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Mike Mahoney
(tiquer) - F

Locale: In the dog house, lately
MLD - 2012 - 3500ci EXODUS Full Suspension on 05/28/2012 10:14:43 MDT Print View

The next item on my up-grade list is a pack.
I am looking at the New Exodus with the inflatable back pad.
http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=185


Does anyone have one of these, or hiked with someone that had one.
What I am most interested in, is how well the inflatable back pad preformed.
I do not doubt the Quality in MLD products. Everyone that I have met with
their gear raves about not only the gear, but the service that Ron & his crew
deliver is second to none.

So, if you have some miles on this pack what did you think?

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts)

Locale: Nashville
RE: MLD - 2012 - 3500ci EXODUS Full Suspension on 05/28/2012 12:07:50 MDT Print View

Mike, below is what I posted about mine in another thread. I have found that the inflatable backpanel works well and the pack is very comfortable. Let me know if you have any other more specific questions about it.


Just wanted to update on my usage of my Exodus FS. I love this pack! Definitely fits my gear and packing style better than my SMD Traveler. I've been out with it for the past 3 weekends for day hikes of between 3 to 5 miles each. I loaded the pack with between 20 and 24 pounds each time. The inflatable back pad and small carbon rod seems to work very well. It definitely feels stiffer than my old pack while using a z-lite and stays. Maybe it's because it seems to fit closer to my back. I won't be out on another multi day trip until March but from my day hikes i can tell that this pack is going to be comfortable. If I had to change anything it would be to add an additional piece of mesh to the top of the backpanel since i did notice my back getting hot. This would be the same with any pack that uses mostly fabric instead of mesh for the backpanel though.

The pack is a standard Exodus besides the carbon rods and Klymit pad. I seem to be able to find a place to attach anything that I need to and the compression system for smaller loads is remarkable.

I definitely recommend this pack.


And

Just wanted to put another update into this thread. Went out this weekend to Deep Creek in GSMNP for a 3 night trip. I started the trip off with around 25.5 pounds loaded into my Exodus FS and I am happy to report that it performed great! I inflated the klymit frame at the trailhead and left it alone for the rest of the trip. Pack load was definitely transferred to my hips and this weight felt very comfortable in the pack. In fact, I can't think of anything that I would change about the pack.

Mike Mahoney
(tiquer) - F

Locale: In the dog house, lately
Re: RE: MLD - 2012 - 3500ci EXODUS Full Suspension on 05/29/2012 16:31:45 MDT Print View

Thanks Heath, that is exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

Anyone else?

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: MLD - 2012 - 3500ci EXODUS Full Suspension on 05/30/2012 12:23:01 MDT Print View

How does it carry with loads around 30-32 lbs.?

When I was on the JMT last year, on the final half of the trip there weren't any good resupply options, so we carried all of our food for the last 110 miles.

This bumped us up to 30-32 lbs and required us to carry a large bear canister the whole trip.

Curious to know how the Exodus FS handles these higher loads that are consider outside the normal weight range of a frameless backpack.

I can tell you, using an older/lighter Jam2, I was not happy with the weight until I was back to 27-25 lbs.

I would expect the Exodus FS to carry like a dream at 25lbs, but that is also within the upper range of what a frameless pack should be able to handle comfortablely.

Appreciate any feedback on this pack.

-Tony

Mike Mahoney
(tiquer) - F

Locale: In the dog house, lately
bump on 06/03/2012 07:05:56 MDT Print View

I was told once, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Is that what's going on here?

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts)

Locale: Nashville
RE:MLD - 2012 - 3500ci EXODUS Full Suspension on 06/03/2012 07:24:16 MDT Print View

I think that maybe it is more that not too many of these packs are out there yet. I can't see how anyone would dislike this pack. Maybe it just fits me so well that I am a fanatic about it :)

To add some information to Tony's question, I haven't used mine with 30 pounds but I will be close to that weight when I go fly fishing in July. I will report back on what my experiences are after that. The way it feels at 25 to 26 I think that it will work fine with an extra 5 pounds but that remains to be seen. I normally do some training hikes here at Radnor Lake in Nashville before I hike so I will try to add some weight to bring it up to 30 when I do. The loop is 4.5 miles so it will give at least some info on how it carries with that weight

