How Comfortable is a GoLite Jam 70 -- Really?
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Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
How Comfortable is a GoLite Jam 70 -- Really? on 03/16/2014 13:44:32 MDT Print View

I was wondering about the comfort of a GoLite Jam 70 (using it within the suggested weight limits, of course)... Unfortunately, I do not fit most standard-sized packs very well, and it is not adjustable. Would the single aluminum stay be enough to comfortably handle a BearVault 500, sleeping bag, clothes, pad, etc.?

For those of you who use the 70L Jam -- is the waist belt adequately padded? Do you have to pack so that your sleeping pad provides extra cushioning along the back panel? Is there anything else I should know about the pack's comfort?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Golite Jam 70 on 03/16/2014 14:01:44 MDT Print View

First I think there is a mistake. The Jam 70 is a frameless pack, is has NO stays. My old version of the pack was tolerable at 25 pounds (I never tried more) but I found a frame was more comfortable.

The newer Jams seem a bit better but honestly even with only 20 pounds I tend to prefer a light framed pack. There are packs with frames that are basically the same weight as the Jam.

If you want a pack that can carry more then 25 pounds, or something like a bear canister, I would highly recommend the Exped Lighting 45 that is on Gear Swap for $130. Only a few ounces heavier and way better in my opinion.

Edit - The Lighting has an adjustable torso and load lifters so no matter what your torso length is you should be able to get a good fit.

Edited by Cameron on 03/16/2014 14:04:20 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: How Comfortable is a GoLite Jam 70 -- Really? on 03/16/2014 14:18:23 MDT Print View

I find the Golite Jam 50 and 70 with the load lifters comfortable to the high 20's. The back panel is quite stiff and the belt is excellent - the lower portion of the belt move on cams that really hug your hips. The belt is more padded than the HMG Porter. The shoulder straps could be more padded, however.

You won't need your sleeping pad for extra cushioning - it is more than adequately padded already.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
RE: Exped on 03/16/2014 15:00:48 MDT Print View

Unfortunately, I can't use the Exped packs. I was really excited when they came out, and was lucky to find them at a local store. But the large lumbar pad doesn't work with my (kinda serious) lower back herniated/bulging disks (it felt great empty, but with 20lbs, it just digs into my injured area).

In fact, any pack with a protruding pad in the L3-S1 area is out for me...sadly.

Edited to add: Ooops -- I think I got the aluminum stay idea confused from one of the other packs I've been looking at (ULA maybe?)...

Edited by Wildtowner on 03/16/2014 15:02:24 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: RE: Exped on 03/16/2014 15:11:58 MDT Print View

Valerie...email me about what is bothering you re packs that put pressure on your low back. There may be an easy workaround depending on your circumstances...

Jenmitol AT gmail DOT com

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: How Comfortable is a GoLite Jam 70 -- Really? on 03/16/2014 15:34:31 MDT Print View

No experience here, but a 70 liter frameless pack sounds really silly.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: How Comfortable is a GoLite Jam 70 -- Really? on 03/16/2014 19:39:42 MDT Print View

Well it is a very nice Winter pack for bulky but relatively lightweight down pieces and snowshoes. And Skurka did use it under the Pinnacle moniker for his infamous Yukon trek so it must be doing something right.

When packed right, my Pinnacle certainly carries well.

Edited by rmjapan on 03/16/2014 19:41:25 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: How Comfortable is a GoLite Jam 70 -- Really? on 03/16/2014 19:56:16 MDT Print View

No experience here, but a 70 liter frameless pack sounds really silly.

Some experience here. To paraphrase Miracle Max (not our Max D) There's a different between mainly frameless (like Jam 70) and a completely frameless.

I'm sure that 70 liters of dense load would be uncomfortable ... or even silly in a Jam 70. That is based on hiking a half hour in a local gear shop with a Golite Pinnacle (the Jam 70's previous name) loaded with 40 lbs. Need to haul a lot of food or water? ... it's not the pack for you (well, for me anyway)

But my winter load tilts toward lower density gear ... insulation mainly. Not more than 30 lbs departing the trailhead. Feels kinda heavy but lightens up as I eat ... eat a lot in winter.

But it IS gonna be a YMMV thing. I known plenty people who don't tolerate any weight on their shoulders. A 30lb Jam 70 is not the pack for them. I'm pleased as punch with 20lbs in a completely frameless Granite Gear Virga. 25 lbs is quite OK. 30 is "well, it'll get better as I eat" OK.

Trace Richardson
(tracedef) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Frameless on 03/16/2014 20:34:05 MDT Print View

Not sure I understand exactly what the op's general fit issue tendency or specific issue is, but in general, I usually see frameless packs as not such a great direction for someone with existing fit / carry issues given the ease with which a frameless pack can be packed incorrectly, resulting in a poor carry, even for someone that doesn't have general fit issues.

Edited by tracedef on 03/16/2014 20:34:37 MDT.

Jeremy M.
(JeremyNoVa) - M

Locale: NoVa
Love mine on 03/16/2014 22:36:15 MDT Print View

I love my Jam 70. Super comfy. It was my first UL pack. I think the most I carried in it was about 25 lbs and it carried the weight fine. I bought the Large Jam and should have gone with the Med due to the waist belt sizing(I'm a 36" waist and cinched all the way tight barely fit me). You won't need to add a pad for support.

I recently switched over to using the SMD Starlite though.

Edited by JeremyNoVa on 03/16/2014 22:36:58 MDT.