Hyperlite Mountain Gear Backpacks: Easy methods to Select

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Backpacks How to Choose

Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG) focuses on making rugged multi-sport backpacks and shelters with Dyneema Composite Materials. Their distinctive white and black backpacks are fairly common and simple to identify on Nationwide Scenic Trails and within the backcountry.

One of many issues that units Hyperlite aside from different cottage ultralight gear producers is its multi-sport and multi-season focus. As a substitute of simply constructing packs for the thru-hiker market, Hyperlite additionally caters to climbers, skiers, winter hikers, packrafters, and off-trail hikers, with backpacks which might be tailor-made for his or her wants. It is smart, particularly since they want for light-weight, waterproof, and very sturdy backpacks is much more essential for these pursuits.

I’m a fan of Hyperlite’s backpacks as a result of they strike stability between mild weight and sturdiness. I’ve owned many ultralight backpacks and most of them have by no means lasted rather more than a 12 months with out getting torn to shreds within the mountains the place I hike. Some haven’t even lasted a day. However my Hyperlite 2400 Southwest and 3400 Southwest packs have endured a number of years of near-constant on-trail, off-trail, and winter use. That’s uncommon for an ultralight type backpack in my expertise and a testomony to the sturdiness of Hyperlite’s merchandise that are intentionally overbuilt to make them final.

When you’re thinking about shopping for a Hyperlite Mountain Gear backpack, it may be a bit of complicated to grasp how the packs they promote differ from each other and which one it’s best to get, particularly in case you can solely afford one backpack for a number of sports activities. Whereas the Hyperlite web site makes it appear like the corporate sells lots of completely different backpacks, they solely make just a few fundamental fashions which differ when it comes to quantity, sports-specific types, and the supplies used. Not all packs can be found in all supplies, which may be laborious to suss out on their web site.

Materials Abbreviations

  • DCH50 which is a 50D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid
  • DCH150 which is a 150D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid
  • DCHW which is a 375D Woven Dyneema/Polyester hybrid

Inner Volumes

  • 1800 cubic inches (30L)
  • 2400 cubic inches (40L)
  • 3400 cubic inches (55L)
  • 4400 cubic inches (70L)
  • 5400 cubic inches (85L)

Sports activities-Particular Types

  • Porter
  • Southwest
  • Windrider
  • Junction
  • Unbound
  • North Rim
  • Ice Pack
  • Headwall
  • Prism
  • Summit
  • Stuff
Backpacking the Cape Wrath Trail with a HMG Southwest 3400 Backpack
Backpacking the Cape Wrath Path in Scotland with an HMG Southwest 3400 Backpack

Easy methods to Select the Proper Pack Materials

HMG makes the higher “physique” portion of their packs with three completely different supplies, listed under in rising order of abrasion resistance, sturdiness, and expense. The decrease base portion of their packs is made with a 150D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid or a 375D Woven Dyneema/Polyester hybrid, that are each fairly sturdy. Greater denier (abbreviated with a D) materials are usually talking stronger than decrease denier ones made with the identical supplies.

  1. 50D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid  (abbreviated on the HMG web site as DCH50)
  2. 150D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid (abbreviated on the HMG web site as DCH150)
  3. 375D Woven Dyneema/Polyester hybrid (abbreviated on the HMG web site as DCHW)

Most people who find themselves backpacking on trails within the decrease 48 can use packs made with the common 50D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid. When you thru-hike an prolonged distance or journey in very rocky terrain the place your pack is prone to rub towards rock partitions rather a lot (ie. New Hamshire or Maine), you’d be higher off getting the harder and thicker 150D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid used to make HMG’s black coloured packs. Most individuals don’t want the additional sturdiness supplied by the 375D Woven Dyneema/Polyester hybrid except they’re mountaineering guides, hard-core backcountry skiers, they do thru-hikes, or they’ve a belief fund.

The underside of HMG’s 50D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid and 150D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid pack fashions is made with a double-reinforced 150D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid to offer further abrasion resistance. HMG’s packs are flat-bottomed and this further degree of safety helps maintain the bottom from getting worn by by abrasion with the bottom. The packs which might be completely or partially (often simply the bottom) made with 375D Woven Dyneema/Polyester hybrid are by far Hyperlite’s most sturdy backpacks and harder than a lot of the backpack materials in use as we speak. (The one comparable cloth is one thing new referred to as Extremely 400. It’s similar to 375D Woven Dyneema however made with non-patented UHMWPE fibers as a substitute of Dyneema fibers that are woven collectively and backed with a water-proof cloth. It’s actually solely obtainable from customized backpack makers.)

