View Full Version : Ultra-Ultralite Mesh Backpack...
Check this pack out...
I'm getting one. If it's too small/cheap I will take it apart and use better/larger materials, rebuilding it into a better version.
Just buy a mesh laundry bag and throw it over your shoulder like Grandma Gatewood, if you want to go that light.
Dana Designs makes a back packsimilar to that with a beefed up harness sytem. Kinda like the gearskin Sgt Rock likes so much. I just looked at their website and can't find it though. Maybe they stopped making it.
I was going to use an aluminum tube oval, which I would strap my sil-nylon bags to. This is an alternate method I'm looking at. After reading Ray Jardines book, I've been re-inspired to even further strip my pack-weight. I'm still not privy to the leaf-bed mattress though. Even good-ole Ray couldn't convince me to ditch my Therm-A-Rest. I guess it's my true luxary item.
With twelve pounds of food and 4-6 pounds of water (even more in dry sections), I hope the addition of my 12-13 pounds of gear (including packweight) won't overload a mesh pack. I may end up going with some type of frame. Apparently it's advised to keep your loads 20lbs or less with a frameless & beltless pack. I anticipate 28 pounds average (gear/food/water for 6days) on my first day out, dipping back down to 13-14 pounds or so on my 6th day. Even if I had the coveted 8lb gear weight, I'm still confused as to how someone would hit the trail with a go-lite breeze type pack for 6 days at a time. I think I will try out 30lbs in a mesh pack and see how it feels...
For a mesh pack see. http://www.lwgear.com/ Click of the lighweight gear icon. He has the one pound pack and the one pound plus pack. I have the latter.
How is the durability/overall quality of the one pound plus pack? Good stitching and everything? I'm also looking at the Go-Lite Breeze. I'm nervous about the concept that they are both designed for 20lbs or less. How is this possible for a 6-day trip? you need 12lbs of food and 4lbs of water. This means you would need 4lbs of gear or less. Obviously not possible. I have about 13 pounds of gear for my baseweight (including a pound for the pack so actually 12lbs). Would I be overstressing these lightweight packs and my shoulders? The Go-Lite Gust is another option, but I'd like to stay away from hipbelts, and I like the mesh pocket feature of the Breeze. Help!
I can't comment on the stiching, but as long as you don't want a hip belt, all the weight is on your shoulders. I know that when I get my 25 lb packweight all on my shoulders I'm not too happy about it and readjust my pack to transfer more of the load to my hipbelt. That's why I think a hipbelt and some form of suspension in the pack (even if its just the ridgity of the load itself, as the G4/gearskin type packs work) is essential. But if you can hike with your load on your shoulders, more power to you. I'd suggest going for a long day hike (15 miles?) with a pack and the load you figure your will have heading out of town. If the pack as a hipbelt, don't use it. See if you like that or not... Then if your don't check out one of the gearskin/G4 packs if you think you are ready for that, or look at the osprey aether 60 (3 lbs). I have that one and love it. THinking about moving to a gearskin type pack, but will hold off until summer...
Check out Sgt Rocks Ruck on the homemade gear section of his site. Its one of those heavy duty mesh laundry bags with shoulder straps off of another pack . Jansport has a mesh daypack like that too but its pretty small. Sgt Rocks Ruck has alot more room . Streamweaver
Its cheap and easy to make as well. I wouldn't reccomend going over about 20 pounds with it. http://hikinghq.net/gear/rock_ruck.html
Thanks rock, I saw that one you made, and made something similar this past weekend. I took one of those green/black mesh bags, and sewed the backing of a walmart backpack to it (just the nylon backpad and straps). The squared off bottom held the load awkwardly, and it was too big. I could chop the bottom up and sew a panel in and what not, but the overall width is too big as well. I retired it after one 5mile hike on sunday.
I'm curently looking at the Go-Lite Breeze. It's made for 20lbs or less, but if I can't support my 12 pounds of gear, 12 pounds of food, and 4 pounds of water with it (for 6 days) than it will become my daypack/3-4 day trip pack. I will be carrying around 28 pounds within the pack for 6 days.
