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Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW
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Cat Jasins
(CatJasins) - MLife
Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/05/2008 20:55:14 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/06/2008 05:30:16 MST Print View

I had the same issue with the top strap pulling out alittle on my Jam2 when I pulled it too much...

Tim Heckel
(ThinAir) - M

Locale: 6237' - Manitou Springs
Ditto on 02/06/2008 08:26:19 MST Print View

Mine too had strap issues appartent after the first use; and I don't believe I "overtightened" it. I took the pack to a local gear repair person and paid around $50 to have straps shortened and reinforced.

Paul W3
(paulwalker3) - F
Great backpack - and how can it be changed for heavier loads? on 02/07/2008 13:04:51 MST Print View

Hi, my question is - would it be possible insert an acceptable working frame? And how would it be done? Or what else can be done to fulfill the following need?

Sometimes - seldomly - I carry up to 18 or even 22 KG ( 40 to 50 lbs).

Actually I have an old well working Deuter - a 4-pounder and I would appreciate to save 2 pounds. The in the article mentioned alternatives don't reduce the weight that much or are too small.

My reason to carry such a load sometimes: once a week about in a longer trip I have to carry much water - 7 to 9 liters plus normal load and food. But this is food for a week and the necessary water for 2 to 3 days in a hot & dry region without reliable sources/ wells/ cisterns. And it's reduced quickly, so I need not to carry that much for long :))

Do you know how to change the pack accordingly or would you recommend an alternative? By the way - the pack must be sufficiently robust for bushwacking, rocky areas and air travelling.

Thanks a lot!

Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/07/2008 20:06:02 MST Print View

try the Cilogear 60L or 40B for heavier loads. I have used a Gust for 6 years, and 2 years ago got the 60L version 1 for heavier loads. It is still very similar to the Gust/Jam/Pinnacle series, but can carry bigger loads or be stripped down for lighter loads to almost the weight of the Pinnacle.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Great backpack - and how can it be changed for heavier loads? on 02/08/2008 07:21:55 MST Print View

I agree with Jeremy- the Pinnacle won't work well for loads in the 40-50 pound range. Another pack would be better.

Golite has some framed packs. The Quest has been reviewed here and might be a good choice for you.


Mike Hinsley

Locale: England, UK
Golite Pinnacle - Adding a frame on 02/08/2008 09:59:47 MST Print View

It is possible to add an internal frame - I've done it with a couple of packs - Add a frame Outline

The simple answer is to machine two pole pockets onto the inside seams. Then you can use two light rods (eg carbon) or 6mm/8mm/10mm aluminum tubing.

On the above link it doesn't show reinforcements but they will be required: reinforce the base of the pocket with something like a layer or two of cordura. Reinforce the top of the pocket with a fold-over cordura/velcro closure so that the pole can be sealed into the pocket.

If you use 8mm or 10mm tubing it will need to be pre-bent with approx. 10-15degree bend about 11 inches from down from the shoulder strap - so that it matches the natural curve of the back

For the very best comfort it's worth making hybrid poles with 8" of 8/10mm plastic tubing at the base of the pocket with the rest being aluminum tubing. You'd need to join the aluminum and plastic tubes together using a sleeve and some pins and glue.

Total additional weight of using 8mm Plastic and Aluminum tubing would be about 100g +/- 20g.

I've got to do a proper write-up of this stuff at some point ;-)

Edited by ArchNemesis on 02/08/2008 10:02:24 MST.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/08/2008 10:39:09 MST Print View

The review states
"Overall Rating » Recommended"

However in the following text it states
" The Pinnacle is excellent at its intended purpose and while it's not the ultimate pack for all occasions, is “highly recommended” for lightweight high volume loads."