The accent options on HMG’s packs are made with a checkered black Dyneema Hardline, which is nylon strengthened with Dyneema fibers. It’s used because the going through cloth on hip belts and shoulder straps on the 2400, 3400, and 4400 packs, all exterior pockets on the Southwest pack, the aspect pockets on the Junction pack, and the crampon/software attachment panels on the Ice Pack. Many different producers use the identical materials and whereas it’s fairly sturdy, it’s not in the identical league as the opposite supplies used to make HMG packs. The accent options, backside, and excessive put on areas on the North Rim and Headwall packs are made with harder stuff, specifically 375D Woven Dyneema/Polyester hybrid, which is the hardest and most sturdy cloth Hyperlite makes use of on their packs.

Q: How does the Dyneema/Polyester Hybrid cloth utilized in Hyperlite’s backpacks price when it comes to sturdiness in comparison with different materials comparable to XPac, EcoPak, Extremely, and Robic Nylon which might be gaining traction with different ultralight backpack producers?

In a nutshell, the non-woven 50D and 150D Dyneema/Polyester Hybrid materials utilized by Hyperlite are considerably extra sturdy than the Robic Nylon (additionally referred to as Excessive Tenacity Nylon) utilized by different ultralight backpack producers like Gossamer Gear, Zpacks, Granite Gear, and lots of mainstream backpack producers. They’re much less sturdy, notably when it comes to abrasion (attributable to rock and sand), than different waterproof laminates like XPac, EcoPak, and Extremely. When you’re extraordinarily laborious in your backpack and count on it to final by a number of thru-hikes, then it’s best to take a look at these newer materials or Hyperlite’s 375D Woven Dyneema/Polyester hybrid packs. For basic backpacking use or a single thru-hike, the 150D Dyneema/Polyester Hybrid materials are greater than adequate, they’re waterproof, and all of Hyperlite’s backpacks are seam taped so that they don’t leak by the stitching needle holes. Whilst you can put on a gap in a Hyperlite Backpack, you actually need to work at it for the reason that backside cloth is often a better denier and strengthened.

Hyperlight Mountain Gear Backpacks

Easy methods to Select the Proper Quantity Pack

HMG classifies their 1800 sequence packs as city or day packs, however they’re giant sufficient for use as minimalist ultralight backpacks in case you actually wish to push the envelope. HMG solely affords two backpacks on this measurement, the Summit Pack and the Stuff Pack. Each are frameless. Whereas the  Summit Pack can carry as much as 20-pounds, the Stuff Pack maxes out at 10 kilos as a result of it’s made with a a lot lighter weight cloth that’s usually used for stuff sacks.  The Summit Pack has a hip belt and daisy chains, which make it potential so as to add a rear mesh accent pocket. The Stuff Pack is a minimalist roll-top pack with no hip belt or any daisy chains.

Right here’s a listing of the physique materials they’re obtainable in:

  • 1831 ci Summit Backpack (30L)
  • 1831 ci Stuff Pack (30L)

HMG’s 2400 cubic inch packs are measurement for thru-hikes with frequent resupplies or backpacking journeys as much as about 4 days in size (these are approximate tips based mostly on a 10-15 lb gear load.)  The 3400 packs are dimensioned identically to the 2400 ones however have a taller pack bag so you possibly can fill them up with 7 days value of meals or extra-warm gear for winter journeys. When you can solely afford to purchase one pack, the 3400 is an efficient selection since you possibly can “flip it into” a 2400 by rolling down the highest to shrink the pack’s top and additional quantity. The 2400 and 3400 packs use two detachable aluminum stays to switch weight to the hip belt as a substitute of a full-frame. Each have a max load of about 35-40 kilos. Right here’s a listing of the materials they’re obtainable in:

  • 2400 ci Porter Pack (40L)
  • 2400 ci Southwest Pack (40L) + 9.8L of exterior storage
  • 2400 ci Windrider Pack (40L) + 9.8L of exterior storage
  • 2400 ci Junction Pack (40L) + 9.8L of exterior storage
  • 2400 Unbound 40 (40L)  + 9L  of  exterior storage
  • 2400 Ice Pack (40L)
  • 2400 Prism Pack (40L)
  • 3400 ci Porter Pack (55L)
  • 3400 ci Southwest Pack (55L) + 9.8L of exterior storage
  • 3400 ci Windrider Pack (55L) + 9.8L of exterior storage
  • 3400 ci Junction Pack (55L) + 9.8L of exterior storage
  • 3400 ci North Rim Pack (55L) + 9.8L of exterior storage
  • 3400 ci Headwall Pack (55L) + 7.1L of exterior storage
  • 3400 ci Ice Pack (55L)

HMG’s 4400 and 5400 cubic inch packs are huge, expedition-class monsters that you simply solely want in case you’re taking very lengthy journeys off the grid that requires carrying lots of meals or heavy technical gear. They’ve a bigger circumference than the 2400 and 3400 packs which makes them deeper (so that they stick behind you extra.) With a max (snug) load of about 55-60 kilos, they’re finest used for gear-intensive multi-sport journeys.

The 4400 and 5400 packs have a body consisting of an inner body sheet and two aluminum stays to switch weight to the hip belt. They’re additionally solely made with a 150D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid physique for elevated sturdiness, in contrast to the 2400 and 3400 packs which can be found in two completely different Polyester hybrid denier weights. The 4400 and 5400 packs are solely obtainable in white or black, though we’d suggest getting them in white as a result of the black materials makes the interiors too darkish to see your gear inside.

  • 4400 ci Porter (70L)
  • 4400 ci Southwest (70L) + 9.8L of exterior storage
  • 4400 ci Windrider(70L) + 9.8L of exterior storage
  • 4400 ci North Rim (70L) + 9.8L of exterior storage
  • 4400 ci Ice Pack (70L)
  • 5400 ci Porter (85L)
The Hyperlight Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest Pack is a rugged multi-day Dyneema backpack good for thru-hiking and backpacking on trails and off.
The Hyperlight Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest Pack is a rugged multi-day Dyneema backpack good for thru-hiking and backpacking on trails and off.

Easy methods to Select the Proper Sport-Particular Backpack

HMG tailors every of their backpack fashions in numerous sports-specific types, that are enhanced by including pockets or exterior attachment factors so you possibly can carry sharp or moist issues on the outside of the backpack.


The Porter is a streamlined backpack with none exterior pockets on the pack physique that may catch on issues or get torn off making it pack for winter sports activities, climbing, packrafting, bikepacking, and air journey. It has two daisy chains which make it equally simple to lash the pack to packrafts or bikes, or safe gear to the skin, like snowshoes, skis/snowboard, or ice axes. You simply should be a bit of artistic in the way you lash stuff on, however the Porter is type of a clean slate, so it may be arrange in some ways and for a lot of completely different missions.


The Southwest is good for off-trail backpacking and bushwhacking once you need aspect water bottle pockets and a giant rear pocket for carrying moist, smoky, smelly, or regularly used objects that you simply don’t wish to retailer inside your backpack.  The Southwest additionally makes a sturdy pack for thru-hiking on much less traveled trails the place overhanging vegetation can rip up exterior mesh pockets. Whereas you should use the Southwest for winter sports activities, lashing snowshoes to the again of the pack will cowl up the again exterior pocket and make it laborious to entry.


The Windrider is nice for mountaineering, backpacking, and thru-hiking in very moist climates or very dry ones the place you’re going to wish to air out or dry moist gear as you hike. The mesh can catch on overhanging vegetation and rip, so it’s much less sturdy than the Southwest in that respect. The mesh is sized the identical because the Southwest’s rear and aspect water bottle pockets.


The Junction is a cross between the Southwest and the Windrider backpacks, with stable aspect pockets and a mesh entrance pocket. Hyperlite created it as a result of so many individuals had been asking for extra sturdy aspect pockets on their Windrider or a mesh entrance pocket on their Southwest packs. The Junction is nice for extra humid locales, just like the japanese United States the place it’s good to have the ability to dry gear within the mesh pocket whilst you hike, however the place overgrown vegetation alongside the perimeters of a path would possibly catch and rip a aspect pocket. Having a mesh pocket additionally makes it simple to test whether or not you might have all of your gear packed correctly at a look, like a moist water filter or footprint, so that you don’t need to unpack stuff to test.


The Unbound is a completely new pack design (as of 2023) within the Hyperlite household and incorporates most of the options obtainable in different common thru-hiking backpacks, primarily from smaller aggressive producers. These embrace new foam padding within the again panel, a detachable hip belt with a V-pull that’s extra adjustable than those on their different backpacks, a backside mesh pocket for storing layers or snacks with a trash port the place you possibly can stuff used wrappers, detachable aspect compression straps, outsized aspect bottle pockets, and daisy chains. Chances are high lots of these new options will work themselves into their different backpack fashions over time. You must get the Unbound in case you’re primarily thinking about 3-season use, exterior accessibility (assume higher pockets) is a precedence, and also you wish to strip among the detachable options to save lots of weight or have an easier backpack.

The North Rim

The North Rim is a harder and extra sturdy model of the Southwest backpack, meant for tough and abrasive circumstances comparable to off-trail bushwhacking or canyoneering. Whereas the physique of the NorthRim is made with Hyperlite’s 150D Dyneema/Polyester hybrid, the accent pockets on the perimeters and entrance of the pack, in addition to the hip belt pockets are made with extraordinarily sturdy 375D Woven Dyneema, which is “means” extra sturdy than the Dyneema/Nylon Grid that Hyperlite makes use of on their different packs. You probably have a historical past of ripping up packs made with Dyneema Grid, the NorthRim might be the final backpack you ever purchase.


The Headwall is a devoted ski mountaineering or backcountry ski backpack with exterior daisy chains, three tiers of aspect compression straps for attaching skis or break up board in A-Body carry, and a entrance avalanche/probe pocket. It has a detachable hipbelt which is beneficial, notably in case you put on a climbing harness and a padded again panel to insulate your again from sizzling water bottles saved inside. The headwall has two ice axe loops and daisy chains on the shoulder straps the place you possibly can hold accent pockets or gear. Just like the North Rim, the bottom and excessive put on areas of the Headwall are made with 375D Woven Dyneema, which is “means” extra sturdy than the Dyneema/Polyester hybrid that Hyperlite makes use of on their different packs.

Ice Pack

The Ice Pack is nice for mountain climbing, ski mountaineering, and winter mountaineering/backpacking. It has a puncture-proof crampon/twin ice ax holder on the again of the pack so you possibly can maintain the sharp or moist factors away from the fragile gear inside. When you use crampons or axes rather a lot, this can be a very fascinating characteristic on a winter backpack. The ice pack additionally has twin daisy chains and aspect compression straps, supplying you with lots of further exterior attachment factors to hold much more gear. There are additionally gear loops on the hip belt as a substitute of pockets.

Prism Pack

The Prism Pack can also be good for mountain climbing, ski mountaineering, and winter mountaineering however is considerably extra sturdy than the Ice Pack and has a extra technical characteristic set together with a high lid with a drawstring closure, a crampon pocket, and a detachable hip belt so you possibly can put on it with a climbing harness.

Summit Pack

The Summit Pack is a low-volume (30L) pack good for day mountaineering and peak bagging once you don’t want to hold an in a single day load, though it’s technically giant sufficient that it can be used for minimalist backpacking and thru-hiking. It comes with daisy chains, elastic wire, and twin ice ax loops so you possibly can lash clothes or gear to its exterior. It’s frameless although, with a minimal hip belt, so restricted to about 20-pound masses.

Stuff Pack

The Stuff Pack is extra of an city or journey daypack (30), very like the Summit, however with none exterior attachment factors. At 30L, it’s technically giant sufficient for minimalist backpacking and thru-hiking however has no body or hipbelt. It’s made with the identical cloth as Hyperlite’s stuff sacks so it’s restricted to about 10-pound masses. It can be used as a pack liner/city laundry bag on resupply days.

Torso Lengths and Sizes

It may be tough to search out any documentation of the torso lengths that correspond to Hyperlite’s backpack sizes on their web site. Right here’s what it’s essential know.

  • Dimension Small: 15″-17″
  • Dimension Medium: 17″-19″
  • Dimension Giant: 19″-21″
  • Dimension Tall: 21″+

What occurs in case your torso size is on the boundary of two completely different sizes? Most individuals measurement as much as the bigger measurement because it ensures you’ll get some load switch to the hip belt. That gained’t occur if the pack is just too small for you.

See Additionally:

Disclosure: Hyperlite Mountain Gear has supplied the creator with pattern merchandise for evaluate up to now.

Final up to date: 1-15-23

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