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  1. #1
    Registered User tawa's Avatar
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    Default Ultralight Backpacks

    Going to pull the trigger and purchase a new backpack this week. Will be near an ERI later this week and want to check out ultralight packs,
    Would like you thoughts on several that you might suggest I try on .
    Which one do you have and what about it sold you on it.
    Which factors would you consider before buying a specific one?
    Thank you in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.

  2. #2

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    I love my ULA Circuit at 40 Oz with a real frame and padding and sturdy material plus true short torso size frame and female harness. But I just got a Z packs scout now that they make one in short torso for my thru hike at 23 Oz. I had to buy lumbar pad and belt pockets and side connectors all off which come on my Circuit for 235 and put me all in around 380 for a Z packs made of thinner version of the same Robin material. Both are nice. If I didn't need to cut weight so badly for a knee issue I would stick with the Circuit.


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    A Human Being.

  3. #3

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    they also have male harnesses obviously


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  4. #4

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    Robic. autocorrected


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  5. #5
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    I assume you mean that you will be near an REI later this week...

    ...and I don't think you'll find a large selection of what I would call "Ultralight" packs. I think the only things you're likely to find is a few different pack by Granite Gear and the Osprey Exos.

    I used to include the REI Flash Pack in the ultralight group... as my Flash 63 weights about at 3lbs. But the newest model of the Flash is pushing 4lbs in a size large and took away some of the flexibility in organization of your gear I felt the older Flash had.

    For a truly Ultralight pack, you might want to check into some of the cottage manufacturers first:
    https://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com
    http://www.ula-equipment.com
    https://www.gossamergear.com/

  6. #6
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    Zpacks has a lot of good options, I like the arc haul zip. Transfers carry weight to hips well, light, comfortable. I like being able to grab my tent quickly though the front zipper without having to unpack a bunch of stuff.

  7. #7
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    Fit and features are things are things that can be checked first hand at a brick and motar store. I guess that is the drawback of the cottage industry. Unless you are lucky enough to run across the pack of interest in the field you are limited to second hand information. That would be the only reason I would go to TrailDays.
    Another factor to consider is durability, that too is something that you will have to rely on gather second hand information. This site is likely a good source.

  8. #8
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    I had good luck with the Osprey Exos 58 and used it on a JMT Thru hike. I was able to turn a barricade bear canister horizontally at the bottom of the pack.

    REI has a great return program if you are unhappy with the pack.

    Iím not sure I would have gravitated towards cottage vendors (ZPacks, HMG, ULA) without having some sort of previous pack experience which for me was at REI.


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  9. #9
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    If it fits you comfortably, I can't say enough good things about the Osprey Exos series of packs.

  10. #10

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    I bought a Mountain laurel designs core 28 pack without trying it on. Lemme tell you, it was the best thing Iíve ever done. Such a great pack. Super light. Comfortable straps. Super simple. Easily able to carry what I need on a weekend hike, and if I really got it together could see a longer hike working out just fine. Check them out https://mountainlaureldesigns.com

    You will not find these in stores, but their customer service is top notch.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tawa View Post
    Going to pull the trigger and purchase a new backpack this week. Will be near an ERI later this week and want to check out ultralight packs,
    Would like you thoughts on several that you might suggest I try on .
    Which one do you have and what about it sold you on it.
    Which factors would you consider before buying a specific one?
    Thank you in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.
    Bring all the stuff you intend to carry in it to make sure it will all fit and that it is comfortable with a full load, including food and water.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  12. #12
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    I swear by my ZPacks arc haul zip. Itís perfect and has great organization.


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  13. #13
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    Oops. Posted that before I was finished.

    My ZPacks arc haul is also durable and only weights 27oz.

    The hip and should straps are adjustable as well.


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  14. #14
    Leonidas
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    As HooKoo said, REI and Ultralight don't really jive. Then again, without knowing what you are currently carrying, an Osprey Exos or similar might be UL in comparison.

