New Golite Peak
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Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
New Golite Peak on 11/15/2009 21:53:52 MST Print View

Honestly, I don't think the Golite Peak is being geared towards the uber UL niche backpacking market that frequents this forum, although I think several may find a place for the Peak in their gear closet anyways :) It is definitely a multipurpose pack intended for a variety of users/applications, the pack volume and design seems perfect for peak bagging, overloaded day hikes, UL weekends or more, snowshoeing trips, whatever...

As a mainstream lightweight outdoor company I think the fact that Golite is increasing their sustainability, and is pushing the envelope in recycled materials/fabrics in much of their new line of gear, much like Patagonia has for years is of great merit. The extra ounces gained in using recycled materials personally for me is a non-issue. The volume on the Peak is much more manageable for dayhike usage than the Jam2, essentially the 36L Peak can easily be decreased to a sub 20L pack or less utilizing the Compaktor system and cinched down further with the 4 side compression straps. Bonus feature with the Peak, don't need the hipbelts, don't take them, at least they're included. I find the hipbelts on the Jam2 to provide some stability and comfort, but isn't always necessary, now you have that option with the Peak without having to literally cut them off. It seems that the Golite Peak is to the Jam2 as the MLD Prophet is to the Exodus, am I off here? However, no one seems to be finding that to be a pointless reiteration on behalf of MLD.

The MLD Prophet comes in at $170 base price, non-recycled materials, no bungee feature, no hipbelts, no hydration sleeve, all additional options you have to shell over money for on top of the base price/weight, this is going to bring the Prophet within a few ounces of the Peak and much more in cost. The Peak also doesn't leave you with bare Dyneema against your back on hot sweaty days, which is most of the season in NM for me. Don't get me wrong, I like and own MLD gear and think supporting the smaller guy is the way to go if you can afford it, I just think the Peak is being prematurely cast aside as another Golite "mistake" on behalf of some of the scrutinizing BPL members.

Edited by Eugeneius on 11/15/2009 21:59:06 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: New Golite Peak on 11/15/2009 22:34:32 MST Print View

"I don't think the Golite Peak is being geared towards the uber UL niche backpacking market that frequents this forum"

I'm not sure who this pack is aimed for but it seems like Golite IS targetting us with all the removable features. Who else besides a weight weenie would leave the waist strap at home? I think the problem might be that Golite is trying to target everybody with this pack and that's why it has some good features like this, but also a portly weight.

"It seems that the Golite Peak is to the Jam2 as the MLD Prophet is to the Exodus, am I off here? However, no one seems to be finding that to be a pointless reiteration on behalf of MLD."

I think most people agree that this size of pack is good but the weight is wrong and that is the main complaint. In the context of this site, most people use 40L packs for ultralight weekend trips where you are going to have a total pack weight around 8-20lbs. In this context, you don't need a 27oz frameless pack.

The MLD Prophet is 13.9oz and includes a hipbelt. Yeah it's more expensive and would weigh 15-17oz if you added some options to it, but that's still dramatically lighter for essentially the same thing. I'd happily pay an extra $50-$70 to shave off 10oz. I can think of a lot of things I would rather carry on a hiking trip for 10oz than recycled fabrics and breathable back mesh....some ideas include a good book, scotch, a much nicer camera etc.

I'm all for recycling, but I think using recycled fabrics in GoLite's 'ultralight' packs is a mistake. The 2010 Jam is 5oz heavier than the 2009 Jam for essentially the same design. The only changes I can see are the removable hipbelt and recycled fabrics. The release mechanism for the hipbelt looks pretty light, so most of this 5oz gain seems to be from the new fabrics which don't add any function.

Edited by dandydan on 11/15/2009 22:38:14 MST.

Lucas Boyer
(jhawkwx) - MLife

Locale: 38.97˚N, 95.26˚W
Re: recycled materials on 11/16/2009 08:20:38 MST Print View

