November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Question - Which Lightweight / High Volume Pack Do You Use?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Robert Burke
(coastiebob) - MLife

Locale: Wishing I was Backpacking
Question - Which Lightweight / High Volume Pack Do You Use? on 03/02/2011 10:20:13 MST Print View

As the winter camping season fades in the Mid-Atlantic, I wanted to throw a question out to the community regarding Lightweight/High Volume Backpacks for winter use. For shorter trips with temps down to 30 degrees, I have been using my Hyperlite Windrider. Very comfortable pack, but when the temps sag into the 20's and I need more bulky gear/garments, I have a really tough time fitting my gear.

I have been using my Osprey Aether 85 which fits everything in and then some with no problem, but at 5.5 pounds is over 3.5 pounds heavier which jacks up my base weight. Also, I use this pack in spring-fall when I take my wife as one of the conditions for her to come is I will carry her sleeping bag, pad and clothes. She is worth it. Comfortable pack, just heavy.

But, I know there is always a better way out there. I was wondering what you all use as a lighter pack to haul around a lot of bulk, but not necessarily weight?


Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Question - Which Lightweight / High Volume Pack Do You Use? on 03/02/2011 10:26:25 MST Print View

Golite Pinnacle. Or maybe a ULA Catalyst, but I don't consider that lightweight.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Question - Which Lightweight / High Volume Pack Do You Use? on 03/02/2011 10:42:55 MST Print View

i get down to single digits with an OHM.
im currently looking for a transition pack tho, using the OHM in winter and the Burn in summer leaves a large gap.. smaller of the ULA (cdt) is still too big, so my eyes are set on a zpacks cuben blast 26. have you considered the blast 32?

i'll be joining tahoe and jellybean on the GET in a few days, then i can check out his kit and see how the blast 26 is working for him. of course, our kits are nearly identical in bulk and weight even tho he uses a hexamid and im in a hammock/tarp system.
using your current chioce of UL pack (that is debatable, at 25oz) as an example, i would go for the blast since it is larger, lighter, and costs less.
$255 for the 25oz cuben hyperlite version seems like a stretch - i'd rather have dyneema for that weight. my 0.02

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 03/02/2011 13:21:30 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Question - Which Lightweight / High Volume Pack Do You Use? on 03/02/2011 10:46:35 MST Print View

SMD Starlite. Plenty big enough for bulky winter gear and carries wonderfully.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Question - Which Lightweight / High Volume Pack Do You Use? on 03/02/2011 11:14:32 MST Print View

High volume? Pinnacle.

Ben Egan

Locale: The Grid, Brooklyn
same kind of system on 03/02/2011 11:38:32 MST Print View

Like mentioned here I have a 2 pack system: for big expedition trips, or when I'm serving as a pack mule, or up to 3 months ago, I used a ULA Catalyst. Lightweight, rides well. Otherwise, for solo trips up to a week, winter weekenders, or trips where I can be lighter, a LAUFBURSCHE huckePACKchen. maybe 30 liters? Can't remember. Love the Catalyst though, I plan on having mine forever. And ever. Really. I don't think I'll ever retire it.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Re: Question - Which Lightweight / High Volume Pack Do You Use? on 03/02/2011 12:00:52 MST Print View

+1 on the SMD Starlite

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: Which Lightweight / High Volume Pack Do You Use on 03/02/2011 12:19:18 MST Print View

Golite Trek, discontinued I think, but it shows up from time to time on Ebay. The Pinnacle might be its replacement, although it is somewhat smaller. When the Trek wears out, and that won't be for a while because I don't use it all that much, I'll get a Pinnacle. I don't use it that much because I own too many damned packs, so I switch among them so that I get a chance to use them all!

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Lightweight, "Low" Volume -- but it works! on 03/02/2011 12:24:33 MST Print View

I've been surprised by how much I've been able to put in my MLD Burn, even comfortably on two-night winter backpacking trips. It takes some ingenuity, of course, to make everything fit. But it makes me wonder how much technical volume one really needs . . .

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Ohm on 03/02/2011 12:45:18 MST Print View

For me, "high volume" is my ULA Ohm, it'll swallow my shelter, quilt and insulation and leaves me significant room for food and cooking kit- I don't get the time to do extended length trips lasting more than a week so the Ohm is everything I need volume wise. My MLD Burn holds quite a bit of gear as well. The key I've found is finding a pack that has has smart pocket and storage layout in the design, the Burn for example can swallow a healthy amount of gear in the rear stretch pocket and more outside of that with the cording. If you're an everything in kind of guy then something like the MLD Exodus or Ark might be more the ticket for a "high volume" pack .

shane sibert
(grinder) - F

Locale: P.N.W
packs on 03/02/2011 12:59:50 MST Print View

Granite gear Ozone for me.

Rakesh Malik

Locale: Cascadia
Re: packs on 03/02/2011 18:44:45 MST Print View

I use a McHale SuperSARC in Dyneema. :)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Question - Which Lightweight / High Volume Pack Do You Use? on 03/02/2011 19:31:02 MST Print View

My lamentably discontinued Six Moon Designs Comet (2600 cu. in. main bag, 650 cu. in pockets) is more than big enough for me. I never have used the extension collar, even when sherpa-ing for my grandkids (that used to be 2 extra sleeping bags and pads, besides the food and bigger tent) or when taking cold weather gear. In fact, I am really tempted to whack off most of the extension collar and replace the velcro closure (I hate velcro!) with a drawstring closure. I probably won't, though, because I'm a lousy sewer!

The Comet I have is the 2005 model which was revamped in 2006 (I took advantage of the closeout sale). IMHO, it supports weight better (has a better hipbelt and lumbar pad) than the newer model discontinued a couple of years ago (I have one of those, too). I plan to use my 2005 Comet until it falls apart or I fall apart, whichever happens first! If the pack goes first, I'll probably switch to a ULA pack, if it works.

Edited by hikinggranny on 03/02/2011 19:34:52 MST.

Dan Briggs
(dbriggs9) - F

Locale: Southeast
high volume on 03/02/2011 19:55:48 MST Print View

+1 on the pinnacle. 2008 and earlier models*

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: high volume on 03/03/2011 13:14:42 MST Print View

+1 on the Starlite.

I bought an Ohm last summer since my six year old Starlite is really too large for warm weather loads. The Ohm is very nicely made, and I used it on several weekend trips. This week I have been packing for a week-long AT section hike, and of course loaded up the Ohm which held everything nicely. Then, just for kicks, I put all the same gear in the Starlite, and it's much more comfortable on my back than the Ohm. Hmmm.

I suspect I'll be posting on the sale forum when I get back. Too bad, it's a nice little pack.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Question - Which Lightweight / High Volume Pack Do You Use? on 03/03/2011 17:20:29 MST Print View

Bob, if the thought of extensively modifying your packbag doesn't make you queasy, I'm pretty certain you can cut the weight of the Aether down by over a pound... Just ditch the lid & it'll save you 11.5 ounces. I'd be surprised if some dedicated re-working didn't lose another pound.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Re: Question - Which Lightweight / High Volume Pack Do You Use? on 03/03/2011 18:08:13 MST Print View

another +1 for the SMD Starlite.

I never really get it full, but wow, it just carries so easily that I don't mind the extra 8 or 10 oz... A seriously comfortable pack.