Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT
LuxuryLite Pack hit the trail........
No overnighter this week off but a brainstorm the night before our slack of McQueens Gap to TN Hwy91....the LuxuryLite Pack is touted as being the 'one pack' you will ever need, in that you can remove cylinders to convert from multiday pack to daypack, and that is exactly what I did. I had placed everything used on the 5 day hike 2 weeks prior into all the cylinders, so I emptied them and then decided the middle sized cylinder would do for a day hike.
Cylinder removal is a 5-10second process per cylinder.
Re-attachment of a cylinder just as quick.
In the middle sized cylinder I put:
Thermawrap Jacket and Pant (even if a day hike I carry enough to get me through the night just in case)
very little food (couple of bars, reeces cups bite sized)
Rain Jacket and pants
Rain hat, fleece mits and OR shell mitts
Stamper for shelter registers
Gitchee Goomie had the first aid kit in her saddlebags along with her food.
Attached to the pack frame was a baseball cap.
In the front pocket I had a 100oz. Camelbak bladder and camera.
This pack is full of surprises. It doesnt look comfortable but it is. It doesnt look lightweight but it felt nonexistent at daypack weights. The hipbelt is even more comfortable than the Mithril's, the old Jansport D2's but not as comfortable as the one on the Arcteryx Bora 80 (but it probably weights 1/10 the Boras). The biggest surprise was the front pocket. I almost left it at home being very dubious about its comfort or use---how wrong I was. The front pocket does balance the load, and there is NO weight on the shoulders with this pack. The shoulder straps are just webbing....I realized well into the hike (10.7 official miles, 12.2 after looking for La AquaNas dad) that the shoulder straps (called load lifters by Bruce Warren) can be left to dangle after the front pocket is attached (attachment is simply hooking the straps around the end of each frame members/uprights, and placing the 'beaver tail' under the hip belt). The beaver tail is a piece of wide webbing (quite thick) that is permanently attached to the bottom of the front pocket. I used to keep a camara in a camera pouch attached to a shoulder strap....the front pocket is much easier/quicker to produce the camera....also having the water bladder in the front pocket made fill ups easier than having to take off the whole pack and remove the bladder from inside. At home I was thinking the front pocket would sway from side to side, it does sway but only an inch and it didnt bother me at all.....I suppose in the rare case where you might fall flat on your face (like I did 2 weeks ago at Fuller's Rock) the bladder would act as an air bag......
If you look at the pics I uploaded to my folder you will see I attached a GoLite umbrella to one upright. Late in the day the rains came and I thoroughly enjoyed being in the dry and having both poles in my hands. The velcro I used for the bottom attachment (I attached it in two places to prevent sway) was way too much and created a bulge that I could feel on my shoulder, after a couple of miles it became an irritant and I reach up and around and twisted the velcro bulge further back to solve the problem.
I could and did deploy the umbrella while hiking without stopping my stride to either raise or lower, or to wrap the little strap back around the umbrella.
At Double Springs Shelter Bishop said he thought Mary Poppins was coming down the trail!
Cylinder performance: advertised as waterproof and it was in a definite gulley-washer.
Ventilation: I was dry from the seat pad on up (look at the pic in my folder), whereas La AquaNa using a CamelBak was soaked on the back. I could have placed the attachable seat outside and around the cylinder but didnt think of it at the time.
OK, remember what Sgt. Rock says about people who spend money on gear? He says (and I'm paraphrasing) that if you spend a lot of money on something your inner self will not allow you to admit that you've been had or that the gear is no good. What can I say except that so far the LLP has passed a 10+ mile day hike with flying colors and it will be on our next multiday hike (Buena Vista to Rockfish Gap probably in July).
I admit I miss the virtues of the external frame pack but hated their weight. This concept of Bruce Warrens about balancing the load with a front pack was proven to a certain degree on this hike, I say certain degree because it was not a multi-day load and that has to be seen.
I love being able to attach the umbrella but I want it in the center of the pack. Bruce said that a hole would weaken the aluminum cross member- I doubt that it would weaken it measurably and will have a hole to accomodate an umbrella as soon as I can get to the machine shop with a drill press.
As always, any questions dont hesitate to ask, more pics just tell me what part of the pack you need pics of.
Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT
The umbrella mounted on the pack frame was nice but it was off center being on the right frame post....I found this:
so now I can mount the umbrella on the cross bar in the center.
When we were pouring over the map wondering how La AquaNa's dad and friend got lost it was nice studying the map in the dry- just dont bend over.
I think I will have to cut off part of the umbrella shaft so it doesnt stick up so high...we'll see how this works on next weeks section hike from Buena Vista to Rockfish.
Thanks, MedicineMan, for your observations. Nice to finally have someone actually use the pack before posting judgements. It is kinda weird , but I made my fortune from very weird software, so I like living in that world. Too much me-too gear out there already.
When I sell enough to contract out the big labor (9 hours per pack), I will be able to lower the price. But, as a charter customer, you get a genuine hand made original! Your pack may be a valuable collector's item come the day that external frames rule the wilderness again.
Look forward to future feedback, bad or good.
Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT
Bruce at least what your doing is original thinking....when i look at (now dont get mad you owners you) all the ULA's, PL's,Golites, McHales,etc. or when I look at the Danas,the GraniteGears,Gregories,Kelties,MountainSmiths,Mith rils and so on, what I see now is a constant variation on a simple theme-SACKS.
I went off on a tirade over at TLB.com about our subtle yet distinct conditioning the manufacturers/advertisers have done on our heads in regard to what a backpack should be.......granted the human body can handle many things forced upon it......and I explored this notion in the thread posted there that what has been implanted into our buying minds is a picture of what a backpack is supposed to look like and typically it is a variation of a rucksack with the co-embedded images of Hillary, K2,crampons, oxygen masks and so on with romantic notions- when in reality we are hikers not alpinists, we are walking a groomed treadway not scaling a 4 pitch escarpment. The internal backpack does have advantages, ask anyone climbing halfdome....
I love my Mithril-it fits and I've had nary a problem with it yet it doesnt stand up on its own, it isnt inherently waterproof, you cant mount a camara tripod on it nor an umbrella, if you want something in the bottom of the 'sack' you have to dig but my conditioned mind believes it is a good looking pack despite how wet my back gets winter summer or fall- all for what a pack should look like...... well screw all that, show me something better, something lighter and its my new friend. I'm fickle, lucky that I can afford to be but in the long run the advances in gear, in thinking, in applying, are what keeps me on the trail.
Be proud Bruce that you are an original and in this vane on backpacks I'll include Jonathan at Moonbow for his Gearskin.....
Well notice I dont get into the discussions here about gun ownership or religeous material in the shelters. I do find it fascinating how man decided to strap things on his back and walk up and down mountains, I'm not fascinated by Mobius Strips or singularity theorums unless Akkum could give me some clues. Now give me a nanocyte that can build my stove when I'm setting up the hammock, or better yet a nanocyte that could assemble my hammock out of native materials and I'll join the conversation.
Not trying to justify the purchase Bruce, just exploring my surroundings and happened to find a LLP on the doorstep. You dont know until you plug in the PayPal numbers and click on send.
Sittin' in Tx, Dreamin' of GA
I was going to email to your site but since you're here... I noticed you had last years model at a discount, what is the difference between last model and the new one? is it a great weight savings? Would this be a cheaper way to try things out? Or is it very different?
No more 2003
I have no more of last years model... the web site was changed recently to reflect that.
The 2004 pack is 10 ounces lighter and has an adjustable height frame... and most importantly, I finally got the waist band geometry right so it is comfortable on about 98% of the people who try it on.
Please note that you get a 15 day free trial on everything I sell. If you don't want it for any reason, send it back and you get your payment back the day I receive it. See the home page at www.luxurylite.com for full details.
MedicineMan, you mentioned something about babying the pack. Does it seem any less durable than say, a GVP G4?
I am pretty careful with my gear, I don't think I would damage my G4, except in a fall or something freakish like that.
But how durable does it feel? Does it seem like it would be a problem?
Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT
good question....I say upfront if I had thought it too vulnerable I wouldnt have bought it.
Compared to the GVP-4, the feel is actually tougher, e.g. the LLP feels stronger-maybe due to seeing the thicker fibers in the matrix, maybe because the x-ply stuff is stiffer. But my feel means nothing compared to an actuall stress test---so lets throw the question back to Bruce:
is the x-ply fabric stronger than lightweight sil-nyl?
Something tells me Bruce chose the x-ply for a reason, I have speculated such to Sgt. Rock thinking the closing shingle on the cylinders needed a material stiffer than sil-nyl.
But like you Stieg, and again reference my 'lecture' on packs and what they really need to be versus what the manufacturers/advertiser have sold us on, I believe that the LLP is in no danger until you take that fall and after that its a random event, of course you could fall flat on your face and the front pocket with a water bladder could act as an air bag...let's hope for a good roll of the dice and that the fall if/when it happens will be onto soft forest duff!
I guess if you did split one cylinder you could shift the load to the other tubes, and at 3oz. you could always carry a spare...just thinking out loud here. Hmmmm, maybe even ask Valcour to produce a tube in Cordura if you know you will be tramping in thorny thickets or for that matter throw on a pack cover if you anticipate hawthorne.
I'll bet when the external pack does return 'at the turn of the tide' as Gandalf says, and production sours LLG might offer many cylinder options...I can picture a narrow set that dont extend much beyond the frame so any limb will have to get through your arm/chest before it gets the cylinder---the narrow tube option marketed to climbers/alpinists who need narrow packs.
