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GoLite Delirium Backpack First Looks (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2004)

The GoLite Delirium is an internal frame backcountry ski and winter mountaineering pack that excels at organizing the tools of the winter traveler: skis, snowshoes, ice tools, crampons, you name it - there's a place to put 'em.


by the Product Review Staff | 2004-01-26 03:00:00-07

GoLite Delirium Backpack First Looks (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2004)

Overview of the GoLite Delirium

The GoLite Delirium is the company's first foray into the world of backcountry skiing. Designed primarily as a pack for backcountry ski touring, the GoLite Delirium offers enough options to garner attention from a variety of backcountry enthusiasts, with the ability to organize the multitude of tools required to safely enjoy ski mountaineering.

Specifications of the GoLite Delirium

  • Weight: 2 lb 10 oz (size M)
  • Capacity: 2450 cubic inches (size M)
  • Fabric: 1.76 oz/sq.yd. silicone-impregnated nylon ("SilLite HG") in the main body; Dimension-Polyant X-Pac 3-Layer Composite in front pockets and bottom; Arrowhead Cordura ripstop front pockets; 420 denier Cordura side panels
  • Suspension: thermomolded Brock foam shoulder straps, lumbar pad, and back panel, Schoeller Dryskin Extreme on harness contact areas, corrugated polystyrene framesheet with integrated aluminum dowel frame stays
  • Features of the GoLite Delirium

  • Zippered, rear-loading packbag
  • Two gusseted pockets on hip belt
  • Side access front pocket
  • Ice axe loops (2) with Velcro retention straps
  • Floating top lid with Hypalon crampon patch and zippered pocket
  • 3-liter insulated hydration sleeve
  • Hypalon/webbing ski sleeves/compression straps
  • Shovel sleeve
  • Watertight zippers
  • Daisy chain
  • Haul loop
  • Intended Use

    Backcountry skiing, mountaineering/alpinism, and other winter activities

    First Looks Performance Review

    We tested the GoLite Delirium in the winter backcountry of Montana's Madison Range, in the Taylor-Hilgard Wilderness. Our intended use: a backcountry ski approach to and descent from a remote alpine couloir ice climb.

    We packed the GoLite Delirium with the following equipment:

    Inside the Main Packbag:

    • Bivy gear: two-pound synthetic sleeping bag (Arc Delta), water-resistant bivy sack (eVENT Vapr Bivy), torso-sized inflatable pad (TorsoLite) with 1/2-length 3/8-inch foam pad, 2L white gas cook kit (SimmerLite)
    • Extra clothing: Integral Designs Dolomitti Jacket and Integral Designs Denali Pants
    • Food: About 5,000 calories
    • Climbing skins for skis
    • 3L hydration bladder with insulated drinking tube
    • Climbing gear, hard goods: carabiners, rock and ice protection (partner carried rope in other pack)

    Top Pocket:

    • Lunch, Beanie hat, insulated mittens
    • Louis Garneaux Top One Helmet (under pocket)

    Front Pocket:

    • Climbing gear, soft goods: harness, slings

    Strapped to Outside

    • Dynafit D410 Skis (only while climbing) - with ski/compression straps
    • Grivel G14 Crampons (on crampon patch on top pocket)
    • Black Diamond Carbon Fiber Black Prophet Ice Tools(strapped in tool loops)
    • SnowClaw Backcountry Snow Shovel (in shovel sleeve)

    Overall, the Delirium carried this 25-30 pound load very well and with excellent stability. The feature set is well-conceived and the external pockets are easy to access, even when all of your backcountry tools are strapped on. The shovel sleeve was too small for larger backcountry shovels, but for the types of shovels carried most often by weight-and-size-skimping backcountry skiers and climbers, it was sufficient.

    Durability. Hypalon reinforcements on the ski/compression straps are a very nice touch - protecting the main packbag from sharp ski edges. We're not sure how the X-Pac fabric will hold up to abuse from the slicing picks of ice tools, but our inital observations indicate that it is more durable than we expected. Underloaded with a small volume, the pack doesn't compress well (there are only two compression straps on either side), and as a result of the silicone nylon body fabric, the body doesn't have much resilience. As a result, the underloaded pack suffers from more abrasion from tools and skis than should be necessary. Fortunately, the scenario by which this pack is be underloaded should be rare - it is sized right for the light and fast alpinist willing to forgo amenities for a long day of climbing and skiing, or as we found out, even an overnight winter climb with a bivy. The pack's haul loop is strictly for picking up the pack - don't expect to actually have the pack survive several pitches of vertial hauling in a world of sharp rock and ice, as the body fabric won't withstand the abuse.

    In short, the GoLite Delirium is an impressive first project for the ski mountaineer from a company who sowed - and reaped - its first harvest on ultralight hiking gear more suited to snowless environs.


    "GoLite Delirium Backpack First Looks (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2004)," by the Product Review Staff. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2004-01-26 03:00:00-07.