Rucksacks for my new lighter kit list... Thoughts please..

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elefantman

Member
Jan 24, 2014
24
0
suffolk
Afternoon all,

I'm having to cut my load down and down due to an injury.. I've cut my pack weight down considerably and I'm now contemplating the last part of my kit...the bag...

I'll be using this kit in the lakes (wild camping high), Dartmoor or maybe Skye in August (where we go depends on the weather tbh)... Will be out and about for 7>9 days but will have at least 1 or 2 nights on organised campsites so I don't smell like... er... well... me after a week without a shower...

My kit list (working project)....

DD superlight tarp 420gr (no pegs)
Oookworks bathtub groundsheet - 180g or a flat one @ 100g
12 titanium pegs and 4 lightweight 5m guys. - 190g
Down sleeping bag @ 1kg or my poly one @ 0.75kg (if warmer weather).
Alpkit titanium cooking pot 99g
Coleman stove 77g
C100 Gas canister 175g
Waterproofs 0.8kg
Spare trousers (craghopper basecamp), t-shirt (wool), boxers and socks 1.1kg (this is my dry/swap kit)
F/aid kit - 200g
Water - 2ltr hydration pack 2.1kg
Food - tend to carry about 4/5 meals worth - about 0.6kg
Other odds and ends like maps, compass, spork, knife etc come in at about 500g

7.5kg ish... (bearing in mind last year before I did my back a mischief my kit was 15kg+)

I don't count my walking poles, fleece and kit I'm wearing in this weight although if it's really warm some might end up in the pack.

This lot fits in my trusty old gelert 30ltr rucksack (1.3kg)... but only just and every pocket is jammed full.... My other rucksacks 60ltr and weighs in at nearly 2kg on it's own.

So I'm looking for something in between say around 40/50ltr... Two are currently on my list but I can't find much in the way of reviews and neither one appears to be in stock anywhere near me...

http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/equipment-c3/rucksacks-c19/all-rucksacks-c134/ultra-tour-40-multi-day-trail-pack-p5737

http://www.ospreyeurope.com/gb_en/talon-44

The montane is the lighter of the two but I do like the look of the Talon's adjustable back system and the way the hydration pack fits outside the main pocket....

Any thought or further suggestions most welcome... Or thoughts on my kit list in general.
 

Monspoonmaker

Member
Mar 15, 2014
43
3
Silures
No experience of the bags you have highlighted but have been using a Granite Gear Vapour Trail for the last two years. Light and comfortable at these loads and much stronger than they look. This is the up to date version:

http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co...cks-c19/all-rucksacks-c134/crown-v-c-60-p4568

Expensive new but can be picked up from time to time on ebay. I was very lucky to get mine for £20 as they do not seem to be a well known brand in the UK.
 
The problem with super light ruckscacks is that they can be expensive and not very durable...

Take a look at the ULA Circuit:

http://www.ula-equipment.com/product_p/circuit.htm

Check it out on Youtube as well.

It tries to find the compromise between light weight and durability and, in my view, it does it very well. With its roll top closure it can expand to plenty big enough for expedition class hikes and yet it's compressible for overnighters. Most of the organisational extras, like hydration bladder sleeves are removable, if you're really gram counting.

The internal frame is genius in its simplicity - it's basically an inverted carbon fibre horseshoe which provides back support as well as being flexible in the hip area. This is also removable, along with the aluminium back stay if you want to go frameless.

Like you, I've been reducing my pack weight over the last couple of years - a function of age and the fact that I'm doing more hiking rather than just fixed camping - and I've been delighted with mine. A friend in the States pointed it out to me as being very popular with the long distance mob over there.
 

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
1,619
569
Inside the wire, Llanelli
Off the shelf ultralight gear is an expensive addiction though it does have some undeniable benefits and the pack currently top of my when I win the lottery wish list is Z-Packs 'Arc Blast' range [52L, 595g, £246+shipping]. If I could sew worth a dam I would be tempted to try making a similar pack myself.
 

sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,567
471
derbyshire
The problem with super light ruckscacks is that they can be expensive and not very durable...

Take a look at the ULA Circuit:

http://www.ula-equipment.com/product_p/circuit.htm

Check it out on Youtube as well.

It tries to find the compromise between light weight and durability and, in my view, it does it very well. With its roll top closure it can expand to plenty big enough for expedition class hikes and yet it's compressible for overnighters. Most of the organisational extras, like hydration bladder sleeves are removable, if you're really gram counting.

The internal frame is genius in its simplicity - it's basically an inverted carbon fibre horseshoe which provides back support as well as being flexible in the hip area. This is also removable, along with the aluminium back stay if you want to go frameless.