He's already mentioned a potential upcoming top cross bar to accomodate umbrella users, who knows what else he'll come up with..
and since its late and a helluva a weekend in the ol'hospital and I'm rambling in thought, noticed Del Doc passed away, and was thinking of him and then wondered what kind of pack he carried all that GPS stuff on,,,would have been nice to attach the reciever unit to something solid.....
more rambling: ok here is another thought, our EMS crews have these neat boxes (crash boxes with code drugs in them), these boxes are of a very thin fiberglass that is translucent, embossed with the name of their unit and the type code box it is/drugs contained within. The boxes are of various shapes/sizes and I'm thinking it would be easy to attach one to the LLP frame, of course in this delusion I dont know why you would want to yet-got anything you dont want crushed maybe. OK, i've never hefted one of these boxes empty and you gotta know they aren't 3oz.
emergency stretcher: guess you can tell I've got first aid/hospital/medicine on the mind (cant wait to get off tomorow morning!), if you have two LLP frames (say you and your hiking buddy have 'em) then you already have the makings for a nice emergency stretcher for a evacuee up to approx 160lb (well that's based on LLG's static weight of 80/frame
no more thought for now- must stomp out disease
Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT
cylinder material, found this:
OK, below are the results of a search for x-ply fabric....as a boardsailer I am now making connections with this fabric....I also bet Glen Van Peski at GVP-4 land/Gossamer Gear will be using this fabric in his newest pack.
A quick google search yielded the following resutls:
C520 Tri-Axial Aramid X-Ply. Windwing's tear and UV resistant C520
X-Ply is the most technically sophisticated sailcloth available. ...
www.windwing.com/2001/htmlpagefolder/c520.html - 2k - Cached -
Example of Cross-ply laminate (Glass Fiber/Epoxy, Partial Entry). AE
Load vs. Time). (38k). Material. Matrix: Epoxy. Fiber: Glass. Fiber
diameter: 7 mm. ...
"My father-in-law attended the ADZPCTKO and really had a blast! He garnered
quite an impressive little collection of lightweight ideas in just one
day...a true meeting of the minds!
>When he got back, he told me about a fabric called "X-Ply" which is
supposed to be very strong, waterproof, and LIGHTER than silnylon! I have
searched and searched, but can't find this stuff. I did find a sailcloth
place, which I'm assuming this is some kind of spinnaker cloth, but no where
to purchase it. HELP! Could anyone provide me with some insight? I'm trying
to make an ultralight poncho-tarp."
Polyester X-PLY Line
DIMENSION - POLYANT Polyester Black X-PLY line has been created by inserting a 6° black polyester X-PLY yarn into a warp oriented scrim of high tenacity polyester. It is available in both a racing scrim version with film on both sides and a taffeta version where we have laminated a super lightweight taffeta on one side for extra durability. In this logical line we have increased the range of applications, while still assuring superior shape holding characteristics. The PX line is very suitable for sails as different as genoas, mainsails and front-ends materials
Stieg, I've got maybe 8 sails and have put them through hell and back, never a rip, now punching a hole in it..........
X-Ply Fabric info
The xply fabric was invented by Dimension Polyant and they will sell small rolls to anyone. www.dimension-polyant.com 800-441-2424 It is about $10 a yard.
The lightest stuff they make for outdoor gear is the VX-02 at about 2 oz per sq-yd. It is very strong when pulled like sail cloth (as you might expect) and I have never had a cylinder blow out or fail any other way. The benefit of the laminated X-ply over silnylon is the strength of the seams. Silnylon is so darn slippery, you cannot make a strong seam. Most pack failures are due to blowout at the seams. All seams on my Cylinders are seam taped with double-sided sailmakers tape before being sewn. The fabric sticks tight to the tape, the thread lines serve primarily to keep the tape from peeling.. most of the strength comes from the tape. You cannot tape a silnylon seam.
You can hook one side of the cylinder velcro opening from a tree branch and hang from the other side and it will not tear the seams. You can drop a full cylinder from the roof of your house onto your lawn and it will be undamaged. You can kick it like a football with no damage. But if you throw it into a car trunk and slam the lid with a sharp hinge bracket hitting the cylinder, you will make a cut. I tell customers to treat any ultralight pack like a small child, (not like a baby). You can toss little kids around pretty good and they even laugh and enjoy it! But you don't slam trunks on top of them, or slide them down a cliff.
The only weakness of VX02 is little resistance to puncture, since it is so very thin. Overall the VX02 strength is very similar to silnylon, but with a big strong ripstop created by the polyester Xply. I have one old cylinder with 6 little holes from thorns near Campo. One has a 1/2 inch slice from my knife getting too close cutting open an MRE. These hole are easily fixed with sticky tape inside to make it waterproof again. I use spinnaker repair tape. I wore a hole in one cylinder where a food canister rubbed against the frame tube for 10 miles. Ender did 1200 miles on the PCT. His cylinders look beat up, a few patched wear holes on the frame tubes, but still functioning.
Mountainsmith and several other packs manufacturers use the VX04 X-Ply, about twice a thick as the VX-02. But I found that normal 420D nylon is overall more abuse tolerant, and much cheaper.
I do make cylinders out of 420d nylon pack cloth. Almost bullet proof, but each cylinder weighs 5 ounces vs 3 ounces for the VX-02 fabric. So the pack is 6 ounces heavier. Black color only. Same price.
As to smaller packs, this fall I will be releasing a 'Carry-On' sized pack for airline travellers. Three 8x14 cylinders (2100 cuin) and a frame that meets carryon dimensions (14x8x22). Will work great for bushwackers and climbers.
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