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Favorite UL Backpack
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Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Favorite UL Backpack on 05/03/2010 22:35:27 MDT Print View

What is your favorite backpack and why???

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Favorite UL Backpack on 05/03/2010 22:38:22 MDT Print View

Do you mean a current product, or a previous product?


Jeff Antig

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Favorite UL Backpack on 05/03/2010 22:42:38 MDT Print View

Unfortunately, I haven't found it yet!

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

current or previous on 05/03/2010 22:45:42 MDT Print View

current or previous...If you had to sell everything but one backpack which one would you keep?

Why haven't you found it yet???

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: current or previous on 05/03/2010 22:52:33 MDT Print View

I'm showing my vintage on this comment, but I started into UL backpacking between 1980 and 1982. There weren't many light packs on the market then, but I ended up with three made by Alpenlite (Ventura, California, I think). There was a tiny model at 1500 cubic inches that weighed one pound, then a medium one, maybe 2600 cubic inches that weighed 24 ounces, and a large one, maybe 4000 cubic inches that weighed about two pounds. My best trips were done with the tiny model and a total load of about 14-15 pounds. I've more or less retired those. They had an interesting wire mesh imbedded in foam for a back panel.

Now, my current favorite is the Golite Breeze.


Jeff Antig

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: current or previous on 05/03/2010 23:04:31 MDT Print View

"Why haven't you found it yet???"

I've only been trying frameless packs so far. I guess I'm not a big fan of them. I'm trying to look for a pack that would take some weight off my shoulders and distribute it onto my waist. The flimsy waist belt on the MLD Revelation is just not cutting it.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Favorite UL Backpack on 05/03/2010 23:10:43 MDT Print View

I have two packs:

o Mountainsmith Ghost -- light internal frame for loads up to 30lbs.
o Zpack Z1 frameless - for loads between 20-25lbs.

Being the minimalist that I am, I would like my next pack to be something like a MLD Exodus -- but with a removable internal frame (either stay or Delrin rods) -- that can replace both my current packs.

Ron -- Is this something you can do?

Edited by ben2world on 05/03/2010 23:13:02 MDT.

Jeff K
(jeff.k) - F

Locale: New York
Re: Re: Favorite UL Backpack on 05/03/2010 23:15:05 MDT Print View


Would the Gossamer Gear Gorilla work for you? The stays are removable and you can remove the waist belt as well if you would like.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Gorilla? on 05/03/2010 23:17:43 MDT Print View

Ben, how about a GG Gorilla? I'm sure you're aware of it, but it seems just like what you described.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
UL Pack on 05/03/2010 23:19:20 MDT Print View

Golite Jam2 from 2007. The one skurka used for across the west. trimmed down its under a lb and super durable fabric.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: No Gorilla on 05/03/2010 23:21:40 MDT Print View

Hi Jeff and Scott:

GG packs are a poor fit for me -- likely because of my narrow chest -- their ultra-wide shoulder straps invariably cut into me.

Edited by ben2world on 05/03/2010 23:22:22 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Favorite UL Backpack on 05/03/2010 23:41:11 MDT Print View

Not quite UL, but my 1995 model Six Moon Designs Comet (unfortunately discontinued) with the removable stays weighs 27 oz. When I first got it, I loaded it up with my gear and the weight/volume equivalent of a week's food and started walking around the house with it. A very boring "hike," except for my delight in discovering that the pack felt as though it had been custom-made just for me!

My shoulders (a bit arthritic) are really pressure-sensitive, so the load-lifters on the SMD pack are a Godsend. I just hope it holds up as long as I do, because it is no longer made and the SMD Starlight is quite a bit bigger than I need.

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Golite on 05/04/2010 00:41:32 MDT Print View

It's probably not the best all around due to its diminutive size but my favorite pack ever is my size large Golite Ion. I'd have a really hard time getting rid of it due to it's slim (hard to snag) profile, light weight, and utter simplicity.

Edited by veriest1 on 05/04/2010 00:42:20 MDT.

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
MLD Prophet on 05/04/2010 00:54:20 MDT Print View

MLD Prophet with removable hip belt. It has served me well.


Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Golite Jam2 2008 on 05/04/2010 04:07:22 MDT Print View

My 2008 Golite Jam2 is awesome. Light, durable, minimalist. My wife and I have upgraded lots of our gear since we made our first UL purchases. Our packs have stuck around. I can't see buying another pack until this one wears out.

Jack Newton
(figster) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas
Zpack on 05/04/2010 05:49:39 MDT Print View

Zpack Zilch is my favorite pack. Runner up is the GoLite Ion. I like the Zilch for its super light weight, smaller capacity, and general awesomeness. To put it better, the Zilch is to backpacking what Mark Twain was to American literature.

I am certain that both Robinson Caruso and Ghandi would have preferred this pack while perfecting citizenry.

It is also true that if you examined the Zilch's craftsmanship it smacks of the Taj Mahal.



carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Osprey Exos 34 on 05/04/2010 06:12:24 MDT Print View

I had tried six packs, foam frame, internal frame and external frame before I ordered the Exos. It is the proper size for my needs and fits me perfectly. I load it to about 25 pounds. At 2 pounds it is not the lightest but the most comfortable.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
GG Gorilla hybrid on 05/04/2010 06:26:35 MDT Print View

I haven't used enough packs to have a experience-backed favorite, but if I had the MYOG skills, I'd reverse engineer my GG Gorilla and make it out of 1.5oz cuben.

The 2800ci capacity covers me for everything but the dead of winter, and while 99.9% of the time now I can go frameless(and often hip belt-less) I'm happy to sacrifice the small amount of weight to have a removeable aluminum frame.

I love the hip belt fit, I like the Y-strap on top for securing my bear cannister when necessary(or snowshoes in the winter). Unlike a lot of people, I don't find the shoulders straps to be too wide. I like the external pad pocket. I find the side pockets easily accessible and well-sized.

If the 200D fabric out of which the entire body of the Gorilla is made weighs 4oz/sq yd, replacing it with 1.5oz cuben would cut the the 18.66oz weight of my Gorilla (pack body and hipbelt only) down to maybe 8 oz. Add in the hip belt pocket, shoulder and hip belt padding, sternum strap and some shock cord for compression (~2.5oz all together) and I have a 10.5oz frameless pack. Add the 3.39oz aluminum frame(I much prefer the single piece Gorilla frame to the separate stays of my SMD Starlite) and I've got a 3.5 season framed pack for under a pound.

Add maybe 400-500ci capacity to the body, (and a good compression system for smaller loads) and I could probably use the Gorilla year-round, since my winter trips will almost always be overnighters(never more than two nights) and the frame would provide comfort for heavier loads.

Edited by jrmacd on 05/04/2010 06:31:47 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Favorite UL Backpack" on 05/04/2010 06:34:47 MDT Print View

I definitely have (PADD) pack attention deficit disorder, so I stick with packs, or have, for short periods of time. Honestly, I like mixing it up and trying new ones.

Currently my favorite UL pack is the ULA Ohm! This one is staying. I like the simplicity, the compression system and pretty much every practical feature Brian Frankle put on that pack! It carries loads like a dream.

My MLD Burn is about 4 weeks away, so its very possible the Burn may be the new reigning pack in my UL life.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Favorite UL Backpack on 05/04/2010 06:44:22 MDT Print View

I have yet to find one but here is what I am thinking. Take the Six Moon Designs 2010 Swift and add Gossamer Gear style frame with MLD's shoulder strap's.