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What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack?
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Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/01/2013 14:35:03 MDT Print View

I currently own an older REI Cruise UL 60 pack W/ REI aftermarket side pockets. Total weight 3 lbs. 6 oz.

What do you use in a backpack (not a day pack) that is about 50 liters or more?

OOPS! I forgot, NO Cuben packs. Can't abide the look or feel.

Edited by Danepacker on 06/11/2013 19:17:31 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/01/2013 15:05:04 MDT Print View

I am using the 46L Gossamer Gear Gorilla with stays and a foam sit pad as a frame sheet ... love it.


Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/01/2013 15:08:12 MDT Print View

HMG Porter. I haven't found a better UL famed pack under 2 lbs

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/01/2013 15:28:11 MDT Print View

Osprey Exos 46. There is a 58 liter model as well, which I lust for.... sigh

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/01/2013 16:00:42 MDT Print View

I have the mentioned Osprey Exos 58 (actually 55 in the small i have) love it.. don't always need the volume but it cinches down nice for weekend trips.

Also have the 34L for my daypack which keeps all of the ergonomics and straps the same.

i love the horizontal bottle pockets since my shoulder flexibility isn't great and i can still reach both pockets without taking the pack off. among other features i like.

Edited by JakeDatc on 06/01/2013 16:13:27 MDT.

Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
lowe alpine zepton on 06/01/2013 16:01:06 MDT Print View

A fairly amazing pack for the weight, true frame, internal, also stiffener sheets of plastic, comfortable straps, 50 liters, 2.5 pounds with top pocket, removable, 2 pounds without. Dyneema / nylon fabric. That's a super stiff steel u frame by the way, I had to put all my body weight on it to alter the bend slightly. The u supports the top load lifters to the bottom back pad, making it a real frame.

Major flaw: flat lycra type side pockets, no front(back) pocket at all. Otherwise maybe the most underrated pack I've seen discussed here. Too bad Lowe was sold to some other outdoor gear holding company, I doubt they will be the same ever again.

Easily holds a full sized bear cannister horizontally across bottom of pack. I'll probably never use it again though, I just don't have that much gear to pack away.

The zepton was the name of the basic torso length version, they made two others, one shorter, women's usually, and one longer, I don't remember the names of those two.

Edited by hhope on 06/01/2013 16:03:34 MDT.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/01/2013 16:17:16 MDT Print View

For a long time I have been using a 4000+ cubic inch GoLite Quest. It weighs 47 oz and has served me well. I recently acquired an Elemental Horizons Kalais. It is about 47 liters and weighs 28 oz with the stay. I have used it on several 3-4 day trips in the
local mountains and on a five day trip in the Grand Canyon so far. It is probably the best balanced, most comfortable pack I have ever owned. It will handle a BV-450 easily and a BV-500 but just barely. I will use the Kalais on my upcoming JMT hike.

Jani Kikuts
(Enginerd) - M

Locale: Southern California
Exped on 06/01/2013 16:41:43 MDT Print View

Got the new Exped Lightning 60, feels good around the neighborhood with 30 pounds in it but will have to report back after a week in the Sierras in August.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/01/2013 17:25:10 MDT Print View

I have the Osprey Exos 46 in a size Large. Osprey lists the volume at 49 liters for the size large but I think that's a bit optimistic. Osprey lists the weight at 2 lbs 7 oz and mine weighs in at 2 lbs 8 oz. so not too far off. The lid is removable but not worth removing as the extra storage/organization benefits is worth the 4 oz penalty IMO.

Brian Reyman

Locale: Rocky Mountains
GG and Osprey on 06/01/2013 17:38:57 MDT Print View

I haven't tried HMG packs yet but have heard very good things about them.

