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Please recommend a light weight internal frame pack around 50 L
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Rafi Harzahav
(rhz10) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Please recommend a light weight internal frame pack around 50 L on 08/18/2011 12:15:57 MDT Print View


I'm looking for something suitable for 3-5 day backpacking trips. I carry around 25lbs +/- 5lbs. Was thinking about the Exos 46 (2lbs 5oz), but I'm not sure if it will be big enough. The Exos 58 is definitely too big.

Any suggestions are welcome.



David Vo
Re: Please recommend a light weight internal frame pack around 50 L on 08/18/2011 12:20:59 MDT Print View

From lightest to heaviest. I am sure people will chime in to make corrections to the list. I think these are all internal frame but I might be wrong.

Six Moon Designs Swift
MLD Exodus
Osprey Hornet 32
Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus
ULA Equipment Ohm
Osprey Hornet 46

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Please recommend a light weight internal frame pack around 50 L on 08/18/2011 12:46:13 MDT Print View

Osprey Exos 46
Deuter ACT 40+10
REI Flash 50
ULA Circuit

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Please recommend a light weight internal frame pack around 50 L on 08/18/2011 13:41:05 MDT Print View

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus or Gorilla. My ULA Conduit, GoLite Jam2, and the Gossamer Gear packs were head and shoulders more comfortable than the Exos 46 for me. Cool pack, just ended up not fitting properly, so try before you buy.

Ryan Elsey
(paintballswimguy) - F

Locale: Kansas City
ula circuit on 08/18/2011 18:18:14 MDT Print View

You have about the same overall weight that i normally had including food and water, around 25 pounds. I carry around 4 L of water normally... anyway I can't recommend the ULA circuit enough. Its an amazing pack. You won't be disappointed.

Tyler Barcelli

Locale: Southeast
volume on 08/18/2011 19:42:42 MDT Print View

It might help to know the volume of your gear so you can hone in on what size pack you need so you are not left with either too much space or too little. For what it's worth I have a GG Gorilla and it's awesome.

Nathan Stuart

Locale: Hunter Valley - Australia
Exos 46 on 08/18/2011 20:49:31 MDT Print View

I've a Exos 46 and run around the 20-25lbs mark depending on the duration.
Love it, works very well and is comfy.
Mines a large and I believe they run around 49 liters in just the main compartment.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
fit on 08/18/2011 21:34:27 MDT Print View

honestly ... whatever fits ...

i always say it ... but with up to 30 lbs ... fit of the pack, not weight as long as its decently light, is critical

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Re: fit on 08/18/2011 22:48:13 MDT Print View

Eric is right. Pack fit is almost as individual as shoe fit, and comfort for you is vital in both cases.

Rafi Harzahav
(rhz10) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: ula circuit on 08/19/2011 01:32:07 MDT Print View

Hi Ryan,

I kinda thought that with such a huge volume (70+ liters, right?) the circuit would be overkill....



David Vo
Re: Re: ula circuit on 08/19/2011 02:02:49 MDT Print View

I am in the same boat you are. The packs you see recommended on BPL are almost like oxymorons. They have huge volumes but the lighter ones are not able to handle loads. For example, if you hit 25 pounds in the Ohm, ULA says you will "suffer mightily." I think what happened is they found how to make really low weight packs but cutting down or eliminating the frame, back support, shoulder straps, belt strap, internal pockets etc. What they ended up with was a giant sack but one without any real support. I have been asking for a bag that will support 2-3 nights and I am getting recommended the Mariposa Plus which is 46-59L (depending how you measure it). I suspect my things can fit in a smaller bag but a smaller bag wouldn't be able to support the weight.

My point is - maybe they are recommending the ULA Circuit, not because you need the volume but maybe it's a beefy enough bag to support the weight you might need.

Edited by sygyzy on 08/19/2011 02:04:10 MDT.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Re: ula circuit on 08/19/2011 06:51:32 MDT Print View

>> I kinda thought that with such a huge volume (70+ liters, right?) the circuit would be overkill....

Yikes, no. I think ULA's spec'ed volumes are misleading. I haven't measured it but I think it's closer to 45-50 liters. When I bought mine, I did a side-by-side against a Talon 44 and they held the same amount of gear. The Circuit has a collar that can extend the volume if needed, so maybe the specs are with it maxed.

I tried both the Ohm and Circuit, had them both here at home for a side-by-side (along with a Granite Gear Vapor Trail and the Osprey Talon 44.) At 20lb, I loved the Ohm. At 25lb, the Circuit had the advantage but could have lived with the Ohm just fine.

