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GoLite Jam2 vs. GoLite LiteSpeed w/o Frame
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Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
GoLite Jam2 vs. GoLite LiteSpeed w/o Frame on 07/03/2009 23:29:12 MDT Print View

I recently bought a Jam2 (currently in the mail) to replace my GoLite LiteSpeed pack. I figured I'm at the point now where I can go frameless.

A day after paying for the Jam2, I got to thinking.....how much lighter is this pack then if I just removed the internal frame in my LiteSpeed? The LiteSpeed's frame is easily removable because there is a velcro flap that opens and then the whole thing slides out.

So I removed the frame and weighed it at 10oz.

GoLite claims a full pound difference between these packs on their website (1lbs 10oz vs. 2lbs 10oz). So with the LiteSpeeds frame gone, it should only weigh 6oz more than the Jam2.

That's significantly more I guess, but my LiteSpeed also weighs 2.75oz less than GoLite claims (without modifications). I weighed mine on a very accurate professional scale at work at 1110 grams or 2lbs 7.25oz.

So if a Jam2 comes in right on the claimed weight, that would mean I've only saved 3.25oz for all my troubles. Hmm...I'm not sure that's worth $100 but I guess I can sell the LiteSpeed.

The reason I started this thread is twofold:
1) Is there any reason not to use the LiteSpeed without it's frame? Will the Jam2 carry better since it's designed as a frameless pack?

2) Perhaps the LiteSpeed is the superior pack, because for just a small 3oz weight penalty, you get a pack that can be frameless or internal frame depending on your trip. For people who want to try out frameless hiking it seems like a good way to test it out without committing to buying a frameless pack.

Besides the weight, the key difference between these is that the Jam2 uses your classic roll top closure whereas the LiteSpeed uses a zip. I've been really happy with the zip because it's super quick to open your pack and you can open it much further than a roll top pack, but on the other hand the roll top would win out if your load is a bit too big for the pack. It can be a pain trying to cram all your stuff in the LiteSpeed if you've over packed.

Besides this, they seem pretty similar. They both have hip pockets, the Brock padding, whistle, similar compression straps, compPacktor system etc.

The LiteSpeed does have the load lifter adjustment to pull your bag closer to your shoulders which the Jam2 lacks. These seems like a possible advantage in comfort.

Edited by dandydan on 07/03/2009 23:36:48 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
GoLite Jam2 vs. GoLite LiteSpeed w/o Frame on 07/04/2009 08:48:43 MDT Print View

The Jam is 'cut' a little different in that it has a slight 's-curve' to mold nicely to your back which should provide more comfort than your LiteSpeed with the fram pulled out. I would be interested in hearing your review when you get it.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Testing on 07/04/2009 12:33:37 MDT Print View

I'm taking my frameless LiteSpeed out tomorrow for a 1 nighter test. I'm going to climb a 4000ft mtn near my house, camp out and then return the next day. It should be a good introduction to frameless hiking. My pack (including food and fuel) is 15.5lbs.

Edited by dandydan on 07/06/2009 15:05:12 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Golite Jam2 vs. GoLite LiteSpeed w/o Frame on 07/04/2009 19:09:16 MDT Print View

At 15.5llbs it should be just perfect. Keep us abreast of your conclusions!

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: GoLite Jam2 vs. GoLite LiteSpeed w/o Frame on 07/04/2009 23:03:37 MDT Print View

But now you have one more pack :D

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Amazing on 07/06/2009 15:04:34 MDT Print View

So the overnighter went amazing (pack wise). I've never carried anything under 22lbs in my Lite-Speed previously(with the frame). On this trip I was 16lbs without the frame and it was WAY more comfortable than anything I've experience before. It REALLY sold me on the ultralight concept. With only 16lbs, the Lite-Speed pack seemed to conform to my back and I hardly noticed it. It blew me away.

I hiked about 5 miles on a trail and then bushwalked 4000 vertical feet up a mountain side to reach the summit...all in 3.5 hrs. If the Jam2 is anything like this I'm going to be very happy. Between the Jam2 and the Ultra 20 quilt that I've got in the mail, I'll be shaving off another 1.5lbs (although most trips will be longer than overnight so I'll have more food and fuel weight).

