View Full Version : A Pack With Mesh...

01-07-2009, 11:15
I currently own a ULA Catalyst which has served me well. What I especially like about this one is the 2 tough mesh side pockets capable of storing 2 liter water bottles, and the large (~10" x 16") mesh stow area in back which I use for anything that can withstand moisture (ie filter,crocs, raincoat,pack cover etc). It also has 2 hip belt pockets perfect for camera, snacks and maps. And loops for securing trek poles when not in use. This pack is 4600 cu in, rated for 30-35 lbs comfort zone, and weighs in at 47 ozs.
Im looking for ideas on a lighter pack with the mesh areas, hip pockets and pole loops where somethings can be accessed without digging into the main storage area. The ULA Circuit (36 oz, 3800 cc, 25-35 lb confort zone) would probably meet my needs with these options. Any other suggestions??!?

01-07-2009, 11:29
Won't find a better made pack, or one with a better reputation than ULA. I have had a P2 for about 5 years now and I'm planning to get a Conduit for summer trips, the P2 is just too big at times and the Conduit is only $100. Can't beat that!

01-07-2009, 11:41
Agreed. ULA is my first choice and Im starting to see more and more of them on the trail since I bought my Catalyst 3 years ago. I just wanted to explore all options before making any new purchase. I might add that the mesh areas also cut down on mildew---serving as ventitated drying areas for wet clothes. This is one feature I wont be without.

Johnny Swank
01-07-2009, 11:45
I too, and a big fan of mesh, except for winter hiking. Ice and snow hang up on mesh way too easily.

ULA makes a fine pack. They were way up on the list of packs used in my AT Study.

01-07-2009, 12:01
Have you looked at Gossamer Gear? Much lighter materials and weight capacities, and fewer features, but I like 'em.

01-07-2009, 13:02
I just visited GG's site and would say the Mariposa Plus is a definite possibility. Its big enough and certainly light at 19.3 oz. The side mesh pocket access is good as well as the sleeping pad inserting into the frame. It has the hip belt pockets and a big backside mesh area with elastic cording. I know its popular with thru hikers and will want to resarch its reviews especially comfort and durability carrying 30 lbs. Thanks for the clue.:sun

01-07-2009, 13:23
sixmoondesigns Starlite is another 4000 cu inch pack with mesh outside pockets and hip belt pouches.

30 ounces with optional Al stays

max patch
01-07-2009, 13:26
Personally I avoid mesh as it tends to snag on brush and stuff, but to each his own.

01-07-2009, 14:41
I carried a GG Mariposa Plus thru-hiking the PCT this year. It was pushing things a bit with a bear can in the Sierras, but even there it worked out well so long as base weight isn't too high. When you say "Carrying 30 pounds", I don't anticipate a problem (assuming that's total, not base weight!).

A great pack, and indeed, lots of external mesh, I regularly carried a suprising amount of stuff externally.
Caveat: I own a ULA pack too, an older model (P2), and IMO it's a bit more comfortable than the Mariposa Plus and likely a little more durable. That said, I'll still take the Mariposa Plus on future hikes due to the weight savings.

Johnny Thunder
01-07-2009, 17:16
Go Lite Litespeed is worth a look.

01-07-2009, 17:32
I'm happy with my Mariposa +. GG is supposed to be coming out with a new pack called the Gorilla sometime soon. http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/16953/index.html?skip_to_post=133054#133054

The new Osprey Exos is a pretty cool pack too.

01-07-2009, 17:37
Gossamer Gear G4 appears to be on sale right now also. Don't know that I'd call it as durable as a ULA, as that is only my opinion, but time would tell.

01-07-2009, 18:02
Anyone remember the 1lb all-mesh, Lynn Wheldon packs?

Looked like a laundry bag with straps! I used it on the PCT and the Colo Trail. I still have it as a matter of fact.

A bit clumsy-feeling compared to modern packs, but has a lot of capacity for the weight! I used it this past summer on a social backpack to haul in a 5 ltr box of wine. :)

Johnny Swank
01-07-2009, 18:13
I totally remember wanting one of those things. Lynn had some cool ideas back in the day.

01-07-2009, 18:27
I totally remember wanting one of those things. Lynn had some cool ideas back in the day.

IIRC, it was the first pack that was actively marketed making the use of a sleeping pad being used as a stay. I guess you can say it was the grand-daddy of today's frameless packs.

Johnny Swank
01-07-2009, 18:30
I've got a couple of his VHS videos floating around somewhere. Need to dig that up. He had several things on the tiny ultralight market in the late nineties that I'd still use. Always seemed like a neat dude to meet.

01-07-2009, 18:36
Ha! That would be my dream to exit the back mesh pack pouch with a tap connected to 5 ltr box wine!:)

01-07-2009, 18:45
Ha! That would be my dream to exit the back mesh pack pouch with a tap connected to 5 ltr box wine!:)

(Mags excitedly notes an idea for future social backpacks.....)

01-07-2009, 19:09
I also use a ULA Catalyst. Take a looked at these from Six Moon Designs (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/shop/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=10&cat=Packs). :cool:

01-07-2009, 19:34
Ha! That would be my dream to exit the back mesh pack pouch with a tap connected to 5 ltr box wine!:)

You'd need a pretty big hydration pocket for that.......but I'd follow you around like a duckling.........

01-07-2009, 22:02
Checking out the 6 Moons website I see their Starlite pack has the mesh surrounds, pad pocket, comfort zone about 30 lbs total weight and is in my lightweight catagory at 30 oz. Backpacking Light reviewed it highly among select other ultralite packs. Anybody out there thru hike with this one? I knew they made a good lunar solo tent but havent heard a lot on WB about their packs.