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UL BAckpacks
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Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
UL BAckpacks on 09/27/2009 22:42:13 MDT Print View

There are often pre-Christmas sales as well. Keep an eye out, especially on the internet. Sometimes you can hit the jackpot with Google price comparisons. I just ordered a Deuter Fox 30 pack for my 9-year-old grandson at $30 off the list price, free shipping, free return shipping if needed. If it works for him on a trial hike (I asked his Dad to take him out with 10 lbs. for at least 2 hours), then I'll do some butchery ("Backpacks Updated Through Creative High End Remodeling") (quote courtesy of a poster on Practical Backpacking) to reduce the weight of the pack. There aren't as many gewgaws on it as on the REI Comet; I may just remove the lid.

Back to the Wind Rivers (slight hijack, sorry!): I really enjoyed your trip report! For your info, a long-time regular poster on The Lightweight Backpacker ( is publishing an off-trail guidebook to the Wind Rivers. She has spent the last few summers there doing research for it. It's scheduled for publication in November. If her photos and trip reports on TLB are any indication, it will be a real treat!

Edited by hikinggranny on 09/27/2009 22:53:44 MDT.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
hire a llama on 09/28/2009 07:45:29 MDT Print View

Hiking in the Wind a llama to carry your gear!

For other sources for scales, google "kitchen scales"

Edited by rambler on 09/28/2009 07:48:01 MDT.

David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
ULA - best in my experience on 09/28/2009 12:21:14 MDT Print View

I agree that the catalyst is probably too large, but ULA makes some of the best packs available for the UL market. Certainly others are lighter.

I carried the SMD Starlite on a JMT thru-hike and it was fine though I sold it after the hike. It was actually too large for me even with a canister. I have two ULA packs, the Conduit and the no longer made AMP. Both excellent quality. I have also used the FF, Zpack and MLD packs. For an all around pack capable of 1-2 weeks for UL backpacking, the ULA Conduit is my pick. For a weekend, I have an MLD pack (no longer manufactured) that weighs about 3.5 ounces that suits me just fine.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Starlite is a good choice on 09/28/2009 16:08:23 MDT Print View

I'd like to put in a plug for the Starlite. I've been using mine since I got it for Christmas in 2004 (nice surprise, I might add.) It carries plenty of gear, works well up to about 35 pounds, and weighs under 2 lbs with the stays. The pack does work best if you use a Thermarest or a 3/4-length Z-rest in the pad pocket. (So I don't really want a Neoair or the like.)

Jeff Rodman
( - F
UL backpack - Dave Nuemann on 09/28/2009 21:18:16 MDT Print View

First, thanks to all that have offered insight. It is greatly appreciated!

For Dave Nuemann, I'm curious to know what was the duration of your JMT trip? JMT is on my list, and is one of the reasons I am moving in the UL direction. Also, if it isn't too much to ask, what was in your pack? I'm curious to know what you carried, how much did it weigh.

Yesterday i weighed all my equipment, and am looking at what seems out of line with other experienced UL'ers. I see some blatant items that need adjusting, but other things ie first aid kits, hats, gloves, etc. i'm not so sure.


David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
JMT and UL Pack on 09/28/2009 22:38:10 MDT Print View

Jeff, I did the JMT in 9.5 days. I don't hike particularly fast (average 2 mph) but I put in a lot of hours on the trail. I think my pack weighed an average of about 19 pounds without water. Of course that fluctuated depending on the number of days of food I needed to carry. My base weight was probably 9-10 pounds with requisite food canister. I have since been able to reduce that base weight w/o a canister to around five to six pounds. I was able to hike the Wonderland trail this summer with a base weight just slightly less than 6 pounds.

You can read my JMT journal and see what gear I carried at: I now carry a 16 ounce sleeping bag (Montbell), 3.5 ounce pad (Gossamer Gear), 15-20 ounce backpack (ULA Amp or Conduit) and either a MLD Patrol Tarp or BD OneShot tent. There is also a link to my Wonderland trip and you can see the difference in gear carried. I brought the OneShot because of the typical weather on Mt. Rainier, but if I hike the JMT again, I will definitely go with the tarp.