View Full Version : Six Moon Design Moonlite pack
I have been trying out a proto type Moonlite pack the last couple of weeks to see it would work for me on my 2003 hike. The pack is a golite type pack where the sleeping pad is used as a frame sheet to transfer weight to the hips. The packs weight is less that 1.5 lbs, capacity about 3,800, and has two outside mesh pockets, one large pocket for your tent or tarp, and a smaller one for my water bottle.
The pack seems to carry about 25lbs very well; I spent a few hours out today with the pack and didn't rearly notice the weight until climbing hills. The feature I like most are the two outside mesh pockets for storning tent or other like gear and your water bottle. I believe the disgner of the pack, Ron Moak, tested the pack on the CDT hike last year. More information is available at the Six Moon Design web site; pack sells is seperate pieces. The bag is $90; standard harness and hip belt is $30; the Vest Harness to be used without a hip belt is $60. The Vest Harness is a little too radical for me and I plan to wait for a few reviews to confirm that the weight transfer system works before considering purchasing the vest. However, the vest pockets look great for carring snacks and gear for quick access.
All in all a great pack to consider when looking a lite packs. I will give it the real test on the AT in a little or a month, however, the pack has allowed me to keep my base weight at about 16 lbs for a total pack weight of between 25-30 lbs.
How is the volume of this pack. I know it is listed at 3800ci, but the dimensions (Pack bag 12” X 28” X 8” - includes the extension collar, Pad Case 11” X 20” X 2”), don't quite add up.
Do you have any problems getting your gear in the bag (including 5 qts of H20 and 5 days of food)? How durable does the pack appear?
I love the vest idea. But, like you said, I want to read a review, or two, before I buy into it.
I just got thru measuring the pack and my measurments were close to yours, I had 31X12X8 = 2976. I don't know how Ron Moak figured the capacity, however, it appears that he added the outside pockets to the capacity of the bag to come up to the total.
This is how I think the pack will work for me:
1. Tent goes in large outside pocket.
2. Sleeping pad 3/4 ridgerest goes in pad case.
3. Water bottle goes in water bottle pocket.
4. The only large piece of gear I will have left is a 0 North Face sleeping bad that takes up about 1/4 of pack. Rain gear, thermal underwear, cat stove and pot, gloves, first aid kit, a couple of pair of stocks, ect goes in main bag. I will probable put my fleese jacket in the bunge cord in back if not raining.
5. As you can see most of the large gear is outside the pack, hence, I think that you could get 5-6 days of food in the pack if you packet carefully. To carry 5 quarts of water you would probable have to use a camel back type system, however, I hike in the east and have never carried more than 2.5 quarts at a time.
The designer tested the pack out west on the CDT where he probable had to carry more water. I have only carried about 3 days of food so far so my first real test will be on the AT this spring. I still have a full time job and it is now 10 below in Vermont, hence, I will probable only carry the pack around town before the hike.
Hope this help.
How well does the bag handle the weight? Do you think you get enough support using the Ridgerest in the pad case? How is the "DriGlide" fabric? I have never heard of the stuff. Does it appear to be durable?
How are the shoulder pads and the hipbelt? Does it have load lifters? I understand the shoulder harness connects via a velcro strip. Does it seem sturdy enough?
BTW, what tent/shelter are you using that fits in the large pocket?
0F bag? You must be quite a the cold sleeper if you are going to use it along the AT.
I will try to answer your questions on the pack, however, you must understand that the production model has not come on the market and what I am using is a proto-type that Ron Moak was kind enough to sell for my hike this year.
1. The pack carried 25+ pounds of gear well on the trips I have been on (longest 2 days). Because I still have a full time job I will probable only use the pack for training hikes in the woods around my house before the hike. Plus it is now 25 below 0 in Vermont.
2. It appears that the 3/4 ridgerest provides enough support to transfer weight to your hips.
3. My pack is a proto-type pack with cordova cloth; I can not answer whether the DriGlide fabric is a good product. I will probable exchange my protp type and or purchase another Moonlite from Six Moon Design for my hike next month. My proto type pack is very well made and durable.
4. The pack does not have load lifters which has not been a problem to date. The company reports that the production model Moonlike will have denser foan sholder straps and hip belt, however, the straps and hip belt work fine in my pack.
5. My proto-type pack does not have the velco strip so I can not answer this question; my pack uses a buckle system.
6. My tent is a Six Moon Design Europa, 2lbs, 4oz; it fits right in the mesh side pocket, no problem. If I get sick of the condensation on my hike I will just shift to my Campmor silk nylon tarp.
Like all new packs I think it will be a number of months before enough information is available to properly judge the pack. On a first pass I would have to say that the pack is going to be winner. Note with a one pound + pack it is not too hard to get you base weight about 15 pounds; adding 10-15 for food and water just about maxes out the capacity of the pack.
Thanks for the info.
Without load lifters and hipbelt stablizers, does the pack bounce and wiggle around too much?
I have not had problems with the pack moving around much.
I've been a bit busy revamping the website and getting ready to start manufacturing the tent. So have not been able to respond.
As to the DriGlide fabric that someone mentioned. Actually Peter's pack does have it. It's the black fabric that rides against the back.
DriGlide is our own term for the fabric. We used that name because it describes the nature of the material. The fabric is designed to be both low friction and moisture absorbent. It has also been used in some other packs. However, many on this list are already using it and not know about it. It the fabric used on Superfeet foot pads. An application that gets lots of punishment, at least mine do.
I'll try and get better capacity numbers posted soon. I'll be getting first production packs in a couple days. We're also going to change our method measuring capacity. Instead of doing volume calculations, we're going to fill up the bag and pockets with packaging peanuts and then measure the resulting volume. It should provide a more realistic capacity.
Also be aware that the volume does include the Pad Pocket. Since many carry the pad on the outside of their packs, the extra volume of the pad needs to be taken into consideration when determining pack size.
In my usage, I've been able to easily load in 5 days food and over a gallon of water without the need for using the extension collar. I also tend to pack a minimum amount of gear.
While this pack has been designed to carry a heavier load a bit more comfortably than most ultralight packs, it's not a replacement for traditional mid-weight packs. If your base weight is approaching 20 pounds or more, a heavier duty pack would probably be a better choice.
If you're a lightweght or ultralighter who needs to occasionally pack a few extra pounds, this pack can do so and still be comfortable.
Six Moon Designs (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com)
I now own a Moonlite (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/products/moonlite.asp) with a standard (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/products/moonlitestd.asp) harness. It holds all of my gear (and then some) without even using the extension collar or the outside pockets.
I do have some concerns about how well it will "feel" after a few hours on the trail. Seems that if you don't have a long torso (19"+) the shoulder straps tend to pull back instead of pulling down. I'm a 18.5", but I've noticed that I tend to like packs whose length is shorter. Say 16"-17".
I need to do a longer walk/dayhike with the pack loaded for a weekend trip before I can decide to keep it or not. I'll report back after the weekend.
BTW, just got off the phone with Ron. Seems as though a new design is in the works, but don't expect to see it until next spring ('04). In the meantime the existing pack is only $80.