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HomeHikingWaymark Gear Lite 50 Backpack w/EXOPAK Evaluation

Waymark Gear Lite 50 Backpack w/EXOPAK Evaluation

Waymark Gear Lite 50 Backpack Review 640

The Waymark Gear Lite 50 is a light-weight inner body backpack appropriate for multi-day backpacking and thru-hiking journeys. Weighing two and a half kilos, the Lite 50 has a typical UL rolltop design with a sewn-on hip belt, a entrance mesh pocket, and sturdy facet pockets, together with two facet pocket configurations to select from. The pack is offered in a number of colours and the stitching and development are completely top-notch, making the Lite 50 an actual contender for backpackers that need a light-weight roll-top pack made with waterproof cloth that’s sturdy and might haul heavier weights when crucial.

The Lite 50 is offered in X-Pac or ECOPAK, a brand new composite cloth that shares the light-weight and sturdiness traits of X-Pac however is made with 100% recycled polyester and has a decrease environmental impression. We evaluate a Lite 50 made with a grade of ECOPAK referred to as EPX200 beneath, however you’d be hard-pressed to inform the distinction between X-Pac and ECOPACK by look. Whereas the Lite 50 is offered in each materials, the packs made with them price the identical and have a really comparable efficiency profile. You actually can’t go flawed with both one.

Specs at a Look

  • Sort: Inner Body
  • Quantity: 51L: Essential (39L), Exterior Pockets (12L) (varies barely by measurement)
  • Weight: 2 lbs 8.4 oz  (precise)- could fluctuate +/- primarily based on sizing and configuration
  • Examined construct: M/L Torso, XXL Hip Belt, 1 hip belt pocket, higher proper facet pocket
  • Weight with out Body Stays (2): 2 lbs 4.0 oz (precise)
  • Max Really helpful Load: 35 lbs
  • Pockets: 4, however extra can be found
  • Seam-Taped/Sealed: No, a pack liner is really useful.
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Load lifters: Sure
  • Hydration appropriate: No
  • Canister Appropriate: BV500 on high below Y strap or inside
  • Materials: VX21, Recycled EPX200 ECOPAK, Heavy Responsibility Mesh
The Waymark Lite 50 has a classic roll-top UL style design
The Waymark Lite 50 has a basic roll-top UL model design.

Backpack Body and Suspension

Waymark Gear relaunched the Lite 50 backpack this yr with an inner body system to enchantment to a broader swath of light-weight backpackers (the earlier mannequin was frameless). The brand new body system will increase the pack’s max really useful load to 35 kilos and helps forestall cumbersome objects from poking you within the again. The body system can be detachable for individuals who don’t want it or need it

The Lite 50 has two aluminum frame stays housed in stay pockets in the main pack bag.
The Lite 50 has two aluminum body stays housed in keep pockets in the primary pack bag.

Inner Body

The Lite 50 has two aluminum body stays that slide into keep pockets on the inside of the pack. The stays are pre-bent and can match most individuals out of the field, however it’s also possible to bend them to fit your torso form if required (See: Easy methods to Bend Body Stays). This makes them extra customizable than inflexible frames that you could’t modify, along with being lighter weight.

The body stays run the size of the primary pack bag and terminate proper behind your hips, the place they’ve the best impression on load switch. There’s additionally a 1/8 inch foam pad between the body stays and the again of the pack for added consolation.

The pack’s load lifters are anchored to the pack bag on the high of the body stays, as an alternative of being sewn by the pack bag and onto the body keep pockets. They nonetheless work successfully for the reason that backpack materials has so little stretch.

Daisy chains on the shoulder straps make it easy to add accessory pockets and gear
Daisy chains on the shoulder straps make it simple so as to add accent pockets and kit

Shoulder Straps

The shoulder straps are sewn to the pack bag with a brief piece of webbing as an alternative of being sewn on to the again panel. This lets them rotate and mildew round totally different chest shapes. The shoulder straps have a really slight S-curve on the high to do the identical (good for males with giant chests and girls’s busts). Daisy chains are sewn to the outside of each shoulder straps so you may simply add accent pockets or connect electronics to them. That’s actually essential for me.

