Seek Outside Flight One Review
Oct 9, 2020 at 7:35 am #3678933Backpacking LightAdmin
@backpackinglightLocale: Rocky Mountains
The Seek Outside Fight One (36 oz/1.02 kg, $299 – $319) is a lightweight, minimalist pack designed with comfort and durability in mind. Seek Outside markets the Flight One not only as a thru-hiking pack but also for more burly and technical adventures. It combines water and abrasion-resistant materials with a streamlined and user-friendly design to create a pack that is worthy of both serious miles and serious loads.Oct 9, 2020 at 12:55 pm #3678958Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
The pack used for this review was made from Solid Spectra
Do you mean it is made from a Spectra grid material? To me, “solid Spectra” would be fully woven Spectra, and at ~ $300 would be a smoking’ deal, but would probably weigh more than 36 ounces.Oct 9, 2020 at 1:05 pm #3678960JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
Seek Outside calls the pack “Flight One – Solid Spectra”, but it really just uses their “SpectraGridHT” fabric, which has a Spectra reinforcement grid.Oct 10, 2020 at 6:48 am #3679074Russ WBPL Member
@gatome83Locale: Southeastern US
Can someone speak specifically to the comfort and functionality of the hip belt? I currently use a HMG 3400 Porter for longer trips, winter trips, and anything requiring a bear can. It works well for me in every way except that the hip belt acts like a cheese grater on my hips and lower back when I sweat. This pack seems like it may have potential.Oct 10, 2020 at 9:29 am #3679092David USpectator
What was the actual weight of the pack empty?Oct 10, 2020 at 11:26 am #3679107Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
I see the author has no account here. So we should not except answers to inquiries?Oct 10, 2020 at 2:18 pm #3679126Ben KilbourneBPL Member
Russ W – I like everything about this pack but the hipbelt. Not because it’s not comfortable–it is–but if your iliac crest measurement is less than about 34″ it will be too big. I replaced it with a small ULA hipbelt and it’s great now. If you’re bigger than me you might like the SO belt a lot more than HMG tho
David U – My 22″ flight is 38oz empty with all straps attached. It’s less if you remove them. The 24″ is probably closer to 40oz.
I’m sure countless others will chime in soon about this and other stuff. Most talked about pack ever…Oct 10, 2020 at 2:59 pm #3679135Michael HaubertBPL Member
@socalmikeLocale: So Cal
I am trying to pick between the Flight One and the Elemental Horizons Kalais pack.
I was hoping this article would speak to what impact heavier loads may have on the hipbelt, and its comfort/ability to accept weight transfer, especially since the belt on the Flight is attached via Velcro. Also interested in what adjustments were needed, if any, to maintain comfort as weight increased. This article doesn’t seem to really answer that. It says, “At higher weights, comfort declines as should be expected but the Flight One is capable of a wide variety of loads without undue pain.” But, what sort of weights did you reach before the comfort declined?
And, since the only adjustments that can be made with a heavier load is to cinch down the shoulder straps and the load lifters, was that sufficient to carry heavier loads with good comfort, or was it not much help? Was this hip belt sufficient for the tasks it was used for? Would a stiffer belt have helped as load weight increased?
Just some thoughts and questions I’ve had about this pack, especially since Seek Outside advertises the ability to carry 35-50 lbs with this pack.
I do appreciate learning more about this pack and Seek Outside’s move in this lightweight direction.
-MichaelOct 10, 2020 at 5:36 pm #3679152PedestrianBPL Member
This pack has been discussed at length on BPL on this thread.
Why no link to that thread was provided in this article is another one of the many BPL mysteries….Oct 10, 2020 at 6:37 pm #3679161David USpectator
Thanks Ben. Do you have the all spectra grid or the xpac mix version?Oct 11, 2020 at 6:38 am #3679190Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Lake District, Cumbria
Disappointing review, to be frank.
- Doesn’t show how the frame works.
- Doesn’t show how the hip-belt works.
- No detailed photos of the features…
I don’t feel I’m much the wiser…Oct 11, 2020 at 6:41 am #3679191Jon SolomonBPL Member
Nice to see this pack getting a BPL review.
I’d strongly suggest referring to the thread linked above by Pedestrian.
Some important things that were not mentioned in the review:
The hip belt pivots and doesn’t sag under heavy loads (at least up to 15kgs, possibly more).
The load lifters may not work for certain back lengths.
The use of Seek Outside’s gatekeeper straps, a set of which are included, make compression a cinch (pun intended) and helps with small loads. (The review does mention the compression straps but doesn’t balance that against the remarks about small loads).
The back is recessed, allowing direct air flow.Oct 11, 2020 at 6:56 am #3679193Mike MBPL Member
This review did a good job of hitting some of the highlights of the pack (and a few downsides), but the thread linked above has a VERY thorough discussion of the Flight. It also includes numerous posts by the founder/president of Seek Outside.
My cliff notes version- it’s a great pack that carries heavier loads (30-40 lbs) at a very respectable weight (much better than many of the others I’ve tried). The hip belt and shoulder straps are very comfortable. The side pockets are huge, the hip belt pockets are huge (the best I’ve ever seen), the front pocket is big, all adding to the useable volume and convenience. The XPac is rugged AND very (very) water resistant.
