No doubt about it, the new Six Moon Designs Essence frameless backpack was designed with the intention of not following the “pack”. It’s definitely thinking “outside the box” to try and come up with a better frameless pack. The Essence, at 3,200 cubic inches and 13 ounces, is a panel-loading frameless backpack with a large top pocket, voluminous mesh side pockets, and large hipbelt pockets. The feature set is terrific, but how well does it perform for ultralight backpacking?
Will Rietveld Ph.D, Senior Editor for Gear and Apparel, joined the BPL staff in April 2004. In his former career, Will was a research scientist, project manager, and R&D program administrator. Now retired, he lives in southern Colorado where he takes up a new career of backpacking year-round in the mountains and canyon country of the Southwest. During the summer months Will and his wife Janet are volunteer wilderness rangers in the Weminuche Wilderness. He has been a lightweight backpacker for 52 years and an ultralight backpacker for 13 years.
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