Dana still makes the Racer-X. Check it out here:
Although it got a good review from Backpacker in their Heavyweight vs. Lightnik competition, I wouldn't recommend it. Get a Gearskin instead. You get better compression with less weight from a Gearskin (my Gearskin weighs 25 oz., compared to 34 oz. for the Racer-X). Plus, the Gearskin rides higher on your back than the Racer-X. Just my two cents.
I agree with Yedi. If you haven't decided only mesh, go Gearskin.
I'm still confused as to how someone can use one of these lightweight hipbelt-less packs, and stay out for 6 days. Is it possible to do without crushing your spine? I'll have 28 pounds.
The Gearskin has a hip belt.
Edited to ellaborate:
The Gearskin has a real suspension system that includes a wide, padded hip belt, padded shoulder straps with a sternum straps and working load lifters. The suspension is as good as my Lowe backpack in any area. It is one of the reasons it handles loads so well.
Errrr... I don't think the gearskin would work well with me. I don't use a tarp or foam pad to use as the "wrap" for my gear. It also weighs 2lbs with the rain cover, which is at the high end of what I'm hoping for (2lbs or less). I'm also one to constantly fiddle with stuff in my pack (while walking), using things like my camera, and chowing gorp. If I am forced into a hipbelt pack, I think I will opt for something similar to the Go-Lite Gust Ultra-Lite, which still weighs a mere 19.5 oz and is rated for 30lbs. I would make/modify the design to incorporate a mesh pocket rather than the zippered sealed pockets it comes with. Obviously this would be for drying wet things out (like my sil-nylon tent, groundcloth, washed socks, etc). I'm going to try out the Breeze I think. I'll fit it with 28 pounds and go on a few weekend hikes. If I'm comfortable I'll use that. If not, I'll keep it for my day-pack, and get the Gust. I found the Breeze for $65 (w/Free Shipping).
I just ordered the Breeze in Sexy Black.
>> I don't use a tarp or foam pad to use as the "wrap" for my gear. It also weighs 2lbs with the rain cover, which is at the high end of what I'm hoping for (2lbs or less). I'm also one to constantly fiddle with stuff in my pack (while walking), using things like my camera, and chowing gorp. <<
Another pack to consider that's new and a bit different is the Moonlite Pack with Vest harness. Moonlite Pack (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/moonlite.asp)
It's a different twist on the ultralight pack. It has a real suspension and also provides quick access to needed gear. Click on the Vest Harness link to get more info on it.
That looks cool. Reminds me of an LBV. I wonder if I could get one to test and review from the company.
We might be able to work something out. The production packs should start arriving mid month. You can email me at the address on the website.
Doh! What a idiot I am, I just realized you run the company LOL. Now I feel like a mooching jerk.
Cool Web site, great choice of links too.
There are still a few things that push me away from the "Moonlite" pack. I don't like the pocket for your sleeping pad. This is great if you have a foam pad, or smaller inflatable, but I use a big 25"x77"x2.5" Therm-A-Rest. It's 1/4 of my base pack weight too (lol). I'm also trying to devise a way to go without a hipbelt. After reading Ray Jardine's book, and how hipbelts prevent your spine, back, & hips from moving naturally (and increasing possibility of injury), I've been discouraged from using one. I've e-Mailed Ray, but I highly doubt I will ever receive a reply. I'm going to ask Go-Lite what they think.
I do like the lacing system for compacting your gear though. Pretty cool. Good luck!
I couldn't figure out if the moonlite has load lifters... I find they help a lot, but the load has to reach above your shoulders for them to be effective.
>> I couldn't figure out if the moonlite has load lifters...
No this version of the Moonlite pack doesn't have load lifters. The top of the pack comes up to shoulder level. Unless you're filling up the extension section. I've carried the pack on the CDT will full resupply and never needed the extension collar.
We are trying to keep the weight of the pack down by eliminating extra buckles and straps. I did compromise weight some by using the strongest fabric available. I also used some heavier but highly moisture absorbant and low friction material against the back.
The shoulder straps connect to the pack right where the load lifter straps normally would connect. In addition the length of the shoulder straps can be adjusted. They are connected to long strip of velcro in the middle of the pack. This allows a lot of adjustment in the shoulder straps.
