Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Tough but light backpack?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Paul Grube
(plosive) - F

Locale: Above Cache Creek, CA
Tough but light backpack? on 04/28/2005 09:05:23 MDT Print View

I purchased a Golite Infinity backpack after reading the backpack review on this site. I loved it on 4 overnight trips and training during day hikes. I used it on a 4 night trip in the Paria wilderness in S. Utah and it was torn to ribbons! I know that lighter materials need to be babied to some degree but....I don't think it is even repairable. Is there a backpack out there under 3 pounds with a ci of about 3500(or less) that can comfortably can 30+ pounds total and can stand up to more use/abuse? I still have my 5 pound monster for brush-busting and hauling gallons of water on desert hikes.
I plan to buy another GoLite Infinity, but only use it on hikes that are on more maintained trails or at least will not chance brushing against sandstone.

I guess I will have to have 3 backpacks?

"light is right"

David Hollingshead
(davidholl) - F
Ultralight tuff Pack on 04/28/2005 14:33:08 MDT Print View

I have a Kelty Cloud 4000 Pack .This pack is made of White Spectra. All of the pockets, belt and frame can be removed. It weighs between 1 LBS and 3.5 LBS. Removing the outside pockets it can be as small as 3000 ci. If you Leave The belt and frame on the Pack it weighs in at about 2.5 LBS and will easily carry 30 LBS. The 4000 and 4500 are no longer made. I have seen them selling new on Ebay over the last year. You could call kelty and see if there is a outlet store that might have some left. Spectra will cost I was able to get mine at Rei on clearance for 269.00 .

Edited by davidholl on 04/28/2005 14:38:20 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
light tuff pack on 04/28/2005 16:35:35 MDT Print View

ULA P-1 or for a little larger in size the P-2. I own both and I am in love with them.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Light, Tough Pack: BMW on 04/28/2005 20:01:53 MDT Print View

Bozeman Mountain Works has a new line of backpacks in development, we've talked a little about them in the past and will probably release the first of them this summer. We are still tweaking sizes and whatnot, so I can't give you definitive answers. I'll do the best I can - I'm not the project manager and don't have all the details yet.

All of these will have internal frames - twin 7075 aluminum stays, with an option for shaped carbon fiber "tubular bar stock" (not really bar, as they are custom formed, but equivalent in physics to a metal bar stock) stays as an upgrade. The carbon fiber option is for lightest weight, best load carrying capacity, and those with, ummm..., healthy budgets ;)

Fabrics will include (1) a new 2.1 oz/yd2 mylar coated polyester with a Spectra rip, (2) a more durable 5 oz mylar coated polyester with a Spectra rip, and (3) an incredibly durable 5 oz mylar coated polyester/Spectra blend with a Spectra rip. #1 is for ultralighters, #2 is for more durability without extreme cost, and #3 is for best durability with cost not a factor :)

The following specs are for packs made with the lightest weight fabrics and aluminum stays. Specs of the final models may be slightly different.

The Rapture will weigh less than 16 oz and have a capacity of 2400 ci and conservatively, will carry 30 lbs. This will be the first pack released in late summer or fall of 05 (hopefully). This pack is targeted to lightweight backpackers.

The Ptarmigan will weigh less than 24 oz and have a capacity of 4000 ci and conservatively, will carry 40 lbs. This pack is scheduled to be released this winter and is targeted to alpine climbers.

The Rapture in the new Spectra blend 5 oz fabric, with pre-shaped carbon fiber stays, elicits one of those "oh-my-goodness" reactions when you see it. It's a spectacular looking pack - white, but definitely a different white than full Spectra packs of old, and it has some neat color accents. More remarkable is the ability to cram 40 lbs in it (with the CF stays) and be able to carry such a dense, heavy load so well, and the fabric gives it abrasion and tear resistance that you really only find in 1000D Cordura bags. Weight: 24 oz.

I have prototypes of both packs here in Bozeman, I'll try to post some pictures here soon.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
upcoming BMW packs on 04/28/2005 22:48:00 MDT Print View

Carbon-fiber frames,composite spectra pack cloth...
we are verrry interested. Sounds as though the larger pack would be great for thru-hikers as well as alpine climbers. I hope sizing will accomodate taller(6'+) and long-torsoed people-- something many pack makers neglect.

please titillate us some more,soon.

Edited by kdesign on 05/01/2005 12:17:11 MDT.

David Spellman
(dspellman) - F
Tough but light backpack? on 05/01/2005 12:09:34 MDT Print View

I'm having a pack done by Rodney Liwanag. It's essentially a Mariposa, but done in a spectra gridstop fabric (this stuff has an additional diagonal thread, by the way, and it's the first time I've seen that), but with a slightly heavier material in the bottom, aluminum stays (removable) and a Six Moon Designs type zippered padpocket. Other features; hydration unit pocket and hole, two ice axe loops with keepers and load lifters. We're thinking it will come in at around 2 pounds.