    Osprey is supposedly coming out with what they term a super UL pack series. It will supposedly be released in Spring of 2018 I believe.

    LEVITY 60/LUMINA 60
    For the most audacious superultralight excursions and thru hikes
    Weight: 1.83 pounds
    Load Range: 10-30 lb
    Retail: $270
    LEVITY 45/LUMINA 45
    For experienced thru hikers and lightweight overnights
    Weight: 1.76 pounds
    Load Range: 5-25 lb
    Retail: $250
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'

    @leonidasonthetrail https://www.youtube.com/user/tehJC13

  15. #15
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Just another 2 cents on UL packs...

    My progression over the last 10 years or so has been:

    Osprey Exos (REI purchase) which I never thought of as actual UL, but still at the time, the lighest full pack I've owned, OK pack, but really never liked the horrible waist belt support, though I think the newer models are better

    For a complete AT hike (big sections, not a thru), I bought and used exclusively the ULA OHM 2.0, and absolutely loved the pack. I first had tried the Circuit (bought at same time as the OHM). tried both side by side and decided on the OHM to save more weight and it was just as comfy at the weights I carry

    Most recently, for a long hike (the Sierra High route) that required a bit more volume, I bought the zpacks Arc Haul (about 10 liters larger than the OHM/Circuit). This is easily my all-time favorite pack. Same weight as the OHM, but larger and more supportive.

    Bottom line: Take a good look at the zpacks Arc series. A couple of negatives vs. the ULA OHM: the side pockets and the back mesh pocket are a tad smaller than the OHM's, and the waist belt pockets are slightly inferior because for me, at least, they required two hands to open, vs. the ULA hip belt pockets which can be opened with one hand. No biggie.

  16. #16
    Registered User Crossup's Avatar
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    While near the bottom of the UL heap, the Exos 58 is a great value and IMOH has the best ventilation/suspension available. We all have our own agenda as to what is important in a pack, for me not cooking in my own juices is at the top closely followed by comfort and thats where the Exos excels. From using a Stratos 50 which has the same suspension I can tell you even overloaded at 50 lbs(10 lbs overload)its very comfortable, at a more proper sub 35 lb load the Exos will be like wearing a cloud.

  17. #17
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossup View Post
    While near the bottom of the UL heap, the Exos 58 is a great value and IMOH has the best ventilation/suspension available.
    I forgot to mention in my post hawking the zpacks Arc series... one main reason I love the Arc Haul is the fact that it DOES, indeed, have essentially the same back ventilation system as the Exos. Fantastic.

  18. #18

    Default

    I see that you are 65 yo. Some of the UL packs are like large book bags that younger hikers do fine with. I am 67 yo, and my advice and experience ( depending on your base wt ) is to consider the support that a pack has, even if it adds 1-2 lbs. A lot of UL packs claim they can support a load of 25-30 lbs, which may work for a 25 yo; but I guarantee you will wish you had more support on the first day out. Examine your base gear, and find ways to cut weight from those items.

  19. #19
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash
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    I'm gonna throw a plug in for the Zpacks Arc Haul also. I just did my first 4 day trip with the one I just purchased last weekend, and that is an amazing pack. I have used an Osprey Aether and a ULA Circuit just to give some comparison. The Circuit was my go to pack for the last several years, and served me well. The Arc Haul basically carries and feels very similar to the Circuit, but it weighs almost a full pound less. To look at the Arc Haul one would not think that thing would not be very comfortable, but it's really a smart and unique design. So yeah, make sure to consider the Arc Haul and take a look at the Circuit to cover your bases too.
    AT: 2007-2019 (45 sections)
    JMT: 2013

  20. #20
    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
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    The Granite Gear Crown VC 60 doesn't get much hype, but I have one and love it.
    While searching for that unknown edge in life, never forget to look home. For the greatest edge you can find in life is to stand in the protective shadow of those who love you.

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