I have several GossamerGear packs (Mariposa and Gorilla) and would highly recommend both. They are my packs of choice for loads up to about 30 pounds. I also have an Osprey Exos 58, which is my favorite choice when I have to carry a bear canister. The one caveat there is that people either live or hate the Exos. It isn't terribly adjustable and the design makes the fit very comfy (as it is for me) or very much the opposite.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
I use on 06/01/2013 18:35:09 MDT Print View

a ULA OHM 2.0. It weighs 1# 7 oz without the frills, and carries up to 25# comfortably, enough for a 10 day trip with my kit/food.

Derrick White
(miku) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
HMG Porter (Expedition) 4400 on 06/01/2013 18:40:47 MDT Print View

Quite like this pack. Haven't used it extensively yet, but the construction is solid and it carries 40lbs (my top expedition weight) painlessly.


Phil Erickson
(chinadill) - M

Locale: Oregon
ul pack on 06/01/2013 18:54:14 MDT Print View

Kifaru KU3700 2lbs. 13oz.

Drew Jay

Locale: Central Coast
Arc Blast on 06/01/2013 19:57:07 MDT Print View

I have a Zpacks Arc Blast, wouldn't trade it for anything!

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
ULA Circuit on 06/01/2013 21:22:21 MDT Print View

I love this pack but I keep lusting after the Arc Blast. The circuit is too much pack for 17lb 3day trips and 25lb week long trips.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Options on 06/01/2013 21:36:30 MDT Print View

I think it depends on how much weight you want to haul.

Up to 35 pounds
Most of the popular UL packs like the Gossamer Gear Gorilla and Exos 46 will carry 30-35 pounds okay. Lots of reviews and discussion here.

More then 35 pounds
I'm only aware of a couple packs that can haul more then 35 pounds. One would be the HMG Porter. Another would be the Exped Lighting 45/60. Ryan Jordan says he can carry 55 pounds in the Porter and Exped rates the Lighting to 52 pounds. However I'm inclined to think the Exped would be a bit better with really heavy loads or bulky loads. It has a more substantial hipbelt and load lifters. However the Porter has a much better compression system and is a bit lighter. It also has a shorter frame which is nice.

Bottom line if your pack is going to be bulky and heavy most of the time the Exped is a good choice. If you want a pack that will compress smaller but does okay with the occasional big load, pick the Porter.

Samuel C Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
AT 55 - 2012 on 06/01/2013 21:37:19 MDT Print View

Normally, I wouldn't post anything on this forum until it had been used enough to evaluate, and then only if it worked well.

However, this product is quite unusual for the reasons stated below, but has been replaced by a newer model, so won't be around much longer.

It is Bean's AT 55, 2012 model: 55 pack-SR0&page=men-s-at-55-pack

AFAIK, the last time a removable, flexible hourglass framed, suspended mesh backpanel pack was offered was by Alpine Designs with an ABS tube frame. Still have one, remodeled with Spectra 4 oz. white widow gridstop for all of the pack except the original backpanel.

The unusual thing about these packs is that the hourglass frame, aluminum tentpole-size tube in this case, is removable; and when installed, is completely enclosed by the pack. Unlike the Ospreys, Z55s, Deuters and others, bugs etc. cannot get into the space behind the mesh backpanel (Well, OK, noseeums maybe).

So I was surprised to see Bean's offering such a pack after so many years. Also, unlike the others mentioned, since the entire perimeter of the backpanel is sewn into the pack and supported by the frame, it can be much less rigid than the others mentioned, making it easier to bend forward and flex the back against the panel. (Bean's calls it a 'trampoline' backpanel). For this reason, I find this type of pack much more comfortable. It takes a lot of design savvy, because if the panel is too loose, the inner pack when weighted will rub against the mesh panel and your back, and if it is too tight, your back will not be able to flex, and much of the benefit of the suspended mesh panel will be lost.

Some people think the space between the backpanel and inner panel moves the center of gravity too far backward, making the pack less comfortable. However, when this type of pack is packed and adjusted, the inner pack comes quite close to the mesh, as close as you would want and still maintain the ability to bend forward without feeling the contents against your back. I think this impression derives from the earlier Ospreys, that had a quite large separation between the inner and outer backpanels, without much give when weighted. Also, larger zip pockets on a pack back often get used to hold more than just rain gear and fording sandals, and that will move the center of gravity back more than a little bit of air space behind the suspended mesh.

