Lighten My Load and Replace Backpack
Jun 9, 2020 at 5:46 pm #3651974
I am looking for suggestions for both lightening my load and for a replacement backpack. I currently have the Osprey Atmos AG 65, but am thinking of returning it to REI. I just finished a 4 day, 3 night trip and I did not need all the space in the pack. I did not even take the brain. Also another pack would need to weigh less.
I am a three season backpacker. No winter snow camping. I normally do 5 day, 4 night or less trips. I am not a through hiker. The most I can envision is a 6 day, 5 night trip but that is unlikely. The only major difference in what I carry is the amount of food based on the number of days. I have tried tarp and hammock camping several times. They are not for me. I want hot coffee and a hot dinner, so I need a stove.
My backpack MUST put most of the weight on my hips. When I get much weight on my shoulders, I tend to tense them and get a big tension headache. I like the mesh back ventilation on the Osprey packs a lot. I also like and use the Stow-on-the-Go Trekking Pole attachments for trekking poles and my umbrella. I do not care if it has hip belt pockets. I have an Osprey Stratos 24 daypack and I love it. I would only be interested in one of the two 50 liter packs if my gear will fit. I included all four of the packs I am looking at in my LighterPack List, but did not include any in the calculations to show weights without a pack.
Here is a link to my LighterPack list: https://lighterpack.com/r/3h1ai3 .
It is a planning list for hiking the Continental Divide Loop in Rocky Mountain NP at the end of August.
Thanks, Lennox NicholsJun 12, 2020 at 12:28 am #3652468
I’m a fan of the ULA circuit. I’ve had that for a few years. I recently got the Gossamer Gear Mariposa and like it as well. I get bad tension/occipital neuralgia headaches at night if I carry a heavy load on my shoulders all day. I have the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 4400 but I don’t like the fact that I can’t easily get my Gatorade bottle out of the side pocket, which I can with the other packs.Jun 12, 2020 at 12:33 am #3652469
The Ursack aluminum liner is 9 oz you have listed. I’ve never used the liner. Maybe different in Colorado, but I’ve been using Ursacks for 15 years in Alaska on their own. I also don’t use the odor lock bags, just the food or ziploc bags. Never had a problem with black, brown bear, or rodents. That’s 9 oz I’d cut.Jun 12, 2020 at 6:55 am #3652481Mike MBPL Member
I had one of the first Exos and thought it was a pretty good pack; wasn’t the lightest pack out there, but carried nicely.
I’d echo looking at ULA- their packs are pretty light and they carry very nicely- I think the Ohm or Circuit are both worth looking at.
Finally, look at Seek Outside’s new Flight, 36 oz and will likely carry even better yet.Jun 12, 2020 at 7:14 am #3652483
Thanks. I will review these again. The problem is that I am not able to go try any of these on. I have an old ULA P2 pack. It is way too big (80L?) for what I need. I tried to fill it up last week and hike with it and found that it does not work well when half empty. Also it is very hot against my back with ventilation.
L.Jun 12, 2020 at 7:16 am #3652484
Ursack w/ aluminum liner:
My understanding of reading the Rocky Mountain National Park regulations is that I must either carry a bear canister or an Ursack w/ the aluminum liner. According to Andrew Skurka’s report, rangers have confiscated Ursacks they found being used without the aluminum liner.
Thanks, L.Jun 12, 2020 at 7:17 am #3652485Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
+1 on ULA Circuit. In my experience, any pack that claims to ventilate your back is just making it that much harder to keep the weight on your hips. You want the pack to hug your back as closely as possible. This keeps weight close to your center and creates friction that helps keep the pack from sliding down.Jun 12, 2020 at 7:18 am #3652486
ULA Packs. I will look again. I know my P2 is old and too big. ULA has likely made many improvements since I bought this pack from Brian. I will see if they have something smaller with better ventilation against my back.
Thanks, L.Jun 12, 2020 at 10:53 am #3652518
I had a p2 as well. I think if you want small, the Ohm will be good. The circuit can carry a bit.
i also have the Osprey talon 22 as a day pack. Maybe the talon 33 or 44? Has ventilation and carries in my hips just fine.
Understood on the Ursacks. The requirements for other parks I’ve seen outside of Alaska haven’t required the liner. Just the Ursack itself. If they require it, then carry it.Jun 12, 2020 at 12:41 pm #3652535jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
“In my experience, any pack that claims to ventilate your back is just making it that much harder to keep the weight on your hips”
I use a Luxurylite frame and belt with a frameless pack bag attached. Indeed, it carries all the weight very comfortably on my hips AND leaves a small ventilating space on my back. and it carries a bear canister very comfortably too.
I imagine people are tired of my mentioning this…
p.s.I didn’t like the soft canisters that are made for this frame.Jun 12, 2020 at 12:51 pm #3652538David UBPL Member
I’ll be the contrarian here. I hated using my Circuit and could not get much weight on my hips. I had no better luck with the OHM or Catalyst. The issue with these packs is that the frame was too short to provide an effective load lifter. I even tried a L sized pack but it wasn’t any better (my torso size is 18-18.5″).
I would look at the Elemental Horizons Kalais that does a much better job at putting weight on the hips. The fit and finish of the Kalais is also superb.
An alternative would be the new packs from Seek Outside. If their regular external frame packs are any indication, the Flight series should be amazing at putting the majority of the weight where it should go – on the hips.Jun 12, 2020 at 1:12 pm #3652546humorlessBPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
If you did decide on a Kalais per David U, I’ve got one (size M) that I’d sell for $75 plus shipping. Like pretty much every other pack mentioned here though, it won’t provide back ventilation like the Ospreys.Jun 12, 2020 at 1:36 pm #3652556Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
If you did decide on a Kalais per David U, I’ve got one (size M) that I’d sell for $75 plus shipping. Like pretty much every other pack mentioned here though, it won’t provide back ventilation like the Ospreys.
