Jun 4, 2018 at 5:38 pm #3540197
I have a ULA Circuit and love it. I also have an 4+ yo Osprey Talon 22 that’s ok but.
Looking for recommendations on fastpacks in the 20-35L range for fast hiking, and potentially UL summer overnighters. I’m 5’5″ ~ 166lb male if that makes a difference.
Looks like ULA makes one, and I’ve been looking at the Ultimate Direction packs as well. I’d love to know what you’re using and what you like/recommend.Jun 5, 2018 at 12:27 am #3540255Jorge VillalobosBPL Member
Haven’t used them myself so others’ recommendations will certainly be better, but I’ve also been looking and Ultimate Direction and Salomon seem to be the most loved brands by hardcore ultramarathoners.
Also, Pa’lante is about to release their “Joey” fast-pack (co-designed with Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy, AT FKT record holder, I believe), which they teased here. I’m waiting to see how that one pans out.
Edit: You can also kinda see it in this video.Jun 5, 2018 at 2:34 am #3540289Nick BBPL Member
Is your idea of “fastpacking” mostly walking or mostly running? I’ve used both the UD FP20 and the Salomon SLAB Peak 20. I feel that the UD is better for mostly walking, the Salomon is better for running. However, the Salomon has a ridiculous number of adjustments, many of which need to be made every time you don the pack. These certainly help secure the pack and limit bounce but I found them irritating. I sold the Salomon and still use the UD.
I’ve also been trying to fit a Summer overnight into a 16l UD PB3.0. It’s close. Might work if I stick to lower elevations.Jul 2, 2018 at 4:08 am #3544819
For me personally it’ll be used for mostly fast walking but it would be nice if it were suitable for running since on flat ground and downhill I do run some.Jul 2, 2018 at 4:13 am #3544823idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
BPLer Greg Mihalik is selling a UD PB Adventure Vest 3.0 here:
16 liters i think. Good deal if it works for you.Jul 2, 2018 at 5:16 pm #3544895Ryan SmithBPL Member
@violentgreenLocale: East TN
The Montane Dragon 20 is a really great running pack for 1-2 night runs/hikes. Very light compared to some other offerings. For larger than 20Ls, I use an UD 30L pack. If you plan to run at all – get a pack with vest style straps.
RyanJul 3, 2018 at 3:02 am #3544980Ito JakuchuBPL Member
I have the Salomon S-Lab Peak 20, UD30 and an older Montane Dragon 20. They’re all great. My Montane had proprietary bottles which I don’t like so much, but the pack is quite the nice hybrid of the Salomon Peak 20 and the UD20/30. The on and off is easy and it is not constricting at all.
My most used pack is the Peak 20. I don’t have the issues described above with setting it all, but everybody is different of course. I set up all the straps once and I never have to redo it. Even without the re-setting though, I agree the UD30 is quicker to put on/off because it’s more like a pack with a vest front, while the Peak 20 is more like a vest, with blown up volume if you will.
I really like the UD FP series, but what makes me come back to the Peak 20 is,
1: if I do more running, I have much less movement in the Peak 20. Which for me is the biggest thing. This also helps with scrambling, especially down climbing – where the pack will rise up, and any bottles in the side pockets often slide out.
2: I can cram a lot more food in the front of the Peak 20 than the UD FP or Montane Dragon 20. The pockets underneath the bottle pockets might not look it, but they go a long way to the side and I can actually fit multiple days worth of dried fruit and nuts in there, and still have space on the other side for gear etc. This really helps with weight distribution.
It also does tend to make the vest less quick to put on and off than the UD FP 30, but I personally just don’t take it off for a whole day, unless it is necessary because of a gear change.
From the UD FP I love the back gear pocket, and I hand sewn some extra clavicle pockets on mine for other necessities. I also love how robust it is (apart from the elastic in the side pockets, I think a elastic cord like MLD has that you can field replace could be an improvement).
