Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter 4400 Backpack Review
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter 4400 Backpack Review on 01/18/2013 00:31:32 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter 4400 Backpack Review

IVAN DOMINGUEZ TEJERA
(idtejera) - MLife

Locale: CANARY ISLANDS
HMG Porter vs. Ula Epic on 01/18/2013 04:16:21 MST Print View

Hi, I loved this review. congratulations. I took a year to decide whether to buy this backpack or Ula Epic for trips with Packraft and trips with my kid. You who have used both, which do you think would be better choice?

Thank you very much

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter 4400 Backpack Review on 01/18/2013 08:18:29 MST Print View

Nice review. I find it crazy that HMG didn't use a hybrid cuben with a heavier face fabric. I received some samples from Cubic a while back while looking for fabrics for MYOG project and the versions with the heavier face had far stronger seam strength and abrasion resistance in my very non-scientific testing. I was honestly surprised that there hadn't been more complaints out seam holes in the HMG packs. If "expeditions" are the intended use, a couple extra ounces seems like a no brainer, especially for such a pricy pack.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Porter 4400 review on 01/18/2013 11:45:21 MST Print View

It's almost hard to believe no one else has figured this one out yet: put quality stays in a pack with decent harness components. Sometimes simplicity is complex. I see a modular hipbelt in the 4400's future, from a design standpoint it would be easiest to improve the seam strength and lumbar padding that way.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
McHale Belts on 01/18/2013 12:45:53 MST Print View

+1 Dave.

The McHale Guide Harness the best load-carrying belt/lumbar construction for the weight that I've ever used. I don't know if there's intellectual property protection there or not, so maybe that's a consideration. But this construction probably isn't the only way to address this issue.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Epic vs. HMG Porter 4400 on 01/18/2013 14:33:32 MST Print View

I love the Epic's concept.

Harness packs and dry bags make great packrafting kit.

But the Epic seems to carry its loads pretty low, the beavertail harness just doesn't have the oomph to bring the load tightly into the suspension, so it slumps. This doesn't have a dramatic impact, but it does feel kinda funny when you're walking.

What I love about the Epic is that I can take the dry bag off and use the harness to haul firewood!

We carried 55-60 lbs as a starting pack weight in the Epic when we started our trek across the Arctic in 2006 (at this time the packs we used were prototypes, but the suspension hasn't significantly changed since). This was a painful experience, but it worked. I'd rate the Epic's load carrying capacity in the 40-45 lb range if the load carrying capacity for me for the Porter 4400 is around 50-55 lb.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Seam Strength, Cuben Fiber on 01/18/2013 14:41:38 MST Print View

Brendan --

I feel ya, man, but there's more here.

The seam holes above indicate an area where a change in seam type would be of more benefit than a change in material.

The seam in question is called a "half fold" (it might be a one fold, I didn't pull it apart) seam, they are inherently weak and should only be used in low stress areas. You could have made this seam with 1000d Cordura and high stress will still result in these types of holes ripping in response to stress.

Stronger types of seams are double folds, or flat fells, and are perhaps more appropriate for seams where compression straps are inserted.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
re: Modular Hipbelt on 01/18/2013 16:22:42 MST Print View

Dave and Ryan, agreed.

That's why I asked Mike to put the Ice Pack hipbelt on the 3400 Porter for me. I also had him modify it so that it would accept the Granite Gear UL hipbelt, my favorite after trying out all the manufacturers.

So far, the modular formula on the lower volume (3400 ci) Porter has been really nice. It adds a level of trip customization that I really appreciate. I hope that Mike makes it a standard option on the Porter line soon. The stiff foam that he uses for the base of the Ice Pack belt carries really well, and the full 10 inches of contact the top of the belt makes with the lumbar pad really improves and stabilizes the load carry without losing the wrap-around feature.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Seam Strength, Cuben Fiber on 01/18/2013 16:24:15 MST Print View

>Stronger types of seams are double folds, or flat fells, and are perhaps more appropriate for seams where compression straps are inserted.

Interesting observation. I'll have to keep this in mind for an MYOG pack I'm planning. It's a little more time and work at first, but it sounds like it will pay off in the long run.

Edited by GlacierRambler on 01/18/2013 16:24:45 MST.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Re: Seam Strength, Cuben Fiber on 01/18/2013 16:49:18 MST Print View

Agreed, Ryan, that a felled seam would be much better there and that construction methods are perhaps more to blame in that case.

What I'm thinking is that using such a lightweight face fabric (which, granted for its weight is impressively strong and abrasion resistant) means that the cuben is a huge part of the fabric's overall strength, and we know that needle holes can be problematic in cuben. Using a heavier face fabric takes some of the overall fabric strength role off the cuben. Using a high-bias cuben, like Cilo and McHale use, seems wise as well.

The hybrid cuben is really awesome stuff; I'm just thinking that given the intended use they could have much longer lives for a couple ounces.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Durability on 01/18/2013 18:21:29 MST Print View

Well I'm slightly disappointed to hear the you finally began wearing it out Ryan but I'm not terribly surprised. Still sounds like a good value. For me the appeal of this pack is that it CAN carry 40+ pounds occassionally but its not overbuilt to handle normal loads which are normally much less (I rarely top 25).

Ryan in your opinion do you think the modular hipbelt that Clayton mention would resolve the hipbelt durability issue?

Edited by Cameron on 01/18/2013 18:32:57 MST.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
Fastening packraft paddles to pack without pockets on 01/18/2013 18:30:01 MST Print View

Ryan,

Would you post a picture of how you lashed or secured your packraft paddles to your pack?
I have alpacka's Sawyer paddles and used one of McHale's bottle pocket with success, but wondered if there was another approach? ( The other bottle pocket held crampons.)

Thinking I'd have Dan create something for my paddles until I read this article.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Epic on 01/18/2013 18:41:04 MST Print View

Since the Epic was mentioned I was curious whether anyone knows of a way to modify it so it doesn't ride so low? Seems like a MYOG mod would be doable with such a pack I'm just not sure how to improve the low riding effect.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Epic on 01/18/2013 19:03:52 MST Print View

I am confused. Wasn't Ryan involved in the development of the Epic with Brian Frankle? Didn't BPL sell the pack directly for a spell?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Epic on 01/18/2013 20:14:53 MST Print View

"Didn't BPL sell the pack directly for a spell?"

I don't know the answer to that, but I can tell you my Epic has BackpackingLight stitched on it. [Well, mine's called an Arctic, but I believe it's the same thing].

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Arctic @ BPL on 01/18/2013 20:39:11 MST Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/ula_arctic_dry_pack.html





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq-X-d1ZyRg

Edited by kthompson on 01/18/2013 20:41:08 MST.

Jeremy Gustafson
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
Re: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter 4400 Backpack Review on 01/18/2013 23:19:59 MST Print View

Funny timing!! After much research, I ordered a 4400 and a 2400 just yesterday. The 4400 will be used for family trips with our 3 little ones and for winter trips. For the family trips, my wife will fill a Golite Pinnacle with clothes and sleeping bags while I will put all the heavier goods in the 4400. For this year anyway, I will probably carry our 25 lb one-year old on my front in an Ergo carrier and give our 3 year old some breaks as needed on my shoulders. Which reminds me, I should start my training now for a spring trip!! I did order the 4400 with the hip belt pockets and accessory stuff pocket. Somewhat necessary when kids are constantly needing things. Additonally, I have a feeling the 4400 will quickly and easily replace my Golite Pinnacle as my winter pack. Not sure I will get out this winter as life is too busy with the little ones, but looking forward to using it next winter...

I had Mike at HMG customize the 2400 to be able to use it primarily for bike commuting. The size is a bit more than I need most of the time, but I am finding myself bringing my laptop home many nights these days and an occasional stop at the grocery store for something small. I had him make the hip belt removable and have the option to use a 1,5" webbing strap as a waist belt for biking. It might seem silly, but I also had him add a loop for a blinkie light for biking. Pretty much all of my winter commuting is in the dark. It's nice to have the extra light to make me more visible and an easy place to attach it to. The white is certainly more visible than the black and gray packs I have been using. This should easily replace three different packs I have been juggling for commuting. It is a simple pack that will easily compress when not using the full volume and of course it is stripped down and clean looking, making it nice and stream-lined for cruising on the bike. It feels great to be simplifying my gear! The regular hip-belt will of course be great for shoulder season trips or longer backpacking trips when I have the extra weight of more food, fuel, and/or insulation. I know my details on the 2400 is a bit of a distraction from the article on the 4400, but it shows the great customer service of HMG,and their willingness to meet the needs of their customers.

