MH Splitter 20 fastpack system – 3.5 days 57 miles
Sep 29, 2016 at 5:44 am #3428557
Getting ready to do the Knobstone trail in Southern Indiana. I’m going to use a setup that’s been working well for me lately.
At 22 oz the Mountain Hardware Splitter 20 (23L really) isn’t all that light, but I’ve had my fill of wimpy, small volume (18L to 23L) SUL packs. It seems like they have to be packed just right and be kept nearly full or else they’re not comfortable. Not so with the Splitter. It features a hard, thermoplastic urethane framesheet combined with exterior back padding that runs vertically on each side of the spine. It also has interior padding on the laptop/water bag pocket, This creates a pack can be loaded half full of canned goods (if someone so desired, God forbid) and still ride comfortably.
I place a cut section of blue REI foam in the pocket to help enhance the back padding even more. The pad serves double duty by placing it under the shoulder portion of a Klymit Inertia X Lite, where it needs it most. I love the clamshell design.
I carry most of my water on a belt and shoulder sling, but the MH Splitter has 2 side pockets that are plenty big enough for 1 liter Gatorade bottles. The robust 400d nylon insulates far better than mesh too. Pack also has a large side-zip front storage pocket (brighter yellow) that holds a lot.
I’m able to use a small pack like this on a 3.5 day thru (resupply half way) because I carry 2 liters of water and a storage pouch on a belt/shoulder sling combo. I just took 2″ wide nylon webbing and put holes in it with a hot nail and then tied on an Outdoor Products 1 liter bottle holder and an Eagle Creek pouch to the belt with spectra line. The bottle has to be in just the right position (cleft of gluteus) or it doesn’t ride right. I added a strong Nexus buckle on front. The entire belt (w/ bottle) weighs 8.2 oz.
On the right side I carry a 1 liter shoulder sling bottle holder (3.8 oz w/bottle) that’s attached to the belt with a mitten hook to keep it from moving backwards or forwards. The belt and sling together allows me to free up lots of space in the pack and keeps about 5 pounds off of the pack as well.
I used Velcro and the axe loops to secure a folding sit pad that I also use to cushion my feet while sleeping.
Other packed items include:
1) ZPacks Solo Hexamid (.74) with Polycro and 8 Toaks titanium V stakes 20.7 oz.
2) Montbell UL SS 800 #5 in ZPacks roll top dry bag 18 oz
3) Klymit Inertia X-Lite 5.9 oz
4) Helium II Jacket XL 7.1 oz
5) Exped UL pillow w/ fleece cover 2.9 oz
6) Sawyer mini (average) 2 oz
7) EBY-265 400 ml ti cup w/ Esbit stand and windscreen 3 oz
8) 9 Esbit cubes 4.5 oz
9) Ion headlamp 1.9 oz
10) Golite beanie 1.4 oz
11) ccf pads 3.3 oz
12) Evernew 1.5L bag and other assorted smaller items 7.4 oz.
Total BPW (w/belt and sling) 7 lbs. Not SUL, but I like the way the weight is distributed better than with just a pack alone. The belt/shoulder sling keeps the pack weight down and the entire center of gravity lower. What’s more, the Splitter 20 is comfortable, no matter how it’s loaded.Sep 29, 2016 at 6:47 am #3428559JCHBPL Member
I like your “out of the box” thinking re: the belt Monte. Very nicely done, and thanks for sharing.Oct 21, 2016 at 3:44 pm #3432251toddBPL Member
@funnymoLocale: SE USA
Thank you for posting this. I, too (and I suspect a host of others), have found some frameless packs less than optimal for such loads. Your sling/belt water carriers are a great addition and I really like this setup!
Very nice.Jan 27, 2017 at 7:28 am #3447352
Thanks for the good word guys. I knew this thread wouldn’t illicit much interest, but the setup works so well I felt like I had to share.
I’ve used the Splitter 20 a lot more since I first posted this gear list a few months ago, and I must say that I absolutely love it. However, the Knobstone Trail ended up taking me 5 days instead of 3.5 (ain’t as young as I used to be).Jan 27, 2017 at 9:45 am #3447373HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: The West is (still) the Best
Glad you reposted this as my doc said I need to keep weight off my spine. What she don’t know won’t hurt her, … but it’s me I’m worried about. Wondering if a MLD Burn or Zimmerbuilt Quickstep with optional (inflatable) frames and hip belt would work in place of the thermoplastic frame? I have a plastic “dealership” license plate that could add rigidity at a smaller weight too.Jan 27, 2017 at 6:18 pm #3447443John S.BPL Member
I like the idea myself and may try one. Thanks for sharing.Feb 3, 2017 at 4:02 pm #3448611Chad PBPL Member
Looks nice man, good luck on the trail. Being from Ohio I’ve been wanting to make my way there sometime. How’s the klymit x lite for you? Been planning to try one out as I’ve never really slept on the ground but in a hammock.Feb 3, 2017 at 6:02 pm #3448632Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
Great job putting together an unusual pack setup that works for you.
Knobstone Trail descriptions sound excellent — another gem that I had not heard about previously. I found a few reviews and it sounds fantastic, the type of trail I like… who knew Indiana had hills?Feb 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm #3448914
Chad, I find the Klymit Inertia X-lite works great if I place the blue foam under the shoulder portion. It’s a little deficient in that area, but the hips and head are well cushioned.
The X-lite blows up with 3 good puffs and it’s made with a 70d bottom, which of course provides durability. If you also deflate it a little, the pad turns into a great camp seat. Just fold it up 90 degrees above the hip portion and brace it up against a tree or large rock (and with a mini groundsheet underneath)Feb 13, 2017 at 8:45 pm #3450438Nick OtisBPL Member
Interesting set up. Way to be, and thanks for getting me thinking…Feb 20, 2017 at 7:45 pm #3451696Greg FBPL Member
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
Neat set up. I am looking at doing something similar with SUL backpack and then a waist belt for most of the food and water.
i was looking at the Talon 6 waist belt for water and about 2 days food then cloud pack the top with about 7lbs of gear to avoid the packing problem. Moves half the weight to the hips, gives good water and food access throughout the day. Neet to see that this worked for you.Feb 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm #3451806
Greg, the only problem with the Talon 6 Waistpack is that your UL backpack would probably interfere with it….unless you’re using a VERY small daypack. I found this out the hard way with a few different waistpacks I tried. That’s why I devised my own water belt. I know the belt looks simple, but it actually took a lot of trial and error to find just the right placement of the bottle holder.Feb 21, 2017 at 10:42 pm #3451930Greg FBPL Member
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
Yeah I have to go try everything on.
After looking at some pictures Of the talon being worn most people have it above their hips so it would interfere.
Maybe I’ll just make some water bottle pockets and hip belt pockets for the pack I have or but a talon 22 and just use that. The problem is I don’t want to spend money on a new pack until I figure out how much running vs hiking I’m doingJun 13, 2019 at 5:54 pm #3597677Josh JBPL Member
late to the game but i’m guessing your not a side sleeper with the klymit?Jun 13, 2019 at 7:13 pm #3597696
Actually Josh, I sleep on my side most of the time. The piece of blue foam (pic in OP) placed on the shoulder portion of the Inertia X-Lite is what makes all the difference. Without it sleep is difficult. Also the X-lite makes a great camp seat, with a padded back rest when folded 90 degrees and set against a tree. The 70d bottom (30d top) provides more confidence too. A great Summer SUL pad IMO.
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