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Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Southeast Summer List on 08/13/2008 19:20:50 MDT Print View

I'm looking for input to let me know if my gear would fit with a Golite Ion. If you see possible improvements I'm open to that too! :)

7.5lb Gear List

Edited by donmeredith on 08/17/2008 14:15:10 MDT.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Southeast Summer List on 08/13/2008 20:44:15 MDT Print View

I never realized the Ion was that light. My Jam2 is about a pound and a half! If pack volume is an issue, you could probably strap that sleeping pad to the outside (top or bottom? I don't see loops) and be ok at that point. The rest of the list looks like you've got it down to minor tweaks where you see fit. I'd feel a lot more comfortable with this list in the Jam2, but I've never seen an Ion's pack volume.
Why do you need a compression sack for the sleeping bag? Just stuff it in the bottom of the pack and put everything else on top.

Edited by back2basics on 08/13/2008 20:47:19 MDT.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Southeast Summer List on 08/14/2008 10:06:06 MDT Print View

Its real hard to tell if that will fit in an Ion.
The only way to tell is to try. Its probably the most affordable pack out there. So its got that going for it when you want to experiment.
I have one and like it a lot but, Im planning on removing the zipper top and adding a sil nylon extension collar and a strap. That way I can strap a pad on the top if necessary.
The Ion forces you to be minimalist and pack carefully -but I kind of like that about it, at least for weekend trips.
Plus its tough as nails and real light- a rare combo.

Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Ion volume on 08/14/2008 16:35:00 MDT Print View


How do you carry water and how much do you have with you? I like to have about 2L at a time with me. I'm curious if a 2L platypus would be compatible.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 08/14/2008 17:01:54 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 01/18/2015 19:03:15 MST.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
golite ion list on 08/14/2008 17:12:44 MDT Print View

A ULA Relay has a main pack volume of 1,500 ci which is the same as the Ion but when you add the exterior pockets you get 2,100 total ci which provides more packing options. The Relays greater total volume via the additional exterior pockets comes with the penelty of an additional 8 oz in pack weight but this pack may be a legitimate option.

Edited by thomdarrah on 08/15/2008 17:43:36 MDT.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
ION capacity on 08/14/2008 17:44:13 MDT Print View

id like to hear back from you about your endeavors with the ION. I tried packing it with a 3 lb. base load and it fit ok with a 2L bladder, but just rode less than comfy. I was surprised to find it has no outside storage. Of course I knew this when purchased but could see a major room for improvement since my bladder alone weighs 5oz and a Aquafina bottle is .8 - just a thought. I have looked into adding some sort of mesh kangaroo pocket but reverted back to my Zpacks Blast 16 instead. I'll save the ION for day trips and bike packing. (motorcycle, that is)

still, show us what you come up with. I believe the ION to be a legitimate pack despite its minimal features.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Southeast Summer List on 08/14/2008 18:39:02 MDT Print View

Don, I think you stand a good chance of making everything fit in the ion. Below is a link to a recent summer trip I made using the ion with pics of all the gear.

It was 2.5 days in length with temps day to 38 one night and I covered 40 miles. I did carry 3 liters of water for a short time), but I would not want that to be the norm (my norm is < 1 liter). I really liked the ion for this trip. Hope this link works.

Here is a detailed list of what I carried....


Worn Items:
REI Lightweight MTS Short-Sleeve Zip-T - 5.20
North Face Cargo Hiking Shorts - 7.00
ExOfficio Boxer Briefs - 2.80
REI Merino Wool Light Hiker Socks - Low 2.25
Bandana - 1.05
Watch - 0.90
Columbia Booney Hat - 2.75
Komperdell Carbon Hiking Staff - 10.35
Camera - Olympus F-230 w/battery & card (in pocket) - 4.35
Photon Freedom on Lanyard (around neck) - 0.30
Garmen etrex Venture HC GPS (in pocket) - 5.35
Map (in pocket) - 0.75
Saloman XA 3D XRC trail runners - 30.00

Golite Ion- 9.10

Shelter/Sleeping (in pack):
Montbell Thermal Sheet - 14.30
GG 3/8" Thin Light Sleeping pad - 3/4 length (trimmed) - 3.45
Golite Poncho Tarp - 10.75
Montbell Breeze Dry Tec Bivy - 6.30
8 Ti stakes - 2.25
Spectraline (8 x 3 ft = 24 ft) - 0.65

