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UL packs ideas?
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Ira Tuepah
(climbhard) - F
UL packs ideas? on 09/18/2006 19:03:31 MDT Print View

Im looking for a light pack with 3500 too 4000 cubes of space, that can carry up to 35 pounds (Lots of food). so far im thinking about the granite gear nimbus latitude. i like the easy access front closure system. got any other ideas?

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
ULA Packs on 09/18/2006 19:40:35 MDT Print View

Check out the Catalyst and Circuit packs from ULA.
Considerably lighter than the Granite Gear pack and very comfortable. They are dedicated top-loaders but w/ lots of mesh pockets for easy access.

Many thru-packers use ULA packs w/ gusto.

Jon Priest
(jwetzelp) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas
Re: ULA Packs on 09/18/2006 19:55:06 MDT Print View

I can vouch for the perfection that is the ULA Catalyst. It is the one piece of gear that most enhances my outdoor experience.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Arcteryx on 09/18/2006 21:43:31 MDT Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 10:47:49 MDT.

Tyler Cockrell
(tylercockrell) - F
Re: ULA Packs on 09/18/2006 22:19:38 MDT Print View

I use a ULA Catalyst and frequently carry 34 to 30 pounds and it is very comfortable. You can put a bear can horizontally and the hip pockets are great for your camera and other quick access items. Also the water bottle holders on the side actually will hold water bottles while the pack is fully loaded. You can pull out the metal stay and bend it to fit the contours of your back. This helped me dramatically improve the fit and comfort level.

All in all, an awesome pack.

Jordan Hurder
(jordanhurder) - F

Locale: Southern California
Granite Gear on 09/20/2006 16:54:31 MDT Print View

I bought a Nimbus Latitude because of the front loading feature. I haven't used it extensively yet, but I've done the standard experimenting to see how it holds my gear, and I'm in love with the Latitude feature. I was deciding between this and a ULA, and I'm pretty glad I chose the GG, since I don't think I could go back to a top loading pack (even with the voluminous mesh pockets). Plus, it's a very comfortable pack.

Chris Miller
(chrisdm) - F
Atmos 65 on 09/20/2006 17:57:14 MDT Print View

I think my Atmos 50 is the best pack on the market because of its Airspeed system. There's supposedly a 65L model on the way, which I would go for if I ever needed t ocarry that much. It's not ultralight, but it is ultra comfortable (which is the real goal of ultralight, right?)

Al Clemens
(al) - F
if you really wanna save weight... on 09/20/2006 19:40:29 MDT Print View

Sacrifice the panel loading feature and get the Vapor Trail, you'll save 1.5#. I used mine on a 6 day 50+ mile hike and climb to Gannett Peak on very rugged terrain. I started with about #33 fully loaded with water and it handled it beautifully.

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Re: if you really wanna save weight... on 09/20/2006 20:24:06 MDT Print View

For loads in the 30 - 35 pound range, I second the motion for the Vapor Trail. (Much over 35, and you'll want to stay with the beefier suspension of the Nimbus Latitude.) Although it's rated for 30 pounds, I've also carried 35 in it (extra water) and it was still comfortable, though it was apparent that it was at the outer limit of that comfort. It's the best internal frame pack I've ever owned, all things considered.

John Rowling II
(jrowling) - F - MLife

Locale: Great Lakes Area
UL Packs on 09/20/2006 20:52:33 MDT Print View

Check out the GoLite Pinnacle or Jam2. It's not out until Feb. 2007, but it sure looks like the ticket for me.

The Pinnacle is rated to carry up to 30 lbs. 4000 ci.

Edited by jrowling on 09/20/2006 20:55:43 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
VT on 09/20/2006 22:27:19 MDT Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 08:55:08 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: VT on 09/20/2006 23:12:55 MDT Print View

Don't other people have any gripes with the side pockets? I find them practically useless. If the pack is stuffed full, you can barely get a platy water bottle in them, and with those compression straps over them, it is hard to pull the pack tight and still get things into the pockets. I had to retrofit a third mesh pocket on the front so that I could carry my tarptent there.

The suspension system and its fit is really nice, however. I'm using the suspension design to make my own pack now.

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Re: Re: VT on 09/21/2006 05:02:11 MDT Print View

I've heard a number of people complain about the side pockets; I've talked to an equal number who have done what I've done - adapted to them, which turned out to be pretty easy for me. I've learned to put the filled Platy in first, and to mostly put thin things (like a zippered map pouch or energy bars)in them. It also appears to me that having the top compression straps tight is more critical than the bottom for a compact load (I don't know why, but that's my experience.)

