Superior Wilderness Designs Big Wild 70
Feb 8, 2021 at 9:47 am #3698078
If anyone wants to follow along as I test a prototype of the new Superior Wilderness Designs Big Wild 70 follow this link: http://benkilbourne.com/blog/2021/2/7/superior-wilderness-designs-big-wild-70-prototype-first-thoughts
It is an expedition-style 70L pack with a floating hipbelt, 26″, frame, and weight around 41oz. Pretty compelling, huh?Feb 8, 2021 at 11:22 am #3698102
International. What is the fabric? My theory is that a pack carrying 40 pounds needs pretty burly fabric to handle the extra stress.Feb 8, 2021 at 11:28 am #3698106
This one has a 150D DCF body and Xpac X42 bottom and pockets. Plenty durable for this application.Feb 8, 2021 at 11:38 am #3698107
Sounds cool. If I lived in the lower 48 I’d be on this “like white on rice.” I’ll probably keep my SO for now. If I made a Big Wild as tough as the SO the total weight savings would be pretty minimal.Feb 8, 2021 at 11:44 am #3698109
Are you referring to the Divide? My Divide is about 57oz and this is 41oz. If the whole thing was X42 that would add what 3oz? So about 44oz, making it still 13oz lighter than my Divide. Some speculation here, I’ll email SWD about it.
Also, I have realized I need the 2″ frame extensions on my Divide to fairly compare these two packs, so I just ordered those. Now both will have a 26″ frame.Feb 8, 2021 at 12:33 pm #3698117
No I have an older model 6400 Unaweep. Its about 3.5 pounds. But I was guessing the weight difference would be 8 or 10 oz from a burly SWD pack. Not nothing but probably not worth a new pack just yet. I do two trips almost exclusively
- Guiding kids – I carry a heavy pack and we hike short days. I view this as training for hunting season (see below).
- Backpack Hunting (with or without kids along). Usually this ends with me hauling a 150 pound pack out (multiple times).
I keep coming back to my SO as best for this. I would like a 2.5 pound packrafting pack but I just can’t justify the cost for one or two trips a year. But when I was packrafting most of the summer this would have been the bee’s knees. Maybe once I wear out the SO I’ll change if the load carriage works well in the SWD.Feb 8, 2021 at 5:23 pm #3698168
Gotcha. Yeah, the pack you have makes perfect sense for those applications.
I emailed SWD and they said making the whole thing out of X42 would add roughly 4oz. So maybe 45oz total or 12oz lighter than my Divide. Still just guesses.Feb 8, 2021 at 7:12 pm #3698199
Thanks Ben. That actually sounds promising. We’ll see how load carriage is for you. If I ever break my SO I’d at least consider it.
Side Note – What have I become? I used to make 8oz rucksacks and galivant over the Appalachians. Now I defending my huge pack because “Hey never know when you might want to haul your own body weight” how things change.Feb 9, 2021 at 8:16 am #3698276David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
A good looking pack, very nice lines.Feb 9, 2021 at 10:41 am #3698301Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I’ve done some trimming on my Seek Outside Unaweep 4800 (2015 model made of X21RC)) but it’s 48oz with 2″ extensions and a medium belt so 57oz for a Divide sounds crazy.
I really like Seek Outside for load hauling packs, and really liked their Flight as well, though I also have a SWD Long Haul 50 that is a nice pack, and I think this sounds like a good choice for a large volume moderate load pack. This look like a better HMG4400.Feb 9, 2021 at 10:46 am #3698302
The Big Wild is very much a better HMG 4400.
I’d like to know how to drop weight on my divide. It is X42 body, cordura pockets, medium hipbelt. Do you use the horizontal stay? how many straps do you use at 48oz? I don’t know why mine is so heavy. Ok, I just removed the horizontal stay and some straps and it’s 53oz. I suppose I could hack off the front pocket, but other than that I don’t see a way to drop more weight.Feb 9, 2021 at 12:26 pm #3698333Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
My Unaweep is solid X21RC and is prior to the horizontal stay so it doesn’t have that. I do not have a Talon, and have since cut the staps that would normally attach to a Talon off. I think I’ve also shortened some of the other straps a bit but not too short. I’ve also sealed the seams on my pack.Feb 9, 2021 at 2:09 pm #3698356Alex WallaceBPL Member
@feetfirstLocale: Sierra Nevada North
Looks good. Thanks for sharing, Ben.
