- Mar 8, 2018 at 7:27 pm #3523183
The size Large Osprey EXOS Levity weighs in at barely over 2 pounds for a 60 liter capacity. Would this qualify as SUL (for that capacity)?
I own a relatively light EXOS 58 in size Large so the Levity seems almost etherial by comparison.Mar 8, 2018 at 7:29 pm #3523184
BTW, my EXOS 58 Large weighs 2.68 lbs. so it’s almost 0.7 lb. heavier than the Levity. I will say though, it is the most comfortable UL pack I’ve owned or used thus far.Mar 8, 2018 at 10:11 pm #3523250
Paul S.BPL Member
A true big manufacturer LW pack, but that is just semantics. If it is just as comfortable and lighter than your old pack then get it.Mar 8, 2018 at 11:09 pm #3523263
Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
I think it would depend as well on a bit more context, and, how much weight it can comfortably carry.
Eg, if you are doing cold winter SUL, then you are probably allowed a couple of extra pounds and need the volume.
Or, if you are doing long unsupported trips carrying a few weeks of food (Eg like the Arctic 1000) then probably. I think its lighter than the pack they used.
I’m skeptical about how well it well carry heavy loads above 40lbs though. Zero padding on the hipbelt. Ouch. Shoulder straps look nice though.
I think its possible to build a much lighter SUL pack for such purposes. KS Ultralight’s packs come to mind. A KS50 with internal pad sleeve, stays, and their anatomic hip belt would carry quite well. I’m sure Laurent could add a decent extension collar in say silnylon to get past 60L. (In a heavy carry pack, its always more comfortable with a taller load rather than a fat load). If made from lighter xpacs with say a dyneema base it would probably come in at around 500grams. Looking at his anatomic hipbelt option it looks quite nice though for load carrying I’d ask him to put a bit more CCF padding in the lumbar pad. Lumbar pads really start to get important for heavy load. Could save a few grams and add strength with the right chosen CF stays rather than aluminium.Mar 9, 2018 at 2:25 am #3523286
Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
SUL…..Nope That would be 2/5ths of your baseweight would be your pack.
My SMD Swift is about 60L and 16.4oz and I wouldn’t even consider that a SUL pack. I can appreciate Osprey’s effort in a lightweight pack, but to me they still have too much weight in features, straps, and buckles, that could either be eliminated to make a lighter pack, or at the same weight have a pack with a more substantial hipbelt/shoulder straps, which are lacking compared to cottage packs of similar weight.Mar 9, 2018 at 1:13 pm #3523353
Over the past 50 years or so I have used a lot of packs. I sort’a came up with this table of weights for back packs and general loads they will carry. There are some exceptions, of course.
XXSUL: <4oz (~113g) max load around 10lb (Heaviest carried was 12lb)
XSUL: 4 to 6oz (~170g) max load around 15lb (Heaviest carried was 22lb)
SUL: 6 to 8oz (~227g) max load around 20lb (Heaviest carried was 27lb)
UL: 8 to 16oz (~454g) max load around 30lb (Heaviest carried was 45lb)
Light: 16-32oz (~910g) max load around 50lb (Heaviest carried was 64lb)
General: 32-64oz (~1815g) max load around 75lb ( — )
Expedition: >64oz (>1815g) max load >75lb (Heaviest carried was a gutted deer + gear + rifle)
Soo, a 2pound+ pack is not even a light pack. I have a 40year old 2pound2oz pack that is easily capable of carrying >50pounds as I used to do with the family. Size really doesn’t say anything about overall weight. The older Kelty was 5pounds+ but was only around 3500ci internal and with all sorts of external mounting points. A small 1000ci 5oz pack makes a good XSUL pack because you simply have more room than you can fit gear into at that weight. The old blue Murmur was less than 8oz easily fitting it into SUL territory and was HUGE. The old G5 was even lighter at >6oz, but the spinnaker was fragile but could hold 4000+ci. Z-Packs Zero was a fine little pack for XSUL travel.
Today’s packs are WAY HEAVIER. Almost every manufacturer, especially the older “cottage” companies like MLD, Gossamer gear(GVP Gear), Z-Packs, etc has gone with far greater durability over ultra light materials. If you want a SUL pack, you will need to get less than 8oz and likely sacrifice a lot of conveniences and durability along the way. Even then, you likely won’t find one. They use 1.7oz DCF(cuben) laminates instead of 1.1oz ripstop nylon or .9oz plain weave. Even the Murmur of today at 13.5oz is no longer an XSUL pack and cannot be made into one…I tried and stripped it down to 7.5oz. The older spinnaker is still made as .6oz/7D robic, giving it greater strength than the old fabric. Again, the process of manufacturing will need to undergo changes to accommodate the lighter materials in much the same way DCF manufacturing evolved. But, the current market simply isn’t there.
