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40-50l Capacity Lightweight Backpack
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Nick Bramhall

Locale: Scottish Highlands
40-50l Capacity Lightweight Backpack on 05/15/2012 02:24:04 MDT Print View

Hello everyone. I have a bit of a conundrum which perhaps BPL could help me with. I currently use an Osprey Talon 33 pack. It has been a great pack for my needs; it’s comfortable and voluminous enough to swallow all my gear and the consumables required for 2 night trips. It’s tall enough that my rolled up Scarp 1 tent goes inside it vertically. At just under a kilo the Talon is admittedly a little heavy for its capacity but as I also use it for winter day trips I haven’t taken a knife to remove any of the gear hanging loops etc. I like the hip, side and front pockets, but what I really love is how comfy it is on me.

Osprey Talon 33 ready for an overnighter

What I’m now looking at is extending my trips up to say 5 or 6 nights and I need to find a higher capacity pack to accommodate the extra food I’ll need on the trail. I’d also like to take the opportunity, if possible, to reduce the weight of the pack itself, though at the very least I don’t really want to end up with something heavier than the Talon 33.

For information a typical gear list for a recent trip can be viewed in my profile. My base weight hovers around 15lb (with some seasonal variation if I need extra insulation or what not) and I carry around about 1.5lb per day of food and fuel.

As I say, the above gear fits fine into the Talon 33 but with two nights worth of consumables the sack is maxed out. I want to do a longer trip of 5-6 nights in a few weeks time and opportunities for resupply are pretty minimal so I’m looking at carrying everything with me. I think this probably translates into another 10-15l of capacity to give everything a chance to fit. Based on these requirements I’m thinking that I want a pack somewhere in the 40-50l capacity that can comfortably handle loads in the 25 lb region. Looking at various websites this puts me in the range of many of the lightweight packs such as the GG Gorilla, the HMG Porter and the Golite Jam. I was just wondering what someone in a similar situation would do, or has done in the past? Is there a stand-out contender for my needs or is it a case of weighing up cost and availability?

As I’m UK based I need to be pretty certain it is the pack for me before placing an order for a US pack. We only have access to a very limited range of packs from UK distributors but these do include products from Golite and ULA. Any help, advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

If anyone is interested in Scottish mountains, a report of my latest two night trip is here on my blog:

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: 40-50l Capacity Lightweight Backpack on 05/15/2012 03:03:27 MDT Print View

If you like packs that carry well, I would go with a ULA pack. Their packs have nice shoulder straps and hip belts and lightweight stays to help distribute the weight.

C g
(cgraf) - M

Locale: So Cal
"40-50l Capacity Lightweight Backpack" on 05/15/2012 06:47:49 MDT Print View

Another option you may consider is the Elemental Horizons Aquilo & Kalais Packs.

Brad Abrahams
Re: "40-50l Capacity Lightweight Backpack" on 05/15/2012 07:20:04 MDT Print View

I recommend the new 2012 Gossamer Gear Gorilla. It's incredibly comfortable, light, customizable, and thoughtful, and solidly constructed.

Rob Timko
(rtimko) - F

Locale: Rockies
If you want to stick with Osprey on 05/15/2012 08:16:07 MDT Print View

If you want to stick with Osprey, look into the Exos 46 maybe. Still light, and comfortable.

Mike Feldman

Locale: SE USA
40-50L Capacity LW pack on 05/15/2012 19:57:38 MDT Print View

I use the Osprey Talon 33 for 1-2 even 3 night trips. It for me is a very comfortable pack. You might like the ULA CDT, or the GG Gorilla, both lighter than your 33.

Nick Bramhall

Locale: Scottish Highlands
Lots of useful replies on 05/16/2012 03:20:49 MDT Print View

Many thanks for all the helpful replies. I had considered both ULA and other packs in the Osprey range but discounted them because they were coming out at very similar weights, or even slightly heavier, than the Talon 33.

One of the frustrations for me when looking at packs is trying to find out whether the advertised pack capacity is for the main compartment only, or whether it also includes the side pockets etc. The cottage guys are generally very good about including all those details but the bigger manufacturers just seem to go with one number. I'm fairly certain for the Talon the 33 means a 33L main compartment. This means that packs like the ULA CDT don't offer any real size gains. The GG Gorilla has a main compartment of 42L I believe (their website is currently down) which definitely puts it more into my range. Thank you also for the Elemental Horizons suggestion - not a name I had come across before.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: 40-50L packs on 05/16/2012 08:04:19 MDT Print View

Nick, I've not owned a Talon 33 but my experience with other Ospreys (Talon 22, Hornet 24) is that they rarely measure out as having the capacity the name would claim. Of course, other manufacturers are guilty of the same so it's hard to compare.

There are tons of options in that size range, just comes down to cost and feature preference.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Hornet 46 on 05/16/2012 09:39:01 MDT Print View

The hornet 46 isn't a lot heavier then the Talon 33, and presumably they both use the same volume measurements. Would that work?

Jamie Klein

Locale: Louisville
Crown VC 60 on 05/16/2012 10:22:53 MDT Print View

Have you looked at the Granite Gear Crown VC 60? 60 litres, weighs 34oz. Has a removable frame that brings it down to 29oz according to the manufacturer. Could shave more weight too if you wanted.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Crown VC 60 on 05/16/2012 13:33:13 MDT Print View

I have a Crown, and I am really enjoying it. I haven't measured the volume, but it seems to be at least 50L. The carry is quite good if it fits you. I often use a 1/8" CCF pad rolled up for the frame rather than the framesheet, that saves me about 3 ounces. But the carry is very good, and I really like the feature set. FWIW, you can also remove the hipbelt to save another 5.7 oz if you need to go really light. (Also, my framesheet weighs 5.75 oz, bringing it down to just over 23 oz without either.)

For your baseweight and what you are wanting to use it for, I would highly recommend the Crown. It is very adaptable to smaller loads or heavier ones. I've loaded up 30 pounds, and the transfer to the hips was excellent.

Edited by GlacierRambler on 05/16/2012 13:36:26 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
try on 05/16/2012 22:59:37 MDT Print View

hate to say it, but its a cr@pshoot if you cant try on the pack first ... you may want to consider trying any pack you can get yr hands on over there ... you may pay a bit more in weight, but at least youll be confident of the fit ... i imagine that returning stuff there wont be painless back to the US

Jared King
(jking) - F

Locale: Middle TN
MLD Exodus FS on 05/17/2012 07:59:43 MDT Print View

I've got the MLD Exodus FS, and it's a great pack for a 5 or 6 night trip--plenty of volume. It can very comfortably carry 25 pounds.

Nick Bramhall

Locale: Scottish Highlands
More Helpful Input on 05/23/2012 01:44:58 MDT Print View

I really appreciate all the input and suggestions, thanks! The Crown looks an interesting pack and meets a lot of the criteria for sure. It is also available in the UK which helps (as I agree with Eric that trying on a pack is always the best bet for getting a good carry). I'd looked at the Hornet series but the 46 in particular doesn't get a good write up from the couple of bloggers who have seen one in the flesh. David, I agree that backpack capacity is notoriously hit-and-miss. Interestingly though I've seen at least one gear source that said that Osprey were one of the better ones at getting accurate capacities for their products...! The Exodus FS looks a good pack and was one of my original contenders. I guess I just need to bite the bullet and give something a go!