- Jun 2, 2016 at 9:07 pm #3406681
I shot an impromptu review of a 40L pack from KS Ultralight. The pack is 16oz and has aluminum frame stays. No cottage maker I know make a pack this light, but still has metal framing to it. To me, it’s a bridge pack between a very light weight 11oz MLD Burn type bag and a 22oz Zpacks Arc Blast.
ThanksJun 3, 2016 at 3:18 am #3406725
Tempting. Nice review by the way! Not a lot of other information about these packs and very good value.
Any reason you chose Dyneema X over X-Pac?Jun 3, 2016 at 6:03 am #3406727Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
Great video review, and it’s cool that you shot it from Isle Royale. Native Michigander, and I.R. was my first trip in 2009.Jun 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm #3406845
No reason really, I’ve always liked the look and feel of dyneema. The waterproof membrane of X-pac may eventually delaminate.Jun 3, 2016 at 6:36 pm #3406870jimmyjamSpectator
@jimmyjamLocale: Mid Atlantic
When I google it and go to web site, it looks like it’s in Japan and so is the pricing????Jun 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm #3406877
It’s run by a French guy named Laurent, he’s based in Japan. You can see him in KS Ultralight YouTube videos. Just do the yen to dollar conversion in google to get an idea of what the total cost is. Paypal will present the cost in US dollars to you.
No doubt, the yen and metric conversions are another few steps, but the whole thing went smoothly for me; except US customs, which is SLOWWWWW.Jun 3, 2016 at 7:16 pm #3406880Nick BBPL Member
He is in Japan. But he speaks English, is very reasonably priced, does great work, and is fast. I ordered a pack last year and, IIRC, it was at my house 3 weeks later.Jun 3, 2016 at 9:17 pm #3406899Ito JakuchuBPL Member
Always wanted to order something from him, just didn’t have any need yet..
Pack design and customisation options look very good to me. Was very nice to see your review.Jun 5, 2016 at 3:11 pm #3407226
Just ordered a KS 50 in TX07.
I already own a Dyneema X-pack (modded MLD Exodus), so quite curious to see how the TX07/Xpac will work out.Jun 5, 2016 at 6:52 pm #3407257Pete MBPL Member
Did you opt for metal stays too Arne? Any of the padding options? guess that’d be the main difference from the Exodus. KS looks very interesting and so many options!Jun 5, 2016 at 9:41 pm #3407287
Arne, yes, what options did you choose?Jun 5, 2016 at 11:19 pm #3407304Pete MBPL Member
Mathew – how does it carry? Do the stays make much of a difference? It looks like a nice pack (big fan of dyneema x), similar to the Arc Haul perhaps?Jun 5, 2016 at 11:58 pm #3407307
Did you opt for metal stays too Arne? Any of the padding options? guess that’d be the main difference from the Exodus. KS looks very interesting and so many options!
I went for the following:
– KS50 TX07
– Load Lifters (cord & linelock)
– External Pad Holder in 3D mesh
– Strong mesh front pocket
– 2 hipbelt-pockets
Didn’t order the sternum strap since I can use the one from my Exodus.
Needless to say, I’m quite excited. I gave the options a lot of thought, and I wanted a simple and highly efficient pack. This should do it.
The reasons why I chose it over my trusted Exodus:
– The KS has a drawstring closure. This makes life considerably easier; my old ULA CDT had one and I really missed it on the Exodus. I use a cuben pack liner anyway for keeping stuff dry.
– The water bottle holders are more angled so I hope it will be easier to reach for my Platy while hiking without taking the pack off.
– Xpac, from what I have read, absorbs no/tiny amounts of water so it won’t get heavier whilst wet. In Europe, it can get pretty wet. :)
– It looks to have a bigger hipbelt. I like good hipbelts.
– I sewed in a pad holder in my Exodus. Although it provided great padding, it was a pain to get the sitpad in or out if the pack was loaded up. This should be solved now.
– It’s slightly lighter then my modded Exodus. The Exodus (with internal frame and two hipbelt-pockets) weighs in at 620g/22 ounces, while the KS50 with all the options included should weigh around 476g/16,8 ounces.
