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Six Moon Designs Swift10

in Backpacks - Frameless

Average Rating
5.00 / 5 (4 reviews)

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G Foster McLachlan
( hunter13 )

Six Moon Designs Swift10 on 03/28/2010 09:20:24 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

First, and most importantly this bag fits great and is comfortable. The torso length on my size medium works good for me(~17.5 inch torso). Some of the other manufacturers bags around my size always seemed just a bit long.

I like the belt to ride on my hips and to support most of the weight, and this does exacty that(as advertised)-not only bc of the above but also bc of the large hip belt and thicker webbing on the swift10. It was the exact support I was seeking at the weight I wished-the belt doesn't even need padding. Its like the 07 jam and works just great.

I don't think load lifters are even necessary, really. It hugs me that well.

Montbell90 folded in the pad compartment fits"perfectly." I can add air if wanted without losing much space(almost negligible)-so I don't expect I'll even need to at heavier weights(I had it to 22 #'s and didn't even notice it was on) since it fits so well. I also had it to 30#'s and again, it felt great and carried well.

The long side pocket fits my duo-mid "perfectly."-right to the top flush.

Compression system (like OHM) is sweet.

The short side pocket could be lengthened 2 inches-my 1.5 liter Evernew bent over slightly-I think that is my only complaint, but it's not that bad as it doesn't fall out. It's just annoying knowing it does that. :)I'd rate it 4.8 bc of this if I could. The front pocket accomodates small sack of essentials and wind jacket/and some food for example. Not too big or small.

Craftsmanship is good. It appears it is indeed built to last.

What else can I say? It's a great bag, especially at the price and weight.

Edited by hunter13 on 06/17/2010 10:14:42 MDT.

John Vance
( Servingko )

Intermountain West
Great Pack! on 06/10/2010 10:09:50 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Now that I have some miles on my 2010 Swift I thought I would prepare a more thorough review. I have been using a 2006 SMD Starlight for the past few years and really love it coming from a brief stint with a Gregory Z pack (3.5lbs), and before that for nearly 12 years, a Mt Smith Crestone III, a monster load hauler that was just under 8lbs empty. Before the Mt Smith I was using a Jansport D5 external frame pack that served me well for nearly 20 years and thousands of miles. I have progressed along the way reducing the weight and volume of my kit to the point I felt it was time to give a frameless pack a try.

For the past few years with the Starlight I have fine tuned my system to a point that I am very comfortable with the weight, volume, and location of various items in/on my pack. Moving to the 2010 Swift was a no brainer as the two packs offer a nearly identical layout. I had felt since I use a DAM exclusively that I would need to make some sort of semi rigid frame sheet in order to effectively transfer the weight to my hips. Moreover, I felt that I would need to add load lifter straps as well. I could not have been more wrong. What I am using in the pad pocket is two pieces of closed cell foam (3/8") cut down to 11.25" x 20.25". These stay in the pack and add 2.5 oz as well as being used as insulation under my feet or head as my DAM is only 60" long. In addition, the foam adds a little shape to the pack when it is empty assisting with packing, and provides cushion against my back. The foam may assist somewhat in load transfer, but that comes primarily from how I pack the main bag of the pack so that the entire pack is a semi rigid lump.

Initially I had ordered a MED but felt that the LRG would be a better fit even though my torso measures 18." With the upper shoulder strap attachment located just slightly ABOVE my shoulder height, it has eliminated the need for load lifters. The weight is on my hips and I use a combination of the sternum strap and shoulder strap tension to keep the pack against my back or just slightly off of it for ventilation. It also allows for the pack to ride a little lower on my hips without pulling on my shoulders, putting the side mesh pocket within easy reach to not only remove my water bottle but put in back in as well, something that I could not do with my Starlight. In addition, the mesh pockets are much more usable when the main bag is stuffed full, much more so than my Starlight is, allowing for greater carrying capacity.