For those who would like to use "recycled materials": How about buying someone's used Jam that they tossed to the side to buy the latest and greatest from Golite? Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle. MLD vs. Golite is apples and oranges. Until MLD off-shores to somewhere in China and moves in to the volume range of Golite, it's a moot point to compare. The narrow range of volume between a Prophet and Exodus/Ohm and Conduit reflects the thin line between short/long distance trips. I know that many people pack differently for a 1 or 2 night jaunt than they do for a multiday trek. However, I'm more likely to bring the same full seasonal kit on a 1 night or a 10 night trip. Thus, the only difference is food rations. Breaking this down further, one realizes that we plan for resupply in 4-6 days sometimes. Soon, you realize that one needs 3-4 days of additional food capacity to stretch from overnighter to multiday. Another thought. In the ULA inteview w/ the new owner, he points out that the Catalyst is their best selling pack. I speculate those of us using Ohms, Jams, Conduits, Prophets are even in the minority of UL hikers. This makes for a pretty exclusive group of backpackers. Of course we will find fault with Golite's offerings. We are a pinprick on their marketing radar. Emotional appeal is a big part of packs like the Peak. If utility was a mainstream selling point, we would all be driving small compact cars w/ a radio and steering wheel, rather than seeking out GPS, DVD, seatwarmers, et al. Sorry to digress in to a sociopolitical diatribe on consumer trends here, but something as simple as a backpack reflects the larger trend in mass marketing.

Disclaimer: my rants are in no way meant to scandalize Golite. They fill a very relevant role in the gear marketplace. Because they off-shore, etc., they can offer price points that many people in the market for gear need. A sale-price Jam for $80'ish vs. $170 Prophet is a deal breaker for many, if not most. Weight costs money, how low do you want to go?

Ali e, I applaud you for your efforts to take UL in to your daily life as well. I'm formulating my move from way too much real estate to mortgage free living right now. I like the sail boat, but my wife gets terribly seasick every time we sail.

Edited by jhawkwx on 11/16/2009 08:22:04 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Golite Peak on 11/16/2009 08:34:22 MST Print View

"I'm not sure who this pack is aimed for but it seems like Golite IS targetting us with all the removable features. "

Well this is what I was trying to get at with my original posts. If you have ever climbed with a harness, a removable hipbelt is ideal. A pack that can be stripped for alpine climbs is ideal too. I am not saying this is what Golite intended, but I am thinking that they are pursuing the active pursuits of outdoors people rather than just the groomed trail multiday backpacker.

By the way, this pack is not too heavy. My muscles could handle it.....;)

(but I don't like frameless packs so this one is not even on my radar screen.)

Alexander Laws
(goldenmeanie) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
belt on 11/16/2009 09:38:13 MST Print View

Dan, I did not weigh the hip belts once off the pack. :( sorry.

As for a comparo... I was in no way comparing the Peak to the Prophet... Golite vs. MLD... uh-uh. I was simply stating that after giving the Peak the ol' college try, I feel the MLD Prophet will better suit 'my' needs, and therefore I am happy to spend an extra 25 dollars (accounting for tax and shipping on the Peak...REI)for the MLD Prophet.

I was looking for a smaller pack for summer - 3 season overnighters in Cali. I didn't even fill the Peak. Summerlite, Neo small, an 1/8 inch GG thinlight, caldera esbit keg, layers, a bit of food, water, and a few essential odds and ends. Left the tarp at home since, if I had to, I could just bail into the Contrail my brother brought along.

It was a nice pack. I just felt I could Go-Lite-er ;)

Lucas... Excellent points!
David... Yes, this pack is not too heavy... most anyones muscles could handle it... but, this is backpacking light, not backpacking butch ;)

Edited by goldenmeanie on 11/16/2009 10:21:07 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
GoLite Peak first impressions on 12/08/2009 23:00:45 MST Print View

Got mine tonight :)

Hip belt and pockets: 4.6oz

Foam back pad: 1.6oz.

Pack body: 1lb 6oz.

I like it-- not a smidgen of buyer's remorse. Could it be lighter? Sure. Is is light enough? Works for me. It's not a 5oz wonder, but it's not a 3lb anchor either.

Things I like:

The large model fits my long torso. The hips pockets land in just the right spot.

The side pockets are better than I thought from the illustration. Big enough for 1 liter bottles and deep enough to keep them put.

The Compactor system is good. The hooks and eye loops on the bottom beg for some bungee loops for rain gear, pads, etc. The compression straps all have mating hardware on the opposite side so they can be used across the pack for strapping items down. You can squeeze it down all around for day hikes.

The foam back panel is comfortable. I think the weight issues are negligible-- it is open mesh foam and can't weigh much. I'm hoping it is good when the weather is hot-- I'm a walking fountain. The internal pad comes out in a jiffy and my Therm-a-Rest ProLite small pad folded in quarters drops in there like it was made for it. In fact the ProLite tends to fold with a taper, matching the shape of the GoLite pad-- larger at the bottom.

The hip belt and pocket design is clever. You get some stabilization and some storage without a wide strap on the belt and a big ol' buckle to go with it. The actual webbing is 3/4" stuff and the buckle is the same hardware as the compression straps. The pockets come off and on easily-- just remember where you put them. The pockets are big enough to actually be useful-- even a bit bigger wouldn't bother me. You can take the pockets off and still use the belt, but it would be a simple stabilizer strap and not load bearing.

