REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW

A well designed and capable lightweight internal frame backpack from REI with a great feature set, and it’s an excellent value!

Recommended

Overall Rating: Recommended

The Cruise UL 60 backpack is the first piece of REI gear to be reviewed by Backpacking Light, and I am impressed. The frame and suspension on this pack is simple and functional. Pack torso length is very easy to adjust and has a 4.5 inch vertical range. Its internal compression system works very smoothly, and its front kanga pocket adds a lot of utility and character to the pack. I also like the abundance of exterior storage, organization, and attachment options. My only complaints are the mesh side pockets are tight when the main compartment is stuffed full, and the hipbelt pockets are on the small side. I found it rather easy to live with both issues, and hopefully REI will make some adjustments in the next production run to make this a perfect pack. The clinching factor on the Cruise UL 60 is that it’s an excellent value at $130. Comparable packs from Osprey, GoLite, Granite Gear, and Mountainsmith cost $175 to $250.

About This Rating

M Find other top product reviews »

Print Jump to Reader Comments

by Will Rietveld |

REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW

Introduction

Serious lightweight backpacking gear from REI? You betcha! New for 2007, the REI Cruise UL 60 is a major overhaul of their previous UL 60 model. This highly refined pack has an easy to adjust and comfortable suspension system, great feature set, some innovative features, minimal weight, and a remarkably low price tag.

What’s Good

  • Easy torso length adjustment
  • "Kangaroo" front pocket
  • Lightweight frame gives complete weight transfer to the hips
  • Internal compression system
  • Excellent fit and very comfortable to carry
  • Lots of options for attaching gear to the outside
  • Outstanding value

What’s Not So Good

  • Hipbelt pockets are small
  • Side mesh pockets are tight when pack is full
  • Pack squeaks when hiking

Specifications

  Year/Model

2007 REI Cruise UL 60

  Style

Internal frame, top loading, fixed top pocket

  Volume

3661 ci (60 L) size M, 3970 (65 L) size L (size L tested)

  Weight

3 lb 3.1 oz (1.45 kg) measured weight, size L; manufacturer’s specification 3 lb 3 oz (1.45 kg), size L

  Sizes Available

M, L

  Torso Fit Range

M fits 17 to 19 inch torsos, L fits 19 to 21 inch torsos

  Fabrics

140d ripstop nylon and 210d double ripstop nylon, polyurethane-coated

  Features

Fixed top cap with water-resistant zippered pocket and underside zippered map pocket , internal compression system, kangaroo front sleeve with water-resistant zippered pocket, two side mesh pockets, two zippered hipbelt pockets, easy torso length adjustment, 3 L internal hydration sleeve with two hangers and two hose ports, frontpanel has four elastic loops and six webbing loops for attaching gear, front daisy chain, haul loop, sternum strap

  Volume To Weight Ratio

77.7 ci/oz size L (based on 3970 ci and a measured weight of 51.1 oz)

  Comfortable Load Carrying Capacity

35 lb estimated comfortable load for an average person carrying the pack all day

  Carry Load to Pack Weight Ratio

11.0 (based on 35 lb and a measured weight of 3.19 lb)

  MSRP

$130 US

Performance

An internal frame pack with a volume of 60 to 65 liters is optimal for lightweight backpacking. Hikers in this category typically keep their base weight (everything except food, water, and fuel) under 20 pounds, and carry a total weight of 25 to 35 pounds. There are quite a number of backpacks to choose from in this size category, and the REI Cruise UL 60 (in my opinion) is one of the top contenders. The following photo gallery will help acquaint you with the pack.

REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW - 1
Views of the REI Cruise UL 60. The frontpanel (top left) features a prominent kanga pocket (short for kangaroo) and a total of 14 attachment points. Each side (top right) has a bellowed mesh pocket in addition to the space behind the kanga pocket. The backpanel view (bottom left) shows the pack’s simple but capable suspension and “Rip and Stick” torso adjustment. The top pocket (bottom right) is fixed (not floating) and has a zippered map pocket on the underside.

Frame and Suspension System

REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW - 2
The frame consists of two hollow contoured aluminum stays in sleeves on the main compartment (left). Torso length adjustment on the Cruise UL 60 is very easy with its unique “Rip and Stick” design, where the shoulder harness slides up and down on the stays.

Although size Large is specified to have 3 inches of torso adjustment (19 to 21 inches), I measured it at 4.5 inches (17 to 21.5 inches). REI’s “Rip and Stick” design makes it very easy to adjust the pack torso length: simply loosen the load lifters, rip the Velcro attachment loose, slide the shoulder harness to the desired torso length, and re-fasten the Velcro and load lifters. The stays are anchored to a delrin sheet on the back of the hipbelt (right) and a contoured aluminum headrail at the top of the load lifters (not shown). The design is simple, lightweight, and effective. Note that the stays can be custom bent to better fit the user’s back, but the pack cannot be used without the stays because the shoulder harness is mounted to them. I found the fit with the existing curvature to be just fine.

REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW - 3
The Cruise UL 60’s suspension system is Spartan but effective. The shoulder straps (left) taper from 3 inches at the load lifters to 2.5 inches at the sternum strap. The shoulder straps, backpanel (middle), and hipbelt (right) are a firm foam faced with spacer mesh to distribute weight and moisture.

Features and Utility

A unique and prominent feature of the Cruise UL 60 is its kanga pocket on the front. It’s actually two pockets in one: there is a large dry storage pocket on the front of it with a vertical water-resistant zipper, and a large space behind it that wraps around the sides. The cradle behind the kanga pocket is very handy for stuffing a jacket or for carrying a wet tent or wet rainwear. A strap at the top of the kanga pocket connects to the pack’s top pocket.

REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW - 4
The Cruise UL 60’s front kanga pocket (top left) is a prominent feature that adds a lot of utility and character. It’s actually two pockets: a large flat pocket on the front with a water-resistant zipper, and a cradle behind it (top right) to stuff more gear. The side mesh pockets (bottom left) overlay the kanga pocket’s mesh attachment, and are a bit tight when the main compartment is packed full. Inside the main compartment there is a 3 liter hanging hydration sleeve (bottom right) with two hangers and two hose ports.

REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW - 5
Hipbelt pockets (left) are small but not tiny. The fixed top pocket (right) has a map pocket on the underside with a key clip. There are two drawcords, one for the internal compression system and one for the top closure.

If you count the cradle behind the kanga pocket, there are a total of 8 pockets on the outside of the pack. Each side has an additional mesh pocket attached to the kanga pocket, the top cap has a storage pocket on top with a water-resistant zipper and a map pocket on the underside, and there are two hipbelt pockets. Overall, the abundance of outside storage makes most everything needed on the trail easy to get to without digging into the pack’s interior.

A unique feature of the Cruise UL 60 is its internal compression system. There is a second drawcord at the top of the main compartment that will collapse the volume down to a third of its extended size. It consists of a network of double seams with cords between them that tighten with a single pull at the top. It’s an elegant design that works smoothly, and probably doesn’t add any extra weight to the pack compared to a set of external compression straps that frequently get in the way of pocket access. However, the extra seams may be more prone to leakage in the rain.

REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW - 6
The REI Cruise UL 60 has some drawcord wizardry. The top drawcord closure (green line in right photo) is a figure eight design to pull the extension collar down, and the internal compression system (purple line) snugs the main compartment and its contents into a tight unit.

For attaching bulky gear to the front of the pack, the UL 60 has four tool attachments and a daisy chain on the front of the kanga pocket. There are also six webbing loops that could be used for lashing straps or to add a bungee system.

Field Testing

I used the REI Cruise UL 60 on a number of winter snow camping trips and spring backpacks. The pack is nicely contoured to fit my back and easily adjusted to fit my torso and place the load lifters just above my shoulders where they belong. I found the pack very comfortable carrying loads up to 35 pounds (even heavier if you are a strong person), and it will transfer all the weight to my hips. The firmly padded suspension system is surprisingly comfortable.

REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW - 7
The Cruise UL 60 has adequate attachment options to attach bulky items to the front. I easily carried 30 inch long snowshoes or a tent cradled behind the kanga pocket. The side mesh pockets are a tight fit for a water bottle.

With eight outside pockets (counting the cradle behind the kanga pocket), the pack has plenty of places to organize and stow gear frequently used on the trail. However, the side mesh pockets are tight when the pack is stuffed full, so a water bottle is a tight fit. They are best used for smaller, stuffable items. The hipbelt pockets are also on the small side, and will hold about three energy bars or other small essentials in each one.