I've designated it my winter snowshoeing pack, and, given the weight and density of some of the winter gear, was designed to carry much the same volume as the Mariposa, but with a heavier load.

BMW Pack Pictures! on 05/01/2005 15:44:36 MDT Print View

Ryan, Post the pictures of the new BMW packs! I'm dreuling here. Could you post pictures of the shaped stays as well?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
BMW Ptarmigan Photo on 05/01/2005 16:58:52 MDT Print View

This is the best I can give you right now. I don't have any other decent shots.

This is the BMW Ptarmigan. This particular pack doesn't have stays in it, so it looks a little unshaped like the typical drum of a frameless pack.

There is a pad pocket on the rear. Very wide hip belt that will have double buckles. Rolltop closure, two flat mesh pockets on the side, twin daisy chains on the back. 55L volume and 22 oz with aluminum stays in a 23" back length.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
BMW Rapture Photo on 05/01/2005 17:10:32 MDT Print View

OK, did find a Rapture photo. This is an early prototype, but the basic design is unchanged. Again, this photo doesn't show a pack with the stays in it, so it suffers a little from shapelessness and looks like it's pulling on my shoulders more than it should be. It's also riding a tiny bit higher than it should be, because this particular prototype has a back length that is just a tad too short for my torso. In reality, the frame stays allow you to use a longer torso length and fit a wider range of sizes than any frameless pack can.

I think this pack, with aluminum stays, comes in at 2300 ci and weighs 15 oz.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
new BMW packs on 05/01/2005 18:30:51 MDT Print View

Both packs look very nice. Diamond rip is a very nice touch. I know someone who is ready to purchase one of each already!

Any plans to add expandable zippered pockets on the outside of the hip belts? How about as an option (similar to GossamerGear semi-custom packs with a limited number of options). Easy to fetch Gu or energy bars, lip balm, bug dope, etc from the hip belt.

Sometimes I carry a med. sized fanny pack which I wear 180 deg backwards (i.e., in front of me) just for this purpose - makes it easy to grab small items (can even, if i want to, stow my SpinPonchoT there & grab it if the skies let loose without having to stop & get it from a pack pocket).

Expandable angled mesh or fabric water bottle pockets on the hip belt where the hip belt attaches to the pack bag might be a nice feature. Everyone can fetch a 1L "Cantene" or "Platy" from that location without needing to be double-jointed. This feature could be an option also.

[Note: I often add 'bungee keepers' to this location, or a combo of bungee & velcro. On some packs I simply sew them on to the heavier mat'l connecting the waist belt to the pack bag. On some others (GG G5), I simply "loop" the "keepers" around the lower end of the pack strap - this way I can slide them up the webbing portion of the strap to make undoing/redoing the velcro easier. I've also added similar bungee keepers, in some cases, above the sternum strap for more 0.5-1.0L water bottles. Obviously, when using a Platy Big Zip Hoser, or two, I don't carry this extra water in this way. When not using a hyd. bladder, this arrangement makes drinking very easy, so why not have it std, or an option, on the new packs? Sorry for the suggestions, it's the Engineer in me..but I really do like the look of your new packs and plan to obtain them when they are available - even if they don't implement any of the suggested 'options'.]

Please, don't keep us waitin' too long for the real thing!

Many thanks for posting the pics.

BTW, my GG G5 pack fits me exactly like the Rapture pack fits Dr. J in the photo. For a "3-day" excursion (under 18 lbs to start with all food & water) I find the pack "all-day" comfortable. That is, the straps head straight back to the pack bag like in the Rapture photo. There is little weight on the tops of my traps - sort of a "load lifter" effect. So I think that Rapture should prob. be comfortable also even with the straps in that position as long as the waist belt is supportive enough & the v-frame doesn't collapse any (it holds up well w/no apparent collapse in the G5).

Speaking of the waist belt, let me pass this tip onto any who have a G4, G5, or Mariposa pack. I fill the G5's waist belt with gauze & bandages, etc in zip-locks. This forms a well-padded, supportive waist belt which carries nearly all of the pack wt. I place all of the soft items from my Med./Rx Kit in ziplocks in the waist belt & shoulder straps. Gauze & bandages are soft & make good padding, plus it's rare that I need them (hope I never need them!!). So, I don't need to 'unpack' them as I would if I put my gloves or sleeping socks in them.

Edited by pj on 05/03/2005 01:50:29 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
new BMW packs on 05/01/2005 19:09:29 MDT Print View

spectra grid on hip belt and shoulder straps is a very welcome design feature. some external pocket additions would be appreciated.
will the packs have lift straps or by design,not possible?
Belt pockets a la ULA would be incredibly useful.
A way to strap a bear can on top would be great for
those of us who have to contend with Sierra regs. Daisy chains on the smaller pack I would like.
I definitely would buy a Rapture w/ carbon frame
if it would fit me ( when will there be sizing info?).
Interchangeable hipbelts?

Edited by kdesign on 05/01/2005 20:05:21 MDT.

