Wednesday, 1 July 2009

further musings on rucksack options

Following on from my ultra lightweight packing experiment at the weekend I had another think about whether the Talon 44 was my only option.

I did a search of gear shops and online gear sellers looking for possible alternatives to the Talon 44. The reason being is that the bag weighs 1100g (manufacturers weight) whereas the bag it is replacing, the OMM Villain, only weighs 930g in the configuration that I have used it in (this is with a 3/4 length mat in place of the back panel).

Looking at the alternatives, and there aren’t many it must be said, they all manage to weigh in at over 1500g. My philosophy when buying gear is simple if it is replacing something then I’d like it to weigh less, so you can imagine my dilemma when faced with a 170g hike in weight. This is where the US gear manufacturer Gossamer Gear comes in, they do a smaller version of their Mariposa Plus bag called a Miniposa that has the required capacity. And better still it weighs less than 500g. Very tempting especially as I like the look of it’s big brother however, although there is a UK supplier, it’s out of production. Another consideration is that it needs a pad or mat to form the back support. With the NeoAir being my mat of choice I’d have to draft in something specific for the task, and with it the additional cost and weight penalty. Along with cancelling the benefit of the double use of mat and back support. The same happens with the Villain; pack the NeoAir and I need to add the back panel. This takes the overall weight up to 1118g. The Miniposa is still the lighter choice but the Talon still holds a slight edge in my mind.

5 comments:

blogpackinglight said...

The Mariposa Plus is a fabulous pack and very comfortable. I use a shortened nightlight torso pad (two folds) for the back. I use this in conjuction with my NeoAir short for a full leght pad. All up it weighs 800g. The Miniposa doesn't have the back stays. If you want a smaller pack with stays, you will have to go for the Gorilla. Personally I would go with the Mariposa Plus as it is a more flexible pack and can expand and contract with your load. On the other hand, Osprey do make great packs!

baz carter said...

You can understand my dilemma! I've had an email from Gossamer Gear and there won't be any available until August :( I think that Osprey is goning to be the winner here.

Philip Werner said...

The mariposa plus is excellent. I just bought a second so I could send the first in to GG for some free repairs. If you are looking for a smaller lighter pack, I suggest you look at the Prophet from Mountain Laurel Designs. I have a friend who loves his, and you could use the Neoair as a stiffener inside it.

baz carter said...

Good tip Philip - I'll look into this.

Dave Hollin said...

I have the mariposa pack Baz and I love it. Its massive and uber comfy once I took out the pesky stays from it. I normally put the GG nightlight sleeping pad in the back section although sometimes if I am slackpacking then the exped down mat finds its way there instead.....
:)