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GoLite Breeze

in Backpacks - Frameless

Average Rating
3.40 / 5 (10 reviews)


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Mark Verber
( verber )

Locale:
San Francisco Bay Area
GoLite Breeze on 08/02/2005 08:47:22 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I am going to be a heretic. I hate this pack. It is the most uncomfortable packs I have used. It was more comfortable on one shoulder than on both. A shame because it is a good size and made from nice material.

Edited by verber on 08/05/2005 09:04:22 MDT.

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Ryan Jordan
( ryan - BPL STAFF - M )

Locale:
Greater Yellowstone
GoLite Breeze Works as a Frameless Pack on 08/02/2005 11:55:20 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I'll not be quite so harsh as Mark. I fell in love with the breeze after an 8-day trek across the Beartooths shortly after the pack was launched. Like any typical love affair, day 0 while it still had the tags on it was pure bliss. What a pretty little pack. On Day 2, after carrying 22-24 pounds in it, I hated her. The stinking little tramp cut her shoulder straps into my back so bad I had blisters. But, like any good relationship, where you stick it out and learn to work with each other's weaknesses, I chose to love her again, and never burdened her with more than 18 or so pounds of gear, and I've used the Breeze a fair bit since.

I think my gripe with the pack focuses on shoulder straps that are a tad too robust. The construction could be made "softer", thicker, and more comfortable, something along the lines of the Mariposa or GG Virga. Second, I'd like to see the volume go down. It would limit the use of the pack to people who normally wouldn't know to keep their loads light. Of course, they did do that and called it the "Day" pack, but alas, 'tis no more in the GoLite line.

And it looks like the Breeze is headed that way as well, which is OK. There is room for someone to make a good frameless, belt less pack.

Part of the problem with the Breeze: having Ray J claim that "it works" with 60 pounds of water in the California desert. Absurd. Sure, it won't fall apart, but it's definitely the wrong tool for that job, and this alone was taken by a lot of his readers to mean: "Huh, must carry at least 25 lbs well enough if he can carry 60..."

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Ben Klocek
( benklocek - M )

Locale:
SF Bay Area
It is what it is. on 08/02/2005 13:57:07 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

It is a rucksack. Used for very light loads, it is the ultimate in simplicity and freedom. I love it for it's straight forward approach. I agree the shoulder straps could be more "designed" less webbing with small pad.

Sturdy with very useful features (handy side and back pockets) it has had a place on my back for the last few years. I haven't yet found a suitible replacement, possibley the Jam.

Edited by benklocek on 08/02/2005 13:58:22 MDT.

Jim Sweeney
( swimjay )

Locale:
Northern California
Carries high & tight on 08/02/2005 18:40:00 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've had this pack out for 8 days at a time, maxing out @ 28 lbs, including water. I like the way the load seems to go down through the center of my spine, at least more so than with other packs which encourage a sleeping pad to intervene between the load and the hiker's back. I do a lot of off-trail hiking, and here the tight coupling really shines. I've definitely never missed a waist belt or a chest strap. But I agree that, loaded less than optimally, the shoulder straps can be painful. For me, what works is to have the heaviest items closest to my back--invariably, that's the water bladder, run vertically the length of the pack. As I drink the bladder down, I tighten the shoulder straps to compensate.

paul johnson
( pj )

Locale:
LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
GoLite Breeze on 08/08/2005 18:13:05 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I like this pack. It was my one of my first really light weight packs. However, I was still in the process of lightening up, so at the time, I was carrying 22lbs. This didn't cut it for me. So I added a 2oz padded wing hip belt cut off of a small LLBean daypack. Not sure if Ray J would be agree with this application of one of his fundamental tenents dealing with modifying gear??? (after all he did design the Breeze - who am i to tamper with his design? however, in my defense, much of my hiking is over very uneven, rocky terrrain - it's very difficult for me to keep the pack slung over one shoulder at a time like Ray J does. frankly, i don't understand how he does it.)

I still think about this pack a lot even though I'm currently using a G5 and G6. Breeze is made from a great, robust material. Nice outside mesh pockets - perfect for drying wet gear. I like the shoulder straps - no complaints there. Since I haven't tried it beltless with ~15lbs, I can't comment on it in that fashion. At this point for on trail use, I just can't see fit to dump the G6 since the Breeze (with hipbelt) weighs 16oz.

Overall, I give it a 4 - wouldn't be my first choice for 15lb true pack wt (incl. 3day food & 2L water) unless there was a lot of brush that might damage the Spinnaker fabric of the GossamerGear packs. In the weight range I used it (~22lbs), plus the added hip belt, I felt it was a 5. Why? Is there another well thought out design, robust 16oz Spectra/Dyneema pack that can carry 22lbs all day long? Might be, but I haven't used one yet.

MODERATOR'S NOTE: The author originally gave this pack a score of a '5' but indicated that without the hip belt, the score should be a '4'. I have changed the score to a '4' to best reflect the pack as is without modifications, as interpreted by the author. The author is free to edit this note, change his score, and add further justification to his original rating if desired. - RJ

Edit by pj: No need to change anything. Trust your judgement in these matters. Thanks for helping out with my post/min-review.

Edited by pj on 08/10/2005 09:57:48 MDT.

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Mike Storesund
( mikes )
GoLite Breeze on 08/29/2005 16:05:54 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I have to say this is not the worst pack I ever had, but close to it.
I do like the simplicity, but the straps are just killer.
With 18 pounds I can carry on one shoulder and switch sides, but when wearing both straps it is just uncomfortable for me.

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Antonio Abad
( tonyabad )
Never again on 03/19/2006 01:52:41 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I dove headfirst into the ultralight way by buying this pack. I used it for almost 1.5 years before I sold it. My baseweight never topped 9 lbs with this bag yet my shoulders were always aching after just 3-4 miles. I tried the "Ray Way" of carrying it on one shoulder at a time to no avail. My shoulders HATED this pack for the following reasons:

1) Abysmal shoulder pads. They are hard, clunky and would not conform to the shape of my shoulders. They would cause brutal chafing on multi-day trips.

2) The lack of any padding in the back always resulted in compression of my shoulders between the stiff pads and the odd shape that the stuffed bag would assume. Contrary to some other folks' claims, I did not think a rolled-up sleeping pad provided the same function and comfort as a padded back.

Besides the weight, the features that this "pack" had going for it were the 3 large mesh pockets and it's weight. I found the oversized one on the back was particularly handy for drying out a tarp while hiking. Perhaps someone with beefier, more resilient shoulders could love this pack.

Anitra Kass
( Anitraten )

Locale:
SoCal
Love at first carry on 06/27/2006 18:53:46 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I love the Breeze. I am a 5'5" female. I have used the Breeze on my '04 AT thru hike and a different Breeze on most of my '05 PCT thru hike. I actually tried a pack with a hip belt on the PCT and switched back to the Breeze.

I have carried this pack with total pack weight (including consumables) as low as 15 lbs and as much as 30 lbs when I thought I needed a tent and lots of warm clothes in N. Washington in early October.

The large mesh pocket is my favorite feature as it lets me dry out gear while I walk and it keeps my tent/tarp/shelter accessible without having to open my pack in the rain.

After a few weeks of hiking the shoulder straps have molded to my shoulder shape. I also love the freedom my hips and lower back enjoy while backpacking and being free to move and twist as they want.

I will warn you that like any new piece of gear you need to practice with it. There were times at the end of the day when I had hiked 30 miles and my shoulders were tired. They always felt fine after a quick rest. I am not sure if I just have strong shoulders or if my shoulders adapted quickly to carrying the weight there. But I can tell you that I love this pack.
NITRO

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George Matthews
( gmatthews - M )
Better than a 7 lb beast on 02/15/2007 13:59:54 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I went from a 7 lb beast (Palisades) to the 12 oz Breeze after my first week long hike. I've used it for two years. I make adjustments whenever the straps begin to bother me. Usually taking a break will help my shoulders shake off any soreness. It's been good, but I'm considering Golite's new Jam2 or possibly a DIY.

Jason DeMars
( demjas )
Ray-Way Backpack on 08/07/2007 13:01:39 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I love this pack. Firstly because I made it myself. It isn't perfect, but man it's functional. It is very roomy and fits the pack very well. The pack is very comfortable for up to 30 lb loads. The pack straps are comfortable and I very much enjoy hiking without a hip belt.
I love the large pockets on the front and sides. I am able to fit the things that I need in it very easily like my GoLite ether, hats, water filter, umbrella, etc, etc.
The only thing it is missing is a small pocket to put sundry items in like energy bars, camera, etc. However, I see now that he has developed a pocket kit for these kinds of items. So that will be a welcome addition to my pack.
So to conclude; it's comfortable, it's light (9.5 oz) and it's very functional.

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