The pack’s internal compression system essentially makes it unnecessary to carry a summit pack. It collapses the pack down to a much smaller volume and secures items inside.

I also found the pack to be quite durable for its lightness. The 140 denier ripstop nylon is a good balance of durability and lightweight. The pack, including the mesh side pockets, should easily endure off-trail backpacking in timbered terrain with no damage (assuming reasonable care is taken).

Assessment

I’m very impressed with the REI Cruise UL 60. It’s a remarkable balance of features, fit, comfort, adjustability, organization, and lightweight. The pack fit me well, easily carried 25 to 30 pound loads, and transferred all of the weight to my hips. It also has plenty of storage and attachment options. My only complaints are its tight mesh side pockets and small hipbelt pockets, which hopefully will get remedied in the next production run. The pack is also a screaming deal at $130, and if you are an REI member you get part of that back at the end of the year in your membership dividend. Other packs in this category typically cost $175 to $250.

The Cruise UL 60 is one of the lighter packs in its category (internal frame, 60-65 liters, top-loading) at 3 pounds 3.1 ounces (size L). The GoLite Quest pack weighs the same, has a large zippered front pocket and costs $175, but has little torso length adjustment. The Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone (3800 cubic inches, 3 pounds, $215) is fairly spartan on the outside with only two side pockets and a top pocket, but its Nimbus framesheet and suspension are highly adjustable for torso length and shoulder width, and multiple shoulder strap and hipbelt sizes are available. The foam padding of the Nimbus suspension is also very soft and comfortable, compared to the Cruise UL 60’s thinner and firmer padding.

Although they are not a direct comparison, “convertible” internal frame packs from Six Moon Designs and Gossamer Gear are an ultralight internal frame backpack alternative. The Six Moon Designs Comet and Starlite packs, and the Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus pack have removable stays and weigh 30, 29, and 20 ounces, respectively. All are capable of carrying loads in the 25 to 30 pound range, but not as comfortably as the REI Cruise UL 60. They are also less durable than the Cruise UL 60 and lack the range or ease of torso length adjustment.

What’s Unique

The Cruise UL 60’s internal compression system works very smoothly to reduce pack volume for day hikes from camp summiting a peak. The pack torso length is easily adjusted within a 4.5 inch range with its “Rip and Stick” feature. And its front kanga pocket is very useful and adds a lot of utility and character to the pack.

Recommendations for Improvement

  • Bellow the side mesh pockets more to give them more capacity with the main compartment is stuffed full
  • Make the hipbelt pockets larger


Citation

"REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW," by Will Rietveld. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/rei_cruise_ul_60_backpack_review.html, 2007-09-19 02:00:00-06.

Print

Reader Comments

You must login to post comments.

New Visitors: Create a new account
Username:
Password:
Remember my login info.

REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW
Display Avatars
Sort By:
Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW on 09/18/2007 22:39:16 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

REI Cruise UL 60 Backpack REVIEW

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
REI Cruise UL 60 on 09/19/2007 00:16:55 MDT Print View

Will, Thank you for the detailed and careful review.

I used to own the previous version 60L, and it looks like this version still has the flaws which casued me to return it.

Easy torso adjustment with rip-n-stick velcro? why!? If you are an adult, your torso hopefully is not changing length on a daily basis.. a pack only needs to have a semi-permanent way to adjust the torso length once in a great while, like when changing users. The velcro on my 60 tore away(hook from loop) each time I lifted the pack, requiring re-adjustment.

Non-removable stays and non-removable fixed lid. :-( Removable components are a great way to save weight for shorter trips or summit attempts. This pack is aimed at the general consumer market where people use their pack once a year, never fiddle with it, and could not tell you it's weight.

No panel access. :-( After switching to packs with this feature I will never go back to the deep-black-hole type packs. Panel access speeds up camp setup, on-trail stops, and packing up in the morning.