Like you, I've been reducing my pack weight over the last couple of years - a function of age and the fact that I'm doing more hiking rather than just fixed camping - and I've been delighted with mine. A friend in the States pointed it out to me as being very popular with the long distance mob over there.

+1

Love my circuit, good balance of light and durable. Yet can still handle a weighty load and works fine virtually empty as a daysack.......they are spendy but i don't regret it

Granite gear virga 2 is another one to look at, very nearly bought one myself
 
Last edited:

IC_Rafe

Forager
Feb 15, 2016
247
1
EU
The problem with super light ruckscacks is that they can be expensive and not very durable...

I find this part to be a mistake in many cases. The material used is usually just as strong or stronger than most older packs. It just seems more flimsy (unless you buy the cheap lightweight crap), but is actually quite durable. Look at the Denier value of the fabric used, and the weight. Most things you find in backpacks now is a lot stronger than for example canvas packs objectively speaking, although the canvas packs will always seem more sturdy just because it uses thicker material.
 

elefantman

Member
Jan 24, 2014
24
0
suffolk
Cheers for the thoughts.. All the bags suggested look good.. particualy like the Exped and the review was really good to read.

But alas swmbo tells me I've only got around the £100 mark to spend and given I'm off for my first trip in the first week of August I've not got the time to wait for a good s/hand one on ebay.

I've found a shop locally who's got the talon on the shelf so I'm going to have a look at it today... That said my brother in law really rates his Montane grand tour 55 and says he'd go with the ultra 40... Just wish there was somewhere that had both so I could take my kits and try them side by side.

Thanks again...
Jim
 

elefantman

Member
Jan 24, 2014
24
0
suffolk
Thanks again all.

Sunndog - the granite was tempting but.. it was over my budget and although the sizes gave some adjustability for fit it didn't seem to have built in adjustment.. it also had a max load of 9kg... Which although I'd scrape under it sounds very light to me.

I popped out for lunch and tried the talon out.. although a nice bit of kit I wasn't sold on it.

So.. after lots of reading and a chat with the supplier (they'll accept a return if I really hate it) I've ordered a Exped 45 as recommended/reviewed by Nomad64... even better I got the wife on board as she loves a bargain hunt and she found me an additional 10% off code so incl delivery it's set me back £81!

I'll write something about it once it arrives and as so much of my new kit is.. well new.. I'll see how it all fairs with my week long wander (looks like it will be a ring of the lakes starting on the 30th July) and I'll write up my experience.

Many thanks again for all your thoughts and input.
Jim
 

Kerne

Maker
Dec 16, 2007
1,766
20
Gloucestershire
No experience of the bags you have highlighted but have been using a Granite Gear Vapour Trail for the last two years. Light and comfortable at these loads and much stronger than they look. This is the up to date version:

http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co...cks-c19/all-rucksacks-c134/crown-v-c-60-p4568

Expensive new but can be picked up from time to time on ebay. I was very lucky to get mine for £20 as they do not seem to be a well known brand in the UK.

Another thumbs up for the Vapour Trail. I've had one for a few years now and it's great when you're out for several days as it has a large capacity. The only problem is being tempted to use all that space and counteracting the original intention to travel light. I also have an old GoLite JamPack - 40lt and frameless - which is great for a couple of days. Did the last five days of the Pennine Way (Hadrian's Wall to Kirk Yetholm) with it including enough kit to tarp and bivvy on the Cheviot. Only weighs a lb. Don't know if you can still get them though...
 

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
583
UK
Hope you like the Lightning 45 - the original review on the Expeds was by Quixotic Geek. IIRC she originally bought the 60 but was also keen on getting a 45 so it might be worth PMing her with the discount code.

For me an effective system for transferring weight from shoulders (I have had operations on both sides of my collarbone) to hips was more important than counting the grammes so the comparatively light weight of the Lightning was a bonus. After following the Utube guidance from Exped on moulding the back support, I now have an exceptionally comfortable pack.

As you prefer carrying your hydration bladder outside the pack, the lack of an internal sleeve and "proper" port on the Exped will not be an issue and it should be easy to fix to the outside but you may find the add on "Flash" pocket for about a tenner useful.

I can see how the Exped packs could be a bit Marmite but you should know pretty quickly if it is for you. FWIW I ended up with the Exped after reading QG's review and trying the Montane and several other pack in that kind of size, style and price bracket. The only one which I gave serious thought to was the Osprey Atmos 50 which had an exceptional waistband but was almost twice the price and I have no regrets. :)

http://www.ospreyeurope.com/gb_en/atmos-ag-50
 

Squidders

Full Member
Aug 3, 2004
3,853
14
45
Harrow, Middlesex
Keep an eye on eBay for a GoLite Jam 2. I was tempted to sell mine a while back but it's just too good.

It is still very light by todays standards, has a useful arrangement of space and is comfy - very comfy if you pack clever.
 

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