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Pack reccomendation for JMT
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John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Pack reccomendation for JMT on 02/27/2011 12:59:45 MST Print View

Hi, I usually use my GG virga when I am just solo hiking, and it works great. My base weighs usually hovers around 8-10lbs, so it is ideal if it just me.
This coming summer though, me and a friend are planning on hiking the JMT. I need a slightly larger pack to hold a large bear canister and some extra gear. I also need a pack for when hiking with non-UL friends. I usually end up having to carry some of their junk ;). Since these type of occasions are rare, I'm not very worried about it being real ultralight. I need more volume than my virga ~3000cu, but not a behemoth. The one that's really catching my eye is the Osprey Exos 58. Not too bad on weight, and quite a bit of room for that extra stuff. Thoughts?

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Exos 58 on 02/27/2011 16:02:23 MST Print View

Hi John,

I will take the Exos 58 on the JMT this year. The Bearikade Expedition fits easily in there with enough room left for everthing else. I need to carry some extra weight for my daughters, so this will be my pack of choice. This weekend I took it to the BPL meet and loaded it up with 35 lbs (6 lbs of that was a fire log). It was a relatively short hike, but the pack carried quite well with that kind of weight.

Have fun on the JMT,


Edited by Orienteering on 02/27/2011 19:02:32 MST.

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
exos on 02/27/2011 17:30:30 MST Print View

Manfred, thanks for the reply. That is great to know because the Expedition is also what I will be using.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: Pack reccomendation for JMT on 04/20/2011 14:38:17 MDT Print View

Wondering the same thing as the OP. I'm planning on taking my GG Gorilla, but haven't used it with a bear canister yet (or with over 20lbs yet), so not sure if I need to look into something else. I tried the Exos recently at REI and it doesn't fit me well at all.

I haven't put together my gear list yet, but I figure my max load after resupply at MTR will be around 27-28lbs. From what I've read, the Gorilla will carry this load comfortably enough, just wondering about the bulk of the canister. I've loaded it up at home with the canister and it didn't feel uncomfortable, but I could definitely tell the canister was there. I'll be taking it with a canister to the lost coast in a few weeks and should get a better idea for myself, but in the mean time just wondering about other recommendations for packs that might be worth looking into. Considering the Mariposa Plus or the Circuit, just not sure if that's overkill.

Brian Turner
(Phreak) - F
pack on 04/20/2011 15:47:39 MDT Print View

I used a Granite Gear Vapor Trail on my '10 JMT hike and it worked well. I could actually have used a smaller pack but the Vapor Trail is the smallest pack I own other than small day packs for ultrarunning.

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Pack reccomendation for JMT on 04/20/2011 15:58:36 MDT Print View


I used the GG Gorilla for a week long trip on the JMT last year. Used the bigger bearvault vertically in the pack. Worked fantastic in my opinion. My brother in law used the Mariposa Plus with the same bearvault and he felt the same way. Either will work. Just depends on if you need the extra room in the Mariposa Plus.


Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: Re: Re: Pack reccomendation for JMT on 04/21/2011 17:40:52 MDT Print View

Thanks guys. I did look at the vapor trail as well, but it just wasn't for me.

Brad, I'll have the BV500 as well. Did you have much trouble packing the rest of your gear inside the pack? Did you have to put a lot on the outside of the pack?

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Pack reccomendation for JMT on 04/21/2011 18:02:21 MDT Print View

I would look at the ULA OHM for its outstanding carry at only 24oz. Unfortunately, I have no idea if a bear vault will fit.

Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
Pack reccomendation for JMT on 04/21/2011 18:41:27 MDT Print View

I'm not sure of the dimensions of the BV, but a Bearikade Weekender fits well,(vertically), in a ULA Ohm, FWIW.

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Pack reccomendation for JMT on 04/21/2011 18:48:37 MDT Print View


- Neoair (regular)
- Bivy
- MLD Grace duo tarp
- Marmot Hydrogen sleep bag
- montbell ex
- gloves, warm hat, socks, extra shirt, base layer pants, BPL merino hoody
- snowpeak mini solo and lighter (brother in law carried cone, stove)
- small bag with: phone, car keys, wallet, headlamp, spoon

Hip belt pockets: first aid, suntan lotion, aqua mira, foot repair, knife, camera

- maps and compass
- marmot mica rain jacket
- TP
- Alcohol for cooking (side pocket)
- 1 liter gatorade bottle (2) (side pocket)
- snacks and lunch for day
- Crocs (on top under strap)

Probably missing a few things. Started day with short sleeve shirt and windshirt. Windshirt went in back pocket as soon as things warmed up.

With 7 days of food I was probably around 30 pounds. No issues carrying the pack and didn't have a lot stuffed in the outside. Day 2 and 3 we spent time on the sierra hike route between knapsack pass and the lower palisade lake. Didn't have any issues and only took my pack off to down climb once on a ledge down potluck pass toward cirque pass. Mileage wise 13-17 miles, except for the day across SHR. Could have easily hiked more.

I was testing some things on this trip and could easily drop a couple pounds. However I don't think it would have made any difference in the comfort department.

Hope this helps. I looked for a photo but couldn't really find a good picture. This is day 2 at Bishop Pass. I'm on the left with Gorilla and my brother in law is on the right with the Mariposa Plus. As you can see they are full, but not packed with stuff hanging off the sides.



Edited by wufpackfn on 04/21/2011 18:50:03 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pack reccomendation for JMT on 04/21/2011 19:04:17 MDT Print View

On my trip this summer, I am using my MLD Exodus. That will be enough volume to carry a cannister. I was going to use my ULA CDT, but the volume was just a tad too small

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pack reccomendation for JMT on 04/22/2011 11:57:29 MDT Print View

Thanks for the detailed reply, Brad. My gear list is very similar to what you listed, so the Gorilla should be fine. As a side note, did you find the merino hoody worthwhile for your trip?

The Ohm seems to similar to the Gorilla, but the Exodus does look intriguing....actually, the whole MLD line of packs looks intriguing.

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pack reccomendation for JMT on 04/22/2011 13:18:28 MDT Print View

Last year it was first of August and didn't need it. This year I'm going mid Sept, so trying to decide. Last year I hiked mostly in a short sleeve icebreaker and that worked fine. This year I'm going with a long sleeve ExOfficio which will give me a little more flexibility and sun protection. I'm thinking the Exoffico, baselayer and Montbell ex light and windshirt will be enough.

I don't think you will go wrong with any of those packs. The Gorilla have a hoop alum stay and a foam padded removable back. Really comfortable. Anytime I don't carry a bear canister I go with either a MLD burn or prophet. I'm tempted to try the prophet this year, but not sure yet.