View Full Version : 8 lb baseweight, now what pack?

04-24-2016, 14:23
I have cut a lot of weight and though I love my ULA circuit, I no longer need the extra room and extra weight of it. I have an 8 lb baseweight, maybe even closer to 7, and I am not sure as to what pack would be right for me at this point. In my search I have looked around extensively, the allure of a nearly 1 lb pack like the exodus or cdt is there, but I am not sure about going frameless as I don't have experience with it. So a little about me, I hiked 800+ miles NOBO before I had to get off trail due to knee problems. I am heading back to the Shenandoahs to finish my hike north in early June, and I may flip flop thru hike if my body is up for it after Katahdin. I had to switch my pack during the hike from an osprey that didn't fit me very well, and I really enjoy how the circuit fits me and carries the weight. I have been eyeing the ohm due to its compression, slightly smaller size and still having a frame (also that it is still ULA and guessing it will be a good fit for me). However, it doesn't weigh that much less and weight is a concern. Any one else experience this switch to frameless and not really enjoyed the how the pack carries at this weight? Any other pack suggestions? Thank you very much!

04-24-2016, 14:45
I tried frameless packs for a while and found that for a total load of over 20 pounds they weren't comfortable, but then some hikers use them with 30 pounds and are happy, so what do I know? :)

I traded my Circuit last summer for a Zpacks pack, which saves close to a pound depending on which one you choose. It has a frame that transfers weight well, plenty of capacity, and I think it would work well with a sub 10 pound base.

04-24-2016, 14:46
Base weight includes the pack, does it not? Safe to say, you need an ultralight pack. A smallish one. Most UL packs are frameless, or have a very minimal framesheet.

04-24-2016, 15:25
I assume your circuit is part of your 8 pound base weight. Given that, why switch packs? Keeping the Circuit saves the purchase of new pack (downsize once it wears out) and allows you the volume for bigger food hauls when necessary. Why switch something when you know what you have works.

04-24-2016, 15:42
This is my goto pack when I am under 9 pounds.


04-24-2016, 15:44
I assume your circuit is part of your 8 pound base weight. Given that, why switch packs? Keeping the Circuit saves the purchase of new pack (downsize once it wears out) and allows you the volume for bigger food hauls when necessary. Why switch something when you know what you have works.I kind of agree, but I might also suggest that OHM 2.0, or even the CDT (there's one on sale here on WB, but Camo color, yikes, else I'd snag it myself). You could use your Circuit for winter trips, or big-food-carry trips, using your Ohm for trips like the AT (frequent food sources).

The OHM is 10-11 ounces lighter than your circuit (and the same size, BTW, not smaller), which is significant. I still would not consider the OHM to be a true UL pack though. I recently tried a true UL pack, a zpacks Arczero at about 8 ounces, just over a pound lighter than my OHM. I much preferred the OHM in terms of overall comfort for anything more than about 2 days worth of food carried.

So, my 3-season base is about 9-11 pounds depending on whether I carry a camera, backup phone battery, time of year clothing requirements, etc. This includes the OHM. I could get my base a pound lighter with a true UL pack, but have basically chosen not to. Diminishing returns. For myself, there is zero benefit being another pound lighter, especially at the cost of pack carry-comfort. My existing, fully loaded non-UL pack (the OHM) is light enough to be virtually unnoticeable most of the time (except when loaded with 4+ days of food, for example).

04-24-2016, 16:19
Look at Gossamer Gear. Some of their one-pound +/- packs go on sale once in a while.

I waited until my packed weight got under ten pounds to go frameless and I think that was a good decision. Occasionally I need to load my G-4 up with 15 pounds of water for desert hikes and it still works fine. I got it for $80 on sale so it wasn't a huge risk financially.

04-24-2016, 16:27
I use a CDT . Great for less then 18lbs total weight. Just like any frameless.

04-24-2016, 16:36
The Ohm 2.0 is good and you can use you hip belt and save a little $.

