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MLD Burn or GG Murmur
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Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
waist hydration belt on 03/21/2013 17:27:35 MDT Print View

Brian -- Interesting idea on using hydration belt with small pack. I have a Nathan belt already, but it seems like the bottle sizes are smaller than I'd like. I think I'd want pint (16oz) size bottles on a waist pack. Do you know of any made that way or hacks to do it well? 16oz bottles are generally too big to run with (too much shaking/jiggling), so I understand why the standard hydration belt sizes are smaller. But on a walk/hike I think 16oz bottles would be fine.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Bottles on burn on 03/21/2013 18:10:42 MDT Print View

I have four pouches on my burn waist belt that each hold a 32 oz gatoraid. Usually I have one water and one maltodextrin mix in the back two and food in the front two. This allows me to move up to 6 lbs off my pack but more importantly I can go hours without stopping to take my pack off to access. I have also done long trail runs with this setup and either I solved the bottle bouncing problem or it doesn't bother me.

With pack
Burn with hip pockets

James, if you need to spend $285 on a pack to get all the bells and whistles then it probably isn't the right pack for you. If I were ordering today it would be a standard pack, no options. When I ordered I upgraded the hip belt. I think that is now standard and I found I didn't need it with my pouch setup.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: waist hydration belt on 03/21/2013 19:48:21 MDT Print View

I can definitely understand wanting larger bottles. I'd probably at least try upgrading to 16oz bottles, too, if I could find some.

You might take a look at the waistbelt systems with real water bottles. Most of them either have the bottles too close together for a backpack, or they put a pouch in between the bottles, making it uncomfortable with a backpack. However, you can probably slice off one of those pouches in between the bottles.

This might be a good option:

But you'd have to spend some time looking at them in person to know which one you could slice a pouch off of. Another problem might be side-to-side jiggling once the pouch is cut off - the pouch may help keep the bottles from moving. If you could cleanly strip off the pouch, you could even add a strong velcro attachment to add and remove it - I even thought about doing this with my backpack, to attach it to the hydration belt.

If the waistbelt is naturally small enough, or you have a pretty big waistline, this one would work well:

The middle section looks like you could rig up longer loops pretty easily to spread the distance between the bottles. That, coupled with some trimming of the foam (so it didn't dig into your butt cheeks), would probably work pretty well.

Another idea I've played with is having a small backpack, coupled with a real waistpack. Keep the essentials in the waistpack, and your overnight gear and food in the small backpack. This way, you can quickly ditch your small backpack (in a safe place) to summit a peak from a saddle/pass in the middle of your route. This idea is what got me thinking about hydration belts in the first place, especially since most of my backpacking trips are really just a means to summit peaks and do long traverses across ridgelines in Colorado's ranges. The other idea is to use the velcro attachment idea I had above, to able to quickly add/remove the pouch from your backpack/belt.

Overall, the 21oz capacity of the Amphipod system works pretty well for me, and it ensures I have to intentionally go into my backpack to drink the last bit of my water. This works well with a tablet/aquamira system, where you need to wait a period of time before drinking - a psychologically troublesome issue to do when you're sitting there at the water source, have no water, and are thirsty. It also works well for reminding me to stay properly fueled with food. Appetites can be difficult at altitude. For these reasons, stopping every 21oz seems to work well with my hiking flow.

Keep in mind, with a 2L platypus in the pack, you can certainly carry more water, when necessary. It's just on your back, instead of on your waistbelt. My baseweight is low enough that a 3 day trip is about 11 lbs of packweight, including 12oz of water in the platypus, so the extra waterweight, and not having a waistbelt for the pack is generally no big deal. 15 lbs of packweight is about the limit for my shoulders for long days. 11 lbs is super comfortable - not really noticable. I have pretty weak shoulder muscles though.

Above 15 lbs packweight, I will go straight to a heavy framed 2lb+ pack - usually because I'm carrying technical gear or a lot of water for the desert, which means a LOT more than 15 lbs.

Edited by lindahlb on 03/21/2013 20:06:54 MDT.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Murmur and MLD on 03/21/2013 20:22:42 MDT Print View

I have a 2012 Murmur and an Exodus FS, so I can compare build quality but not the Burn directly. I love both of these packs and generally use the Murmur as a daypack. The Murmur does fit all my gear, but it's tight and the sitlite pad ends up bowing so the pack doesn't fit flat against my back. I LOVE the airframe suspension of the Exodus so I ordered GG's Air Beam for the Murmur, will see if that fixes the bow. The only other complaint I have with the Murmur is the mesh pocket, mine really sags down when loaded with any appreciable weight, I read in this thread they've changed that, mine is from the second run GG did, so I'm not sure.

I like the way both the Burn and the Murmur look, before the new GG packs came out I thought MLD made the sexiest packs available. I do think the Burn will carry more weight, better with more of a real hip belt. To me, the Murmur's doesn't transfer much load, it's more for stabilizing the pack, but your mileage may vary.

As for build quality between the 2, MLD's stitching and construction is noticeably better. I haven't had any quality issues with the Murmur (did rip the mesh pocket easier than I thought it should have) but the stitching is almost sloppy in a few places, MLD's stitching is amazing.

You can't go wrong with either IMHO. Didn't help, did I?

Edited by arttyszka on 03/21/2013 20:29:45 MDT.

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
burn hip belt pockets are what? on 03/21/2013 20:45:07 MDT Print View

Hiking Malto -- I'm trying to figure out what those pockets are that you have on the Burn hipbelt. Do you mean you have four pockets on hipbelt, in addition to the two side pockets on the Burn? And you don't put water bottles in the Burn side pockets but instead in the large hip belt pockets? The two smaller middle hip belt pockets look like the ones sold by MLD, but I don't see that MLD sells anything like the larger ones on the side. What are those larger pockets?