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SWD SL40


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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 31 total)
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  • #3793351
    Nicholas P
    BPL Member

    @io

    Locale: Acadia National Park

    https://www.swdbackpacks.com/product-page/sl40-internal-frame

    New offering from SWD , I may be wrong but this seems like their  response to the Kakwa.
    looks pretty compelling with removable tubular frame , sewn on hip belt, ultra x 100/200 fabric and coming in at around 22 ounces. Now if you could get Brandon to add a bottom pocket which I’m sure he would do, this pack  is looking pretty sweet! I wonder if they will also offer it in a larger capacity given the claimed 40lb maximum load carry.

    #3793366
    Nicholas P
    BPL Member

    @io

    Locale: Acadia National Park

    Maybe another pack one might compare this with would be the Outdoor vitals Ks40, I believe Ryan is working on a review of that one which should be interesting .
    Another thing I noticed while perusing the SWD site is that the long haul , Big wild and wolverine packs now have adjustable torso lengths within there standard size ranges.

    #3793391
    Nicholas P
    BPL Member

    @io

    Locale: Acadia National Park

    The Pilgrim Ultreia is another capable seeming ultralight framed pack coming in at around 22 ounces that  is probably the most  comparable to the  new SL40 that I have seen and it has that  bottom pocket that I’ve grown quite fond of.
    It’s cool to see these framed packs coming in almost as light as some frameless packs while quite possibly maintaining all  the capabilities of other heavier full framed packs.
    Ryan Jordan , if you are reading this  a comparison review of these packs seems like it could be prudent. Just some food for thought.
    -cheers

    https://pilgrimul.com/product/ultreia-40l-framed-ultralight-backpack-copy/

    #3793495
    Dan @ Durston Gear
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    “I may be wrong but this seems like their response to the Kakwa….looks pretty compelling with removable tubular frame”

    Their website says “two tubular stays” so it sounds like they are taking advantage of tubing (rather than flat barstock) to provide frame stays at a lower weight. That’s great because it’s more weight efficient (likely stiffer and lighter than barstock) but not that similar to the Kakwa. The Kakwa also uses tubing but as a part of a tubular frame with both vertical and horizontal components rather than individual vertical stays.

    It looks like a nice pack though. I had a chance to see a few SWD packs this summer for the first time, and they looked super nice.

    #3793511
    Nicholas P
    BPL Member

    @io

    Locale: Acadia National Park

    Dan you are right, I did look again after my original post and noticed the “two tubular stays” as opposed  to a full tubular frame with with Horizontal structure such as the Kakwa and yes I had initially and wrongly assumed that was Also the case with the SL40 . So I would like to walk back my statement about it possibly being SWD’s response to your  kakwa, but I do think it holds true that all the packs I mentioned while they do have many differences they fall into a similar niche and warrant some comparison which would be of interest to the demographic of hikers looking to cut as much weight as possible in a mid sized pack without sacrificing a higher load carrying ability and certain other features.

    What’s your take on that Pilgrim pack I linked too ? They are using carbon stays to get the weight down I’m assuming they are going to be less robust than the tubular stays in the SWD pack , Any thoughts on that?

    #3793518
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    I wonder if the load carrying capacity may be just a wee bit overstated.

    #3793557
    Dan @ Durston Gear
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    “What’s your take on that Pilgrim pack”
    I gotta be a bit careful commenting on gear from other companies because I may not be that familiar with it and even if I am, I have a conflict of interest along with disproportionate influence, so even a genuine attempt at a balanced take may not sit well with the company or some readers.  Here, I’m not familiar with the Pilgrim packs.

    Generally though, the weight of these packs is mostly the sum of the features as long as the designer doesn’t get caught up in adding too many bells and whistles. The Kakwa 40 is 27 oz in the standard spec which is fully featured. The SWD SL40 looks lighter at 22 oz but once you add hipbelt pockets and shoulder strap pockets (as many would) then it’s similar at about 26 oz, and also for the Pilgrim: It is 22 oz in the basic configuration but if you add common features you’re back around 26-27 oz. So there’s not a lot of weight separation between these packs.

    For the frames, I like having horizontal structure at the shoulder because it keeps the pack against your shoulders and prevents it from rounding/moving back. I think it gives a better carry than the ubiquitous dual frame stay design, but I also don’t want to overstate this because at an ultralight load either style is going to work pretty well. With the Pilgrim it looks like they’re claiming 35 lbs load limit. I find these limits fairly subjective because some people are going to tolerate a lot more discomfort/poor weight distribution than others so it’s not really a black and white thing if they are overstating it. If the carbon stays are quite flexy then 35 lbs won’t work too well, but if they are stiff enough to not bend then I could see it doing that.

