Jun 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm #1303671
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I currently own an older REI Cruise UL 60 pack W/ REI aftermarket side pockets. Total weight 3 lbs. 6 oz.
What do you use in a backpack (not a day pack) that is about 50 liters or more?
OOPS! I forgot, NO Cuben packs. Can't abide the look or feel.Jun 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm #1992240
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I am using the 46L Gossamer Gear Gorilla with stays and a foam sit pad as a frame sheet … love it.
–MarkJun 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm #1992242
HMG Porter. I haven't found a better UL famed pack under 2 lbsJun 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm #1992248
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Osprey Exos 46. There is a 58 liter model as well, which I lust for…. sighJun 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm #1992258
Jake DBPL Member
I have the mentioned Osprey Exos 58 (actually 55 in the small i have) love it.. don't always need the volume but it cinches down nice for weekend trips.
Also have the 34L for my daypack which keeps all of the ergonomics and straps the same.
i love the horizontal bottle pockets since my shoulder flexibility isn't great and i can still reach both pockets without taking the pack off. among other features i like.Jun 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm #1992259
@hhopeLocale: East Bay
A fairly amazing pack for the weight, true frame, internal, also stiffener sheets of plastic, comfortable straps, 50 liters, 2.5 pounds with top pocket, removable, 2 pounds without. Dyneema / nylon fabric. That's a super stiff steel u frame by the way, I had to put all my body weight on it to alter the bend slightly. The u supports the top load lifters to the bottom back pad, making it a real frame.
Major flaw: flat lycra type side pockets, no front(back) pocket at all. Otherwise maybe the most underrated pack I've seen discussed here. Too bad Lowe was sold to some other outdoor gear holding company, I doubt they will be the same ever again.
Easily holds a full sized bear cannister horizontally across bottom of pack. I'll probably never use it again though, I just don't have that much gear to pack away.
The zepton was the name of the basic torso length version, they made two others, one shorter, women's usually, and one longer, I don't remember the names of those two.Jun 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm #1992263
Charles GrierBPL Member
@rinconLocale: Desert Southwest
For a long time I have been using a 4000+ cubic inch GoLite Quest. It weighs 47 oz and has served me well. I recently acquired an Elemental Horizons Kalais. It is about 47 liters and weighs 28 oz with the stay. I have used it on several 3-4 day trips in the
local mountains and on a five day trip in the Grand Canyon so far. It is probably the best balanced, most comfortable pack I have ever owned. It will handle a BV-450 easily and a BV-500 but just barely. I will use the Kalais on my upcoming JMT hike.Jun 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm #1992270
@enginerdLocale: Southern California
Got the new Exped Lightning 60, feels good around the neighborhood with 30 pounds in it but will have to report back after a week in the Sierras in August.Jun 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm #1992281
Mike WBPL Member
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
I have the Osprey Exos 46 in a size Large. Osprey lists the volume at 49 liters for the size large but I think that's a bit optimistic. Osprey lists the weight at 2 lbs 7 oz and mine weighs in at 2 lbs 8 oz. so not too far off. The lid is removable but not worth removing as the extra storage/organization benefits is worth the 4 oz penalty IMO.Jun 1, 2013 at 4:38 pm #1992287
Brian ReymanBPL Member
@breymanLocale: Rocky Mountains
I haven't tried HMG packs yet but have heard very good things about them.
I have several GossamerGear packs (Mariposa and Gorilla) and would highly recommend both. They are my packs of choice for loads up to about 30 pounds. I also have an Osprey Exos 58, which is my favorite choice when I have to carry a bear canister. The one caveat there is that people either live or hate the Exos. It isn't terribly adjustable and the design makes the fit very comfy (as it is for me) or very much the opposite.Jun 1, 2013 at 5:35 pm #1992303
Tom KirchnerBPL Member
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
a ULA OHM 2.0. It weighs 1# 7 oz without the frills, and carries up to 25# comfortably, enough for a 10 day trip with my kit/food.Jun 1, 2013 at 5:40 pm #1992304
Derrick WhiteBPL Member
@mikuLocale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Quite like this pack. Haven't used it extensively yet, but the construction is solid and it carries 40lbs (my top expedition weight) painlessly.
DerrickJun 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm #1992306
Phil EricksonBPL Member
Kifaru KU3700 2lbs. 13oz.Jun 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm #1992315
I have a Zpacks Arc Blast, wouldn't trade it for anything!Jun 1, 2013 at 8:22 pm #1992337
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
I love this pack but I keep lusting after the Arc Blast. The circuit is too much pack for 17lb 3day trips and 25lb week long trips.Jun 1, 2013 at 8:36 pm #1992339
Luke SchmidtBPL Member
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
I think it depends on how much weight you want to haul.
Up to 35 pounds
Most of the popular UL packs like the Gossamer Gear Gorilla and Exos 46 will carry 30-35 pounds okay. Lots of reviews and discussion here.