In this size range I would probably go with the Nimbus Meridian or Black Diamond Predator or Quantum, all strippable and with panel access. (and also available at REI)

Paul Snyder
(snyderp1) - F
Didn't care for this pack at all... on 09/19/2007 06:59:13 MDT Print View

I've got an REI just down the street here in Boulder, so I tend to try out everything that looks even halfway interesting due to their return policy. I have thus far been unimpressed with most of the REI-label packs, regardless the glowing reviews. I have the same opinion with this one following testing with 20lb-25lb loads. The suspension adjust is needlessly gimmicky, weighty, and makes noise when walking loaded (the pack, not me...). You can get around the tendency of the velcro to pull away when donning and doffing by working the over-the-head don trick, though not everyone likes to perform that maneuver. The harness and belt didn't fit well on my large-ish male frame, and fit terribly on my medium-thin wife's frame. She loathed the harness shape and bend config. There may be some torso/body-mass mid-size segment of the market that this pack really fits, though in quick tests with six other individuals, we couldn't find the magic combo. The harness has a cheap cookie-cutter feel to it, as compared to the relative luxury of the Granite Gear Nimbus (just to offer the Nimbus as a point of comparison, it's no panacea either). The Kanga pocket is of limited utility. To claim that it's useful for carrying a tent shows a lack of wisdom in overall mass-distribution for a pack of this type. Price??? There are indeed reasons (which I will not discuss here) why REI products can be offered at lower prices than most competitors. Suffice to say these reasons have nothing to do with any sense of fair trade or philanthropy. The worst thing about this pack was the incessant noise while using. Creak, squeak, velcro-tear, etc. Even after trying a few point-lube tricks on the stay pockets, the squeaks come back with a vengence, and increase with continued use over a weekend. Some folks may not care about that point, but all of our local testers found it abhorent. Maybe they'll fix all these points in version 2.0. Wait for it... this bag will probably be on deep-sale soon. Cheers.

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
UL? on 09/19/2007 09:07:14 MDT Print View

Is this what rei thinks is ultralight?

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
REI on 09/19/2007 10:00:28 MDT Print View

I gave up on waiting on this review, and bought one about 3 months ago. Not being one of the cognoscenti, or an REI anti, I guess I was just enough of a dumb a$$ not to know any better. Mine fits great, works great, is affordable, doesn't sqeek, and the velcro doesn't rip off. Hip belt pockets are way too small. I do think the velcro needs to be moved up a couple of inches for better engagement at a longer torso size. I emailed REI about that, but was ignored. So I think it was a great value, especially when I used the 20% off coupon. It fits a niche, which is apparently blue collar moron, so that must be why mine works so well.

Edited by skinewmexico on 09/19/2007 10:10:35 MDT.

Colleen Clemens
(tarbubble) - F

Locale: dirtville, CA
Re: REI on 09/19/2007 11:39:14 MDT Print View

I'm really glad to see this review. REI stuff is not cutting edge UL, but they have some stuff with respectable weights and attractive prices.

LOL Joe, i guess hubby & i are morons, too. we have the original UL 45s, almost the same as the 65 but smaller, and we love them. bought them on clearance for roughly $75 each and have used them very happily ever since. I like a framed pack and the price/weight ratio on these was just right. the internal compression is really nice, although with the thinner fabric on the original packs the gear inside tends to bulge out between the compression cords. a lot of pockets for organization, and the kanga pocket looks like a very useful addition to the pack. my 45 doesn't have one - wonder if it is just a feature for the 60.

Edited by tarbubble on 09/19/2007 11:43:35 MDT.

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
REI Cruise UL 60 on 09/19/2007 15:55:29 MDT Print View

Tarbubble, the stow-it/kanga pocket is only found on the 60 line. I like the feature myself, having used it extensively with my Gregory Z-pack.

Personally, I am thrilled that REI offers the Cruise. I work for the store, and I routinely see beginners come in looking for 6-7 pound packs recommended in Backpacker or Outside Magazine. With the advent of the UL 60 and the new Cruise, I can help them down the lighter road from the get-go. Between the features and the price, many customers find it to be a very nice pack.

Personally I'll lay the packs in REI's UL series against many higher end packs. I used both the Gregory Z-55 and REI Quick UL this summer in warm weather hiking condition in Kentucky and Tennessee. While the vented backpanel made the Z-55 a bit cooler, I actually found the load better supported by the $99 Quick. At half the price and 12 ounces less, this is saying a lot.

My girlfriend owns and uses the older UL 60 as her winter pack. If I didn't already own a ULA Catalyst for those bigger loads, I'd probably buy the Cruise myself. For the money, it is a phenomenal pack.

Edited by Bearpaw on 09/19/2007 15:57:02 MDT.