Can't wait to get the new packs! I had rotated a Windrider through my pack rotation a couple years ago and it just didn't fit my need at the time. The construction quality was superb and thus I had no reservations about ordering more from HMG. This article certainly confirms that I made the right decision. Thanks Ryan and Chris for the detailed review!!

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Porter 4400 Feedback on 01/18/2013 23:51:54 MST Print View

@Tim Cheek: I split the paddle into 2 pcs and stow them inside the side compression straps, blades up.

@Luke Schmidt: I think the pack has provided me with great value, actually. Stuff wears out. I can't comment on Clayton's suggestion; I saw an early proto of the Ice but haven't seen the new ones.

On modifying the Epic, yes, here's what I've done, but it's tricky, and requires disassembly of quite a lot of the bottom of the pack. Remove the beavertail. Reattach the bottom of the beavertail six or eight inches higher up the frame panel. Problem fixed. On my first iteration, I kept the beavertail where it was originally, and instead added a pair of 1" webbing "straps" that attached 6-8 inches up the frame panel; these ran under the dry bag, around the outside, and clipped into the top of the pack. That also works well. This may not be needed as much with the newer Epics which have the bottom cinch straps, which should help some.

@David Ure: Yes, we commissioned Brian to build three of these for us for our arctic trip in '06. Then people started asking for them. Brian didn't want to sell them through ULA, so we sold them through BPL, and bought small quantities from him. There's probably only 100 of these or so out there. They have the flat back panel and the "BPL Arctic Pack" embroidery on them.

@Ken Thompson: thanks for the link to Hendrik's video review. I hadn't seen that before.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
Fastening paddles with compression straps on 01/21/2013 20:45:40 MST Print View

Ryan,

I guess I'm in the pocket or "slot" camp for packs. When I tried blade up the blades were so wide they kept the compression straps from compressing the pack. Not an issue initially, but as my food was depleted it would have become one.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Porter 4400 Feedback on 01/22/2013 09:57:08 MST Print View

Nice review

I keep gleaning information about making my own pack from articles and people's posts

Ha, ha - I'm in the no pockets camp - I just like the aesthetic of a smooth bag with no pockets sticking out. And if your bag is basically a cylinder closed with a flat felled seam, then the fabric and seam are the strongest.

Rather than sewing hip belt wings to the side of the pack, why not have the hip belt be one continuous belt with the pack bag sewed to it. Have several rows of stitches sharing the load, over the width of the hip belt. But if the pack shows that amount of wear over 100 days of rugged use, then maybe it's good enough as is. Anything will eventually wear out.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
porter on 01/24/2013 07:36:15 MST Print View

no pockets or lots of pockets, sounds like people are using the gear for different purposes, different conditons, in different environments. Both sides probably have valid arguments for their purpose.

I love the suspension on the Porter/windrider packs and that they can carry the weight.

I bet if we asked members what kinds of cars they drive then we would be in for it, it would be a long debate.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W-ish
Original review? on 01/24/2013 07:43:50 MST Print View

Whatever happened to the original review of the Porter / Expedition? As provocative as some of the statements were, both in the article and in the comments afterwards, there was some really good content there. Now whenever I search for it, I'm redirected to this review. It's as if the whole episode was swept under the carpet.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
HMG Porter 4400 on 01/24/2013 09:29:15 MST Print View

@Stuart D: The original review that was published is Part 1 of this article. Parts 2-8 were added to that same URL. The comments thread for the old one is still around, but constitutes 11 pages of discussion on what was an article about "specs" and "first impressions" (along with a lot of stuff unrelated to the review), so I started a new thread to refocus the discussion on the final product review.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W-ish
re: Original Review? on 01/24/2013 11:22:35 MST Print View

@Ryan - Thank you for your quick reply, and for directing me to the original discussion thread. I know the thread descended into some unpleasantness, but I found value in some of the contributions there including pack dimensions, the discussion about load lifters, and the comparison in construction with the Windrider. I'm glad to see they haven't been lost.

I understand your reasons for republishing the original review as part of the extended one. What I remembered, however, is that the original review addressed both the Porter (now "3400 Porter") and Expedition (now "4400 Porter") equally, whereas the new article's title - and all of the updated content - focus on the latter pack. By virtue of its size, I'd consider the 4400 Porter more of a specialized product, whereas the 3400 Porter would have a broader appeal in this community.

