Which lightweight pack ?

Discussion in 'Packs & Accessories' started by stonemonkey, May 12, 2019.

  1. stonemonkey

    stonemonkey Ultralighter

    Sorry.... i know its abit vague and can have a trillion answers but im pretty new to this UL stufff but also lovin it lol
    i have just weighed my pack that i use for allsorts and any wildcamping and its 2kg !!!!!!! ha
    its a lowe alpine attack mx50 + 10

    you lot put me to shame so....... seeing as its something that i think i could save alot of grams on i have started looking at lightweight packs but what a minefield!!

    can anyone recommend a 'mid price level pack' without 'breaking stonemonkeys bank account'? or should those 2 quotes not be in the same sentence? :eek:

    just to note.... i am 5ft 4"
    yes... i know... a short arse but has to be taken into consideration
    Ben and Diddi like this.
  2. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    You can worry about your height/torso last.
    A good starting point is to know your baseweight if you are referring to Ultralight walking i.e 4.5 kgs baseweight. It is the weight of everything minus your consumables including fuel.
    Or perhaps total weight if talking about getting lighter than what you have now (including the rucksack) of your likely carry.
    Always a very good idea to buy the rucksack last if you are in renovate/ upgrade mode.
    Many items, if you are in ultralight purchase mode will be lighter (but not necessarily smaller DCF for example) so this is a factor as well.
    You have to also do this last, so you will know how much weight you are going to need to carry 'comfortably'.
    If however, you have bought everything and it is the last piece of the puzzle, get a good stout box and put everything in it 'as if you were packing' reasonably tightish-then take cubic measurements.
    This will give you a good 'starting point' for the litreage you will need.
    Height times length times depth= litres.
    Then you will have to decide whether you want a cold weather (larger for bulkier items) sack plus a mild weather one (which is not uncommon I can tell you:woot:). My fair weather sack is about 30L and winter a 50L which I can compress.
    Or one sack to rule them all! :thumbsup:
    Of course this depends on your financial situation and how much you are willing to throw at sizing down-there will be plenty of companies ready to catch your cash.:whistling: One sack is obviously cheaper.
    Lastly, you can ask for recommendations about a reliable company-cottage or big seller.
    The weight you wish to carry will determine if you need a frame, no frame or light frame, re the rucksack which will work for you.
    If you just want a new lighter rucksack about the same size you will still need to know (for comfortable carry) what the total weight you will likely carry or your baseweight.
    Lastly choose your rucksack then see if you can get the torso length you need- UKs Atom can customise this for you. You will obviously then need your torso length(not your height). But you don't need to worry about it for now tho'
    Good shopping- you are about to enter the big gear black hole from which you may not emerge.:woot:
    Did you see the thread -'how many rucksacks do you own?' Yowza!
  3. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    Yeah, no kidding about the trillion answers. As @Lamont-Cranston says we need more info... ideally a gear list and max days food carry (and food type/weight) and how you plan to pack it.

    I've been using a 30L myog pack that only weighs ~390g and I can squeeze 7 days food into, but am in the process of making a slightly larger one that'll hold a bit more for less fussy packing and have carbon stays to help prevent torso collapse, especially with 5+ days of food. My gear only weighs 4.something kg and I use a down quilt which makes a difference.

    I would advise upgrading your pack last if you're still in the lightening process so you don't end up with something too big or small for your needs. Generic advice would be to look for something in the 40L range with a frame that weighs under 1kg. The northern ultralight sundown for example looks quite nice.
    stonemonkey likes this.
  4. Baldy

    Baldy Thru Hiker

    Get a second hand pack of about 50ltrs from someone here. Don't be persuaded to buy a small one until your whole kit is smaller (lighter)

    I use an old 50ltr Golite pack with a frame. Not the lightest but very comfortable and not a squeeze to pack everything.
    cathyjc, stonemonkey and HillBelly like this.
  5. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Don't spend lots of money on an expensive pack only to find out its too large or in a style or shape that doesn't suit you ...

    Try out as many as you can ....

    Find out what shape and styles suit you (straight tube or narrow bottom/wider top or vice versa). Preferences for fabric too. Roll top or over the top closure? Frame or frameless? Most of these questions only get answered by experience. Which is part of the fun and excitement :)
    stonemonkey and jack4allfriends like this.
  6. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    A small clarification:
    Height times length times depth divided by one thousand= litres, if you're measuring in cm.
    stonemonkey and Cranston like this.
  7. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

  8. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    What's your location. With members all over the place here, someone may be local and may be able to let you see some lightweight packs, try them on for fit and aid your decision making.

    Personally, I would advise avoiding a frameless pack unless your total expected carry weight is below 11kg and I'd advise against a pack without a hipbelt if your total expected carry weight is above 8kg.

