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Talk me out of buying an HMG Windrider.
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Stevie Patrick

Locale: Adirondacks
Talk me out of buying an HMG Windrider. on 05/05/2013 19:48:46 MDT Print View

Looking at the 3400. My go to pack right now is a Zpacks Zero Medium, which is 2200 ci. I live in western North Carolina, and typically go out for two to three nights, and the occasional week or so when I can get the time off. Usually do between 15 and 20 miles a day. I am going to thru-hike the AT next year, and this is one of the packs I've considered using.

If you have one, what do you like/dislike about? Any other recommendations?

Edited by XstevieX on 05/05/2013 20:10:35 MDT.

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
Okay. . . . on 05/05/2013 19:56:34 MDT Print View

You already have a ZPacks Zero with roughly same capacity. Why are you looking to buy yet another pack? 200ci isn't enough to upgrade. If you want more capacity just buy a ZPacks Multipack.

Edited by hes on 05/05/2013 19:58:03 MDT.

Stevie Patrick

Locale: Adirondacks
Re: Okay. . . . on 05/05/2013 20:09:53 MDT Print View

Oh sorry, I meant 3400, I'll edit my original post. That was more so the reason behind it, so I have the capacity to carry more food/water on longer trips. Also, I hear it's supposed to be a bit more durable, though I haven't had an issue with durability using my Zero, but I also haven't used it on any long distance hikes.

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
AT on 05/06/2013 11:42:02 MDT Print View

I doubt you'd need more capacity for an AT thru hike with as much water & resupply points as there are. You could always start with the zero & then when its about to wear out, get an hmg sent to your nxt rest day town. I wouldnt try to talk you out of an hmg. I use the ice pack currently for all my trips & its awesome. The 2400 wind rider is plenty of space IMO. Seems a bit bigger than other 2400 packs I've used.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Talk me out of buying an HMG Windrider. on 05/06/2013 20:06:31 MDT Print View


We suffer from gear obsession, so must you.

Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
Re: Talk me out of buying an HMG Windrider. on 05/06/2013 21:32:06 MDT Print View

I have the 2400 Southwest Windrider. It's an amazing pack. Been using it for 2 years and though it's not very white anymore, it has never ripped and is in otherwise perfect condition. It's pretty bombproof - I haven't seen any sun damage or other damage. Obviously my favorite feature is that it's waterproof. I use a GG pack liner for extra insurance though. It's just a very comfortable no frills bag made of quality material. If I ordered one again, I'd get it custom made without the waist strap compartments and order the larger ones from Zpacks. The folks at HMG are really nice and will custom make options for you within reason from what I've heard.

I've probably carried somewhere around 22 pounds in the bag and it's comfy. 9.8lb base + food and water.

Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
3400 on 05/07/2013 03:47:00 MDT Print View

Yeah no complaints on my Windrider 3400. I paid extra for hard side pockets, but kept the mesh on the back, seemed like a good mod to me...

Regarding 2400 vs 3400, the diff is only a longer collar and Mike claims 50g... I've never come close to filling the 3400, but I've also never felt the extra 50g. I also could see filling it for say a 10 day trip, it's not *that* big...

scree ride
stronger bottom on 05/07/2013 05:54:39 MDT Print View

I just not sure about the mesh pockets on the Windrider. Otherwise it looks like a great pack.I've been eyeballing the 3400's. I instinctively was looking at the 4400 but decided it was too much for what I really needed. With the porter a back accessory bag can be added if necessary for another 675. With a 2400 it would give you 3075. If a removable top bag was made available it would be sweet, provided the suspension was up to it.
I received an email indicating a planned design change with stronger cuben on the bottom, and they said if I called they would do it for me now.
Not sure. Reading on Zpacs last, it is only good for one thru hike. the thought of a disposable pack doesn't quite set right with me. while everything wears out with time, is Zpack being overly honest or is there a limited lifespan with cuben? Chris a Zimmerbuilt suggested xpac material, at least for bushwacking. Slightly heavier but stronger.
It can get confusing.

K Magz
(lapedestrienne) - F

Locale: somewhere without screens
durability on 05/07/2013 07:16:00 MDT Print View

I'd say Joe at Zpacks is just being honest when he says a cuben backpack is good for the length of a thru-hike and not much more. Cuben by itself does not hold up well to abrasion. I met several folks using cuben packs on the AT last year and after 2000+ miles all of those packs were pretty much destroyed and needed to be retired. Likewise the cuben food-hanging bag my boyfriend carried on our thru--very, very frayed. On the plus side, it is easy to patch cuben with either duct tape or cuben tape while on the trail.

You could check out the Zpacks Arc Blast. It uses an external frame and is made of a reinforced cuben fiber (an outer layer of polyester, I think?) that is supposed to be considerably more durable than lighter cuben.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Talk me out of buying an HMG Windrider on 05/07/2013 07:29:56 MDT Print View

Don't get the Windrider. Get the SW :)

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Talk me out of buying an HMG Windrider. on 05/07/2013 16:01:11 MDT Print View

Joe has just completed a thru hike with an Arc Blast, so it would be a good time to ask for his feedback. I saw their packs at the half way point and they looked great.

Not everyone is completely happy with the durability of their HMG pack. Martin Rye recently reported a hole in his. However, a part from this he thinks, as most people do, that it is a brilliant pack.

Have you looked at the Elemental Horizon's Aquilo. It has a 3200 main compartment in the large. It is available as a 210d Dyneema version that should be pretty darn tough.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
windrider on 05/07/2013 16:36:36 MDT Print View

The porter has better compression, a narrow backpack carries the load better.
The zpacks blast is lighter and also has better compression.

Josh Brock

Locale: Outside
done on 05/07/2013 16:43:46 MDT Print View

Dont buy the Hmg windrider!!!!

It causes teens to get pregnant.... now you have a reason to not buy it.

Edited by needsAbath on 05/07/2013 17:28:18 MDT.

Slaton Whatley

Locale: Catalinas, Saguaro, Grand Canyon
2nd on the Porter on 05/07/2013 16:56:00 MDT Print View

I just got the Porter and absolutely love it. I've done really long day hikes in it, taken it as a crag pack for a day of rock climbing and am planning on using it for my up coming Yellowstone trip in a week and a half. HMG is top, top notch gear and I would never dare talk anyone out of buying one of these packs!

Sell some old stuff on gear swap and get this puppy!

The Windrider looks great too and the outside storage is definitely something the Porter is lacking but I just love the simplicity and cleanliness of the Porter. I'm buying the Metro Pack soon for around town! Get it!!!!!

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: windrider on 05/07/2013 16:56:42 MDT Print View

Windrider and Porter 3400 are the identical shape, although the compression is a little different on the Windrider to account for the front and side pockets. But it will compress flat. They also have identical suspensions.

Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
Re: durability on 05/08/2013 07:17:18 MDT Print View

I think Joe is being honest, too. But I also think the material HMG uses is more durable. It's a proprietary ripstop cuben, no? I've bushwacked with my HMG SW for almost 2 years and other than not being white, it's held up perfectly. I'm not claiming it's the best pack out there, but sure love mine. When I need a new pack, I'll be purchasing another HMG.

Edited by jleeb on 05/08/2013 07:34:01 MDT.