New GoLite
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Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 02/17/2013 14:10:36 MST Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/11/2013 23:56:14 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: golite external water bottle pockets on 02/17/2013 14:23:18 MST Print View

Wear it for 10 miles and then report back.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Jam on 02/17/2013 17:40:34 MST Print View

Sorry Dan, the Jam is now officially a heavy piece of frameless crap. When there are 1oz frames rolling about, the reasoning behind a 2lb, 50L FRAMELESS pack is beyond comprehension."

I agree that a 2 lbs frameless pack is a bit of a misfit. It's hefty for its targeted use.

However, the Jam has always been a frameless pack intended for lighter loads. Critiquing it for being frameless is like critiquing a compact car for being compact. The real issue here is that it's oddly heavy for its niche - it's like Honda releasing a compact Civic that only gets 15 mpg. If Honda did that, you'd ask why it only gets 15 mpg, not why isn't it a truck.

The Jam's gotten heavier due to feature creep and GoLite should work to reverse this, not turn it into something else. And GoLite has been working on this - it's gotten 2oz lighter in its latest iteration.

Edited by dandydan on 02/18/2013 13:10:59 MST.

Edward Jursek
(nedjursek@gmail.com) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Golite? Please! on 02/18/2013 01:47:17 MST Print View

I have followed Golite with some detached amusement. At one point, long, long ago, it actually made UL gear like the Gust and the Breeze. Long ago it moved to a mass market model and gained the weight the mass market demands. Do you want fries with your Jam 70? Then, it flirted with this direct marketing model that promised savings. Now, it has risen its prices to near or at Cottage company levels. Do you want fries with our absurd MSRP's? At some level honesty and integrity must matter, even at the cynical level of brand value. Golite is simply another corporation trying to exploit what it perceives as a niche market opportunity. I will be sending my money to places like MLD, Zpacks, and Enlightened Equipment, where the owners answer my emails, or are too busy hiking to get back to me for a few days. There is still honesty, integrity and better, lighter gear out there as long as we support it. I bought a piece of Golite gear during that direct sales honeymoon and have since sold it on the Gear Swap Forum. I just can't support them, defend them, or apologise for them. Golite's new prices just make supporting the Cottage companies that much easier. I am notoriously cheap, but I am OK if my wallet is a little lighter because I bought from someone like Joe Valesko or Tim Marshall. We get what we pay for. Lets hope that is not a UL market place full of companies like Golite. Please support the Cottage companies that have truely helped make UL backpacking possible. Just say no to Golite.

Edited by nedjursek@gmail.com on 02/18/2013 01:48:56 MST.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 02/18/2013 12:02:48 MST Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/11/2013 23:57:42 MDT.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Golite? Please! on 02/18/2013 12:30:49 MST Print View

Wow, the hatred on this thread for Golite is a over the top. Golite like any other company is trying to find the right balance for them and their customers. If they don't fit your particular ultralight sensibilities then move one. I don't hear the same hatred for The North Face, Patagonia or any other of the numerous brands that once were "Pristine" in your eyes but have now "Sold Out" to a broader market. Golite is company that probably has 100+ employees, not a cottage manufacturer of < 5. So yes at a certain scale you pretty much have to strike a balance between more popular features vs a full embrace of UL. The marketplace simply won't support it.

As for the Jam backpacks, they are an excellent entry into affordable lightweight frameless packs. Heck the Jam 50 is about the same weight as the HMG Windrider which uses Cuben material and has the same volume of about 50L but the Jam is about half the price. I have a 2011 Jam that carries perfectly fine, is highly compressible and durable.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Golite? Please! on 02/18/2013 12:50:23 MST Print View

The difference is that TNF and Patagonia never appealed directly to the UL or Lightweight backpacker. These companies did not become what they are today because of support from the UL backpacking fringe. Golite did. With the reduction in reseller mark up the consumer is expecting wholesale prices.

"Heck the Jam 50 is about the same weight as the HMG Windrider which uses Cuben material and has the same volume of about 50L but the Jam is about half the price. I have a 2011 Jam that carries perfectly fine, is highly compressible and durable."

Carries fine at what weight? The HMG is functionally rain proof, more durable, has stiffer and longer lasting foam, has stiff aluminum stays for effective load transfer and is made in the USA. It uses a cuben hybrid material that is extremely abrasion resistant - the dyneema threads ensure this. This is not the 0.74 oz cuben used for tarps. The dyneema gridstop used is 500d. You are not going to find a more robust under 2lb pack with a stiff 'frame' that can carry a load. Given all of these features it is still lighter. Or we can compare it to the Porter Expedition that is substantially bigger and still weighs less.

