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Anybody tried the Exped Lightning 45 and 60
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Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Lightning on 06/03/2013 20:08:56 MDT Print View

Just wish they sold the black in the US.


Thanks for the update. Very tempting for me.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Exped Lightning 45/60- Revisited on 07/09/2013 20:51:52 MDT Print View

There is a fairly long thread on this pack from April.i am interested in this pack but want some info on load handling and comfort.

Has anyone got MILES on theirs yet. How do they like it.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Exped Lightning 45/60- Revisited on 07/15/2013 06:56:44 MDT Print View

+1 w/Kevin What's the word?

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Well I just ordered one on 07/30/2013 18:47:56 MDT Print View

Well seems like good info. But I was hesitant so I ordered one from Campsaver using 20% of code.
I really hope it's the comfortable UL load hauler it seems to be.
If any one has got miles they might post some updated thoughts.

I ordered the 45, I will right it up once I gets some miles.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
soon on 08/01/2013 15:13:31 MDT Print View

I received the 45L flavor this morning ('s free shipping is very fast) and plan to use it on a 2-night trip this weekend. I'll post my initial impression shortly thereafter.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Re:soon on 08/01/2013 19:09:15 MDT Print View


let me know what you think. Mine will arrive Monday 8/5 so i guess i can give some updates also.

I am probably more excited about this pack than any other i have ordered.Not sure why but it is just so slick. we shall see what my $175 bucks bought me...

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
update on 08/02/2013 11:34:26 MDT Print View

I was able to fiddle with it a bit at work and liked what I saw. When I got home I packed it with my normal summer/fall Sierra load, including a small bear canister (BareBoxer Contender 101)and a liter of water, adjusted the torso length until it felt good, and went for a walk around the neighborhood. The pack was very comfortable and very little weight could be felt on my shoulders. It was also very stable and I'm surprised how well the hip belt conformed to me. From my past experiences, less padded, pliable, hip belts work better for this, but so far so good.

After about a 45 minute walk I returned home and unpacked. I noticed a small defect (missing cover fabric) on the shoulder strap where the sternum strap connects. I called this morning and they handled the exchange impeccably! So I won't be able to use it this weekend, but should have a new one before next weekend and hope to use it on a trip then.

Nit-pics: I really dislike the compression system. It works well to reduce the volume, but it's fiddly and awkward to use. I'm going to deal with it for now and see how I feel about after a few trips.

The load lifter straps are difficult to pull?! It feels like the webbing is binding up in the glide. Hopefully this will subside with more use.

That's about it for now. I'll post more after a trip with it.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Just got the 45 today on 08/05/2013 19:57:44 MDT Print View

Just received the Exped Lightning 45,Green, today and so far I really like it.
Loaded it with 23+ lbs.which is my winter kit, 3l water, 5.5 lbs of food.
It was very full as all of the gear,food and water were in the rucksack.

This pack is great at putting weight on hips. I hiked about 2.5 miles in it and found it very comfortable.
I also found the compression straps different but work well. Load lifter straps do pull hard but seemed to loosen after several adjustments.

I will right a proper review after several trips. But as it stands now I would recommend this pack.
I think I would not have noticed another 5-6 lbs. its so comfy.

Desert Dweller

Locale: Wild Wild West
Exped on 08/05/2013 20:10:02 MDT Print View

I noticed when I was in the big city of Tucson last week that Summit Hut is carrying the Exped Lightning.

John Finney
(guavarex) - MLife

Locale: Z├╝rich, Switzerland
Quick Exped Lightning 45 review on 08/19/2013 04:33:50 MDT Print View

I just finished a 7 day, 82 mile, 16000 feet trip in the Sawtooth mountains of Idaho, where my new Exped Lightning 45 (black) received a good workout. One first step of first day, pack weight was around 33 pounds with 10 pounds of food, two liters of water, and 750 ml of bourbon. By end of trip, clearly the weight was about 15 pounds less.

Overall, the pack performed very well, with three nags:
(1) The suspension running down the spine is annoying. I would gladly take a little extra weight for two struts and not have to adjust (often) to shift the pressure point on the spine. Not a deal killer, but not as comfortable as my old Mountainsmith Auspex, which otherwise has a very similar design.

(2) The internal two-sided pocket is deep, and presses on the upper back accordingly when it hangs down. This is easily resolved by lifting it up and placing it on top of the pack contents before closing the roll top.

(3) The cinch straps go across the side pockets, making water bottle entry a hassle. Simply anchoring the cinch straps two inches higher would resolve this, but such mods exceed my very limited sewing skills.