I absolutely love the hip belt pockets. I tend to not stop and eat during the day on the go and the pockets are great for that. I was able to get nearly 1000 calories of snacks/bars in just one pocket leaving the other free for my camera and gloves. They can be used with one hand to both open and close and remain out of the way for natural arm swinging. Although I use poles, I tried the pack without them for a while to see how the pockets might interfere, they didn't for me but they may for those with wider hips or more narrow shoulders. Weight transfer with the belt was very comfortable - in fact as I sit here writing this I can't think of anything descriptive to say other than I didn't notice the belt at all. I tried the pack for a bit without the belt but don't really care for having the weight on my shoulders and they began to get uncomfortable even with my light load of 17 lbs fully loaded with a liter of water and 5 days of food. This was going uphill while using trekking poles and when I dropped my arms to my side, the pack was more comfortable just hanging from my shoulders. After having the pack on for nearly 9 hours each day, I didn't once feel that I needed to remove it and have a break.

I prefer top loading one main compartment packs and the new roll top closure is a big improvement over the velcro on my Starlight. The 2010 Swift has a pre-curved plastic strip sewn into the roll top closure that makes rolling the top much easier with no snagging on the velcro, as is the case with the Starlight. It's the standard drybag approach and very effective. There was a constant steady light rain for two days and everything remained dry. I could not see or feel any water inside the main compartment. While it is certainly not waterproof, it was very effective at shedding water and the silnylon used on the extension collar seems to be more water resistant than the silnylon that was used on my Starlight which didn't leak but quickly wetted out. Since I line my pack with a garbage bag and use silnylon stuff sacks, I do not typically have problems with water and have successfully swam short distances with my pack on several occasions without problems.

Capacity is great and should work for me up to 10 days or so without resupply. All my equipment doesn't quite take up half of the main bag leaving a great deal of room for food. For this past 5 day trip fully loaded at the trail head, I had the top rolled completely down and used the side compression cords slightly to firm up the pack. The compression cord system seems to work well and I didn't notice any slipping of the cord locks. I also appreciate the fact that they don't diminish the capacity of the mesh pockets when used as they are inside the mesh. The shoulder straps also stayed put but I felt that the hip buckle needed to be tightened up a bit every few hours. I don't know if the buckle was slipping or if the whole pack was sliding down somewhat. I must admit that I tend to fiddle with the waist belt more that the shoulder straps during the day so it may just be me. The outside pockets provided plenty of room for food, water, and foul weather gear, as well as the trash bag. I like the mesh material on my Starlight better as it has a much softer hand to it than the Swift's stiff mesh, but the new mesh should prove to be up to the task.

In terms of packing, which is a big part of effectively using a frame-less pack, I place my quilt and down vest or jacket (if not needed during the day) , in a large 10" x 20" stuff sack and then stuff the sack into the pack horizontally at the bottom of the bag. This provides a large platform for everything to rest on as well as providing a firm waist-belt back-band. This also allows some variability in compression and expansion of pack volume as the quilt isn't packed super tight and can expand somewhat as the pack empties. Next in is my DAM also laid horizontally on top of the quilt stuff sack. My food bag is placed vertically against my back with my stove/kitchen items and then my camp/sleep clothes (long silk underwear, sleeping socks, silk balaclava), placed in a 8 x 18" stuff sack sack is wrapped horizontally around the bottom of the food sack followed by my trail clothes not needed during the day (rain gear, wind-shirt, insulating head wear, spare hiking socks), also packed horizontally around the upper part of the food bag. On top if this goes a small silnylon organizer with personal items (headlamp, first aid kit, repair kit, soap, knife, lighter, etc.), capped off with a small piece of closed cell foam I use for a sit pad. In the smaller side mesh pocket goes 2 .5L water bottles while the long mesh pocket on the other side carries the shelter. In the large back mesh pocket is the trail clothes that I think I may need during the day, any wet items that can dry there, t.p. and hand sanitizer, and a freezer zip-lock bag with trash. I really like being able to stuff the main bag and then the pockets. With my Starlight I have to get big items in the mesh pockets before packing the main bag or it becomes much more difficult to get these items in the mesh pockets. In the hipbelt pockets goe snacks, gloves, and camera (Leica D4 in it's neoprene case).

