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GG Mariposa or HMG Windrider or ULA Circut. Help me decide

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GG Mariposa or HMG Windrider or ULA Circut. Help me decide

Postby Asolthane » Wed May 11, 2016 11:52 am

Hi,

I have been using a Osprey Atmos 70 for the past 5 years. Great, comfortable pack.

I am trying to lighten my load and am looking at packs around 2 lbs. After considerable research, I have been most interested in these packs. (I know there are other options, I have looked at many options)

I need a pack that can accommodate my gear on 9 day solo trips, starting out with almost 35 lbs including food, bear cannister, tenkara stuff.

- Will the 3400 windrider and the Mariposa carry this weight ok?
- Is the lack of load lifters on the HMG packs a concern?
- I have read contrasting opinions about which of these two packs will accomodate that weight better

The HMG packs are more streamlined, they seem better for going through brush and class 3 scrambling. They look way cooler, are water resistant, and are more simple.

The Mariposa looks low and squat, kinda pear shaped, which makes me wonder how it would carry weight. But it looks comfy with the foam backpad. Having the external pockets would make life easier in some ways, but I guess I like having everything packed away.

The Circut is heavier. I am least interested in that pack, but I know it is a popular option. I wonder if it saves me enough weight from current pack to justify the expense.



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Re: GG Mariposa or HMG Windrider or ULA Circut. Help me deci

Postby markskor » Wed May 11, 2016 2:49 pm

Respectfully, IMHO, At 2 pounds, doubtful that any of the packs mentioned will carry/accommodate 35 pounds comfortably for long. However, doesn't really matter about anybody else's opinion other than that of your own back's.

What fits me like a glove, may be miserable on you. Look at them all but...just looking ain't gonna cut it. Read all the reviews, but you won't really know anything until you try them on...walk a few trail-miles with weight. How they look (streamlined - pear-shaped, +/- load-lifters, looks comfy) matters little - Fit is everything.

All that said, would rather carry a 3+-pound backpack with a robust suspension all day long, than a 2-pound one that hurts after an hour... just so you can "save me enough weight."
just my 2¢
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Re: GG Mariposa or HMG Windrider or ULA Circut. Help me deci

Postby maverick » Wed May 11, 2016 3:51 pm

Read all the reviews, but you won't really know anything until you try them on...walk a few trail-miles with weight. How they look (streamlined - pear-shaped, +/- load-lifters, looks comfy) matters little - Fit is everything.


Exactly.
Like shoes, a perfect, or at least near perfect fit is imperative for smooth and pain free ride.
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Re: GG Mariposa or HMG Windrider or ULA Circut. Help me deci

Postby Asolthane » Wed May 11, 2016 4:21 pm

markskor wrote:Respectfully, IMHO, At 2 pounds, doubtful that any of the packs mentioned will carry/accommodate 35 pounds comfortably for long. However, doesn't really matter about anybody else's opinion other than that of your own back's.

What fits me like a glove, may be miserable on you. Look at them all but...just looking ain't gonna cut it. Read all the reviews, but you won't really know anything until you try them on...walk a few trail-miles with weight. How they look (streamlined - pear-shaped, +/- load-lifters, looks comfy) matters little - Fit is everything.

All that said, would rather carry a 3+-pound backpack with a robust suspension all day long, than a 2-pound one that hurts after an hour... just so you can "save me enough weight."
just my 2¢


I guess my thinking was that if I got my baseweight down, much of the 35 lbs would be food and fuel. On the other hand, the first day is hard enough.

Well, I am not sure what to do. I guess pick one, load it up, and go for a dayhike near my house and keep it clean so I can return it.

My Osprey is super comfortable. I guess I could also try the Osprey Exos 58, it looks like the new one only weighs 2.4 lbs....
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Re: GG Mariposa or HMG Windrider or ULA Circut. Help me deci

Postby maverick » Wed May 11, 2016 4:27 pm

Well, I am not sure what to do. I guess pick one, load it up, and go for a dayhike near my house and keep it clean so I can return it.

My Osprey is super comfortable. I guess I could also try the Osprey Exos 58, it looks like the new one only weighs 2.4 lbs....


Exactly, do this in the next several weeks, write down all the pluses and minuses of each pack after wearing them out for day hikes, loaded with the weight you plan to carry on your trips, and then make a decision.
Make sure you confirm each companies return policy.
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Re: GG Mariposa or HMG Windrider or ULA Circut. Help me deci

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed May 11, 2016 4:32 pm

I have a real load carrier (my old Kelty modified to now weigh about 3.75 pounds) that I use when I go with husband and dog on fishing trips. It carries 40+ pounds very well and I have devised a system where I can carry a bear can horizontally on top. Nevertheless, when I do a 10+ day solo, I will "grin and bear it" with my 30 pound rated pack and simply suffer until about the third day when the weight gets into the range for that pack. I see it as three days of suffering and 7 days of more comfort. The Golite Quest, that I used, totally died so now I am trying out new packs, and so far have not found an equivalent. I have not tried either of the packs you are considering, but many people over on a light-weight forum like both, the Circuit being the better for bigger loads.

You will never get the same load comfort from either of these packs as your old pack. If you decide to go with a more "UL" pack, part of that process is reducing the bulk and weight of your gear. For me the bear can is the big sticking point. It is the bulk and shape, not the weight. I now have my "base weight", with bear can, down to about 18-20 pounds. I only take 1.33 pounds of food per day. And I carry very little water on the trail.

I just bought a Bergans of Norway pack that I am trying out this weekend. It is supposed to be a 40-pound rated pack, but I doubt it. It does have the same simple design as the Golite, and I can actually put the bear can in horizontally. I packed it with 30 pounds and it felt good, but still have to see how it works over time. Other than my Kelty, I have never had a pack that comfortably carried the weight it said it could. I am probably one of the few backpackers who still likes external frame packs. Probably because of all those years I did carry one- sort of got used to it.
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Re: GG Mariposa or HMG Windrider or ULA Circut. Help me deci

Postby maverick » Wed May 11, 2016 5:43 pm

Golite Quest is sometimes available on e-bay.
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Re: GG Mariposa or HMG Windrider or ULA Circut. Help me deci

Postby AlmostThere » Thu May 12, 2016 2:18 pm

I have a ULA Circuit. If I pack the Bearikade Weekender full of food I top 35 lbs -- I have to then put the can in the pack in a very particular way for it to carry well, but it does the job nicely, and within just a few days the load is getting lighter....

With any pack that does not have a big, stiff frame sheet the way it is packed makes a difference. It can be done. The contents of the pack are part of the support of it.
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Re: GG Mariposa or HMG Windrider or ULA Circut. Help me deci

Postby Asolthane » Tue May 17, 2016 7:53 am

I ended up finding an Osprey 48 at the REI garage sale for a good discount. I was able to fit all my gear in that, so I'll be trying that my next trip. The weight savings from there just don't seem worth it to me at this point, money wise. I think I have my kit down to about a 20lb base weight (this includes camera, fishing stuff, fuel, bv500 bear canister) I was dreaming of a lower weight but this will have to do it for now. I am gonna save another lb on taking a lighter sleeping bag though.

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Re: GG Mariposa or HMG Windrider or ULA Circut. Help me deci

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 17, 2016 12:24 pm

I just got back from the first 4-day test of my Bergans of Norway Helium Lady 55L. It weighs just under 2 pounds. I was mainly testing for adequate volume. I purposely brought most of the stuff I would carry on a longer trip, minus the food weight. For example, I took a partially full large fuel can, crocks although I really did not need them, and shoulder season clothing. The starting pack weight was 28 pounds. It was very comfortable, even after 10 hours. The greatest thing was this is the first light weight pack, my size, that carries a my Bearikade horizontally. What a difference! So much more comfortable. It does not have a back pocket, but easily can attach an add-on. The side pockets are tight- barely can get my water bottle in, but the stretchy material seems to be getting less rigid as I use it. Next test is to load up the bear can with more food and see if it is still comfortable with 35 pounds. The lid pocket is slightly small. I may switch out for another floating lid.

I have found that total liter capacity is pretty meaningless. The shape of the pack and whether the volume is inside the main part or if they add up all the little pockets to include in the volume, makes a difference. With a bear can, you really need most of the volume to be in the main compartment.

I do not think there is one answer as each of us have different sized gear and needs. I do a lot of off-trail and really need to fit my tent inside the pack. Others may be perfectly fine with strapping the tent on the outside. I prefer one or two big outside pockets, instead of a bunch of little ones. I also like a very simple pack - the less do-dads the better.

It is a pain, but I think you have to just buy a pack, try it out at home, and if needed, send it back. I bought and sent back two packs before I decided to keep this current one.
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