GoLite Jam 70L

3 reviews
5-star:   2
4-star:   0
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0



This is a solid, lightweight bag. If you need frills,…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $80 on sale


This is a solid, lightweight bag. If you need frills, you'll want to look elsewhere. It has lots of room (almost too much). The material held up under some tough conditions.


  • Lightweight
  • Strong materials
  • Comfortable


  • Does not handle overloading well

The Golite Jam 70L is an awesome bag when you use it the way it was designed (I'll bet you know what's coming next). This bag has a great deal of room, and for someone smarter than me, that is a very good thing. It makes cold weather backpacking easier because you have room for the bulkier items that you need.

During three-season camping, it works great, and has a good cinch system to compress the load. However, when you're all giddy because your pack is so light (my base weight was 16 pounds on a 4 day trip), you may lean towards stupidity (such as I did).

The shoulder straps are comfortable, but it doesn't have the extra padding one would desire for heavy loads. That makes sense because it's a lightweight bag, designed for a max load of 30 pounds. When you overload the bag, it does get less cloud-like, and becomes more of a noticeable addition to your shoulders.

My problem is that it felt so good, I started adding the little extras that usually make the difference between a easy trip and a hard one. I do take full responsibility for this, and I blame myself, not the bag. When I keep my extras realistic, the bag makes me very happy. The load adjusting straps did help, and would have been more effective if the bag was WNL (within normal limits).

The waist belt is also very comfortable, and has small pockets on each side. They won't hold a Jimmy Johns Sandwich, but a Clif Bar fits just right (I highly recommend White Chocolate Macadamia).

The bag will hold a hydration bladder (but none is included). The side pockets are very large. I have read other reviews that say these pockets are fragile and tear too easily. The material is thin, but I had a few encounters with aggressive tree branches and rocks, but the pockets on my pack have held up fine so far.

As with most Golite Ultralight bags, the only access is from the top. There is a lot of room in the bag, so when it's not overloaded, it is easy to find items inside. There is a generous front pocket for quicker access to needed items. The opening was wide enough that I didn't have to fight to get anything out of there.

There are a few places to attach some things (they call it ice pic holders), but they also did a great job of keeping hold of my Sheriff Woody coffee mug.

One thing to note with the overloading of this bag is that I really had this thing crammed full, and aside from the payback it gave my shoulders, it held up fine. No threads loosened up, nothing ripped out of its stitching. It is just a solid bag that is extremely well made.

I've had the bag for about a year now, and I expect to use it for a lot longer.

Daniel Oates

If you cinch everything down to compact the size (comPACKtor feature), what's the size estimate in liters? Have you had any issues with the side pockets ripping? I've used the Jam50 and was curious. Thanks for the great review.

6 months ago

An extremely solid and reliable, lightweight, multi-day…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $119.99


An extremely solid and reliable, lightweight, multi-day backpack. Well-designed and comfortable.


  • Comfort
  • Capacity
  • Design
  • Reliable materials

I like the no-frills design: a large, capacious bucket with an additional front pocket, and two more pockets on the belt that accommodate my glasses and camera; two more unzippered side pockets hold Nalgenes easily. The fastex closures and nylon compression straps work well: easy to pack, open, close, and adjust.  The dyneema fabric is claimed to be the strongest available.

I'm often probably packing more than the rated 30 lbs., and the pack has remained comfortable and doesn't shift around.  Since it's designed for ultralight hiking, it's nearly frameless, and correct packing is essential.  You should reinforce the bag's shape by inserting a rolled foam sleeping pad vertically into the bucket, then spread it out to form a tube inside the bag, within which you'll pack your gear, the heaviest items at the bottom, to create a column.

I actually leave my pad slid inside my bivy sack, and use it to form the tube, which adds another layer of waterproofing. Packing in this manner distributes and cushions the weight.  I can say that the Jam 70L is more comfortable than other bags I've used that cost three times as much.