04-24-2016, 20:10
The gossamer gear gorilla. Absolutely my favorite pack.. Removal frame with excellent load transfer. It handles heavy loads of food and water beautifully. My 3 season load is roughly 8 lbs plus the pack (~1.5 lbs). I switched to the gorilla from a frameless pack because when carrying 9 days of food I really felt the load on my shoulders. If I go out for 2-4 days I can pull the removable frame out of the gorilla and go frameless if water is abundant. Just because your base weight is low doesn't mean that pack can't get heavy with consumables.

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04-24-2016, 20:49
If your volume is low then I would consider an MLD Burn. It is a very narrow pack which is both an advantage and disadvantage.
Advantage - you can but your arms straight back and not touch your back. If you do any off trail the low profile is great.
Disadvantge - loading. I ended up making two food sack perfectly sized for the Burn and it made loading a breeze. One of my old sacks was wider than the pack.

let's touch on frameless. If you get a low volume pack with your base weight you can load it in a way that the entire pack becomes a frame, it is in essence a unibody design. I even use a short Neoair slide against my back as the only frame. I sometimes leave some air in it just to take up some volume.

Dogwood has a Burn for sale on here. If you wanted to try one I have an older one than is only used by my son. I could send it to you for a week but that will only work if you are about a 33-34 waist as I have the hip belt heavily modified and somewhat fixed. Here's a picture.34596

04-24-2016, 21:04
Dogwood has a Burn for sale on here.
I was just going to say this.
Plus there are a few others listed on the page for sale.
I think the GG virga was on here for awhile as well.
And as mentioned gossamer gear and zpacks are also great choices.
But if budget friendly is the way you would like to go there is always.


There was someone on the diy section that actually made a mozone which is essentially the same pack as this but did some adjustments to it and it came out to a really nice ultralight fastpack .

04-24-2016, 21:09
Im not a big fan of frameless packs for wt over 12-15 lb total.
Its aggravating to pack floppy sack with ccf to give pack some structure. Something with some built in structure is much simpler to pack, even the ohm with its hoop stay to hold it up while you pack it. Besides, i like my small piece of ccf outside pack so I can sit on it during day. If used for structure or back padding, i cant do that.

My arc blast is 16.7 oz, water resist, comfortable, framed, and my favorite of all my packs. I have a circuit and original ohm still as well, but seldom use now. Nothing else can touch it. Not indestuctible, but durable enough. The beauty of the arc is that no ccf is needed against back, freeing up space inside and letting me keep my scrap of ccf outside to sit on.

04-29-2016, 20:50
Wow, thanks for all the input! I am a bit nervous of the frameless switch, so the ohm might be the way to go for me. It is something I have been looking at for awhile and as some mentioned, will carry the food weight better. If I could test out an arc blast I would highly consider that, but the investment of it not working out for me is too high. Malto, that is a very kind offer but I am a 32 inch waist so I'm not sure if that would work.

The Solemates
04-29-2016, 22:53
I've found the granite gear virga2 is one the best. It seems to be more durable than cottage industry packs, and even lighter than most of them. I've always wondered why others don't use it more.

04-29-2016, 23:31
I like my mld burn and have a similar base weight. If you are looking for a mld exodus, I have a size Lrg I can sell. Pm me and we can work it out.

05-14-2016, 11:08
are you going to get something for warm season and switch back when it gets colder?..

05-14-2016, 12:42
How much do you weigh?

You've about maxed out your low pack weight, but perhaps you could drop 20 off your own frame and do your wounded knee a favor as well?

Are you addressing the real problem?

05-14-2016, 12:53
How much do you weigh?

You've about maxed out your low pack weight, but perhaps you could drop 20 off your own frame and do your wounded knee a favor as well?

Are you addressing the real problem????????????? What "real problem" are you referring to? He has a 32" waist. What's yours? doesn't sound like the OP needs to lose any weight off his body to me.

05-14-2016, 18:35
I got a pretty good deal on an ohm and got to test it out today for a short but good hike in the northwoods. I had about 15 in it and I could hardly feel it, I'm guessing the max of 18 or so will feel just fine. RockDoc, I know what you mean I have been putting time in to rehab my knee and if I dropped any body weight it would be a bad thing haha. Secondmouse, I should be able to use the ohm for spring and fall as well, my kit doesn't take up too much space in it.