With the recent interest in backpacking, most of the newer packers don’t know what they are buying or simply don’t care. I bumped into a group or three guys that were out for a 10 day hike. They said they had done several overnights. Each carried about 40pounds of food and laughably heavy gear. They had BREAD with them and needed to resupply about three days down the trail because their milk was going to go bad because their ice had melted that day(1st day out for them) and they needed to pick up eggs, steaks, potatoes and beer for celebrating climbing the mountain. I laughed and said they would not like humping that stuff UP the mountain to which I got three blank stares. So? They were just twelve miles in and the mountain was another 45mi away. Yup, this is what the manufacturers are catering to, and, hoping for.
But, no, the Exos Levity is not a true SUL pack. It isn’t even a UL pack, nor a Light Weight pack. At a bit more than 32oz, it is just another 2 pound pack of which all the manufacturers say are light weight. Maybe…but I would strongly disagree.Mar 9, 2018 at 1:25 pm #3523356
Brad PBPL Member
If a manufacturer sells a pack made out of tissue paper and balsa wood, as you said, it will not last. That’s followed by people posting, “This piece of junk didn’t last…” on the internet. They get slammed and people don’t buy.
If all of the makers of these packs are moving to something a little more durable, that must be what is required to stay in business. Buyers want a certain degree of durability and don’t view a backpack as a disposable item.
I think a moderately durable pack at the capacity of the Osprey weighing 32 oz is light. Not ultralight or super ultralight, but light. That’s extremely subjective and I understand not everyone will agree. That’s perfectly fine.
I don’t think a large manufacturer can sell a pack without a certain degree of durability. Retailers would be dealing with too many returns to be willing to carry the pack in inventory.Mar 9, 2018 at 2:52 pm #3523384
Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
James Marco: a <= 2lb pack that is rated to 50lb? What 40 year old pack are you talking about?Mar 9, 2018 at 3:08 pm #3523391
Ken T.BPL Member
From the SUL forum
“Discussion of SUL hiking/backpacking – that is, the practice of carrying insanely light packs (e.g., 7 lbs or less) – and intense study of about how to trim even MORE weight from your pack.”
I was under the impression it was 5 pounds or less.
So no way that Osprey will qualify based on an arbitrary set weight category like SUL.Mar 9, 2018 at 3:19 pm #3523393
Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
Their marketing team is just beating others to the punch.
My question for osprey is: who needs a frame with only 25 lbs max weight? Lose the frame and put the padding from the exos suspension back in there.
(And im a frame fan)(a frame supporter, for irony)Mar 9, 2018 at 4:13 pm #3523401
Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
Ken and James are right, SUL is under 5 lbs BPW. I know, some will say “oh, it’s just an arbitrary number.” Whatever! It’s a number that most in the UL community agree upon.
There are other packs out there than Osprey. I’m sure the Exos is a good pack, but for 1.5 lbs you could get a framed ZPacks 60 L…..and there are more in that weight range that will carry better than the Levity.
For me an SUL Pack is under 12 oz.
Mar 9, 2018 at 5:47 pm #3523419
- This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Monte Masterson.
Ken T. Yeah that forum is correct. Base weight is all your gear except food, water and fuel. Many stretch this to any “consumable”, but this is sort of a hard sell to me. If I use a piece of plastic for a tarp that I throw away at the end of the hike because it is used up, is this a consumable? Like I say, a hard sell and not very well thought out. Someone could simply throw away everything at the end of a hike and say it was all consumable…
Anyway, 7 pounds is pack weight. That includes a couple pounds of food, some fuel and and water. Some will go so far as to say it is FSO or “from skin out” to prevent throwing stuff in your pocket. Food, fuel and water is not counted. It is roughly (within a couple ounces) the same. In any case, it is NOT a three season kit, to me. Rather it is only in the 6-8 weeks of high summer have I gone out SUL and been comfortable/warm enough. I have even gone out with just my sleeping bag, cup & lighter stuffed into my fishing vest on two day hikes along a stream…so called XSUL. Anyway, the most agreed on number is 5pound base weight for SUL. My normal UL kit is about a pound shy of this so I added another pound in conveniences. That is mostly what is in most peoples packs are anyway, just conveniences.
Jeff M. This is my old Tough Traveler that weighs 2#2. I use it to this day for training hikes with 43 pounds in it. It has a magnesium internal frame and is rugged as hell. It has a 2.5″ “seat belt” as a hip belt. They quit making this back in 1976. I still have an old WWII or Korean War pack around here somewhere…never use the 7 pound monster. My whole kit weighs less than that pack.