That being said, I appreciate the level of effort you put into testing the 4400 Porter over the last year, the detailed write-up, and your acknowledgement of other bloggers' perspectives. If I were looking at a pack that size I'd have some misgivings, but with my needs being better met by a pack the size of the 3400 Porter, I don't intend to carry the loads that you tested. I look forward to seeing whether HMG incorporates the design change recommendations into future versions.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter 4400 Backpack Review on 01/24/2013 18:29:00 MST Print View

Ryan,

From this review...
"Some ultralight backpackers have developed an unquenchable fetish for packs that are measured in ounces, seemingly with no regard at all to what the pack has offered with respect to durability, comfort, or aesthetic design."

From Gossamer Gear's user manual for their Whisper Uberlight Pack...
http://www.gossamergear.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/User_Manual_Whisper.pdf
"The Whisper Story:
When Backpackinq Liqht Publisher Ryan Jordan contacted us about manufacturing an ultralight backpack that was more consistent with his Super-Ultralight fastpacking philosophy, I handed him a G5 Hperlight Backpack. His reply: "Too big. Too heavy." And so, the Whisper was born. Ryan's design philosophy focused on whittling the G5 concept down to the bare essentials of backpack function: a small packbag with shoulder straps. The only luxury that was added back -a G5 style rear bellows pocket for storing wet gear, a wind shirt or jacket for rest stops, or a collapsible water bottle."

Any perspective on that?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Whisper vs. Porter on 01/24/2013 22:06:25 MST Print View

@Tom:

Doh, busted!

Don't hold it against me :)

I've learned a lot over the years. One of the major shifts I've made, especially as I've worn out more and more gear, is that I'm tired of wearing out gear.

I really like that there are more durable options than the old Whisper. Poor girl just didn't have any seam strength, they wear out quick.

Nice conversation piece, though, and while I used it, it gave me a lot of opportunity to tell people about what UL was all about.

But my style has changed through the years and I'm carrying quite a bit more bulk now than then - packrafting gear, photo/video gear, and I most often travel with others in a group style, so we have group gear to share, like big shelters and big pots.

Edited by ryan on 01/24/2013 22:07:20 MST.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter 4400 Backpack Review on 01/25/2013 07:22:54 MST Print View

A good review, Ryan.

I think that the seam failures you are seeing on the pack are related to the strength and type of the fabric. It appears that the seam is OK, but the fabric is tearing around the "score" line of the stitching.


The actual attachment (be it a seam, patch, strap etc) will always be a weak point in any sewing. Where you let multiple stresses build up in a single area, THIS is where a failure will occur. In this case the seam, a compression strap sewn into it, and it is used to hold a paddle: Seam + Compression + Mounting. Coupled with walking/movement and stresses from the inside (applied, perhaps, a bit unevenly,) this becomes a predictable point of failure. Lengthening the strap over the seam would eliminate this type of failure, in this case. Seperating the stress points is the same as distributing the load over an increased stitching area, in effect, strengthening the seam and strap/mount area with more stitching per inch and more fabric per ft/lb of stress applied.

The waist belt is a different problem. All of the above applies, but is accentuated by the "Figure 8" motion of the hips. As you walk, your balance shifts from left to right. The seam stress will roll from left to right, too...following your hips. With independent stays, (such as with the Porter or older Miniposa/Mariposa,) or with flexible internal frames (like the old Ghost,) this is pretty much accommodated by fabric movement. Both stretching, wrinkling and slipping contribute to following the natural walking motion of your hips. As weights increase, you find rigid frames need less rigid mount points to accommodate this. (My old training pack uses a 1/4" magnesium frame w/buckles to mount the waist belt. I think Gregory used large diameter rivets to accomplish this hip following.) I believe you have hit about the limit (with current technology) at 40-45 pound weight handling with rigidly mounted waist belts. I would expect seam failures for anything more. Your occasional "bail outs" for altitude ailing clients probably stressed these well beyond the 40-45 pound range, and, repeatedly with each step... Both types have their uses.

But I agree, this appears to be a good light weight pack, though the newer ones are 31.1oz, per their web site. I would miss the two lower pockets, though. My drinks have a permanent place there.

