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Need advice on a Backpack
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Chad Ellertson
(NorthernLights) - F

Locale: Superior Hiking Trail
Need advice on a Backpack on 12/13/2007 08:09:42 MST Print View

I need advice on what backpack to be looking at for my trips.

What I need is a pack that can carry loads up to 20 lbs or maybe a little more. My ideal base weight in the pack would be under 7 pounds. So I need something that can carry maybe 10 days without resupply. I need something that is durable and comfortable and reasonably lightweight.

Right now I'm looking at the FF Thompson Peak with hip belt. 20 pounds probably and at 10.5 ounces, reasonably priced its my number 1 choice so far.

If I could find a Golite Breeze that would be an option as well, but I can't find anywhere that carries them still.

Anyone else? I know GG has some nice packs, but is their capacity too big?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Need advice on a Backpack on 12/13/2007 08:33:12 MST Print View

I think somebody might have been selling recently a golite breeze on

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Need advice on a Backpack on 12/13/2007 09:00:52 MST Print View

If I could find a Golite Breeze that would be an option as well, but I can't find anywhere that carries them still.

I have a size medium breeze that I'll part with. Being beltless, the size is less a "how it fits" thing than it is a "will my gear fit in it" thing. PM me if interested.

bobby c
(bobbycartwright) - F

Locale: i don't need no stinkin badges!
good packs on 12/13/2007 09:29:27 MST Print View

i think a few good packs are the golite jam2 and the pinnacle. for the price they're very affordable and are pretty well made. versatility is also a key with these as they are compactable with a type of compression strap system that pulls the body together when a smaller load is being carried. i would say though that generally you're doing pretty well if you get a pack thats 3000+ cu. in. and under two pounds with a hip belt. make sure you get a hip belt, very important with twenty pounds. i ate it on a trip with a mountainhardwear scrambler without a hipbelt with a 7lb base weight and three day's worth of food. i regretted using that pack and ended up eating all of my heavier food first and taking more chances on refilling on water. you can never have too much comfort, spoil yourself a bit.

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
"Need advice on a Backpack" on 12/13/2007 09:56:09 MST Print View

I have the GoLite Breeze, Jam Pack, and the Pinacle.

I love the breeze but it doesn't have much room for a larger load. I think any more than 3 days food with this pack would be a really hard push.

The Jam Pack is an Iron Man of a pack. This was my first GoLite and it is fantastic. I have feelings for this pack. It is a work horse. I have put way over 30 pounds in it and on it out of neccesity (I had to cover someone else who was hurt). It held up like a real champ to this day. I figure it has at least a year straight using this pack every day and it is still strong.

The Pinnacle. I love how this pack converts. It isn't the lightest UL pack (Large, 1 pound 9 ounces for mine) but it is an equal to the Jam. The convertability (you can make it really small in volume) and the cavernous size made it fantastic for taking my little ones out, carry a tent and all of the food (getting me very close to 30 pounds). I was able to use it for Scouting and suprise the heck out of everyone because of it's light weight and volume.

The other great thing about it is I can actually just stuff the bivy, sleeping bag and other gear into the bottom without worrying about stuff sacks (just use a trash bag). I am packed in the morning in about 5 minutes and on the trail. No primping and prep other than what I do before bed. I just wish they would throw a big mesh outer pocket on this thing. That is really my only complaint.

Good luck and happy adventures!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
GoLite Breeze on 12/13/2007 10:33:45 MST Print View

What's so special about the GoLite Breeze? Granted it's one of the earliest UL packs and thus will always have a place in the UL Hall of Fame -- but performance wise, I find nothing special about it.

With your base and total pack weight, you might wish to take a look at the Zpack Z1. It's less than half the weight of the Breeze and having tried both, I find the Zpack more comfy to wear. For very little additional weight, you can opt for a hip belt and hip belt pockets. I really like Z Pack's "a la carte" approach -- order the basic pack and then pick out the options individually. Anyway, food for thought.

Edited by ben2world on 12/13/2007 10:45:35 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Addendum on 12/13/2007 10:35:45 MST Print View

I used to own a FF Thompson Peak as well. Of the three (Breeze, Thompson Peak, and Z1) -- I found the Breeze the least comfortable -- because of the stiff shoulder straps. YMMV, of course.

Chad Ellertson
(NorthernLights) - F

Locale: Superior Hiking Trail
Z1 on 12/13/2007 11:00:57 MST Print View

I'll have to look more into the Z1, I had seen it before but forgotten about it. I think what I like about the Golite Breeze is its durable material and generous outside mesh pockets. I like the Thompson Peak for the same reasons, the mesh pockets for storage of wet gear and easy access to stuff. The only drawback of it is the narrow shoulder straps and closure on the top. I like the options the z1 has that you can add. I like sternum straps and being able to get a daisy chain. Has anyone else had experience with these packs?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: "Need advice on a Backpack" on 12/13/2007 11:02:01 MST Print View

Is Jason sure he has a golite BREEZE and not a golite DAY pack? The breeze I thought was upwards of 3500-4000 cubes with the extension collar.

