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in Backpacks - Frameless

Average Rating
5.00 / 5 (2 reviews)

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Douglas Durham
( djdurham )
MLD Ark on 06/04/2008 10:19:46 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Last weekend I went on an 18 mile overnighter on the AT in southwestern Virginia. The elevation gain and loss was a little over 7000 feet. The daytime temperatures were roughly in the high 70s; and at night it got down just below 60.

I used four items from Mountain Laurel Designs. The Ark pack, the Soul side zip bivy with Event top, the silnylon poncho, and the Spirit Quilt.

The Ark pack is designed to hold a full length closed cell foam pad and still have plenty of room for gear, especially synthetic quilts and insulted clothing. I used a POE Hyper-Mountain pad which is about three quarters of an inch thick. (This is the one that has the 1 ½ inch self-inflating pad in an hourglass shape built-in to the closed cell foam.) I had far more room than I needed for an overnighter. Had I taken a small stove and some food to cook, I would still have had more room than I needed.

I used the new top lid and the new hip pouches (medium) which Ron Bell has designed. They both provide significant convenience. You can put a small camera or GPS or a Steri-Pen Adventurer in them. I use them to keep such items as those plus a small notebook and pen and some toilet paper and Purel.

In the top lid I keep a hat and gloves and rain jacket and maps. I keep my poncho in the back mesh pouch.

My total pack weight was under 14 pounds. The pack was quite comfortable. My expectation would be that it would be comfortable up to about 20 pounds.

This is an excellent pack for those who like the convenience of the top lid and pouches and for those who want to be able to carry a full length closed cell foam pad and a little bit more gear or food than most ultra-light weight hikers take out. Or it could be used to carry bulkier synthetic quilts and insulated pants and tops for colder weather hiking.

Here are some stats from the MLD web page:
Weight: 14.2oz

• Total Volume: 4200

• Main Pack: 3150

• Main Outside Pocket: 500

• Side Pockets: 200 + 150

• Extension Collar: 400ci/ 7L

• Large enough to use 1.5" full length inflatable pads (and full length 3/4 foam pads) as the internal frame support and still have plenty for room.

Pouch pockets
.6oz / 18gms
6.5 X 5 X 1.75

Top lid 1.5 oz.

Shop Soul products at GearBuyer
Jay Wilkerson
( Creachen )

East Bay
Great for larger hikers!! on 02/23/2009 17:22:05 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I ordered the 2009 MLD Ark and it came in exactly at 15.75oz and a CI of 4200. My first hike with the the Ark was to Pt. Reyes about a 14 mile round tripper. My starting weight was about 25lbs with food, H2O and some beers. I never felt ANY discomfort at all! The pack has plenty of room in it and also on the outside with all its mesh storage compartments. The pack was built to be tough with Dyneema and it has a very large extension collar. It comes with large shoulder straps (for bigger hikers) two trekking pole loops, a sternum strap with a whistle and top strap integrated into the haul loop. This is the only feature of the Ark I do not like, I am used to top strap being connected to back of the pack. The Ark has a lot of room maybe far more then needed for weekend hike. To fill out the pack I stuffed my WM Ultralite in it with no stuff sack and this worked great. I hope to use it this summer in the Sierra's.(Can't Wait till summer!) So far a great pack maid by a great little company-MLD. HIGH FIVE

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