Greg Vaillancourt
(GSV45) - F

Locale: Utah
I really dig the mesh kangaroo pocket on on 09/19/2007 18:40:11 MDT Print View

my old model Osprey Aether 60.

Wake up with a wet tarp or Tarptent and I just stuff it in the mesh pocket and go. Anything that might drip, stink, or mess up the interior of the main pack goes there.

Not convinced I'd like a nonmesh version.

Greg Brouhard
(gbrouhard) - F
Re: REI Cruise UL 60 on 09/20/2007 12:29:03 MDT Print View

Isle Royale

I purchased the UL60 in 2005 when part of it was made still made from Silnylon. I used the pack for an Isle Royale hike and loved it. The kanga pocket sure came in handy when I would start early and pack a wet rain fly. I agree that the mesh pockets need to be made to billow as I found them not very useable. I never noticed the squeaks or noises or problems that other people have had. I love the pack.

Sean Thompson
(Questtrek) - F

Locale: Michigan
I liked it! on 09/21/2007 08:22:31 MDT Print View

The UL60 might not be considered ultralight by any means but it worked for me. I carried about 30 pounds with it comfortably and my trek was only about 18 miles. I did buy a different pack though. I went for something about half the weight. This pack is perfect for the person who's starting out backpacking and doesn't want to spend all that money for those larger, heavier packs that are on the wall. $130 is a perfect start for the beginner and 3.5 pounds is sure better then 7 or 8.

P.S. It did squeak though ...

eric levine
(ericl) - F

Locale: Northern Colorado
Ultra-light? on 09/24/2007 23:58:38 MDT Print View

I guess this is a good direction for REI, and good info for those here to recommend to friends, and for those here who work with beginners. I don’t think most subscribers here will find much interest themselves though.

I recently weighed my old Mountainsmith 4000ci carbon stay internal frame, circa mid 1990s, and it’s 2.5 pounds. It has carried loads to its limit in the upper 30s well. Calling the REI over 3 pound pack “UltraLight” these days is just not accurate in my book.

Come to think of it, my Stephenson external frame (circa 1970s) with metal hipcarry frame and 6 convertible pockets came in at around 3-3.5 pounds.

Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
REI Going Ultra-Light? on 09/25/2007 11:50:00 MDT Print View

Bearpaw, you said you work for the store (REI). I was in the Durham, NC store and one of the sales people were talking about a new UL series. He said it had everything you needed at <16 lb. I didn't have time to follow up.

Do you know anything about this?

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
"UL" at REI on 09/26/2007 07:01:40 MDT Print View

Sure Pizza,

The best I can say is don't get too excited. The line is actually almost two years old, though it is improved and updated frequently.

To call this line "Ultralight" really is a marketing ploy, one made possible by the fact that there is no industry standard of what is UL. Here at BPL, "UL" means a base weight (everything except food, water, fuel, and other small expendables like sunscreen, mosquito repellent, etc.) of under 10 pounds. By the definition given, "<16 lbs", this doesn't qualify as UL.

HOWEVER, it does represent a decent trend. You'll find "Big 4" systems (pack, bag, shelter, and pad) that are relatively light. at least compared to the rather heavy offerings from most mainstream gear companies. Examples would include the Cruise UL Pack (51 ounces), Quarter Dome 2 UL (60 ounces), Sub-Kilo Sleeping Bag (29 ounces), and REI full-length Lite Core self-inflating pad (27 ounces).

Total 167 ounces, or 10 pounds, 7 ounces. You're already into the lightweight, not UL category and you haven't added kitchen gear, clothing, headlamps or any other gear yet. But the price of these items, a bit over $600, and a lot less if you shop scratch and dent sales, keep eyes open for promotionals and regular sales and use your 20% coupons (up to 3 a year now), is pretty good compared to other alternatives. So in this aspect, it is a decent "lighterweight" alternative. Just understand there are many lighterweight options out there, especially in shelters.

But REI's new gear is important for newer hikers transitioning into packing without making a "leap of faith" to shop with online niche companies. (Which by the way are usually MORE than worth the risk because their products really are superior to nearly all mass market gear out their today, at least in terms of lower weight for comparable performance).

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: "UL" at REI on 09/30/2007 11:18:36 MDT Print View

I saw a guy hiking with this pack, and sensing the BPL reconnaissance potential, I tailed him and I'm pretty sure I didn't hear any squeaking from the pack.