However, there are enough people who don't like the pocket arrangement that Granite Gear sells a "Lid" add-on (a top pocket for maps and small stuff) and different sized add-on side pockets (which also work on the back - or is it front? - set of compression straps.)

Edited by garkjr on 09/21/2006 05:02:43 MDT.

Chad McClenathen
(cmcclenathen) - F
Vapor Trail on 09/21/2006 05:06:56 MDT Print View

My VT normally weighs 25 to 30 pounds at the start of a trip and is very comfortable. The side pockets are admittedly hard to get into when the pack is loaded, which is a good thing since it is evidence of the effectiveness of the compression system and rigidity of the entire pack. I normally place a pack cover, 1 liter platy bottle (either full or empty depending), tent poles, 2 oz. seat pad, and if rock scrambling, trekking poles, in the pockets. The compression straps do a good job to secure these items. The contents can be retrieved by taking pack off and releasing the compression straps. You cannot reach behind you with pack on unless you are a lot more flexible than I am! If you are not aware, one of the great benefits of this pack is the ability to put the water bladder in a space between the pack body and the back support, hence outside the pack and easily removed and refilled. I recommend the optional GG lid for misc. small items and to protect and control the expansion of pack. Great pack!

Sunny Waller
(dancer) - M

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Vapor Trail on 09/21/2006 06:51:24 MDT Print View

Hey before you consider which new pack you buy make sure you consider 2 issues. How do you carry your water?? Do you use water bottles outside your pack or do you use a bladder that's going inside your pack or on top of your pack. And will you be using a Bear Cannister?? Answer these two questions first and then shop for your new pack.

Ira Tuepah
(climbhard) - F
Re: Re: Vapor Trail on 09/25/2006 21:38:28 MDT Print View

usually i carry water inside, as a camel back. but im think with the ULA Catalyst, which has the huge side pockets i would carry water in each of the side pocket. as you drink the water from the side pockets does it not throw of your balance of your pack?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Vapor Trail Side Pockets on 09/25/2006 23:30:39 MDT Print View

"The side pockets are admittedly hard to get into when the pack is loaded, which is a good thing since it is evidence of the effectiveness of the compression system and rigidity of the entire pack."

Hi Chad. I'm curious how it is that having side pockets that are too tight to get into when the pack is full is a good thing. I have a Mountain Hardwear Ghost, which I used all summer, and Phantom, and their pockets work great when the pack is full, while at the same time the compression straps do a great job of securing and tightening up the packs. I can also reach behind me while walking and take out the water bottles and put them back. I think the compression straps going right over the pockets on the Vapor Trail is a design flaw and evidence of bad design. While the pockets look nice they just don't work well in the real world.


Locale: South West US
Re: Re: Vapor Trail Side Pockets on 09/25/2006 23:58:32 MDT Print View


I haven't had the same problem with the pockets you have. I can quite easily remove and place a platypus or other items while on the move. The pockets are snug, yes, but this keeps items from shifting around.

I keep my quilt packed rather loosely in an XL Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil at the bottom of the pack. That allows the items in the pocket to conform the pack around them.

I do agree that the bottom compression straps could be better. A while back I tried to cut slits in the side pockets to run the straps underneath, but this didn't work out so great. The straps would catch on items being placed into the pocket making it VERY difficult to stow items on the move. Now I don't even bother to use them. The upper compression straps stabilize the pack well enough on their own, plus my quilt gets a little extra uncomressed room.

I should note the slits that were cut into the pockets did make them slightly easier to use(not as tight).

I have bought and used several other lighter packs, but so far this one is my favorite. I want to order a McHale when I can afford it though.

Edited by oiboyroi on 09/26/2006 00:01:12 MDT.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Gossamer Gear Mariposa on 09/26/2006 00:01:40 MDT Print View

Hi Ira-
Take a good hard look at this pack. It's a fantastic all-rounder that is very thoughtfully designed. You get side and back pockets as well as internal hydration and removable stays. This is a great UL pack that I would highly recommend. The Plus version has thicker fabric if silnylon isn't your bag. However, my silnylon pack has lasted for several seasons. Have fun with your decision!

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Vapor Trail Side Pockets on 09/26/2006 02:15:33 MDT Print View

I keep my quilt packed rather loosely in an XL Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil at the bottom of the pack. That allows the items in the pocket to conform the pack around them.

Roy, I actually like the Vapor Trail a lot... it's the best-fitting pack I've ever had, made of great materials, and just the right size. I've struggled with the pockets, but your suggestion about keeping the quilt loose is something I have to look at more closely (I don't exactly cram my quilt in there, but perhaps I push things in a little harder than you do). Have to give your method a go.

Edited by butuki on 09/26/2006 02:16:27 MDT.