HYPERLITE Backpack & Pack Pod | 1,000 Mile Review

HYPERLITE Backpack & Pack Pod | 1,000 Mile Review

I wanted to give you guys a review on
the Hyperlite Southwest backpack here and Hyperlites pack pod. One of these
pieces of gear I would highly recommend and the other one I would never buy
again. I’ve had my Hyperlite backpack here
and my pack pod for about a year & a half. I’ve spent well over 150 days
backpacking with these. I’ve trekked over a thousand miles
all through the Pacific Northwest. I spent a month backpacking in Utah, so
I’ve been able to really REALLY put this gear to the test. At first I really
loved this pack pod. You know it’s my first time ever using a pack pod. Its
functionality I still love. Much nicer than a stuff
sack. It’s really easy for me to access my gear as you can see here. To see
everything that’s inside it. That said, this thing started falling apart on me
pretty quick. You can see here The Dyneema is just tearing apart
everywhere. I also have a tear in the bottom here. You know I was on the
fence buying this originally because it cost about $60. You know that’s
kind of a lot for such a small piece of gear like this. After I
originally started having my problems I emailed Hyperlite and they were
pretty cool. They sent me a brand new one. Which was awesome of them. I think these
have a year warranty so I was still under my year when I contacted them.
They sent me a brand new pack pod and I go down to Utah for 30 days of
backpacking. Right away my zipper fails on me
It kept failing. All of my stuff would spill out. SUPER annoying. I get back home,
email Hyperlite and they send me a link to a video on YouTube on how to fix a zipper.
You know I tried it out and it didn’t work. Now I’m using my old pack pod again.
You know for such a small piece of gear that cost $60 I would hope that it would
last a lot longer than that. If you do buy one of these, don’t expect it to last
very long. At least in my experience. And then another thing that happened, one of
the reasons that I originally pulled the trigger on buying one of these was the
stellar reviews on their website. almost all 5 star reviews. A couple four
star reviews. No 3 star reviews. No 2 star reviews. I was like “wow
these must be just awesome”. After I had both of my issues, I
went on their website and I left a verified 2 star review. I was super
nice, just went into detail about pretty much exactly what
I told you guys. It never showed up on their website. I think that’s pretty shady. I
can imagine that if my review didn’t show up… Maybe they were quite a
few other reviews like mine. I would not buy this again. I’ll show you
guys what I will buy as soon as this is all the way done for. If you
haven’t picked up on it yet I’m obviously not sponsored by Hyperlite.
This is a pack pod that I picked up for my fiance Trish over there. It’s
made by Mountain Laurel Designs. It’s not Dyneema but you know these are such
small pieces of gear… There’s really not much of a weight
difference between the 2 of these. I personally haven’t used this to really
test it out, but I can already tell just by looking at it that this is going to
outlast this pack pod probably times 4 or 5. I think it cost
about 20 to 30 dollars instead of 60. Half the price, more durable, and
same exact functionality. Going forward I would definitely buy a
Mountain Laurel Designs pack pod over Hyperlites. Probably less than an ounce
difference in weight between the 2. Pretty close to the same size too.
Alright so that’s that. On a higher note… I absolutely LOVE this backpack. One of
my all-time favorite pieces of gear that I’ve ever used. I could not recommend
this backpack enough. I have the Southwest 4400 which is about 70
liters in size. It only weighs 2.45 pounds. Which is extremely light for
an internally framed bag. What I really like about this backpack
is that if I need to carry a lot of gear, I can. I’ve had this thing loaded
down with 2 weeks of food, all of my backpacking gear, pack rafting gear and a
gallon of water. You know, a good 70 pounds. This thing handles heavy loads INSANELY
well for such a light bag. I don’t think personally there’s another
bag on the market that weighs 2.45 pounds that can handle heavy loads
as well as this bag. I really don’t. A lot of times I will
get to camp. I’ll set up a base camp like this. Then I’ll take off with just my photography gear, a couple snacks, and some extra layers. What I really love
about this, even though it’s a 70 liter bag. It’s able to compress down very
small. Whether you’re doing just an overnight trip, a day hike, or a 2-week
expedition… This bag can do it all. This is the only backpack that I use. You know,
that’s really nice. It’s extremely comfortable. It’s one of the most
comfortable backpacks that I’ve ever used. To me it’s got exactly what I
want in a backpack. Personally I like just one big internal pocket. The
reason for that is, it’s very easy to waterproof my gear 100 percent.
If you think a pack cover is going to waterproof your gear in extreme
conditions, you probably haven’t been in extreme conditions and tested that out.
I can tell you a pack cover can help, but a pack cover is not foolproof.
The backpacks fabric itself is waterproof. When I first bought this
backpack I got into some pretty extreme rains and all of my gear stayed
perfectly dry. That said over time it’s not going to be as waterproof. I’ve found
out and the reason for that is, well the fabric itself is completely waterproof but
the backpack has seams here. Inside of the backpack you can see
they’re taped. And just over time, after wear and tear, water’s going to be able to get
through those seams a little bit. That said the single internal pocket
allows me to just carry… I always carry a lightweight trash compactor sack and I
will drop that straight down into my backpack, put all of my gear inside and
twist the top off. Whether I’m hiking in extreme rain, fording a river, or pack
rafting, I know for certain that all of my gear is going to stay totally dry. You
know… If you have a backpack with a lot of pockets, you’re going to need more
bags to pull that off. I just find it way easier to organize my gear in a pack
pod and a couple stuff sacks instead of having a bunch of compartments. The
other thing that’s great about that is… The less pockets, the less zippers, the
less failure points your backpack is going to have. Also the lighter your
backpack is going to be. I really like having just this outer pocket here.
I can stuff my map, an extra layer, snacks, just things that I want to
access throughout the day without getting into my backpack. I think they
have a similar backpack with a mesh outer stow pocket. I went with
the the solid one. That way if it’s really dusty out my gears not getting
dusty. People don’t have to look at all the stuff I have jammed in there.
It’s got a loop here and I use this for carrying an ice axe. I really like that feature there.
Yeah, it’s got perfect water bottle pockets here. You can see it holds a
smart water bottle real nice. That’s a bonus.
It’s got these hip belt pockets here. These are nice.
I think they’ve actually made them a little bit larger since I’ve
originally purchased this backpack. I can throw my phone in there, chapstick, a granola
bar. Just something I want to be able to easily access right there. It’s got a
built-in whistle here. It’s got this little stretchy thing here.
I can store my GoPro there. The little GoPro stick fits right in there real nice. I
really like that feature. I never use a sternum strap or hip belt when I hike
personally but most people do. As far as how this bag is holding up… It’s
been holding up just absolutely incredible. I mean you can see on the
bottom here it’s starting to wear through a little bit, but that’s
to be expected with any backpack after 150 days of use.
Yeah, you know I was throwing this around for a month straight on a desert
rock. Really abrasive surfaces. I could see this bag easily lasting another 2-3
years with me backpacking 100 plus days a year, no problem.
I really just couldn’t recommend this backpack enough. That’s pretty
much it. This backpack is insanely light, very functional, has absolutely no
unneeded features. It’s very versatile. Whether you want to do an overnight
trip or a two-week trip this thing will suit you very well. They make
this bag in a couple different sizes… I went with the 70 liter. You’re always
better off having a backpack that’s slightly bigger than what you think you
might need. So if you’re on the fence about what size to get…
I would say go with the larger backpack just because as you can see it
presses down very small if you need it too. If you guys have any questions about
this backpack… About the pack pods, leave me a comment. If
you guys have any questions about anything backpacking related, yeah
leave a comment. Say hi! Say what’s up. you guys are awesome! Give this video a LIKE
if you found it useful. That helps me out. That helps other people find this
content. I will see you guys soon. THANK YOU guys so much for being
here. You guys are AWESOME. Peace.