As you can see from the link, these are 55 liter packs, and weigh a few oz over 3 lbs., depending on the size and gender. The design is similar to that on packs often favored on this site, with the two side lycra bottle pockets, lycra shovel pocket in the center, single bag with extension sleeve cinched top, buckle attached top pocket with separate hidden wallet pocket underneath, and there is an additional zip pocket inside the pack against the inner back panel that will hold items to be kept separated. It also accommodates a bladder for those who use one. It also has a Kodra bomber top and bottom, rawhide 1/8" diamond mesh for the backpanel, lift straps, etc.

The only changes I plan to make to the pack are to sew on a couple large buckles to the ends of the hipbelt so it will tighten like an Osprey does, by pulling the two web ends forward at the hips; shorten the extension sleeve, sub separating buckles for the top lid attachment, add two horizontal straps across the front to hold my chair and items to dry out, and remove some of the excess webbing that is longer than needed. For a while, Bean's had a review posted that panned the pack because it had 'too many straps.' Scissor challenged, I guess.

The old models are selling for $155 and come in a large size for torsos up to 21" like mine, which makes all the difference, comfort-wise. The new 2013 models have 'less straps,' a zip instead of shovel pocket, and are a bit heavier, but have a 35 liter model. Price for the new models is $179.

I've been designing and building a similar pack for several years, but with a 'Jackpack' sidearm suspension and lower weight. Until it is finished (assuming it ever is) I'm hoping this AT55 will be ideal for multi-week treks, carrying around 25 pounds total, including pack, at start, and will let you know how it works out.

Please note: I have zero connection with Bean's - haven't even read the book.

Edited by scfhome on 06/01/2013 21:40:00 MDT.

Jeffrey McConnell
ULA on 06/01/2013 21:39:45 MDT Print View

I use the ula ohm 2.0 and the circuit when I need to carry a bear canister. After trying quite a few packs these have become my favorites.

terry tiedeman
(Terry62) - F
favorite framed pack more than 50 liters on 06/01/2013 21:42:13 MDT Print View

Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus Full Suspension. I really like this pack. Light, tough and carries really well.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Thanks guys on 06/01/2013 22:00:11 MDT Print View

Thanks for your feedback. That's the info I was looking for.

My REI pack is still serviceable but the hipbelt is not the most comfortable. My Cruise UL 60 is a predecessor to the Flash 65, which I didn't see mentioned.

My max 3 season weight with 2 L. of water (1 L. of electrolyte drink, 1 L. plain H2O in the hydration bladder) is 32 lbs. for 7 days. Most of the packs mentioned here would handle that weight for a few days until I ate my way to a lower weight.

The Osprey EXOS 58 has been a tpo candidate but with all the other packs mentioned, some of which I wasn't aware of, it will take me a week of research to sort them out.

Anyone use a Granite Gear pack?

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: light packs with frames on 06/01/2013 22:42:24 MDT Print View

Personally, a number of the packs mentioned I won't want to use over around 25lb. The suspension starts to degrade above that. As you say... you could put up with if for a couple of days as your weight comes down from the food being eaten.

I really wanted to like teh Osprey Exos 58. You might find it too big, but the real issue I ran into was I found the waist strap inadaquate for more than around 20lbs. Above that I found it got uncomfortable after around 1-2 miles. Clearly this varies person to person since there are people here who love it.

I used to use The Granite Gear Vapor Trail and really likely it... but as GG added features the lightened the suspension. I am not fond of the current packs :(


James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/02/2013 05:20:19 MDT Print View

Well, this kind-of gets into a very grey area. What is a a light pack and how does the weights fit into each category: Regular, Light, UL, SUL, XSUL?

