Getting it all into a 25L running pack

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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear Lists Getting it all into a 25L running pack

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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    Luke C


    Hey guys, after a lot of reading, and research, i’ve recently picked up the XA 25 from Salomon. Just under 18 ounces.

    Super epic pack, love the design, and expandability, along with the running style vest on the front. My goal is to use this for 1-3 (3 is pushing it, I know) night trips in the Sierra’s in the summer. I like to do lots of class 3/4 peak bagging, long days, and do end up running a lot of it, so this pack made sense to me. Now the trick, getting enough supplies into a 25L pack.

    For a shelter, I have the Split Wing setup from SlingFin. 23.4 ounces in my configuration.

    As someone who has always slept with a classic, freestanding tent with a rainfly, this feels very minimalist to me. I hate bugs, so I have the mesh body, the tarp, and the vestibule (in case of weather). I am personally very hesitant to run with anything less than this full setup, for fear of weather. Though this takes up a decent amount of space.

    For my sleeping bag, I have a Western Mountaineering Summerlite 6’6″, 21 ounces. Straightforward.

    I also have a nemo quilt, which is much lighter, also rated at 32 degrees, but is only a 6″ quilt, so it is a little short for me, but I got a heck of a deal on it, so I couldn’t say no, lol. It would probably work fine if I slept in my micropuff hoodie.

    For my pad I have a Nemo Tensor Ultralight insulated, Regular Mummy. Packs down quite small and is fairly light, 14oz minimum weight.

    Stove setup is pretty simple. Toaks 750ml cup, pocketrocket, and some hot lips to drink coffee with.

    Bear canister is the bear boxer. 1.6lbs, fairly small and light, cool product.

    For clothing I run in Patagonia Baggies, Cap cool sun hoodie or tee depending on conditions. My insulation is a micropuff, and then I have a basic wend shell, as well as an arcteryx zeta SL depending on forecast. Smartwool PHD Run socks (2 pair so I can alternate and stay dry). A patagonia capeline wool shirt to sleep in, no thermal bottoms, will use bug spray on legs, and a running hat with headnet.


    So, cold hard truth time. Realistically, do I need to take the vestibule for my tent, or, if I am smart, and have clear forecasts, should I realistically just take the mesh body and tarp? The mesh body is a non-negotiable, at least for now. Bugs will literally make me go psychotic. What are your thoughts on taking the summerlight? It’s a great bag, but what do you think about a quilt for sierra summer trips? Any other thoughts on pairing down space?

    Matthew / BPL


    Tough call on the vestibule. Can you rig a jacket or rain skirt as a vestibule? Do you camp above treeline much? Are you willing to drop down to trees if weather is coming in?

    I like camping above treeline and never found a great way to block the front of a flat or cat-cut tarp. I’ve landed on a YMG Cirriform Min which gives me 360° protection. I’ve used MLD mids and a Deschutes tarp in the past for the same reason. I don’t want an open end on my shelter in the Sierra.

    Perhaps non-negotiable but what about losing the cookpot? That’s fairly bulky. I would think that plus the BareBoxer would make a 25 liter pack pretty tight. All packs are measured differently but I’m able to fit my kit into a 28L MLD Core. I don’t usually take a cooking setup but if I did it will be my MLD 475 + Esbit setup for tea/coffee.

    BPL Member


    Locale: San Juan Mtns.

    If space is precious, ditch the stove and cook pot.  That’s a lot of luxurious volume that can be better used elsewhere.  Cold-soak your dinners or just eat sandwiches.

    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern Indiana

    The WM bag, Salomon pack, Split Wing (tarp only) and clothing all look excellent, but you have a lot unnecessary weight and volume you could get rid of. Mind you this is coming from an SUL mindset and with the type of scenario you’re describing I’d want an FKT, adventure racing type kit. Perhaps it’s Spartan, but luxury and moving nimble in the mountains just don’t go together.

    The cook kit has got to go. Opt instead for the 1.7 oz Evernew EBY-265 400 ml ti cup (high width to height ratio) and use Esbit fuel cubes with a folding ti stand. Aluminum wind shield cut from disposable aluminum baking pans.

    Ditch the glamping air pad and instead carry a Neo Air X-Lite torso length (8 oz). Place your ccf sit pad, pack or whatever under your feet and legs.

    Like Mathew says, use something else as a makeshift vestibule for the tarp. It already has a beak so unless you’re pretty sure you’ll face sustained blowing rains you’re kind of packing your fears. No offence, but the total shelter weight (bundle) is a tad heavy. Tarp is fine, yet I’d replace all the stock lines with 1.3 mm Spectra and micro linelocks. Also the net tent is a little heavy. You could go instead with a Borahgear Cuben Bug Bivy Long/Wide (5 oz). You couldn’t get one now with the long wait time, I’m just imagining the ultimate peak bagging kit for you.

    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    For shelter I use a Gatewood Cape and add a 7 ounce bivy with a bug net head end panel. The Gatewood checks off both shelter and rain gear. It has a lot of internal vestibule space and 360° protection. You may need to add a pole if you aren’t using a trekking pole. If the weather is good, you don’t need to pitch a shelter, using just the bivy.

    Michael B
    BPL Member


    Having seen my son’s 25L pack volume, I was a little surprised you could fit any of that in there with a bear can. If you can’t live without the cook kit, get a pot that will fit inside the bear can, and then pack around it. I did this with a cold soak kit (I tried it, didn’t care for everything to be cold), fitting my Talenti jar in my can (BV450), and then packed my food all around it. I had to leave a little food out of the can for the first day (6-day trip in Desolation Wilderness), but that was ok. If you are hiking summers, I think you might get away with the lighter bag as long as you don’t mind sleeping in all your clothes. I’d also pick up something like a Lunar Solo or GG The One, or similar single wall to ditch “unecessary” (read “won’t fit”) extra mesh and fabric. Or, maybe bite the bullet and get a slightly larger pack. 18oz is a bit heavy for that size pack anyway, IMO :).

    Josh J
    BPL Member


    i’m really liking the splitwing! thanks !

    Luke C


    Wow, thank you guys all so much for the feedback! I got some new stuff tonight after work to minimize duplicate gear, and think that for most of my trips, I can get my meals and my stove/pot into the canister, to save bulky space in the pack to store Clif Blocks and other food inside the pack, since they conform and pack better. At night, I can keep the stove out, and put the food that took that place into the bear canister. I am also fine in the summer just cold camping. I usually just take meat sticks, tortillas, peanut butter, and ramen plus Gu for running during the day, and gummy worms as extra calories. (yes heavy, I know, Lol). As for the pad, I don’t have the funds to adjust all my gear right now, so I am hoping to work with what i’ve got, otherwise i’ll just borrow my buddies Talon 33 for this trip, and call it a day.

    I think with re-arranging the gear, ditching the vestibule, and actually packing the sleeping bag slightly differently, I should be good to go. I will post some pics and keep you guys updated. I have a whole bunch of ideas to dig through from you guys. Now I just need to get it all dialed in and set by Wednesday. The other thing I was thinking was getting a running belt from Salomon or Nathan, and keeping some additional snacks and small gear items in that (Knife, medication, bug net, headlamp, even my wind jacket). I really appreciate all the feedback and all your honesty. Thanks everyone!

    David Keltie
    BPL Member


    I will post some pics and keep you guys updated.

    Feedback appreciated, thanks

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