More then 35 pounds
I'm only aware of a couple packs that can haul more then 35 pounds. One would be the HMG Porter. Another would be the Exped Lighting 45/60. Ryan Jordan says he can carry 55 pounds in the Porter and Exped rates the Lighting to 52 pounds. However I'm inclined to think the Exped would be a bit better with really heavy loads or bulky loads. It has a more substantial hipbelt and load lifters. However the Porter has a much better compression system and is a bit lighter. It also has a shorter frame which is nice.
Bottom line if your pack is going to be bulky and heavy most of the time the Exped is a good choice. If you want a pack that will compress smaller but does okay with the occasional big load, pick the Porter.Jun 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm #1992340
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Normally, I wouldn't post anything on this forum until it had been used enough to evaluate, and then only if it worked well.
However, this product is quite unusual for the reasons stated below, but has been replaced by a newer model, so won't be around much longer.
It is Bean's AT 55, 2012 model: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/78605?feat=AT 55 pack-SR0&page=men-s-at-55-pack
AFAIK, the last time a removable, flexible hourglass framed, suspended mesh backpanel pack was offered was by Alpine Designs with an ABS tube frame. Still have one, remodeled with Spectra 4 oz. white widow gridstop for all of the pack except the original backpanel.
The unusual thing about these packs is that the hourglass frame, aluminum tentpole-size tube in this case, is removable; and when installed, is completely enclosed by the pack. Unlike the Ospreys, Z55s, Deuters and others, bugs etc. cannot get into the space behind the mesh backpanel (Well, OK, noseeums maybe).
So I was surprised to see Bean's offering such a pack after so many years. Also, unlike the others mentioned, since the entire perimeter of the backpanel is sewn into the pack and supported by the frame, it can be much less rigid than the others mentioned, making it easier to bend forward and flex the back against the panel. (Bean's calls it a 'trampoline' backpanel). For this reason, I find this type of pack much more comfortable. It takes a lot of design savvy, because if the panel is too loose, the inner pack when weighted will rub against the mesh panel and your back, and if it is too tight, your back will not be able to flex, and much of the benefit of the suspended mesh panel will be lost.
Some people think the space between the backpanel and inner panel moves the center of gravity too far backward, making the pack less comfortable. However, when this type of pack is packed and adjusted, the inner pack comes quite close to the mesh, as close as you would want and still maintain the ability to bend forward without feeling the contents against your back. I think this impression derives from the earlier Ospreys, that had a quite large separation between the inner and outer backpanels, without much give when weighted. Also, larger zip pockets on a pack back often get used to hold more than just rain gear and fording sandals, and that will move the center of gravity back more than a little bit of air space behind the suspended mesh.
As you can see from the link, these are 55 liter packs, and weigh a few oz over 3 lbs., depending on the size and gender. The design is similar to that on packs often favored on this site, with the two side lycra bottle pockets, lycra shovel pocket in the center, single bag with extension sleeve cinched top, buckle attached top pocket with separate hidden wallet pocket underneath, and there is an additional zip pocket inside the pack against the inner back panel that will hold items to be kept separated. It also accommodates a bladder for those who use one. It also has a Kodra bomber top and bottom, rawhide 1/8" diamond mesh for the backpanel, lift straps, etc.
The only changes I plan to make to the pack are to sew on a couple large buckles to the ends of the hipbelt so it will tighten like an Osprey does, by pulling the two web ends forward at the hips; shorten the extension sleeve, sub separating buckles for the top lid attachment, add two horizontal straps across the front to hold my chair and items to dry out, and remove some of the excess webbing that is longer than needed. For a while, Bean's had a review posted that panned the pack because it had 'too many straps.' Scissor challenged, I guess.
The old models are selling for $155 and come in a large size for torsos up to 21" like mine, which makes all the difference, comfort-wise. The new 2013 models have 'less straps,' a zip instead of shovel pocket, and are a bit heavier, but have a 35 liter model. Price for the new models is $179.
I've been designing and building a similar pack for several years, but with a 'Jackpack' sidearm suspension and lower weight. Until it is finished (assuming it ever is) I'm hoping this AT55 will be ideal for multi-week treks, carrying around 25 pounds total, including pack, at start, and will let you know how it works out.
Please note: I have zero connection with Bean's – haven't even read the book.Jun 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm #1992341
I use the ula ohm 2.0 and the circuit when I need to carry a bear canister. After trying quite a few packs these have become my favorites.Jun 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm #1992342
terry tiedemanBPL Member
Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus Full Suspension. I really like this pack. Light, tough and carries really well.Jun 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm #1992345
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Thanks for your feedback. That's the info I was looking for.
My REI pack is still serviceable but the hipbelt is not the most comfortable. My Cruise UL 60 is a predecessor to the Flash 65, which I didn't see mentioned.
My max 3 season weight with 2 L. of water (1 L. of electrolyte drink, 1 L. plain H2O in the hydration bladder) is 32 lbs. for 7 days. Most of the packs mentioned here would handle that weight for a few days until I ate my way to a lower weight.
