Rating: 5 / 5
A few short months ago I never thought I could use a frameless pack. But, testing out systems and hiking more, because my pack weight was going down as my familiarity and technique with gear and the environment went up, I thought I would try it -- the ultimate aim is to be able to use the Gossamer Gear Whisper and related technical SUL / UL packs.
To my surprise, I found a waterproof bag for kayaking and a frameless backpack at 12 oz. -- all in one: The OR DryComp Summit Sack. (My first love was kayaking, before hiking when I didn't know about UL gear now readily available.)
This OR bag is an incredibly well made, strong, well conceived and executed dry bag + pack.
The OR webpage for the DryComp Summit Sack and pictures, details, etc. is at:
Dimensions: 24 in. x 11 in. x 9 in./61 cm x 28 cm x 23 cm
Volume: 1885 cu. in./30.9 L
Avg. weight: 12.2 oz./346 g
The compression straps turn into shoulder straps (with padding) and a waist belt, using snap together connectors that work well and cinch straps. The top rolls over itself, as in standard dry bags.
What is really great about it, for me, is that it is not only going to work with kayaking as a dry bag, and as a day or overnight pack -- it is a good weekend pack big enough to carry: a Tarptent - Gossamer Gear Squall Classic tent, and a Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 F down bag in a Bozeman Mountain Works NANO bivy (for the extra water protection to the down bag) Gossamer Gear Torso pad and 1/8" Thinlite long pad, cooking kit with stove and cannister, MSR kettle, etc. and clothes, rain poncho, first aid, and misc. gear.
It is comfortable, although I am still looking at how to avoid much stress on a bad back -- but it works and that is the first step.
The OR Summit dry sack weighs 12 oz., so it is still not a true SUL or UL pack by today's standards -- but it gets me that much closer.
My total pack weight for a weekend trip came in, with food in a Ursack bear bag at 11 lbs. 13 oz. And a base weight, solid, under 10 lbs. for the first time. HOORAY. (It took long enough.)
Future Issues: I need to resolve the pack shape issues with my lower back. Stuffed with gear and food, etc. the Summit puffs out, even with the GG torso pad and Thinlite pad in the pack as a back protector and shape holder. I am more and more looking at the ULA Relay as a good next pack to get down to where I can use the Whisper -- my real ultimate goal. O'god do I wish I lived next door to pj, Bill F., or Vick H., et al. to tool up something workable.
Update: Loaded with extra clothes, a BMW NANO tarp (6'x8') with two poles, 1.25 L of water (.5 - .75 L in a Nalgene Cantene 48 oz. size and a bit more than .5 L in a Platypus .5 L size with a poptop), firestarter and emergency medical bag, tarp stakes, snacks, Pssumdown gloves, MH balaclava, Possumdown beanie, knife, Bushbuddy stove and MSR Titan kettle with spork and Ti cup, food for an overnight dinner and breakfast for my partner and I, and some other odds and ends the OR weighed a bit under 8 lbs. and carried well for a couple of mile walk today. If I had stuffed it with my sleeping bag and bivy it would have weighed 9 lbs. 8 oz. or so. IThe OR pack-bag is laying on the ground in the background of this picture of my tea stop setup: