looking for a minimalist day pack

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Chip Down
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looking for a minimalist day pack

Post by Chip Down » November 12th, 2018, 7:22 pm

My trusty ol' daypack is getting really tired. Not a lot of trips left in it.

As often happens, I can't find a replacement because it's considered obsolete. I understand pack technology has advanced in leaps and bounds through the intervening years, and so now I'm supposed to buy a heavy expensive complicated pack replete with bells/whistles. I saw one that was so complicated, I had to struggle to figure out how to open it!

I tried googling certain phrases, like "minimalist day pack", but all I got was travel packs, urban packs, crag packs for carrying gear to the bottom of a wall.

I like a narrow profile (thus inevitably higher), slightly larger than most day packs (room for rope, crampons, beer).


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Re: looking for a minimalist day pack

Post by Water » November 12th, 2018, 10:49 pm

hyperlite mountain gear?
does ultralight$ = minimalist? ehh...

just throwing a name out there of a place to look at some nifty stuff since you know you'll make good use of it.

-a has-been gear geek
Feel Free to Feel Free

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Re: looking for a minimalist day pack

Post by Bosterson » November 12th, 2018, 11:20 pm

heavy expensive complicated pack
Maybe you're looking in the wrong place... Gear is now light to the point of being too fragile to take outdoors.

You didn't mention quite a lot of important considerations: size? Frame or no? Top or panel loading (if it matters)? Features tailored more for mountaineering or hiking (eg, ice tool attachment options)? Side pockets or bladder sleeve?

I have a Patagonia Ascensionist 45L alpine pack that has minimal features, a clean profile, and an ingenious top cinch design. Tool attachments were redesigned in the new version, which is less neat, but I think they made the fabric burlier and added hydration bladder compatibility. The new one comes in 30L and 40L versions I think. No top lid.

Granite Gear might make something in a daypack size, though I don't know specific models. I have a roll top 60L backpacking pack (2 lbs, plastic frame sheet only for suspension) that I like, and they seem both simpler and less techy in their designs.

My go to daypack for off trail activities and mountaineering is a 15 year old 35L Arc'teryx Bora that I will use until it literally disintegrates. I'm really not sure they make gear this burly anymore, but I've read good things about their current FL 30 ultra minimalist alpine pack, which depending on your needs and budget might be the way to go if you really don't want pockets or straps or anything.
Will hike off trail for fun.

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Re: looking for a minimalist day pack

Post by Webfoot » November 13th, 2018, 1:14 am

What does minimalist mean to you in this context?

The Deuter Guide 35+ is tall and narrow and you can remove the hip belt padding, or the entire hip belt, to make it lighter. It is, or at least was some years ago, made from high durability fabrics that should withstand your off-trail use better than most.

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Re: looking for a minimalist day pack

Post by bghiker » November 13th, 2018, 9:34 am

I have a Gregory Z30 that I use as my day pack...a little on the heavy side but built like a tank..

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Re: looking for a minimalist day pack

Post by SCtoPDX » November 14th, 2018, 11:54 am

I just ordered a Superior Wilderness Designs 35L frameless pack for this very reason. Big enough for a couple of nights out, yet small enough for a day hike. Fair warning; their packs aren't cheap and there is a 8-12 lead time as they are custom made. I'll post a review when it comes.

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Re: looking for a minimalist day pack

Post by Crusak » November 14th, 2018, 4:01 pm

I've been using an Osprey Kestrel 38 pack in the large size as my primary day pack since 2011. It still looks like new, except for the dirt here and there. All seams, stitching and material is still in like-new condition, and I've done over 100 hikes with it.

In fact, I'm wearing that pack in my forum profile picture. :D

https://www.osprey.com/us/en/product/ke ... REL38.html

I'm a big fan of Osprey.
Jim's Hikes

Solvitur Ambulando

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