There are no D-rings and few places to lash gear onto the outside of the pack. I attached two carabiner-like clips to the cloth guides for the load-lifter straps, and they work quite well for trekking poles or other gear I need easy access to.

Great pack, great company; would buy again from them.


Great pack, but it was uncomfortable in the shoulders…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new


Great pack, but it was uncomfortable in the shoulders and with the frameless design.


  • Lightweight
  • Big capacity


  • Less than adequate shoulder padding
  • Frameless design was uncomfortable

This a is great lightweight pack and works for weekend backpacking trips and for lightweight loads. I recently took it on a two-week section hike of the AT and found that the shoulder straps do not have enough padding and the frameless design made it really uncomfortable if I was carrying 30+ lbs.

Apart from that it was big enough to fit all my gear in and still have extra room.

Sunwolf Enemy

This pack is rated by the manufacturer for a maximum capacity of 14kg or 30 lbs. You should not downgrade a product for not delivering what it was not designed to deliver.

1 year ago

That is true, it was good when I was low on food and fuel (probably under 30 lbs) but when I resupplied and went over 30 lbs is when it got uncomfortable.

1 year ago
Sunwolf Enemy

Exactly. So why the 3 stars?

1 year ago

Because I didn't like the shoulder padding

1 year ago

I agree with Sunwolf. Marking a UL pack down for overloaded pads is akin to knocking my minivan for not hauling as much as my truck.

12 months ago

I get the point....so I wonder....if your going max on the weight, would it hurt to add some padding to the straps? Thinking something along the lines of those pads you can buy to add to the shoulder strap seat belt. The few ounces that would add....if your going max on the weight, really shouldn't make a huge difference. Thanks for the review....oh, and I look at MAX WEIGHT, along the same lines as "SELL BUY"...it doesn't mean you can't eat it after that date, but laws and such prohibit SELLING after that date. So MAX WEIGHT, protects the manufacture if you bust out the bag or crack a collar bone, well....they gave you a number....30 lbs.....it's not like your tryin to squeeze your size 10 feet into a size 9 shoe. Love the JAMS....I'm still tossing between the 50 or the 70...it's like tryin to decide to get married....kinda....like the 70 but do I really need all that room....but what if I need more than a 50..don't want to bust the seams...what to do.

11 months ago

Could it be the width of the strap causing comfort issues at extreme loads not the need for more cushioning? It could be possible to have a wider strap for the same weight that could make for a more comfortable load. When using a frame less pack it is very import to pack right. Try taking advantage of the load lifters & compression straps and make a narrower/taller pack if you have the extra room(that is, if you haven't already tried this). I can do it with my Pinnacle(very similar to the Jam) and take the weight almost completely off of my shoulders at excessive weights.. It may also be important to have your hipbelt a little tighter to help transfer the load between your shoulders to your hips. Been in the high 40lbs with no probs with no foam insert. I have used my longer tent pole stashed vertically in the water bladder to bring the height up(near top of head height) and then built the pack up from that instead of using the typical doughnut mat pack. What your really pondering over is 1 ounce between the 50 & the 70. I would check out the dimensions and see how much height each pack will give you. If you can't bear having the pack over 30lbs then I wouldn't bother with the 70 because it would tempt you to over pack.

10 months ago

Where to Buy

sponsored links
Help support Trailspace by making your next purchase through one of the links above.

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

Double-Wishbone(TM) hipbelt with quick-access zippered stretch pockets Removable foam back pad High-void meshes on back panel and shoulder harness ComPACKtor(TM) system reduces volume via easy to use anchor/strap system Large front organization pocket Side stretch water bottle/accessory pockets Side compression/accessory attachment straps Twin ice axe loops and handle straps Internal hydration sleeve Cinch and roll-top closure system with top compression strap Load lifters control and transfer weight closer to the body (Jam 70 and 50 only)

- GoLite.com