I have to question the benefit of suspended mesh. I’ve used a few. The challenge is your back is going to be pressing against the mesh panel, so you’re going to sweat anyway. The only way to minimize this would be a complete air gap of at least 1/8 inch between your back and the panel, which is close to impossible to design. The closest thing to this would be an old external frame . . .
Only the hipbelt and the upper panel, make contact with the back. The old Trailwise externals had a full mesh panel and they were “hotter” to wear than a pack like the one above.
Plus suspended mesh panels move the load away from your center of gravity. Of course each person is different in how they physically feel. Sweat doesn’t bother me at all anyway.
If a Kalais meets your needs, I would certainly consider it, ignoring the perception of suspended mesh frames.Jun 12, 2020 at 1:44 pm #3652559jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
this is from an old Backpackinglite review of the Luxurylite”
“The system also minimizes pack contact with your back, creating excellent airflow and comfort in hot climes.”
Again, I don’t use a frontpack or the cylinders with my frame.Jun 12, 2020 at 2:18 pm #3652564
Thanks, Herman E. I do not plan to carry the aluminum Ursack liner unless required.
LennyJun 12, 2020 at 3:37 pm #3652586
Thanks for the responses on packs. I have never heard of (or noticed) packs by Luxurylite, Elemental Horizons or Seek Outside. I will definitely check them out along with the newer ULA packs. I will reevaluate my desire for mesh back ventilation. I agree that it is more important to carry the weight well on my hips than to have a vented back. Not sure I am ready for something as radically different as the Luxurylite frame.
I have considered pulling out my 1970s model Kelty Tioga pack, but as I recall it was not all that comfortable on hips or shoulders. …but the 50-65 pounds I used to carry might have a LOT to do with that. The padding has probably deteriorated in the attic by now.
Thanks again, LennoxJun 15, 2020 at 8:16 pm #3653232
I can now see good sense in the suggestions above. I borrowed an Osprey Exos in my size and loaded it carefully with my stuff. I did not even bother to try hiking. I could tell it was pulling me backwards and not riding well on my back. My old and super heavy Gregory and Osprey packs without the mesh “trampoline” wear much better on my back and put the weight on my hips. I am going to look even more closely at the suggestions.
Thanks again, LennoxJun 16, 2020 at 7:20 pm #3653407RSpectator
Scrutinizing your gear list…
The BRS3000T stove weighs just 1oz and can be had on Amazon for $18, but it is wind sensitive. So 1.3oz lighter than yours
A 10cm Imusa mug w/o the handle weights ~2oz., so about half the weight of your kettle. You can make a lid from an oven liner. A little more fidgety than your kettle, all in.
Half pound is a lot for water treatment. 2 bladders for filtering, one more for drinking from, plus a smart water bottle – that’s some redundancy. I use a mini-sawyer in-line w/ one bladder for drinking on the trail, and another so I can bring more in to camp.
The umbrella is a candidate to leave behind, but I’m sure you have your reasons.
The med kit is on the heavy side.
You list long underwear, pants and rain pants – 3 layers for your legs. Maybe you can leave the Lefroys behind and wear the long underwear and rain pants in camp.
You list a night shirt and a t-shirt as carried, while you’re wearing a long sleeve t-shirt and a long sleeve button down shirt. 4 torso layers, before the puffy and rain jacket. Maybe you can pare that down by a layer or two. I hike in a button down and cary a wool t-shirt for in-camp / sleep.
Camp shoes. It looks like you hike in sneakers, so unless you need them for frequent creek crossings, you might consider leaving them at home, and just loosening the laces once in camp.
Hand wipes, sanitizer, soap – you’ve got some redundancy there, so candidate for weight savings.Jun 16, 2020 at 9:43 pm #3653424Jack ChilesBPL Member
The Luxury Lite is my backpack – anywhere from 50 litres @ 34 ounces to 100 litres @ 41 ounces! External frame, waterproof bags, sits on hips only.Jun 17, 2020 at 9:59 am #3653480
Thanks, Rene. Good suggestions. I will look carefully at each. I do like the stove. On recent trips, mine has been the only one to keep working in windy conditions. I have been hiking in very hot and sunny places. The umbrella has been useful in keeping me cooler, but I plan to reconsider it for mountain trips this summer. I do need to look more carefully at my clothing, first aid and water filtering.
LennoxAug 21, 2020 at 5:20 am #3672041BPLwiiaBPL Member
Here’s the Flight One from Seek Outside:
A review from SectionHiker.com:Aug 21, 2020 at 10:22 am #3672076
Thank you. I did a lot of research back in June. I talked with someone at Seek Outside and decided to order one of their Gila packs. I just heard that it is now finished and I should have it by Monday. That’s good, because I leave for my final (scheduled) backpacking trip of 2020 early Tuesday morning. I hope that is enough time to adjust it and make sure the fit works for me.Oct 11, 2020 at 12:14 pm #3679236
Time for an update. My Seek Outside Gila pack arrived about 4 hours after I left for my last planned backpacking trip of the year. I have only been able to use it for loaded, training day hikes. So far, this is the best fitting pack I have ever tried. No matter how I adjusted previous packs, I always got a sore left shoulder. I do not know what is different, but even with 30 lbs in the pack and hiking 15 miles, my shoulder is not sore. The fit is excellent. I am happy with the pack and I am looking forward to using it on actual backpacking trips. Unfortunately, that will likely have to wait until next year.
LennyOct 11, 2020 at 1:11 pm #3679240Mike MBPL Member
always nice when something really works well :)Jan 24, 2021 at 8:26 pm #3695443Todd RaishBPL Member
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