Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Porter
As the editor of an outdoor website covering the outdoor sports of Central Washington, I own a lot of packs, big and small. Of all of them, this is currently my favorite.
- White (you can see inside)
- Hugs the back well
- Carries skis well
- Little pockets on hipstrap could be bigger
This has become my go-to pack for gear-intensive day tripping (e.g., backcountry skiing, rock climbing) as well as for lightweight multi-day trips. It’s not the very lightest pack of its capacity out there (my pack weighs 2 pounds, 1 ounce) but is the lightest pack of its capacity that has reinforced sides and bottoms for contenting with skis, sharp tools, and rocks; foam padding and aluminum stays creating a supportive internal frame; full-feature shoulder pads and hip belts; and adequate strapping and compression straps to resize the pack quickly or to easily attach outdoor paraphernalia.
I've been impressed with the strength and durability of the the fabric — it's way tougher than silnylon. And if you don’t poke holes in the fabric (probably inevitable over time), the fabric is completely waterproof. This summer when wildfires threatened my home, I quickly grabbed my most important gear, this pack (out of about a dozen that I own) was one of three I grabbed (I also grabbed one smaller and one larger pack).
If I’d only been able to take one pack, this would have been it. I had my pack outfitted with the holsters and side panel reinforcements for carrying skis. These additions are well designed and tough—virtually all other 2-pound packs I own have gotten sliced by metal ski edges. Not this one.
- Hugs the back snugly while skiing and climbing.
- Aluminum stays can be easily adjusted to the curves of your own back.
- The Cuben fiber is stiff and holds its form when you're loading up the pack.
- The white color of the pack lets you find stuff inside... it's not a black hole.
- The pack compressions instantly to a smaller volume if using the pack for an outing where you're not carrying much gear.
Note: I edit/manage an outdoor website (WenatcheeOutdoors.org) covering the adventure outdoor sports of Central Washington. We review a lot of ultralight gear and after seeing an acquaintance's pack at a trade show I contacted Hyperlite and requested a sample we could test for our audience.
Source: Media outlet -- we reviewed a sample that we requested be sent to us.
Lightweight, super tough.
- Made in America
The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter meets all my needs in a backpack. It is very light, the material and stitching are first rate. It handles winter loads well.
The strength of the fabric was tested during a trip to the Ventana Wilderness where we spent two days scrambling through some nearly impassable brush. No holes in the fabric and after a quick wash it looked like new.
A forty+ pound winter load (mid tarp tent, -20 degree bag, five days food and fuel) was easily swallowed up by the 4400 Porter. The optional back pocket makes a great place to keep maps and a water filter.
For peak bagging and day backcountry ski trips, the Porter has replaced all my other packs. I just tighten up the compression straps and roll down the top a little bit more. It's lighter than all my other day-packs.
Oh yeah, it's reasonably weather proof. If you pack your gear with waterproof stuff sacks you won't need a pack liner or a rain cover with the Porter.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $275
Really fantastic pack. My go-to for weekend to week-long trips!
- Rain proof
I searched a long time to find a lightweight pack that could carry up to 40 lbs comfortably, that was actually long enough to fit my 21.5 inch torso. The Porter is the perfect pack for 90% of my trips, and I love the streamlined design and modular style of this pack.
For longer trips I add a front pocket, and for winter trips an insulated bottle pocket easily straps to the side. If the trip is short or I want to do some peak bagging, the volume is easily reduced with the three side compression straps to secure day-pack sized loads.
If you like a lot of pockets and compartments, this probably isn't the pack for you (check out HMG's other offerings), but if you're into minimalist backpacking, this is an awesome pack.
Source: bought it new
Where to Buy
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The Porter is a general purpose mountaineering pack, weighing 25.1 ounces, with a capacity of 3,400 cubic inches. The Porter features a double-reinforced bottom and a three-tier compression system that can be used to attach skis, snowshoes or a sleeping pad to the outside of the pack.
Made in the United States and priced at $275, the Porter backpack is available in four torso sizes, ranging from 15 inches to 21+ inches, and with three different hip belts, to accommodate waist sizes from petite to burly.
It has external daisy chains, haul loops, numerous attachment points, and accessories for trip-specific customization.
Current Retail: $389.00-$450.00
Historic Range: $270.00-$550.00
Reviewers Paid: $275.00
3400 cu in