In answer to your question, for an internal framed pack I use an old, as in very old, Tough Traveler. This is about 3000ci (50L)and weighs 2#3. It has an internal frame made from magnesium, two side pouches, and a 2" hip belt. I use this most days as a training pack carrying ~50 pounds through the park. I believe it was produced around 1974/5. I don't think anyone currently makes a similar pack, though. None have a magnesium frame. Way back when the kids were little, I would load this with close to 60 pounds of gear and take the family out camping. Really a rugged pack and still in use. But, I don't consider this a UL pack. More of a light weight pack.

Regular packs (heavy weight packs) I consider as anything above 4#.
Light weight packs I consider 2#-4#.
UL packs I consider to be 1#-2#.
SUL packs I consider to be 8oz to 1#.
XSUL packs I consider to be anything less than 8oz.

The current trend in backpacks is heavier, more durability, additional features.

Modular packs are nice, letting a hiker dial in his pack to his load, but this often adds excess weight to the total. Example, your aftermarket side pockets: These are totally enclosed pouches with attachments. If attached to a pack, it is possible to skip one side(using the pack body as a side,) and, only attach five of the six sides and skip the attachment weight for an overall weight savings. Removal, ie, not carrying it, is also a weight savings if you do not need the extra volume. Current philosophy will allow manufacturors to add modular pieces. Strict UL philosophy says no. The lightest pouch should be added. I would suggest not considering any modular packs as Ultra Light, regardless of how much they actually weigh.

Perhaps volume is another consideration, as you mention. I have a couple packs(Osprey, and a wal-mart loaner) that list 50L as the size. There are a couple pouches on the Osprey (for example) that open *internally.* Ie, they subtract from the internal volume when full. They are not big enough for a tent (though they fit a 10x10 tarp, OK.) Simple "organization" pouches like that can be eliminated. They really serve no usefull purpose beyond gear segregation. This is one feature than can easily be eliminated.

With the destruction of most of the early generation cuben packs (for one reason or another) most companies have switched to hybrid materials to increase durability. This was at about the same rate as spinnaker packs were destroyed, forcing manufacturers to look for more durable materials. But instead of .36 or .51 material being used we now find 1.1 and 1.6 material being used. Again, the trend in durable packs is showing. but this means that we now can get better packs even if the weight as increased by 50% or more.

(Joomy) - M
Crux on 06/02/2013 06:33:07 MDT Print View

I use my Crux AX-47X for almost all my multi-day trips.

It's not the lightest pack for its size (about 1300g in my size 3) but it is mega tough and mega comfy. It has the stiffest tubular frame I've ever encountered on a pack. It's also functionally weather proof. I think it compares very favourably to packs like the ULA Circuit, and the Kevlar/nylon fabric is way tougher than the Dyneema X ULA use.

That said... the Arc Blast looks bloody awesome at less than half the weight.

packs on 06/02/2013 06:39:09 MDT Print View

A lot of factors go into pack selection.

Your average carry weight, maximum required carry wt, volume of gear, and durability needed are a few.

I use an Ohm, and a circuit.

There are startling few packs that fall into the range these packs serve, which is the sweet spot for most UL backpackers.

Up to 20 lbs, I prefer the Ohm packed loose so it conforms to my back. 20-30 lbs the support of the Circuit, and shaped back stay makes packing easy and carrying comfortable.

I usually carry 5-6 days food .

Another good pack similar to Circuit is the Elemental Horizons Kalais. A tad lighter (not much when compared on equal basis with stay and pockets), a bit smaller, but a load hauler and durable.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
A little small for your stated requirements, but... on 06/02/2013 07:26:04 MDT Print View

If you can go just a tad smaller, I really am happy with my new REI Flash 45. It proved very comfy on a shakedown two day hike with my planned long hike load. I hardly knew it was there once I got the adjustments all right. I am looking forward to longer trips with it.

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/02/2013 07:31:49 MDT Print View

HMG Porter 4400 (formerly "Expedition"). Great pack that carries very well. I use it when I need the capacity to haul bulky winter loads, or for longer trips. No complaints at all.

