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#201434 - 07/21/18 07:35 PM Mountainsmith Gear
packlite Offline
Admin

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 2499
Loc: Pullman, WA, USA
Just curious. I used to use Mountainsmith gear, mainly backpacks back in the 90's. Haven't heard much about them in the mainstream for many years.

Again, just curious if anyone uses their gear. What quality is it? Still made in US? Backpacks?

I still have and use a couple of their packs from 98.

thanks,
packlite
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#201436 - 07/22/18 12:48 PM Re: Mountainsmith Gear [Re: packlite]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6580
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Back in 2005-2006, when I went through the lightening up process using your 27 lb, 7 day gear list as a model, I found that Mountainsmith had discontinued their light weight packs and gone much heavier. Having found what I needed elsewhere, I never checked back. I just looked at their website, and they are still featuring heavy hauler packs that carry (supposedly) 60-65 lbs. and weigh 5 to 5 1/2 lbs. They certainly can no longer be considered lightweight!
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#201437 - 07/22/18 01:55 PM Re: Mountainsmith Gear [Re: packlite]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1772
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I used a Mountainsmith Phantom in 2005-2006. It weighed around 2.5 pounds (IIRC). I never really liked it that much; it rode on the top of my butt in an uncomfortable but not painful way. I sold it when I bought a more comfortable but heavier Golite Quest in 2007. I’ve been through several other packs since then.

When I was looking for a pack for my upcoming northbound JMT hike I looked again at Mountainsmith but didn’t find anything I liked; too heavy and too many straps, loops and other bells and whistles. I finally settled on the new, 36 oz, Elemental Horizons Kalais. I’ve used the older, somewhat smaller, Kalais for about 6 years and like it a lot. The new model is a bit bigger, a bit heavier and even better IMHO.


Edited by Pika (07/22/18 01:57 PM)
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#201439 - 07/22/18 03:05 PM Re: Mountainsmith Gear [Re: Pika]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6580
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The Elemental Horizons Kalais is one of the packs I would look at if I needed a new one (which I don't). The others would be the ULA Circuit or Ohm.

The pack I bought in early 2006 (the then just-discontinued Six Moon Designs Comet, with the optional stays) still works fine. I added a hip belt pocket and a shoulder strap pocket, trimmed some extra-long straps, and ended up with a 29-oz. pack that will, even for me, comfortably carry about 30 lbs. I had a bit more than that for a couple of days; my shoulders and back were fine but my knees and feet protested. Some stitching came apart its first summer, but SMD fixed that for free and I have had no more problems. I do treat this pack very gently, because the lightweight fabric is definitely not bomb-proof.

Six Moon Designs is another company that has discontinued its really light packs and gone to sightly heavier models. At least their packs are still lightweight.


Edited by OregonMouse (07/22/18 03:08 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#201455 - 07/26/18 09:19 AM Re: Mountainsmith Gear [Re: packlite]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1667
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
If you're looking for something light and well built, you might look at Z-Packs. I have one (prior to their current Arc series) and am extremely happy with it.
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