SGT Rock's Hiking H.Q.


Lodestone Overload


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


Lodestone Overlode with 15 lbs of gear inside

Price: ???(I bought it for $35 used)

Weight (manufacturer): 53oz

Weight (tested): 51.7oz (modified weight)

Capacity: 2950 C.I. (40.8 Liters)

Largest Load Tested: 30#

Owner Height/Weight: 68"/155#


I got this backpack used on the internet because I was impressed by my Iron Mountain backpack and wanted a smaller pack for day hiking and weekend stuff. It was a nice pack for that as-is. But I wanted a bag a little easier to pack (I'll get into that) and had a little more outside stuff storage.

The backpack as it is made is a very interesting design. The bag has a central large top load compartment with a drawstring closure on top. This compartment compresses with three straps - the two sides and one top. All these compress the compartment by tensioning on a center back panel. This panel has a mesh/cloth pocket on the outside, and a bunch of small gear sorting pockets on the inside. This is a nice set up for organizing and providing extra storage while making a serviceable compression system. But here is also my biggest problem with the pack.

What I haven't mentioned yet is that the shoulder straps for this pack also connect to the compression panel. This makes an interesting system for adding compression because when you shoulder your pack, it helps compress the load. BUT this also means you constantly change your straps when walking (bad), the straps get in your way when packing and unpacking (they cant be detached), and the backpack can't ever be loaded properly to full capacity.

The outside storage pocket on the back of the panel was adequate for a hydration system, but only up to about 70oz when full. It is divided into two section, one for the bladder and the other for some gear like rain gear. The problem is that the pocket is too small for full rain gear and water. 

It came with a water bottle holster that could hold a small water bottle (12-20oz). But it was at a funny place that was sometimes hard to get to. 

The hip belt could be removed, and had two places to attach it based on torso length.

Inside the main compartment there was a single aluminum stay and a larger pocket that was a nice size for a cut down foam sleeping pad. I experimented with removing the stay and using my sleeping pad as the pack structure - this worked well, but it took up more space that I was willing to surrender for now. Maybe once I reduce my gear bulk it would work.


OK, so now I have a nice day pack, but it has the potential to be better. 

I started with a seam ripper and removed all the external lashing points - never used them or planned to use them. I then got some mesh bags from Wal-Mart, a heavy sewing needle and nylon thread, and hand stitched 3 large shove-it pockets onto the pack. One normal sized on each side, and one large in the back. This solved my storage problem for spill prone stuff like fuel, oil, water, etc. and gave me enough external room for my rain gear.

Next I used my seam ripper to remove the straps from the outside panel and then sewed them to the back of the pack. I can now have easy access to the main compartment, my straps fit my shoulders better, and the bag still compresses well.

With these modifications, and the changes in some of my gear, I can now get 7 days of food at 2 pounds per day, and 3 seasons of clothing and equipment in a 2950ci bag - not bad.

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