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Ultralight (or even lightweight) panel loading packs
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Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Ultralight (or even lightweight) panel loading packs on 03/03/2010 23:40:36 MST Print View

I've spent far too long hunting for lightweight panel loading packs, so I'll post the few I've found:

SMD Traveler 878g/31oz 62L http://sixmoondesigns.com/shop/shopexd.asp?id=59

GG Latitude Vapour 1190g/42oz 62L http://www.granitegear.com/products/backpacks/ultralight/latitudevapor.html

Kelty 3100 Redwing 1500g/53oz 51L http://www.kelty.com/p-27-redwing-3100.aspx

Golite Litespeed 1190g/42oz 35L http://www.golite.com/Product/ProdDetail.aspx?p=150004110&mc=175&lat=

There are plenty of other panel loaders around but all are 2kg+ (eg Eagle Creek, Osprey 2010 Aether etc).

edit: added Golite Litespeed

Edited by adrianb on 03/04/2010 00:08:38 MST.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Golite Litespeed on 03/03/2010 23:46:39 MST Print View

Its pretty light and quite simple and comfy carried the last gen on a 100km trip and my friend swears by his.

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Golite Litespeed on 03/04/2010 00:09:24 MST Print View

Thanks - looks like a nice pack, the volume is a little on the small side though, it's a pity they don't do a larger version.

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Re: Golite Litespeed on 03/04/2010 00:18:38 MST Print View

...actually I wonder if the 35L volume stated on the site is wrong, it would be awfully strange to drop 15L from the volume from the older version.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Old litespeed on 03/04/2010 01:13:25 MST Print View

some times their on Sierra trading post for about 80USD i got mine for $50

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Ultralight (or even lightweight) panel loading packs on 03/04/2010 01:56:06 MST Print View

ULA Camino: 1.18 kg, 59 L, 'up to 18 kg load', Panel loader.
Not sure whether it has reached their web site yet.

Cheers

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Ultralight (or even lightweight) panel loading packs on 03/04/2010 03:24:27 MST Print View

Don't forget the venerable Mountainsmith Ghost! Great pack. Too bad it's not being made anymore.

I still have my 2006 GoLIte Lightspeed. It's not small. I'd say it is bigger than the Ghost in volume, and perhaps even too big for most UL 3-season backpacking.

By the way, whatever happened to Mountainsmith? You just don't hear about them anymore.

Edited by butuki on 03/04/2010 03:25:54 MST.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Re: Re: Golite Litespeed on 03/04/2010 06:01:39 MST Print View

When we were looking at the Lightspeed packs, I noticed that the women's pack was significantly smaller in volume than the men's pack. Something like 2200 cubic inches versus 3000. That was a year or so ago, though, so it could be different now.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
"Ultralight (or even lightweight) panel loading packs" on 03/04/2010 06:29:36 MST Print View

Perfect timing. I was just listening to an old Trailcast podcast interviewing Brian Frankle. He was saying that he had people wanting to make a panel loader. He said he would never do it because it went his core principles of pack design. Why introduce a component that when it fails would be catastrophic. New owners,new mentality. I don't have so much in my pack these days to see the need myself.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Panel loading packs on 03/04/2010 08:02:19 MST Print View

Love Panel Loaders.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 07/08/2013 13:15:05 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Ultralight (or even lightweight) panel loading packs on 03/04/2010 08:43:48 MST Print View

The new Osprey Stratos 36 is a 3#/1.36kg panel loader. Much improved over older models. Not quite at the 2kg mark is the Gregory Z65. Other option is to find a pack you like, then just sew in some zippers.

http://www.ospreypacks.com/Packs/StratosSeriesDayHikingVentilated/Stratos36/

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: "Ultralight (or even lightweight) panel loading packs" on 03/04/2010 10:16:46 MST Print View

Ken:

Might you be referring to the zipper as the "component that would be catastrophic when it fails"?

Anything can fail -- including shoulder straps and certainly plastic buckles. But two thoughts:

1. Millions and millions of people use zippered luggage for their travels -- and the rigors of traveling are on a scale vastly more demanding than hiking. Quality zippers rarely fail -- even after decades of use -- unless users habitually and grossly overpack -- which is a misuse, of course.

2. But should a zipper fail, one can always improvise and secure one's pack with duck tape, tent cords, or what have you. It's not hard, and rarely 'catastrophic'.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: "Ultralight (or even lightweight) panel loading packs" on 03/04/2010 10:24:38 MST Print View

@Ben, that's what I was thinking, too. Not only that, but millions of people use zippered panel-loading backpacks every single day and the zippers rarely come apart.

I also thought, well, if a slash happened to open in the side of a top-loading pack, wouldn't that be just as "catastrophic"?

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
What does panel loading mean? on 03/04/2010 11:32:45 MST Print View

What does "panel loading" mean?

I'm extremely happy with my current backpack (a Mountainsmith Ghost - which is apparently a panel loader!).

But am just curious what the term means and why you prefer it (or why some people do not prefer it).

Elizabeth

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: What does panel loading mean? on 03/04/2010 11:36:14 MST Print View

Elizabeth,

While a "traditional" top loader has the collar / extension collar on top of the pack with a drawcord opening, a panel loader offers access to pack contents via the FRONT of the pack via a zipper (usually an inverted horseshoe shape).

One advantage is the ability to access stuff in the bottom of the pack without having to remove stuff on top.

Todd

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: What does panel loading mean? on 03/04/2010 14:17:50 MST Print View

Todd has described a panel loader. Perhaps their main use is for hostelling: you can put your pack down flat on your bunk, open it up, and access everything without having to empty your pack. Can be useful!

Cheers

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Ultralight (or even lightweight) panel loading packs" on 03/04/2010 19:35:36 MST Print View

I was paraphrasing what Brian had said in his Trailcast interview.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Ultralight (or even lightweight) panel loading packs" on 03/04/2010 20:06:30 MST Print View

Sorry Ken, I re-read your post and missed it the first time. Methinks Brian's fear of catastrophe is overblown on both counts: frequency and magnitude.

Pamela Peng
(WuffRuff) - F
Only two ultralightweight backpacks?!! on 10/06/2011 17:07:19 MDT Print View

Of the bags mentioned,
GG Latitude Vapour - Out of production; not found on website
Mountainsmith Ghost - Out of production.
Kelty 3100 Redwing - Looks like out of production too; not found on website. Also, is not light at 1.5kg/ 53oz.
GoLite Litespeed - At 35L, is too small (women's even smaller!)
McHale - Exhorbitant prices in the range of $600 upwards!

What's left is:
SMD Traveler - Out of stock (but I guess you can get it if you're patient)
ULA Camino

Is there really nothing else?
I am looking for an ultralight panel-loader for travelling.
I've only managed to find the two I've mentioned.
Sigh.

Pamela Peng
(WuffRuff) - F
And only one with internal frame on 10/06/2011 17:27:32 MDT Print View

And if you're looking for a panel-loader with internal frame, then the ULA Camino is the only one I have found.
Please post if you know of any others.