Choosing A Lightweight Backpack | Lightweight Backpacking Series

Choosing A Lightweight Backpack | Lightweight Backpacking Series


Hey guys, welcome to the next section discussion of the lightweight backpacking series it only makes sense at this point after talking about minimizing gear and What really lightweight backpacking is to now talk about Backpacks because a backpack is really going to be the framework of how you create your lightweight system now the reason I say that is you’ve got a lot of gear that you’ve got to put into something and if you’ve taken the time to minimise your gear and focus on pulling things out changing things and Choosing what you want to have in your gear system if you are carrying a larger pack, let’s say an Atmos 65 from Osprey or Like a Gregory Zulu something like that that is in the 60 to 70 liter range You are going to by nature fill that space It just happens And so if you look at different pack options that are lower in leader size leader capacity like a 48 litre or even close to below a 40 litre like I’ve got here with this pack Then you’re going to be setting yourself up for success because you’re gonna fill the pack faster and the only reason that you would really need to carry a greater leader capacity is for a longer trip and I’m gonna be carrying group gear kind of things or that being a longer trip I’m carrying more food, and I need to carry them out of water So with that out of the way Let’s talk about different backpack Options and what you might look for because there are a lot of backpacks to choose from there are framed packs That save you weight in your back packing system. There are Frameless backpacks that definitely save you a bunch of weight and you’ve got a lot of different options between those two Types of packs that you would be looking at so let’s talk about framed packs first and different options that you might consider in terms of more mainstream companies Then even looking at some of the cottage vendors that offer Light weight backpacks that allow you to accomplish that light weight system Now the first one we’ll talk about is a pack that I’ve carried several times I’ve done a lot of miles with this and we’ll talk about it because I personally have experience with it But this is the Gregory optic 48. This is offered in a 58 liter as well And if you need that capacity, that’s great. It’s still going to achieve a light weight capacity now Before we get into like specs and talking about really nitty-gritty things. Keep in mind that you ultimately want to keep your Total weight in any of these packs below 35 pounds ideally below 30 pounds But 35 is going to be pretty much a maximum for anything that fits into the realm of frameless to these lightweight Designed packs that have a frame in them as well. So even with this 58 litre or 48 liter optic. I would not carry more than 35 pounds. I’ve done it It’s not as comfortable and the reason being that it’s not as comfortable is Typically your lighter weight packs are going to have less of a suspension system Less padding on the hip belt less padding on the shoulder straps And so your carrying capacity is not going to be as high because you don’t have as robust of a system That can carry and handle that load on your back now Yes, the load is supposed to be carried by your hips If you’ve got a hip belt and just keep in mind that if you’re carrying too much weight That’s just not going to be comfortable. So Getting a lower leader capacity Minimizing your gear all of that is going to aid in making sure that the pack that you choose to carry is Going to be comfortable While you’re carrying it another great pack that I’m super jealous of that I like to pick up for myself because it’s probably the lightest frame pack on the market and don’t know that for sure But the Osprey levity. This is also a 45 liter pack so a little bit smaller than the optic but 45 litres this theme comes in at under 2 pounds But it’s also a framed pack and it’s a really really cool pack Osprey has an amazing suspension system But you can see here as well on this hip belt that it’s not Super robust. It doesn’t have a lot of padding. It’s not going to handle that heavier load capacity So this by nature is just gonna help you create that mindset to not carry as much gear there for achieving a lightweight backpacking system So with frame packs kind of out of the out of the way, let’s talk about some of the other options There’s Zi packs. That makes a great framed pack that is going to be higher in cost but it’s a it’s a really great design and They handle those lightweight systems, really? well super popular From Zi packs as well as the Osprey EXO’s another great lightweight pack that is gonna be a little bit heavier than the levity But it’ll be a little bit more durable and it could potentially carry a little bit heavier loads now looking at frameless packs, and I’ve got two different types of Frameless packs here. They both happen to be from waymark gear. I’d really enjoy Their product and so I’m gonna use them as an example But I’ve got a 30 liter pack here that definitely is more of a day pack But it doesn’t have a hip belt on it. And so I’m going to use this as an example compared to my 38 litre through series pack from waymark, and the biggest thing that you can see here is This doesn’t have any kind of frame in it. So I try to do that with The Osprey or just the frame pack? Yes there’s a little bit of like spring tension there, but it’s rigid now with the Frameless pack it’s not rigid. So if you want it add some comfort level to your frameless pack you’re gonna use a frame sheet that typically is going to be some kind of pad that will allow you to Load the pack in a more comfortable manner and so frameless packs, they just require more education More understanding of your system and how you’re going to load all of your gear So you don’t have things pushing against your back and it carries properly Now I will say that you’re you’re going to want to carry less gear lighter loads with a frameless pack than you will with a framed pack just because the frame of a Framed pack is going to handle that load and take part of that load For you wear everything on a frameless pack is going to be right on your body The cool thing about frameless packs is most of them are gonna be in In a way custom-made or they’re from a cottage vendor that is hand making them themselves And so way Mart gear for example, this pack was handmade by the owner and this one was custom made I chose everything on this pack that I wanted for me specifically I cannot do that with this pack This is still a really cool option and I would like to get one of these for myself, but that’s the fun thing about Going into a system like this If you know that you cannot achieve 30 pounds or less don’t look at a frameless pack You will not be comfortable and it will not be a good experience. So usually frameless packs are going to be more stripped-down more simple and basic and In this case. I do have an a hip belt on this pack Simply for comfort to help aid some of that weight that I’m carrying but for the most part, they’re simple they are gonna be a roll-top design where unclip this Roll this up and then I’ve got access straight down into the body of the pack and that is basically all there is I don’t have like a Fold over top lid that kind of thing and then I’ve got this big lycra mesh front pocket big side pockets that kind of thing and that’s pretty standard that you’re gonna see from pretty much any frameless pack whether it’s waymark gear superior wilderness designs z packs and Gosh, granite gear all of those different companies that do have frameless options That’s gonna be kind of your design there now The reason I have this pack here is again to show you that a lot of times This is getting more into an ultralight type of mindset, but I can pair down my system and really go Super minimal and carry a comfortable pack without a hip belt and it works and it’s super comfortable and this pack Day hiking with it without the hip belt. It’s awesome I really enjoy it and I can do an overnight trip in this pack and It saves weight not having the hip belt on there You have to change things up a little bit but choosing a pack like this just takes you into an even more lightweight Ultralight mindset that is really beneficial and can make your experience a lot of fun in the science of trying to pare down your gear even more so guys when you are making a decision on a lightweight backpack keep in mind that in order to really Save the most weight possible. You’re going to want to find something that is within three pounds or less and all of these options fit that criteria, and I’ve carried a lot of Gear in this optic and it’s been super comfortable. And so if you’re not willing to go the frameless route, that’s fine I spent time on the trail this summer with a guy that He had a really lightweight system and just was like, I’m not ready to go the frameless route I’m just not ready to let go of that comfort of a framed pact and I totally understand that and if You are trying to get into the lightweight realm if you are trying to get into the lightweight realm of backpacking then I would say Ditch your 65 70 liter pack get into a 40 to 50 liter pack that’s framed Maybe it’s celebrity. Maybe it’s the optic Maybe it’s maybe it’s the granite gear like crown or it’s Zi packs. Whatever it is. That’s framed That’s gonna be a good way for you to start I mean my good friend Jared for example went from the eighth or seventy and he still uses that pack But this is his levity and It was a great great pack for him to reduce nearly four pounds off of his backpacking System so you’re going to save a ton of weight initially just boom right up front by going from your heavy 65 70 liter pack down to something like this it’s still going to be comfortable and let you carry the gear that you need for your backpacking experience So guys, I hope that was helpful in understanding and knowing how to choose a backpack for your lightweight backpacking system If you have questions or comments, leave them down in the comment section I’ve got links to all of these different types of options down in the description check those out Thank you so much for watching guys If you are not subscribed to the channel, please subscribe and as always I hope you have an awesome day We’ll catch you on the next lightweight backpacking video