Cooking (in pack):
Platypus 2.5 lt. Water Bottle - 1.30
ClO2 Purifications Tabs (20) - 0.45
Platypus 1 lt. bottle - 0.90
Trip Tease Cord 35' + REI Stuff Sack for Food - 1.85
Fuel Bottle (4 oz cap.) - 0.60
Everclear Bottle (3 oz cap.) - 0.40
Snowpeak Trek 450 - 2.40
Gram Weenie Stove + pan - 0.45
Camp Soap (micro-dropper) - 0.30
Mini Bic Lighter - 0.40
Foil Windscreen & Foil Lid - 0.25
GSI Collapsible Spoon - 0.30

Extra Cloths (in pack):
Golite Wisp Windshirt - 2.85
Mont-Bell UL Down Jacket - 6.90
REI Merino Wool Light Hiker Socks – Low - 2.20

Misc. in Ziplock (in pack):
Keychain Thermometer/Compass - 0.30
Cell Phone - 3.30
Book - The 2 oz Backpacker - 2.40
Microlight - 0.30
Saline – microbottle - 0.40
Sunscreen – microbottle - 0.45
Deet – microbottle - 0.55
Pen w/duct tape & needle -0.30
Denta burst brushes x 4 - 0.10
Floss - 0.20
Contact Case - 0.50
Pills (4 Imodium, 4 Benadryl, 8 pseudo fed, 16 ibuprofen) - 0.40
Extra Contacts - 0.50
Gauze Pads - 0.05
Match Book - 0.15
Swiss Army Knife Classic - 0.75
Ziplock Bag - 0.25

Consumables (in pack):
Total Food (2+ days) - 40.00
Fuel - 4 oz (4 cooks) - 4.00
Water - 1lt - 32.00

Total Base Weight Oz 79.25 (4.95 lbs)
Total Carried Pack Wgt 155.25 (9.70 lbs)
Total Weight (skin out) 228.30 (14.27 lbs)

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
ION capacity, improved on 08/15/2008 17:03:11 MDT Print View

so I took an hour today and made a no-see-um pocket for the back of the pack- gave it enough capacity to hold a 2L platy and a windshirt etc...

Im hoping this helps, I cut the hourglass shape to contour the pack exactly, then I took the seam(s) apart from the inside-out and sewed this into the seams. I think it should hold well enough. Must be gentle w/ it but thats not unusual to any of us, right?!ionion2

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 08/15/2008 17:06:35 MDT.

Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Ion Mods on 08/15/2008 17:24:32 MDT Print View

Michael, very nice. I assume you sewed the seam back together by hand? If not, how do you line the pack up to sew on a regular machine?Is there enough slack in the material to lay it flat when its inside out? Thanks - DM

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Ion Mods on 08/15/2008 17:57:41 MDT Print View

yes, the seam can be sewn back together on a machine if you dont get too close to the top or bottom (where the hip belt attaches) Hopefully the pics show about the size of mesh needed for the job- above the hip belt a ways will allow you to use a machine. You'll also notice there is a 3/4 expandable seam on the bottom to help swallow gear... but if you do this you might make a few of these and add elastic at the top. Not needed, but would be nice. I dont have any elastic lying around.

it turns out, Im bringing my fly fishing gear tomorrow so there is only room enough for a 1L platy. Good thing there is a creek 1/2 mile from the t.h.
here it is, fully loaded for one night-and with a bridge hammock and a 10x10 tarp to boot! Mike ion3

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 08/15/2008 18:07:29 MDT.

Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Ion Arrived on 08/20/2008 17:07:27 MDT Print View

My new Ion arrived! (Thanks Brad!). Obviously, the first thing I did was try out the new piece of gear. Here's the photo journal and my thoughts.

First & most importantly - everything fits!

Ion packed

I tried the hydration pack next to my back which just wasn't comfortable. After moving it to the back of the pack it was comfy and the pack was still adequately balanced. My sleeping bag and the water were ganging up on the bottom of the pack, though. You can see the unsightly bulge in the photo below.