Edited by heathpitts on 06/03/2012 07:26:08 MDT.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: MLD - 2012 - 3500ci EXODUS Full Suspension on 06/03/2012 21:02:49 MDT Print View

Mike, I haven't had mine out with any weight close to that, but I do love this pack, carries like a dream for me, but I have yet to be over 18 lbs with it. I'll be taking a trip later in the year, Sept, with my 8 year old daughter and will be up to 26-27 lbs there, so I'll report back then. In the meantime, this is an awesome pack, pull the trigger if you're considering it, I have to believe that it'll do fine with 35 lbs, this is a real suspension.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: MLD - 2012 - 3500ci EXODUS Full Suspension on 06/03/2012 21:09:55 MDT Print View

How is the load transfer with that hipbelt? It just seems as if a taller/longer belt might transfer better. That was my hesitation at least when looking for a new pack a few months ago.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Load transfer on 06/03/2012 21:14:18 MDT Print View

The belt is pretty substantial towards the back and seems to transfer quite a bit. It's no Granite Gear hip belt, but it works well enough for the loads I carry. The best I could offer is to throw a bunch of water in it and get it to 35 lbs and walk around the house, but that'd be an awfully limited test, and just my opinion.

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts)

Locale: Nashville
Re: MLD - 2012 - 3500ci EXODUS Full Suspension on 06/03/2012 21:16:08 MDT Print View

Load transfer is great as far as i can tell with the weight that i have carried. That is one of the best features of it for me. I can take almost all of the weight off my shoulders if I need to. I have a 32 inch waist and the hip belt wraps around the sides of my hips well. I imagine that Ron would probably make a wider/longer hip belt if you wanted though.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Load transfer on 06/03/2012 21:29:41 MDT Print View

Thanks for the help. If I did ever go that route, I might have Ron beef up the hipbelt. I have unusual hips (my iliac crest is an inch or so above my belly button), so the Granite Gear hipbelt is perfect for me. I really love it. But I've always admired Ron's work. I might end up going with a smaller volume pack like the Burn in a year or two, when the budget recovers.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: RE:MLD - 2012 - 3500ci EXODUS Full Suspension on 06/04/2012 16:07:09 MDT Print View

Heath,

Thanks for the feedback and I would love to get your impressions on the FS after your trip in July.

I love the Exodus, which just seems like a perfected UL version of the Jam2 that I am using.

However, considering that the Jam2 served me well on the JMT last year, hard for me to justify replacing it, but knowing that the FS version would carry better and give me the flexibility of removing the FS is pretty tempting to perfect all the future trips that I might take on.

Again, thank you for your feedback!

-Tony

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
More on the Hip belt on 06/04/2012 18:48:41 MDT Print View

I just compared the Exodus' hip belt to a Jam that I have, the padded part of the Exodus is ~3/4 inch longer than the Jam, roughly the same shape. The Exodus has quite a bit more padding than the Jam.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: More on the Hip belt on 06/04/2012 19:05:51 MDT Print View

That's the Jam2, right?

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: Exodus FS on 06/04/2012 19:08:12 MDT Print View

"I was told once, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
Is that what's going on here?"

I've owned an Exodus FS for about 7 months. My usual 3 season pack is an MLD Burn which I love dearly. When I needed a pack capable of handling heavier loads for packrafting and family trips, the Burn's big brother was an obvious choice. I typically refrain from posting comments or reviews about gear until I feel like I've had the opportunity to really use it for an extended period of time in a wide variety of situations. I have only used this pack on 6 trips, about 18 hiking days total. In light of your comment though, I'm happy to share my initial impressions.

I used the Exodus first for early season winter trips with loads of 10-15 lbs. I used the inflatable back panel for 2 trips before deciding that it was not necessary at these weights. My gear in November/December tends to be higher volume than my regular 3 season load, but still relatively low in weight, and the hoop stay was more than adequate for a comfortable carry. I did enjoy having the pad for use at night under my feet, but this alone was not sufficient reason to continue carrying it.

avatar
I really like the shape of the pack, not too tall or wide. Not surprisingly, the fit is remarkably similar to the Burn. The shoulder straps are well placed and comfortable, and the hipbelt transfers weight well. I had initially worried about this because the belt is flat and does not cup the hips like beefier hipbelts, but I ended up finding this belt style less confining.

