View Full Version : Looking for input on good Ultralight Pack
I am new to the forum and and have recently begun ultralight hiking. I am looking for some experienced input on a good ultralight backpack. The 2 I have been looking at are the Gossamer Gear G4 and the Golite Gust. Currently I am leaning toward the G4 due to the versatility and outside pocket space. Are there any other packs that I should be considering and does anyone have experience with the 2 I mentioned? Any input would be appreciated.
I've been using the GG G6 for a BPL review and have like how it carries. I think it is a modified version though:
*Very light weight.
*Adequate space for a 5 pound base weight and 5 days of food.
*Two mesh side pockets and one solid back pocket.
*Wide straps for comfort - they spread the weight instead of cutting into your shoulders and you can get the optional pads like I did.
*Noisy material - sounds like one of those cheap plastic bags from a store.
*Top closure - it uses a roll top design which never really seemed to stay closed right. There is a space for a draw-cord in the top and I think I would add one if I were to keep using it.
*My version was a prototype, so the Velcro for the top closure was inside the mesh pockets which is a hassle. As I understand it, the newer versions have changed this.
*I miss a hip belt. I like a full range of movement with a pack like the ability to lean over. Without even a strap, the pack would slide up my back to bop me in the head when negotiating some blow downs. I wouldn't add a full blown load bearing waist belt, just a small strap to keep the pack in place.
Concerns: The material is extremely light fabric. Much care would have to be taken when using one of these packs I think. I would not load it past 15 pounds either.
I am looking for some experienced input on a good ultralight backpack. The Golite Gust. Currently I am leaning toward the G4 due to the versatility and outside pocket space. does anyone have experience with the 2 I mentioned? Any input would be appreciated.
I have owned a golite gust for more than 5 years now(mine is the original blue with no hip belt) it weights in at a woping 14.75 oz. Once I got used to packing (a bag full of bags)system, I stopped having problems. no tears, verry little abrasion, and tones of room.
You might want to look over this site too:http://www.fanaticfringe.com/
they have a new pack at 6 oz. (I was going to buy one of their discontinued modles for my son).
i gotta plug my golite gust too, but mine weighs about 20oz with my mods... and being a bit newer, mine does have a waist belt. it's a long sack with a drawcord at the top, adequately padded shoulder straps, and one large outside pocket. plenty of room for my load (about 10-15 lbs, plus 3-5 days of food or more). my only complaint is no side pockets for water and fuel bottle (so i made them and had them sewn on). i cut off the ice axe loops and took out the foam back pad (i use my blue foam pad as a stiffener rolled up on the inside), which lightened it from about 22 oz... it's a bit heavier than a breeze, but i'm not ready to give up a waist strap yet. it's too handy when you have a full load or don't want, as sgt rock mentioned, to get bopped in the head when you bend over. also, when hopping from rock to rock over a creek, it holds the pack nice and tight to your body. it has a compression strap around the middle that i don't ever use except as a clothesline to hand wet stuff on while walking. the top pulls shut and then you roll it up and a strap goes over the middle and holds it all in place. works well, and i don't miss the old 'flap' style tops at all. it's made of a heavier material than the breeze, which is fine, since i'm not willing to baby my pack... i won't abuse it, but i just don't want to have to baby it... finally, everything i classify as 'sundries' fits into the outside pocket with plenty of room to spare (50' of bear bag line, trowel and TP, toothbrush and paste, lighter, compass, knife, water purification chemicals, repair kit, first aid kit, mosquito headnet, spoon, photon light, small binos, and i think that's it). the rest of my stuff goes inside easily, which i mentioned above... i have a tiny WM caribou sleeping bag, which saved me a ton of room vs my old synthetic bag, a set of raingear, a set of long underwear tops and bottoms, my hammock, and a cookset that fits inside a walmart greasesaver pan. sometimes i'll add a hatchet and folding saw, but they're so thin they fit in between two layers of the blue foam pad rolled inside as a stiffener/back pad... even if my daughter goes with me, and i have to carry extra stuff for her (hammock or tent, s'mores fixins, etc.) i have room for it too...
all in all, a great pack.
you might look at the G4/5/6, which you can also get custom built... check out the website (gvp.com? google a g4 backpack and you'll find it) for more info on what those options are.
Find more information about G4/5 and the newer packs (Whisper Überlight and Mariposa) at GossamerGear.Com (http://www.gossamergear.com) .
I have been thinking about an idea of attaching wide webbing to my hiking shorts as suspenders, and attaching gear to it in front and in back. Perhaps my sleeping bag in the small of my back and the sleeping pad above that. Perhaps a small satchel across in front with water bottles and all the small items for cooking, navigation, firstaid, and repairs. Water bottles on the front straps. Food and clothes not worn stashed here or there for equal weight fore and aft. Some sort of light tightening strap between the front satchel and the sleeping bag to keep it snug. To take it off you unclip the suspender from you shorts and lift it off your shoulders. The shorts could have nice wide belt loops where the plastic webbing clips attach in case a wide belt is desired, but I find 6 foot 1/4" prestretch more useful.
Sounds just like military webbed gear, only lighter (hopefully).
I'm new to the forum also but I've been using the Gossamer Gear packs for 4 years so far and have been well pleased with them. I sterted out with a G4 and then a G5 and now I'm using a G6.The G5 was used on the John Muir trail and worked beautifully, carrying up to 6 days worth of gear and food very comfortably. As long as you take a bit of care with them they should last a long time and they are one of the lightest packs available
Jeff, When I read Jak's post I had the same idea. I'm not really an ultra light camper, and will be dead honest and I say that I use a military ruck for three reasons, it's practicality, my familiarity with it and modding it and most importantly, the instant military affinity it affords you when a cop walks up on your camp ground beside train tracks. My biggest beef with it is that wthout your LBE, there's no place to carry your water bottles where you can easily reach them.
I think I might play with some of this old 1" canvas webbing iIve got lying around to make some suspenders like this to carry my water, compass and munchies. I've just be using a carbiner to clip water bottles to my belt, or carrying 20oz bottle in my pockets. I'm way too much of a man for a fanny pack, lol.
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