Weight (manufacturer): 83oz
Weight (tested): 90oz
Capacity: 5500 c.i. (90.1 Liters)
Frame type: internal
Most weight carried: 70 lbs starting weight for a 10 day 110+ mile trip
Owner height/weight: 68"/155#
When I first saw this pack, I wasn't really sure if it would make a good
backpacking pack. Unlike most standard backpacks, this one has absolutely NO
Features: The pack has a central main compartment that access a sleeping bag
area (not a compartment) at the bottom of the main central compartment. It has
internal compression straps for the sleeping bag that worked fine for both my
sleeping bag and tent. The sleeping bag cover has a strap panel that holds my
pad, tent poles, ground cloth, and fly without any stress; and includes gear
loops that work great for hooking on those spare items like sandals, snap links,
The main compartment has a synch lock system that incorporates the suspension
system in such a way to prevent over stressing the fabric. It also has a panel
that comes over the top and back of this compartment that has both an internal
and external mesh pocket which are great for sorting and identifying what gear
is inside. This panel attaches to the pack with 4 straps with clips, and a piece
of climbing rope which is ingeniously attached to the entire boarder of the
panel to distribute tension to the entire panel and forms a great handle for
carrying or bear bagging the pack.
Other great features include mesh water bottle pockets on both sides, 3 hydration
system compatible pockets located in different parts of the pack so you can put
your hydration system in a place that suits your packing style, very well padded
shoulder and kidney straps, and sternum strap.
Disadvantages: Kind of expensive. Adjusting the fit to your back is not easy,
and there is only one size of pack. When packed to the extreme, the pack pack
has a great deal of overhang to the rear and you end up hunching over a bit,
which didn't really bother me. This pack also keeps the center of gravity low
which is great for cross country and bush-whacking, but may be a bit too low for
people used to standard internal and external frames.
Bottom Line: I personally have been using Army ALICE packs at work for over 14
years, and have a Lowe internal frame I have backpacked for 12+ years. After
backpacking the Iron Mountain 5500, I greatly prefer the Iron Mountain.
Since I wrote this review, I have learned that Lodestone Mountaineering went
out of business. US Cav is still honoring the warranty.
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