I can sympathize with your pack journey. For now, I’m content with my Hanchor Marl. However, I couldn’t resist checking out SO’s Flight One and feel like the frame has a lot of potential, but I wish for a bit stiffer hip belt (and interface) and a few other small refinements.
Can anyone compare the hip belt stiffness of SWD’s Long Haul (rugged, 55 L) to Hanchor Marl’s, or even HMG’s, hip belt? From pictures and descriptions online it appears to have more cushion, but I’m more interested in the overall rigidity. Thanks.Feb 10, 2021 at 11:41 am #3698554David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
Not really much room to hack on a Divide. Frame, belt, and harness on their own are something like 24 ounces if memory serves. Going crazy with the scissors can get 4-5 ounces max off the bag itself. Making a more minimal hipbelt and (to go full in for weight savings) sewing slightly more minimal shoulder straps direct to the bag can maybe save a further 4-6 ounces all in. So with what I consider properly durable fabrics and a decent sized bag 2.5 pounds is the limit.
Big picture, Seek did the UL backpacking world a huge service by taking the floating belt out of McHale’s closet and popularizing it. It is not a coincidence that the majority of folks trying to make a proper load hauler that is below 2.5 pounds are using a hanging belt: it works and the design can be lighter. That said, most people carrying north of 40 pounds consistently will do best with the minor weight penalty of a Divide or Unaweep. That those packs can do 120 pounds makes the margin for error at 50 huge, which is a very nice thing if you need to pack sub-optimally or are short on pack carrying fitness for a given trip.Feb 10, 2021 at 12:13 pm #3698563
Dave – yeah I’ll probably just leave the Divide as-is. It is what it is, a big load hauler.
Agreed on the floating hipbelt comments. Very glad SO popularized it. Looking forward to seeing how it works on the Big Wild.Feb 10, 2021 at 6:08 pm #3698654Michael SchlesselmannBPL Member
@mschlessLocale: Southern Los Padres National Forest
This looks really good and a great submission into the load hauler space. Excited to follow along as you use this.Feb 10, 2021 at 6:39 pm #3698664nunatakBPL Member
Are you allowed to post pics of the belt to pack interface; and how is the packs relationship with bear canisters?Feb 10, 2021 at 7:22 pm #3698683
Nunatak – Yeah I will post pics of the belt to pack interface soon. Would like to do a section of the Dirty this weekend and get some photos then. You probably noticed it’s flowing right now, getting up to 150 here and there.
BV500 can go inside horizontal or vertical. Outside on top or underneath the bottom. There’s removable straps underneath.Feb 10, 2021 at 9:07 pm #3698709nunatakBPL Member
Some sections are good to go at that flow. I would recommend Red Benches to Fiddler, then paddle back. No shuttle required.Feb 11, 2021 at 12:26 pm #3698784
Nunatak – Great suggestion! I haven’t floated that lower section since 2011.Feb 13, 2021 at 12:14 am #3699165Thomas WBPL Member
Glad to see another company picking up the floating hipbelt design – looking forward to hearing how the pack performs for you!Feb 13, 2021 at 7:38 am #3699182bradmacmtBPL Member
I couldn’t find any harness/frame photos of the Big Wild 70 on the SWD website. The harness is paramount, and the packbag is of secondary consideration.
I’m actually quite interested in the BW 70 but would like to see the heart and soul of it (the suspension and frame)…Feb 13, 2021 at 8:22 am #3699188
Bradmacmt – I’ll post those photos very soon. Currently just building the anticipation hahaFeb 13, 2021 at 8:27 am #3699191bradmacmtBPL Member
Bradmacmt – I’ll post those photos very soon. Currently just building the anticipation haha
Lol, thanks much Ben!
If you could include a shot looking down into the packbag from above showing how the stays fit into the packbag, that would be very helpful too.Feb 22, 2021 at 9:10 am #3700880
Big Wild testing updates from the Utah desert: http://benkilbourne.com/blog/2021/2/7/superior-wilderness-designs-big-wild-70-prototype-first-thoughts
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