Does a sub 2 lb durable pack exist?

9:04 a.m. on October 9, 2015 (EDT)
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So I am getting the itch for another pack and want to reduce weight as always, but have some durability concerns. I have poked and prodded a couple of the commonly mentioned ultralight packs and am worried they won't hold up to my abuse. I currently still rely mostly on my trusty Gregory Z55 at close to 3.5 lbs for trips more than weekends that involve off trail hiking. I would love to reduce the weight down to around 2 lbs. However, about every 2 or 3 trips I find myself scrambling through a rhododendron thicket getting scraped by branches or hitting an unanticipated brier patch during one of my frequent off trail adventures to get to an interesting looking spot on the topo map etc. Branches and briers have been consistently deflected by the Z55 without damage and it is still going strong.

Is there a similar sized pack out there that weighs in at or under 2 lbs that could withstand the same abuse? I am not sure I am willing to spend the money on anything over 2 lbs as it starts getting too near the weight of my current primary pack form this use. I have a 30 plus liter 1 lb pack for shorter trips where I stay in more "civilized" areas on trails. I treat most of my equipment with great care, but the outside of my pack takes some abuse and needs to protect the rest of my gear. I like the look of the ULA Ohm 2.0 but my big concern is the durability. Anyone with similar bushwacking habits tried a lighter pack, or should I look to a lighter multi day pack for on trail jaunts, and assume that I will still use the Z55 on my exploratory trips?

1:33 p.m. on October 9, 2015 (EDT)
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This is the one area where I call BS on the ultralight philosophy (which I otherwise uphold).

A good durable pack, in my opinion is a must... as is a good suspension system. Regardless of your base weight, it will seem significantly lighter if you have a proper suspension. I say stick to what you have... if you really must, you can try to find a tougher climbing back in the 45-50L range, strip all the non essentials (wont ride anywhere near as nice), and probably get that to sub 2lb and have it be very durable.

Something flimsy that falls apart too soon is in my opinion a poor investment and inherently environmentally unethical (especially since most of us tend to be otherwise quite conscious in that regard).

6:55 a.m. on October 12, 2015 (EDT)
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That was my general impression as well, and the reason I hadn't gone lighter in packs yet while trimming everything else back over the years. This ULA Ohm 2.0 interests me though as it is made entirely from 210 Robic. My Z55 is all 210 ripstop nylon construction and is holding up to abuse like a champ. I am unfamiliar with this material in person so don't know if it is as sturdy. I contacted Chris at ULA and he said the I my gear in an Ohm that he is aware of is from a bear...

7:18 a.m. on October 12, 2015 (EDT)
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Light weight, durable, cheap.......choose two. 

If you really want the first two, and can swallow the pain of the expense, then go for a pack made from dyneema. Hyperlite mountain gear, Cilo gear and mchale will all sell you a pack made from full dyneema, but it's gonna cost you upwards of $600. 

7:19 a.m. on October 12, 2015 (EDT)
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Light weight, durable, cheap.......choose two. 

If you really want the first two, and can swallow the pain of the expense, then go for a pack made from dyneema. Hyperlite mountain gear, Cilo gear and mchale will all sell you a pack made from full dyneema, but it's gonna cost you upwards of $600. 

8:28 a.m. on October 12, 2015 (EDT)
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Golite (out of business) used to make a pack called the Gust, it weighed in at just 1 lb. I used one in 2005. You may find on at Ebay. Its lightweight Golite material seemed very strong when I used it. You can find a gear review for it here at Trailspace.

9:42 a.m. on October 12, 2015 (EDT)
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Jake beat me to it.....:P    But Hyperlite packs are a little over 2 Lbs...I read Josephs review of the Ohm...I don't own one and its Robic I believe used as the material which is a dyneema material...But were talking Bushwhacking..I have 2 ULA packs and the Mesh would catch on brantches and I feel the pack would get holes possibly by sticks poking the material....I really don't know just a maybe on them....I use mine on groomed trails...

10:00 a.m. on October 12, 2015 (EDT)
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This might be an example of taking things too far. If you can find durable packs in the 3 pound range like the larger ULA packs, do you really want to spend $500 to save a pound?  The UL and super light philosophies, in my understanding suggest that equipment needs to be cared for and not subject to abuse. Bushwhacking in the brush is hard use on equipment.

1:30 p.m. on October 12, 2015 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the input. You all are reinforcing my option B which is a nice light and slightly smaller pack like the Ohm for long weekend to week long trips on trail or easy off trail, and stick to the older slightly heavier pack for my exploratory journeys and winter trips when I need more volume or better protection. Adding something like the Ohm or an older Golite may be the answer to increase my stable of choices.

The other options seem nice, but I am not willing to shell out that much for a new one. I like to keep my base weight down to a reasonable level but don't like that high of a price for just a pound reduction. Just last weekend I loaded up an 18 oz trail chair and a 5 lb 3 person tent  so my wife and I could have a laid back trip and extra room in the tent for a rainy weekend, so I don't mind extra weight when there is a good reason.

My personal lower back comfort with the Z55 and the ventilation it allows on your back for southern summers may be lost with a different pack anyway. I have tried before to replace it and never found anything with a big enough difference to justify the expense. Pack shopping is always such a personal decision with no right or wrong answers. Then there is the unmeasruable factor of familiarity and history with an item that is tough to account for...I tend to keep gear for a long time (hence wanting to protect everything else in the pack) and each item seems to bring back memories of previous trips.

January 26, 2020
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