus FS be a significantly better choice?
Obviously I'd rather be fine with the Exodus but transitioning now to a thru-hiker lifestyle I'm prepared to make the investment. And there is still time for me to put in an order.
As always, I appreciate those who take the time to share what they know.May 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm #1983580
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
First off, I own the Newt, Burn and Exodus, so it's obvious I'm an MLD fan. The Burn is still my go-to pack and the Exodus is great for bulky items but I wouldn't push either one of them over 30 lbs. I've carried up to 26 lbs in the Burn and it was tough on the shoulders for the first few days of the trip. I've carried up to 30 lbs of fishing gear in the Exodus (waders, boots, vest, food, water, clothing etc.) but it tends to collapse under that much weight (sags at the waist belt). Up to 30 lbs is do-able but certainly not comfortable and I only carry that much weight on day trips (fishing trips).
I've recently purchased an Osprey Exos 46 for loads that exceed 20 lbs, and will now only use the Burn for 2-4 day trips where the weight remains under 20 lbs. The Exodus will still be used as my bulky gear carrier as this pack is HUGE. I can't comment on how the Exodus would carry "over" 30 lbs, as I've never had the need to carry that much weight.May 5, 2013 at 7:38 pm #1983585
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
I have an Exodus and a Burn. As far as your question, I haven't pushed my Exodus beyond 20+ lbs (I just don't get out for more than a few days right now) but I think 35 lbs would be pushing it's capability. I do think 30 would be doable for a few days; not ideal, just doable with sore shoulders at the end of the day. I have held onto an older Granite Gear Vapor Trail for situations where I might have to carry above 35 lbs.
Aside from your question, I don't tend to use the Burn as much because it isn't the weight of my kit (base around 10-11 lbs) but the bulk. I seem to have a harder time fitting everything inside the pack, except on short warm weather trips. I like being able to get everything inside the Exodus with ease. I don't consider the Exodus huge, although maybe my ideal 3-5 day pack would have been a Prophet.May 5, 2013 at 7:49 pm #1983589
I used an Exodus for the start of my AT thru, and once at Damascus I used a Burn until I finished at Katahdin. Heavy over 28 lbs, and in your case I would say perhaps needlessly so. My tied 1st choices would be an HMG Windrider or a ULA Circuit for carrying 35 lbs. Unless you have very strong shoulders, I'd look elsewhere — not even the Exodus FS would seem to cut it for me.May 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm #1983593
Just wanted to jump in and say thank you for those who have contributed. Some have confirmed my own thoughts and others have given me something more to think about.
Of course, I still welcome others to share their experiences and suggestions.May 6, 2013 at 12:04 am #1983643
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
My friend, Jeremy, and I did the JMT in 2011 Aug-Sept in 15 days and also did not resupply after MTR.
I had the GoLite Jam 2, older version at 1 lb 6-8oz.
Jeremy had a small Exodus.
We both carried about 31-32 lbs of weight on the final stretch.
It sucked carrying that weight, but the GoLite had a built in 1/4" foam padding in the back and we both carried Gossamer Gear torso pads with the 1/8" thinlight full length pads for additional back support. Jeremy had a Bearikade Scout and I had the larger Bear Vault.
It was miserable for the Jeremy with the Exodus due to a combination of less padding in the back of the Exodus, simply because unlike the Jam2, there is no built in padding, plus he was using a small sized Exodus and really should have had a Medium.
Both of us felt the weight of the shoulder straps cutting into us with all of that weight.
Once we had eaten our food down to the point that we were at 27 lbs did it become tolerable…..25 lbs or less was fine….22-23 lbs was easy cruising.
Our collective belief was that 23-18 lbs was ideal for the pack.
Both of us have been considering the Exodus FS for 30 plus lbs loads for the future.
I have been a bit distressed at the lack of user reviews on BPL and more puzzled on why we have not seen a review on BPL about the Exodus FS or other packs like it, given that the use of an air suspension would be new/exciting/cutting edge in the UL market place.
Bottom line: 30 lbs is tolerable for a short time….35 lbs would seem to guarantee misery. Factor in the time it will take you to consume your food weight to drop you down to 30 to 25 lbs. Then decide for yourself on how many days you are willing to suffer vs. carrying the weight of a different pack that is more supportive.
P.S. Try out an all day hike with 35 lbs loaded into your pack and see how it feels.
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