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Jam, Peak, or Lite-Speed Pack
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John Taylor
(jtaylor) - F - M

Locale: Shenandoah
Jam, Peak, or Lite-Speed Pack on 05/11/2010 15:29:56 MDT Print View

This weekend I was playing around with my summer load and was able to fit everything into a 1500 cubic inch day pack, excluding food and water. So I'm considering retiring my Virga from summer use. Perhaps a pack in the 2000 cubic inch range would be just the ticket.

I would like to hear opinions on the Jam vs. Peak vs. Lite-Speed packs from Golight. My base load is around 6 pounds of gear, total weight will be 10 or less.

Lets hear those opinions.

Edited by jtaylor on 05/11/2010 15:31:01 MDT.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
jam vs lightspeed on 05/11/2010 15:36:43 MDT Print View

I own a jam, my gf owns a lite-speed. Jam is frameless, while litespeed has a HDPE sheet with 2 bendable aluminum stays. Jam is a top loader, with a roll top, while the Light-speed is a panel loader.

For a load as light as your own, go with the jam. Theres no need for a true frame/suspension if you're working with 20lbs or less. Lightspeed is heavier than the jam, and built for heavier loads b/c of its frame and loadlifters. It also has a cushier hipbelt. No experience with the peak, but i've heard that the hip belt load transfer sucks.

If you can, find an 08 or 09 jam. Its lighter than than the 10'
08 is lighter than 09, but lacks the hipbelt pockets of the 09. 10' got heavier because of recycled materials, and a bunch of doodads that didn't help performance (ie more complex sternum strap system)

Depending on what your torso size is, you can get away with the women's 2009 jams (usually can be found for 50-80 dollars online) I have a 18.5 torso, and wear a women's med jam. My only complaint about the jam is the really soft foam they use for the frame. It collapses under very little weight, making packing technique crucial. I fixed this problem by adding a length of corrugated plastic to back up the foam. It rides much better now

However, If I were you, I would be looking at the ULA conduit, ULA ohm, or MLD burn. Their volume to weight ratios are better than any of the options you've asked about. You have a very light baseweight...keep it that way

Edited by Konrad1013 on 05/11/2010 15:45:01 MDT.

Frank Steele
(knarfster) - F

Locale: Arizona
NewJAM on 05/11/2010 15:40:25 MDT Print View

I tried the new "JAM" and it weighed 31 oz. Plus I have a 18 inch torso and the medium was way too small for me. Same with the Lite-speed. Too short and weighs too much. I can see what you mean about the Virga, without a pad in there mine is waaay huge.

The SMD Swift '10 is only 18 oz and the main compartment is 2300.

Maybe the Murmur from GG at only 8 oz, has a 1700 cu in main, and total of 2200.

Edited by knarfster on 05/11/2010 15:44:46 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Packs on 05/11/2010 16:00:11 MDT Print View

With a 6 lbs base weight and 10lbs total load, you don't need a framed pack. The Peak sounds like it is proper size and type of pack for your load. However, you might want to look at some lighter options than the Peak since your baseweight is so darn low. IIRC, the Peak is about 26oz and you can get a similarly sized pack from MLD (the Burn) for about 10oz. It all depends on what features you want though.

John Taylor
(jtaylor) - F - M

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: NewJAM on 05/11/2010 16:09:34 MDT Print View

Exactly what I mean about the Virga. I love that pack, had it for years and years. But, it has been too large for too long, and once I switched to a Neo pad, well, lets just say it does not work any longer for me.

John Taylor
(jtaylor) - F - M

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: jam vs lightspeed on 05/11/2010 16:12:46 MDT Print View

The ULA packs look nice, but they are just too darn big. Something around the 2000 cubic inch range, say 1800 - 2200 would probably work.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

1950ci on 05/11/2010 16:26:45 MDT Print View

1950 cubic inches, 2200 cubes with extension collar, 9.75oz, $135:

Edited by dandydan on 05/11/2010 16:27:36 MDT.

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
Jam, Peak, or Lite-Speed Pack on 05/11/2010 16:46:42 MDT Print View

Why not the GG Murmur?

Highly recommendable pack. Weighs nothing. USD 90.

Love mine!

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
murmer on 05/11/2010 17:03:35 MDT Print View

I'll echo - the GG Murmer sounds like a great option for you at a very reasonable price. One of the smaller MLD packs would also be a good bet. If you're willing to wait, Zpacks has some great cuben packs for reasonable prices.

Edited by trevor83 on 05/11/2010 17:04:13 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Jam, Peak, or Lite-Speed Pack on 05/11/2010 17:57:59 MDT Print View

+2 for the Murmur.

ross erickson
(themaestro) - F

Locale: colorado
SUL packs on 05/11/2010 17:59:26 MDT Print View

if your only wanting a golite pack go with the peak! but their are lighter options.

i love my GG murmur. super comfortable and super light!

mountain laurel designs prophets main pack body is 2000 cubic inches weighing in at 14 oz. or you can squeeze for the burn w/ 1500 cubic inches in the main body weighing a little over 9 oz. like the qolite packs these are made of dyneema but weigh a lot less.

zpacks makes some great cuben fiber packs and now also available in dyneema. these packs are tough and weigh insanely light!

these 3 companies offer customizing options which is a big plus in my book!

