Rucksack quandry….

I am currently looking for something just a little bit bigger than the OMM 32L classic rucksack for long weekends or lightweight winter trips. The 32L is starting to get a bit worn and tired and sometimes I try to shove just a few too many things in it 😀 .  I’ve got a Gossamer Gear Mariposa but thats a little bit big. I used to have a Golite Jam but also found that a little bit big. I’ve tried and rejected the Golite Peak because I dont like the back or hipbelt. I’m kind of running out of suggestions for rucksacks to look at and so am open to suggestions. The prime characteristics of the pack I am looking for are listed below.

Looking for:

  • at least 35Litres but less than 50Litres
  • Less than 1kg and preferably as light as possible
  • reasonably robust but weight and comfort of fit a priority
  • no internal stays (ie flexible back)
  • possibly hip belt pockets but not essential
  • dont mind either floating lid or roll top closure
  • doesnt have to be “waterproof” (you know what I mean…)
  • a medium sized back
  • colour not an issue

What say you good people? What do you recommend that’s worth a try…?

About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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20 Responses to Rucksack quandry….

  1. What about the Golite Pinnacle ? It is bigger than 50 litres, but you can shut down the volume with the ComPactor system. It weighs 935g, does not have a internal frame and it is great for all that bulky winter gear. I have one and I am happy with it.

  2. backpackbrewer says:

    Had me one of them 😉

    Yes, I do like most of the Golite range although was dissapointed by the Peak. I am half tempted to get the jam again (my old version didnt have the hip belt pockets)

    • backpackbrewer says:

      The villain is an option Ben although a tad heavy unless you strip it down a bit. Once had a the big brother the mountain mover nad it drove me nuts with teh stupid lumbar pad though…. 😦

  3. Martin Rye says:

    Peak is flawed as the extension collar is too short anyway. Get a Gorilla Pack. Fits all the list you made there. It is a fine pack. Has its niggles but it delivers on the trail. I love mine but wont use my Peak for backpacking. Good choice in discounting it

    • backpackbrewer says:

      I found that too Martin, the extension collar on the Peak didnt seem to roll and strap down properly

      The Gorilla does look nice btw

  4. Another vote here for the bigger OMM stuff. I use a Villain in winter and I too dislike their lumber pad on the bigger sacks. They detach easy enough though (well the Villains does). I reckon the Jiri is my all time fave pack in that it does so many tasks soo well. I also have a soft spot for the Adventure lite which is summer daypack or daily in and out of work pack.

    What about a Jiri then? It’s a generous 35 to 38 litres, tough and light, very comfortable and has no lumber pad.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      The Jiri looks nice but wasnt sure if the 35L size was too close to the 32L classic pack. If you reckon it may be nearer 38L then I might have a squint at that. Not sure on the villain but it may be worth trying both on to see.
      OMM packs are by and large superb and I have the 20L, 25L and 32L packs which is probably overkill for the lower volume carries!

  5. I really must get round to writing up a report on the BPL Absaroka.

    Its hip belt and back pads are luxurious, although could bring on nappy rash in muggy weather. Also, the comfortable padding makes the hip belt a bit big for one shoulder packing, but if you need a proper hipbelt, this is a good one.

    Shoulder straps poor, as stiff but only 2D. Tolerable only.

    Sternum strap arrangement is rubbish. Perhaps they’ll change it on the next batch.

    Two back pockets good. One held 2L Platy plus toilet tent peg. Other held Trailstar.

    The reason why I will be using this pack again is the top closure. Simply the best. The way all rucksacks should open and close. I keep my camera in the top of my pack. This drybag closure with GG style fastening down at the sides gives rapid access combined with reliable closing. Love this so much it almost makes up for the shoulder and sternum straps.

    Also, the Absaroka came in around £60 because of the Dutch auction. It might happen again.

    If Golite change the Jam so that it closes like the Absaroka, I’d have my perfect pack.

