View Full Version : Gearskin vs LuxuryLite

Just Jeff
06-02-2006, 12:05
I don't really need a new pack, but I need to feed my gear addiction. I can justify this b/c my wife will carry whichever one she thinks is more comfortable (the new one or the old one) so I'll be one step closer to getting her hiking with me.

So I've been considering the Moonbow Gearskin and the LuxuryLite. Both are pretty spendy so it's not a decision I want to take lightly. I've heard good reviews from users of both - but does anyone have experience with both packs? That would be great to hear.

Otherwise, anyone have opinions on which pack to buy?



06-02-2006, 13:05
I've been a Gearskin user almost exclusively for the last three years - for a 24 ounce pack it works well even for heavier winter packing. Since it is frameless there are a variety of in-camp uses also such as shoulder insulation in a hammock or rolled up and placed under your knees while laying down or hanging from the hammock support line to store stuff like water bottles conviently or .... It also makes a good daypack if basecamping - use a piece of clothing to wrap the rest of the daypack contents and it will travel quite well in the Gearskin.

WRT to the LuxuryLite - I have seen them but I have not been overly tempted to try them myself - I do know that others really like them also and they are not as big a departure from "normal" packs as is the Gearskin so some people may be more comfortable making the switch to the LuxuryLite than learning how to pack a Gearskin.

SGT Rock
06-02-2006, 15:28
I've used them both, but have used the Gearskin a lot more because I have had it longer and because it works great for me. That said, I couldn't say one is better than the other, they are just different.

Gearskin - light and very flexible. I can carry monster loads in it or light loads by simply adjusting the packing system and changing the strap length. The suspension system is first rate. It does make my back sweat some, but it is like having a pillow on my back when packed correctly.

Luxurylight - it is light, but a little heavier than the Gearskin. It does have a nice way of letting your back breath and the cool ability to be used as a sitting chair. I had to go with smaller pockets on the one I used than the standard ones and then still barely filled them. The upper suspension is sort of plain, but the hip belt does all the work and it is first rate.

I think it would depend on what you want from a pack, but they are both good choices. For me the ability to use as a chair isn't as necessary since I can use my hammock as a chair and my system packs well in the Gearskin. Plus I can put the empty gearskin in a stuff sack for part of my pillow in camp.

The Luxurylight is nice an modular so you can actually use one of the bags as a food bag without needing a special bag just for that. You could also take one of the pouches into town when you re-supply without taking your entire pack. I was thinking that a shoulder strap would be a great extra so you could have a bag to take on a short trip from a base camp, or if you needed do do that re-supply from a hostel and needed something to carry with you.

I guess you need to decide what you are going to want out of a pack and choose based on that.

06-04-2006, 02:01
Sgt Rock summed it up pretty well. However, as a Luxury Lite owner/user
thought I would chime in. The primary thing I like, that really no other UL
pack on the market offers, is the ability to suspend the whole pack on your
hips with nothing even slightly touching your back our the top of your shoulders.
It reduces the stress on my shoulders and keeps air moving between my back
and my pack. And to repeat Sgt Rock, the removable cylinders are handy for
any number of reasons. I always pack one with the stuff I will need in my tent
and throw it in once I set up. All in all....very pleased and Warren does a
great job in the "customer satisfaction" department.....very responsive and

Now....those are the things I value. I also frequently hike with a Gearskin
owner and he values a whole bunch of other stuff like the variable pack
volume and the couple ounces in weight he saves over mine. Again....a
very personal decision....You just GOTTA love that free market!

Rand :)

Just Jeff
06-04-2006, 02:44
Thanks for the comments, guys. I've been thinking of how to make both of these packs myself, too.

For the Gearskin, my biggest problem is strap placement and getting the buckles in the right place - I bet that took a lot of fidgeting to get the right layout for such a comfortable pack.

For the LL, it seems like I could get ANY external frame pack, a belt and some straps - then sew some cylinders instead of getting a pack bag, and clip them onto the frame. I know it's not exactly the same, or probably as light, but the modular idea would work just as well. Maybe I'd have to find something to act as the bottom platform so the cylinders don't sag.

I could even get a frame, then attach a single flap to the bottom, with some buckles for it along the sides and top, to make a Gearskin/LL hybrid.

But I guess it comes back to me needing to define what I want from the pack. Honestly, either one would meet my needs, and I don't see myself ever willingly approaching the max weight or capacity of either one. I guess price and weight means the Gearskin ekes out a win...though the LL is more adjustable so my wife and I could both use it....man, it's tough being indecisive sometimes!

Anyone else have ideas to share?

SGT Rock
06-04-2006, 06:53
If you want to make a frame pack and need a frame with straps, go to an Army surplus store and look for the ALICE pack frame. They also make a little shelf that attaches to the frame.

06-04-2006, 08:31
And the LL bags are great to hang from a Hennessy ridge line, or any hammocks support lines.