Lighting up an AARN body pack

A place to chat about gear and the philosphy of ultralight. Ultralight bushwalking or backpacking focuses on carrying the lightest and simplest kit. There is still a good focus on safety and skill.
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Ultralight Bushwalking/backpacking is about more than just gear lists. Ultralight walkers carefully consider gear based on the environment they are entering, the weather forecast, their own skill, other people in the group. Gear and systems are tested and tweaked.
If you are new to this area then welcome - Please remember that although the same ultralight philosophy can be used in all environments that the specific gear and skill required will vary greatly. It is very dangerous to assume that you can just copy someone else's gear list, but you are encouraged to ask questions, learn and start reducing the pack weight and enjoying the freedom that comes.

Common words
Base pack backpacking the mass of the backpack and the gear inside - not including consumables such as food, water and fuel
light backpacking base weight less than 9.1kg
ultralight backpacking base weight less than 4.5kg
super-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 2.3kg
extreme-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 1.4kg

Lighting up an AARN body pack

Postby jobell » Wed 19 Feb, 2020 1:25 pm

Hey folks,

I have been using AARN body packs for a while now and am a big fan. I sold my Natural Rythmn and downsized to a Featherlite Freedom to lighten my load and find the Featherlite Freedom perfect for carrying up to about 8 days of supplies.

With about 5 days of food and 2 litres of water my pack usually comes in around the 13kg mark. The pack itself is capable of carrying up to 18kg which I prefer to avoid at all costs, but depending on the walk sometimes I do carry another 2 to 4 litres of water so this size and volume pack works well for me.

What I am wondering is has anyone swapped out or modified their AARN pack to lighten the pack itself up a bit. Mine officially weighs 1.9ish kg complete with sports pockets and liners. Has anyone done away with the liners for example? I do drybag my sleeping bag anyway. Has anyone swapped out the sports pockets (which I find a bit bulky) for a smaller version? Any other mods I could consider?

Thanks very much.

Joanne




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Re: Lighting up an AARN body pack

Postby Joynz » Wed 19 Feb, 2020 5:19 pm

Swapping the sports pockets might mean that you can carry less weight in front - thereby reducing the effectiveness of the pack.
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Re: Lighting up an AARN body pack

Postby Franco » Thu 20 Feb, 2020 7:45 am

Same here. In fact I have the Expedition pockets on mine so that I can put more weight in them.
I only have taken the liner out to see what it was like and to weigh it. I can't remember that weight now but I think it is over 100g.
I suppose it depends on how waterproof your SB and night clothing stuff sacks are. ( i still use light bags for convenience)
BTW, I aim for comfortably light not UL.
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Re: Lighting up an AARN body pack

Postby jobell » Thu 20 Feb, 2020 12:28 pm

Comfortably light is something I also strive for Franco, but I am finding these days that a 11kg pack is a good comfortable maximum weight but a 13kg pack is less fun these days. It’s amazing how much of a difference a few kilograms make, especially when I look back to my early walking days where I was carrying closer to 18-21 kg.

I have thought about the weight distribution issues, but as I am carrying l less my front pockets are often only half full plus I carry a 1 litre water bottle in each as well. I just find the front packs a bit tall more than anything, I’d love a slightly shorter version that would still embrace my 1 litre water bottle. Maybe I should email Aarn and suggest some changeout pocket options!

I have tested my liners and they aren’t completely waterproof, likely from lots of wear and tear as the pack has seen some use. They do still work overall to repel water.

I love the design overall of the Featherlite Freedom, I just wish it came in a version about 10 litres less with the corresponding weight drop.
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Re: Lighting up an AARN body pack

Postby jobell » Sat 22 Feb, 2020 12:32 pm

Anyone know anything about a “PRO” version of the Featherlite Freedom? Backpacking Light in Melbourne gives it the briefest mention on their website - just that the pack is available in a pro version which is made from dyneema. I have emailed them a query but it might just be the answer I was looking for.

Otherwise, I am wondering whether I could downsize to a Mountain Magic 42L pack. Is there anyone here who uses a similar size pack or this pack for longer walks with up to a week between resupplies?




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Re: Lighting up an AARN body pack

Postby Petew » Sat 22 Feb, 2020 12:47 pm

I use an Atom packs MO 40l for walks up to 8 days. This size pack is ample provided the rest of your gear is lightweight and compact. Main problem is fitting the food in. I use a long skinny DCF roll top bag in the side pocket for overflow
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Re: Lighting up an AARN body pack

Postby Franco » Sat 22 Feb, 2020 6:42 pm

As much as we would like to reduce our load by just a few hundred grams, I find that the Aarn packs over 12 kg or so feel a few KG lighter so I don't mind the extra weight of the pack itself.
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Re: Lighting up an AARN body pack

Postby Ms_Mudd » Thu 23 Apr, 2020 9:33 pm

https://lostinthehills.com/2015/10/18/a ... -bodypack/

If you scroll down, the female member of the duo is using compact pockets with her aarn pack, gives a good sense of scale that I couldn't get from just looking at the retailers online. They look to be able to fit 1lt of water in them?
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Re: Lighting up an AARN body pack

Postby Mark F » Fri 24 Apr, 2020 6:42 pm

Based on the title of this thread I wasn't sure whether to suggest shellite and a match or some flexible led strip and a small power supply.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Lighting up an AARN body pack

Postby peregrinator » Fri 24 Apr, 2020 9:26 pm

Mark F wrote:Based on the title of this thread I wasn't sure whether to suggest shellite and a match or some flexible led strip and a small power supply.


Mark, all of the above, accompanied by a futile exclamation in the wilderness . . . AARGH !!!

(But take care, there may be some lightening and even evenening thunderening out there.)
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Re: Lighting up an AARN body pack

Postby Rai » Sat 25 Apr, 2020 7:15 am

multi balanace pocket.jpg
Re: Mountain Magic 42l pack and whether a 1l water bottle will fit in the balance pockets

The balance pockets on the MM 42l are much smaller (5.5l) than the other Aarn pockets. However, a 1l water bottle just fits the outer mesh pocket as you can see from the photo. A very petite friend uses the MM42 because the balance pockets are not very tall and therefore fit her small frame comfortably. However she has only used it for overnight trips and doesn't carry the tent and stove. The main pack is only 36.5l so gets filled up quickly with the usual cold/wet weather gear that one needs to carry in Tassie.
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