  6. backpackbrewer says:

    very interesting pack that. I am not sure it would work for me on account of the lumbar pad which I hate with a vengeance. Can the lumbar pad be removed without having to remove the rest of the hipbelt?

    The rest of it looks nice even if the back is a little overengineered but at £60 in a sale it looks a pretty good buy…

  7. Zed says:

    Can’t see how to get the back padding out but it isn’t obtrusive. There is no hard sheet as in the Gregory G . With the exception of the shoulder and sternum straps, which need redesign, I’d say it was very comfortable.

    The shoulder straps and hip belt can be detached and changed. Large size pack with medium sized strapping could work.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      thanks, I’ll bear it in mind. It certainly looks a very nice pack. Would have to try it on wherein lies the problem!

  8. R MacE says:

    I like my ULA Conduit (now CDT) but it might be on the smallish side, not sure on the capacity or how it compares to others but it’s the smallest. The Ohm is next up the range and slightly bigger.

  9. backpackbrewer says:

    Looking at the specs, its 35L on the main body and a total of 58litres inc all pockets and expansion collar

    the weight is very respectable coming in under 500g

    I have heard good things from others on this pack so its a definite contender and the price isnt horrendous (until the customs guys get hold of it 😦 )

  10. Mike R says:

    I have a Jirishanca which is the favourite rucksack I own. I generally use it for day use for two people and a dog. However, I have used it for summer weekend backpacking where it is manageable but a little tight for space in that I feel as though I am ramming stuff into it a bit. In it’s favour the MSC on it is slightly heavier duty than the MSC on the 32L Classic so you can use that for extra storage. Also, you can buy the supplementary OMM chest pouch thing but I find it a little sweaty for uphill struggles and sometimes end up fixing it to the rear of the rucksack.

    I too was recently considering a slightly bigger sack along a similar vein as your required attributes and only really came up with a shortlist of the Golite Jam and an Osprey Hornet 46. I thought the new Hornet might have potential but I think you would have to import it and some of the American reviews seemed to say it was a bit too short in back length. I was not sure about it and then decided not to buy another rucksack for the time being.

  11. backpackbrewer says:

    thanks Mike, so another vote for the Jiri by the sounds of it. I might try it since its far easier to get hold of than the ULA packs and so is easily returnable if I dont get on with it.

    Getting close to decision time…… 🙂

  12. Mike fae Dundee says:

    MLD Prophet, Dave.
    You know you want to. 🙂

  13. backpackbrewer says:

    I had me one of those Mike 🙂

    although to be fair it was the 2006 version that was around 200g off the top of my head. I didnt get on with it as it was just too shapeless. The newer versions look a better bet and are now made of dyneema which will make them much more rugged…

    Yes, I have pondered getting the latest version Mike…..

  14. Matt C says:

    A bit late on this one but…
    …have you considered the new POD Lux packs? There’s a 35 and a 45 litre version. They come with an internal stiffened frame sheet, but that’s removeable and once removed they come in comfortably under your 1kg limit (935g/700g stripped for the 35, 980g/740g stripped for the 45, quoted on the PODsacs website). They seem to tick all your other boxes, and POD have a good reputation (I’ve owned, no, still own, four, and that’s before I get my hands on one of these 🙂

  15. backpackbrewer says:

    Hi Matt,

    not late at all and I do seem to remember you have tested quite a bit of kit in your time so comments very welcome!

    I hadnt considered POD at all to be honest. I had forgotten about them. Tried a POD sac in Hathersage once and felt like a quality (climbing) pack.

    Very interesting that they do lightweight medium size packs. The weights puts them in the same bracket as Golite and OMM. As you say their reputation is very good.

    Another couple of packs to check out then, I am going to have to narrow down the field a bit and order a few by post to try. Some of the packs mentioned in total just arent available in the gear shops around me. The US packs would be a gamble so what I might do is try the UK available packs first and then if nothing really grabs me….move on to the US packs

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