May 30, 20187500 views

Interest Check: Outdoors & Ultralight Backpacks

Hey guys,
We want to hear what Ultralight & Outdoors backpacks all of you are into. More specifically, what brands, types, and styles.
▶ What type of qualities do you look for in a backpack? ▶ Are there certain features that make most sense for you? ▶ What companies/brands do you think make the best products?
We’re always looking at posts and polls of suggestions, and we take this into account when we’re looking for products to put on the site. It doesn’t mean we can secure relationships with any brand of course, but it does mean we can try, and it gives us a better sense of the interests of the community. So let us know what you think and what suggestions you might have in the discussion.
See our other Interest Checks here:
· Jackets:
· Shoes:

We’ll be posting other Interest Checks for other categories so stay tuned. And feel free to share any polls you’ve created here so we can help more people see them.
Charles Frasier, Kevin Yeo, and 53 others

  • Waterproof zippers
  • easy main compartment front access
  • pole and equipment straps/attachments
  • adjustable shoulder strap height or different size options at checkout
I have 2 - a Luxurylite Stackpack and a Jansport Carson. They both have external frames and both are huge. The Carson is an 80 litre pack and is very durable. It also weighs 5 and one-half pounds. and you could carry 50 pounds if you had to. The Stackpack has 4 (four) 25-litre bags that are waterproof and weigh 4 ounces each, so the bag can easily change from 25 liters to 100 litres in 5 minutes. It is also an external frame pack. It weighs about 36 ounces with all four bags attached, so 100 litres and weighing 2 .25 pounds. Both of my packs were designed for multiple day trips, not weekenders.
I look for: Weight-needs to be sub 18 ounces Waterproofing side pockets that work (i.e. hold a water bottle) clean looking design Granite Gear, ULA, Z Packs, Mountain Laurel Designs (personal favorite) have all met these one way or another.
Just got the Granite Gear Crown 60 here on MD. Yeah it’s last years model, but I’m really happy with it, especially the 1/2 price! Solid UL pack at just over 2lbs. and is rated at 35lbs carry capacity, well under my 14lb base weight and it can handle a bear canister. Love the roll top and minimalist design. Solid reviews everywhere I looked . Other brand I considered was the ULA Circuit.
Ultralight! 1.8 lb max 60l pack with a liner. Waterproof protection is a must for AT.
ULA has always been popular with long distance hikers. I think the Catalist is their bag that holds around 30 lbs. which should allow me to carry around five days worth of food and one day of water.
While it's pretty niche, I'd love to see some sort of frame hauling pack, like a mystery ranch, kuiu, kifaru, stone glacier, exo mountain. All of them are still fairly boutique and would be cool to be able to go in on a drop to get a good deal on one.
Gossamer Gear!
Love my Gossamer Gear pack! But if only it was 8oz lighter? (Garbage bag liner) Dynema?
We need those safari urban style backpacks up in here!
ULA packs Zpacks Hyperlight Mountain Sports
I’m new to backpacking and my current pack is comfortable but heavy. I’ve been looking at Sierra Designs because of the weight savings, price and capacity option of 40 to 60 liters for different trips.
Mystery Ranch urban assault
Backpacking Packs - Overnight or longer, 40L - 90L in capacity depending on trip length. Good support and convenient features like good water bottle pouches, compatibility with hydration, and ease of access to main compartment. Brands - Osprey and Gregory for most backpackers. Ultralight Packs - For folks who have very lightweight equipment, you can get away with less support. If you're more streamlined and carrying less stuff, features also become slightly less important. Brands - Granite Gear, Sierra Designs Alpine Packs - Must climb well while still carrying the equipment to keep you safe in an alpine environment. Usually much more streamlined, lacking things like water bottle pouches and expandable elastic front pouches which have the potential to get clogged with snow. Good alpine packs are modular, with removable frames and foam padding for use in emergency bivy situations. Ability to carry a couple of ice tools is handy, as is a rope strap. Light weight is pretty mandatory, but some will choose to balance this out with durability, especially on routes with lots of rock contact. Brands - Arcteryx, Black Diamond, Patagonia, CiloGear (great) I also want to call out Mystery Ranch for making great everyday, tactical, and hunting bags. These can be very appealing for people where durability and specific features will take priority over weight.
I use the Karrimor brand which use 1000D material, and their stitching is rot-proof, with waterproof seams. Their packs are also water repellent. When I look for a pack, I look for 3 entryways, top and either front or side, as well as the sleeping bag compartment entryway. Side pockets that have elastic drawstrings would be good, so the water bottle doesn't move around or fall out if I'm running. Padded hip belts are a must, as are load bearers on the shoulder straps. A water bladder pocket should be included as well.
Do the Massdrop X60 in dyneema, make the bladder compartment outside accessible, and increase the size of the side pockets so bottles will fit when the pack is full. You’re welcome.
I keep looking at Kuiu. Versatile, lightweight, and strong.
There's a bunch of features I look for in a pack. Good capacity main compartment, roll top closure that buckles down; side pockets that can hold anything from a water bottle to a tarp; a stretchy front packet for the wet stuff; most importantly a comfortable harness and hipbelt. Durability is a thing for me as well. Also, little touches such as small loops I can clip a mini-carabiner to for things like camp shoes, bandana, etc. are a plus for me. Comfortable harness is the best feature for me. As for who makes the "best" products, I can't say. Everybody finds different manufacturers packs to work best for them. As you scroll through the comments, you'll see ULA, Zpacks, Granite Gear, HMG, and I'll throw in Six Moons Designs as well. That's because everyone has a different pack and that pack is the one that works for them.
ULA Catalyst
I second this....
Ultralight yet comfortable, with minimal external features. Doesn't need more than a single pocket (the main pouch) and a daisy chain on the outside. I'm a huge fan of Granite Gear for comfort.
Something light but still more durable and comfortable than cuben, like the gg crown.
Spell check sucks.
Oh yeah one more thing. If I sorry could get the atmos 50 to 2.5 lbs it would be all I would use. Most comfortable pack I've I've had on the trail. Just heavy.
Zulu 40 and Zulu 55 are sent good packs. I can do a week out of the 40 no problem. My full start weight is 26 pounds with food. Water is not included because every trip requires different capacities to be carried. I hammock camp and my base weight is around 8 lbs. Including pack hammock and 2 quilts. Works great for me.
+1 On the Zulu's, if they fit you! They're amazing packs, but are not super adjustable for torso length. I ended up being between the Medium and Large on the 40 and it just didn't work out for me.
HMG is currently 20% off you think Massdrop will do much better than that on the SW3400?
HMG 3400, osprey levity
Hyper light mountain gear southwest 3400 zpacks gorilla backpack or mariposa
Granite Gear Crown X60 in SHORT size.... please

Gorilla 40 Ultralight Backpack