Lightweight and Ultralight Backpacks for Backpacking

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Lightweight and Ultralight Backpacks for Backpacking

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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    Backpacking Light


    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    Companion forum thread to: Lightweight and Ultralight Backpacks for Backpacking

    A curated guide to Backpacking Light resources on ultralight backpacks – gear, skills, podcasts, forums, research, education, product recommendations, and more.

    R L


    Locale: SF Bay Area, East Bay

    Nicely done.  Well written.  Thorough.  Thanks for sharing.  ~RL

    Ken Larson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western Michigan

    Excellent TRAILHEAD presentation on the BACKPACK subject by the staff. Covered the subject well with the many resources for more information by the reader. The comment,  “Since choosing a backpack with the proper fit and features for your hiking style is so use-case-dependent, it is best to cast a wide net..” is so true and can’t be over looked by individuals looking for a pack. I noticed three pictures where the McHale packs were being used and the pack was not mentioned. For “the uninitiated”  the McHale pack is a product that can be individually designed for the users use and body dimensions,  and information, pictures and user feedback can be found on his website. Once again, great job by ALL!

    Bob Kerner
    BPL Member


    Very nicely done. A couple of things stand out:

    1. the content regarding the pack weighing more than the stuff. That was me at one point. And the moment I ditched the heavy pack in favor of a Z Packs Arc, I felt like someone added 15 years of life to my body.

    2. That side pockets very often aren’t accessible while hiking. I thought it was just me and limited range of shoulder motion.

    Maybe I missed it, or it was subtle, but for very active hikers who hike thru multiple seasons and conditions, there is no such thing as 1 pack.

    Mark Wetherington
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western Montana

    Great point, Bob! I worked on this piece with BPL and am a bit embarrassed I overlooked noting that, especially since I have several packs myself that I use for trips of different durations, conditions, seasons, etc.

    I guess maybe subconsciously I just assumed that everyone knows that once you get into a hobby like ultralight backpacking (or bicycling, or skiing, etc.) you’ll never just need one bike, or one pack, or one pair of skis : )

    R L


    Locale: SF Bay Area, East Bay

    I have three packs, three shelters, two legs, one pair of trekking poles, two cook systems.  And that’s after doing a serious purge recently.  ~RL

    Andrew Marshall
    BPL Member


    Locale: Tahoe basin by way of the southern Appalachians

    Bob, that’s an excellent point, and one that extends – as Mark said – to skis, bikes, and more. Everybody is searching for the quiver killer, but I don’t think it exists – at least not as marketed. I think the best we can do is one piece of gear that can excels in…maybe…70% of situations? At that point, it’s up to the consumer to decide if they want to suffer the other 30% for the sake of minimalist philosophy, storage space, budget, or all three. It’s a good point that should probably be more specifically explored in this piece, so thanks! That’s the kind of feedback we are looking for on these things.

    Atif Khan
    BPL Member


    Thank you for the article, but why isn’t the McHale Pack mentioned or linked to? BPL is customarily very thorough.

    It is conspicuously absent even though it is pictured three times, owned and regularly used by Ryan Jordan, highly recommended by numerous BPL users, and quite possibly the most durable and longest lasting pack in the industry. And, over a lifetime, the cheapest pack around (from $695 and under 2 lbs).

    Here is Nick Gatel’s excellent review:

    And an incredible story:

    And others:

    As Tipi Walter advised me, “…get a McHale now and save yourself a lifetime of pack confusion.” I hope BPL, such an excellent source of reliable information, will give McHale the credit he deserves.

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