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Looking for some feedback on the Elemental Horizons Kalais and Aquilo
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Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Kalais pack in use. on 09/29/2013 07:00:47 MDT Print View

I have been using the Kalais for almost all of my walking this year including a 5-day loop in the Grand Canyon and 10-days on the JMT. Altogether, I have carried it for about 350 miles and with loads up to 36 pounds. I have used the pack with a BV-450 and BV-500 and much more happily without either of the BV's. I have had no problems with the hip belt attachment or any other part of the suspension. My Kalais has had hard use and, other than a few minor scuffs and stains, shows little sign of wear. I have never used it without the stay so can't comment on using it without: frankly, I don't think the minor weight savings would be worth the reduced performance. So far, my only quibble with the pack is that I would like a stiffer grosgrain on the opening of the dry bag seal; the one that comes with the pack is a bit limp and hard to deal with with cold arthritic fingers. The pack is tall and narrow but rides with most of the weight on ones hips and the hip belt is far and away the most comfortable I have used in a pack this light. Using it with a bear can, especially the larger BV-500, calls for creative packing. The canisters will only fit vertically with modest space around them for stuffing loose, compressible items like clothing. If you plan to use this pack with a bear can, plan on spending a few days working out the best way to load it.

Edited by Rincon on 09/29/2013 09:27:35 MDT.

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
Re: Re: Re: Kalais on 09/29/2013 08:30:47 MDT Print View

Thank you James and Alex, and Charles - great to get some more user comments.

Good to hear it carries so well and also that it is a bit narrow and tall. I looked for a long time at the Circuit, but wanted a pack that was a bit smaller, and less wide, your comments make me feel the Kalais might be exactly what I was looking for.

One last question if I may - do you feel the pack stays or moves with you well? I realise this might be a bit subtle or subjective to answer but with some packs I find that when you move and turn quick your pack lags a bit, or just moves and shifts a bit more than you'd like. Feels less like one with your back (because I often do long distance days I tend to focus on going fast and have ended up rejecting packs that don't stay with you as well).

Edited by jakuchu on 09/29/2013 08:32:25 MDT.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Looking for some feedback on the Elemental Horizons Kalais and Aquilo on 09/29/2013 09:23:35 MDT Print View

In my experience, the Kalais moves as if it were part of you as long as you keep the shoulder straps fairly snug and the load lifter and hip belt control straps properly adjusted. For me, late in the day, I would start feeling a little fatigue in my shoulders so I would loosen the shoulder straps and let the hip belt carry all the load (you can do that with this pack). With the shoulder straps loosened, the top of the pack will sway back and forth noticeably but not uncomfortably. The Kalais has a thin profile from front to back which brings the center of gravity closer to yours: I think that this, the well planned stay and the excellent hip belt design are the reasons this pack rides so well.

Jim Fitzgerald
(jimfitz12000) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
"Looking for some feedback on the Elemental Horizons Kalais and Aquilo" on 10/01/2013 10:41:48 MDT Print View

I purchased a size large Kalais late last year; I am quite pleased with the pack. It holds a Wild Ideas Bearikade Weekender canister upright (vertical); this was a purchase requirement. Although roughly twice the weight of my other currently used pack (Zpacks Exo with Arc Blast frame support), I like both packs equally. The Kalais carries well and there is no hip belt/pack connection issue.

Over the decades, I have used numerous packs; the Kalais is as a comfortable as any pack I have used.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Looking for some feedback on the Elemental Horizons Kalais and Aquilo on 12/01/2013 20:27:58 MST Print View

Tried out an Aquilo at home. Good points were the fantastic hipbelt, customer service from Matthew and the packs all round construction and design. However for me the pack just didn't carry as well as I hoped it would at 30lbs. I was expecting the frame to be integrated into the hipbelt, but it isn't (at least it isn't in the way I expected it to be). I returned the sack and got an Exped Lightning 60, which carries well at 30lbs.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Looking for some feedback on the Elemental Horizons Kalais and Aquilo on 12/02/2013 06:38:10 MST Print View

So I just got back from my first trip with the Kalais. Hadn't had a chance to test it out until now (other than carrying it around the farm with about 25#). Cold weather gear filled it well. At one point had 30# in it with water for a dry camp and it was much more comfortable than my Swift at 30#. Waist belt is really good. Still need to test it more but so far it carries really well.