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a good fastpack?
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Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
a good fastpack? on 08/31/2013 01:31:45 MDT Print View

I know that phrase has somehow become contentious, but whatever. I think of fastpacking as lightweight multiday trips with a significant amount of running. Anyone own anything they're happy with, or have any good leads? I'm basically just looking for a pack thats genuinely fun to run in (low volume, low bounce, I like vest style) and that will hold a super basic stoveless overnight kit.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: a good fastpack? on 08/31/2013 09:05:56 MDT Print View

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: a good fastpack? on 08/31/2013 13:04:56 MDT Print View

I would disagree with your definition of a fast pack. I doubt many run significant miles. However having said that..... I have used an MLD Burn for my fast packing (either definition) and have been very happy with it. I have done several ultra distance trail runs including the R2R2R trip with my fellow BPLers. The aspect of the Burn that I like is the narrow width. It gets the pack volume along your midline of your back and doesn't interfere with running or fast walking. I also added four bottle pouches on the hip belt for easy access to Food, water and Malto.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: a good fastpack? on 08/31/2013 16:42:37 MDT Print View

I think what would fit you bill would be a Mountain Hardware Rocket Vest.

20 liters.
I think this is too big to use as a vest and too much weight for the lack of cushioning the vest has.

I have so many packs for fastpacking but still need a narrow long 1200ci pack that is long enough to transfer weight to the hips.
All the packs have straps that only go around at waist level.

A long narrow pack would stay out of the way and be able to hold more weight (if needed).

I think the best pack would be an Ultraspire Fastpack that was extended to reach your hips.
I love the side bottle concept on running vests.

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Re: Re: a good fastpack? on 09/01/2013 01:09:11 MDT Print View

Thanks guys. I've owned a burn, and for the same reasons you mentioned, its probably the most comfortable traditional style pack I've run in. I still had to use the 'late for the bus' technique, tensioning the should straps with my thumbs to minimize bouncing. This actually works half decent, but I'd hate to take a spill like this.

The rocket vest looked promising. I use and like there fluid 6 vest a lot. I tried on the rocket and it was too short and thick for that capacity, and for my torso. I'll probably just wait to see whats on the horizon, and focus on longer day runs in the meanwhile.

Anyone have experience with the innov8 packs?

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
definitions on 09/01/2013 01:15:29 MDT Print View

I'm more interested in finding this pack than defining a term, but here's my take on it. It makes more sense as description for multi-day runs, because it refers to a different type of activity, whereas hiking a ton of miles fast is a lot like backpacking, just more so. Difference in kind vs. difference in degree etc.

Patrick Matte
(JPMatte) - M

Locale: N. Georgia
fastpack on 09/01/2013 09:18:54 MDT Print View

Ultimate direction: PB adventure vest. With the thoughtful selection process you can fill it up with a luxurious UL kit.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Volume on 09/01/2013 09:31:39 MDT Print View

The only reason that the definition becomes important is in the requirements of the pack. (Do you approach the problem from a BPing or running standpoint.) If this is multiday then you essentially have a somewhat stripped down "thru hiking" setup. I suspect that this volume will be too large for a vest style pack and generally too small for most traditional packs. In a low volume setup I generally tie together the back panel at the top and middle, in essense convert the Burn into a fanny pack with a bit of space in the upper part of the body. This puts most of the weight at the bottom and helps minimize the bounce. Also, the hip belt pouches move more weight off the pack further reducing the bounce severity. keeping the hip belt pouches from bouncing required three iterations to get right.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Volume on 09/01/2013 10:12:14 MDT Print View

You can do multi days in a 1500 ci pack.
I've done the JMT with a 1200 ci pack but 1500-1800 works much better.
That weight in a small pack felt like a brick.

The question is, do you want vest type without a waist belt or not?

For an overnight (to me) a vest is fine.
After the weight starts adding up it's just too much direct weight on my shoulders.

I am just going to modify my ULA pack, making the circumference smaller, take the mesh off and add a better side bottle holder on it.
This will make it around 1500 ci and fit a lot of what I want in a fastpack.

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
Maune Tangent on 09/02/2013 03:42:56 MDT Print View

"The only reason that the definition becomes important is in the requirements of the pack."

Well put, Malto.

"Ultimate direction: PB adventure vest. With the thoughtful selection process you can fill it up with a luxurious UL kit."

The words of a true minimalist :) I tried loading my overnight kit into the adventure vest, but wasn't crazy about how it carried with full food. Probably related to the problems with load density that you were mentioning, Aaron. Since the vests are meant to fit like clothing, getting everything cinched right is especially important and I don't think I found it with the PB.

Its nice to run this question by a crowd thats clearly tinkered and thought over the details. This style of travel definitely has pretty specific gear requirements. I'm excited for the new trip potential that it opens up, but I also need to ramp up my running gradually, and listen to my body.

Sort of a tangent, but part of what inspired me to look into fastpacking again was researching Brett Maune's classic JMT record (yes classic.) So awe inspiring that a determined hiker could come out of the woodwork, blow away all previous times and set a record barely 90 minuetes slower than the recent supported time by two TNF pro studs. Its almost offensive that there was little mention of Maune or his stout FKT in their TR. Its lame that apparently you need to have a strava account, sponsors, wear compression socks and bright cloths to have real credibility in the ultra community (a couple side notes: compression socks do work, & ultra-running is genuinely bad-a.) Anyway, point being: Brett Maune is the man.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
fastpack on 09/02/2013 16:33:17 MDT Print View

It feels to me like Mike & Hal didn't take the JMT all that seriously. And, though they did get the record (barely!), they kind of got spanked in the process. They apparently didn't talk to Brett or anyone else who had experience that might be beneficial to them. As a consequence, they made many of the same mistakes that the earlier runners made. These should have been avoidable. They are great athletes, no doubt, and that alone made the difference in success or failure on the FKT. They could have done much better, I think.