Cole Crawford
(CDC43339) - F

Locale: Omaha
GoLite on 02/18/2013 12:58:33 MST Print View

I agree - they are fulfilling a market need that other companies are not. I personally cannot afford to drop several hundred dollars every year on new gear. Even though the weight is heavier than that of cottage manufacturers, I feel that the construction of most of their gear is solid and it can take long term use. They are no longer catering to an ultralight crowd. Their name is not "GoUltraLite." There are cottage manufacturers to handle that niche market - and it is a niche market. Most hikers are not carrying 5 pound base weights, however much BPL skews thinking towards this segment. The sweet spot for many hikers is closer to a 15 pound base weight - that's very obtainable with budget gear. This is what GoLite is beginning to cater towards, and for me at least, I'm fine with it.

James Castleberry
(Winterland76)
My GoLite experience on 02/18/2013 15:13:12 MST Print View

I think from a historical perspective, the original Ultra 20 quilt and Poncho Tarp were important products and helped to introduce me and many other people to quilting and using tarps. I have three of the older Ultra 20s and one of the later models and even the older ones with less down were among the best "bang for the buck" purchases I ever made. We use those quilts not only for all family backpacking trips but the kids greatly prefer them to any other blankets and use them at home all the time. Amazingly no signs of wear or tear.
Other good GoLite products for me:
Adrenaline 0 degree sleeping bag: Very warm and toasty and not too bulky for winter backpacking trips.
Chrome Dome umbrella: Great niche product. In fact, their "Trekking Umbrellas" rock too!
Odyssey backpack: I use this pack for family backpacking trips with my two daughters. Enables me to carry bulk of load while they "go lite."
I also still use two older GoLite coats for backpacking: Inferno puffy coat and Salsa synthetic jacket. Both perform well and have been durable so far!
I also like their lightweight longsleeve "Wildwood" trail top, only 4 oz.

Cole Crawford
(CDC43339) - F

Locale: Omaha
Salsa on 02/18/2013 16:02:19 MST Print View

+1 for the Salsa, it's a great synthetic jacket for iffy conditions. I also really like my Pinnacle for larger loads or extended trips.

robert van putten
(Bawana) - F

Locale: Planet Bob
Jam 70 on 02/18/2013 16:35:36 MST Print View

"Wear it for 10 miles and then report back."


Uh, OK.


Jam 70

Works fine. The bulky load above is the shelter and what-not for my wife and I, as well as all the food and cooking gear for us and two nephews for an easy weekend trip. It was an easy 6 mile hike in to a lake that day, but maybe a 12 mile hike out over a rugged little 4,100 foot mountain the next day. I guess that meets the 10 mile minimum for the report?  .

walking in the rain

The wife likes her Jam 70 as well.
She carries all our bedding which is a bulky but light load. I reckon her pack was about 14 pounds that day.
Only reason I got the 70 liter Jams was because they were on sale at quite a discount. No bloody way I could have otherwise afforded new packs for both my wife and I, and I'm glad I got the 70 liter versions.

My wife uses the pack every week to carry dirty laundry down our mountain so she can go to a Laundromat in town to do the washing and goof off a little as well. It's her once a week trip off our mountain. She always did insist that she would not wash our clothes in the sink as our one neighbor on this mountain does, and in the winter we have to leave our cars some distance away and snow shoe down.
The Jam 70 is perfect for this, and she is getting allot more miles under it than I am under mine!

I like the packs quite a bit. The price is right, and they are easily modified. I am thinking about removing the padding so I can simply use my sleeping pad back there, but as of yet I’m still in a state of flux on pads so I’m holding off on that.
I considered removing the hip belt, but having hiked a few miles with the belt dangling loose I have decided it really does help. My wife loves the little pockets on the hip belt.
I’m pretty sure I will cut the load lifter strap off. I can’t see that they do anything and they always get in the way for me.
I might ax the little strap in front ( with a whistle built into the buckle! ) that connects the two shoulder straps. Not sure if that is doing anything for me yet.
Were those ice ax loops up on the back of the pack by the top of the zippered pocket? They are already gone from my pack.
The compression system is great, even the odd tiny clips on the bottom to squeeze it together.

The runner up was the G.G. G4.
This was more expensive and I’m not sure about the removable hip belt. All in all I bet the Jam carries a heavier load with greater comfort than the G4, but then never having used a G4 I guess I’m guessing at that!
All things considered getting our first UL packs was quite a leap of faith because I couldn’t try the silly things on first!

All things considered I we think did good with the Jam packs, and expect my wife and I to be using them for quite some time, possibly even for an AT thru hike next summer.

Edited by Bawana on 02/18/2013 16:38:28 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Jam 70 on 02/18/2013 16:49:16 MST Print View

Hello Robert. Strangely, I believe the comment was directed at Daniel with his 28.2 lb load, not your wife's 14 lb load laundry (I am still laughing at that).

Um, okay?

robert van putten
(Bawana) - F

Locale: Planet Bob
indeed on 02/18/2013 18:13:49 MST Print View

My load was about 25 pounds, at least with full food and water at the start of the trip. The kids had what amounted to day packs so I has all the food ( and the kids eat like horses ) and I had a Trangia 27, if you can belive that.

Of course everyone is different but I was not surprised when Daniel said it felt comfortable at 28 pounds.
Like any pack ever built, less is more...
And all frameless packs work best at the lower levels -
But I think the Jam works fine in the mid-twenties.