A few potential pitfalls- if your torso is long, you could run into issues at heavier weights (load lifters will not be at a optimal angle), offering an additional longer frame would definitely be nice. As mentioned above, the smaller hip belt might not be small enough for many (including me) and I’m not exactly petite :).
Following one of the members leads (and the help of someone who really knows how to sew!) I’ve remedied both issues- all detailed in the above linked thread.
My Flight is very near perfect now :)Oct 11, 2020 at 7:01 am #3679194Greg PehrsonBPL Member
@gregpehrsonLocale: playa del caballo blanco
Tully, is that a hole in the hipbelt pocket in the third picture (or maybe it’s a fly)? If it’s a hole, it looks like it crosses a number of the Spectra threads. Do you know what caused it?Oct 11, 2020 at 8:34 am #3679201Murali CBPL Member
I don’t understand why anyone would compare it to Cilogear backpack which I am sure nobody has.
That BPL thread on Flight is too long…..a better review of the pack has been done by sectionhiker – check that out.Oct 11, 2020 at 8:57 am #3679204matthew kModerator
Greg, that looks like a big horsefly to me. It’s casting a long shadow. The photo is fairly low resolution and heavily compressed so it’s hard to tell for sure but I think that pocket has a Mike Pence situation going on. :)Oct 11, 2020 at 9:13 am #3679207Ben KilbourneBPL Member
David U – I have the all spectra grid version.Oct 11, 2020 at 11:00 am #3679219Michael HaubertBPL Member
@socalmikeLocale: So Cal
Putting together some tidbits from the BPL thread, this review, and Section Hiker’s review:
-The frame and belt worked as designed to carry heavy weight, e.g. no buckling or collapsing (Section Hiker)
-BPLers have performed alterations to the Flight One such as adding homemade extensions to the frame and shortening/sewing alterations to make the belt shorter). See comments above and the BPL thread.
-Ben removed and replaced the original hip belt for a better fit (he does speak highly of the pack and the hip belt, but found the ULA belt was better for his fit).
-A Garcia bear canister will not fit vertically in the pack, but will fit horizontally, due to the frame’s contour. BV 450 + 550 bear cans will fit vertically. (See Section Hiker review).
-Per Seek Outside: You can also carry a bear can externally by using compression straps to secure the can to the top or bottom of the packbag horizontally.Oct 11, 2020 at 11:14 am #3679221Mike MBPL Member
^ the gentleman (Dave C) who sewed my belt shorter and allowed me to add frame extensions, did notice the hip belt allowing some collapse (I think he loaded it with 40 lbs). I think that’s something that SO could address fairly easily (if they felt the need).
again this isn’t designed like most of the SO line (to haul super heavy loads- think 70-80 lbs of boned meat), but more for folks that would use the pack for longer trips, that might be carrying more weight for a spouse/kids, hauling a raft, etc -in that 30-40-ish lb range where almost all “normal” backpacks simply fail to do so comfortably.
with weight under that range, it almost feels like your carrying nothing at all :)Oct 12, 2020 at 3:04 pm #3679356Andrew MarshallModerator
@andrewsmarshallLocale: Tahoe basin by way of the southern Appalachians
Hey all, just dropping by to say that we’ve updated the article to address some of your questions/comments. Also, Tully will be answering questions on this thread within the next 24 hours. Thanks!Oct 12, 2020 at 3:38 pm #3679363Tully HenkeBPL Member
Hi all! Thanks for all of the comments, apologies for some oversights on my part. As Andrew said above we’ve added some info to the article to clarify a few things, hopefully we’ve addressed some concerns! In brief: the material is indeed a SpectraGridHT fabric i.e. a Spectra fiber and nylon weave; I found the hip belt comfortable with adjustment on my 30″ iliac crest; my pack weighed 36.5oz empty with no extra straps. Take a look back through the article for full updates.
As several people have mentioned, the BPL thread on this pack is a wealth of information and is now linked in the article!
I compared the Flight One to the CiloGear pack for a couple reasons. I have had experience with CiloGear packs and they strike me as similar in approach to the Flight One in overall design and weight carry. Mainly though, I think a strong point for the Flight One is its ability to be a technical and heavy duty pack as well as an UL pack. I wanted to demonstrate that it does hold up to the CiloGear pack in that sphere while also being UL.
Hopefully that gives better insight into my experience with the pack. Happy to answer more questions as they come up! Thanks all for your patience.Oct 12, 2020 at 3:39 pm #3679364Tully HenkeBPL Member
That is indeed a fly in the photo though you can also see the slight white scuff spots below the carabiner which is the extent of wear through bushwacking and scrambling (plus green vegetation markings)!Jan 31, 2021 at 6:32 pm #3696618wiiawiwbBPL Member
I’d pull the trigger today if the Flight Series came with a short water-bottle pocket rather than the tall one. Here is what one look like. Esther (3rd from the left) is wearing it. It was one of the early prototypes they were experimenting with:
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