View Full Version : Ultralight PACK Recommendation

11-30-2014, 20:11
Hello everyone! I am looking to get peoples' recommendations for ultralight backpack for my 2015 thru-hike, and wanted to send out this request...

What are your top 1-3 recommendations for ultralight packs, and why are they your favorites?

Let me know! Thank you so much in advance.

Feral Bill
11-30-2014, 20:20
The best pack in the world for me could easily be the worst for you. Fit matters more than anything. Buy something you can try at length, overloaded, then return if needed. Good luck.

11-30-2014, 20:45
I don't know if these would be considered ultra-light but you can't go far wrong with ULA 2.0. I don't think I ever carried more than 20 lbs. Very durable, very good customer service

11-30-2014, 20:45
I just answered that, at another thread: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/107630-Ultralight-Backpacking-Store-in-NYC-Area

Feral Bill is correct. The "fit" is up to you.

It helps to have experienced sales personnel assist with a fitting, even a slight adjustment of straps available on a backpack can shift the load favorably.

I figured it out, for myself, for example with top loaders and panel loaders. I don't like a sweaty back. If a frame and mesh do not poke me, good. I have a panel back top loader, right now. It helps make air movement possible between my back and the back of the backpack.

11-30-2014, 21:58

Pros: Ultralight, about 10oz. Very comfortable within reasonable loads (for me ~20lbs).
Cons: No hip support, etc. Gotta make it yourself.

11-30-2014, 21:59
Who was it that said - buy the backpack last, after u know the ci that is needed.

11-30-2014, 22:13
As SWJ says, the ULA OHM 2.0. Maybe not ultra-ultra light, but pretty light, 1#12oz for a fully supportive pack that holds a lot of stuff. I have 7-8 packs (lost count) of all sizes and types, but pretty much use my ULA now exclusively for most applications (summer, winter, long hikes, short hikes) just because it's so comfy. I've tried a 10oz pack before (loaded to about 18 lbs), and losing that pound of pack wasn't worth the degradation of comfort and support.

Fit is important, of course (but less so if you really travel ultralight) and the ULA packs are nice in this aspect in that you can size your torso and hip belt separately. Some other brands do this too, but many or even most do not, except maybe for their highest end packs. ULA packs also come in two different strap types (J and S shoulder straps).

11-30-2014, 22:16
My 2 ultra light packs are the ULA Ohm and the Zpacks Zero. If you go with the Ohm you don't need to have 100% of your remaining gear dialed in. With the Zero (only 5ozs) you will need to have your entire gear selection dialed in for ultra light.

Both are excellent choices! Good luck.

11-30-2014, 22:16
I've had good luck with Gossamer Gear.

11-30-2014, 23:27
Check out packs from HMG, Gossamer Gear, ULA, 6 Moons Designs, Mountain Laurel Designs, and Zpack.

12-01-2014, 03:41
There is light, ultra-light, and uber-light....
light is how you pack your pack................ultra-lite is how you pack you "ULA" pack..........uberlite is how you pack the "z-lite" or "go-lite" packs...:-?

what time of year....where are you going...tells you what you need to carry.:confused:

how do you want to camp tells you how heavy and how much.:confused:

You not only need to weigh the probucts.....you need to weigh your comfort...

12-01-2014, 10:16
Check out Gossemer Gear "Mariposa" i got the Large with a medium hip belt it weighs 29 oz's

12-01-2014, 10:24
I got to ask. Does it matter? Things seen to be overboard with the gram counting no? Everyone has a limit to what they feel comfortable carrying. They are all different . Hike a lot. Try stuff. Gear will come naturally. I don't think I ever had one serious conversation with a thruhiker about gear. There are too many other things to talk about. If I was buying a pack and didn't know what I liked, I would buy something cheap, or used and go from there. I think paying $600 for a cuben fiber pack instead of a $150 pack that weighs 17oz more might end up being silly if the ounces don't matter (likely) or if the heavier and cheaper pack distributes the weight more comfortably and proves to be more durable.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

12-01-2014, 10:37
Here is what I was referring to: it is all lightweight or UL.

