Ultimate Direction Fastpack 30
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- This topic has 69 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Ryan Jordan.
Feb 26, 2016 at 6:42 am #3384736
I’m halfway thinking about combining some running with this years Bob Marshall Open, but will need a pack of a minimum of 30 liters (and the ability to carry snowshoes).
The Fastpack 30 looks like a viable option, but was hoping someone might have experience with it (or the 20 as they are similarly setup)
thanksFeb 29, 2016 at 8:54 pm #3385733Ed TyanichBPL Member
You are welcome to try my Fastpack 30. I like mine a lot. Also have a 20 that my wife has claimed.Mar 1, 2016 at 6:29 am #3385792
Hey Ed, I ended up ordering one :) The reviews look pretty positive; not surprisingly the reviews were more positive with less weight carried. Hoping to par my load to about 12-15 lbs (w/ food/water), not having to haul snowshoes would help immensely- we’ll see.
MikeMar 1, 2016 at 11:02 pm #3386085Adam WhiteBPL Member
@awhite4777Locale: On the switchbacks
I’ve been looking at the Fastpack 30 as well; much like you, I’m “halfway” thinking about throwing some running into my trips this year as well ;).
I’d love to hear any impressions you have–if you’re not too busy running around Montana, that is…Mar 2, 2016 at 7:19 am #3386129
I used the Fastpack 20 pretty extensively last year, but I haven’t used the 30.
I liked it overall for what it is, but it isn’t perfect. It is a bit heavy for a frameless pack. I removed the plastic sheet and foam pad and replaced them with a piece of Ridgerest cut to fit which saved an ounce or two. I cut out the hydration pocket and most of the exterior webbing too. I had more than enough room inside for my needs and wanted my water on the front.
It is pretty comfortable at 15 lbs or less TPW; Above that it gets hard on the shoulders. 10-12 lbs was even better, not surprisingly. I found I could run without too much bouncing especially as my food weight went down. I also found that by day 3 I was getting some minor abrasion/irritation on my low back from the pack moving side to side. This was after a couple of LONG days though so probably would not have been an issue with more “normal” use.
I played with different bottles but found soft bottles up front worked best for water. The front pockets are great although they could do away with the zippered one and just make them both with bungees and it would be better. I also played with sewing additional pockets on the shoulder straps in the front, for a spot, food, etc. but they ended up causing more discomfort so I removed them.
Lastly, in a light rain my stuff stayed dry but in a real storm it got wet in there. So plan accordingly…Mar 2, 2016 at 9:22 am #3386158
Adams- will definitely post my impressions, hope to get some decent miles on it
Alan- thanks for the feedback! From what I read the FP30 pad is even heavier yet- 8 oz, a full third of the weight. I’ve got several pads to come up with something lighter ( but still comfy). I have a small removable waist belt on a MLD pack that I could probably add if I experience any significant swinging. I’ve got several bottles to experiment with too (including a few soft ones). I usually carry a Opti, so will try my SmartWater bottle first. I’m really looking forward to the large stretch panel on the front and the two on the sides, I’m thinking these should help a bunch.
MikeMar 3, 2016 at 8:52 am #3386441
forgot to mention the exterior pockets – they are great. the large one will hold just about anything you would want to put there, and the smaller side pockets are great for food, hat/gloves, water, etc. I was able to reach them with the pack on, with a bit of contortion.
