Hyperlite Mountain Gear primarily designs equipment for thru-hikers and backpackers. But its 100-percent, woven Dyneema Porter Pack is the best climbing backpack I’ve used in two decades.
To me, this is the perfect rock-climbing pack. But I want to be transparent. First, this pack costs an insane amount, $445. This is due to the cost of Dyneema, a remarkable substance.
Secondly, I used to work for the company in marketing. I don’t anymore, and this article is my true opinion and was unsolicited by the brand, including positives and negatives to the purchase.
Review: Hyperlite Gear Dyneema Porter
The 40-liter pack is made of a supple, slippery-feeling fabric that’s “15 times stronger than steel wire on a weight-for-weight basis.”
I’ve dragged it through boulder fields, and up and over America’s highest peaks. I accidentally stabbed it with a knife with no effect except for a dent that smoothed out when I pulled the material taut.
It’s highly water-resistant, UV-resistant, and the made-in-the-USA construction guarantees excellence. I expect it to last for my next 20 years of climbing. And if it doesn’t, due to manufacturing error, Hyperlite will replace it immediately. Such is its warranty policy.
For clarity, Hyperlite Mountain Gear makes the Porter Packs in two fabric options. The first is 100-percent Dyneema ($445).
The second is Dyneema Composite Fabric (formerly called Cuben), which is less expensive, and less durable, than the pure alternative. It costs $290. Click here for a full explanation of the fabric options.
Light But Supportive Dyneema Packs
The best thing about the pack is its weight: less than 2 pounds. Add 4.2 oz if you include the outer mesh pocket that, with some difficulty, attaches to the daisy chains. I used the pocket on overnight adventures, but I much prefer the streamlined pack for hauling and overall simplicity.
After using it for two years, I’m sold on its comfort. The simple back support system includes two removable aluminum stays for load transfer and a comfortable hip belt and shoulder padding.
I use it for one- to four-day outings. I took it into the High Sierras to climb the Incredible Hulk, packing it full with 36 pounds of food, my personal climbing and camping gear, and an 80-meter rope. I strapped this last item over the roll-top closure via the pack’s Y-shaped top compression strap system and the two upper side compression straps.
Four compression straps help cinch the pack down, and four daisy chains allow for easy attachment of extras.
Details: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dyneema 2400 Porter Pack ($445)
Available: January 2017. You must call and have this custom made with the Dyneema fabric.
Where To Test Them: Any rock climbing area or mountain.
Who’s It For: Rock climbers, backcountry skiers going on day outings, or super light multi-day adventures.
Sizing, Materials: The Porter comes in three sizes, but I wouldn’t recommend either of the larger sizes as a standard climbing pack. The 2,400 (40 liters) model I have is great for cragging, to bring to the base for big alpine or big wall days, and you can rig ice tools on it if you need to.
I don’t recommend the less-durable Dyneema Composite Fabric version for climbing of any style as it’s still expensive but no more durable than other climbing packs I’ve used. Go big, or don’t bother.
Weight: 875g./30.9 oz./1.93 lbs.
Sizes, cubic inches: 2,400 (40L), 3,400 (56L), 4,400 (72L)
Pros: A lightweight, highly water resistant, comfortable pack for any kind of rock climber or backcountry skier. The fabric and construction are exceptional. It will last for decades.
Cons: This is one of the most expensive packs on the market. Save your pennies. Also, it could use a waterproof side zipper pocket for easier access and better storage of small items.
The inside pocket is fine, but hard to access when on the move. Zippered waist-belt pockets feel stretched tight when the pack is on and thus are difficult to access. Leave off the Velcro closure; It’s sticky and hard to open when a climber’s fingertips are sore after a long day.
Sweat might be an issue for people used to more pack suspension.
First Impressions: Comfortable, simple, and super streamlined.
Who Should Buy It: Backcountry skiers or anyone who hikes to rock climb.
Contact Brand/More Beta: www.HyperliteMountainGear.com