25 thoughts on “Choosing A Lightweight Backpack | Lightweight Backpacking Series

  1. I’m definitely not ready to go frameless… and honestly I know there are so many more lightweight backpacking options out there, but one of the downsides I often read in reviews is the lighter you go the less longevity. My packs take a beating, I want something I know I can count on years down the road. Although, I’m super interested in the levity, or even the exos!
    What was your first backpacking backpack 🎒?

  2. I’m super tempted to try a frameless pack! I can get my base weight down to about 8 pounds if leave the Helinox Zero home. I need a company to let me try before I buy!

  3. My first pack was a Osprey 65 and I filled it up, so I made the mistake of getting an 80 liter pack. Huge rookie mistake!!!!! I am looking for a new framed lightweight pack ad you have some great advice. Thank you again.

  4. I have the Granite Gear Crown 2 60. It has a load capacity of 35 lbs. Even though it’s 60 liter, I consider it a lightweight pack

  5. I literally JUST bought my Zulu 55 for the purpose of getting a "smaller" volume, lighter pack 🙁 In my defense, it's the 55L…but in all seriousness, my goal is to have a base weight of 20-25 lbs. With the gear ive bought so far, I should have no problem accomplishing that and I'll have to simply exercise self-control and then eventually upgrade to a small pack. The deal I got on the back was too good to pass up and I'm also still trying to get comfortable in the backcountry without sacrificing too much. I've got a 2 lb sleeping bag (Marmot Lamina Z 34 degree), S2S ultralight SI pad, BA windy point 2 (for 2 person camping) and my eno (when I go by myself), as well as my cook kit coming in at just under 1 lb. All of that combined so far weighs in at about 13 lbs. Am I on the right track as long as I can refrain from stuffing a bunch of useless crap in my back?