13 thoughts on “HYPERLITE Backpack & Pack Pod | 1,000 Mile Review

  1. super shady that they edit reviews to just have 4 and 5 stars. They do have an upgrade to the Southwest pack called the Northrim that has woven Dyneema on the bottom where it will get the most wear, came out a few months ago

  2. Another excellent video, Iron. Finally got to try that pack on last weekend. I have a feeling it will be part of the gear library here shortly. And now, I'm going through and giving all your videos a like. 🙂

  3. So many companies are controlling their reviews online now! It’s so frustrating and disappointing that hyperlite practices this too. How do you stand by your product when you can’t trust what people are going to say about it online?

  4. Iron, I bought this pack on your recommendation. Best backpack I have ever owned. You were spot on with this. Thanks

  5. Hey Iron~ how do you deal with lack of any separation between your gear and your back? Seems like no ventilation either. And what about no strap adjustments? Please help me understand if this matters. Thanks Bud

  6. Great packs HMG makes. I own several. Really like your vids.
    Own several HMG Pack Pods. Have not experienced any issues, but I have not used them as much as you have. 

    I also have the MLD pods. In fact, I use the small gray one as a business card holder in my daily business pack. Just ordered more of the MLD pods for an upcoming trip. Love the wasabi green. 🙂

    Safe travels.

  7. Hey Iron! I am an avid hiker/backpacker and I love my HMG so much as well! I own an EE quilt, what do you recommend storing it in for UL storage in my pack? I might try out a Zpacks dry bag, but not sure what size to get…. I currently use a compression bag, I know its not UL but I prefer to keep it as small as possible in my pack and don't want to worry about it getting wet. Hope to meet you one day in the Olympics! (I live in the area) Happy trails!

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