Sorry for the chaotic reply. Just an added experience to the others here already.Jul 3, 2018 at 2:05 pm #3545017
I have and use both the UD FP15 and UD FP 35; the 15 for long mountain runs or a single night, the 35 for 2-3 nights. The 15 is better for running, but that has more to do with the weight than anything. 15 is a tight squeeze for an overnighter, but doable.
I have a lot more miles on the15 as I use it almost weekly for long runs.
I wouldn’t hesitate on any of their FastPack line- the construction is solid, pockets are sorted nicely and they carry well.
MikeJul 4, 2018 at 1:47 am #3545081Greg FBPL Member
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
I have the UD 20 fastpack which I think is the same as the 25 now just relabelled as it was way bigger than 20. I use it as a 3 night max pack for 14hr plus moving days with some running on flats and downhills and hiking up.
<p style=”text-align: center;”>I found somewhere around 12-14lbs to be the running limit but sub 10 is much better. So my 6-7lb base weight with 3days of food is about 14lbs. Much more than that and your better off with a real pack.</p>
What don’t you like about your Talon? If you aren’t running the big advantage of the vest packs is the immediate access to water a good to eliminate breaks. Otherwise some kind of SUL grocery bag pack might make more sense.
There are also a few threads in the speedhiking and fastpacking section of the forum with lots of reviews and discussion around Solomon, UD, and montane options.
My general advice would be figure out how much volume you need to fit in the pack then minimize the pack size.Jul 4, 2018 at 3:01 am #3545100Dan DurstonBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
Have a look at the Yama Sassafrass 20. I haven’t used one but it’s an interesting looking pack.Jul 4, 2018 at 3:27 am #3545101idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
That Yama pack really is an interesting pack, well thought out (as would be expected from Gen.). Seems like it would hold more than 25L with the size of that collar.Jul 4, 2018 at 5:17 am #3545109Dan DurstonBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
Yeah it looks larger than 20-25L. They may be assuming quite a few rolls in the roll top.Jul 5, 2018 at 4:02 pm #3545297
I snagged the UD FP25. Thanks for the suggestions guys!Jul 5, 2018 at 5:08 pm #3545322
I think that’s a good choice- if I could only own one, that’s what I would choose, right down the middle between the 15 and 35.Jul 5, 2018 at 6:05 pm #3545340W I S N E R !BPL Member
I’ve got the older FP20 and have been happy with it. Great long daypack and perfect for an overnight for me. I bet 25 is spot on…seems to me 35 might get dangerously close to “just carry a backpack” territory.Jul 6, 2018 at 12:38 am #3545429
That was my thinking too. I only want to buy one pack to fill this role and the 15L was too small and the 35L seemed large enough that I should probably just consider something like a CDT or similar pack if I were going that large.Jul 7, 2018 at 4:48 am #3545751Kevin LBPL Member
Last year i was in the same boat. Ordered s lab 20, montane 20 and fp25 and tried them all out liaded up. Kept the fp25 and returned the rest. It does have a sliiight bit more movement than the others, but i liked the simplicity, build quality, and it had by FAR the best layout of storage/pockets for my use. I like it. Comfortable at 17lbs. Zero soreness in shoulders, which was a concern for my first time using a hip belt-less overnight packJul 7, 2018 at 12:20 pm #3545781
I lied :) My larger Fastpack is a 30 liter, not 35- so a 15 for long runs in the mountains or spartan overnighter, the 30 for 2-3 day tripsAug 8, 2018 at 3:14 am #3550479
Any follow-on impressions to your FP25?
I have the FP30, but I’ve been eyeing the FP25 for a few reasons:
- The ability to stow trekking poles in the front (means I don’t have to take my pack on and off to stow them)
- More suitable volume for a 2-3 night trip for me (FP30 is a little large)
- Potentially the opportunity to shave a few oz–my FP30 weighs in around 18.4 oz after stripping unnecessary features (back pad insert, hydration sleeve, some straps, etc. — totaled around 8 oz, most of which came from the back pad insert).
