Pa’lante V2 Review

Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Pa’lante V2 Review

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
  • #3739929
    Mark Wetherington
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western Montana

    Companion forum thread to: Pa’lante V2 Review

    The Pa’lante V2 Backpack (16.8 to 17.5 ounces / 476 to 495 g, MSRP $240) is a lightweight, frameless backpack for low to moderate weight loads and compact equipment.

    Beau Williams-Orser
    BPL Member


    Wondering what your thoughts are on the integrated tent stake pocket (sewn into the front stretch mesh pocket)? Functionality? Dimensions? Thanks!

    Murali C
    BPL Member


    I wish they offered more sizes…..every other manufacturer except for Palante (and Yar gear) offer three sizes or more. They should offer a 21-22 inch torso size. Their 19 is only 18 inch torso length. And their pack expands near the top. So, if the torso is short and since spines are S shaped with your back jutting outwards near the shoulders, it will have a tendency to pull back. Tried the Palante’s…..went back to my beloved MLD!

    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member



    Thanks for the comprehensive review.

    I especially appreciated your description of the transition(s) from a more traditional internal-framed backpack with padded hip belts, to what some have described as a sack with a waist strap. Seemed like the switch worked well for you, as long as you kept the total weight below 20 pounds, and arranged the contents thoughtfully.

    However – seems like carrying a fully-loaded bear canister could be challenging. Any thoughts?

    — Rex

    Mark Wetherington
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western Montana

    Beau: I didn’t find that pocket to be particularly useful to me. I’ve already got a system that works well for me in regard to stakes, so I found it a bit odd to separate them. For someone as stuck in their ways as me, it seemed like I’d just end up forgetting them somewhere once I stopped keeping them in their usual place (rolled up with my tyvek ground cloth). But that’s not a fault of the pack, just more that feature not being something that I found useful. The dimension are: 9 inches long/deep by 3 inches wide (roughly). The actual sleeve for the tent stakes on the inside is probably closer to 8 inches deep though.

    Murali: Yeah, it’s a bit of a bummer they don’t have more sizing options or offer the range you mentioned as a custom request or something. But I do get that for a lot of cottage manufacturers limited options just makes managing the whole operation a lot easier. I’m lucky that this pack fit me so well, probably had a lot to do with why I found it so comfortable.

    Rex: Thanks! Glad you liked the review. And yeah, I didn’t want to belabor the whole hip belt transition thing but for me it was such a big switch and one that I (and I think a lot of others) find really intimidating. But with a well-designed pack, a light load, and reasonable expectations it turned out great for me. As far as a bear can, even with the wide-mouth top opening of this pack it would be challenging to put a bear can inside. Just for kicks when I was testing it I played around with trying to get my BV450 in it (the BV500 was pretty much a nonstarter) and couldn’t figure out anything that would be close to comfortable with my kit. I’m sure others that have different kits or skills might be able to find a way to cram it around or lash it on the outside, but given the carrying capacity and weight comfort limit of this pack I wouldn’t recommend it to folks who need to carry bear cans.

    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    From experience I feel the BEST frameless design was the JENSEN pack from the ’70s. It had two vertical columns sitting on the horizontal sleeping bag/hip belt area. If you cut a closed cell foam mattress in two (top half & loser half) and rolled each to put in the two column for a “frame”you might at the least have enough stiffness when fully loaded to transfer weight to the tightly stuffed. hip belt/sleeping bag area.

    Yeah, the closed cell foam mattresses would have to be joined with Velcro strips glued to each.

    Otherwise I’ll take my Osprey EXOS 58, “tank youse veddy nice!”


    William N
    BPL Member



    Very nice review. But here is a question, that is not related to your pack review.

    I noticed that you were using Hilleberg DAC trekking poles. Do you like these poles? A while ago, Backpacker Magazine tested a pair of these, and the reviewer commented positively on their strength. He claimed to have taken a 2 ft fall, going downhill, and planted the poles, and neither did they telescope (flick locks held), not did they bend or break.

    He and his pack weighed about 200 lbs.

    What has been your experience?


    Mark Wetherington
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western Montana

    Bill, glad you enjoyed the review.

    I suppose I’m uniquely qualified to answer your question about the Hilleberg poles since I tested those poles for Backpacker, took the fall you mentioned (and others since then), and provided my notes to the Backpacker staff who write up the articles. So you’ve come straight to the source : )

    I’ve found the poles to be excellent and they’re the poles that have worked best for me and my hiking style/habits/idiosyncrasies (not to be confused with a claim that they’re “The Best Poles Ever”). Regarding that particular note about taking an approximately two foot fall and the poles not having any issue, that’s pretty much exactly what happened.

    I was hiking cross-country and coming down a section of terraced, slab granite in the Bitterroot Mountains after camping at a delightful subalpine basin (I weigh about 180, pack was roughly 20 lbs). As I was easing down a short near-vertical section that had a wide crack in it filled with dirt/dust/roots/etc. I slipped and fell about two feet right onto the ground, but was out of reflex able to plant my poles, which probably kept my feet from sliding out from under me on the dirt/dust/pebbles that were at the bottom of the crack. To my surprise, the poles didn’t collapse, bend, break, etc. They just kept on trucking. I’ve had them in similar off-trail situations since where I’ve had to put my entire weight on them and they haven’t had any issues yet. They’re going on two years old now I guess and haven’t seen much wear on them, and I probably put 500 miles on them each season.

    A few caveats:

    – They’re not featherweight or even particularly light, but they are solid.

    – The handles feel good to me, as do the straps, but the handles tend to leave my hands looking a bit black after use (not sure if this was because I maybe got a sample or prototype pair or what, but just FYI . . .it looks like I palmed a piece of charcoal  sometimes after using them — that might be a bit of an exaggeration but it is kinda weird).

    – The flick locks are great at keeping the poles secure, but they also catch on pretty much every shrub I brush against especially when hiking off trail. So there’s usually some debris stuck in them from time to time when I hike in areas with overgrown trails.

    Happy to answer any other questions you have.

    William N
    BPL Member



    Thank you for this very interesting answer. And what a coincidence that you were the source of that Backpacking Magazine review on these poles! Didn’t you wonder a bit how I figured out that you were using the Hilleberg poles? And how, after I figured that out, found that past review in Backpacker Magazine? This bit of sleuthing took me awhile. But I am pleased to know that you are the World’s Expert on Hilleberg poles. :)

    I plan to add these Hilleberg poles to my collection. If they pass my extreme weight test (my weight, not these 17 oz pole weight), I will share them with a deserving child/grandchild. But not until I have had a bit of use out of them. I am historically gently on poles. I have an old set of aluminum poles (Trek’r 3), that I downhill skied with, cross country skied with, and hiked/backpacked with. They now require a bit of tape to steady the joints.But still usable.

    But I still either own or passed around all the poles that I ever had.

    The single exception are a couple of pairs of Gossamer Gear polls that a friend broke (tips) Section Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. I was impressed with the low weight. But they vibrated a little too much for me. (This is probably unique to me). And my friend says that trekking poles are the least reliable of all his gear. He weights about 100 lbs less than I weigh. But I never hiked with him. But he says and I know that he is careful with all his gear. May be that I am super careful.

    Anyway, I would like to make a comment on the many reviews I have seen here. And referenced.

    I think that some of the analysis and speculation may not be correct. I plan to do a bit of analysis myself. And I understand why there could be misconceptions when it comes to weight and energy expended. And why, up to a certain point, I don’t care much about weight. Ok, I don’t care about a few ounces. But I also hiked and or backpacked over 20 miles a day many times. But never hiked / backpacked 2,000 or 3,000 miles. And at the end of those hikes, parts of me were very tired. But not so much my arms.

    Here is what I am thinking. I am thinking that either no energy is lost or very little energy is lost due to pole swing. I will start with a very simple model, and make it more complicated. And if anybody out there wants to beat me too this, then have at it. Be warned. We could turn this into a competition. And have some fun. Also, I worked in this area for almost all of my long life. So I have a bit of a head start. :)

    However, my work was almost completely in a zero G environment. So… gravity and constraints make this type of analysis very challenging.