(a) The hip belt is very good, with roomy pockets.
(b) The bag shape maximizes useful volume.
(c) Pack fabric very tough.
(d) Adjustability is a breeze.
(e) Cinch straps are effective, simple, and very light.
(f) Black color looks cool :)

I was able to hang food (about 13 liters worth) rather than use a bear canister. In a canister zone, I would recommend the larger 60 liter size.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
I just got back from a week in the Ansel Adams Wilderness... on 08/27/2013 02:24:34 MDT Print View

...and I agree with the comments above, except about the bear canister. I carried a BV450 with no problems.

Huffing and puffing with Thousand Island Lake and Banner Peak in the distance:

Day trip up to Lake Catherine from base camp at west end of Thousand Island Lake (note the compression):

On trail near the shores of Garnet Lake:

Edited by FeetFirst on 08/27/2013 02:45:38 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Not tall enough, to 'deep' on 09/20/2013 08:27:07 MDT Print View

I just got one, but will returning it. From previous comments I had hoped that it was a tall pack, but that is not the case, it's merely not a short pack.
Unlike Luke, I want the pack to stick up well above my shoulders, this helps keep weight on your hips and over your feet. Load lifters should come down at about 45 degrees for the most efficient carry. Of course, that is for a pack of this size (~50l) and packed weight (~15-25lbs). If it were smaller, for a lighter load, I'd be quite happy with the length.

This is the 45 and it is huge. I wish it were less 'deep' to keep the weight closer to your back.
For me, a few inches taller frame, along with a pack bag that was shallower front to back would have been perfect.
The frame length is about 24 inches.
That means, the overall pack is about 25" tall, and 11" deep. For best carrying with heavier loads and to keep the volume from getting too huge, I think a ratio of 3;1 or so is better, say a 9" deep pack that is 27" tall.



The lumbar pad sticks up above the hip belt, and creates uncomfortable pressure at that spot. I love a good lumbar pad, but this one is to high up.


The top of the bag does not have much of a collar to form the roll top, a little more fabric here would make that easier.

Edited by Tjaard on 09/20/2013 08:37:21 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Not tall enough, to 'deep' on 09/20/2013 08:44:53 MDT Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 12:25:18 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
my torso on 09/20/2013 14:37:57 MDT Print View

good point, i had forgotten that. my torso length is 18.5" from top of iliac crest to C7.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: my torso on 09/20/2013 14:45:46 MDT Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 12:26:25 MDT.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
? on 09/20/2013 15:28:05 MDT Print View

I have a 19" torso and the frame extends high enough on me for the load lifters to extend up at approximately a 45 degree angle. When I get a chance, I'll load it up and snap some profile pics to post. I wonder if either (1) I wear packs high on my hips or (2) you wear packs low? What pack, and size, fits you comfortably?

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Anybody tried the Exped Lightning 45 and 60 on 12/01/2013 20:07:54 MST Print View

Recently got a Lightning 60 to use on family and extended solo tramps. Used for four days so far, carrying about 30lbs each day (ate food but had to carry more water as trip went on). Overall I am pleased with the pack. Weight transfer to hips is excellent. Definitely superior to the Elemental Horizon Aquilo I had initially been intending to use for this trip and a major improvement on my Gossamer Gear Gorilla at weights over 25lbs. The only thing I would change is the hipbelt, as I prefer more flexible and less heavily padded hipbelts and I also don't like sewn on hipbelt pockets.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Exped 60 on 07/20/2014 15:52:26 MDT Print View

I was in Bozeman for a race and stopped in at Prolitegear and they happened to have a couple of Exped Lightnings in. Sooooo....I've been looking for a pack w/ a little more volume and the ability to carry a few more pounds than my Hornet 46 for shoulder season and winter. My young grandson has just started backpacking w/ us, so a bigger tent and the need to carry some of his stuff also necessitated a larger pack. Based on the good reviews (here and elsewhere), the Lightning looked like a strong candidate. The guys loaded up a 60 for me, adjusted the frame length- easy to do and I ended walking out the door w/ it (well I had to pay for it first :))

I'll post up my impressions from the field in a couple of weeks.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Exped 60 on 08/02/2014 16:26:16 MDT Print View

How are folks getting on with the pack?

I have a Lightning 45 on the way to try out as interested in the adjustable harness.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Exped 60 on 08/02/2014 17:53:31 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/22/2015 01:58:36 MDT.