Exodus
Construction is meticulous as would be expected from any MLD product. The back pocket is large enough to hold a wet duomid

packraft
The side pockets swallow a 1 liter bottle securely. With some contortion, I can fish one out while walking.

Disappointingly, I found the Exodus slightly too small for my typical deep winter gear. Although my winter base weight is only 12 lb, my -20F bag is relatively bulky, making packing the exodus relatively difficult. I was able to fit the winter bag into the main body of the pack but was very concerned about the stress it put on the pack seams. I managed one deep winter trip with the Exodus, foam pad strapped to the top of the pack and duomid stowed in a one of the side pockets, before deciding that it was not worth the effort.

packraft2
For me, the Exodus shined for packrafting. I was able to fit the raft paddle, and all of my gear but the life vest into the main body of the pack with plenty of room to spare. Total pack weight was under 20 lb, and it carried comfortably, again without the back pad.

In summary:
The fit, comfort, and workmanship of the Exodus are excellent, on par with what I have come to expect from this company. I may be slightly biased, as I use a number of MLD products and have been very happy with all of them.

I would prefer if the pack were larger. As it is, the pack has a very specific niche. It is way too big for my 3 season gear and too small for my light but bulky winter gear. It is perfect for my packrafting gear, but I would have been happier if it could have handled all my larger pack needs. It would probably be an ideal pack for those with closer to traditional size loads, or for its stated purpose- lighter loads with the need for carrying additional water. It would also be great for those with heavy camera gear.

I'm not sure how much the back pad adds to carrying capacity. I find that the pack carries very comfortably without it, and removing it frees up a little interior space. I tend to prefer simplicity, so I'm happy to be able to ditch a component that has the potential to fail at some point, as inflatable pads occasionally will. Disclaimer: I have never carried more than 20 lb in the pack. I might feel very differently if I did.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: More on the Hip belt on 06/04/2012 20:53:15 MDT Print View

Clayton, yes, comparing it to the Jam 2. The Exodus belt is on top, measures 8.5" from the inner stitching to the end, the Jam 2, bottom is 8". So not much difference in length, but the extra padding is significant (to me).

Exodus belt

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Re: More on the Hip belt on 06/04/2012 21:10:28 MDT Print View

Excellent. That's really helpful. Thanks Art.

Mike Mahoney
(tiquer) - F

Locale: In the dog house, lately
Thank you all on 06/05/2012 11:37:24 MDT Print View

Thank you all!

I have my total total 3 season weight down to
23lbs with 1L water & 4 days food. Down from 38
2 years ago. I currently have a Flash 65, and it
was not happy about being nearly empty on my last trip (4 days)

I'm not sure I want to make the jump to a frame-less pack
just yet, so this Exodus looks like the best compromise for me.

My next hike will be 6 or 7 days on the AT in Georgia & NC. While I know I can resupply every 2 or 3 days, I do not want to. So for the first couple days I expect to have a total carry of right around 30lbs +/-.

Sorry, if the "Say something nice" comment came off as a
little snarky. I really wanted some reliable real world info,and I need some ammo when I tell my Wife that I NEED
yet another $300 for gear!

Again Thank You all!

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Thank you all on 06/05/2012 12:22:44 MDT Print View

Good luck (with the trail and with the wife--I think I've about exhausted mine for the time being). Report back how it performs, will you?

Dave Heiss
(DaveHeiss) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Exodus FS on 06/05/2012 18:02:35 MDT Print View

I just pulled the trigger on one of these today. 12 weeks (ugh) but I'm excited to get in the queue. I have an MLD Ark that is wonderful but is too big for most of my trips now that I've got my other gear selections dialed in. Thanks to all for pushing me off the fence. I hope to be using this new pack for many seasons to come.

Edited by DaveHeiss on 06/05/2012 18:03:53 MDT.