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Light & Comfort Pack at 30+ pounds
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Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Light & Comfort Pack at 30+ pounds on 08/14/2007 00:23:57 MDT Print View

I am looking for a pack in the 2500-3000 cubic inch range.
I am looking for it to be light and comfortable with just over 30 pounds.

Not looking for anything over 2- 2 1/2 pounds.

I know there is a lot of talk about this but not much talk about them be able to carry over 30 pounds.

My 3 culprits at this time are
1. Gregory Advent Pro
2. ULA Conduit
3. Golite Jam2

Again, I really need this to be comfortable at a little over 30 pounds. I am really looking for people that have actually had the packs up to that weight and can give a real word as to how the pack works.

I am looking for other options as well but the pack also needs to be tough, so something like the Gossamer Gear packs or other SUL packs that are not very durable just won't do.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/14/2007 00:25:14 MDT.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Light & Comfort Pack at 30+ pounds on 08/14/2007 01:00:57 MDT Print View

Aaron, and anyone else looking for a durable and comfortable pack with a cargo/pack weight ratio above 10.. aren't we all! Trying it in the store with 30lbs is not at all like carrying it for 12-14 hours. Typically frail and thin shoulder straps of those lighter packs just can't protect the anatomy of my shoulders; the muscles and collar bones.
The key therefore is a comfortable hip belt and hard frame to keep weight off the shoulders. The best I have found are the GraniteGear UL series with 3-D Tepex frames. Vapor Trail is 2lbs and Nimbus Ozone is 3. Ive owned the N.O. and currently own the Nimbus Meridian (panel loader) for heavy loads.
30 lbs with a comfortable pack is a nicer feeling than 20 lbs where every step is painful.
That being said; are you carrying 30lbs in summertime, and why?

Edited by Brett1234 on 08/14/2007 01:18:03 MDT.

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Light & Comfort Pack at 30+ pounds on 08/14/2007 02:10:21 MDT Print View

I've used the Osprey Talon 44 (internal frame, 1.1kg/2.4lb) a fair bit and would say it's reasonably comfy at 30 pounds.

I've also got the Jam2 (frameless): I would find carrying 30 pounds in this uncomfortable, 25lb is probably my personal upper limit right now. But people do it: I would say it takes careful packing to provide some rigidity & tolerance to taking weight on your shoulders (but you could categorise this as discomfort!).

I'd suggest for 30lb+ it's going to be much easier to get a comfy ride with an internal frame.

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Re: Light & Comfort Pack at 30+ pounds on 08/14/2007 02:11:14 MDT Print View

I should mention - the Talon probably can't be considered 'tough'.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Light & Comfort Pack at 30+ pounds on 08/14/2007 04:44:03 MDT Print View

Mabey the new ULA Ohm?
But who knows when it will be available.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
why carry 30lbs in the summer? answer on 08/14/2007 07:12:08 MDT Print View

I'll shed some light onto why before Aaron gets back.

14 days unresupplied.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
SMD Starlite on 08/14/2007 07:25:17 MDT Print View

It's not the SMALLEST pack out there, but it certainly meets your criteria of under 2.5 lbs, comfortable, durable.

It's well made and well thought-out.


Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: SMD Starlite on 08/14/2007 07:44:50 MDT Print View

oH YA! I used to own one and it can carry 35+ pounds no problem no B.S. The comet is the smaller version and meets all the requirements you listed:
wieght : 24.oz (w stays 29)
Made of very durable materials
2600 cubes. main bag - 3700 total
take a pair of scissors to it and you can lower the weight/volume even more.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Light & Comfort Pack at 30+ pounds on 08/14/2007 12:33:53 MDT Print View

The top of my list for those criteria is the Granite Gear Vapor Trail which is 2lbs. is ideal for loads which as <30lbs and 2400-3000ci.

Other packs I would recommend (but don't find as comfortable) would be the Six Moon Designs Starlite or Comet, or the Gossamer Gear Miniposa.

More musing at my pack page


Gail Lusk
(AlohaTink) - F

Locale: In the Middle of No Where!
Gregory Advent Pro on 08/14/2007 12:38:19 MDT Print View

I have two that fall in that range, both my Gregory Advent Pro and my Mariposa Plus.

I love the hip belt on the Gregory as well as the zipped pockets on the belt. The helmet holder in the front holds my sleeping pad or my Crocs, they fit in there so well. If packed nice and tight, it feels geat up to 25 to 28 lbs.
I have removed extra cords and things I do not use...but love all the options it offers. I also love having a lid, and if I did not have to carry a bear canister with all that weight, I may have taken my Advent over my Mariposa Plus for this trip.

I have the older model 2006...I hear the newer model has more improvements even.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: why carry 30lbs in the summer? answer on 08/14/2007 12:51:14 MDT Print View

I like the Comet even better with it's smaller size.
I haven't seen the 07 models yet. Nice!

