User Review: GoLite Jam 50L
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90
This is a great entry level pack for those who are thinking or planning on entering the world of Ultralight/Lightweight Backpacking. The 2012 50L Jam has great features that can be found on other packs and allows the user to setup the backpack to be frameless or framed.
- Limited pockets
- Hard to add items on front pocket when main compartment is filled
When I started backpacking, just like a lot of people, my overall backpack weight was on the heavy side. Not wanting to give up backpacking, I knew that if I decreased my pack weight, I could potentially enjoy backpacking more.
One of the items that I knew I had to upgrade was my backpack. After months of research, I decided to get the 2012 Golite 50L Jam.
When I first received this in the mail a few days after ordering it, I was so surprised how small the box was when it was delivered...I couldn't believe there was backpack inside this small box.
After un-boxing the newly acquired toy, I was concerned with such a lightweight pack, how is it going to ride and how comfortable will this be with loads of up to 25 lbs.? As any good "tester" or excited kid with a new toy, I loaded the pack with my normal overnight gear and I was very surprised how comfortable this pack fit me. It allowed full weight transfer of the pack to my waist and left my shoulders free from discomfort.
Another surprise was how roomy this pack was, it allowed me to fully pack a double-walled tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, water bladder, and a bear canister (albeit, a small canister). All of these items in a pack that weighs less than 2lbs!
Here's a shot of the pack loaded with 23lbs. total weight (with food and water) on a recent trip.
This pack is built to last in my opinion. Fabric is made from Gridstop Nylon + Dyneema which results in a very durable yet lightweight pack — plus it also provided the user an option to take out the frame sheet to convert this pack to become frameless. It also features load lifters and a unique compression system that can buckle across the front of the pack or just on the sides. The biggest feature of all is the price...it's amazingly affordable.
The only complaint I do have about this pack is the front pocket; it can be difficult to add items once the main compartment is full. However, if you place items in the front pocket first before the main compartment, I have found that this alleviates the issue.
I have had this pack since February of this year and I have taken this pack out on multiple backpacking trips and day trips. I highly recommend this pack to anyone who is interested in getting into Ultralight or Lightweight backpacking, this pack does not sacrifice comfort in any way and it's been one of my favorite pieces of gear thus far.