  6. Good Video Devin! It's hard for me to get my weight down I have a heavy weight pack as I carry my kids stuff along with all my creature comforts.

  7. I've had a Gossamer Gear G4 for years now and its been a great frame less UL pack. But…. since i'm planning on the JMT this year which requires a bear can as well as I'll be carrying over 30 lbs during a stretch I needed a different pack. Picked up the ZPacks Arc Haul.

  8. Definitely still on the fence about a frameless… I've been looking at that Osprey! It's probably the route I'll go.

  9. Base weight with current pack is ~11.5 right now. I want a pack that can handle long water carries, 7+ days out between resupplying and most importantly durability and what I'm guessing is 1 lightweight pack won't fit those requirements comfortably.

    Proper load transfer from shoulders to hips is what I'm after. I can't have it crush my spine and I don't want to buy a $300 pack every year because they fall apart.

  10. I would disagree with your evaluation that if you have a 65 liter pack you have more room so you’ll carry more gear than if you have a 40 liter pack. One point you didn’t touch on is hiking where your required to use a bear canister. That’s where you may want to consider a 65 liter pack. It’s possible to lash a BV500 to the outside of a smaller pack, but it’s a pain and from my experience not a great option. On top of the volume of space it takes it also adds 2 pounds to your base weight on longer trips that could add tens pounds to your load between the canister and your food weight. Which should be considered when deciding between a frame or frameless pack. Hell anything is lightweight nowadays from when I started backpacking in 1979, my total pack weight back then was 50 to 60 pounds! Now that was a load to carry

  11. In the past all my packs were large and with frames. Now I have a smaller pack ( Zpacks Nero 38 liter ,10.5 oz ) which is frame less. If you don't count the foam pad attached to it which is against my back. The basic pack weigh right now is 7.55 pounds for the cooler weather. Fortunately winter in Florida is not very long. It would of been nice if I could of had that pack weight back in the late 50's and early 70's. Can't go back to those times , just forward with different and lighter gear.

  12. For me the Osprey Atmos AG 50 is the perfect size for either short overnights or week long outings. I would even take it on a thru-hike. Sure it weights a little more than the ultra light packs, but it is so comfortable and in the long run will hold up better.

  13. Washington state……Bear canisters are required almost everywhere on the peninsula and in Olympic National park…frameless packs carrying a 2.9 lb. 700 cubic inch BV 500?

  14. I personally use the outdoor products arrowhead 8.0 46 L backpack from Walmart that is very competitive very strong very reliable and very sturdy. I had to customize it though. As is, it doesn’t meet the conference or today’s standard in most double the lying name brands backpacks out there. After customizing it, it is on really comfortable and it meets all my demands as a weekend backpacker. I have three of these and have customized two of them and I’ve been using them for years and years. I know some people have a tendency of trashing anything that comes from Walmart but I don’t agree with them. This is a 1 lb. 14 oz. out of the shell backpack but after customizing it, it is a 1 lbs. 9 oz. now. I am in really happy with that. From the list that you are describing in this video, may choice of preference would be the osprey levity 45 L backpack. It has a very competitive and hard to beat suspension system. It is a 1 lbs. 14 oz. backpack. It is a dream backpack. But you must keep in mind, that if you’re using A light backpack is because you are using a much lighter backpack load. It’s not cheap though. But I much rather you sing this bag backpack then any other made out of die Nemah. Just because is more abrasion resistant. Would you consider testing this backpack I use? Very good video. Very good subject. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

  15. Things i have found over the years .
    The off the shelf packs are normally heavy since the manufacture wants to have bomb proofed merchandise. They are the take it as we made it packs.
    The cottage industry packs can be lighter and more or less ( depending on which cottage industry ) Basic to fully custom made.
    Frame less packs can have a improvised frame by using your mattress inside it as a temp frame. Or you can even use a partial foam pad as a temp frame and in camp as a sit pad.
    I line my frame less pack with my deflated air mattress , usually in a circle around the inside of the pack with all my stuff inside it. It does require a little more thought on how you pack everything to have a comfortable pack.
    I also found ( for myself ) that one night or a month the basic items stay the same ( with Florida being semi-tropical) ) with the consumables being the variable.

  16. Currently using a atmos 65 but I’m going the ultralight direction ,, switching to tarp camping ,, I can’t decide what pack to get ???

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