Or, at least that’s what I tell myself. :)
Weight is not the most important issue here, efficiency is. I’ll keep you guys posted!Jun 6, 2016 at 5:59 pm #3407433
@munro21 I need to load up the bag with and without stays, and report back. I can tell you this however, the same exact load was in my GG Crown VC 60 and the KS40 comfort was 80% of what the VC60 was. The VC60 was amazing with a 20lb load in it – plush. I’ll take the 18oz weight saving I gained in the KS40.Jun 6, 2016 at 6:06 pm #3407434
@arnel Each pack side pocket will hold a 1L “Smart Water Bottle” (tall and skinny,) and also a montbell UL trekker umbrella. There is definitely room for a bottle and one other item, so I think your platy preference will be ok.
Report back on your impression on the TX07.Jun 24, 2016 at 2:30 pm #3410575
My KS50 in TX07 arrived two days ago. Feels a lot sturdier then I expected.
Craftmanship is superb.
Ordered it 05/06, arrived 22/06. That’s pretty fast!
I’m taking it on a small trip next week, will post some impressions and pictures here.Jun 29, 2016 at 12:41 pm #3411399
I wrote some first impressions over at TrekLite.
The pack carries really, really well. Thanks Matthew for the tip!Jun 30, 2016 at 4:32 am #3411514Ito JakuchuBPL Member
Nice review, of quite an awesome pack. I’m really not in the market, but if I was, I would be all over it.Jul 9, 2016 at 12:02 am #3413243
Nice write up Arne!
I would have posted earlier, but I was away on the AT in Maine and in Canada kayaking Georgian Bay; such a hard life! On the AT I needed to tighten the top strap of the aluminum frame stays. I feel like this was due to the increased weight carried. I had to carry 7 days of food. This is not an issue if you remember to tighten them under heavier loads + rainy conditions.Jul 9, 2016 at 1:35 pm #3413303
Good to know it can take 7 days of food… :)
Hope you had an awesome time!Nov 12, 2016 at 1:58 am #3435230Jason FengBPL Member
Matthew what options did you get? Have you ever considered the HMG Southwest 3400? That’s another bag I’m considering.Nov 12, 2016 at 11:31 am #3435270Ethan A.BPL Member
@mountainwalkerLocale: SF Bay Area & New England
Matthew and Arne thank you for sharing info on the pack. Laurent’s website has a lot of info but it’s a bit overwhelming and there isn’t much out there. These pack look very well made and getting that much volume and support at such a low weight is pretty amazing. Matthew beautiful scenery in the video.
Wanted to ask: 1) Did you feel any barreling of the pack bag into your back? 2) Do you think the stays would work better if they were connected, as in the Gossamer Gear or Elemental Horizons aluminum hoop stay?
I found the comfort of the Crown VC 60 highly dependent on where the shoulder straps hit you, width and height. There was quite a bit of variabilty when I put same-size packs near each other in store. FYI the Gossamer Gear hoop stay fits well in the pocket that holds the plastic frame sheet, so you can use the lighter stiffer hoop stay with or without a foam sheet in place of the heavier flexy plastic sheet.
FYI Granite Gear’s updated version of the Crown 60 is out this spring, the: Crown 2. They confirmed the width of the framesheet pocket will take the Gossamer Gear hoop stay. Removing the polypropylene framesheet and replacing it with the Gossamer Gear stay gives you a well-supported reasonably-priced durable 60L pack at 2 lbs.Nov 12, 2016 at 11:43 am #3435274
@jason21feng I went with load lifters, metal stays, strong pocket mesh, back pad holders, 20mm straps everywhere except sternum, and pack bottom loops.
On paper im just not a fan of HMG, to me it’s all of the weight of cordura/nylon/dyneema, but all of the expense of cuben. Beyond that, I don’t think a person needs a 2lb bag for typical trips. Typical being 8-13lbs base weight, frequent water, and 5 day resupplies. I’ve handled HMG and like it, it’s just not for me.Nov 12, 2016 at 11:56 am #3435277
@mountainwalker I’m not sure what you mean by barreling into my back? If you mean did I feel the metal stays dig forward into my back, then no, the stays don’t scrape the scapula etc. I don’t think a hoop would be necessary, the metal stays prevent the bag from slouching, therefore vectoring the forces to the hip belt, which is where you want them. A hoop would be good for side to side, but think of how you walk with a long distance hiking load, is there really much side to side motion?Nov 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm #3435296matthew kModerator
I think barreling is when the pack turns into a tube shape in cross section. I believe soft packs are subject to barreling when overstuffed. I briefly had a small ZPacks Zero and felt like it packed very round on my back rather than staying flat on my back which gives more stability when walking. My MLD Burn and GG Kumo both avoid barreling unless I overstuff them.
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