I'm really sold on this ultralight concept. Some new strategies I used this trip included:
- leaving behind the bowl and using my GSI single wall mug for everything
- leaving behind the rain pants (lucky there was no rain)
- bring my 1L pot instead of 1.5L
- cutting out only the part of the map that I needed. I'll tape it back in to the main map later...way easier to use this way too.
- no toothbrush, toothpaste, deoderant (hey it's only 1 night and my wife wasn't along)
- bringing a little bit of toilet paper instead of a whole roll
- etc

The non-amazing part of this trip was badly spraining my ankle by partially stepping on a rock while jogging down the trail (yes the pack was so light and comfy I was able to jog even after 3+ hrs on the trail). Thankfully I was about 95% of the way home so I could limp the rest of the way. I'm at work now and it's swollen up pretty good....hopefully I'm okay to mtn bike tomorrow.

Edited by dandydan on 07/06/2009 15:09:55 MDT.

Jeff Riegner
(jethro) - F

Locale: The Mid-Atlantic flatlands
Sprained ankle on 07/06/2009 21:46:45 MDT Print View

Dan, I hope your ankle heals quickly. I sprained mine while backpacking the day before Memorial Day, and I haven't been able to get back on the trail yet. It was my first time using trail runners, I was concerned about not having enough ankle support, and Murphy made a dramatic entrance. I'm going back to boots, at the least the rest of this year.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Ankle on 07/07/2009 12:34:27 MDT Print View

My ankle is quite colorful this morning.....it's all swollen with a lot of bleeding under the skin. Oh well....I'm just glad this happened on a short trip.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Ankle on 07/07/2009 12:50:19 MDT Print View

Don't feel too bad. I took a slide coming down Commanche Peak (Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Colorado) over the weekend. We had summitted Venable Peak less than an hour before, so my legs were about worn out (both 13K + elevation). I was going slow coming down knowing my legs felt weak. A loose rock gave way and, before I knew it, I was on my backside sliding down about 10' before I came to a halt. Trekking poles were no help it happened so fast. Along the way I felt my outer right ankle hurting, but wasn't real sure how the ankle turned. I thought it turned outward (pronation). Anyway, I got down on my own and it turned out to be only mild swelling with no bruising at all.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Litespeed on 07/22/2009 18:17:37 MDT Print View

To revive this topic.....I'm surprised I don't hear more about the LiteSpeed pack. A search of this website only revealed this thread and a lot of other websites have nothing on it.

In my opinion, the Litespeed pack makes a lot of sense for a lot of people. It's a relatively light (2lbs, 10oz) framed pack and you can remove the frame to save about 10oz. At that point, it basically becomes a Jam2 but a few ounces heavier because you have a more durable bottom, load lifter straps etc. This seems like a really great choice for people who aren't sure if they want a frameless pack and for people who sometimes carry heavier loads and want the option of using a frame.

When I'm using my Litespeed at sub 20lbs I find it extremely comfortable without the frame. I also generally like the zipper instead of the roll top because it's more waterproof and quicker to do up. The only time I prefer a roll top is when I've packed too much stuff.

On another note, I have a general tip about dealing with sprained ankles. If you badly sprain your ankle, you should NOT have several wobbly pops and then go clubbing until 3 AM with your friends who are feeding you non-stop whiskey sours. I can faintly recall telling my friends how great my ankle felt around 1 AM. Then I got home around 3am and noticed how my entire foot was pretty much solid purple. There was even bruising on the tops of my toes.

That was over 2 weeks ago and I'm still in a significant amount of pain. The swelling and bruising are gone, but it still bothers me. I can walk and hike now, but it seems really easy to re-injure. The slightest tweak is extremely painful. I think I may have some tendon damage.

Edited by dandydan on 07/22/2009 18:25:57 MDT.

Robert Recinos
(rgrrecinos) - F

Locale: Redwood City
LiteSpeed on 08/12/2009 10:41:27 MDT Print View

I just got my LiteSpeed also. Weight was 2lb 7oz I removed the internal frame and loaded it up with 32lbs. I used my Gosseamer sleeping pad to set up a virtual frame on the inside. I hiked a 5 mile loop where I live without using the hip belt. The pack rode fine, I felt pressure on my shoulders more without using the hip belt. Then on my second 5 mile loop I used the hip belt and the pressure easied up on my shoulders, it's to be expected. I bought this pack for its durability, also to use as my packrafting pack. I own the Golite Jam, for long hikes, REI Flash 30 pack for weekend camps.

I agree, the Golite LiteSpeed is very underrated pack that should not be overlooked.

647575757 347474747
(686425) - F
Litespeed side pockets... on 08/15/2009 17:23:07 MDT Print View

Do 32oz Gatorade bottles fit in the side pockets?

