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
Lightweight Mountaineering Pack
Display Avatars Sort By:
Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Mountaineering Pack on 12/15/2011 09:36:46 MST Print View

Yup, Paul, CCW makes good mountaineering packs. Not the lightest but durable. My kind of pack. Only reason I didn't buy one is due to $$$ and went with the BD at the time. Guy I go climbing with has an Andinista that he has had for 20 years. Still going strong minus the polyurethane coating of course.

Given enough extra tie points on the outside one doesn't need a "pack" larger than 35L or so. Food/clothes can go in stuff sacks and tied on. Done that plenty though the hike in/out generally isn't nice as their frames are none existant.

Think my ultimate mountaineering "pack" would be a modular frame that one can add/subtract hibelt/tool loops/stays/framesheet/bag size. Essentially what I really want is a simple "frame" with a minimal bag for food/water/camera/emergency kit/clothes that extra bags or ropes/pro/tents get tied to.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Mountaineering Pack on 12/15/2011 10:06:53 MST Print View

I have always liked the Andinista, well the one with the crampon straps that is out of stock but it is far too big for purposes. I actually own the Guide pack for my one day routes in the spring when I still need 'pons, snowshoes, ice axe but not the bulky winter belay jacket etc. It also makes a pretty good overnight summer bivy bag too.

You are right, one doesn't really need such a big pack with so many lashing points. I like my 40L Valdez for one day winters and the 50L Chernobyl for multi-day routes.

I believe that Ciliogear's packs are at least semi-modular with removable frame sheet, strap set, bivy pad, crampon pocket, sternum belt, hip belt and the aluminum stay which is a neat concept-- but something I would never take advantage of which is why I opted for the simpler design of the CCW pack when I was in the market.

Avery S
hmm... on 12/17/2011 10:53:13 MST Print View

I really like the HMG porter (in theory) for trips where I can get away with 35-40 lbs of stuff, but I think I'm asking it to do way too much if it's going to replace my Gregory Makalu for all trips.

I think I might just keep the Gregory for huge load (60 lbs) trips and also get the HMG. I didn't think that was an option but maybe I can find the money somewhere. I also saw an HMG coupon mentioned on here that would help...

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: hmm... on 12/17/2011 11:49:58 MST Print View

The problems I see with the HMG:

-Roll top closure could be a royal pain trying to keep the spin-drift out.
-Lack of a place to secure a rope
-Can cuben really stand up to true mountaineering? Being hauled over talus, spiked by 'pons and the general abuse that these packs go through.
-The pack is fairly new-- there are not any reviews for it. How is the craftsmanship, will the seams withstand the pressure after a couple of years.

Personally, I would avoid the Porter like the plague until it has been tried and tested for a year or two under real life mountaineering conditions. I would stick with the Cilogear 60 that you adore-- built my mountaineers, for mountaineers and it has been tried, tested and passed for years and years. Not to mention that you will save $15 and KNOW you are getting quality that has been proven to last.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: hmm... on 12/17/2011 12:09:27 MST Print View

Padding is more than sufficient for the recommended loads. Nice wide belt. There are numeroud places to secure a rope as the Porter has two vertical daisy chains that have attachement points every inch or so. That is the point of this pack - modularity.

The fabric is thick - probably a 210d at least. Not as abrasian resistant as full spectra but more so than dyneema gridstop.

I can't see how the roll top would be an issue. Even Arcteryx has used this approach on their climbing packs.

Craftsmanship is excellent. Seams very tight. Comparable to my Mchale.

The Porter has been tested for many months independently.

Richard Fischel
i keep reposting this on 12/18/2011 12:45:02 MST Print View

because the same/simiar question keeps coming up -

everything below fits in a cilogear 40l pack -

wm antelope long (no stuff/compression sack. just stuffed into the bottom of the pack), wild things event hardshell and belay jacket, spare gloves, 4+1 days of food, petzl ecrin helmet, spare pair of socks, integral designs full event overbag, 2X liter nalgenes, bd lighthouse tent, lightweight balaclava, neoprene face mask, bd alpine bod harness rigged for typical glacier travel, g12 crampons (in crampon pocket), petzl summit ice axe (in ice axe holder), wild things wind pants and outdoor research neoplume pants. there was room in the lid for a pair of goggles, snacks for the day and a head lamp. i carry the tent so my partner has the stove, pot, and first aid kit. if i ditched the climbing related gear i could fit a cook set. i could have saved room in the bag by hanging my helmet off the back. yes, the pack has no water bottle pockets, but i can easily add one or two by attaching chalk bag(s) that i found in the bargain bin for $2.50 each or insulated water bottle parkas. while i would add/leave things out, this would be pretty indicative of my load-out when i anticipate temperatures below 0*f.

what's in your 40l

40l packed

if i was going with a -20*+ bag or planning on being out for more than 4 or 5 days i'd think about the 60l.

the hmg looks interesting, but i haven't seen any indication that it's been adopted by the mountaineering community like the cilo's, ccw's or wild thing packs.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: i keep reposting this on 12/18/2011 13:50:00 MST Print View

Nice list Richard and not too dissimilar to my own. I think this is what Brian and I were touching on, that you really don't need such a huge pack, even for 4 day trips if you have your gear dialed in.

