This past summer, I used Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s 2400 Windrider Ultralight Pack which I totally and completely fell in love with (currently marked down $50 by the way…). If you are looking for an ultralight backpacking setup, look no further than Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG). Here’s why I loved my Windrider…
Ultralight – Weighing in at under 2 lbs, the Windrider is barely noticeable on your back. Don’t forget – every ounce counts including the weight of your empty pack.
Ultra Convenient – At first I was skeptical to having just one main compartment for the pack with three mesh outside pockets and no top compartment (aka “brain”) like other packs I have had. However, after using this system, I won’t go back. The outside pockets made getting a quick snack, water bottle, or sunscreen easy without having to remember which pocket contained which item. Having fewer pockets also helps keep the temptation to bring too many items at bay. Bonus points for being small enough to fit into a car easily and count as a carry-on when flying!!
Ultra Durable – The Windrider comes in 2 options for the Dyneema Strength – 50D for the white and 150 D for the black. I went with the black knowing I would give it a beating. (The black also hides the dirt way better than the white). After 2400 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, my pack barely looks used and is most definitely ready to go for another backpacking trip. At the end of the trip, my HMG pack was in considerably better shape than other people’s packs from ultralight competitors.
Ultra Comfortable – The Windrider is a very comfortable pack with two small internal support rods that help carry the load. As long as it is packed properly, the pack will ride balanced and smoothly. My base weight with all my other gear rang in at about 13 lbs (full gear list here). Adding 4-6 days of food and at least 2 liters of water still allowed me to be under 25 lbs most of the time. I will note that with excess food and large amounts of water the Windrider won’t fit as comfortably as it nears its load capacity of 35 lbs.
Water Resistant – It was so wonderful not having to stop and put on a pack cover if it looked like we were walking into bad weather. The pack coupled with Dyneema stuff sacks make rain much less of a worry. I never had any issues with water getting in my pack though we walked through the pouring rain.
Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the performance of my HMG Windrider. It is ultralight without skimping on comfort, convenient for storing all of my things without the unnecessary extra pockets, and held up very tough through thousands of miles and in all types of weather. I can’t wait to use my Windrider on yet another trail this summer!