Uh....
Then again I have been known to carry pretty good loads - close to 80 pounds - in an old Duluth packsack
No frame, padding or hip belt there!

Duluth packsack

Of course that is for short hauls like canoe portaging and hauling up supplies.

Sorry about the thread drift.
My intention was to reasure Daniel that I thought he got a good pack and that it should serve him well.
After all, I own and use the same pack, often in the same load range.
I also live in Washington state, and snow work just takes a bigger pack and sometimes you have to carry stuff like shovels and that ups the load. No big deal, I'd just try to keep the Jam below 30 pounds, except for short hauls, anyway.

I mean, it's more comfortable than a duluth packsack...

Edited by Bawana on 02/18/2013 18:15:26 MST.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
Pinnacle on 02/23/2013 07:09:48 MST Print View

GoLite have renamed their Jam/Pinnacle/etc backpack series to the Jam with a volume number. They were previously all essentially the same pack at various volumes.

I have an OLD Pinnacle (4400cu/72L), the one without the hip pockets, which weighs 731g (1.61lb). I have used this as my large-load pack for the last two years and really love it. It's huge, which is great in winter as it will hold all the down gear I take with me. In the summer, when I go on group trips I can carry more load for my less physically fit friends, etc.

Maybe I just have a high pain threshold but whether it's a 4 night trip or 50mi/2 day trip, I've never had an issue with how this pack carries weight or bulk. I used to have a 5lb framed pack, which was nice, and a HMG pack would be awesome as it's nearly the same weight, but to say such harsh words about the GoLite frameless packs is unfounded. If I could have another 72L pack at <2lbs with a frame for a decent price I'd jump on it, but I'm more than happy with this pack, especially since I bought it for <$100.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Pinnacle on 02/23/2013 07:24:49 MST Print View

Jam's work best for those with narrow shoulders and smaller chest measurements ( the shoulder straps are too short for larger folks). Larger traps and wider backs do not work well with these packs. This is comared to the MLD offerings which are quite superior in these respects (as is the ULA CDT). I have never heard of the Jam causing pain so am confused by the 'pain threshold' comment. Uncomfortable in comparison to most similar packs but painful? No.

The Jams are loved because they are cheap and undercut the competition on price. Or for someone who has never tried anything else. Lets be honest.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Pinnacle on 02/23/2013 08:06:22 MST Print View

I should also say that the Pinnacle is not truly 72L, as per measurements completed by BPL staff. Not even close.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Tent measurements on 02/23/2013 09:29:37 MST Print View

After many years golite has finally put the tent floor plan diagrams with dimensions on there website. This has bothered ne for a few years and should reduce the number of emails from me about dimensions

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
So much golite hatred... on 02/23/2013 13:35:28 MST Print View

+1 on GoLite being more of an in-between type "lighter" market. Some of us, in our gradual transition away from obscenely heavy packs were a bit nervous about trying the cottage folks. I, for one, didn't know most of what you guys were talking about in terms of packs and quilts and such. I wanted to go lighter but was afraid of going too far (there is no way I'm sleeping under a tarp!! She said a year ago...)

Go lite was my first quilt (bought on their site for $85 brand new) and the shangri la was the shelter that convinced me I didn't need a full tent all the time.

No, it's not the best gear there is, but they don't pretend to offer that and it doesn't mean what they DO offer doesn't serve a very good purpose. It's perfect for people transitioning, or learning, or who want to try a frameless pack without forking over $250. But I really don't see them marketing so much to this crowd, but rather to the REI one. And frankly, why be so negative about a company trying to ease people in the world of hiking lighter??

I would agree, however, that they need to work on actually having their products in stock :)

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Golite on 02/23/2013 14:35:26 MST Print View

n/m

Edited by dandydan on 02/23/2013 15:09:46 MST.

Dan S
(nunyabiznes32)

Locale: Pacific NW
Still love Golite on 02/25/2013 13:26:01 MST Print View

Long time reader, first time poster. Can't thank everyone enough for all the great ideas on making my own gear and getting my pack weight down.

As for Golite, my wife and I like their clothing line and I currently use a Shangra-La 3 with a BWD Pyranet 2 inner and it's been the ideal shelter for my son and I. And it's still pretty light for solo use. I'm in the market for a new sleeping bag and couldn't be happier about the new offerings from Golite. I'm considering the Z10 or Z30 sleeping bags, since I'm a cold sleeper, and got the following from Golite's customer service:

Availability date: March 11th
Down fill weights:
- Z10= 610 g
- Z30= 430 g
Dimensions:
- Regular shoulder girth: 60" (62" for a long)
- Regular foot width: 39" (40" for a long)

They said the bags are currently undergoing EN testing, but the results won't be available this season. Golite certainly isn't part of the cottage ultralight industry, but for mainstream retail, they're not too bad.

Edited by nunyabiznes32 on 02/25/2013 13:27:43 MST.