I don’t think you’d want to add a waistbelt, it is pretty stable when running if you cinch it down, but after a 2-3 long days the small amount of motion did cause some issues. I’d really ask yourself, how much am I actually going to be running, and if it is a small percentage of the time, you may be better off sticking with a more traditional pack with a hipbelt. If you are running a bunch and you can keep the weight down, the vest style construction works really well.Mar 3, 2016 at 10:12 am #3386466
thanks Alan :). the pack arrived yesterday (I’m talking fast shipping!). I like the layout, discovered a side pocket didn’t even know it had. The back pad is nicely constructed, but it’s just shy of 8 oz- pretty heavy. I was thinking of instead of cutting a custom fit one to replace it, simply remove it and then use a folded ccf pad (think z-rest) and slide it into the bladder pocket???Mar 3, 2016 at 5:27 pm #3386587Shawn BeardenBPL Member
@shawnbLocale: SE Idaho
I think you’ll like it. I used the 20 last year on the Colorado Trail. I had a 3/4 Ridgerest strapped on the outside that I didn’t like – too floppy and I just didn’t like the awkward appendage. In prep for this year, I can get all my gear plus X-therm (my only other mattress) packed but am left short of space by a fleece pullover if I have 3-4 days of food. I could make it work. May go with SMD 50 – albeit a totally different pack, it’s what I have. I like the 20, not for running potential, but for midriff openness and venting. I’d be interested in seeing others gear lists for the 20. I think the 30 would be just enough extra volume. My total pack weight sans food/water is about 9-10lbs and the 20 carries comfortably with the <15lbs I always had.Mar 3, 2016 at 7:07 pm #3386596
I don’t have the FP 20, but do have the Montane Dragon 20- I’ve used it for a few shorter duration run/hike trips (one to two nights). My gear was a MLD eVENT bivy, Katabatic Pallisade quilt, neoair short, light down jacket, light fleece top, spare socks, beanie & gloves (hard shell and wind shirt on outside of pack when not worn via shock cord setup)- used a SP 600 pot w/ a Esbit stove (ate out of a bag), plastic spoon- water is carried on the harness via two provided 20 oz bottles, steripen opti, food bag/hanging system- the normal essentials- fak, fire starter, tp, repair- everything on the small side
it all fit w/o too much drama, a little extra room for probably another night or two of food
my gear list for the 30 should look very similar, but may have to add small snowshoes and may be going with a larger pot and canister stove (possibly shared)Mar 6, 2016 at 8:12 pm #3387203
I replaced the pad/frame with a GG sitpad, it was just about the exact size/thickness- had to cut it down a little to fit- the original pad is 7.8 oz, the cut down ccf pad 1.3 oz- nice 6+ oz shave :)Mar 6, 2016 at 8:42 pm #3387211
Nice. I have also played with using a folded neoair in place of the back pad, I think it worked relatively well but honestly don’t remember if it caused any other issues.Mar 7, 2016 at 6:40 am #3387250
^ that’s a good idea- I’ll have to play around with thatMar 10, 2016 at 6:46 pm #3388180
I really like my Fastpack 20. It is a bit more conventional back pack than the Montane Dragon 20. Bit more robust, bit more flexible (which bottles you want etc.), but also bit more bounce. For mainly running I vastly prefer the Dragon 20. But for alternate running, speed hiking, fast packing, I really like the bit more robust Fastback 20.
I was going to do a multi day fastpack in the Japanese Alps with them, but got injured (long recovery). One thing I would want is the little shoulder ‘load lifters’ with bigger loads. Even if they don’t lift a load, they do cinch that load tighter to your centre of gravity and makes things sway less.
I’ve been using it on recovery training in the winter here twice a week and it’s a lot of fun. I feel like I’m ‘saving’ the Dragon a bit of wear, and that it needs that saving a bit too..
Curious how the 30 works for you. Pics?Mar 10, 2016 at 8:15 pm #3388195
I have the Montane Dragon 20 as well and agree it really carries nice when running (or walking). It’s a little small for 3-ish day trips, especially shoulder season when a little more clothing is called for (and even possibly snowshoes). I like the vest pocket setup of the Fastpack over the Dragon, also the stretch pockets on the side and front (I always want to call this rear :) )
I wonder how easy it would be to add some “lifters”? Like you said not to take load off of your torso, but to keep the load close to the back.Apr 4, 2016 at 3:25 pm #3393923
I’ve got to the pack on several day “hikes” (hike/run/snowshoe) loaded with about 12 pounds. It carries very nicely and comfortably. I didn’t run with it fast, but I don’t see myself running very fast on multi-day trips. The layout of the shoulder straps is very handy- water bottle easy to access, snacks the same, use the zippered pocket for map/compass and iPhone and the small zipped pocket for sunscreen and electrolytes- all very handy. The side pockets were a perfect fit for my small snowshoes and the large stretch pocket for hardshell and windshirt w/ plenty of additional space.
I think this is going to fit the bill quite nicely :)Apr 26, 2016 at 6:38 am #3398044
How do you like the zippered pocket? Have you carried water in there?
I am probably buying the new Peter Bakwin 3.0 vest, and they also changed the two bottle pockets for one with a zipper. Very similar if not the same as on this pack/vest.
I am pretty sure I prefer two of the same bottle pockets, but if there are no issues I will probably get it.