Do you have a sense of how much weight can easily be stripped from a FP25 with similar approaches? Specified weight of the FP25 is 19.4 oz without any stripping.
Also, how is the storage area in the front pouches in the FP25? I find my FP30 is sufficient for me (can store: 0.6L BeFree, camera, phone, maps, sunblock, hand sanitizer, chapstick, maps, head net, several hundred calories), but my FP20 is not. Have either of you used those, and if so, could you make a comparison?
Much thanks in advance!
AdamAug 8, 2018 at 4:12 am #3550485Chris HBPL Member
@chrishLocale: Somewhere on the Virginia A.T.
I recently picked up a FP25, partially as a result of this thread. And I’m in love w/ it. I had been looking for something like you, to size down for warm weather trips and shorter spring/fall trips. I typically run an Exos 38 for everything, so the FP25 fit the bill for something the next size down for me. I’ve had it out on 1 overnight and a bunch of day hikes just to try it out w/ weight. I would have to think it would feel/fit pretty much like your FP30. I could easily do a 2-3 night trip with it and my typical spring/fall gear here in Virginia.
I’m able to keep my .6L BeFree (or any <= 1L bottle really), sunglasses, iPhone X in a Catalyst case all in the bottle pockets on the front. Easily enough room there too for a map. So you could easily cram the rest of your list (headnet, snacks, chapstick, snacks, etc) into the zip pockets underneath. Not sure about adding a camera to this mix in the pockets, guess it depends on the camera, but it’d have to be pretty small.
I use twist lock poles, they fit a bit goofy from being longer and are somewhat in the way, but they work well enough. Z-poles would be much better.
Only changes I’d make to this pack if I could have something different, would be to design the vest part of it more like the UD Adventure/Mountain vest, where there is full fabric and zipper pockets running back to the body of the pack. Those just fit me much better and I think it’d still work well on the FP20 and FP25 packs. Not sure why they didn’t do that, I guess because it’s not a ‘runner’ pack. Still, it’d be nice and generally fit better I think.
As for cutting down the weight, not sure what that’d all amount to. If you cut that much out of your FP30 then maybe it’d be similar on the FP25. I think the back insert is only a couple ounces, and cutting out the inner sleeve and snap buckle might help. There isn’t much else to remove other than the rear shock cords and maybe the tool loops if you don’t need them. Just not sure I see 6oz in all of that.Aug 8, 2018 at 4:08 pm #3550551
Thanks very much for the quick (and helpful) response!
I wrote a response last night, but it appears to have disappeared into the abyss of the internet. Or maybe I forgot to click “Submit”.
Anyway, the gist was–it sounds pretty promising!
My camera is a Sony RX100, so although it’s not large, it does have a slightly awkward form factor for cramming into the front pockets on most of these packs. So long as I can fit that camera, my phone, and my BeFree, I’ll have good accessibility to my needs–all the other stuff I want to access (food, maps, etc.) can be crammed into whatever space remains.
I do use Z-poles, and I like how they stow on my PB 3.0 vest–hence my desire to try the FP25.
As far as weight–most of the weight reduction in the FP30 came from the back insert, which was a molded-plastic/foam layered piece (if I recall). It was very stiff, and not particularly light. I don’t expect the FP25 to strip down to much less than the FP30, but I’m probably get a little more overzealous with my stripping (strap length, ice axe loops, etc.) I was hesitant to remove too much from the FP30, as it does double-duty for backcountry snowboarding/skiing/snowshoeing, but the FP25 could be relegated to strictly fast packing.
