Rating: 4 / 5
At 2 pounds 14 ounces, and 3350ci of storage space this is absolutely one of the most bombproof lightweight packs I have ever carried. It just happens to fit my body type very well. What can I say, after a long weekend on the Pinhoti trail I was carrying a packweight of about 34lbs (food for two), and I never really noticed I was carrying a heavier than usual load.
I have a GoLite Infinity, and a Granite Gear Vapor Trail. Both good packs in their own right. The Vapor Trail carries the same load as the GoLite pack yet carries it about ten time more comfortably. The Marmot Alpinist is not quite as comfy as the Granite Gear pack, but is capable of higher weight loads, and is much sturdier. It is more comfy than the GoLite pack with a 20+lb load, and it has more options for carrying and storing gear. It's now my pack of choice for all around backpacking. Looks like a couple buddies of mine are about to get lucky and get a couple very nice packs handed to them for nothing
All in all, I would have to rate the pack a solid 4.
Marmot Alpinist 55=Granite Gear Vapor Trail > GoLite Infinity
For those that don't understand the equation above, Marmot and Granite Gear makes superior gear to GoLite. But don't take my word for it, find out for yourself. Some people may find that what fits me very well doesn't work for them.
Shop Smart, test it before you buy it if you can, Anyone can pack lighter than usual, with little to no sacrifice.
Old setup (weights rounded off):
Kelty Pack 4.5lbs $130
Wenzel Tent 5lbs $140
Kelty bag 4lbs $80
kitchen gear 3.5lbs $100
17 lbs at about $450
Decided to lighten up, and have been toying with gear over the past 2 years finding just the right setup, here is what I have now.
Current setup (Weights rounded UP):
Marmot pack 3lbs $100
Hennessy hammock 3lbs $100
Marmot bag 2lbs $120
Kitchen gear(jetboil) 2 lbs $90
10lbs at $410
With no sacrifice in comfort, quality, looks, or anything, tell me what you would rather be carrying. Take my current setup, and replace the Hammock (You'd be nuts to give that thing up, I love the hammock) with a Tarp and drop about a pound, but have to carry a sleeping pad so actually about a half pound and instead of the Jetboil (again you'd be crazy 1 quart of boiling water in about 2 minutes) with a nice home built pepsi can stove and lose over a pound and get your pack weight down to about 8lbs at total cost of about $330. Not too shabby if you ask me.
None of that includes clothing, food, or water, but does include Fuel, pots, fork and spoon.
My average pack weight is around 20lbs. Now when I'm on the trail I never regret going lite.