Looking for a lightweight internal frame

9:23 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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153 forum posts

I might be in the market for a lightweight internal frame pack. I'm doing a hike up Mauna Loa soon (if you've been there check out the trip planning section as I have a few questions). Right now, I have two external frames. One's super heavy (it's a freighter, approx 7 lbs empty) and the other although much lighter still is heavier than I'd like.

I'm probably not going to take it to Mauna Loa as I'd only have a week or so to test it and figure it out, but I'm doing more and more trips where a lightweight pack would be nice.

Basically I'm looking for something that will hold enough gear for 4 days and is as light as possible withough large compromises in reliability. Comfort is the main priority of this pack for me. I'm looking for somehting roughly in the $200 ballpark.

Another thing it needs is the ability to strap a tent bag to the pack externally.

8:13 p.m. on September 4, 2008 (EDT)
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62 forum posts

WISam, if comfort is the "main priority", then best to get to your nearest gear store and start trying on packs.

I think you're looking for a pack in the ball park of 3500-4200 cu. in. Lots of good packs to choose from in that range.

10:05 a.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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204 forum posts

Just wanted to throw in some hints.

there are NO real outfitters in Hawai'i. You can piecemeal stuff as there are a few 'outdoors' type stores in Hilo, but the closest you will find is Sports Authority to have anything you may need, so if you need isopro fuel, you may be in trouble unless you call around first.

Hiking in Hawai'i is challenging due to the fact that the island has 11 of the 13 climates on it... and all in the same day. I've even played in snow on Mauna Kea in the middle of summer!

I'd be very cautious with your planning and take a satellite phone, the Pu'u vent is still spewing out a lot of lava and there is now a lava lake in Halemaumau crater (not big, but this is something we haven't seen for 30 years).... Volcano Natl Park is seeing its most active year, and that pushes all the sulfer and gases up the west side towards Mauna Kea & Loa.

hiking along lava flows are by far the worst thing you can do to man kind. Its lightweight, not flat, up and down, around, etc. It took me and hour and a half to walk a MILE in the crap and it was the a'a lava, which is typically the smoother lava (looks like goo)

You can also check out Na Ala Hele - a very well done site put together by the Dept of Land and Natural Resources in hawaii:

http://www.hawaiitrails.org

-n

8:50 p.m. on September 15, 2008 (EDT)
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153 forum posts

Just got back, actually, I'm sitting around Honolulu for a few hours waiting for a connection. We did pitch a tent one night on the smooth lava which ended up being pretty comfortable. The yellowish sand between 11,500 and 12,000 would have made for a good spot too since it was pretty sheltered. Might be a bit of problem if it rained too hard though. Kind of weird that that sand (maybe more like small pebbles) is shiny as if it’s wet even though it’s not. Any idea why that is?

You're right the lava isn't the easiest thing to hike over, but I have to say it's a close second behind the thick alders and devils club that cover much of southern Alaska. If you're talking about what's the hardest on boots on the other hand the lava takes the cake!! This is only the second hike I've done over lava and between the two trips there's almost nothing left to the soles, not to mention the toes.

11:21 p.m. on September 26, 2008 (EDT)
38 reviewer rep
134 forum posts

As far as easy to get, the REI UL series. I've got a UL 60 I've been happy with. Going down to a GG Mariposa next, and a Golite Jam2 or Pinnacle might work. If you can wait, Osprey is coming out with a new series called the Exos in January. The Exos 58 is going to be 2#.

December 20, 2014
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