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Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus Backpack Review
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(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Prophet and Burn users - is the volume also higher than listed? on 04/01/2011 21:17:05 MDT Print View

Burn and Prophet users - are the actual volumes also higher than the listed volumes, and if so, by how much? That's a good thing for my purposes - I'm just trying to figure out if the Prophet would have the volume I'm looking for.

If the Prophet is higher volume than listed like the Exodus, perhaps the Prophet is more like 3500 cu. in. than its listed 2900 cu. in.?

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
MLD Exodus Backpack on 04/04/2011 14:29:58 MDT Print View

Thanks Will for the Great Review !

(Note: Will reviewed the 2009/2010 Exodus he received in Jan/Feb of 2010. We have since improved and tweaked a quite a few details to make it an even better pack!)

****Update: August 2011: The Exodus is now slightly smaller in volume and a full suspension version is now available.****

We addressed all of Will's points and assume it would be A Highly Reccomended Rating now based on those small changes.

Here is some more info to help users think about the Exodus volume and other questions.

As Will noted, we offer four different size packs in the series- all with almost exactly the same features- only the 2200ci Burn has a couple of small changes from the larger three.

The 4400ci Ark, 3500ci Exodus and 2900ci Prophet are all pretty much the same design and share a robust feature package.

My sense from the article and from feedback from Will is that he would have given the Prophet a Highly Recommended rating because it does share all the same features of the Exodus at a smaller size- for him the Exodus was a little too much volume.

Many people and companies measure pack volume different - there is a an industry spec standard using small balls - but no exact way to say where/when the min and max usable amount in the extension collar starts/stops or how far to expand the exterior pockets, etc. - So there is some interpretation there and perhaps thats is the main area of difference in vulume perspective for this type of pack.

There is easy way to measure the MLD packs since they are fairly box shaped - W X D X H.

The Exodus in a LG is 12" Wide X 7.5" Deep X about 26" - 27" Tall = about 2400ci. That includes only a little of the extension collar. Our Extension collars are very tall if needed.

Exodus Specs:

• Total Maximum Volume: 3100ci main pack / 3500ci with filled extension collar
• Minimum Volume: 1800ci with compression and bottom volume reduction system engaged.
• Main Pack: 2400ci
• Main Outside Pocket: 400ci
• Side Pockets: 150ci + 150ci
• Extension Collar: 500ci

For size comparison- I measured two common packs the same way as I measured the Exodus main compartment.
- The Exodus main pack bag is about 100ci larger than the Golite Jam2 (the Exodus a much taller ext collar)
- The Exodus is about 400ci smaller than the Golite Pinnacle (the Exodus ext collar is a little taller.)

FAQ: Would you be better off with an Exodus or a Prophet?
A: If you could have only one, perhaps the Exodus is the way to go. I use it in the colder weather when I carry a slightly thicker or multiple sleep pads and lightweight but bulkier synthetic filled clothes and quilts/bags. The volume fills up fast with synthetic insulation but can always be compressed down with the three volume reduction features. The Exodus is large enough for most bear canisters that won't fit in smaller packs.
A: The Prophet is the way to go if you really have your LW gear dialed for med to low volume, you are mainly going to use it in for weather above maybe freezing or are primarily in dryer climates using more compressible down insulation or only use a smaller sleep pad.

Edited by mountainlaureldesigns on 12/07/2011 15:20:41 MST.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: MLD Exodus Backpack on 04/07/2011 18:20:08 MDT Print View

Well based on the review and the need for a larger volume pack for my JMT hike this summer, I purchased this pack today. Excited!!!! I needed a pack that was light and had this kind of volume. This will be my weeklong pack when I need to pack a cannister

Ross P Hemphill
(rbimli) - F

Locale: PNW
don't get it on 04/20/2011 21:25:27 MDT Print View

What I don't get is "pack structure hate." mountainwalker has said it all more clearly... Of course, I don't enjoy carrying rigid pieces (particularly single-use) any more than the rest of us. Seems to me a question of balance. (Isn't everything?)

What I'll say: isn't "ultralight" truly more about "ultraefficient" or "ultraappropriate" than actual weight? I think that for significant loads (found with long trips, techy winter trips, limited-water-supply desert trips, rough off-trail travel, etc) effective and very lightweight load transfer and stability structures make the load FEEL so much "lighter" (more comfortable/less painful).

Ron, I think mountainwalker is right concerning customer base. Just make it optional. I imagine you don't like stays, though.

OK, now I'm dropping it. For this thread. In closing I'll provide a link to the other BPL (UK, newspeak) featuring a Golite Jam modification which adds 161g: Ultralight ALICE. BTW, have you seen Roger's awesome packs? TTFN!

Edited by rbimli on 04/20/2011 21:35:51 MDT.

Cyrus Dietz

Locale: Midwest
People on 05/01/2011 08:22:18 MDT Print View

It seams to me that know one would consider this pack if if Weighed what it would outfitted the way you are all talking. UL is a compromise as much as it is a nexus.

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
C'mon, stays - seriously? on 05/04/2011 05:10:43 MDT Print View

I really don't get this whole "I want stays" movement, and even recommending MLD to offer them optional. There's a reason these packs are called frameless. If you want a pack with frames, I reckon you will love the GG Gorilla (Will does) - or is it a Gorilla in DXG what you really fancy? A pack needs to be designed around stays, you can't just throw stays in there and expect that they work.

Also, by the look of it I'd recommend you pack the CCF pad in the Exodus as a burrito, that gives it a better structure and should transfer weight better than squeezing it together like in some of the photos above.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: C'mon, stays - seriously? on 05/04/2011 06:54:09 MDT Print View

Hendrik is correct. Adding stays as an afterthought does little good. There are very few sub 2 pound packs on the market right now that use stays as an integrated part of the suspension system, and consequently carry heavier weights well.

Thomas Hood
(ATTom) - F
pad straps on 07/02/2011 15:14:02 MDT Print View

For those who have mld pad straps or added their own pad bungees ...could you all post a pic?

Ceph Lotus
(Cephalotus) - MLife

Locale: California
Exodus with stays released today on 09/06/2011 15:52:26 MDT Print View

Looks like the MLD folks are listening to you. They released a new Exodus today with stays...or rather a suspension system that uses a Carbon Fiber/Delrin frame and a inflatable back panel.

Edited by Cephalotus on 09/06/2011 15:54:06 MDT.

Tim Haynes

Locale: Mid Atlantic
MLD Exodus full-suspension on 09/06/2011 16:17:38 MDT Print View

Looks awesome, but ~$300 (with belt pockets), is too steep for me. Still, seems like a great pack design with some ideas that will hopefully be incorporated into other packs.