    Finally, apologize for drifting so far away from the reason why many of us go out and hike and backpack.  For the beauty. For the adventure. To just breath free. To be in the Wild. And to escape the many constraints of the ‘Civilized World’. At least for awhile.

    Will H
    BPL Member


    In the interest of making sure consumers are fully informed before making a purchase – I’d like to make some notes of Palante’s changed return policy, lack of warranty and some concerning issues with their post sales support as well as construction methods they use for ultra packs.

    Palante now will only accept returns within 3 days of receiving the pack. In my mind, this is a prohibitively short period. A week would still be too short, but at least that guarantees a weekend for someone to be able to put aside time to test the fit of the pack and inspect it for issues.

    Palante offers returns within 30 days for manufacturer defects. Again, this is a prohibitively short period. I personally am having issues with major stich elongation along every stress point with my desert pack after ~500 miles, 270 of that being a long trail thru. Before the thru hike the stich elongation was not visible, but on the hike I began to notice a concerning amount of stich elongation on the pack body and strap attachments. I contacted Palante, and they informed me they were aware of this issue and had no way to fix it. It seems that they used the exact same construction method as their other packs, a single top stitched binding.  It seems the stiches cannot hold in the ultra 400 material when constructed this way and elongation/pulled seams will become an issue. I’ve seen some conjecture that ultra 200 suffers less from stich pulls, but the ultra200 version of the v2 is constructed with the same flaw. Other makers, like SWD, have opted for flat felled seams to mitigate this issue.

    Palante offered “maybe a discount on a new pack” if it fails on me completely. I rely on my gear to keep me safe in remote locations, and risking pack failure on trail by using a pack that is showing obvious signs of failure is not an option for me.

    Palante designs wonderful packs and the V2 and Desert packs are no exception. But these shifts in their customer support, rising prices, and prohibitively short warranty/return windows are concerning, and have already caused issues for consumers like me. I’ve been happily using their packs for years before this, but buyers should be aware of the shift in support and the potential that issues caused by construction methods will not be supported by the vendor if you don’t use it enough in the first 30 days for issues to become apparent.

    Ito Jakuchu
    BPL Member


    Locale: Japan

    Sorry you had this bad experience with them. Thanks for sharing it in a fair manner.

    Will H
    BPL Member


    Thanks Ito – at the end of the day, its not a massive issue for me. I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford a new pack after this one started failing early – but I know that most people cant take a $280 hit on a piece of gear.

    I’ve been recommending their packs for years, and the idea that someone else is out there stuck with a failing pack because of my recommendation hurts a lot more than just having issues with my own pack.

    I’m not suggesting people completely avoid Palante, as I’ve said they make some of my favorite packs of all time and have been innovators in the industry. I just think that people should be fully informed that these purchases are essentially final with no support after the fact, and that there may be issues caused by construction and design decisions that you will have no recourse for. If you can’t afford a risk like that, there are a number of other pack makers out there that offer similar features and still support

    At the very least we need to see Palante address the issue with their next batch of ultra packs, or I expect to see the situation spiral out of control



    Locale: Cascadia

    Judging by their website (which is just terrible), I assume they are a very small company? Maybe just 1-2 people?

    Could explain why they have such a strict return policy?

    Either way, having a really poorly-designed website and unusually strict return policy, I can’t see them ever growing in size. Just going to their website, one isn’t instilled with confidence that they are a legit pack maker. Feels more like some guy’s side-hobby site.

    Which is frustrating to see, because I am usually rooting for the underdog startup types to keep growing by making smart decisions. Not sure that being strict with customers is a good long-range plan for smaller companies.

    I know Zpacks probably has lots of cash to toss at web design, but they do a fantastic job of making the pertinent info obvious, and it’s easy to navigate, with detailed images of products.

    baja bob
    BPL Member


    Locale: West

    It’s all about having the product “drop” and moving on.  Based on my one experience dealing with the guy I’d never purchase any gear from him. Getting any information beyond a minimal response was like pulling teeth and those policies speak volumes about what to expect if you have an issue.

    The hype around ultra fabric doesn’t help either.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!