The Ion is the smallest of three packs in GoLite’s Ultra Series, designed for the core ultra-light customer. The Ultra packs (Ion, Jam2, and Pinnacle) offer maximum comfort at minimum weight for minimalist fastpackers, thru-hikers, backpackers, peak baggers, climbers, travelers, and day hikers.
The highly compactable Ion is designed for day hikes and peak bagging, ultra-light fastpacking, rock climbing, travel, and summit bids. It features a watertight zipper, space mesh shoulder straps, adjustable sternum strap, webbing for the hip belt, hydration tube opening, and haul loop.
ultra-light fastpacking, rock climbing, summit bids, day hikes
Unisex (available in Small, Medium, and Large)
1500 cu in
9 oz (260 g)
I purchased this pack to substitute for a much heavier,…
Design: frameless, padless one-pocket day pack
Size: 1,800 cubic inches
Number of Pockets: 1
Max. Load Carried: 10-12 pounds
Height of Owner: 5 foot 10
Price Paid: $42
I purchased this pack to substitute for a much heavier, much more complicated day pack and as a summit bag.
This pack is nearly perfect if you are looking for a comfortable, lightweight, and simple pack. It holds roughly 1,800 cubic inches in one pocket - no side pockets for small items - but it holds a lot of gear for a pack that looks so small. It is basically a narrow tube with a top flap that has a waterproof zipper.
The pack also has a solid haul loop and an opening for a hydration tube. The shoulder straps are made of puffy, lightweight mesh, and it has a sternum strap and a non-load bearing waist belt. Other than the shoulder strap, it doesn't have any lash points. The hardware all works well, and the construction appears to be flawless.
At nine ounces, it is as lightweight as any daypack I researched and looked at. It's perfect for a small summit pack because it weighs almost nothing. It has no foam back pad and can be stuffed into an extremely small space. Keep in mind that without the foam back pad, you need to pack softer clothes near your back. I can't comment on wear because the pack is relatively new, but the pack body is made of dyneema grid - nylon ripstop with white dyneema in a square pattern. dyneema (aka spectra) is a lightweight material that is very abrasion and tear resistant. It has been incorporated into very expensive packs for years. It should make the pack very durable.
The shoulder straps are surprisingly comfortable and well-reinforced where the straps attach to the pack body. I wouldn't carry more than 15 pounds in it, but I have had ten or so pounds in this pack without any problem. the pack is very narrow - it can be hard to extract gear if it's on the bottom of the pack. At the same time, that narrow profile means the pack doesn't impede your arms or movement at all.
I don't think the pack is fully waterproof. Due to the no frills design and lack of smaller pockets, I try to load gear in this pack in a series of Sea to Summit waterproof sacks, so waterproofing isn't an issue.
This is the most comfortable daypack I have owned, provided you don't pack anything lumpy or sharp near your back.