Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gear Review-Lightning 50 Pack

I just received my new Lightning 50 pack,  made by Alpinizmo. You can check it out at

My first reaction on getting it out of the packaging, was what a lot of straps.

As a minimalist and extreme ultralighter, my initial thought was there will be alot of trimming going on.

This pack is designed to fit x-Large down to x-small torsos. I planned to check that theory out immediately. I'm up at Lake Yellowstone. When the superintendent came for lunch, I brought out the pack, asked him to be my guinea pig. He is 6 foot 3 inches tall, about 240 pounds of muscle. He was wearing a heavy sweatshirt. At first it was a hard fit because I had cinched everything up to fit me, at 5 foot 2 inches tall, 115 pounds. Once adjusted properly, he said it fit fine. It looked like a day pack on him, though. The carry capacity internally of this 3 pound pack is 3,000 cubic inches. It feels amazingly light.
I packed the pack for a quick ski around Lake Location. We have about 6 inches of snow.
It was really easy to adjust the pack back down to my size. The main adjustment comes from a removable velco design that allows you to choose one of 8 slots to adjust for torso length. It takes less than a minute to do this. Then you put it on, the shoulder straps are well padded. A quick pull on side straps and it fits like a glove.
I thought about the advantages of this versatile sizing option. It allows you to buy a pack as a gift for someone, and know it will fit them perfectly.
It allows you to buy this pack as a gift for a youngster, knowing it can be adjusted to fit them through the years. Even if they don't use it that much, it will serve through the growth spurt, a very economical way to outfit kids for a great introduction to backpacking. With great gear, they will love the experience, not dread the overweighted cheap stuff many kids are forced to endure.
I skied for two hours, carrying my bear spray, a sleeping bag, apple, extra clothes. While on the trail, I tested a survival item, lighting dryer lint with one match in snow. It was a great test.
More information will be posted on this pack on my other blog,
I have to admit, I think its a sharp looking pack. I love the zippers in the hood, the bottom compartment for easy access to my sleeping bag, the side pockets for water bottles and bear spray, and maybe best of all, the very trim, roomy hip belt pocket for my camera and lip balm. Now, I'm sure to take more photos.


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