    These weights are just guides but there is little point buying an frameless or beltless pack only to find it's dam uncomfortable.
  9. ZenTrekker

    ZenTrekker Section Hiker

    Your height isn't the issue with pack fitting, its your back length. I'm 5ft 7in but have short legs, my back is longer than my 2 sons who are both 6ft +. Over the years I have found that fit is everything, for me anyway. Have a look at Atom Packs, he will make you a pack to fit your back length. https://www.atompacks.co.uk/
    stonemonkey and Chiseller like this.
  10. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    On a budget... I can recommend the new Montane Trailblazer 44 (less than £100) 1kg weight (not ultralight) very comfortable, adjustable back length, adjustable harness, plenty of features.
    I was looking at lighter packs... But comfort doesn't always come from a lighter pack... If your sub 5kg all in... Then any pack can be comfortable... Above 5kg... I look for comfort, features and durability.
  11. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    I don't understand this small backpack thing, for me it's:
    1/ Comfort
    2/ Weight
    3/ Does all my kit fit

    I use a Zpack Arcblast, the old type, it's 615g with a phone and hip pouch
    If i remember rightly it's rated at 55L

    Can't imagine going smaller, i really would prefer to just not compress my sleeping bag as much and have a little space spare rather than cram everything is and look like me (a fat bloke) in a crop top

    I've seen a few hikers use smaller backpacks but then have everything strapped and stuffed on the outside, seems crazy to me
    Not to mention risky
    In Greece you'll tear or lose stuff as thorns, bushes and fauna grab your kit as you walk past, if it's not inside the pack

    So for me, i prefer to go slightly over capacity wise then just not compress my sleeping bag as much
  12. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Adjustable torso length is gold. It is the magic ingredient in getting a good fit I reckon, especially whilst you might be working on your ideal rucksack. I missed that the Montane allowed that in your review.
    stonemonkey and Chiseller like this.
  13. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Back stiffener and load lifters too :thumbsup:
    stonemonkey, ZenTrekker and Cranston like this.
  14. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

  15. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    I think some of us have a different range of what we can describe as ' mid price' :writing:
    stonemonkey and Dave V like this.
  16. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    Buy once cry once
    Ben, stonemonkey, Dave V and 2 others like this.
  17. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    I thought that when I bought the ohm... Took a good few outings before I decided it wasn't the right pack...
    I'm after an arc blast at some point.... They're will be lots of tears lol
    Dave V likes this.
  18. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Mmm Prophet..... that sounds very nice. Insert Homer Simpson smilie.
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  19. Diddi

    Diddi Thru Hiker

    Last edited: May 12, 2019
    stonemonkey likes this.
  20. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I might be selling mine the next time I'm back in the UK. I like it (I had some hip pains a couple of years ago and switched packs but I took it out again last trip with no pain) except if there's anything heavy in one of the side pockets I can never get it to feel balanced. As I'm often carrying 1.5-2L of water in one of them, it's a little annoying. I think it's to do with the adjustable back system as I didn't have the same problem with the older style.
    Chiseller likes this.
  21. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Cheers William
    I'll start putting a bit to one side... Just in case :whistling:
    WilliamC likes this.
  22. Henry

    Henry Ultralighter

    All good advice here, but I needed a pack . Was in a similar position to you, so I ended up buying an Osprey Exos via their “used and display” site.

    £60, 1kg and framed with load lifters and a belt. Very comfortable carry for me, and a good first entry into lighter gear. I plan to get a lighter pack in the future and use it for my D of E offspring!
    stonemonkey, Chiseller and WilliamC like this.
  23. HillBelly

    HillBelly Section Hiker


    Light is great if your gear is so. If not your uber light pack feels like a sack of coal. I have had heavier packs that felt lighter basically cos they were a better carry. If you are like many of us here - you'll end up with a few anyway!

    If you're on a budget Decathlon have some Half decent ones in their range now - and that benefits from their returns policy. Or second hand is good and many often are often like new anyway. I bought my Mammut Creon light 45L. for £40 and it still had tags on!

    As Chiseller mentioned - Montane are doing a nice range of light packs at reasonable prices.

    Nothing wrong with your Lowe Alpine - especially in winter when you carry more. For summer stuff thats when you start trimming back and a lighter pack comes into its own.
    stonemonkey and Chiseller like this.
  24. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Lots of good advice above. I'd add, take a look at UOG; they have a good selection of light packs, postage is free so you'll only be out the cost of return if you don't like the fit and the filter and sort options on the website are useful. The Exped, Osprey and Lightwave packs seem well priced, in addition to the Montane mentioned above.
    They only have the Exos 38 at the moment, which might be a bit small, but worth keeping an eye out. There's a Lumina 45 on there too.
    stonemonkey and Chiseller like this.
  25. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    2nd hand is a great option to try out things. Quality kit is made to last a PCT and some - something few packs ever get to do. So 2nd hand packs usualy have plenty milage left.

    @gixer - I describe my arcblast to my friends as the "rolls royce" of packs with the adjustable back lenght and back suspension feature - but the arcblast is not everyones cup of tea ... And I prefer something smaller for shorter trips (GG Murmur 36lt or zpacks Nero).
    Chiseller likes this.

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