Edited by backslacker on 06/02/2013 20:42:03 MDT.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Half Pound MYOG Frame Pack on 06/02/2013 09:58:05 MDT Print View

I use this MYOG frame pack:


Edited by lyrad1 on 06/02/2013 10:12:15 MDT.

Darren McClintock
(Darren) - MLife
GG on 06/02/2013 10:21:59 MDT Print View

Yes Eric, Nimbus Ozone or Meridian without the lid dialed in on my 19" torso. Super comfortable.

Edited by Darren on 06/02/2013 10:25:04 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: GG on 06/02/2013 10:30:33 MDT Print View

I recently had a chance to use the GG Leopard AC58 and it was very comfortable. The Crown varients simply don't fit me...mind you neither did the Vapor Trail. I was between toro sizes.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
packs on 06/02/2013 11:05:43 MDT Print View

These are the pack I tried:

GG Gorilla
ULA OHM and Circuit and AirX
MLD Exodus
Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone
Osprey EXO
HMG Windrider
and others

But now I only have:

Zpacks Blast with stays and
hmg porter

and I'm very happy they put the weight on my hips, my Total pack weight
for most trips is about 18 lbs including food and water and these packs
handle it with ease.

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Oregon
Re: What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/02/2013 16:03:57 MDT Print View

Currently using the HMG Porter 3400. It is a pretty fantastic pack and hauls a load surprisingly well. My only complaint? I just wish I could have a color other than white!

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Re: What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/02/2013 16:45:29 MDT Print View

"I just wish I could have a color other than white!"

Email HMG. There's a small upcharge, but they may still have some black available.

scree ride
Orange you glad I didn't say bannana on 06/02/2013 19:36:30 MDT Print View

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Tough Traveller on 06/02/2013 19:55:45 MDT Print View


I actually have a Tough Traveller given to all Olympic Nordic ski patrollers when I was a patroller at the '80 Lake Placid Winter Olympics.

It's all Cordurea and has a top flap made to hold a sleeping bag. I modded it (natch, it's an affliction I have)) by cutting off the webbing belt and adding a Camp Trails belt. Sometimes I use it for backcountry skiing but I mainly keep it B/C it has the '80 Winter Olympic emblem sewn on it.

EDIT: Some packs like the Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus are nice packs but I do not want my back against WP pack cloth like the Exodus and several otehr light internal frame packs have. The mesh trampoline of an Osprey EXOS 58 ia the ideal for me.

My old REICruise UL 60 at least has mesh covered open cell foam. AND it has an adjustable harness with 5 inches of torso length adjustment, unlike the current REI Flash 65 with its sewn-on harness. It's just that damn hard waistbelt I don't like.

Edited by Danepacker on 06/02/2013 20:05:30 MDT.

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Oregon
Rainbow Porters on 06/02/2013 20:40:26 MDT Print View

That orange porter is indeed good lookin'.

I think I'll wear out my white porter before doing anything else. Here's hoping it gets enough use that it ends up black anyways!

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Rainbow Porters on 06/02/2013 20:43:07 MDT Print View

I've heard that since cuben can't be effectively dyed, that the color will start to bleed. Can't confirm this, however.

Christopher Kuzak
Exos 58 on 06/02/2013 21:32:30 MDT Print View

I'm using an Exos 58 without the top pocket to cut down about 5 oz. The pluses are the air suspension and the ease with which I can stuff my bear canister in it. Downsides are the waist belt and weight (there are lighter options). I've carried up to 30 lbs in it comfortably, but wouldn't want to go beyond that. It really shines in the 20-25 lb range.

Nils Mann

Locale: Rockies
Re: packs on 06/11/2013 14:15:57 MDT Print View

I am just in the process of selecting my first UL pack. Was looking at Gorilla, Blast with stays, or Jam 50; or possibly Hornet 46, Porter 3400 or Kalais though I suspect they are too big. Andrew, you seem to have used nearly all of them - how do you compare them?

