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Smallest volume pack dimensions you guys? Cubic inches...
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michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Smallest pack dimensions you guys? New pics of pack update... on 03/18/2013 11:38:35 MDT Print View

I currently have a 5.3 pound baseweight before my pack.

I am thinking something along the lines of 4.5 x 10.5 x 23 plus a little extra for the rolltop. This puts me at about 1100 ci, maybe with two small side pockets ill be around 1300ci or 21 liters. Is this good? How much food can I carry? I have a 19 ounce down quilt that could compress well. Let me know, I'm about to order a custom pack, ill post pictures when I get it.

Edited by M.L on 03/25/2013 20:34:00 MDT.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: small pack on 03/18/2013 15:59:47 MDT Print View

For fastpacking/running trips, I use a packs zero xsmall (1000 cu in) with side pockets and shock cord. With a fairly restrictive gear list (4 lb), I can hold about 5 days of food, possibly needing to strap my pad to the outside for the first day or so.

For a more typical 3 season gear list (5-6 lb), I much prefer my MLD Burn which is about 1500 ci for the main pack. With 5-7 days food, my stuff often expands into the collar until I eat my way down.

Gear volumes differ, but 1100 is a specialists tool, and might be a little tight for you if you'll be doing trips of any length. Probably best to get this figured out before you order.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 03/18/2013 16:34:47 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:01:39 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Smallest volume pack dimensions you guys? Cubic inches... on 03/18/2013 17:18:43 MDT Print View

One guy did a backpack trip with me one time, and in order to cut down his base weight, he brought a really small pack. For what we were taking, he should have had a 2500 cubic inch pack or larger. Instead, he had about a 1250 cubic inch pack. As a result, he could not get everything into it, so he was lashing all sorts of crap onto the outside of the pack. I suppose that could have been OK, if he did it right. Unfortunately, things were dropping off into the trail dust, so either critical parts like the stove jet got clogged with dust, or else things were lost completely.

One other guy did it right. He didn't have a backpack bag. All he had was an aluminum pack frame with everything _carefully_ tied to it. That works, but it can be a little tricky.


Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Like Ike on 03/18/2013 18:24:09 MDT Print View

I also have a burn like Ike and get 5 days worth of food in easily and seven creatively. I have an eight lb base, low volume and the food days were thru hiker food days, 5000 calories a day. I don't think I would get a pack volume smaller than the burn, just no reason, the burn is small and my quilt can fill the space for minimum pack volume.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
pack volume on 03/18/2013 18:26:01 MDT Print View

I've been asking myself similar questions, as I get ready to MYOG a small sil pack for some long weekends with minimal gear. At same time, I've been following other threads in which people are having a hard time with the volume (not the weight-carrying capacity) of some of the popular UL packs. Looking at your plan, I'm wondering why not 5.5" instead of 4.5", to gain another 20%+ in volume with only a small fraction of an ounce more material. Or another few inches of extension collar. A tiny bit of extra fabric seems to give a lot more flexibility on these small packs - flexibility that could possibly even *save* weight depending on the choices it allows you to make. If I'm wrong, hope someone will talk me down before I pull out the scissors!



michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: re: small pack on 03/18/2013 19:04:02 MDT Print View

Great feedback so far guys, I think im settling on 11 x 4.5 x 22.5 19 inch torso.

1113.75 ci, then im getting 12 inch high stretch mesh side panels. Also 2 top straps to add a bag of food last minute etc to the top.

This pack will be thick VX21 xpac. Im not planning on using CCF as a frame (i use exped ul7 inflatable), Xpac carries well. Part of the reason why im getting it 4.5 inches thin is because I want the load to be as centered to my body as possible, the only thing between me and my gear will be the Xpac material. Also no rear pocket. Also im getting a hydro port and loop so I have the option of carrying a platypus accross my spine, which will be good for running etc, water weighs a lot. But I think I can do it...

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Smallest volume pack dimensions you guys? Cubic inches... on 03/18/2013 21:20:00 MDT Print View

Maybe put all your gear in a box and then measure the volume?

I can get all my 3 season gear into a small zPacks Zero to include 4 or 5 days worth of food. But if I need to carry much water I don't like this pack.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
@ Roger. Re: Smallest volume pack... on 03/19/2013 01:47:32 MDT Print View


So which pack do the "contents fit better in"? The tall, narrow tube, or the short, squat roll top?

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Smallest volume pack dimensions you guys? Cubic inches... on 03/19/2013 03:13:06 MDT Print View

My favorite pack has 24.5 liters / 1,500 cubic inches main pocket, plus side pockets and front pocket, for a total of about 33 liters / 2013 volume. I can fit 5 days worth of deluxe food rations, i.e. 3 full meals and 2 snacks per day, but if I really wanted to I could scale things down and push it to maybe 1 week of food or 6 days no problem.