There seems to be an inconsistency here can Doug or Amy explain the difference between these 2 ratings.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Golite Pinnacle - Adding a frame on 02/08/2008 14:56:13 MST Print View


> I've got to do a proper write-up of this stuff at some point ;-)
Contact me please if you do.


carlos fernandez rivas
(pitagorin) - MLife

Locale: Galicia -Spain
use a plastic sheet on 02/08/2008 15:22:12 MST Print View

I modified my old golite jam and my new jam2 adding a "semi-frame made with a light plastic sheet inside the pad pocket, to create a semi rigid frame and transfer the load to my hips, with only 60 grams more i felt that now i carry heavier loads in a more confortable and effective way.

This mod can be done easily in the pinnacle

Anyway 22kg are TOO MUCH for a pack like this

Edited by pitagorin on 02/08/2008 15:25:57 MST.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/08/2008 17:01:56 MST Print View

Hi Roger - the Pinnacle is essentially a GoLite Jam2 with more volume. As such, it's great if you have a large-volume, low density load - 30 pounds in 3700 ci - but less so if you have a more typical, low-volume UL load. It's still "recommended" for anyone, but only "highly recommended" for folks with "lightweight high volume loads."

Michael Danielson
(mcd57) - MLife

Locale: Middle TN
Golite Pinnacle Backpack Review on 02/08/2008 20:09:49 MST Print View

Thanks for the article. It help me with my decision on buying this pack.

Steve O
(HechoEnDetroit) - F

Locale: South Kak
Golite Pinnacle Article on 02/09/2008 09:11:09 MST Print View

I really like the extra volume in the Pinnacle for winter trips. I never compress my sleeping bag in it. I just stuff it to the bottom my trash compactor bag liner.
I essentially bought this pack based on the Jam2 review but this article is a welcome addition. Great job Doug and Amy!

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/09/2008 09:49:54 MST Print View

Hi Roger,

Just as Ben said, the pack is overall recommended but if you need a pack in this niche- lightweight high volume loads- then it's highly recommended.

As you can see from questions about weight, this is not the ideal pack for all users and many folks need a winter pack that can carry heavier loads. We wanted to show that it's an ideal pack in some situations, but not all.

Thanks for the great feedback everyone- we appreciate it!

Doug (and Amy)

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/09/2008 11:00:17 MST Print View

Another "What’s Not So Good"

I found Golite sizes their packs small. A large is more like a size Medium +

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/09/2008 15:01:03 MST Print View

Interesting, I've not had that experience. I always found the Gust to be large so I sized down to a medium. Maybe things are different with their new packs but this one fit Amy perfectly.

Anyone else had sizing difficulties with Golite?

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/10/2008 01:56:56 MST Print View

Thanks Ben and Doug that makes sense.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/10/2008 12:19:48 MST Print View

I also find GoLite packs sized too small for me. My suspicion is that it depends on how you wear the belt. I like to wear a true HIP belt that sits half above and half below my iliac crest. To get a GoLite pack to sit off my shoulders, I have to wear the belt as a WAISTbelt instead, and this is after sizing up one size. I see a lot of folks wearing their belts cinched around their waists. How do you all wear your belts?

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
Re: Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/10/2008 16:37:54 MST Print View

I love mine and bought it based on the 8 months use I used the Jam 2. I found I was able to support my younger kids food or gear. Also, as an Assistant Scout Master it maid the required medical kit and other bulkier gear fit in with my regular kit without too much trouble. Best of all I can carry all 4 kids day hiking gear and our food. I get a great training hike out of the day.

I haven't had any issues with the straps on either of my Golite packs and have overstuffed them several times.

Great review.

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Pack sizing on 02/10/2008 23:05:11 MST Print View

GoLite's pack sizes are based on spinal length, which is roughly but not perfectly correlated to height. Here's the sizing info:

Within each pack size, the pack will fit differently those with different spinal lengths, since the pack size is not adjustable (a feature that would add 1-2 pounds, plus complexity and cost, to its weight). i.e. A Medium Jam2 pack will be longer on a person with a 16" spinal length than someone with a 18" length.

If you have a preference as to where you keep your belt, and if you are on the margins between 2 pack sizes, you might take this into account. For example, I have a 18" spinal length but definitely keep with a Medium because I tend to wear the belt closer to my waist (which I think is common among lightweight backpackers who find that lightweight loads don't sit on the hips as heavy loads do, and in fact they ride up frequently towards the waist). If I wanted the pack more around my hips, I might consider going with a Large.