What do people recommend for the following? (I'm not keen on shipping stuff back over the border to the US so buying a few and then returning them isn't too attractive!) Base wt currently about 11 lbs w/o pack for Canadian Rockies and Monashees (I likely still have too much extra clothing), so I suspect about 20 lbs common wt and 25 lbs max. (nice to be comfortable with 30# if need be but I'd like to know if people with experience think that is asking too much of a UL pack - framed or not). Base volume in a box is about 1900 cu in. I use a neoair but may also carry a torso pad in shoulder season.

p.s. My internal framed pack is an ancient TNF, about 70l by my calcs, only 1.65 kg - looks very much like the Porter with a lid.

Edited by Billman on 06/11/2013 14:44:32 MDT.

John Holmes

Locale: SouthEastern US
Depends on your definition of FRAMED :) on 06/11/2013 16:19:31 MDT Print View

I've settled on Granite Gear packs, at least for the time being. For my "heavy" winter and/or long distance loads (17lb base, 35lbs max) I love the GG Blaze AC 60. At 2lbs 14oz not exactly ultralight, but definitely "light" and I love the suspension.

For my light loads (12lb base, 25lb max) I recently got a Crown VC 60. Not sure many people would call the super flexible frame sheet a suspension, but I think it works great. Pack it tight and it sure feels like a suspension :)

Both of these packs fit me perfectly, carry weight comfortably and with lighter loads almost disappear on my back.
For the performance, design and cost, I don't know of anything I would want to replace these with. Super satisfied.

Josh Brock

Locale: Outside
Re: Orange you glad I didn't say bannana on 06/11/2013 16:35:11 MDT Print View

Jebus I want one of these stinkin packs. and I DONT need it..... 7yr old daughter is going to have to get a job to buy daddy Cuben fiber gear for fathers day.

I am a UL hypocrite and proud...Either that or a gear junkie.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Omission, SORRY! on 06/11/2013 19:21:49 MDT Print View

Sorry guys - I forgot to say that I do NOT want a Cuben pack. Don't like the look or feel of the stuff.

After looking over all the suggested packs here I'd say that the Osprey EXOS 58 is the heaviest I'd buy. I'd get it for the comfort IF it fit me.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Osprey Exos on 06/11/2013 22:16:03 MDT Print View


I have the Osprey Exos 46, and i think it's great. The back panel is the best feature. For me, it means a very comfortable fit against my back, and a pretty dry back. I would not want to use a Exos 58, as i believe the hipbelt wouldn't be beefy enough for the mass of gear the pack can digest.

I've used my 46 comfortably up to 16kg. If i were going to haul around +16kg a lot, i would not use this pack.

FWIW, i think the perfect pack doesn't exist premade.

Good luck!

Edited by prse on 06/11/2013 22:16:57 MDT.

Mobius Vortex
Kalais on 06/11/2013 23:00:18 MDT Print View

The Elemental Horizons Kalais is by far the best pack I have ever used. Its not a true internal framed pack as the frame is removable. With the frame in, the load transfer to the hips is excellent and the hip belt is very comfortable. Have used it several times this spring on desert trips. When I stopped and loaded up on 4L of water, I noticed the additional weight when lifting the pack, but did not notice the extra weight once the pack was strapped back on my back. I don't think I have had a load as heavy as 32 lbs but probably was close on one cold trip when loaded with water.

Edited by MobiusVortex on 06/11/2013 23:01:08 MDT.

Lou Z
(lugee) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
exos and catalyst on 06/11/2013 23:25:24 MDT Print View

My wife and i run the Osprey Exos 46. For heavier loads, I use my ULA Catalyst.

(Joomy) - M
Re: Omission, SORRY! on 06/13/2013 02:14:09 MDT Print View

"Sorry guys - I forgot to say that I do NOT want a Cuben pack. Don't like the look or feel of the stuff"

Just FYI in case you didn't know already the hybrid cuben used by hmg and zpacks looks like woven polyester not traditional cuben.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Go Go Gorilla! on 06/13/2013 05:41:16 MDT Print View

I am a big fan of Gossamer Gear's packs. The Gorilla so far is my favorite, but I'm carrying my new ULA circuit on every trip this year to make sure my shoulder/arm problems don't crop up with it. I've not tried the gorilla with more than 20 pounds or so, but I can't imagine it carries very well with more than 25-27 or so. The hip belts are about perfect in terms of beefiness...although I do admit that I miss the mesh of the osprey exos I used to have. It was very nice....