Chad Ellertson
(NorthernLights) - F

Locale: Superior Hiking Trail
Breeze on 12/13/2007 11:31:09 MST Print View

The breeze is 3950ci in total I think. Which is pretty big and why I am considering it as an option.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Breeze on 12/13/2007 11:38:16 MST Print View

Be careful Chad when buying your breeze so that someone doesn't unknowingly sell you a nearly half-sized day pack instead. They look similar, but the day pack is 2000-2500 cubes volume.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Light But Durable on 12/13/2007 11:54:53 MST Print View


For better durability -- have you looked at the lighter ULA models? These have also gotten rave reviews.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Z1 on 12/13/2007 13:44:21 MST Print View


I have a Z. I like it because of the features and options. I attach a ring to hang gloves, etc and a shockcord water bottle holder from the shoulder strap daisy chain. The straps for the exterior pad are great for a sit pad. The waist belt mostly is the carrier for the belt pockets because loaded to the recommended load a belt is not needed.

The things I wish were better. A couple of mesh pockets would be great. The pack is not comfortable if you overload it.

Overall a very good value.

Jeff Boone
(jnboone) - MLife
Conduit on 12/13/2007 14:32:20 MST Print View

I am essentially looking for the same thing in a backpack. After much reading I have ordered a new ULA Conduit. It'll be home before Christmas. If you're still looking I'll let you know what I think. I'm pumped based on everyone else's feedback!

Andrew :-)
(terra) - F

Locale: Sydney, Australia.
The ULA amp looks nice on 12/13/2007 16:01:43 MST Print View

Note: I haven't use one. However this caught my eye the other day:

Teamed up with their hipbelt pouch it might be a very versatile mid sized pack.

Edit: I just saw 10 days food required, perhaps this is too small.

Edited by terra on 12/13/2007 16:03:56 MST.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Comments about ULA on 12/13/2007 17:22:06 MST Print View

The Amp would be too small and not strong enough for 10 days of food, maybe up to 6-7 days if you are really careful. With a base pack weight of 7 lbs, The Conduit should do it. I have the Amp and that works up to about 20lbs , three days for me in summer if I don't have to carry extra water, but generally for more than 2 days I use the Circuit.
But I do light and comfy not Light or Ultralite...

Edited by Franco on 12/13/2007 17:25:02 MST.

Chad Ellertson
(NorthernLights) - F

Locale: Superior Hiking Trail
ULA on 12/13/2007 17:32:46 MST Print View

The ULA packs look nice, but are a little heavy, and expensive. I'll look at them more closely though. Maybe I should be looking at making my own backpack.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Back to FF Thompson Peak on 12/13/2007 18:09:34 MST Print View


Maybe after looking at various packs, the Thompson Peak still ends up fitting your needs and requirements the best? The material is more robust than silnylon, there is the mesh pocket, it's pretty darn light, and the price is quite reasonable.

As mentioned, I have tried both TP and Breeze. The TP actually resembles the Breeze so much that I view the TP as a lighter, better, and more comfy incarnation of the Breeze.

Edited by ben2world on 12/13/2007 18:23:29 MST.

Steven Bergeron
(TheTurk) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Balancing Durability, Weight, and Cost on 12/13/2007 18:45:36 MST Print View

Joe at Zpackx now sells "Blast" packs made of Cuben Fiber (presumably .65 oz based on his Materials page). The largest, the Blast 32, is 3,200 cubic inches (52.4 liters) and weighs in at 4 oz. (113 g). The basic Blast 32 goes for $115 US.

The Blast is basically the Z1 design in Cuben instead of sil-nylon. There is also a Blast 18 and Blast 26.

I don't have the Z1 (or a Blast) but I do have a semi-custom Zilch. I have had no problems with up to 15 lb. loads (so far) and don't see why it wouldn't comfortably handle up to 20 lb. loads - like any other frameless pack. (I've got a pinched nerve in my back that's keeping me from doing more than 2 - 3 days worth, load-wise.)

I'm really happy with the Zilch, both in comfort and quality of workmanship. Working with Joe was great too.

Good luck,


Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Need advice on a Backpack on 12/13/2007 19:43:02 MST Print View

More expensive than Jam 2, Breeze or Frantic Fringe packs, but might want to check out the MLD Zip pack. Its weight and capacity sound like the pack that meets your goals.

BPL reader reviews of the Zip are at this link: