- Oct 9, 2017 at 4:55 pm #3495663
kevin timmBPL Member
@ktimmLocale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
Understood, but the material difference is small.
This wont be a popular to say, but at some point we may raise the price of the Divide. Some raw materials have increased recently. For now we are eating it and hoping the pricing of raw materials goes back down.Oct 9, 2017 at 4:57 pm #3495667
Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I imagine that sewing wise it is about the same as the Divide as it seems to have all the same major pieces. As for material cost, yes the Gila would use less, but not considerably so, and the cost of the X-Pac is only ~$20 per yard and there is probably 2 yards in the entire pack.Oct 9, 2017 at 5:24 pm #3495676
Alex WallaceBPL Member
@feetfirstLocale: Sierra Nevada North
Looks great to me. Are they in stock ready to ship?Oct 9, 2017 at 7:44 pm #3495710
BCap—On your first pic, are you using the Y strap provided to hold your bearvault??
Yes. It worked, but without any high friction surfaces the BV had a tendency to shift as I walked. Every so often I had to reach up and whack it back to center. The other negatives to an on-top carry I found: your BV turns into a greenhouse and anything heat sensitive has trouble (chocolate bars and cheese for example), in the rain the BV makes a depression that water can collect in and leak into the pack — with the BV inside it forms a cylindrical roof that sheds water.
As far as swapping the Y-strap for two straps — never occurred to me. I found the Y strap adequate for anything I needed, though I never used the divide at the extreme upper end of its limits. I’d be curious how the double gatekeeper setup you show holds up long term.
As far as the gila goes… if the people want a smaller divide then it seems silly not to give it to them. I’m happy with my SO product — so much so I can’t imagine needing a second!Oct 9, 2017 at 8:34 pm #3495717
Tipi WalterBPL Member
I’m amazed BCap that your standard Y strap is long enough to cinch over a bearvault.Oct 10, 2017 at 2:37 am #3495785
Josh DurstonBPL Member
My opinion (without ever having used one, but having researched them a lot, and eagerly awaiting my Divide 4500 x42 in the mail), is that the real world balance of the SeekOutside packs is spot on, but the perhaps marketing could be improved. Especially to the UL crowd.
Maybe SeekOutside should make a Gila/Divide with:
- lightweight waist belt (make it clear its comfort rating is only to 35lbs)
- offer a lighter than X21 fabric option (trail use only), or maybe make a hybrid X21/X07 bag.
- make the side pockets and/or mesh optional (bad real world idea, but necessary to meet the numbers)
- KEEP the frame, since it seems to be SO defining factor. I think the current frame used to be called the ultra light frame, back when they had a heavier option.
All this is purely for marketing. They should be able to cut 10oz off a unicorn build of the pack to get to the magic 2lbs0oz. I’d never buy the pack that way, but it would get to a pretty competitive place numbers wise, and people could work their way back up in weight (and most people probably should).
I’m glad to see a new backpacking oriented pack, was getting a little jealous of all the fancy hunter pack bags they’ve released recently.
Oct 10, 2017 at 3:09 am #3495792
- This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Josh Durston.
Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I am not sure what it weights, but if you have some sewing skill, you could probably rig a Zpacks belt to attach to a Seek Ouside frame.
I had suggested a lightweight belt some time ago (before they changed the belt to the lighter dual buckle) and figured they could get it into the 7-7.5oz range, but I imagine that adding another SKU would only make since if they sold a considerable number.
I imagine that the majority of their pack sales (which is only a portion of their sales anyways) are hunters, and us UL backpackers are a rather small percentage of their sales. They are always very helpful on the phone or via email so they certainly appreciate us, but I still imagine we are still not the majority of their sales.
While the Gila may be overkill for loads 25lbs or under, but still hits the sweat spot for a lot of people and should compete very well with the ULA Circuit and others. The Seek Outside suspension really is amazing.Oct 10, 2017 at 3:16 am #3495795
Dan DurstonBPL Member
Having digested this new pack a bit more, I think there is only a small market for a pack that can handle a huge amount of weight (up to 100 lbs) but is only 3500 cu in like the Gila. Most folks interested in possibly carrying this much weight would probably opt for the larger Divide packbag at a relatively minor cost and weight penalty. Put another way, you’d be hard pressed to get 100 lbs in/on a 3500 cu in pack, so the frame seems overkill here.
For most lightweight folks – such as myself – packs of this volume are great, but I rarely need to haul more than 50 lbs. Even starting a long packrafting trip I don’t usually touch 50 lbs. Within this pack niche (medium volume, medium weight carry), the Gila doesn’t compare that well because a fair bit weight is spent on the big load functionality. I think when a lot of folks on BPL were calling for a smaller version of the Divide, they were hoping the changes would be more extensive than a smaller packbag on the same chassis.