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Jam, Peak, or Lite-Speed Pack on 05/12/2010 09:48:05 MDT Print View

I bought the Peak about two months ago hoping to find a good, lightweight daypack. I was very disappointed, It is heavy and immediately comes across as a miniaturized Jam, without proper thought gone into what had to be changed with the reduction in size. The hip-belt pockets are a joke... way too heavy for their purpose, too small, and so much in the way that I removed them (they're removable). The side straps remain in the same position they would be on the taller Jam, so that the upper side straps, when cinched closed, lie right along the upper lip of the pack, barely functioning as side straps there. And the worst part is the extension collar. The top of the pack ends right where the shoulder strap attachment points end, but the extension collar is so short that there is no extra fabric left to roll over when the pack is full to its normal capacity, certainly not enough fabric to actually use it as an extension collar. I'm going to sew on an extra flap of fabric to the present extension collar just to give the pack some additional roll down space at the top.

The pack does ride well and carries a load reasonably well, but I often found that when filling the pack up it tended to fold over right at the midpoint on the back panel. I think this has to do with the placement of the shoulder straps. I now use a Gossamer Gear U-frame from my Miniposa to give some structure to the pack... but of course that increases the weight.

I'd discourage anyone from buying the Peak. It wasn't well thought out and has more problems then it's worth.

Edited by butuki on 05/12/2010 10:03:10 MDT.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Re: Jam, Peak, or Lite-Speed Pack on 05/12/2010 12:32:51 MDT Print View

thanks for the input Miguel. Did you find that the hipbelt transfered weight, if any, to the hips? It seems like the velcro attachment point in 2 points on each wing, wouldn't do that great of a job putting the load on the hips.

Does each wing have enough length so that if you wanted to, you could securely sew them directly onto the pack? or do you think the wings are short enough, that if you were to do so, they would bring the hipbelt and pockets too far back, thus making access to them awkward

Edited by Konrad1013 on 05/12/2010 12:34:08 MDT.

John Taylor
(jtaylor) - F - M

Locale: Shenandoah
Looking at MLD and GG on 05/12/2010 15:09:38 MDT Print View

Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. I'm looking over the MLD and GG packs. Wish I could try them out before ordering...

Sounds like the Peak is not a good option, not well designed. I wonder if I could strip the backpad and other weight reduction ideas to the Jam. Just looking at the options.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Looking at MLD and GG on 05/12/2010 16:00:39 MDT Print View

"I wonder if I could strip the backpad and other weight reduction ideas to the Jam."

Hey John, if im reading this correctly, you're wondering if you can take out the foam pad inside the jam, and youre also looking for other things to strip off?

The foam pad is def removable, but it provides structure to the pack...even if its not that substantial to begin with. Without the foam pad provided, or at least some other foam pad in place (perhaps one that you would sleep on anyways), the pack will not carry that well. The jam is pretty sparse on features as it is. You can strip weight if you cut trim the side compression straps. However, you will lose the ability of them to connect across the front of the pack. Right now they are long enough to do that. This applies only to the 2009 version. The 2008 version has side compression straps that are shorter, and with buckles that do not mate across the front. You could remove the ice axe loops and retainers on both the 08 and 09 version. I've heard some people tearing off the front pocket altogether off their jams. The hydration sleeve is an ounce in itself, and removable without much loss of functionality. If you think that you will be using the entire width volume of the jam, then you can remove the "compaktor" (or whatever the system is called) clips and loops for a wee bit of savings. You could always trim the shoulder straps, and waist belt straps to fit your body. The strap that lashes across the roll top can be trimmed if you don't ever think you'll need the extra height volume that the roll top provides. In which case you could probably even trim out the roll top, or replace with lighter silnylon if youre into DIY

Most of the weight gain from the 08 to the 09 jams comes from the addition of hipbelt pockets, which are very usable imo, and the mesh backpad. The mesh backpad is the heaviest addition, and not that functional in my opinion. However, you can't really strip this off. Theres only a very thin layer of fabric underneath the mesh, and its definitely not dyneema. So if you removed the mesh, you would risk exposing a very thin part of the pack, compromising long term durability. The 2008 has no mesh on its back, and instead just has a backpanel made of normal dyneema like the rest of the pack, so durability isnt an issue.

I guess if you're dead set on a jam, you have to make the decision of whether its worth it to get the 09 for the pockets, but also bear the burden of a heavier mesh backpanel. Again the 08 has the lighter dyneema backpanel, but no pockets. You might be able to remedy with after market pockets, but i'm not sure about compatibility issues. Like Dan mentioned, take a good look at the MLD burn, Its heavier than the Murmur, but I think it makes up for it in features and durability.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 05/12/2010 16:05:54 MDT.

John Taylor
(jtaylor) - F - M

Locale: Shenandoah
Like MLD packs on 05/12/2010 17:04:33 MDT Print View

Thanks Konrad, that is the kind of info I'm looking for.

I like the MLD packs. The issue I see there is the 8 week lead time - that is like halfway thru summer. Kinda bummed about that. I was hoping to find something to use on short notice. My bad planning I suppose.