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lamanite

lightweight backpack for Denali

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I am prepping for Denali and will probably end up using a guide service. The recommended pack size (per the guide service) is 90+L and I don't own anything in that range and don't really know if I'm going to need a 6# pack anyways. My go-to pack for Rainier is a 60L Granite Gear Meridian Nimbus and I think it weighs a little over 2# and comfortably carries around 45#. I would like to find a good lightweight pack that can comfortably carry 60 lbs or more but doesn't add 6 lbs itself. My gear volume just keeps getting smaller and smaller but if the gear list calls for 90L I'd like to at least find a lightweight compromise. Maybe something that weighs 4 lbs and is 75L? Any ideas or recommendations?

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Yes. I'll give you two great options:

 

CiloGear Worksack 75L

 

and

 

Black Diamond Mission 75

 

Both are great packs. The Cilogear 75L when all stretched out is going to be way over 75 litres. If you really want to spend money, they have the design in other material that greatly reduces the weight. The modular nature of this pack means you can configure it many different ways. I can say that on Denali, being able to configure your pack different ways is invaluable as you have to move crap all over the mountain. ESPECIALLY with a guide service who will likely hand you random group gear and food throughout your expedition. Everything installed it would be about 4 lbs.

 

Mission 75 is much less modular but also very versatile. It will pretty much do exactly 75 liter so you'll have to make sure your kit is fully dialed. It's only 3lb 12 oz and rides like a dream. However, like I said, it's probably right on that edge of not being enough space.

 

I took a 7 lb McHale pack that I regretted. Why? I bought it 5 years ahead of time and therefore it didn't quite fit me right when I started using it. Plus it was darn heavy - which could have been an extra bag of food or something else that would have been consumed.

 

+1 for a lighter pack on Denali. If you're trying to do 60 lb in the pack and 40 lb in the sled, then you just need something to carry 60. Both these packs work fine for that!

 

P.S. The CiloGear suspension is adjustable too - buy at 2nd Ascent or Marmot in Seattle (they can order) and they will do a full adjustment of the aluminum stay.

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I bought and used a Pod Sacs XPod when I went to Peru and it worked very well. Not that heavy and comparable to Cilogear. Pretty simple design, durable, but not made of VX material. 500D & 1000D Cordura I think. The burros tried to wear it out but were not successful.

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I have a Wild Things Andanista which is 90L. If I ever truly filled it up it would mean two things 1) I have too much shit 2) and I would laying face down in snow cause of all the weight.

 

That said having that much room is nice cause you can stuff a tent/bag in there without having to compress the hell out of it.

 

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Do not bring an Andinista on a guided trip. It is not big enough and when you do have heavy loads it will carry very very poorly. Go talk to Jim Nelson at Pro Mountain Sports and buy a Mont Bell pack. They make a huge pack that is light weight and carries very well. I have used a Mont Bell which I love. I have also used an Andinista, a mountain hardware, a Dana Designs and a gregory. The Mont Bell was by far the nicest. Second runner up was the mountain hardware.

 

As far as pack size goes... A 75L is not big enough. You will have a ton of group gear that you will be carrying. Chances are if you show up with a 75L they will make you buy another one before letting you on the trip.

 

Edited by Alasdair

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+1 to what Alasdair said. You really do need a monster pack, especially for the shuttling loads up and the monster "do it all in one push" mad dash back to the airstrip.

You don't really notice the couple xtra pounds the pack weighs empty when it is fully loaded. A light weight pack will feel much heavier than a pack built for hauling with the same weight inside. 40 to 60 pounds is common. Plus down clothes and real 4 season tents occupy space.

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and if you don't want to buy a big pack to use for just one trip (understandable) just rent it for the trip. Most guide services rent gear like that for that reason. which company are you using?

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just to chime in and add to what alistair and gene said...

 

First...I've seen the mission 75 tear at the shoulder seams. Also the hip belt is NOT going to feel good for day in, day out carrying 60# AND hauling a sled.

 

Second...when you're busting ass to move up or down and pack up camp, you really want a pack taht you can quickly shove everything in to. If you have to meticulously pack your shit and it just barely fits, everyone else on the guided trip is going to hate you as they sit around freezing waiting for you to find out where to stuff your shit.

 

Gregory Makalu Pro...a simple pack that is much lighter than their Denali pro...more of just a sack with a huge detachable clam shell that in and of itself can carry almost 20L. Light and has a great harness. It's what I use up there for the W. Buttress. Cheap...$300. And Durable.

 

 

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thanks for all the great replies and advice guys! I'm probably going to go with RMI. I have a Rainier trip planned with them this summer (even though I've already been up Rainier multiple times with a private group) to see what they are like. I do hope to do some of the other 7 summits like Aconcagua and Vinsson so hopefully a 75L pack would cover them all.

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Makalu Pro is a great pack for what you describe. To boost the capacity, get a little ladderlock buckle slider thing and swap it for the fastex buckle on the rope strap. Then thread another piece of 1" webbing through that ladderlock: now your rope strap is as long as you want. Put the fastex buckle back on the end of the new rope strap, and use your new elongated rope strap to strap down a 30L dry bag. The pack lid will help hold it too. I say this because the Makalu is one giant bag with no pockets, and the dry bag gives you both extra volume, which I think you will need judging from my two AK range trips with that pack, but also an extra place to stash stuff for easy access.

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I know the horse is dead and that it left the building. And I own cilogear, have strep throat, have been lying like a sack of meat on a couch for a week, yada yada yada.

 

But I thought I'd try (and most likely fail) to share this video of a cc poster and his pack...

 

[video:youtube]

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