The Osprey EXOS 58 has been a tpo candidate but with all the other packs mentioned, some of which I wasn't aware of, it will take me a week of research to sort them out.
Anyone use a Granite Gear pack?Jun 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm #1992351
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Personally, a number of the packs mentioned I won't want to use over around 25lb. The suspension starts to degrade above that. As you say… you could put up with if for a couple of days as your weight comes down from the food being eaten.
I really wanted to like teh Osprey Exos 58. You might find it too big, but the real issue I ran into was I found the waist strap inadaquate for more than around 20lbs. Above that I found it got uncomfortable after around 1-2 miles. Clearly this varies person to person since there are people here who love it.
I used to use The Granite Gear Vapor Trail and really likely it… but as GG added features the lightened the suspension. I am not fond of the current packs :(
–markJun 2, 2013 at 4:20 am #1992386
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Well, this kind-of gets into a very grey area. What is a a light pack and how does the weights fit into each category: Regular, Light, UL, SUL, XSUL?
In answer to your question, for an internal framed pack I use an old, as in very old, Tough Traveler. This is about 3000ci (50L)and weighs 2#3. It has an internal frame made from magnesium, two side pouches, and a 2" hip belt. I use this most days as a training pack carrying ~50 pounds through the park. I believe it was produced around 1974/5. I don't think anyone currently makes a similar pack, though. None have a magnesium frame. Way back when the kids were little, I would load this with close to 60 pounds of gear and take the family out camping. Really a rugged pack and still in use. But, I don't consider this a UL pack. More of a light weight pack.
Regular packs (heavy weight packs) I consider as anything above 4#.
Light weight packs I consider 2#-4#.
UL packs I consider to be 1#-2#.
SUL packs I consider to be 8oz to 1#.
XSUL packs I consider to be anything less than 8oz.
The current trend in backpacks is heavier, more durability, additional features.
Modular packs are nice, letting a hiker dial in his pack to his load, but this often adds excess weight to the total. Example, your aftermarket side pockets: These are totally enclosed pouches with attachments. If attached to a pack, it is possible to skip one side(using the pack body as a side,) and, only attach five of the six sides and skip the attachment weight for an overall weight savings. Removal, ie, not carrying it, is also a weight savings if you do not need the extra volume. Current philosophy will allow manufacturors to add modular pieces. Strict UL philosophy says no. The lightest pouch should be added. I would suggest not considering any modular packs as Ultra Light, regardless of how much they actually weigh.
Perhaps volume is another consideration, as you mention. I have a couple packs(Osprey, and a wal-mart loaner) that list 50L as the size. There are a couple pouches on the Osprey (for example) that open *internally.* Ie, they subtract from the internal volume when full. They are not big enough for a tent (though they fit a 10×10 tarp, OK.) Simple "organization" pouches like that can be eliminated. They really serve no usefull purpose beyond gear segregation. This is one feature than can easily be eliminated.
With the destruction of most of the early generation cuben packs (for one reason or another) most companies have switched to hybrid materials to increase durability. This was at about the same rate as spinnaker packs were destroyed, forcing manufacturers to look for more durable materials. But instead of .36 or .51 material being used we now find 1.1 and 1.6 material being used. Again, the trend in durable packs is showing. but this means that we now can get better packs even if the weight as increased by 50% or more.Jun 2, 2013 at 5:33 am #1992393
I use my Crux AX-47X for almost all my multi-day trips. http://www.crux.uk.com/en/rucksacks.php?range=1&product=3
It's not the lightest pack for its size (about 1300g in my size 3) but it is mega tough and mega comfy. It has the stiffest tubular frame I've ever encountered on a pack. It's also functionally weather proof. I think it compares very favourably to packs like the ULA Circuit, and the Kevlar/nylon fabric is way tougher than the Dyneema X ULA use.
That said… the Arc Blast looks bloody awesome at less than half the weight.Jun 2, 2013 at 5:39 am #1992394
A lot of factors go into pack selection.
Your average carry weight, maximum required carry wt, volume of gear, and durability needed are a few.
I use an Ohm, and a circuit.
There are startling few packs that fall into the range these packs serve, which is the sweet spot for most UL backpackers.
Up to 20 lbs, I prefer the Ohm packed loose so it conforms to my back. 20-30 lbs the support of the Circuit, and shaped back stay makes packing easy and carrying comfortable.
I usually carry 5-6 days food .
Another good pack similar to Circuit is the Elemental Horizons Kalais. A tad lighter (not much when compared on equal basis with stay and pockets), a bit smaller, but a load hauler and durable.Jun 2, 2013 at 6:26 am #1992399
Pete StaehlingBPL Member
If you can go just a tad smaller, I really am happy with my new REI Flash 45. It proved very comfy on a shakedown two day hike with my planned long hike load. I hardly knew it was there once I got the adjustments all right. I am looking forward to longer trips with it.
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