The back pocket is big enough for quick items-- rain gear, maps, first aid kit, latrine kit, snacks, etc.

The fabric is different. Feels like typical coated pack cloth and it's no fairy light stuff-- seems pretty tough and I'm sure that it is contributing a lot to the weight. Then again, your not going to rip it on every twig or in a stuffing wrestling match.

Is it a Jam Jr.? No, and it isn't an Ion "Plus" either. I wouldn't get hung up trying to see it as a generation of the other packs-- it is a whole other design. It you are doing mostly overnight and day trips I think this is a one pack solution.

Should GoLite make a SUL Ion "Plus" with pockets, etc? Heck yeah! This stuff all gets worked over by a design team (read "committee") and compromises are always made. I think that is one reason the cottage designers can get the SUL stuff made, as they can go for the lightest possible designs *and* they can afford to market in a niche industry. GoLite's Web budget alone would take care of a couple cottage outfits.

donald buckner
(toomanyarrows)

Locale: Southeast U.S.
Pack purchase on 01/22/2012 17:08:42 MST Print View

I saw that Golite was having a sale on their packs in the "Gear Deals" section, and started researching what was out there, and what I was wanting. I'm really glad to read Dale's comments because he seems like a long time contributor and reasonable fellow. I read Will and Janet's review and it sounds like the pack will be perfect for me. I wanted a comfortable pack that had pockets everywhere I needed without being overly complicated, and I wanted a pack made of material that was somewhat bomber for brush and travel. I didn't want an internal frame 3.5# pack like my Gregory.(Soon to be for sale).My kit is fairly small, so I didn't need a huge amount of space, and 12-14# would be my normal carry weight. For $69 including shipping, this pack really seems like a deal. I love a deal. Usually, I'm not willing to pay large amounts of cash for small weight savings, although I have done this on occasion. (BPL Cocoon pullover comes to mind). To be honest, the Golite packs are so good of a deal on sale, that I wish I could have afforded to get a Jam and a Pinnacle also, to cover every possible hunting/backpacking situation, all for the price of one of the more expensive options out there. I usually do day trips or 2 or 3 day trips, so I think this pack will work well for me.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Why not? on 01/22/2012 17:23:28 MST Print View

My thought is "why not" yes you can get lighters but its still light. Its small enough to make a nice day pack too.

No I haven't used the Peak because I already have similar packs but if I didn't I'd take a good look at it.

K C
(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
Re: Golite Peak on 01/22/2012 17:36:08 MST Print View

The bottom line is that packs like the zpacks zero have a life expectancy, there is a six moons swift for sale here on gear trade with holes in it and the seams are blown out. The Golite has a lifetime warrantee, it is cheap, and extremely durable, it will last ten years easy. For the average person that can't spend $1000 on a 900 down quilt/cuben tarp/cuben pack alone to shave ounces, you can buy a durable pack like the peak, make your own sil tarp, and buy an enlightened quilt for under $300 and still have a base weight under 10 pounds. And try throwing your sil or cuben pack on the ground when you get to camp without flinching, just saying...

Edited by KalebC on 01/22/2012 17:37:54 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Golite Peak on 01/22/2012 18:02:16 MST Print View

Even if it isn't the lightest option out there the Peak does a lot of little things right. For example I like the compression system. Even if my gear fits in fairly snug I want a compression systme to tighten things up a bit. This improves the load bearing ablity of the pack a lot. My Burn doesn't carry so well due to a lousy compression system (probably going on gear swap once I make a better pack).
The hipbelt pockets add some weight but they are handy. They can replace your camera pouch and save weight there. The side pockets are nice for drinking on the go (I used to have a Golite Jam). The front pocket is handy for keeping maps etc. in.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re Re Golite Peak on 01/22/2012 18:56:39 MST Print View

It's on okay pack. It definitley does everything that you want a frameless pack to do. The removable back panel is nice because I don't carry a pad in summer. The front pocket is the perfect size.
For me, the hip belt is all weird. Does not fit right. I just go without the pads/pockets and use the strap by itself. The shoulder pads are just right.
With a z lite inside and some kind of removable stay this thing can carry a good amount of weight, the only probably was the hip belt digging into me. I might sew on a hip belt sleeve and find some kind of more padded belt.
With it's extra comfort, I think it lends itself better to dry summer hiking when you are carrying extra water (which is very heavy for it's volume) especially if you add a stay.