SGT Rock's Hiking H.Q.


Lodestone Iron Mountain 5500


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Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links
Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links


Weight (manufacturer): 83oz

Weight (tested): 90oz

Capacity: 5500 c.i. (90.1 Liters)

Frame type: internal

Price: $275

URL: US Cav 

Most weight carried: 70 lbs starting weight for a 10 day 110+ mile trip

Owner height/weight: 68"/155#



Iron Mountain 5500 with 40 lbs gear

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 ZIPPERS!

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, etc.

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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