    #3793568
    Nicholas P
    BPL Member

    @io

    Locale: Acadia National Park

    Dan, thanks for sharing your thoughts ,your assessment is pretty much exactly in line with my own but I do find that with a bottom pocket which the pilgrim pack does come with I have less of a need for hip belt pockets especially if I add a small fanny pack , I think mine only weighs about 2 ounces if I  felt  I even needed it , but I would for sure add a pocket to the shoulder strap.

    Interestingly enough Hyperlite just dropped a new lower volume framed pack today that they’re calling the Waypoint 35 it has a single aluminum frame stay  plus wider shoulder straps (wider than their other packs)  with pockets on them .  It  comes in at around 23.5 ounces and uses their standard hip belt (so hip belt pockets  as well) and they are claiming a 40lb  max carry which I’d take with a large grain of salt  but  who’s really gonna carry near 40lbs in a 35 liter pack anyway ? Between this and the SL40 I think the SL40 is the more attractive pack but Pilgrims smaller High line pack is probably a better direct comparison even though it has a much lower stated load carry.

    https://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com/products/waypoint-35

    https://pilgrimul.com/product/highline-framed-ultralight-backpack-ultra-200/

    #3800173
    Dillon F
    BPL Member

    @pilgrimul

    Dillon from Pilgrim here. I realize I’m a touch late but wanted to chime in with some updated product info. We’ve replaced the ultreia in our lineup by offering the “Highline” in a 40 liter variation. We found that the feature set between the two packs overlapped a little bit.

     

    I’m pretty certain the Highline may now be the lightest full featured pack based on the way I count features. We’ve now got a carbon U shaped frame that terminates onto the lumbar area of the pack and has amazing vertical and horizontal structure. It has the bottom pocket, an integrated 1/4″ foam pad, seam taping, pleated ultra stretch front pocket, side compression roll top straps, removable hip belt, and even a few inches of torso length adjustment all at about 20.5 ounces. Even if you added the hip belt and shoulder pouches, it’d land about 23-24 ounces which I believe makes it the most feature rich pack at that weight. You can find it at PilgrimUL.com

     

    I appreciate the kind words and appreciate Dan’s courtesy regarding competition. Honestly, most of us in the ultralight game are pretty friendly competition and typically just want to see the customer find what suits them best.

     

    Thanks

    #3800192
    Phil B
    BPL Member

    @philxor

    It’s great to see more and more development with packs.  So many great options out there these days from a variety of manufacturers. I have a LH 50 and am also curious if they plan on making a SL50 model.  Also interested if they would have an option to swap the LH40/50 flat stock frame stays with the tubular ones on the SL40 since they are about 2 oz. lighter overall.  I’ve thought about replacing the flat stock with tube myself since it is lighter overall.

    #3800254
    Tom M
    BPL Member

    @twofeathers

    Locale: Kalispell

    The sl40 checked all the boxes for some specific 2024 goals. I should be receiving it next month and will be doing a full product review.

    #3801596
    Jason McGrath
    BPL Member

    @pnwruddyman

    It was mentioned to me via email that they plan to offer an SL50 at some point in the future.

    #3801597
    Mike
    BPL Member

    @skinnypete

    Look good, but I’m waiting for Dan to give in the pressure and make the perfect Fastpack that I want haha. My Kakwa is great for longer carries, but my weekend pack right now is the Volpi Fastpack. I do like the SWD straps though. They look very comfortable.

    #3801615
    Dan @ Durston Gear
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    A fast pack would be cool. I’d love to do a fastpack version of the Wapta. I also don’t want to rush it though. I’m looking forward to getting the Wapta 30 out there in a few months and listening to feedback this summer, and then making whatever improvements people are wanting along with potentially adding versions for 2025.

    #3801982
    Tom M
    BPL Member

    @twofeathers

    Locale: Kalispell

    This thread has seem to have lost its focus. The new SWD sl40 showed up on my door yesterday and my first impressions are outstanding. More to come later.

    #3801983
    Jason McGrath
    BPL Member

    @pnwruddyman

    Thank you Tom, I would love to hear your thoughts.