Brett also didn't pay too much attention to what previous people had done, but this was entirely intentional. He wanted to not be influenced by whatever "conventional wisdom" had emerged on how to do this. As a consequence, in my opinion, he made some great choices and some poor choices. One example of a poor choice: the starting weight of Brett's pack was 26 lbs! My guess is that Brett could be one of the top ultra athletes in the country if he didn't have a full time job and a family!

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: fastpack on 09/02/2013 19:43:45 MDT Print View

I know Brett pretty well and chat with him regularly.

He was actually 1 1/2 hours ahead of Hal and Mike from Muir Pass To Reds Meadow.
He was probably even with them at Reds, but they stopped.
Once Hal and Mike got some sleep at Reds, they made up the time by the top of Donahue and made up another 1 1/2 by the end.
Brett had a really hard last day due to the heavy pack weight and pace.

Don't take too much from what Hal and Mike did.
Considering all the problems they still did it and killed it.
Just not by much and from a guy who started with 27 pounds on his back.
No matter, it's quite remarkable.
I would just put Brett's record on a higher level.

I tried breaking Brett's record going supported but had problems from the start and had to stop after day 1.
I noticed it wasn't very hard to keep up with Brett's pace, but every time I took 2 minutes to take a quick food or water break or get in my pack, I would be another 2 minutes back.
That man never takes a break.

He is relentless forward motion at it's best.
I was at Barkley when he broke the record and you just had to shake your head at that mans' abilities.
His heart rate is always crazy high during his runs and he sweats a crazy amount.
Like so close to red line, and he maintains it the entire time???

Edited by awsorensen on 09/02/2013 19:47:05 MDT.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Fastpack on 09/02/2013 20:55:52 MDT Print View

I certainly don't mean to belittle what Hal & Mike did. They were, after all, nearly 10 hours faster than me!

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
outsider win on 09/03/2013 00:20:10 MDT Print View

Yeah, I'm impressed by all of those feats. I think I just get a kick out of Maune's outsider status and how naiive he was going in, not to mention the 26 lb pack.

I love the feeling of freedom and mobility I when out on a ridge run with a minimal waist pack or vest. I just wanna get as close as possible to that sort of experience but over longer distances and mulitiple days, with the all important element of sleep. With gear as good, and light as it is these days, its more possible than ever. Only thing missing is a little fitness and that 'good fastpack' (for long torso's).

Sara Marchetti
(smarchet) - MLife
Ultraspire on 09/03/2013 10:33:50 MDT Print View

I have the 2012 Ultraspire Fastpack, which ran pretty well in sub-10lb weights (I'm sure it would run comfortably up to 15). I personally feel that it is over-engineered and weighs far too much. The stock bottles feel twice the weight of my Amphipod hand helds. I'd like to see them go the direction of UD and incorporate lighter materials in their packs. I loved my UD Wasp but this was a day pack at best. I might have to try out the PB Adventure.

Edited by smarchet on 09/03/2013 10:51:21 MDT.

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Does the Arc Slim transfer all its weight to the hips? on 09/03/2013 13:57:54 MDT Print View

Re: “Only thing missing is a little fitness and that 'good fastpack' (for long torsos)...” Have any of you fastpackers checked out the Zpacks Arc Slim? “It is a smaller, slimmed down version of the Arc Blast designed for short, fast hikes while still providing a comfortable carry via our Patent Pending Flexed Arc frame system. It has an updated frame and waterproof taped seams like the normal Arc Blast. 35 Liters / 2,100 ci - 12.8 ounces (363 grams), $230

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: overnight running pack on 09/03/2013 14:57:35 MDT Print View

Keep in mind the Meghan has a very short torso.

Sara Marchetti
(smarchet) - MLife
Re: Does the Arc Slim transfer all its weight to the hips? on 09/03/2013 16:31:00 MDT Print View

I'm a little leery of using a UL pack for fastpacking as the contents tend to slosh around too much while running. I have not found any non-vest style fastpack that I have personally enjoyed running with. That is what intrigues me about the Ultimate Direction Adventure. It is a vest that surrounds a cuben fiber pack. Pretty interesting! Only testing will tell.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Adventure Vest on 09/03/2013 17:30:55 MDT Print View

Well, I'm very interested in anyone's feedback on use of the UD Adventure Vest (PB) for fastpacking. What do you like? What do you not like? What do you want to see in the ultimate fastpack? Thanks!

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Adventure Vest on 09/03/2013 19:42:06 MDT Print View

That's an easy one, for me anyways.

1. Light yet rigid enough so it doesn't sag (like most packs do without any type of frame).

2. Enough and comfortable padding able to carry 15 pounds.

3. Long enough to fit and be able to transfer weight to the hips (so it needs a real hip belt as well).

4. Side bottle (like Salomon and Ultraspire have done).

Of course this is a weekender pack which if you ask me is a perfect size for a larger fast-pack.
There are 100's of smaller packs that can fit the needs of an overnight running pack, but not a single one that fills the need of all the above.

The Ultraspire Fast-pack is the closest thing but only fills 2 of my 4 on the list (#1 & 4).
What it doesn't do well are the other 2.

So now you are left using a frameless pack that isn't what you want, or a small pack that doesn't carry the weight all that well and all of it is on your shoulders.
Both of these options don't work for weekend fastpacking.

Although my #4 is more of a personal item that I like but others may not, there is still not a single pack out there that even comes close to meeting the other 3.

What's funny is there are so many people that seem to be looking for a fastpack like this.