Hey Chris,
Maybe for the Colorado Trail Unsupported w/o Resupply next year???
I still haven't taken enough Insanity Pills to say for sure or not yet.
I also have a runners body, 6' 150# and going for that load for 35 miles a day just won't settle with me att.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Re: why carry 30lbs in the summer? answer on 08/14/2007 13:20:38 MDT Print View

I can vouch for the ULA Conduit being comfortable at 30 lbs. I've pushed over that just a bit and seemed to do reasonably well but that load diminshed quickly (lots of extra water and food for two) so I wasn't carrying it all that long. I'm not a gear designer but I think the key is the nice, fat shoulder straps and how they attach to the bottom of the pack to distribute and balance the load.

I use a GG Nighlight pad as the framesheet. I've also used a Z Rest 3/4 as a frame with even better results. I'll also say that this pack is very, very functional. The design is fantastic and the quality is, of course, top notch. Scott Williamson used the pack on his last PCT yo-yo.

Edited by rswanson on 08/14/2007 13:22:35 MDT.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: why carry 30lbs in the summer? answer on 08/14/2007 13:55:29 MDT Print View

I figured as much Aaron. I was just answering for Brett at the top. that'd be a killer record to go after and the CT is very nice. You're more than welcome to crash at my place before the attempt if you ever need a place to stay. i'm about 45 minutes from the Waterton trailhead.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: Light & Comfort Pack at 30+ pounds on 08/14/2007 14:23:03 MDT Print View

I also own the Jam2 and carrying up to 30 lbs can be done comfortably but does require careful packing. Using an unrolled sleeping pad increase comfort tremendously.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: why carry 30lbs in the summer? answer on 08/14/2007 14:56:25 MDT Print View

Thank's Chris,
Your place wouldn't happen to be at about 11,000+' in elevation?
I'll be crashing and drinking Heineken up there for 3-4 days before, if I do it.
To put things into retrospect, the record, (to me) is so close to being unattainable, that just doing it may be the thing to do. I would only think about the record if everything was working out much better than expected.

I would not put this out there that much, (as far as the record goes), other than just to say that I am doing it.

I have only seen of the current holder and Coup that have done it Unsupported and w/o Resupply. Have you heard of anyone else?

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: why carry 30lbs in the summer? answer on 08/14/2007 15:13:44 MDT Print View

Nope sorry only at 5400ft. That would be better acclimation at 11k though :) I haven't heard of anyone else. It doesn't seem to be thru-hiked as much as the rest though. I'm not sure why. I sort of want to thru-hike it with the wife sometime. It's a good length of trail.

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Re: Light & Comfort Pack at 30+ pounds on 08/14/2007 15:39:57 MDT Print View

I just reviewed the new GG Latitude Vapor panel loader. It is a sweet pack and would certainly carry 30lbs comfortably. In size M it is about 2'8" in size L it is about 3 0r 4oz more. It is capacious that's for sure, so if you are looking for the volume to go long distances without resupply this pack would work very well. In the size large it is 4200ci and that is without considering the deep side pockets or the pocket between the frame sheet and the pack bag where I carry my 2L water bladder.
It is very well made as all GG stuff is and carries like a dream. The hipbelt will certainly stand up to a 30lb load as will the shoulder harness.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Light & Comfort Pack at 30+ pounds on 08/14/2007 17:57:09 MDT Print View

Aaron, I just spent a week in the Indian Peaks with the Scouts. I used the ULA Arctic Dry Pack with a 26 lb. load. It was my first outing with the pack and it performed very well. I even tried running over Arapahoe pass with it on the first day. I didn't use the aluminum stays at the weight I was carrying and I'm not sure when I'll be carrying enough to use them. Although the stays could be useful when moving fast. The design makes it easy to get to things you need quick access to. I think it's a pack worth considering for your purpose.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Light and comfortable pack at 30+ pounds on 08/14/2007 18:16:30 MDT Print View

Hi Aaron,
Well, since nobody's suggested it yet, I'll go with the ULA Circuit. It meets all your technical criteria and, after using one most of this year, on trail and off, with loads up to 30 pounds I can vouch for its ability to carry loads up to that weight in complete comfort. I am almost certain 1-5 additional pounds would be no problemo, based on that experience, and it is about 10 oz. lighter than the Catalyst, which seems a bit like overkill-especially with your build. I am even more in that direction(5'8"/137#) and have tried on a friend's Catalyst-darn near swallowed me, but I wouldn't mind riding in it. Cheaper, too.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: "Light & Comfort Pack at 30+ pounds" on 08/14/2007 20:44:21 MDT Print View

I have the original Jam, which I realy like for lighter loads but IMHO it's shoulder straps can't handle 30+ lbs. I use a GraniteGear Nimbus Ozone for the big winter loads, which feels great.

For those loads at reasonable weights and durablility, GraniteGear's Vapor Trail and ULA's packs get lots of great reviews.