Mike Feldman
(harpin) - F
REI Cruise on 10/03/2007 15:31:16 MDT Print View

I am influenced by what Shawn says along with the BPL contributor review. Sort of surprised there was a BPL review, thats cool, why not. The largest ULA pack, the Catalyst, weighs bout the same as the REI Cruise, popular large ULA/LW crowd internal frame pack. I love my frameless ULA Amp pack for weekend, or longer good water source non winter trips. Maybee apples and oranges BUT $130 at REI w/end of year refund after buying it for the Cruise, and/or the 20% discount offered. It does seem REI has made some improvement over the previous version. Am passing thru Atlanta to BP trip in N.GA early November, may stop by REI and consider the Cruise. Anyone has a ULA Catalyst large w/medium hipbelt you will sell for anything close to the REI cruise price I'm all over it, let me know?

Mike Feldman
(harpin) - F
Jonathan-your hilarious-above comments Cruise 60 on 10/03/2007 16:01:28 MDT Print View

Am still laughing on the BPL Recon. comment above, hope I run into you on a trail sometime!

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Recon on 10/04/2007 09:11:18 MDT Print View

I think I might be kind of creeped out if some guy start following me. "Oh, I'm just checking out your pack........"

Barrett Willet
(barrettwillet) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
pack volumes on 10/04/2007 11:10:25 MDT Print View

Be careful comparing other pack volumes to ULA pack volumes. ULA counts the mesh pockets in their total volume. This does not follow the ASTM standard for measuring pack volume which defines that in order for a pocket to be counted as measured volume it must have a method for closure. Mesh pockets do not have a method for closure. The REI Cruise is 60 liters plus it has the mesh pockets and kangaroo pocket that are not counted in the 60 liters. When you start taking the mesh pocket volume out of the ULA packs then you start to get a clear apples to apples comparison.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Recon on 10/08/2007 00:13:16 MDT Print View

Does the BPL Recon Force have to report to the National Intelligence Director? I'm gonna have a 3oz windshirt screen printed with BPL-RF in the same font as the FBI or DEA uses! But seriously, if anyone that looked like Jonathan's avatar started tailing me, they might get a mug full of bearspray!

And back to topic, I am very fond of my original UL60. Same minor issues as other noted - tight mesh sides, small hipbelt pockets, and makes a little noise. But overall a very comfortable and versatile performer. I've upgraded to lighter and smaller packs since, but still use the UL60 on occasion.

The adjustable torso is a actually a very nice feature when I loan the pack out to a companion. I've had a several friends and relatives from the Midwest come out to visit. Most want to hike and backpack a little, so I hook them up with the UL60. Perfect pack for that purpose, because it's easy to fit, comfortable, light, and large enough that they can bring that 400 weight fleece that they just gotta have along.

I definitely agree with Will's thoughful review and recommendation. Keep up the good work!

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
UL 60 and UL Cruise on 10/08/2007 13:15:24 MDT Print View

I own a UL 60 in large. A backpacking buddy owns a new UL Cruise.

We both liked the suspension. (For the poster who didn't like/couldn't undertand it's adjustability I say "HUH??")

I prefer his UL Cruise for its Dyneema fabric's durability over my ripstop. Virtually all else is the same except the dasiy chans (2 on UL 60, 1 on UL Cruise) and the hip belt pockets (bigger on Cruise). Oh, yeah, the neat sliding lower shoulder strap suspension on the UL 60 is changed to standard sewn-on lower straps for the UL Cruise.

I've added 2 REI ripstop side pockets to mine and my buddy is going to do the same on his. For bulkier, lighter items these pockets are ideal. The newer UL Cruise has better attatchment points for the pockets than my UL 60.

I've carried 37 lbs with this pack (UL 60) and been comfortable even in some scrambling conditions. The naysayers either don't know how to adjust a pack (unlikely) or didn't understand my motto - namely: "There are no comfortable packs, some are just less uncomfortable than others." (I love to quote myself.)

This pack is one of the MORE comfortable ones. Load it and adjust it correctly and ye shall be rewarded accordingly. Yes. it's not insanely light but it IS light, well designed and well made therefore I think this pack will be one of REI's perennial best sellers.

Eric

Edited by Danepacker on 10/08/2007 13:24:11 MDT.