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UL Pack Recommendations
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Micah Caley
UL Pack Recommendations on 05/01/2013 22:27:21 MDT Print View

Hello, what would be some advice/recommendations of UL hiking backpacks?

Packman Pete
(packmanpete) - MLife

Locale: Rainy Portland
My insight on 05/01/2013 22:49:16 MDT Print View

There are lots of options based on the volume carried, weight carried, expected conditions, and length of trip.

For bigger and heavier gear, I love Granite Gear's Crown pack.

A highly regarded and super rugged pack at a great price is the Golite Jam 50.

My personal favorite is the Gossamer Gear Murmur, but you need some serious UL experience to squeeze into it.

S Long

Locale: Wasatch
Re: UL Pack Recommendations on 05/01/2013 23:40:40 MDT Print View

The pack should be one of the last things you should consider buying. First get the rest of your gear dialed in, then consider the maximum amount of food and water you will be carrying at any given time. Use that information to figure what volume pack you need. Make sure you measure your torso size correctly and then make sure you try on many different packs with the maximum amount of weight you would be carrying at any given time. Packs are like shoes. Everyone is different, so a pack will fit you differently than someone else. You need to make sure to get one that works for you...not necessarily the highest rated or recommended. Any of the popular cottage gear companies make great stuff. To sum up, figure maximum volume needed, features desired, and torso size, then try on a LOT of different ones with weight in them before you settle on the one that works best for you personally. Hopefully that wasn't too long winded and will help you out.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: UL Pack Recommendations on 05/02/2013 07:10:55 MDT Print View

Well, as the others have alluded to, it depends.
Typically, with a known and trusted partner, you can go smaller by condensing gear. One stove for two people, for example. You save the weight and volume of an extra stove, pot, and wind-screen. Another example is sleeping bags, preferably the kinds that zip together. Two people need two bags. Two that zip together will allow +10-+15F in warmth, dropping weight and volume. Solo is another problem. You need to carry a bag for the full expected temperture, and a stove & cannot share.

In both cases, Solo and Partnered, you will still be UL, but the volume will be different.

What type of shelter? Tarp? Tent? With a cooking area (bad weather expected?) Cowboy camping with a bivy? Each will have a differnt volume and weight.

IFF you are buying your first UL pack, but have hiking/camping expeience, likely a 3000ci pack will do. And something that will carry a 30# load comfortably. For UL equipment, plan on NO MORE than 20oz for a pack. The GG Gorilla for example fits these numbers. You can plan on 20# of food, and 10#base. This is about 10 days out.
There is nothing that says you *must* use that heavy of a pack. The Kumo or Murmur are excellent small volume packs. I use a Murmur for as long as two weeks out.

There are lots of other packs. But, to acheive a UL weight, you have to consider 20oz a max. weight. Your base weight needs to be less than ten pounds. For me, this rarely changes for three season camping. I vary slightly between 8-11 pounds, including camera, fishing gear, etc. I also have three light packs of differing sizes 2200, 3200 and 4000 cubic inches.