The Pack

Availability of Pack Types: Until recently, there have been few choices in packs besides internal or external frame. Packs have been getting bigger and bigger, designed to hold increasing loads. An average empty pack can be 5-7 pounds. Empty! Somehow, it was manly to carry lots of stuff that wasn't needed--and to forego thinking through chosen gear items to save bulk and weight. Beginning with GoLite, in the late 1990s, Ray Jardine's designs were marketed for the rest of the hiking world to enjoy. It's certainly taken years for the world of lightweight packing to catch on--and for light to become the new heavy in terms of trendiness.

Here's the concept behind the pack: it's the basis of the lightweight system
. The lighter the load inside the pack, the less burden required of the pack and therefore the lighter it can be. With loads under 35 pounds, most frameless packs will be comfortable. Often the sleeping pad will be placed around the inner rim of the internal compartment to act as a frame (note the dual purpose of the pad). The idea is that one can build an entire lightweight system that can reasonably fit into this smaller pack.
We both use the GoLite Pinnacle (pictured on left), which is a mid-sized pack option. It has one main compartment, one smaller zippered compartment in front, and two hydration pouches on either side of the pack.

Lightweight Hiking Concepts