How do you like your Cilogear 40? Any gripes?

I was looking at handing down my Valdez to my brother in law and was contemplating picking up either another Valdez or spending the extra $100 for 40L Worksack in the New Year-- any thoughts or would you go with something else entirely now that your the the 40L WS?

Richard Fischel
paul - someday when i need to replace the 40l it will be on 12/18/2011 20:04:16 MST Print View

with a 45l. when i got the 40l i was transitioning from a bigger pack with lots of pockets. i was a little reluctant to go with a pack as spartan as the cilogear worksack so i went with the 40l that has the zipper in the pack body. the zipper gives you limited access into the pack and my reptilian brain thought this was important. going with this option also eliminated the internal compression strap. i quickly came to the realization that i did not need the zipper (i think i've used it twice) and that my packing style adapted to best utilize and take advantage of what the 40l had to offer (like no stuff sack for the sleeping bag and other items that can fill space). the 45l uses slightly lighter material than the 40l or 40b (40b, no zipper) is a little more stripped-out (no crampon pocket) and has slightly more volume. my suggestion is to give graham a call at cilogear and he can walk you through the best options. he's not shy in helping you to pick a pack and he loves to talk.

i'm a big fan of everything wild things (as you can tell from my gear list) and would love to own their guide pack which is near perfect for me, but i'm getting older and as the pack size and weight carrying increases i need the frame-sheet and aluminum stay that cilo incorporates. i just can't/don't want to hump a fully loaded alpine pack that only has a folded bivy-pad for a suspension. i've spent an hour or two tweaking the bend in the frame-sheet and adjusting the waist belt up-and-down and it's now a custom pack that's fit to me. for slightly more weight than a wild things or ccw pack the carry is much more comfortable. that being said, when i need to i can strip the worksack down to its lean and mean bare-bones and have a fully functional pack that weighs under 2 lbs.

now if i can only figure out how to become a cilogear sponsored athlete cause i truly jones for the white-stuff graham is pushing (insert wink here).

Daniel Yaris
(danielY) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: "Minimalist" on 02/06/2012 22:55:57 MST Print View

I second either east coast CCW or west coast cilogear! Good old made in USA packs

I own the CCW valdez, chernoble, and choas

and the cilo 30L, 40B NWD, and 60L

I got to meet the owner of cilo as they made my 30l pack.

I would get a 40L pack I have used a 30l for over night mountaineering stuff such as MT jefferson and the 40B NWD for 3 day stuff on Mt rainier. I think I would only need more for a really long trip. I love my NWD pack though! I got a good deal on it though. I have to say though that I love my 30L pack and plan on using it for summer Rainier climbs. I get lighter every trip

Sieto van der Heide

Locale: The Netherlands
MLD Super Exodus on 02/28/2012 15:03:17 MST Print View

While MLD isn't known for it's pack to be used mountaineering, I've been using the MLD Super Exodus for almost 2 year for that. MLD doesn't offer the 'Super' version any more on the website, but maybe they can still make one. The Super differs from the regular in that it's made completely from Dyneema X (no mesh). This makes the pack very durable.
My modified version (I made a light frame for it) weighs 850 grams / 30 oz, and can carry 15 kg / 33 lbs in relative comfort. I've used it for overnight mountaineering trips, carrying a mountaineering gear, cooking gear, a -20c / -5 f sleepingbag etc.

whitenoise .
(whitenoise) - F
Cilogear on 03/15/2012 22:24:27 MDT Print View

I also have a Cilogear 30L and 45L. Truly amazing minimalist yet durable packs. For lightweight multiday mountaineering, you should be able to fit everything in a 40-45L Cilo. Extension collar adds 20 liters, plus you have the lid. Trying to get things down so I can fit it all in my 30L, but it may take a bit of effort. :)

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 03/16/2012 06:46:41 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 05/28/2012 17:43:14 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Arc'Teryx Nozone 35 on 03/16/2012 12:03:23 MDT Print View

I looked at the nozones at mec, would have been more impressed if the 35 had a full hipbelt instead of just a webbing one

Matt Allen
(zeroforhire) - MLife
Cilo on 03/30/2012 10:32:30 MDT Print View

+1 for Cilogear. The 60l can do everything well. Expands to around 90L for expeditions and compresses to somewhere aroud 35l for peak bagging.

I also have a pod sac black ice. Similar to the cilo, but looks to be a little more durable.

