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Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
HMG Windrider Owners on 10/20/2011 19:11:26 MDT Print View

How do you like the pack?

How does it compare to GG Gorilla and ULA Ohm?

Once or twice a year I need to carry a bear canister (Bearikade Weekender). Any experience carrying one vertically in the pack?

I'm usually carrying 18-25 pounds including gear, food and water.

Thanks

Brad Fisher

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: HMG Windrider Owners on 10/20/2011 19:56:11 MDT Print View

In comparison to the OHM, the OHM is stiffer and larger.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Ohm - Windrider on 10/20/2011 22:19:16 MDT Print View

I've got an Ohm that I've used a lot over the past 1.5 years and my wife has a Windrider.

The key points seem to be:

- Ohm is bigger....off the top of my head I'd say 25%
- Ohm has much better side pockets. They're bigger (can hold 2 x 1 liter bottles) and easier to use. The WIndriders side pockets are fine, the Ohm's are awesome.
- Ohm rear pocket is better for holding gear (ie. a tent), while Windrider rear pocket is better for drying stuff.
- Windrider rear pocket is nice and durable, while the Ohm rear pocket is a bit vulnerable to cuts/tears. I've got a few small ones. I love the stretch of the Ohm's rear pocket material, but I do wish it was a bit more durable.
- Windrider has an strapping system on the top for a bear canister. The Ohm requires you carry it internally, so you need to find a bear canister without an annoying ridge around the middle, as it will make your back sore. The strapping system on the Windrider is annoying if you don't carry a bear canister though (makes it harder to open/close the pack), so I cut this system off of my wife's Windrider as she'll never carry a canister most likely.
- Windrider is basically waterproof
- only Ohm has load lifter straps.
- Ohm is a bit lighter
- Windrider has bigger hipbelt pockets
- Ohm has the best compression system of any pack out there. The Windrider has nice roll top compression and then the side straps are average.

Overall, I like the Ohm design much better (mostly the compression system and side pockets) but I'm super jealous that the Windrider is basically waterproof. If you hike in drier climates then get the Ohm, if your often in the extended wet stuff then the Windrider will be sweet.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Ohm - Windrider on 10/20/2011 23:03:24 MDT Print View

Nice break down, Dan.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Ohm - Windrider on 10/21/2011 04:48:08 MDT Print View

I've had and used both. I used the Ohm for over a year but only used the Windrider for a trip or two before changing to their Porter model.

IMO, the Ohm compression system is not that good, and the materials are prone to failure. The system on the Windrider is more traditional and works just as well, if used correctly.

The exterior pockets are fairly comparable but the material on the Windrider will be more prone to snagging if you plan to go off-trail. The large holes in the mesh are likely to get caught in brush. I prefer the mesh on the Ohm, but HMG does offer a model with fabric pockets.

The shoulder straps on the Ohm were initially a lot better than those on any HMG pack, but this has been fixed in recent revisions. I had one of the initial Ohm runs, so compared to that the latest HMG hip belt is considerably better.

The Windrider pack fabric is quite durable and 100% waterproof. The pack itself won't be waterproof unless the seams are sealed, but mine was submerged for what felt like 20-30 seconds back in April and didn't let in more than a few drops. The pack fabric on the Ohm is initially waterproof (more or less anyway) but the PU coating will wear off over time. The Ohm pack material will also absorb more water. Of course being waterproof and absorbing little water may not be important for your intended use.

Both carry about the same, assuming you get the sizing correct. IMO, the load lifters on the Ohm are unnecessary, but they do work. Brian Frankle was an excellent pack designer and it's a real shame he got burnt out.

Honestly, I don't feel like you can go wrong with either. Both have perks and pitfalls, so just get whichever fits your individual needs better. Since I've gotten a packraft and started guiding more, neither fits my needs now so I moved to the HMG Porter.

Strictly looking at ergonomics and anatomically correct harness design, the GG packs aren't in the same league as the Ohm or Windrider.

Brad - if you happen to be in the Asheville area I can let you check out my Porter. I can probably borrow a modified Ohm (a lot of the fabric has been replaced with Cuben) for you to look at also.

Edited by simplespirit on 10/21/2011 04:56:20 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Compression on 10/21/2011 11:51:03 MDT Print View

"IMO, the Ohm compression system is not that good, and the materials are prone to failure."

What material failures have you seen with the Ohm compression? The cordage? or the eyelets?

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Ohm - Windrider on 10/21/2011 12:20:31 MDT Print View

Dan and Chris,

Thanks for taking the time to write a detailed response. The information is very helpful. Glad to hear that I probably can't go wrong with either pack.