Jason Shaffer
(pilgrim) - F
BMW packs -- bravo on 05/02/2005 17:54:38 MDT Print View

Wow. These do look like great designs. Glad to see the backpad sleeve idea is catching on.

I'll second the vote for some small hipbelt pockets. A Y strap on top, as in GG's Mariposa, seems like a good solution for bear canisters, etc.

Cheers team-BMW. Get em shipped! :)

ps - on 2nd thought, i'm glad for some time, to save up the $

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Me, too take 3. Hipbelt pockets... on 05/02/2005 19:10:57 MDT Print View

Once you have a pack with small hipbelt pockets, you wonder how you ever got along without them. Map, compass, pen/paper, snack in one, small camera and AM kit in the other.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
more BMW pack kibitzing on 05/02/2005 19:39:21 MDT Print View

and compression straps-- where are they? Even on
a small pack they're invaluable for load control-- and you guys liked the ones on the Granite Gear Virga so much in a pack review BPL did awhile back.

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
BMW packs on 05/02/2005 21:14:42 MDT Print View

I agree about the hipbelt pockets. Very useful! My ultimate pack would also have an adjustable torso (for fine tuning), ventilation for the spine and back (perhaps like the Comet by 6 Moon Designs), and a Platapus sleeve like that found on the GG Vapor Trail.


(RavenUL) - F
BMW packs on 05/03/2005 00:55:39 MDT Print View

Hip belt pockets = good
Compression straps = good
Bungee web (or at least the provision to add one) = good

Just my .02 Kopecks

(RavenUL) - F
BMW packs on 05/03/2005 01:38:31 MDT Print View

Hip belt pockets = good
Compression straps = good
Bungee web (or at least the provision to add one) = good

Just my .02 Kopecks

Jon Solomon
(areality) - F - MLife

Locale: Lyon/Taipei
fabric on 05/03/2005 02:15:10 MDT Print View

Ryan and BPL friends, congratulations on getting the innovative pack series close to production!

The fabric being used looks like it is from Dimension-Polyant, or another sailcloth manufacturer.

How do the puncture holes around the seam thread fare under stress, especially on the lightest 2.1 oz/sq yd fabric?

Dan McHale once made a pack for me of a very light spectra cloth with mylar laminate. Tough stuff, its weak point was around the seam thread holes.

There was also some word that the very light sailcloth mylar laminates may possibly delaminate over time when exposed to water and irregular stress. But if that really happens at all, it probably is a once-in-a-blue-moon thing.

Edited by areality on 05/03/2005 02:17:32 MDT.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
hip belt pockets on 05/03/2005 03:09:03 MDT Print View

Hadn't heard of ULA & their packs.

Just checked them out. They looked like very nice packs. On the P-2, the attachment pts of the shoulder strap webbing to the bottom of the pack is clever & appears structurally sound (wish I had thought of that!).

Should've known someone else would have thought of hipbelt pockets.

Wonder why more pack mfr's don't provide them as either std or as an option?

Are there Patent infringement issues here? Have they been out there for 17yrs?

[Note: The typical length of Patent rights in the USA based on info I've been given from my company's Patent/Legal Dept is 17yrs.].

Even if there are active Patent rights, depending upon how the patent is written up (its "claims"), there may be other designs that don't infringe on any of the Patent's "claims". That's why, as Engineers, we go to great lengths to try to "cover all the bases" with "claims" when we make a Patent Disclosure. This is usually done with some general "claims" in addition to more specific "claims" (whether or not all claims will be accepted by the US gov't's Patent Office is another story - case-by-case basis, in my experience). There are also, of course, possible ways to license the rights from the Patent holder.

Even smaller, gusseted pockets which are actually integrated as part of the hip belt (vs. attached to the hip belt) would be fine. I have a fanny pack which has these types of zippered, gusseted pockets *in* each "wing" on either side of the "main" pocket. They are quite functional even though small - the gusseted "bellows" of the pocket expands nicely to hold Poss'mDown gloves or beanie, lt. wt (1oz) balaclava, etc. or other small items like lip balm, bug dope, Gu, or 1or2 energy bars in each, etc.

If an optional feature, these integrated pockets would only necessitate two hip belt designs. Obviously, the same pack bag & suspension could be used with either hip belt design - just kickin' around a few ideas here, that's all.

I sure would like to leave the fanny pack, which I sometimes wear ("backwards", i.e. in front of me) at home.

Just did some web searching. Looks like zippered integrated pockets have already been implemented in the GraniteGearWisp pack.

Edited by pj on 05/03/2005 04:26:47 MDT.

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
hip belt pockets on small packs.. on 05/03/2005 07:50:09 MDT Print View

You can find hipbelt pockets on quite a few smaller day-pack size packs from several brands. And more often on brands commonly used by the adventure racing crowd (like Salomon).

IMO, they are the "new" top lid (which are worthless). Several newer packs have them (like the Osprey Atoms line), but for some reason they are made from mesh.