    #3802140
    Tom M
    BPL Member

    @twofeathers

    Locale: Kalispell

    Here are some first impressions and observations. The pack weighed in at 22.6oz with the options of a y strap, ice axe loop, and added cord. The side pockets and front pouch feature a clever top elastic system. It’s not only easy to slide items in, but it also makes a little lip that will hold certain items like clothing more securely in the pocket. Glad to see the side pockets came with drain holes which may seem trivial but its a real pet peeve of mine. The y strap is easily removed and be configured in either direction. The tube frame stays fit my back perfectly and could be easily “fine tuned” to the individual. Removal of the tubes is simple with a velcro flap. It takes 2 seconds. Shoulder straps are classic SWD shape that fit me perfectly. I’m always hesitant of sewn in waist belts because of past issues, however this one seems to have overkill stitching. The pack body shape really lends itself to off-trail log hopping parkour with a narrow bottom tapered slightly to the top.  As with all SWD packs the craftmanship and attention to detail is incredible. loaded the pack with 38lbs yesterday for a 8 mile snowshoe and was pleased with how well it carried that much weight. It never felt shifty or unstable and the load lifters are in a perfect location. Above 40lbs and the waist belt would be your limiting factor. Im excited to do more testing this week with a more typical load below 30lbs.  I will be using this on a thru hike of the entire AZT this spring and will try to update my findings. IM having troubles loading pics but i will get some on here as soon as I can. Hope this helps!!!

    #3802245
    Nicholas P
    BPL Member

    @io

    Locale: Acadia National Park

    Tom ,thanks for posting your initial impressions . Good to hear it’s working out for you so far.

    I’m curious ,you suggested that the tubular frame stays could be easily adjusted can you elaborate on that? I had assumed that it would be fairly difficult to reshape tubular aluminum. Also I was wondering about the elastic on the water bottle pockets , is it replaceable and/or adjustable ?  if not do you think it’s robust enough to last a good while?

    -cheers

    #3802262
    Tom M
    BPL Member

    @twofeathers

    Locale: Kalispell

    Nicholas,

    The stays i believe are 7075 aluminum and with some basic tools from harbor freight like a tubing bender you can fine tune if needed. I personally like the independent stays because the pack feels fluid, nimble and also cuts weight. Some argue that using a horse shoe one piece stay keeps the pack from barreling which is true, however SWD has solved the barreling issue with the shaping of the main body. The side and front pockets is a really cool, innovative but simple design. I’m not sure how to accurately articulate it so I will post some pics. So far in my eyes I think SWD has built the swiss army knife of packs.

    #3802414
    Nicholas P
    BPL Member

    @io

    Locale: Acadia National Park

    Tom,

    Great ! Looking forward to those pics . As for the shaping of the stays I guess the term “easily” is relative as that is the term I would use to describe bending flat stays , having to purchase special tools for this purpose is a bit more involved, but it’s nice to know it’s a fairly simple process and I would guess the existing shape of them would probably work for the majority of people anyway .

    It certainly looks like a great pack and if I could justify spending the money on a new pack right now it would certainly top  my  list.

     

    #3802423
    nunatak
    BPL Member

    @roamer

    I would be surprised if re-shaping the stays is a DIY affair. A small radius handheld bender risks shattering the brittle material

    Sockdolager, aka Dan Ransom, has been selling selling aftermarket tubular 7075 stays for a while now and he recounted to me the specialized process of applying the basic shapes needed, ie fabricating the large radius bender jigs and not forgetting to wear a full face shield

    #3802425
    baja bob
    BPL Member

    @bajabob

    Locale: West

    I have a set of the tubular stays from Dan Ransom. He made them for a different pack, but I started using them for my SWD Wendingo (now called Wolverine). I cut a 1/2″ from the stays last night to fit the pack better. The stays are very stiff and brittle. The walls are extremely thin. You cannot bend them the same as the aluminum flat bars. The flat bar will remain in the position that you bend it, while the tubular stay will go back to its original form.

    I would compare it to carbon fiber tubing. It will not bend much before snapping. Dan Ransom seems to have it down to a science. You send him a picture of a stay bent in the form you want, and he can pretty much reproduce it.

    My pair of tubular stays are about 4 oz. lighter than the standard flat bar aluminum and much stiffer.

    #3804701
    Tom M
    BPL Member

    @twofeathers

    Locale: Kalispell

    I now have over 200 Nordic miles carrying an average of 30 lbs.  Its quite amazing how well this 21oz pack carries a load even while backcountry skiing. Its super comfortable, rigid but flexible, and has just the right features I was looking for. I’m excited to further test it on the 800 miles of the Arizona Trail starting next week. More to come!!!

    #3804702
    Jason McGrath
    BPL Member

    @pnwruddyman

    I picked one up. I already have one of their packs so I know it fits well. Customized this one so I can carry my shelter on the outside a little easier! I have a movement but I found that while I regularly remove the frame for day trips, I never remove the belt because of the belt pockets. So this pack makes more sense. Their frames are so easy to remove and replace.

    #3810882
    Tom M
    BPL Member

    @twofeathers

    Locale: Kalispell

    1000 trail miles on mine so far and zero complaints or issues. Used it for the AZT and kinda forgot it was there. At 40 liters I don’t think you could ever overload this pack unless your hauling bricks. :)

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