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Pack sizing on 02/10/2008 23:40:36 MST Print View

I've found Granite Gear and Gregory packs gave their torso lengths a more generous length (which works well for my 6'4” frame).

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Pinnacle Review on 02/11/2008 19:38:24 MST Print View

For BPL's Wilderness Trekking III Program (a wintry course), we searched high and low for packs that would carry big, light loads. I think at least six of the ten people we had on the Fall 2008 program used Pinnacles.

It's the pack I chose as well.

For its intended purpose, I honestly cannot find a better pack, and I've now had the chance to use it on a number of winter trips.

My favorite feature is a big, wide, thinly padded hip belt that tucks into hip wings that carries the load against your lumbar very well. This feature should be a standard by which other frameless packs are measured.

My gripes with the pack reflect the same as Doug's: a more abrasion-resistant bottom fabric (mine is showing a bit of wear from abrasion); and better sewing quality (I too have reinforced straps on mine with bartacking).

Fix these two things and if I was the author, I'd have given the pack a "Highly Recommended" rating.

Edited by ryan on 02/11/2008 19:38:53 MST.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Golite Pinnacle Backpack REVIEW on 02/18/2008 07:11:10 MST Print View

What is your torso length? Mine is right at 15" and wondered how well this pack would fit even if it is 1/2" too big.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Anyone have Golite Email Addy on 03/02/2008 08:35:28 MST Print View

I have tried to contact them via the form on website but I get a code error after I submit the contact form. I thought it was my Firefox but IE does the same thing.

Here is my comment:
"I got a chance to use my Pinnacle carrying my climbing gear on a dayhike/scouting mission of the Narrows Climbing area of th e Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma. The fabric held up great to the rock and when cinched down the pack stayed in place for endless hours of boulder hopping, but about halfway thru the day I kept hearing a whistly squeak. I thought it was a bird at first but it kept following me. It was the bottom half of the male buckle on the waistbelt. It would only latch about 2/3 of the way into the female. It held the waistbelt in place under tension, but it appears that it will give way one of these days. Long story short I need a new male end for the waist belt.

I tried this form yesterday and received a code error, I don't know if my form from yesterday went thru or not.


I was carrying a good 35 lbs or so of climbing gear and water. Anyone else had this problem?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Golite E-mail on 03/02/2008 10:46:24 MST Print View

Katie Singleton
Customer Service Representative
6325 Gunpark Drive
Suite 102
Boulder, CO 80301
direct 303-339-2326
fax 303-546-6557

This one should work - I was just corresponding with them regarding the Utopia 2.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 03/02/2008 10:48:36 MST.

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
'08 to '10 Golite Pinnacle changes; Skurka mods; Best packing for winter on 10/29/2010 17:46:17 MDT Print View

Anyone know how the Pinnacle changed from 2008 to 2010 model, aside from gaining weight? My wife and I are considering it for our winter pack.

Andrew - how did you modify the Pinnacle you took on your Alaska Yukon trip?

And can anyone comment on how to best pack it for winter - what type of pads do you use around the inside of the pack bag for support?

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
'10 changes on 10/29/2010 18:28:35 MDT Print View

Hey EJ, I can comment on a few changes that I recognized.

1) they've changed the hipbelt. It's now sewn in with a wishbone type connection. So imagine each end of the hipbelt being joined at the backpanel at 2 points, with a hole in the middle. It's suppose to wrap around better this way. You can see it clearly in the pack on the right.

2) Sternum strap has changed too. Instead of typical ITW hardwear that slides on a 1 inch piece of webbing, the sternum straps slide on a piping. Not sure why they did this.

3) I think they changed the material on the shoulder straps too. I haven't handled a 10' pack in a while, so i can't recall. It looks different in the pics, and I remember it being different than my 09 jam.

golite changes

Edited by Konrad1013 on 10/29/2010 18:31:01 MDT.