Marmot Blue Ridge
Source: Spring gear swap (pack was new)
This is a great small pack for ultra light packing and strong enough to hold 40+ plus if one has to. With no frame it hugs your back and stays with you, but it does get hot in Arizona heat. Waist belt is a little thin but strong and has great side straps to pack on the outside if you have to. The big top flap and the two front zippers work well to keep rain or moisture out.
- Contour shoulder straps
- 5L expandable top
- Strong fabric and stitching
- Made for people of all sizes
- Chest clip (not buckle) pops out (sewed a loop around should strap)
- Hot in summer heat
- No hydration bladder slit
Overall the pack feels great, a girl that's 5'2" to a man that's 6'2" have used it comfortably. The hip belt though thin is a strong good size belt for this pack size and the contoured shoulder straps allow it to fit a wide range of torsos.
The pack size is good for a day to three, depending on how much luxury is taken and is great for canyoneering through tight slots. Only a top loader but opens wide and really all you need for a pack this size. Since it has no frame you must know how to pack properly to distribute weight and external straps help compress pack well.
The Blue Ridge is a durable pack and can take much abuse as long as you address the chest strap issue or are able to field dress. In the past 6 years I have used it in the deserts and snowy caps of Arizona from hot and thorny Sonoran deserts to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the San Francisco peaks and in the slots of northern Paria Canyon and has done its job great.
Size: 2000 cu in
Number of Pockets: 4
Max. Load Carried: Can do 45 lbs I carry about 25 lbs
Height of Owner: 6' 1
Price Paid: $65
Im currently into ultralight backpacking. While this is true I am not into Ultra Ultralight . What I mean by this is that I am willing to shave weight, but not if it means compromising durability or reliability of an item.
I think that because your pack is expected to haul your gear and take the same abuse you do (it's exposed to the elements) this warrants the idea that this is one area you shouldn’t compromise reliability. That’s why I chose the Blue Ridge. I was in the store and really only looking for a day pack I could wear on my motorcycle if need be. I found the Blue Ridge and realized it was the perfect size pack for a weekend hike trip which is what I mostly go on. I noticed that it is lightweight though perhaps not so by true ultra light standards and weighs in at 2 lbs 7 oz.
I have to mention though the quality of fabric and the way this pack it put together well outweigh the plusses of a pack that might be 8 or 9 oz less. I honestly feel better with this pack and being able to make it to my destination and back with no issues then I would with any other ultralight pack. The peace of mind is also well worth the extra weight.
Also I couldn’t believe the price. I paid $65 for this. All and all I suppose this is a moot point as Marmot doesn’t seem to be making this pack any longer.
One more note...Please consider that this is a small pack. It has only 2000 cu in of space. I have been able to substantially reduce the space need and increase space gained by using Marmot's Helium and Atom bags that pack down to cantaloupe size and softball size respectively. If you don’t have this ability space could be an issue for you. The price and construction of this pack make it a stellar deal. Unfortunately I think Marmot had a hard time marketing it as a day pack because it is exceptionally large as such. I still can’t believe I paid only $65 for this.
Where to Buy
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This classically styled rucksack features a clean design for scrambling and day-hiking adventures. Top-loading design features two water-resistant zippered front pockets and a zippered top pocket in the removable lid. 3-D DriClime® mesh belt combines lightweight load distribution with maximum breathability. Waistbelt distributes weight over your back's middle area and lumbar region for load-carrying comfort; waistbelt features two pockets. Side compression straps let you cinch down loads for jostle-free carrying. Curved dual-density shoulder straps help support heavy loads evenly. Compression-molded backpanel delivers a high level of comfort. Rugged 600-denier polyester construction with 600-denier polyester reinforcements for long-lasting durability.
The Blue Ridge by Marmot is a lightweight, classic, top-loading rucksack for hiking and day climbs. Compression molded backpanel 3D DriClime mesh belt Waist belt pockets Removable lid Two front pockets Body: 600d Polyester Volume: 2000 ci/32 l Weight: 2 lb 7 oz/1.1 kg