Chris C
(cvcass) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
new pack on 06/13/2013 07:40:38 MDT Print View

I just picked up a MountainSmith Haze 50 and so far I am impressed with it. It is very well constructed and the hip belt is extremely comfortable. It may not be the lightest or the fanciest materials but it looks like it will be durable.

It also weighs in at a full pound lighter then my ULA Catalyst with more internal capacity. It was also $150.00 less.

Samuel C Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Mea Culpa on 06/23/2013 15:37:23 MDT Print View

"Normally, I wouldn't post anything on this forum until it had been used enough to evaluate, and then only if it worked well."

Famous last words. After replacing the hipbelt tightening system with the pulley type used by Osprey, loaded up the Bean's AT55 with about 15 lbs, 18 lbs including the pack, well distributed, and discovered that pack has a tendency to slip down, right behind the small of the back. With the Osprey system, the belt can be severely tightened, so did so, and found that to stabilize the pack, the belt has to be tightened so much it gives whole new meaning to the word, "squeeze."

So, back to the MYOG pack also mentioned in the earlier post that uses one of the old Osprey heat moldable hipbelts. The belt is a little on the heavy side, but it locks the pack onto my back with no slippage. A few small repairs and the pack is ready to go again.

May try sewing a high friction lumbar pad onto the AT55 to see if that eliminates the slipping, but later for that.

Wasn't sure whether to post this here or on MYOG, but the earlier post was on this thread, so this one is also.

Edited by scfhome on 06/23/2013 16:00:10 MDT.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/23/2013 16:38:48 MDT Print View

I kept my Granite Gear Vapor Trail (the older model, before any changes) just for this reason. Alas, it sits sadly in the garage waiting, waiting.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: What's your light or UL internal FRAMED pack? on 06/23/2013 21:03:39 MDT Print View

McHale LBP 36
79L with roll top extended. Otherwise 59L. Weight depends upon which options I include on a trip. Weight goes from just under 3 lbs up to 4 lbs 9.5 ounces with all options including the P&G frame extensions and by-pass harness. It can comfortably carry as much stuff as you can fill it up with. Full Dyneema, so it is virtually indestructible.

McHale Bump 32
49L with roll top extended. Otherwise 33L. On most trips it weighs less than 3 lbs. If I add all the options it is 3 lbs 5 oz. Made from 3/16" Dyneema X-grid. Bottom, staps, and hip belt made from full spectra. Most I have ever carried was 35+ pounds, which was no challenge for the pack.

Both packs were custom made, meaning they were built to fit my body exactly.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Lumbar / sacral pack slippage on 06/23/2013 21:59:22 MDT Print View

Interesting observation. I'm having the same issue with the UL packs I've tried out so far at home (GG Gorilla, etc.). The main problem for me is that the bottom of the pack ends up resting on my spine just below the small of my back. Not comfortable. I just posted a description of this, with pics of my wearing my Z55, on my "Sub-2 lbs pack" thread just a few lines up (well, I suppose now it's down?).


Your post on the McHale line of packs is rather serendipitous. I was just browsing McHale's website today, thinking about whether a custom pack would solve my fit and low back comfort issues.

Do you know if McHale makes truly UL packs? I mean, could he make me something that is just as well designed with a suppportive frame with a total weight of around 2.0 lbs?

Edited by dgposton on 06/23/2013 22:01:56 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Lumbar / sacral pack slippages on 06/23/2013 22:23:32 MDT Print View

Probably closer to 3 lbs. The extra pound for a perfectly fitted pack is worth it. Plus they don't fall apart in a few years. Click on the link in my profile and there are reviews of both packs.