I'm planning on more illustrations of the pack suspension system. Right now I'm still waiting on the drawings to be finished. A new website with additional information, photos and drawings should be online in a couple of weeks.
Got a pro-type Moonlite a few days ago for my AT hike this year. I tried it out on a X/C ski trip to Zealand Falls Hut on the AT (about 7 miles each way) in NH and it carried about 25 lbs of winter gear very well over two days. And I believe that it is much harder to carry weight X/C skiing than hiking. There is one large side pocket which I can put a light weight tent into and the other pocket is sized for a quart water bottle. I not sure how the pack would work over an extended period of time; I am planning to leave for Springer in the 3rd or 4th week of March and plan to hike with the pack with 20-30 lbs to see how it performs. I will provide more detail after more use. The lack of load lifter's wasn't a problem for me. Nice pack.
I guess that I am due to be one of the first to get the production model Moonlight shortly. I had seen the prototype at the Gathering in October and was very interested. It makes great sense to me to have some counterbalancing weight on the front so your posture is more upright. Secondly, having things available without taking off the pack really appeals to me as I don't like to stop and take the pack off. For instance, a camera in the pack is rather useless for that spontaneous shot of the bear's backside (hopefully, not the front side, close up).
This fall I did 17 days of hiking in pieces along the AT from Springer to Lehigh Gap as a means of testing equipment, technique and the body for a thruhike. I was using the the Pound Plus Pack with deluxe hipbelt from LWgear. This was mentioned in a earlier message. A number of times I would forget to fasten the hipbelt after a pitstop and not notice the difference until sometime later, usually due to pack sway rather than the load on the shoulders. Either the hipbelt isn't doing much (might try leaving it off) or I am just an insensitive lout. I was also using a sort of fanny pack worn in front for the camera, maps, etc.
I wasn't sure how much weight I had on so when I got to the Amicolola Falls visitors center I stripped out the water, garbage and the little bit of remaining food and put it up on the famous meathook scale located there. Checked out at 22 pounds. Still learning to lighten up. I think I can lose another 5 pounds.
While I was waiting for my ride to arrive, a couple arrived who looked to be about late 20's. She put her pack up on the hook. It was 47 pounds. Then he put his pack up and it tipped the scales at 64 pounds. Then I did a really evil thing. I walked over with my pack, put it on the scale, let them see the reading and then walked away without saying a word.
One of their fathers was there to take them up the forest service road and they were going to hike to Woody Gap. 113 pounds of gear, food and water!!! They were apparently doing some sort of trial run, also.Wonder if they learned the lesson on that trip.
That's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. Man, I wish I could have been there to see the looks on that couple's faces! Hilarious.
Well, I got the $24 Omibag in yesterday, and its definetly too small for a week long hike. It would make an excellent daybag though. It's all mesh and well made. Strong mesh and YKK zippers. I started hiking around and up a loop to the top of a local mountain every other day (4.2mi) to begin getting in better shape for my multiple big hikes this upoming summer/fall. It will be my main bag for these workouts.
Your weigh-in was not as evil as the lightweight hikers who go around preaching that you'll never make it to Maine if you carry a heavy pack. If
you are interested, thats the way to piss people off. The funny thing is that the people who told me this story had already made it to Maine, heavy pack and all. Not only was that nameless hiker an *******, he was wrong too.
I never skimp on the food when I hike, so I do enjoy the looks on peoples faces when I pull out a steak and potatoes, peppers, & onions. I usually share though. Makes cracked nutrient stripped instant rice seem like dirt :p.
Hey, on the other end of the piss off hikers is me who is cooking on my alcohol stove while people are showering me with pity because I don't have real gear. I get tired of refusing for them to heat me water and the like, or filter me some water because that iodine taste "must really annoy me".:rolleyes:
The one time I do give in you hear how the normal hiker had to help out the poor ultralighter who's gear wasn't good enough. For you normal hikers, maybe we are just tired of hearing it and let you help out; what the hell? It just means I don't have to do as much.:cool:
I don't have the heart to tell them that I have those $300 /6 pound backpacks, $150/5 pound tents, and $100/1 pound stoves gathering dust in the garage where they belong.