The dual strap hip belt system lets you adjust the tension on the top or bottom of the hipbelt but is easier to operate because it runs through a single center buckle.
The twin strap hip belt system helps you to alter the stress on the highest or backside of the hipbelt however is less complicated to function as a result of it runs by a single heart buckle.

Hip belt

The hip belt is sewn to the again of the pack which boosts the pack’s load-carrying functionality and responsiveness so it strikes with you. There’s a noticeable distinction between packs which have sewn-on hip belts vs ones which are mass-produced as separate elements and linked with velcro.

The hip belt is reasonably padded and lined with wicking mesh to maintain your waist comfy and drier while you perspire. There’s a really modest lumbar pad that stops the hip belt from slipping below load and is absolutely exemplary. My decrease again is irritated by giant lumbar pads, however this one isn’t noticeable, which is nice. It’s lined with the identical mesh and padding as the remainder of the hip belt.

Whereas the hip belt closes with a single buckle, it exerts strain in your hips like a way more sophisticated two-strap belt (on both sides) so that you get a cosy match with out fidgeting with 4 straps and attempting to maintain them the identical size on a regular basis.

The outside of the hip belt has a daisy chain that is used to lock the hip belt pockets in place. It can also be used to hang gear from, like a winter hot water bottle.
The surface of the hip belt has a daisy chain that’s used to lock the hip belt pockets in place. It may also be used to hold gear from with a carabiner, like a winter sizzling water bottle holder.

The surface of the hip belt has a daisy chain that can be utilized to connect gadgets or pockets to the hip belt. One hip belt pocket is included with the bottom mannequin and is hooked up to the hip belt with two elastic straps and a velcro strap (which threads by the daisy chain), so it gained’t slide out of place. This additionally means you may transfer the pockets ahead or backward alongside the hip belt the place you need them to be. Every hip belt pocket is 6” broad x 5” tall x 2” deep in measurement, it has a water resistant zipper, and holds plenty of stuff.

When sizing the hip belt, bear in mind that they run small on the Lite 50. I ended up with a measurement XXL hip belt which Waymark lists as 40″-44″ lengthy though I put on a waist measurement of 37″-38″ in pants.

Backpack Storage and Group

The Waymark Lite 50 is laid out like a typical ultralight backpack with facet water bottle pockets, an extended mesh entrance pocket, and a roll-top closure with a high Y-strap.

The Lite 50 is available with 3 external side pockets (shown) or two.
The Lite 50 is offered with 3 exterior facet pockets (proven) or two.

The bottom pack comes with two facet pockets each made with stable cloth, one which is longer (13″ tall, left-hand facet) than the shorter one (8″ tall, right-hand facet). You may also go for an added higher right-hand pocket (8″ tall, proper), which makes the pack similar to the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60’s distinctive pocket configuration.

  • The shorter, backside, 8″ pocket can maintain as much as two x 1 liter bottles and is reachable whereas carrying the pack. Water bottles saved in it don’t fall out if the pack ideas over. (The pack doesn’t have an inside hydration pocket, or an inside hook for suspending one, or a hydration port.)
  • There’s a compression strap above the 13″ pocket which makes it good for storing a small tent in case you carry one or one other shelter like a tarp.  A NEMO Switchback or a Thermarest ZLite folding foam pad may match on this pocket. You may’t attain again and pull a water bottle out of it, nonetheless.
  • The higher right-hand pocket, in case you go for it, is nice for storing a small range system.
  • Not one of the facet pockets have drain holes, so that you’ll need to use a pack liner in case you hike in a wet local weather.
The taller side pocket and upper compression strap is great for carrying a small tent or a Tenkara fishing rod
The taller facet pocket and higher compression strap is nice for carrying a small tent and a Tenkara fishing rod

The entrance pocket is made with heavy-duty mesh with an elastic hem on high and gussets on the underside so it would broaden when stuffed. It really works greatest with clothes, however it may be slightly troublesome to make use of with bulkier or pointy objects like a range system or crampons when the pack is stuffed. I want a densely woven stretch mesh pocket myself as a result of it’s much less prone to get caught or ripped on vegetation off-trail.