All in all another great pack and a weight savings of 12oz over the Starlight (20oz for the Swift with double layer closed cell pad and 32oz for the Starlight with a single sheet of closed cell foam in the pad pocket and water bottle holders). I am now wondering if this will become my only pack as I contemplate what type of trip would require the use of the Starlight. While the Starlight does have greater carrying capacity in terms of weight and a slight edge in volume capacity, the Swift holds everything I need for all the different trips I have been on in the past 5 years For the few winter trips I go on I use a pulk and a fanny pack so there isn't a need there either. My son no doubt will be the recipient of another great piece of gear when he grows a bit.

Edited by Servingko on 06/10/2010 10:15:07 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Jansport Hauler priced at: $69.90 - $80.45
Shop Gregory, LRG, Swift, These products at GearBuyer
Dave Myers
( PatientWolf )

South Western Oklahoma
SMD Swift '10 on 06/23/2010 13:42:55 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The SMD Swift '10 is my first frameless pack. I have now used it on just over a half dozen weekend hikes and I absolutely love this pack.

The pack is very well constructed. It has endured being scrapped against rock, thorn bushes, and other assorted abuses without a single tear or fray anywhere. It still looks brand new.

The pack is also very comfortable and as mentioned in one of the previous reviews the load lifters are nearly unnecessary. On one trip I ended up packing out most of my friends gear bringing the total weight of my pack up to around 25-30 lbs and it still felt comfortable, a really impressive feat for a frameless pack.

I use a Therm-A-Rest Ridge Rest pad cut in half and it folds up and fits very nicely into the provided pad pocket in the pack.

The hip pockets are huge and easily accessible while wearing the pack. The small mesh pocket is also easy to reach while wearing the pack.

Over all the Swift '10 is a very versatile, durable and comfortable UL pack and I would recommend it to anyone.

Shop Swift, Therm-a-Rest products at GearBuyer
Brandon Sanchez
( dharmabumpkin )

San Gabriel Mtns
a good buy, look for it used on 10/25/2010 19:28:44 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have no complaints when it comes to this pack. This is my second framless after my 2008 Jam(modified) and for the same weight this pack performs better in every category.

I choose this pack for walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain and backpacking around Europe after the trail. My route on the Camino was about 1000km so I spent a lot of time lugging this thing around. Even though I used it as a seat a few times a day during breaks it never once developed a hole in the mesh or anywhere else. I experienced no seam rips or any other problems. After washing it when I got home it looks brand new again.

Weight Distribution:
Did I mention I love everything about this pack? The hip-belt has no padding but the belt is wide and wraps around the hips perfectly. I think unless you had exceptionally boney hips youd love this hip belt (as an aside the belt pockets are spacious as well). For a frame I use a regular Ridgerest cut in half. On my 5'9'' body this makes a torso sized pad. Also, this fits perfectly inside the pad sleeve and creates a very rigid frame that is quite comfy on the back as well. This gives the pack great shape and shifts the weight to the hip-belt which is where I want it. For me 35lbs is doable but not desirable. Thankfully my gear allows me to get well below this. 25lbs and you dont even think about it.

The outside pockets are extremely useful. Ive never had a pack with these mesh pockets and they are great for stowing wet gear and easy-access extras. I thought the tall outside pocket was strange at first but I found it fit one of the ubiquitous 1.5L water bottles and a baguette perfectly together.

If you check the Swift '10 whitepaper youll see how it stacks up on the competition of similar size.

This pack is a keeper for me, but I am also looking for something smaller to push the UL fun so I am checking out the MLD Burn. In short, this is a good pack for thru-hikes and I cant wait to take it on more hikes, esp the JMT- I want more patches on it!

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