Mountain Hardwear Solitude
Design: Top loading internal
Max. Load Carried: 50 pounds
Height of Owner: 5'11"
Price Paid: $399
I love this pack. I was looking for a pack to replace my aging Lowe Alpine when I found out about the new Exodus packs. This is quite possibly the last pack I will every buy.
To test, I loaded it up to 50 pounds (way more than one would normally carry) and headed out for a 27 mile, 3 day, 2 night trek. I was completely blown away by the packs ability to handle the load and do so comfortably. This is by far the most comfortable, best handling pack I have had. And thank God, it took a lot for me to swallow 400 bones for a pack. But I figure it's a good deal if I never have to buy one again.
I would have given it 5 stars but set up of the frame is a complete PITA. It takes some patience and a friend's help to get everything adjusted correctly. But once done, off you go and thankful your back and hips will be.
I also am wary about the velco that holds the adjustments in place. I could see this wearing out eventually and causing a lot of problems with the adjustments. Also, some of the frame pieces seem cheaply made, even if they are a small tiny part they appear to be critical. If broken, the system will no longer be functional.
All that being said, Mountain Hardwear does cover the pack with a lifetime warranty, so if any problems do creep up, they should be covered. Only time and miles will tell just how sturdy and durable this pack is.
Price Paid: $400
I bought this pack online at Moosejaw after testing in a local outfitter, which isn't really much of a test. I took it on a short weekend hike, and it performed well, but was unnecessary due to the amount of gear I needed.
Then I took it on a 9-day extreme backcountry trip in Jasper National Park and Mt. Robson Provincial Park. I needed to carry plenty of gear, and this pack provided pleanty of room. It was extremely comfortable compared to packs I have used in the past, and it sat almost perfectly on my hips (I say almost because it did cut off circulation a bit when I had 50 lbs in it). The pack remained comfortable on the route I took (which was no trail, and very rough hiking). The kangaroo pouch was perfect for storing quick access gear. The velcro seems to hold very well, and I really can't see it wearing for a long time. The load adjuster is so easy to deal with. Much easier than dealing with standard strap type load adjusters.
The design is completely different than anything I have seen before, and it seems as though a lot of though went into it because it work. I am extremely happy with the purchase. I also took the pack on the Wonderland Trail in Mt. Rainier NP, and it was perfect for that trail as well. I would not recommend any other pack for multi-day backcountry treks. I wish I could use it for backcountry skiing as well, but it would be ridiculous as it is far too big for that unless I am on a multi day snowshoe/ski trip. Kudos to Mountain Hardwear. I thought they would go downhill when they merged with Columbia, but their gear still seems to be very well made.
Where to Buy
The Mountain Hardwear Solitude is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may want to check pricing and availability directly at these Mountain Hardwear retailers:
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Here's what other sites are saying:
The Mountain Hardwear Solitude Backpack uses Exodus Cruiser suspension to provide excellent support and comfort when you're carrying massive loads on week-long hiking trips. This Mountain Hardwear-exclusive suspension system has Fit-Lock shoulder straps and hip belts which mold to your body without heat shaping. Lightweight Scandium tubing connects the suspension to the pack, creating flow-through ventilation matched only by external-frame packs. Convert the top pocket to a shoulder bag when you're on a short hike away from camp. The Solitude Backpack uses a three-dimensional compression system to hold your load in place while a front pocket and sleeping-bag compartment keep a week's worth of gear organized and easily accessible.
- Backcountry Outlet
Our largest Exodus pack for men, Solitude uses the Cruiser frame and is designed to accommodate the needs of serious, multi-day backpackers. Patent-pending Fit-Lock harness and waist belt conform to the body shape of the user and lock into place, distributing load evenly over the entire frame and eliminating painful pressure points. Result? Less fatigue and a more comfortable carry.
- Altrec Outdoors
On Sale. Free Shipping. Mountain Hardwear Solitude Backpack (Fall 2007) Capacity (Medium): 4800 cu. in.; 79 litersWeight (Medium): 6 lbs. 3 oz.; 2.81 kg. Fabric: Body: 420D/96T Cordura Accent: 420D/96T Cordura Bottom: 630D/109T Ballistics Cordura Features: Exodus Cruiser suspension frame with on-the-fly torso length adjustment Fit-Lock shapable shoulder yoke and hip-belt Partial pivot hip-belt with 7075 alloy stay Proprietary U-Bar upper load stabilizer Removable Kit Backpack top pocket converts to shoulder Backpack Fold top designed for use with pocket removed Large front pocket with water-resistant zippers Zip access lower sleeping Backpack compartment with removable internal divider Mesh side pockets plus lower wand pockets Hydration sleeve with right and left side hose ports Dual Axe-S quick-release ice axe toggles Three dimensional compression system tunes vertical and horizontal load
Introducing a backpack with on-the-fly torso adjustment for traditional backpacking journeys. Fit-Lock™ shapeable shoulder yoke and hipbelt accommodate a wide range of body sizes. The yoke wraps around the front of the torso, instead of underneath the arms, giving you more freedom of movement when bending or reaching. Structurally rigid, the Fit-Lock Harness conforms, then locks, to the user's unique body contours for a customized fit and even load distribution. Special U-Bar™ upper load stabilizer connects the yoke to the frame, maintaining the load-bearing shape of the shoulder harness. U-Bar also has a fine-tuning torso length adjustment that can be done while you're carrying the pack. Exodus™ suspension's on-the-fly torso-length adjustment distributes the load over a large area to carry weight easily and comfortably. Cruiser™ frame is built for traditional backpacking and trail oriented use, providing excellent back support for heavy loads. Partial pivoting waistbelt with rear tilt-tensioner maintains load support while easing bending, leaning and stepping upward. Advanced Scandium™ alloy tubes attach to the frame, transferring load to the waistbelt. Top-loading main compartment features a folding collar that rolls down dry-bag style to seal contents from the elements. Removable Kit Bag™ becomes a single-strap shoulder bag with 2 pockets: a great option for short explorations from base camp. Hydration-compatible design features a reservoir pocket and twin drink-tube exit ports for on-the-go hydration (reservoir sold separately). Dual Axe-S™ toggles hold ice axes securely, yet release quickly on demand. Large front pocket with water-resistant zippers can hold a jacket and other often-used essentials. Bottom sleeping bag compartment has a removable divider between it and main pack, allowing you to keep gear separate or create one large storage area. Stretch mesh side pockets plus lower wand pockets offer storage for water bottles, tent pole and trekking poles.