I have a 40-liter backpack with everything I need for 20 F utilizing lightweight gear. I have few UL items, like cookware and the stove, however, that said, I think the sleeping system weight and volume is critical to achieve that.

I have Hammock Gear Burrow 20 top quilt and NeoAir XTherm, plus Borah Gear side-zip bivy ordered. I will order an Oware Asym 1 tarp. He says it is the CatTarp1 turned around. I don't know that. I only know it is no "pup tent". It is a glorious catenary cut tarp. But, don't listen to me. Go with experience.

I am just now getting this "outfit" together.

That said, all items I list at my website are UL or lightweight. I will try to get the links updated.

12-01-2014, 11:23
I've had good luck with Gossamer Gear.

great pack -- great company. Mariposa, As Red Dog suggests, is quite durable and should be large enough -- I use it as my winter pack. Please note that, while it would be nice to be able to try on a pack before you buy it, I would suggest that the best UL packs are cottage industry packs, and are not available in stores... so, order early, try the pack, and return/reorder -- painful process, but the best result.

12-01-2014, 12:00
I agree that the question of what you want to carry in the pack will guide your decision. I just switched to a Zpack Arc Blast (from an Osprey Kestrel that I absolutely loved) but I couldn't have used this pack with my old gear list (e.g a four pound synthetic bag and lots of comfort items) and hiking practices (e.g. carrying too much water) which routinely left me with a 20+ pound base weight and something closer to 30-33 pounds out the door. I pared down the gear list, bought a lighter bag and pad and now will have a base weight closer to 13 pounds and all in at around 20. That weight allows me to easily live with an ultralight pack like the Arc Blast.

12-01-2014, 13:41
I've had good luck with Gossamer Gear.

Ditto the recommendation for Gossamer Gear. They have great products and excellent customer service.

12-01-2014, 17:57
Hello everyone! I am looking to get peoples' recommendations for ultralight backpack for my 2015 thru-hike, and wanted to send out this request...

What are your top 1-3 recommendations for ultralight packs, and why are they your favorites?

Let me know! Thank you so much in advance.

I like Gossamer Gear packs (disclaimer: I am a GG Trail Ambassador). I would take their "Gorilla" on the AT. Nice match to my gear and food for 4-5 days of variable conditions; can carry 25 pounds comfortably (which I would occasionally carry with 5 days food and full water load). BUT - you need to figure out what is your best match. IMO there is no substitute for trying stuff out on prep trips before committing to a long time with it.

12-01-2014, 20:58
I have both Gossamer Gear and ULA. Unless you are really ultra-light I would go ULA. You see a lot of ULA on the trail, not so much Gossamer Gear.

12-02-2014, 07:59
Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I think if you are in the UL category (say, less than 10 lbs base weight) then fit is not very important. Especially on the AT where you will not be loaded down by tons of food and water, in contrast to the PCT. I also disagree with those who say you should buy the pack last. If your gear takes up more than 40 L or 2500 ci then you're probably not UL anyway.

The Zpacks Arc Blast is very popular and one of the lightest packs out there, although I have not used it myself. On my AT and PCT chunks I used a Gossamer Gear Mariposa from 2008. Other than some duct tape repairs on the mesh, it is still going strong after almost 2,000 trail miles and many weeks of travel around Europe and SE Asia. (the new version has fixed this problem by replacing mesh pockets with fabric - the mesh easily snagged and tore on branches, etc) I like this pack for travel in addition to hiking, because it doesn't single you out as a "backpacker" or tourist - it looks like a normal student or day backpack, especially if you remove the hip belt as I did.

12-25-2014, 12:45
1-ZPacks custom pack only weights 16 oz
2-ula durable and light weight
3-crown vc very durable but weights 2lbs