After your post last night, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on one, arriving from Backcountry on Friday. If the fit is suitable and I like it, I’ll load it up and post some comments. I will be trying to fit a bear can in (a Bareboxer 101–only 250 cubic inches, but a bear can nonetheless).Aug 9, 2018 at 2:01 pm #3550672
the pad out of the FP 30 is exactly 7.5 oz, my FP 15 doesn’t have a removable pad
I replaced the UD pad with a scored thin ccf pad- about 2.5 oz- does duty as a sit/kneel pad or can augment my inflatable for sleepAug 10, 2018 at 4:54 am #3550779
the pad out of the FP 30 is exactly 7.5 oz
I just weighed mine–7.245 oz, but a few of the white dots are missing.
I also re-weighed my FP30: 18.350 oz. That’s stripped (pad, plus the water bladder pocket). I could strip a bit more, but I probably won’t bother, until the FP25 arrives and I judge whether or not I like it. If I wanted to strip more off the FP30, I think I could probably only come up with a few tenths of oz that I’m willing to remove.
Peter Bakwin noted an another thread here that Ultimate Direction changed the material for the new generation of Fastpacks to a heavier and more durable material. Thus, I’m fairly confident that the stripped weight of the FP25 will be comparable to the FP30.
I’m still quite interested in it, of course–weight isn’t my primary motivation.Aug 10, 2018 at 1:53 pm #3550809
interesting on the fabric- I’ve never thought my FP30 was less than durableAug 11, 2018 at 10:06 pm #3550981
Okay, got the FP25 in–haven’t taken it out for a spin yet, but I have committed to keeping it (by virtue of taking a scissors to it in a few places!).
Compared to the FP30 (both in size M/L), here’s my initial take (and many are very personal to my needs):
- Pole storage on front
- Slightly lower weight and lower volume (17.495 oz stripped for the FP25, vs 18.350 for the FP30)
- Frontal storage volume is decreased. The FP30’s loose pouch in front of the zipper pocket could store a lot–with the FP25, you basically get two water bottle pouches, and two other low volume/conformal zip pockets, and that’s it.
- Seems harder to reach water bottle pockets on side of pack–probably have to remove pack if trying to reach snacks stored in one of those
- Why take a perfectly good buckle, and overcomplicate it? UD did. Harder to fasten with one hand.
Here’s a little more on the stripping that I did:
When I received it, I weighed it, after removing sales tags:
Total weight is 21.380 oz. I next removed the insertable pad, and weighed that:
Much lighter than the FP30’s internal pad. But, I use a sleep pad for that insert, so no need to use UD’s insert anyway.
Next I took my scissors to the pack. I removed the hydration pouch, hydration bladder hang loop, and ice axe loops (if I’m carrying an ice axe, I’m carrying more than I can fit in here anyway, unless on a dayhike–in which case I’m carrying much less). I also removed a few removable/replaceable bungees. I haven’t trimmed the straps yet. The total stripped was 1.39 oz:
I weighed the now-stripped pack again, which came out to 17.495 oz:
Lastly, here’s a comparison between the FP30 and FP25:
I do prefer the storage on the FP30. On the FP25, two water bottle pouches is redundant for me, as a hiker. The lower zip-pouch on the FP25 on the hiker’s left can fit a phone nicely, but not much else. The lower right pouch can’t fit much–probably sunblock, chapstick, maybe something else, but no snacks. I carry a P&S camera, and that will have to take up one of the water bottle pouches. That leaves no room for snacks on the front, unless I can cram some in with the camera. I can put some in the water bottle pockets on the side of the pack, but those are particularly difficult to reach on this pack (for me), so accessing those may require taking the pack off, which was what I was trying to avoid with the pole front-storage.
I did try to cram my gear in, and it all fits, but will be tight, for a good weather 3-4 day trip to a bear can area in the Sierra in September. Under any more challenging conditions (longer, poor weather forecast, etc.) I probably can’t cram it in unless I’m able to downsize volume of a few things some more.
I’ll probably take it for a spin this weekend, and will follow-up then. But my big picture take-away is that it’s a good pack, but there were enough backward steps (for me) between the FP30 and FP25 that I’m not sure I’d ever reach for the FP25 over the FP30.
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