Amen Rock. I just pull out a $10 steak after I pull out a $0.25 stove :D.
You guys have to be kidding. If someone mistakenly thinks they are somehow superior because of their expensive, heavy weight, commercial gear, it pisses you off? Come on, I still laugh about the guy who advised me to buy a new pack because the one I was using looked "very uncomfortable" (I had a homemade frameless pack). Sure if somebody suckers you into using their gear, and then puts you down for it, you have a right to be annoyed. The rest of the time, just be patient. If they are interested in learning from you, they will let you know. On the flip side, perhaps there is something you can learn from them too. To take that a step further, if you are unwilling to learn from them, why would they want to learn from you?
Ted I think you took this a little too serious. We're just laughing at how 60lb backpack hikers often stare/react at people with sodacan stoves & lightweight gear and kinda raise an eyebrow. Everyone has something to teach, and everyone can always learn more. We happen to preach lightweight trekking in this section of the forum.
Originally posted by pdhoffman
...Then I did a really evil thing. I walked over with my pack, put it on the scale, let them see the reading and then walked away without saying a word.
Ugh! This happened to me. The hiker in question was telling me how much of a better time he was having carrying 20# intead of the 40# that I had. That night he froze his tail off in the shelter next to Mount Rodgers, VA. He made noise all night as he stuffed his sleeping bag full of everything he had tring to stay warm. Kept me up half the night.
Later on in PA, I encountered this same hiker in a total panic as he had run out of water on a 95+ degree day. I shared the water I had despite the smug attitude. I know many other hikers who would have said "too bad, there's more water 5 miles up the trail" to this guy.
Lesson learned? Stay humble, or it could come back to haunt you.
RagingHamster, I agree, perhaps I am taking this to seriously. Pete was just having some fun, and I don't think any harm was done. I would think its funny too, except sometimes it does go to far. I guess I just wanted to raise awareness that this has been an issue in the past, in the hope that things might improve in the future.
Yes, it really doesn't piss me off really (well occasionally maybe) but I also don't like a lot of gear talk on the trail most of the time.
On another note...
I absolutely love my Go-Lite Breeze. Put 30lbs of potatoes in it (LOL!) for a 5mile hike. With both shoulder straps on, I felt fine. Although I need to do a test when not wearing thermal-underwear and fleece jacket, when all I have is a thin T-Shirt. I also need to try doing this on a weekend hike where my mileage will be higher.
I am stumped on one thing though. How to incorporate my Platypus hydration system. There are no sleeves or pockets to stabilize the plastic resivoir, and it doesn't fit right just throwing it in the pack.
I've also had problems with very small leakage at the cap where the hose "connects" to the plastic bag (a couple tablespoons). I'm thinking of bringing a 1oz 1L widemouth sodabottle, and just refilling it from my platypus bags, when I need to. Although everything would be prefiltered with my pump/filter setup, I could opt what to treat with the aquamira. If cooking with boiling water, I can opt not to waste my aquamira, prolonging its life.
This will also allow me to regularly ditch my bottle if it becomes nasty.
Regarding your water storage/carrying strategy. I was just thinking the same thing last night.
I think I'm going to buy a 6L Platy water tank. And one, or two, 1L bags to drink from. I'm not much of a fan of bottles because I hate to hear the water sloshing around when they are not full.
So, I would filter (silt only) water into the 6L tank and treat water (Aqua Mira) in the 1L bags. I figure the 6L tank would be great in camp and would cut down on the trips to the watering hole. And should provide enough storage for dry sections.
I know the 1L bags will most likely wear out before the end of the trip. But they are relatively inexpensive. Besides, as long as you don't fold/crease them that much they will last longer.
Nice to know I'm not the only one thinking about that option.
BTW, I have a 2L bladder, but I find I drink less when using a bladder. I think because I can't see how much I have left. So, I end up trying to "pace myself" instead of drinking.
I suppose if I wanted the convience of a bladder, I could use my hose with 1L bags stored in a water bottle holder.
Looks like I'm going to want to spend a week, or so, in the woods to work out some of these issues.
Yeah, I'm going to use two 100oz (3L) Platypus bags (just the cap, no ziplock top) and a 1L widemouth mountaindew bottle.