WhiteBlaze Pages
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$10 for printed copy(paperback). $6 for interactive PDF. $2 for printable PDF.
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    Default Katabic Gear Helios 55 - any one familiar?

    Interested in the Katabic Gear Helios 55 pack for my AT thru hike 2018. I was introduced to it through a YouTube video and it appears to be everything I need. I am assuming the company is lesser-known because in all my research and time spent on whiteblaze.net I have not come across any gear reviews of their products. Apparently they have excellent bags too. Let me know what you guys think!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,092

    Default

    Have you checked out the Phillip Warner, Section Hiker review

  3. #3

    Default

    I will now, thanks!

  4. #4

    Default

    I owned a Helios 55 and thought it was one of the best designed backpacks on the market (and I've owned 10 over the past 3 years). The only reason I sold it was because I have a large torso and I thought I would be fine but it was just a pinch too short. I have since seen that they added more length onto their large torso size. The pack is highly regarded with members over on BackpackingLight(dot)com. I also own their Flex 30 quilt and it is head and shoulders above any of the middle tier quilt makers (EE, UGQ, HG).

    Pros:
    -The sewing and craftsmanship is impeccable. This is a backpack built to last.
    -Vented framesheet. While "Arc" style back panels are all the rage, the vented framesheet provides cooling when against the back (or rather, does not create a sopping sweaty mess). Where the framsheet really shines is the lumbar curve which allows the pack to fit on your lower back like a Tetris game piece. Plus, the whole thing in itself is comfortable.
    -It's waterproof. The fabric is much more robust than a Zpacks backpack
    -The main body can swallow some gear.
    -Comfortable shouler straps and hipbelt
    -Can actually carry up to recommended weight maximum.
    -Compression strap system is sensible and works

    Cons:
    -Does not have a large front mesh stretchy pocket. It's adequate to hold the necessities like water filter, jacket, toiletry sack. However, if you're looking to have a front pocket carry as much gear as you would on the inside, it falls short in this aspect.

    -Hipbelt pockets are not waterproof

    If my torso wasn't bigger than what they produced, the Helios would be my only pack to own. Also- Katabatic Gear is launching some new backpacks sometime at the end of June. I believe the new pack line will be similar to the Mountain Laurel Design style of packs.

  5. #5
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-18-2012
    Location
    Dark Side of the Moon
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,445
    Journal Entries
    6

    Default

    Capehiker,

    I am just curious about your 10 packs in three years. Could you elaborate a little? Like I said just curious.
    Blackheart

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    Capehiker,

    I am just curious about your 10 packs in three years. Could you elaborate a little? Like I said just curious.
    From 1999-2013 I pretty much carried the same heavy gear (which is a testament to how well made the gear was). As my eventual Thru hike date got closer I began to get almost obsessed with moving to UL (or as close to it as I could). What then followed was a series of buying packs and finding little faults in each one so I'd sell it and buy the "next big thing". Lol. Here's all the packs I've tried in order (there are some repeats):

    ULA Circuit
    Kelly PK50
    Gossamer Gear Mariposa
    Osprey Exos 58
    Zpacks Arc Blast (2014 version)
    ULA CDT
    Elemental Horizons Kalais
    Six Moon Designs Fusion 50
    ULA Ohm 2.0
    Katabatic Gear Helios 55
    ULA Circuit
    Zpacks Arc Blast (2016 version)

    Guess that's 12 not 10. I am currently using the Zpacks Arc Blast (love it) and I have my Circuit as a backup. I don't have the gear acquisition syndrome anymore but I will say buying all those packs really helped me define what it was I wanted in a backpack.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-26-2017
    Location
    Emmaus, PA
    Age
    65
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by capehiker View Post
    From 1999-2013 I pretty much carried the same heavy gear (which is a testament to how well made the gear was). As my eventual Thru hike date got closer I began to get almost obsessed with moving to UL (or as close to it as I could). What then followed was a series of buying packs and finding little faults in each one so I'd sell it and buy the "next big thing". Lol. Here's all the packs I've tried in order (there are some repeats):

    ULA Circuit
    Kelly PK50
    Gossamer Gear Mariposa
    Osprey Exos 58
    Zpacks Arc Blast (2014 version)
    ULA CDT
    Elemental Horizons Kalais
    Six Moon Designs Fusion 50
    ULA Ohm 2.0
    Katabatic Gear Helios 55
    ULA Circuit
    Zpacks Arc Blast (2016 version)

    Guess that's 12 not 10. I am currently using the Zpacks Arc Blast (love it) and I have my Circuit as a backup. I don't have the gear acquisition syndrome anymore but I will say buying all those packs really helped me define what it was I wanted in a backpack.
    Good God, man! That is a small fortune, right there. With what you lost/sacrificed in resale you could buy nearly any pack on the market. I am truly envious of your budget. Happy Trails.
    zig-zag man

    There is no such thing as free.

++ New Posts ++

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •