Earlier this week (first week of February 2017) I got in the mail the brand new, 2017, backpack from Vargo Outdoors, the “ExoTi 50”
I have done an initial video walk around, much as I did with the SMD Fusion 65, and other backpacks when the first show up. This article is intended to show the features of this new Vargo ExoTi50 and some of the differences between it and the Vargo Ti-Arc backpack.
A few weeks ago Vargo presented their second generation of the backpack, being called the ‘ExoTi50‘.
Very little has been known about the ExoTi50, outside of a couple of folks who took pictures of it at the OR event in SLC, which I was not able to attend.
Being a huge fan/user of the Ti-Arc, and being sponsored by Vargo Outdoors, I figured I would contact them to see if I could find out some additional on this next generation backpack.
If you have not already read it, it might be good to first meander over and read my review on the Ti-Arc, so you can fully understand some of the logic/reasoning behind some of the changes in this second generation backpack, and why I make a big, or not so big deal, out of the different changes in this next generation backpack.
I rarely do product announcements via my website (half dozen times at at the most since I started hikelighter)… but the second generation Six Moon Designs “Fusion 65” backpack was just made available for pre-order a few hours ago.
The Fusion 65 backpack has been, without question, the #1 backpack that I have been waiting for – and if you are wondering why, go read my thoughts about it on my “Gear of 2014” article.
In late 2013 I started hearing rumors that Klymit, a company I have bought a fair amount of gear from and wrote some great reviews about (ref 1, ref 2, ref 3), were in the process of bringing a backpack to the market. I did not put a lot of trust in these rumors because it did not seem like Klymit would be the kind of company to bring a backpack to the market. They have partnered with a number of companies that make backpacks to supply their airframe support technology for makers of backpacks. This rumor changed when I was handed a Klymit Motion 35 in January of 2014 at the PCT Kickoff in Southern California.
I was briefly told about its features and to give it a go “if it looked like something that would work for me“, no strings attached. Having been involved in building a backpack for the last two years I did not really expect to get much, and to be honest, probably not any, use out of it. All of that changed when I found myself without a backpack for a three day hike I was invited to. My primary backpack was off getting some repair work, my prototype was off getting another few modifications done to it, another backpack I own was being used by a friend hiking the pct, and the last backpack I had sitting around was just too small. This left me wondering “hmm” but I recalled that Klymit backpack sitting in my gear room and went and grabbed it to see if I could get my gear into it, and more importantly, if it was even going to be a viable backpack for me.
The Gossamer Gear Gorilla Ultralight Backpack 2012 edition has been on the market for a bit over a year now. I purchased one to give it a try and found I really loved a lot of the features of this backpack. Most of the below is from an article I wrote about a year ago on an old website I no longer use, and I wanted to get it moved over to HikeLighter.Com – so I have taken some of the below from my previous article and updated it with further thoughts after having used it a bit more.
The Gorilla has been a very popular backpack on long distance trails and it has a nice 3,000 cubic inches (46 liters) of total capacity with a 35 pound maximum carry capacity – pretty much perfect for a thru-hiker or weekend hiker that needs the extra volume.
The backpack averages 715 grams (25 ounces / 1.56 pounds) in weight, so as an UL/SUL long distance hiker it is something I could use, but is 10 ounces heavier than the ZPacks Arc Blast (3,200 Cubic Inches / 52 Liters – so significantly larger volume) and it is three times heavier than my primary custom made front panel loader backpack which is 2,200 cu in (36L) and 240 grams (8.47 oz). But as we all know, there are times when a heavier backpack is a very good thing. The Gorilla can take a serious load and keep you going without causing pain from having to heavy of a load in a backpack that does not have enough support. It has remained in my gear room specifically because of its ability to provide me the ability to handle a heavier load.
The backpack comes with pretty much every feature that we are use to seeing on high end full size backpacks – including a center loop which can double as an iceaxe strap, 6 exterior pockets, a crazy tough 140 denier Dyneema, padded hipbelts, curved shoulder straps, sternum strap, so on and so forth. Everything a weekender/long distance hiker needs in a backpack of this size. Continue reading “Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack”→