Hanchor Marble Backpack Review

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Hanchor Marble Backpack Review

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    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Companion forum thread to: Hanchor Marble Backpack Review

    This Hanchor Marble backpack review addresses how well Hanchor succeeded at rethinking several key components of a traditional backpack.

    Simon Kenton
    BPL Member


    Hi Roger,

    Thanks for the review. Always done well and nice to read about an unknown (to me) manufacturer.

    VX-07 is a 70D nylon with a .25 mil PET sandwiched between a 50D polyester backing, correct?

    How do you think this pack will handle abrasion by granite and standard bushwhacking?

    Sam C
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mid-Atlantic

    The horizontal bar may be novel to ultralight packs, but it is certainly not a new idea.

    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there
    Link .
    BPL Member


    .JANG-TIAN SHIEH one of the founding members has been a BPL member for over 7 years

    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Hi Simon

    The X-Pac fabrics are multi-layer as described. I have used them, including the VX-07, for the packs I make for myself, and they have lasted for many, many years through the Australian bush and around Europe – without holes.
    Mind you, sharp granite can wreck anything, and so can sharp burnt sticks in the bush, so a little common sense is always required.
    My own opinion – it’s very good fabric, much better than ‘pack cloth’.


    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    I detect a teensy design flaw. Namely lack of the ability for the load to be supported by the frame stays.

    If the “cross bar” is not at the top of the stays and attached to them and the stays are removable how on earth does the bag hang from the  frame?? IF the tops of the vertical bars are in pockets I fear small fabric pockets at the top of the vertical stays will wear through fairly rapidly if the entire weight of the bag hangs from them, as it should in order to transfer pack weight to the waist belt.

    I ask this because I’ve converted two frameless hunting packs to internal stay packs with  1″ wide contoured aluminum stays. The cross bar I installed bolts on the top of the vertical stays and through the reinforced pack fabric and the original wimpy “frame sheet”. The crossbar was installed inside the top layers of pack fabric so the fabric hangs off the crossbar. I’ve got many miles on both packs, especially the larger 3,500 cu. in. Camelback hunting pack. So far no wear or tear on the stays and crossbar.

    Anyway, nice to see American concepts of pack design make it halfway around the world to a bunch of enthusiasts. I bet they have other ideas for packs that we’ll see soon.

    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    If the “cross bar” is not at the top of the stays and attached to them and the stays are removable how on earth does the bag hang from the  frame??

    I think the main problem here is the whole idea of having to have a ‘frame’ as you describe. Judging by the Hanchor Marble, this requirement may not be so. The cross bar is attached or sleeved with about 1000 denier nylon fabric, and the shoulder straps attach to this sleeve. The rest of the pack indeed hangs off this horizontal sleeve. That is sufficient.

    The vertical stays can not support the bag. Physics just does not work that way. What the vertical stays do is the keep the back of the pack straight. Without these verticals the bottom of the pack would turn up at the bottom, where the bottom ends of the shoulder straps attach. With the verticals in place, and again sleeved in heavy nylon fabric, the torso length of the pack is maintained. The pack keeps its shape.

    To make the design work you do have to really design the sleeving and the straps. Hanchor seem to have done this. My complaint is that there is no padding between my back (a delicate thing) and the hard objects inside the bag. A good hard foam sheet seems to be needed there – as many packs actually have.


    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member



    Thanks for the quick review. A few thoughts:

    • Don’t see big advantages of the Hanchor pack versus similar packs from e.g. HMG. And the Hanchor pack is heavier, too. Six ounces over spec is almost unforgivable.
    • OTOH, looks like Hanchor has the same bone-headed HMG “feature” of routing the lower compression strap over the side pocket.
    • Waterproof zippers are an abomination on backpacks. Hard to use, fragile, and when they (inevitably) fail, you don’t even have a little rain flap as backup in most designs.
    • Roll-top bags (which should more properly be “fold top,” a different discussion), don’t have much trouble with pooling water in my experience. Maybe the constant motion of backpacking spills the water, preventing soak through.
    • I would rather have a firmly anchored, well designed hip belt that was a little too long, than the “option” of getting exactly the right size that doesn’t transfer weight or fit well. Can’t tell from this review how the Hanchor hip belt performs in those areas.

    Some interesting design ideas (stays, bottom seams), but overall, I’ll pass.

    — Rex

    Dan @ Durston Gear
    BPL Member


    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    FWIW, I posted a review of the Marble last year which I think adds another perspective to what’s mentioned here:

    Regarding the weight, I think this is just a misunderstanding. Hanchor appears to list the weight of the pack and stays separately, I supposed based on the idea that some may choose to remove them. When you add those weights together you get 37.8oz, which about what mine weighs (38.5oz).

    Re. Hanchor vs. HMG, I haven’t measured the volume of my Marble but it’s really big. Subjectively it’s pretty close to a 4400 Windrider, which is almost as heavy (35oz). Comparatively, the Marble is more fully featured, with the larger, zippered rear pocket, large hipbelt pockets, horizontal frame stay etc.

    The Marble is too big for most LW/UL backpacking.  Hanchor’s Marl pack appears closer to the ideal size, and also more closely resembles the HMG packs in terms of features (e.g. mesh rear pocket):

    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    If only Hanchor had included a solid backsheet – even stiff foam, to keep the sharp lumpy bits in the pack from sticking into my back.
    I guess adding such a backsheet would not be too hard.

    Size? If the pack is too small you end up with things hanging on the outside. That is a serious no-no for me: stuff gets lost in the scrub. If the pack is ‘too big’ (within limits of course) – pack gear like quilts more loosely, and cinch the pack down.


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