So I see the Divide being a lot more popular. I think the Gila could be popular, but it would require designing a lighter suspension aimed at moderate loads, which it seems that SO isn’t planning to do. Just the Gila frame/suspension is ~30oz with hipbelt pockets (~45oz total), whereas great all around lightweight pack like a 3400 Windrider is 32oz. Put another way, my Hanchor Marl is ~36oz in VX21 and carries fine at 50 lbs, whereas the Gila in VX21 with hipbelt pockets is ~47oz.Oct 10, 2017 at 11:00 am #3495818
CARLOS C.BPL Member
@lamboyLocale: Mid Atlantic
I also think that SO is very very close to the sweet spot with the Gila. It will be great but with a few more ounces shaved off it will be in a truly great position to turn heads. The people that want these packs look closely at numbers first and once the Gila is close enough they will have a dilemma in not considering this pack.
Oct 10, 2017 at 2:49 pm #3495843
- This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by CARLOS C..
Logan KidwellBPL Member
This looks like a great pack, and I think it makes a lot of sense in the lightweight world. I have been using my Unaweep for a few years, and even with light loads in it, I find the support and load transfer ability it offers to be awesome. I think this pack will and should compete with the other “lightweight expedition packs”, especially the HMG. Well done guys!Oct 10, 2017 at 3:23 pm #3495852
Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Dartmoor, Devon
For MYOGers, here’s a design inspired by the Unaweep suspension, but using flat aluminium bar for an easier build. It was also inspired by some of Dave Chenault’s experiments with the Unaweep concept.
The designer says it carries very well.
He’s using it for canyoneering, so has selected very robust materials. But I think that the concept could be adapted to produce something significantly lighter than the Gila:Oct 10, 2017 at 7:16 pm #3495887
Nathan ColemanBPL Member
Lots of discussion on weight here, which is fitting. Makes me smile. I really enjoy following along.
We could probably get the Gila to 2 lbs.
The way to do it would be VX07 or cuben pack bag with no mesh pocket and no bottle pockets.
Sew the harness to the packbag. Strip harness of all 3D mesh, only one layer of thinner lighter foam, go to a 210D (or even -gasp- 70D) outer fabric. 3/4″ webbing.
Strip 3D mesh from belt, no PALS, one grommet not two on adjustment, lighter outer fabric. One layer of lighter foam.
The frame realistically is pretty light. Titanium would be heavier, 7075 tube would be lighter as would carbon, but either of those is much easier to crack or break. You may shave 1-3 oz but at a large cost and big reduction in durability. (I saw flat bar aluminum mentioned – cheaper than our frame, but also heavier. Round tube has a higher strength to weight ratio than most anything.)
I think those changes would probably get it there.
At this point we’re designing to hit a weight, not designing for what we want it to DO. This isn’t our core.
It’s about tradeoffs. I’d rather have bottle pockets, a mesh face pocket, a comfortable carry, and something that will hold up even if I do beat on it.
I talk with Kevin often about what I call the “rebound point”. I started off backpacking heavy, got lighter and lighter and lighter, then finally decided I was cold, wet, hungry, or uncomfortable and started adding things back to my pack.
I think most folks find this point. If 8-10 oz adds a ton of functionality, ease of use, and comfort…..why not? Anyway, that’s a glimpse of the philosophy, right or wrong.Oct 10, 2017 at 10:11 pm #3495920
Katherine .BPL Member
“they have redesigned the harness some and it has cleared many of the issues of smaller individuals. I know it works now for me.”
@carlos C Good to hear, I knew that was in the works and have been waiting on that! I noticed this on the site now:
“An extra harness makes packbag switches faster and easier. This new style harness is narrower shoulder to shoulder, creating a better fit for more body types. Includes daisy loops for attaching a gps or other accessories. This harness fits all the backpacks we’ve ever made.”
So do new pack orders come with this with this as the stock option? The Divide is at the top of my list for 2018 purchases.
2.) Surprised no one has compared the Gila to the Elemental Horizons packs which come in Xpac and are supposed to have a great frame. The Kalais comes in bit less on volume and the Aquilo just over.
Because if I “needed” and third pack — something in between my Ohm and my future Divide — I’d be looking at those.
Oct 10, 2017 at 11:47 pm #3495949
- This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Katherine ..
kevin timmBPL Member
@ktimmLocale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
Yes packs have been shipping with new harness for several monthsOct 11, 2017 at 3:13 am #3496008
Josh DurstonBPL Member
The VX21 teal looks awesome, sure stands out from the grey and green fabrics.
I’m curious about the VX21 versus X21? Does the inner scrim protect the waterproofing in a meaningful way, or does the thicker PU layer in the X21 more than offset not having a scrim?Oct 11, 2017 at 12:38 pm #3496055
Nathan ColemanBPL Member
In backpack use I think X21 and VX21 are equal. The inner scrim is white, which does brighten up the inside of the bag a bit, but probably doesn’t make enough difference to make a compelling argument for the weight increase.
