Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
3 season ultralight backpacks?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Gerard Nytra
3 season ultralight backpacks? on 03/08/2012 20:14:16 MST Print View

Im in the market for a good ultralight backpack I was eying these

six mood designs swift 15oz no sweat backpanel 3400 cu. in / 56 Liters $110

zpacks exo - 12.8 like the ohm 2.0 - Total Volume 3,000 Cubic Inches / 50 Liters $259

mld exodus - 17oz id probably get the wing belt Total 3100ci /50L main pack or 3500 with extension colar $185.00 with full suspension $269.00

Im a newbie getting into a great ultralight setup. Something for three season use (a future Appalachian trail walk-thru) , trying to get under 12lbs base weight and enough space keeping light weight in mind. Im leaning towards the six moon swift cause its a reasonable price and weight.

Conner D
(cdipaolo) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: 3 season ultralight backpacks? on 03/08/2012 21:55:54 MST Print View

I had the swift and the quality was pretty low. The stitching was fine, just the design was awkward. The pack is way too deep and it feels like a 70 litre pack when you actually pack it. I have some things from zpacks and their quality is great. MLD's quality is reverend, too. I am just trying to tell you my experience with the swift was a bad one and you should probably spend the extra money now and not have to spend it again later if you decide you do not like the pack. Sorry if it sounds like a rant, it should not.

Gerard Nytra
zpacks exo on 03/08/2012 22:22:50 MST Print View

What do you think about the zpacks exo it looks like the ohm but wonder if its comfortable

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: 3 season ultralight backpacks? on 03/08/2012 23:09:19 MST Print View


What is your total gear, food and water weight for your 3-season hikes? Also, will you be carrying a down bag or a synthetic bag?

Edited by ben2world on 03/08/2012 23:11:40 MST.

Gerard Nytra
"3 season ultralight backpacks?" on 03/08/2012 23:31:46 MST Print View

im still looking into a solo tent with or without poles, probably going to go with the tarptent moment. And I own a WM summerlite down bag. Going to get a therma rest neo air all weather pad. Got a 2 liter platypus lock hydration bag, a Gsi haulite minimalist with gram weenie pro and 10oz of heet in a soda bottle, mini bic, swiss army classic, petzl headlamp, and other small items. As for clothes ive got a patagonia m10 shell and a marmot driclimb.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: "3 season ultralight backpacks?" on 03/08/2012 23:45:56 MST Print View

Hi Gerard:

Given what you wrote, I think you will be happy with a frameless pack. An "exo" or any of the SMD or ULA framed packs will probably be an overkill -- although the only way to know for sure is to physically try them out.

For me, I would look for the frameless models from Golite, MLD, ULA or Zpack. The first three utilize Dyneema, which is pretty light and pretty darn strong. But if you exercise a bit of care, a silnylon pack can last you many seasons as well -- and they are lighter and tend to be a bit cheaper. Cuben is the lightest of all, but also the most expensive. Try to select first by material, then by pack volume.

Here's something that sounds radical, but really isn't. Once you've narrowed down to the final 2 or 3 -- feel free to buy them all -- just so you can physically pack them and give them a real test (i.e. neighborhood hike). All of the companies mentioned are highly respected -- and all will cheerfully give you a refund so long as the packs remain in original condition. Your only risk, really, is postage. And these packs cost very little money to ship. Considering the investment you are making and the importance of a good fit -- I highly recommend going this route.

Edited by ben2world on 03/08/2012 23:47:48 MST.

Gerard Nytra
"3 season ultralight backpacks?" on 03/09/2012 19:39:23 MST Print View

Thanks for the advise ben thats a great idea, silnylong might be a good option.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

+1 to try the packs on on 03/09/2012 19:58:33 MST Print View

I'd second the idea to try the packs out and then return the ones that don't work. I started the A.T last year (on a thru-hike) with an MLD Exodus - which is just an amazing pack that will last a lifetime of use AND abuse.....I found the volume ok for my 12 lb cold weather gear set up, but too large for my summer 9 lb gear setup (I went stoveless and very minimalistic). I bought a MLD Burn from Ron at Trail Days in Damascus, VA and used that through to Katahdin. I also own a Gossamer Gear Mariposa (which I saw a number of on the trail) and a ULA Circuit (also a good number on the trail) and would recommend both of those packs as well. It comes down to a few ounces one way or another - versus capacity and load carrying comfort with a fully resupplied pack (coming out of town with 30 lbs in a frameless bag left me wishing for a Circuit a number of times out there). I heard excellent things about the Zpacks Blast from some hikers who used them last year, and Joe's equipment has got an excellent reputation here on BPL.

Basically my advice is -- get your gear weight down - and then pick which ever pack is the most comfortable and functional for your hiking needs and go with that. You will get stronger on the trail - so carrying a few ounces won't seem like that much - but an ill fitting pack or one that doesn't hold the weight well will be uncomfortable for the whole trail.

Gerard Nytra
"3 season ultralight backpacks?" on 03/14/2012 14:42:48 MDT Print View

I tried the Mariposa Plus but didnt like the feel of it and prefer no backpad.

Whats your take on internal hydration pouches, if i got a platypus i can probably let it hang on the outside, wouldnt it dig into your back even semi full?

For the cost on upgrades I might just size up. I guess if I step it up bigger so I dont have to buy 2 packs and can use it all year.

Six Moon Designs Starlight (with hip belt pockets)- $195 (4200 ci)

Zpacks Exo - (can remove frame) 12.8oz $259 or Blast ($235 with upgrades) (3,000 ci)

MLD EXODUS - (3,500 ci)$220 with upgrades.

My goal is a Maximum carry weight of 17lbs with food. Just ordered a tarptent Notch and hopefully soon Black Diamond Aluminum trekking poles (rather have them accidently bend then shatter with carbon)

Gerard Nytra
Bump on 03/15/2012 10:05:38 MDT Print View


Edited by Nytro on 03/18/2012 20:20:34 MDT.