Seek Outside Flight One Review

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Seek Outside Flight One Review

Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)
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  • #3678933
    Backpacking Light


    Locale: 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.

    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member


    Locale: 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.

    BPL Member


    Seek Outside calls the pack “Flight One – Solid Spectra”, but it really just uses their “SpectraGridHT” fabric, which has a Spectra reinforcement grid.

    Russ W
    BPL Member


    Locale: 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.

    David U


    What was the actual weight of the pack empty?

    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there

    I see the author has no account here.  So we should not except answers to inquiries?

    Ben Kilbourne
    BPL Member


    Locale: Utah

    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…

    Michael Haubert
    BPL Member


    Locale: 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.


    BPL 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….


    David U


    Thanks Ben.  Do you have the all spectra grid or the xpac mix version?

    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member


    Locale: 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…

    Jon Solomon
    BPL Member


    Locale: Lyon/Taipei

    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.

    Mike M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Montana

    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 :)


    Greg Pehrson
    BPL Member


    Locale: 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?

    Murali C
    BPL 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.

    It will be nice to get torso collapse tests for weight that Ryan Jordan does on the popular backpacks – HMG 3400, Flight, ULA Circuit, SD Flex capacitor, Gossamer Gear Mariposa etc

    Matthew / BPL


    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. :)

    Ben Kilbourne
    BPL Member


    Locale: Utah

    David U – I have the all spectra grid version.

    Michael Haubert
    BPL Member


    Locale: 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.


    Mike M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Montana

    ^ 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 :)

    Andrew Marshall
    BPL Member


    Locale: 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!

    Tully Henke
    BPL 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.

    Tully Henke
    BPL 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)!



    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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