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  1. #1
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    Default Need help with picking lighter pack

    Until recently I've been using a kelty redwing 44 for summer and a a kelty coyote 80 for winter (which has a psychological pain associates with it due to size). I'm looking to go lighter and am looking at either a ula circuit or gg mariposa. I love the large side pocket on the mariposa so I can store my tarp and maybe even hammock outside of the pack. My summer base weight, not including pack, is between 14 to 15 pounds. I read the new mariposa is more durable, but the ula seems to be more solid all around. Any help or input would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    North Georgia Wanderer soumodeler's Avatar
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    Default

    Also check out the ZPacks options. Great packs, very light, but well made.

  3. #3
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    $265 is my absolute max. So that eliminates zpack, unfortunately.

  4. #4
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    I used the ULA Catalyst in Colorado last September. I carried my MSR Hubba Hubba NX in it's stuff sack with one end in the lower side pocket and the upper end under the upper compression strap. Either one of those pockets will hold a Nalgene 3 quart soft canteen with a bit of space left over.
    I didn't have a scale at the trailhead, but I estimate that I left the car with 3 liters of water and a full 7 days food and a pack weight in the 35-40 pound range. The Catalyst was very capable from 10,200' to 12,200' and back down. Coming from a Dana Design Terraplane I was impressed by the Catalyst and the way it handled the load.
    Good luck.
    Wayne


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    Deep in the East Texas Rainforest.
    "Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it's been." Grateful Dead

  5. #5
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    There are a lot of good options but I'm super happy with my new Catalyst. I take a lot but am trying to get weight and bulk down a bit. I am able to have 1 week worth of food and 2L of water in it and keep it at 35 lbs and it carries great. I think that is a reasonable example of light but not ultra light. The bonus is that I got it thinking of it as a summer/shoulder season pack sizing down from Aether 70, but it holds enough volume for me to do a 3-4 day winter hike around here.
    If you just want one arrow in your quiver, I think the Catalyst fits the bill and is worth a long look.

  6. #6
    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
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    I'd save 290 and look at hyperlite mountain gear I love mine. Nice size outer pockets. I could have fit my stuff in the 2400, but I got the 3400. But 15lbs I'd bet the the 2400 would be big enough. I just did a 14 mile day yesterday with 25 and did well.
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  7. #7
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterParty View Post
    I'd save 290 and look at hyperlite mountain gear I love mine. Nice size outer pockets. I could have fit my stuff in the 2400, but I got the 3400. But 15lbs I'd bet the the 2400 would be big enough. I just did a 14 mile day yesterday with 25 and did well.
    The 3400 Southwest is $330 now.
    Wayne


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    Deep in the East Texas Rainforest.
    "Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it's been." Grateful Dead

  8. #8
    Registered User Sidetrail's Avatar
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    I have the GG Mariposa and love it. Large pack and medium belt fits me as I'm 5'9" and 180lbs. My base weight is 16 lbs and everything fits. Including 5 days of food, I'm at 26 lbs and it manages that comfortably. The tent side pocket is great.

  9. #9

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    Love my ULA Ohm. Considering the Circuit as a second pack.

  10. #10
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    I just got the 2400 HMG wind rider. I was set on the 3400, bit on a whim and decided to order down to 40 L. I know I can. I totally comfortable and have a total weight of 30 or less.
    After hiking last year with 42 lbs. I am so ready to look at ways to lighten up. I'll never be a UL, but I'll take all the advice I can get.
    I have always been told to buy the gear first and pack last. since I'm replacing gear and pretty much have a target weight, I don't think it was a bad idea to drop the bomb on the pack! I cannot wait to get it

  11. #11
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    Grasshopper
    If one aquires the lighter gear first, the right pack will make itself known in due time
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  12. #12
    Siestita's Avatar
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    After carrying vintage external frame packs (top of the line 1960 and 70s designs) for decades I recently purchased a ULA Catalyst. It carries surprisingly well while itself weighing about half as much ( 3 lbs rather than 5 1/2 lbs.) as the old externals do.

    Being "light" but not "ultralight", my base weights (including the pack) now usually vary between 15 and 18 pounds, depending upon the season. Spending four days and three nights in Kentucky's Daniel Boone Forest last week (late March) I managed, just barely, to stay warm amid temperatures that occasionally dropped below freezing. For me that required carrying extra clothing layers and supplementary foam insulation. With food and water, I started out with a total pack weight of 24 lbs. But, because foam pads and fleece are bulky, that load completely filled the Catalyst.

    I second this comment that Mr. Bumpy made in post #5, "If you just want one arrow in your quiver, I think the Catalyst fits the bill and is worth a long look".

    Do you anticipate ever doing winter camping, or carrying extensive water on a trip in the Western U.S., or going to a place that requires use of bear canisters? Under those circumstances you might someday appreciate the volume and weight bearing capacity that a Catalyst provides.
    Last edited by Siestita; 03-25-2017 at 22:15.

  13. #13
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siestita View Post
    After carrying vintage external frame packs (top of the line 1960 and 70s designs) for decades I recently purchased a ULA Catalyst. It carries surprisingly well while itself weighing about half as much ( 3 lbs rather than 5 1/2 lbs.) as the old externals do.

    Being "light" but not "ultralight", my base weights (including the pack) now usually vary between 15 and 18 pounds, depending upon the season. Spending four days and three nights in Kentucky's Daniel Boone Forest last week (late March) I managed, just barely, to stay warm amid temperatures that occasionally dropped below freezing. For me that required carrying extra clothing layers and supplementary foam insulation. With food and water, I started out with a total pack weight of 24 lbs. But, because foam pads and fleece are bulky, that load completely filled the Catalyst.

    I second this comment that Mr. Bumpy made in post #5, "If you just want one arrow in your quiver, I think the Catalyst fits the bill and is worth a long look".

    Do you anticipate ever doing winter camping, or carrying extensive water on a trip in the Western U.S., or going to a place that requires use of bear canisters? Under those circumstances you might someday appreciate the volume and weight bearing capacity that a Catalyst provides.
    I totally agree. The Catalyst covers a lot of bases.
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Deep in the East Texas Rainforest.
    "Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it's been." Grateful Dead

  14. #14
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    I ended up getting the circuit. Most I'm out is 3 days, amd usually just overnights in the winter. May get a catalyst later for winter, but the circuit seemed like it would do the best for my needs. Will eventually switch out my hammock for a lightweight tent like something from tarptent and get a down sleeping bag (have a down underquilt for winter and a synthetic dyi underquilt for summer) to get my base weight lower than my 14 pound summer load out. Thanks for the input.

    I really liked the pocket layout of the mariposa, but I wanted more durability and internal space.

  15. #15

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    I like the Exped Packs - Swiss made, solid and light.

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