Cheers for any info.Apr 26, 2016 at 6:56 am #3398049Shawn BeardenBPL Member
@shawnbLocale: SE Idaho
Mine is the 20 version. I like the zippered pocket. Unzipped, it carries a water bottle just like the dedicated pocket on the other strap. But, I generally have just the one bottle, which lets me stuff the unzipped pocket with food, then zip it up as I consume that food. And, if I want to carry smaller items in that pocket, they aren’t sloshy and flopping around so much when zipped as they would be in a dedicated bottle-sized pocket.Apr 26, 2016 at 7:11 am #3398052
I’ve dedicated the larger zippered pocket to my iphone, map, compass and folding reading glasses, but I think it would perform perfectly if you want another bottle up front. My second bottle has been going in the opposite side in the larger side pockets- this is the one that I have tabbed w/ a Aquatab and then swapped with the otherApr 26, 2016 at 9:28 am #3398075
Hi Shawn, I have the 20 and like that zippered pocket too. Like you say, without bottle you can put your phone and some bars in there without them flying out so quick.
The pocket on the 30 and new PB vest is different, with the zipper going all the way over the top. Not that big a deal, but I mostly have two bottles in both pockets – one with fuel (malto) and one without. So I switch drinking from both depending if I just want to hydrate or also get calories.
Mike – cheers. I’ll see if I can try before I buy but so far no luck locally. Just wondering if I can put a bottle in there and drink from it, without zipping/unzipping each time. Again not a huge deal, but I think I like either the same bottle pocket on both sides, or like on the 20, one with the zipper ending on the upper side (not going over the top).
Hope you put your vest to good use.Apr 27, 2016 at 2:43 am #3398237
Never mind. I accidentally bumped into one, my size. I was not strong enough to resist. The volume and layout is just so good for what I like (‘need’ is a big word). So, it is done, now to start building up longer distances and better times after my injury.Apr 27, 2016 at 6:43 am #3398250
one can’t have enough packs :)May 8, 2016 at 9:19 am #3400850
Well yes and no. I like keeping my stuff simple a bit, and get rid of things I don’t use.
But I do have to say, the new PB Adventure Vest 3.0 is one of the nicest purchases I have done pack/vest wise. Huge step up from 2.0.
About the Fastpack 30, have you seen this review?
I am rehabilitating my knee and things are going better than expected. I’m only walking/hiking but passed 5 trail runners on a steep mountain with lots of ups and downs (my rehab/fitness centre).
I am starting to think about 2night/3 day fast packs in the Japanese Alps again. Volume wise I don’t think I can make it in my UD 20 Vest (synth, not down, and the food would kill me volume wise).
How heavy do you think you would still hike and or run with the 30? Does the stiffer plate help at all at heavier weights or is it better to just replace even for heavier weight.
My base weight would be between 6,5 and 7 pounds (with microspikes etc). But food and water is really adding up. I have to work the food out but perhaps 16/17 pounds total? I think that might be just on the edge for this vest. Not sure it wouldn’t all collapse on me or start digging into my shoulders too much.
Thoughts?May 8, 2016 at 9:34 am #3400852
Ito- I had mine out last weekend on a little recon into the Bob Marshall. It was loaded with exactly what I’ll take for the Bob Open (3-ish days); packed weighed 14.5 pounds with snowshoes. My buddy’s pack (same pack) was loaded similarly, his might have been a pound or so heavier. We did about 24 miles (5-6 miles on snowshoes) with a little bit of running (jogging really). Shoulders started getting a little sore at about 20 miles, but nothing bad- probably more of a function of not wearing a pack for some time (excluding 5-8 lb day packs). All in all, we were both very happy with the pack in it’s comfort and carry.
With a little luck it appears we may be able to go sans snowshoes for the Open, which would put the packs a lot closer to 12 lbs
I do think 15-ish pounds is probably pretty close to the comfortable limit of the pack. Personally I would try the pack loaded with both the original pad/insert and an alternate- it’s very possible the stiffer pad provided might be a better option in that 15-ish pound range.
MikeMay 9, 2016 at 1:45 am #3401082
14,5 pounds including snow shoes sounds like you are doing very well.
One of my issues is I drink a lot, and the routes I had been taking are not full of water. Might change on the trips I’m planning but 2L or 2,5L adds up of course.
But, if I unload 1L from my pack to my hips in a hydration belt I’m right at 14,5 to 15 pounds as well.
Though they might feel slightly different, I guess I can get a good idea of that weight by just loading water in my 20L Fastpack.
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