Gear at Coast2Coast Sweden part 3

The pack I used on Coast2Coast Sweden was new to me. It is part of a series of tests of European lightweight packs done for Backpackinglight.com a k a BPL. This one was a Montane Ultra Tour 55 (55 stands for volume in litres).

By Jörgen Johansson

The Ultra Tour 55 weighs 850 grams and is a framless pack with plenty of nifty details, some working better than others. I will be more detailed in my article, likely to be published on BPL this fall.

I have used framless packs quite a bit, and my old Golite Jam2 (605 grams) is still a favorite. In spite of this there are a number of packs suitable for multiday trips with light frames weighing less than one kilo on the market today. In my opinion framless packs have no weight advantage and thus should be history, since they put greater demands on the user. 


The idea behind a framless pack is that gear inside in combination with compression straps on the pack serve as a "frame", transferring weight to the hipbelt. So packing it takes some thought and a bit of care, you do not just dump things into the pack and close it.

Without going into more detail right now I can only say that the Ultra Tour 55 would have been a lot better with some sort of frame. It is possible that its little brother/sister (trying for PC here, not my best subject...) the Ultra Tour 40, would work better without a frame.

2 comments:

Tobias Lange said...

Hi Jörgen

I have recently got the Ultra Tour 40 and done some test walks with about a 10 kg. load.
I have found that the frameless design calls for some sort of a make shift frame against the back panel, otherwise the back panel kind of collapses and presses on my spine at the lower part of my back.
I found that a curled up close celle foam pad is doing a good job stiffening the back panel and transfer weight to the hip belt.
I also find that the perforated back panel is doing a great job wicking sweat from my back, so I only got a wet spot at the lower part of my back.
I agree that some sort of frame/stay would be at great idea for this pack, like the one used in the Gossamer Gear Gorilla pack.
Other than that I find the pack to carry well and be a good and affordable lightweight option, especially for the European market.

Happy hiking

Tobias

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