Brad Fisher

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Ohm - Windrider on 10/21/2011 13:12:14 MDT Print View

I carried around 35 bounds (most of that weight was photo gear and water) up KIlimanjaro, and I've been bike commuting with my Windrider, original model. It's held up pretty well, in spite of now close to 8 months as a bike commuting pack, and I stopped worrying early on about having photo gear, books, and sometimes even a Quantum strobe + battery pack stuffed in there. I can't compare it to an Ohm because I haven't used an Ohm, but I can say that I like my Windrider. I haven't done much hiking with it, but I use it a lot, and it's held up pretty well so far.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Ohm - Windrider on 10/21/2011 13:33:52 MDT Print View

"Strictly looking at ergonomics and anatomically correct harness design, the GG packs aren't in the same league as the Ohm or Windrider."

that just shows how everybody is different. I found the GG Gorilla to carry more comfortably than the Ohm. The curved stays are superior imo to the hoop.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Compression on 10/21/2011 14:58:04 MDT Print View

Both. Cordage is an easy fix, eyelets and the fabric around them not so much.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Compression on 10/21/2011 21:35:02 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info Chris. That's good to know. I've used mine compressed quite a bit (ie. ski tour into a cabin with a big load, then ditch most of the gear and compress the pack for some pow laps) without any problems but I'll have to keep an eye on it this winter. I guess the good thing is that even if the compression did suffer some damage, it wouldn't be a day wrecking problem.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Compression on 10/22/2011 06:56:55 MDT Print View

I think the more likely issue you'll see with normal use on an Ohm is the PU coating flaking off, at which point the fabric becomes a nice water-absorbing nylon. :-)

That could take a year on a thru-hike, or a few years with more casual use.

Edited by simplespirit on 10/22/2011 06:57:39 MDT.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Compression on 10/22/2011 08:43:37 MDT Print View

I wouldn't have thought the eyelets/cordage would have been prone to failure on the Ohm. I put even lighter cordage than what came in mine & everything has worked fine for hundreds of miles now. Will have to keep an eye on it.

Ryan

Russ Maynard
(russmay) - F

Locale: Central California
Weight transfer to hips? on 08/14/2012 08:07:57 MDT Print View

When carrying load from 18 to 30 pounds, how do the 2 compare with weight distribution to the hips? I have been looking at these two pack for a while. Due to an old neck and shoulder injury this concers me. I need to have the weight all on my hips with shoulder straps for stability and support.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Weight transfer to hips? on 08/14/2012 08:43:50 MDT Print View

Russ, I sent you a PM

Raquel Rascal
(flutingaround)

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
@Anna on 10/02/2012 06:48:48 MDT Print View

I'm interested in the weight transfer to the hips question too....I suffer from an upper back injury...

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: @Anna on 10/02/2012 07:26:21 MDT Print View

It did a pretty good job of that for me. It isn't very adjustable though, instead you need to choose the correct size to get a good fit. The stays are quite flexible, but they're enough to transfer the load to your hips.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: @Anna on 10/02/2012 08:34:38 MDT Print View

I have the Windrider, GG Gorilla 2012 and the GG Gorilla pre 2012. I just finished a 7 day trip in the Sierra's using the Windrider. Started the trip with 28 pounds including food, water and other consumables. I managed the first couple of days, but the Windrider doesn't carry that much weight very well. I had no major issues, but the hip belt and shoulder straps are just not beefy enough for that weight. What I like and dislike about the packs:

Windrider:
- Like the material
- Packs very well. Stands up nice and easy to fit gear
- Hipbelt and shoulder straps are fine for lighter loads (< 25 pounds)
- Mesh pockets on the side and back are just average. Not much stretch to them.
- I carried a Berikade weekender inside the pack and it worked fine. Had room for my sleeping pad and MLD TS and some clothes around the canister.
- Hip belt pockets are just too small

Gorilla
- Carries very well with beefy hip belt and shoulder straps
- Bear canister is a tighter fit and not as much room to pack beside the canister. However the gear would fit in both packs
- Like stretchy pockets and how the 2012 model has improved wear areas with stronger material

If I had to do over i would have carried the Gorilla. I have used the older Gorilla the past 2 years on week long hikes in the Sierra and it worked great. Just wanted to try something different this year.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: @Anna on 10/02/2012 09:24:34 MDT Print View

"Windrider:
- Like the material
- Packs very well. Stands up nice and easy to fit gear
- Hipbelt and shoulder straps are fine for lighter loads (< 25 pounds)
- Mesh pockets on the side and back are just average. Not much stretch to them.
- I carried a Berikade weekender inside the pack and it worked fine. Had room for my sleeping pad and MLD TS and some clothes around the canister.
- Hip belt pockets are just too small"

I agree about the mesh, I'm not a fan of it. If I did it over again, I'd order the dyneema pockets instead of the mesh. Also agree that the hipbelt pockets are too small and that the stock pack is best for loads under 25 pounds. That's why I asked Mike to make a few changes that, I believe, has made a big difference in the pack, and made it better suited for some heavier loads: I had him make the lumbar pad narrower and pass through - so I'm able to use an Circuit hipbelt with it (my favorite hipbelt of all). This gives it great weight transfer to hips and great hipbelt pockets. It's the best of both worlds - the HMG pack material with the ULA hipbelt.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: @Anna on 10/02/2012 09:31:24 MDT Print View

Doug,
I saw your customized Windrider and it is very tempting.

Brad