Ryan S

Locale: Mid Atlantic
CiloGear on 04/23/2012 15:59:47 MDT Print View

Another +1 for the CiloGear worksacks. I have the 60L pack, and have used it on a few trips now. It is quite large, but strips down weight and size wise, pretty well. But overall it's a little too large for my most frequent uses. For a week long trip I think it is great, but for a weekend trip, I think I would rather have the 40L and have been considering purchasing it as well. Very few issues: I had part of the buckle for an ice tool attachment break, but it broke during baggage check at some point (with tools attached). I just tied a knot behind the buckle for the time being. Another issue, the framesheet rises up pretty high, so on the occasion that I've forgot to remove it while climbing lower angle ice, it would inhibit head movement when I would try to look up. Just leave it behind when you strip it for a summit pack, or chop it shorter.

Kai Larson
(KaiLarson) - F
Hyperlite on 04/23/2012 22:33:35 MDT Print View

40 pounds is a pretty heavy load for mountaineering. 30 pounds is as much as I'd consider carrying for climbing, even on a multi-day trip.

My current favorite lightweight mountaineering pack is the Hyperlite Ice pack.

Better suspension than the Cilo Gear packs, and lighter than the Cilo Gear packs.

About 40 liters.

Edited by KaiLarson on 04/23/2012 22:36:01 MDT.

Richard Fischel
Re: Hyperlite on 04/24/2012 03:29:30 MDT Print View

What makes the suspenion on the hyperlite better? It looks like a well thought out pack, but i prefer a pack with an expansion/spindrift collar for volume versatility and a removable lid with pockets for storage/access options.

Kai Larson
(KaiLarson) - F
Re: Re: Hyperlite on 04/25/2012 13:07:32 MDT Print View

The Cilo gear suspension gives you 4 choices.

Choice 1: Nothing. Light and flexible, but no weight transfer. Difficult to get weight off of your shoulders.

Choice 2: Foam pad. Somewhat better than nothing, but foam doesn't have much longitudinal strength. It bends quite easily, so weight transfer is modest at best. With very careful packing and compression, you can use the load to make up for this weakness, but it's not an ideal solution.

Choice 3: Frame sheet. The frame sheet provides excellent weight transfer. However, it weighs over a pound. Also, the stiff plastic inhibits the pack from flexing with your back and conforming to your back as you climb. So, you get weight transfer, but at the expense of weight and climbing performance.

Choice 4: New Klymit inflatable pad. I have one, but haven't tested it yet. No idea how well it will work. It might be great. It might not.

Compare this with the frame in the Hyperlite. The frame consists of a very light and thin pad that is there solely for comfort, not for load support. The pad is thin and flexible, so it doesn't keep the pack from conforming to your back and twisting and flexing when you twist and flex. This padding is coupled with two thin aluminum stays. They provide excellent longitudinal support, which allows for great weight transfer to the hipbelt. However, because there are just two stays, and not a big stiff plastic sheet, the frame doesn't keep the pack from moving, flexing, and twisting along with your body. It's just a better design. It's lighter, more comfortable, and interferes less with your body's movements and balance.

I have a Cilo Gear pack. I like it when used with just the pad. However, I really don't like the frame sheet. I think that using the frame sheet gives up too much in terms of weight and climbing performance. As a result, when used in my preferred configuration, load carrying performance is somewhat compromised. The Hyperlight carries loads well, and climbs well, and is lighter. As a result, my Cilo is getting less use, and the Hyperlite more.

I agree with you on the removable lid/expansion issues. The ideal pack would be a Cilo Gear pack with a Hyperlite frame. The Hyperlite is also a little on the small side. It's a "small" 39 liters, while the Cilo is a "large" 45 liters. You have to really pare things down to the minimum to fit a multi-day winter climbing load into the Hyperlite.

Edited by KaiLarson on 04/25/2012 13:11:27 MDT.

Richard Fischel
Re: Re: Re: Hyperlite on 04/25/2012 16:11:35 MDT Print View

part of what the frame sheet does for the cilo is to prevent the pack from tacoing when you've cranked-down on the internal and other compression straps. as far as comfort with the frame sheet in, I've bent it to the point that it fits into my lower back and follows the curve of my spine pretty well. I find this more comfortable than having a straight pack against my back. with the pad in place it's pretty comfortable. I think my next experiment will be to take a hole saw to the frame sheet in an attempt to lower its weight without compromising its rigidity (too much). the klymit frame sheet looks pretty interesting. if I do a little too much drilling on my frame sheet one of the inflatable's might be in order.

Avery S
Update on 04/25/2012 17:00:29 MDT Print View

I haven't bought a pack yet, but I'm currently leaning heavily towards the Cold Cold World Valdez. Looks like it does what I want and is inexpensive. If I commit to the Valdez, I'll start looking into some custom options ("modern" tool attachment, crampon pocket, potentially lighter fabric). My torso is 18" (I think), so the 16-20 inch range should suit me.

Funny how now that it's Spring I want a 40 liter pack instead of 50 liters... I would still be looking at CCW if I wanted a 50 liter (Chernobyl).

Number two on the list is the new Arcteryx Nozone. My buddy just ordered the 35 liter version and I'm excited to check it out.

When I recently moved I carried some stuff in the Gregory Makalu. As soon as I put it on I remembered why I love it and I knew I would never sell it. So. Comfortable.