Edited by DetroitTigerFan on 08/19/2011 06:55:18 MDT.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Lowe Alpine on 08/19/2011 09:22:37 MDT Print View

One that might fit the bill is the Lowe Alpine Zepton 50. It's a bit of an oddball, but I believe it has been reviewed by BPL at some point although you rarely ever hear anything about it. I really like this pack, the frame is fairly lightweight (as frames go) and rigid as hell. It makes sub 20 lb loads totally disappear and heavier loads are hardly there.

It comes with a lid but I never use it. Without the lid the I weighed it 34 oz. My only gripes with the pack are:

a) lack of back mesh pocket
b) compression straps on outside of side pockets (pet peeve of mine)
c) when I stuff a lot into it near the top I can sometimes feel the frame against my upper back. No pain involved just feels a little odd until I get used to it.

It's worth checking out, especially for around $120. I've tried most of the other packs mentioned above (except the Mariposa) and this is the one I've finally settled on. I thought I was pretty happy with my Gorilla but for carrying 20lbs and up the difference is night and day.

edit: found where it was reviewed. It was actually for the women's ("ND") version, but same idea.

Edited by JacobD on 08/19/2011 09:37:48 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Volume on 08/19/2011 10:27:29 MDT Print View

ULA's volume spec's are out of wack compared to other manufacturers. The Circuit is much smaller than any other '70 liter' pack on the market. It's a nice 50-ish liter sized pack that is perfect for the mid-long trips.

I've got an Ohm, which I love, but I'm thinking about moving to a 2 pack quiver where I have a 5oz cuben Zpacks Zero for short UL/SUL trips and then a Circuit for medium to long trips, or trips with my wife where I have to carry the tent. The Ohm works for most trips, but it's pretty humped out when I load it up with 40 lbs of stuff like I will in 2 weeks (8 day trip and I carry all the food for 2 people).

Jake Willits
(TrailSavvy) - MLife

Locale: Arkansas Ozarks
Exos 46 on 08/19/2011 12:54:51 MDT Print View

I have an Exos 46 that I have absolutely loved as a transition pack. I've moved on to a ULA CDT, with eyes on some other frameless packs. The Exos 46 worked well as the rest of my gear list got lighter and more compact.My total pack weights started above 30 lbs, and dropped below 18 with that pack. With a great suspension and max comfort for such a light mainstream product, it's hard to go wrong. BUT, there are way lighter packs on the market(look at first list above).

Rafi Harzahav
(rhz10) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Thanks for all the feedback on 08/19/2011 14:40:23 MDT Print View

I appreciate that this is a matter of individual fit. To judge fit, do you simply load up the pack with your gear or with sand bags in a shop and walk around for a few minutes? Are there specific things to look for (beyond good load transfer to the hips) and any obvious discomfort?

Thanks again.

Re: circuit Volume on 08/19/2011 16:17:08 MDT Print View

ULA includes volume of all pockets, they do call out the vol of the main pack itself. I think the circuit is 2400 cu in, with 2900 including expansion collar. Thats about 40L, 50L with expansion collar. It aint no 70L pack. But, like all packs with external mesh pockets, it carries a lot more than you might expect.

I prefer a lot of things in exterior mesh pockets anyway, so Id just as soon they did specify that in pack size like ULA does. Id rather put tent there, raingear there, water bottles there, stakes, poles, water treatment, hand sanitizer, snacks during day, etc.

For a lot of packs, the WAY you load it will make a big difference. Really best to have it at home and play with it there. If you can go to a store, buy it, bring it home, spend a few hrs with it, and take it back if you dont like it. Same for mailorder.

Edited by livingontheroad on 08/19/2011 16:18:36 MDT.

Tyler Barcelli

Locale: Southeast
Re: Thanks for all the feedback on 08/19/2011 16:18:33 MDT Print View

If you are planning on going to an actual brick and mortar store then I suggest bringing most of your gear with you. Those sand bags they have do not accurately represent the packability of your gear. One key thing I look for is to judge how my balance is with the pack. I prefer a narrow, body hugging pack so as to not throw me off balance when I'm scrambling or moving quickly. I know most cottage manufacturers allow you to return the pack in new condition within 30 days or so which allows you to determine how well your gear fits in the pack. I also test how easy it is to put items in and retrieve items from the side pockets. This is something I find key that I believe some people overlook. Don't be afraid if the first pack you choose is not the right one. I know most people here have probably had many different packs, myself included.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Exos on 08/19/2011 20:34:16 MDT Print View

I love the Exos series. I have every size but use the 34 and 46 the most. (46 when I need to carry a bear canister.)

The most important thing is to try it before you buy it as they do not have torso adjustment. If it fits, you are gold.

Babak Sakaki
(persianpunisher) - F
Exos for sale on 08/20/2011 00:17:57 MDT Print View

I have an Exos 46 in the gear swap if you are interested.