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
side pockets on 08/16/2009 01:09:32 MDT Print View

Sorta, they do fit but a bit of effort is required when the pack is full because the elastic at the top isn't very stretchy. It's a bit of a pain to do with one hand while hiking.

However, for 2009 GoLite went to a stretchier elastic at the top of these pockets. I have a 2009 Jam and it is WAY easier to get 32oz bottles in/out. I can easily do it with one hand while hiking. I used this pack for the first time about a week ago and I was amazed at how easy it was to get the bottles back in while hiking. I was taking small drinks just for fun while I was hiking because it was so easy to do. With the Lite-Speed I would sometimes get frustrated and ask a hiking partner to reinsert the bottles for me because they are a tight fit and thus it's hard to do with one hand.

I believe the Lite-Speed and Jam use the same side pockets. So the pre-2009 Lite-Speed and Jam have hard to use side pockets whereas the 2009 models for both packs should be easy to use. This is one of many nice improvements to the Jam for 2009.

Edited by dandydan on 08/16/2009 01:12:21 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Golite Jam and Litespeed on 08/16/2009 09:18:21 MDT Print View

Just out of curiousity, why buy the Litespeed and take out the frame v.s. just using a Jam? Unless you want a panel loader, the Jam is lighter and has Dyneema.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
? on 08/16/2009 11:06:02 MDT Print View

If you're asking me, I had the Lite-Speed first because I wanted to buy something lighter than my 7lbs North Face Catalyst 75 pack for a trip last summer. Time was tight, so I had to buy it locally and the Lite-Speed was all they had.

Now that I'm confident in going frameless I have bought a Jam and sold the Lite-Speed although the Lite-Speed is nearly as light with the frame removed. In hind site, it might not have been worth the money to switch to a Jam but I found a great deal so I was hardly out cash.

In comparison, the Jam feels a lot bigger than the specs imply. The Lite-Speed is rated at 49 litres and the Jam at 51 liters but I can get a lot more in the Jam. I think it's because you can cheat a lot at the top of the Jam if need be because it doesn't have a zipper but rather a roll top. These packs seem to be more like 45L and 55L respectively.

Besides the size, there isn't too much seperating them. The zip on the Lite-Speed is quick to do up if you aren't overloaded, but if you are overloaded it can be a pain and you worry about breaking the zip as you stretch it closed. Overall, I guess I like the roll top better because it always works good, but for reasonably sized loads that aren't bulging the pack then I prefer the zip. Kinda depends what you plan on carrying.

The back pocket/bungie cords are more usable on the Lite-Speed than the Jam's pocket because it's so elastic. I was able to shove a 7lbs, 3 person tent in there once my pack was already fully loaded. I don't really have a lot of gear I want to shove in a seperate pocket, but I do imagine I'll keep some stuff in the back pocket like rain gear, snacks, map etc. In a reasonable loaded Jam the back pocket is still quite usable. It's just not a huge pocket in the first place like the Lite-Speeds bungie pocket is.

Edited by dandydan on 08/16/2009 11:08:53 MDT.

Robert Recinos
(rgrrecinos) - F

Locale: Redwood City
Lite-Speed on 08/17/2009 09:58:01 MDT Print View

I got the Lite-speed years after my Jam. I have the origanl Jam and it has a lot of miles on it. I got the Lite-speed because it is very durable. I use it as my packrafting bag. I have bumped into rocks with my pack, have trees scrap against the sides bushwacking up the rivers do raft back down. So far no tears or damage on the Lite-speed. So durability was my first choice and the weight is my second choice. Beside for 28oz it sure protects the UL choices in gear I have inside.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Jam 2 on 08/17/2009 10:49:58 MDT Print View

I would think the Dyneema on the Jam is more durable than the 70d Cordura (or similar) on the LiteSpeed but I could be wrong.

647575757 347474747
(686425) - F
Pack fabric.... on 08/17/2009 11:51:51 MDT Print View

I want to know how Dyneema is lighter than 210d ripstop when Dyneema is actually just 210d ripstop with a dyneema reinforcement. Just doesn't make sense to me.

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Re: Pack fabric.... on 08/17/2009 12:11:33 MDT Print View

Rick. This depends largely on what Dyneema product we are talking about. Dyneema Gridstop is what you speak of. Dyneema fabric is not nylon, it is all dyneema and very expensive but absolutely bombproof.