Most of the abrasion a packbag will face comes from the outside, so the decision comes down to 210 vs 420 vs color. Some people choose the heavier green because they like the color. I figure that the same will happen with teal.
When gray became available in X21 vs VX, we switched to the lighter fabric, and haven’t had problems with it. Color availability plays a large role.
It’ll be interesting to see how the colors play out. We’ve done some red in the past, but it seems that most people like the more muted colors, unless you’re into a sport where you need to be visible from the air.Oct 12, 2017 at 1:24 pm #3496275
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
Brendan was going for a narrower pack bag with his flat bar frame, both to get better belt wrap (he’s a skinny guy) and to make something that slides through slot canyons better than the 14″ wide SO frame. Nathan is right, even if you slim down the original McHale formula of two vertical and one horizontal (bottom) 7075 flat bar as much as bolting it together permits, you aren’t going to get under 7-8 ounces. MYOGers can get other benefits, such as those mentioned above, as well as a less rigid frame which some might think suits loads in the 20-30 pound range better.
Folks wanting the Unaweep series to really be lighter in a package which is optimized for sub 40 pounds would do well to follow Jan’s advice and reverse engineer the suspension elements.Oct 23, 2017 at 4:40 am #3497965
Luke SchmidtBPL Member
Back when the Unaweep 3900 was the smallest pack SO sold I tried to do a MYOG version similar to the Gila. I used a Unaweep frame and hipbelt. The rest was mine.
I used dyneema grid stop for most of it. Shoulder straps were sewn directly on, no side pockets. The pack was something like 31 oz without compression straps. When I added a (tiny) MYOG talon pocket I think the weight was 36 oz. My updated version has a bigger talon and I think it’s right at 2.5 pounds.
Realistically a functional pack that can carry 40 pounds is going be around 2.5 pounds. Sometimes you get a bit lighter but not much. If a pack is much lighter it has either sacrificed durability or carrying ability.
I did really really like my MYOG versions of the SO packs. I think I built 6 of them. I also have a Unaweep 6300 that I love for packrafting trips.
I’ll go out on a limb and say for a lot of BPL members the Gila or Divide is probably the best all around pack. For a thru hike they will handle big loads of food better then any UL pack I’ve tried (and i tried 4 commercial UL frameless packs, MYOG packs and HMG packs). For the desert they can carry water weight well. The only time a Gila/Divide is “too much” is for short and light trips. But let’s say you have 7 pounds of gear including a 10oz pack, a liter of water and 3 days of food. Total weight will be about 14 pounds. Swap you 10oz pack for a Gila and you now have total pack weight of 17 pounds in a super comfy pack. I don’t think you will be any more tired if you carry the Gila.Mar 15, 2019 at 3:46 pm #3583681
I thought I would resurrect this to add a couple of data points as I found this and other discussion on BPL invaluable in deciding to get a SeekOutside pack.
I initially ordered the Gila but found that my Bearikade Expedition only just fits inside. It was so tight the anti-barrel bar was unable to stop the can rubbing my (admittedly very bony) spine and it was virtually impossible to stuff anything down the side as my hand wouldn’t fit to squash stuff down the gap. I measured top circumference at 37″ (spec is 41″). SO confirmed several samples were 37-38″ top and 39-40″ bottom circumference.
SO were fantastic in facilitating an easy exchange for the Divide 4500 pack bag. This measures 42″ top and bottom (so again, not quite to website spec). Bear can fits very nicely and I don’t need the anti-barrel bar. The weight difference between the two pack bags is just 58g. The body width and depth of the Divide 4500 seem very similar to the Zpack Arc Haul (which I have tried and fail to get on with), however the SO bag is MUCH taller. I considered cutting 8″ off the roll top, but X21 is only 4.4oz/sqyd so this would save 32g. Doesn’t seem worth the effort.
Component weights in grams:
Frame = 205
2″ extensions = 22
2 bolts +nuts = 9
Medium belt = 264
Harness = 215
DIVIDE 4500 bag = 641
GILA 3900 bag = 583
removable Y-strap compression = 26
8x removable compression straps = 120
anti-barrel bar = 77
Strap trimming -24g (the hip belt and harness straps are nearly 2 feet long as supplied!)
Remove daisy china patch from Divide back pocket -13g
Divide as carried = 1310g. (I’ve ditched the webbing straps and now use 2.5mm cord with lineloc adjusters)
Yes, it is twice the weight of ultralight bags like the arch haul, or around 400g heavier than things like HMG porter. I wince every time I look at my spreadsheet of gear weight. Yet, it’s the best carry I’ve ever used with (or indeed without) a bear can.
As a replacement for my old Exos48 it’s 259g heavier. With our base weight of 6.1kg each (my wife carries a DLSR & 2 lenses – I’m never going to be in the ultralight club) and a 7 day resupply inside it is vastly more comfortable which I think far outweighs the extra weight.
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