Sleeping bag on the bottom

Moving my gear to the bottom and my sleeping bag to the top remedied this and the pack shouldered more comforatably as well. It also eliminates the risk of the bladder leaking and soaking my down sleeping bag.

Sleeping bag on the top

Unloading the pack... sleeping bag on top.

Unpacking 1

Gear under the sleeping bag, Thermarest PL3 deflated and rolled as a frame, hydration pack in the far back outside of the Thermarest.

Unpacking 2

Finally, pack fit and gear photos.

Pack fit - rear

Pack fit - side

Gear pile

I plan on making a few modifications:
* Mesh pockets on the sides
* Bungee for wet gear on the rear
* Noseeum pocket in the lid (license, $$, key, first aid)
* Hydration pack pocket or maybe just hang loops on the inside.

Thoughts? Recommendations?

Edited by donmeredith on 08/20/2008 18:22:34 MDT.

Erik Graf
(VanGo) - F

Locale: Southeast
Thanks on 08/25/2008 14:41:34 MDT Print View


Thanks for the photos. Received my Ion on Friday and have been playing with it as well. Taking some getting used to. I have been toying with the platypus inside but I agree that it didn't feel best against my back (plus I fear body heat transfer through the pack to the bladder warming my water). I put it against my back but inside my rolled sleep pad and that worked pretty well.

I noted you deflate your pad. I had mine inflated figuring it would provide more rigidity. I'll have to try it deflated. Though, there's not much to mine to begin with (

I like your ideas about the attachments and the other photos in the thread with the mesh pocket for a bladder. I normally carry my keys/ID/$ on my person though in case I get separated from my pack (more than one bear has stolen packs in GSMNP over the past couple years) - wanna be able to get home if my pack is gone. If I get gone, well, I guess I won't need my keys.....

Thanks for posting this and I'd be very interested in seeing any handy sewing work you do and how you did it.

Btw, I'm in Wilmington, NC. Have a buddy in Camden, SC, I visit on occasion when I'm headed to GSMNP. I'll be going right by you this Friday as I'm taking a newbie on an overnighter in Ceasars Head SP.

Thanks again...


Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Photos of Ion Mods on 08/25/2008 15:10:18 MDT Print View

I posted my mods in the Make Your Own Gear forum. Here's a link:

GoLite Ion Modification Photos

Edited by donmeredith on 08/25/2008 15:11:05 MDT.

Erik Graf
(VanGo) - F

Locale: Southeast
Thanks on 08/26/2008 07:13:22 MDT Print View

Hey Don:

Thanks for the PM and the link to the other thread. That looks great! I'm going to have to consider those as they will be very handy. Well done! Btw, did you do it yourself or have it done?

Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Ion Mods on 08/26/2008 07:14:56 MDT Print View

I can take credit for all of the work - even the hole in the pack. :)

Erik Graf
(VanGo) - F

Locale: Southeast
Don... on 08/26/2008 08:48:54 MDT Print View

Nicely done.....

Edited by VanGo on 08/26/2008 08:49:37 MDT.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 08/26/2008 10:08:55 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 01/18/2015 19:05:20 MST.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
ION add on on 08/26/2008 10:54:44 MDT Print View

Don I took your photos of mods as a guide and added that cord to the pack, it works good. Also, the mesh pocket from the Jam2 (similar to the mesh in above pic but durable, and stretchy) was added to the Ion and it holds a bunch of stuff. The lid pocket looks cool, I might try that too. Thanks again for the images. Mike

the mesh and loops were sewn into the channel
now Im off to make a shoulder pocket for my mp3

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 08/26/2008 13:44:41 MDT.

Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Ion this weekend on 08/31/2008 19:51:52 MDT Print View

Mike, I did a short hike this weekend with the Ion. I'm very happy with the comfort. I took a look at the OR drypack series at the outfitter on the way. Good ideas in their packs but generally uncomfortable compared to the Ion in my opinion. I think I'll tear mine down and add the back pouch like you did this winter and sew on some side pockets too. This will give me enough for the winter trips I take here in SC (around 32*).

I'd like to see the Ipod update when you do that. I don't carry a music player but a shoulder strap pocket for small stuff is an interesting idea.

How did you keep the mesh pocket and the grosgrain tabs lined up when re-sewing the inner seam? I'm pretty new to sewing so that question probably is as basic as it sounds to you.