The upper right hand pocket is good for storing a stove system.
The higher right-hand pocket is nice for storing a range system.

The roll-top has a strip of velcro inside to carry the perimeters collectively for rolling, however the ends solely buckle to themselves as an alternative of buckles or straps on the physique of the backpack, limiting the quantity of top-down compression you will get. This kind of closure additionally lends itself to getting hung up on vegetation in case you hike off-trail, a lot the identical manner that the uncovered steel bar would in case you had been carrying an exterior body pack. I in all probability spend much more time climbing off-trail than most individuals, in search of historic artifacts, and fly fishing brushy mountain streams, so my desire is for roll tops that lie flush towards the physique of a pack moderately than making a loop that may entice tree branches.

The roll top has a short piece of velcro to secure the sides, but the end buckles only connect to themselves providing limited top compression
The roll high has a brief piece of velcro to safe the perimeters, however the finish buckles solely connect with themselves offering restricted high compression.

There’s a Y-strap that loops over the roll-top and can be utilized to hold cumbersome gadgets like a foam pad or climbing rope. The strap is lengthy sufficient that you possibly can lash a bear canister to the highest of the pack however you’ll in all probability need to add some extra straps or twine to maintain it from slipping off. Alternatively, a big bear canister, like a Bearvault BV500, does match contained in the pack vertically and the body stays forestall it from poking into your again.

Compression and Exterior Attachments

The quantity of compression provided by the Lite 50 is proscribed. Should you get the three-pocket configuration, there’s simply the one compression strap over the tall pocket. Should you simply get the two-pocket configuration, you do get a second compression strap over the shorter facet pocket.

I believe the two-pocket configuration is certainly the extra versatile, however that higher right-hand pocket might be very nice in case you can determine what to place in it. It could possibly maintain a range, a chilly soak package, meals, a water filter/purification package, your bathroom package, and many others. I carried a Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 with a 3-pocket configuration for years and all the time discovered a use for the higher pocket.

The issue with a single compression strap, even you probably have two, is that it’s not likely good for a lot on the Lite 50, aside from stopping tall skinny objects from falling out of the facet pockets. For instance, you really want two straps, one on high of the opposite to hold snowshoes on the perimeters of a pack. There are additionally not any good anchor factors, like tiny webbing loops, alongside the pack seams the place you possibly can connect twine to lash extra gadgets to the skin of the pack. This might be a simple addition although.

The Lite 50 comes with elastic ice axe shaft and trekking pole holders which is a nice touch on a cottage pack.
The Lite 50 comes with elastic ice axe shaft and trekking pole holders which is a pleasant contact on a cottage pack.

Lastly, the Lite 50 comes with a pair of webbing loops to carry trekking poles and a single webbing strap to carry a mountaineering ax. Elastic shaft holders are offered for each, which is a pleasant contact you usually don’t discover on many cottage firm packs.

Comparable Light-weight Backpacks with Inner Frames


The Waymark Gear Lite is a 50-liter backpack that’s designed, in response to Waymark, for transitional hikers who need to swap from heavier packs and hundreds to lighter-weight backpacking gear however nonetheless need to carry a couple of small luxurious gadgets. The exterior pockets, together with the lengthy mesh entrance pocket, make the pack very easy to make use of, whereas the pack’s slim width makes it very responsive on scrambles and when climbing.  The hip belt is downright distinctive and doesn’t slip below heavier hundreds, partly as a result of it’s sewn to the pack physique, whereas the daisy chains on the shoulder straps and hip belt make it simple to connect accent pockets, electronics, and navigation instruments.

Disclosure: Waymark Gear offered the writer with a backpack for this evaluate.

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