Brad P. Yeah, I think this is the reasoning behind the tremendous weight increases we are seeing. As I remember, GG sold the G5, the Whisper, and the Murmur back about 15 years ago with NO GUARANTEE of any sort. They sold it with the disclaimer that you knew what you were doing (understood the about the durability issues.) I typically had to repair those packs twice a year. I finally destroyed the G5, patched up the MiniPosa again, and stripped a newer Murmur down to bare bones. None of these packs were under any guarantee and I would not expect them to be. I am NOT afraid to modify them and void some guarantee. They were just LIGHT. The MiniPosa is just under a pound (15oz) and has been in partial use for 14 years. I switch off between it and a Murmur, mostly.Mar 9, 2018 at 7:22 pm #3523432
Dean F.BPL Member
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
There are a few sacred cows in the UL canon which I have decided are counterproductive. One of them is the obsession with minimalist hipbelts, and this thing has pretty stringy hipbelt. For some SUL weenie whose total pack weight is 10 pounds, sure. But for anything over 20 pounds (and certainly for more than 30) I’d want a better belt. The one on the Exos is adequate (or at least the Exos I had, which was first generation). I’d stick with the Exos.Mar 9, 2018 at 8:40 pm #3523445
James M., I also have an old (1980) tough Traveller all Cordura pack that I was given when I was an 1980 Winter Olympics Nordic ski patroller. Hardly ever use it. It’s now “memorabilia”.
OK, James, I look at your pack weight classification and think, “Gee, that’s very light for an SUL pack that can carry 25 lbs. in comfort.” **25 pounds is my max weight for 7 days of food and fuel and 2 L. of water but… this does not include the pack weight, so OK, 27 lbs. total.
I guess that even at my advanced geezerhood age I will take carry comfort over light pack weight. It’s a balance. Some guilty pleasures of comfort we “elders” have become accustomed to over the years. Hard to sleep on a Z-Rest or Ridgerest when we can have something softer.
So we spend most of our time backpacking doing two things: 1.) hiking with a backpack 2.) sleeping – therefore I say let’s at least be comfortable doing those things.
I’m searching for a decently durable lighter frame pack than my EXOS 58, The TT Notch Lithium tent has my heart and nearly my wallet. The REI Flash mummy shaped air mattress also looks very good. (I don’t like Neo-Air mattresses. Been there, done that.)
Perhaps with these 3 new items and my Trail Designs ti Caldera Cone ESBIT stove W/3 cup pot I’ll get my weight into “near SUL” but I doubt if it will ever be truly SUL.
I think it’s my reliance on battery-powered items that keeps the weight up. Steripen, Olympus TG 4 camera, tiny headlamp, GPS and SPOT beacon.
Mar 9, 2018 at 10:42 pm #3523467
- This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Eric Blumensaadt.
John HBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
Eric, if you like the Levity, are happy with its weight, and find it comfortable, don’t worry about what labels other people put on it or what arbitrary weights people say a pack should weigh.
Have you considered the Levity 45 instead of the 60? Could save you a tiny bit more weight on light trips. Keep the Exos 58 for when you need to carry more volume or weight.Mar 10, 2018 at 12:14 pm #3523567
Eric B. I believe they switched out the frame to aluminum in ’76. There were corrosion issues with the mag ones. You have to keep them dry with a coating of varnish that they did NOT apply at the factory.
I think the old G5 was rated at 15 pounds if I remember right, not 25. It was a great little weekend pack, but it was not a long distance pack…just too light. The sil version weighed a bit more, I think it was 7.8oz. My daughter still uses hers. A good pad for a frame, and that hauls 27lbs for a week. But, it lost it’s SUL status gained with the spinnaker.
Like John says, if you like the Levity, get it and use it. Like you, almost half the convenience items I carry are for sleeping: lights, shelter, pad, sleeping bag, sleeping cloths. My stove/pot/lid/winscreen and spoon go about 7oz, not counting the canister. I also carry a phone, steripen and sometimes my Pentax dx100. GPS, SPOT, I never bring. I actually gave the GPS away.
Actually, if you think about it, you only need a frame because you are hauling weight and need the transfer to your hips. Lighter packs, XXSUL, XSUL, SUL, UL, etc don’t say anything about the trip duration nor the weather. 23-27 pounds for two weeks is my standard trip a few times per year. Several shorter trips with the Murmur. I never need a frame, though I have several older packs with them. Hip belts have devolved to light 3/4″ to 1″ “pant belt” supports. Shoulder straps have devolved to thin, 1/8″to 1/4″ padded, wider straps. Don’t care too much for a lot of padding…it moves as you walk: up/down, left/right. I find these more comfortable once you get used to them than lots of padding on hip belts or shoulder straps.
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