I might be able to fit more after I get my 1+ season sleeping bag upgrade, which hopefully will be here today or tomorrow. My old summer bag was synthetic, and new one is down.

I should also add that I take full advantage of my side and front pockets, and also have both a chest pouch and a hip belt pocket that I use. I have never used both the chest pouch and hip pocket together, and as of late I am favoring the hip pocket because a lot of times going uphill for whatever reason the chest pouch flops around a lot and it's a bit annoying--though it is about three times as big as my hip pocket.

Don't forget water. Not sure where you will be using this pack most of the time and how much water you plan on hauling. I could max out my water load at 3.5 liters (1 liter in each side pocket in water bottles, 1 liter in a bladder in the front pocket, and half a liter bottle in my shoulder pouch), but this year I am opting for 700ml bottles in the side pockets plus a small 380ml bottle in my shoulder pouch for a little less than 1.8 liters of water total. Where I hike there is usually an abundance of good quality water to take advantage of, however.

So where are you getting the custom pack built? What fabric? What options? Any estimate on total weight? Looking forward to seeing what you settle on :)

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Small Volume on 03/19/2013 05:00:12 MDT Print View

Once you get your base gear measured, add in for the water and food.
For example, I use a 2200ci pack (Gossamer Gear Murmur), but about 60-70% of the volume is food, water, fuel, and extra clothing (sweater/rainjacket.)

The actual "camp" gear will fit easily into a small compression sack and side pouches. Fuel/water/sweater/rain jacket goes into the side & front pockets. Tarp, too. The pad pocket keeps my sleeping pad. My pack has room for two small food bags. Or about 10-14 days of food depending...

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 03/19/2013 05:46:51 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:02:57 MDT.

Andy Anderson
(ianders) - F

Locale: Southeast
Mesh pocket on 03/19/2013 19:18:21 MDT Print View

When trying to use the smallest pack possible, a big stretchy mesh pock on the front is a must. If you don't need it don't use it, if you need it, you have it. It makes all the difference in the world. And water bottle pockets, got to have them too!

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
cuben roll top? hot on 03/19/2013 20:35:06 MDT Print View

Zimmer is making it. Vx21, with vx07 for rolltop, lycra mesh pockets.

I was thinking about going 1.43 black cuben for the rolltop. Would it be worth it? Will food get hot?

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Pics of my new pack!!!!!!!!! on 03/25/2013 20:37:55 MDT Print View

Any comments are appreciated. Total weight with bungee is 13 ounces.

Hydro port up top.

Lycra side pockets.

12 x 4.5 x 23 w/ 19in torso.zimmerbuilt cuben backpackzimmerbuilt cuben backpackzimmerbuilt cuben backpackzimmerbuilt cuben backpack

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Side pockets on 03/26/2013 06:24:58 MDT Print View

What are your plans for the side pockets? They look too tall and narrow to use for much.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Hip belt on 03/26/2013 06:43:40 MDT Print View

Why a hip belt? Why not a removable one?

Why just one side compression point?

Black is beautiful. I would want the straps and belt to match, not contrast. But that's just me.


michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Pictures!!! on 03/26/2013 14:12:25 MDT Print View

This pack is small, no compression is needed as I just stuff my down quilt in the bottom and it expands. It's going to be like a drybag once I seamseal it.

I like a real hip belt on my packs. It makes it stable when running or on a motorcycle etc. dyneema lays better than Xpac, which is a very stiff material.

The pockets are tall for added security. There perfect for maps, compass, snacks, tent pole, or platypus bottles. But I'm planning on using an internal bladder and hose.

This pack is sleek, and minimal, which is perfect for my sul/ comfort setup.

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Small volume packs on 02/16/2014 18:15:56 MST Print View

I was looking at another SUL thread and got to thinking about the volume limits to SUL. I recalled this thread and re-read it. What I could really use are some comprehensive gear lists, including consumables, from SUL hikers who are using packs with sub 1700 cu in volume for trips of 5,7 or more days. I see claims of carrying 7 days worth of food and struggle imagining that in my SUL pack.I am curious what comfort and safety trade offs are being made to go SUL for that long.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Small volume packs on 02/16/2014 18:33:47 MST Print View

A general rule-of-thumb is that 1000 cubic inches of pack volume will hold about 10 pounds of load, so 1700 cubic inches might be expected to hold 17 pounds.

The other rule-of-thumb is that you will need about 1.5 pounds worth of consumables per day, although there is variation on that.

Doing the math, seven days worth of consumables will be about 10-11 pounds. Assuming SUL base weight gear, that means a total load of about 15-16 pounds, and that sort of agrees with your 1700 cubic inch pack.