The water resistance looks really good to me. Spending as much time canoeing through the ADK's as hiking, I can really appreciate a highly water resistant, and, one that does not absorb water. My boat, paddle, spray deck and PFD weigh a bit more than 22 pounds. But rafting 300 miles, mostly across lakes, and other still waters through the Fish Creek Ponds/St Regis areas really precludes a pack-raft. Water is an inevitable companion.

Coupled with Phil’s review, Roman Dial’s and Andrew Skerka’s comments, this is one well reviewed pack.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
3400 vs 4400 on 01/26/2013 22:28:26 MST Print View

Will the 3400 handle similar weights in the 40-45 lb range?

Benjamin Moryson
(hrXXL) - MLife

Locale: Germany
3400 on 04/29/2013 05:02:51 MDT Print View

He Travis,

I have the 3400 Porter and the pack handles a weight of 40-45 pounds without any problem. Tested it several times.


I also wrote some notes about this pack.
http://hrxxlight.com/?p=1856

Andrei Tudor
(andrei_tudor) - M
wet tarp carry on 01/10/2014 08:26:27 MST Print View

How would you carry a wet tarp in a pack with no external pockets?

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: wet tarp carry on 01/10/2014 08:33:03 MST Print View

You lash it to the outside of the pack using cordage and the vertical daisy chains, and/or secure it to the top of the pack using the Y-strap.

Andrei Tudor
(andrei_tudor) - M
Re: Re: wet tarp carry on 01/10/2014 08:36:12 MST Print View

Doesn't that defeat the purpose of not having external pockets? I thought the whole idea was that you don't have stuff that's hanging out.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: wet tarp carry on 01/10/2014 09:14:31 MST Print View

Andrei,
Did you read the section on "The No-Pocket Controversy" in the review?

In some cases it matters, and in others, it doesn't.

HYOH and YMMV apply here.

Edited by greg23 on 01/10/2014 09:28:56 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Considerations for Women on 01/10/2014 09:22:48 MST Print View

"The frame being limber enough (or bendable enough) to accommodate the more pronounced longitudinal lumbar curvature of a woman’s lower back in the lumbar-butt area..."


"Longitudinal" rolls off the tongue nicely, but I think the curvature is more "latitudinal".

Andrei Tudor
(andrei_tudor) - M
Re: wet tarp carry on 01/10/2014 09:28:33 MST Print View

I did. I asked the question hoping that there would be a good way of storing the shelter inside that I just hadn't thought of, because I really like the pack otherwise. The section only discusses the design decision from a convenience point of view, which is not so much of a concern for me, whereas carrying a wet shelter inside the pack, in my view, poses some "functional" risks. I still think people like Ryan, who seem carry all of their stuff inside (for very good reason), must have found a solution to this problem, and I would just like to know what that solution is. The only thing I can think of is to pack all the sensitive stuff in waterproof stuff sacks, but that seems somewhat inefficient, since the pack itself is waterproof.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: wet tarp carry on 01/10/2014 09:32:49 MST Print View

I'm a "pocket guy".

Fuel, wet gear, food for the day, "personal kit", spare clothes, stakes, water bottle, and more are all on the outside. I try to never open the main body of the pack during the day...to much risk For Me to leave something behind, not to mention trying to find that wind shell.

My wet tent goes under a lid (gasp) until I can dry it out. Then it goes back inside, on the top of everything else, because I want to be able to get to it first at night.

"Clean" is appealing, but I'm with Skurka on this one.

Edited by greg23 on 01/10/2014 09:45:55 MST.

Andrei Tudor
(andrei_tudor) - M
Re: Re: Re: wet tarp carry on 01/10/2014 09:36:24 MST Print View

I am too, currently. But I would like to become a "clean" guy, if I can figure it out :).

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Re: wet tarp carry on 01/10/2014 10:31:16 MST Print View

Waterproof packs are only waterproof until (not if) they get a hole in them.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: wet tarp carry on 01/10/2014 10:41:42 MST Print View

Oh good, a "no pockets" thread. : )

I have no pockets and waterproof pack.

I keep wet tarp in 1 gallon zip top bag. Occasionally it leaks a bit but it's near bottom and anything below it is in a waterproof bag too.

I have a strap on top of pack, for compression, and occasionally strap wet tarp or jacket on top of pack held on by strap. Sometimes, it's so the wet jacket will dry out, more than keep pack contents from getting wet. If I'm packing in the rain, I'll probably pack up under tarp, close up pack, take down tarp, and strap it on top of pack, thus keeping contents of pack dry.

Andrei Tudor
(andrei_tudor) - M
Re: Re: wet tarp carry on 01/10/2014 10:51:27 MST Print View

Thanks for all the replies, I have a better picture now of what a "clean" pack actually entails.

Philip Tschersich
(Philip.AK) - F

Locale: Kodiak Alaska
Slow email on 01/10/2014 13:29:27 MST Print View

I asked HMG a query via email but they are a bit slow in responding, so I'll ask it here too....

I have seen HMG's recommended pack fit procedure, but I was wondering about back panel lengths between pack sizes. I have seen a small Southwest pack, a medium Ice pack, and medium Porter 4400 in person. The small SW had a distance of 18" from the shoulder strap attachment point to the bottom of the hip belt/lumbar pad. The same measurement on the medium Porter was 20". Is it safe to assume this back panel length measurement increases by 2" as you go up in pack size (i.e., the large would be 22" and the tall would be 24")? Does someone have a size large or tall handy they could hold a tape measure to? The stock hip belts and lumbar pads are all ~4" tall, I assume.

Was there an upcharge for customization (an extra strap sewn on, or making a modular hip belt-lumbar interface)?

TIA

IVAN DOMINGUEZ TEJERA
(idtejera) - MLife

Locale: CANARY ISLANDS
wet tarp in my new pocket on 01/14/2014 10:45:07 MST Print View

I am a new owner of the HMG 4400 Porter, but I talked to Mike for him to make a modification. Mike designed a pocket mesh in the front. For me it is important to keep the wet stuff out on a pocket mesh, but also the Daisy chains are importants where I can tie more things in my trips with Packraft.

Some pictures:

pocket mesh in black porter 4400 HMG with paddle for packrafting

pocket mesh in black porter 4400 HMG

Regards
Ivan Dominguez.
www.planetapackraft.com

Edited by idtejera on 01/14/2014 10:49:00 MST.

Andrei Tudor
(andrei_tudor) - M
Re: wet tarp in my new pocket on 01/14/2014 12:25:48 MST Print View

It looks good. How come your pack is black? Did you dye it yourself, or is this a new option from HMG?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: wet tarp in my new pocket on 01/14/2014 13:06:54 MST Print View

A mesh front panel pocket really adds a lot of volume and utility for little weight. I stow my sit pad and rain gear, ready for instant use without opening my pack and pawing through everything. I do like having a buckle at the top.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: wet tarp in my new pocket on 01/14/2014 17:46:32 MST Print View

The No-Pocket Controversy

"For me, perhaps, I grew up toting around single compartment rucks with nothing more than ice axe loops and the occasional top lid (which I often cut off, finding that it interfered with the ability to secure a bunch of gear under the climbing rope strap). I’m a huge fan of this very simple and aesthetically clean approach to wilderness packing." RJ

So you guys aren't to only ones with a new pocket...

PackPockets
Chase Jordan likes them too.

Ripped from Winter Cabineering, by RJ

Edited by greg23 on 01/14/2014 18:55:07 MST.

IVAN DOMINGUEZ TEJERA
(idtejera) - MLife

Locale: CANARY ISLANDS
Re: Re: Re: wet tarp in my new pocket on 01/15/2014 16:21:52 MST Print View

The black color is an option you can to ask HMG, this will be available soon on its website.
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/551761391818669289/
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=82057
http://hikeventures.com/gear-review-hmg-porter-4400-black/

The black cuben is stronger but is 10% more expensive


HMG has the option of pocket stuff but I think that the mesh fits better on my necessities because is more simple, less weight and I always use it in my trips.

Cheers

Philip Tschersich
(Philip.AK) - F

Locale: Kodiak Alaska
Back panel lengths on 01/15/2014 16:30:35 MST Print View

To answer my own question, I am posting the response I got from HMG on the distance between the top shoulder strap attachment point and the lower edge of the lumbar pad/hip belt:

Med - 20 1/4"
Lg - 22 1/2"
Tall - 23 1/2"

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Black on 01/15/2014 21:16:42 MST Print View

I have a black pack and hate the color. Not because I don't like the color black; but because a black pack makes it harder to find things inside. Especially in a low light situation. Or in a bright light situation for that matter.

Billy