Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Less is More, LIM 45 and Trail Shoes
I sold my Laser recently and for the time being I'm not looking for a replacement so I thought I'd invest the money wisely......... in a new rucksack and trail shoes. I liked the look of the Haglofs LIM packs and managed to find a LIM 55, it seems that the 55L version has been dropped either by Haglofs themselves or by the importer. I found that while I liked the pack it didn't fit very well, others have had similar complaints so maybe there's a reason why it's been dropped. In any case I liked the design and taking into account that I wasn't even close to using the 55L capacity of my Gregory Z55 I returned the LIM 55 and exchanged for a LIM 45.
I really like this pack, it holds a surprising amount for a 45L, the roll top closure is I guess something you either like or dislike.
The small top pocket is indeed small but I can manage, it also has a key clip. The side and front pockets are really stretchy and unlike the Gregory take the form of 3 individual pockets rather than one large pocket that wraps around the pack. The side pockets have an internal compression strap and dual openings, one horizontal at the top and one vertical at the bottom which allows you to use them as normal wand pockets or use the bottom opening for easy access to a drinks bottle.
There are two mesh pockets on the hipbelt with a rigid plastic loop to help open them (the side pockets have a similar loop)They don't have a zip but the plastic loop can be tucked under the pack/hipbelt stabilising straps to keep them closed.
The hydration bladder sleeve is on the outside between the main pack and the padded back panel, again I like this as I find it easier to reinsert a filled bladder when the pack is fully loaded. The hydration pocket also has a short mesh pocket for valuables and a key clip.
The pack weight is 1035g according to Haglofs, I haven't actually weighed mine yet but it looks like a 500g saving over the Gregory.
The pack is what I would call an Internal/External frame and the frame and shoulder straps take the weight rather than the pack due to the way the straps go under the pack. It also has a perforated foam backpad so is more prone to causing a sweaty back than a true external frame or indeed the Gregory Z55 which has a Mesh back and a good air gap between mesh and pack but possibly not as bad as a pack with a simple foam/aluspar back system. The fit works for me and I expect I'll use it unless I need the extra capacity of the Gregory in winter (the back system of the Gregory might be better in winter too)
As usual I added a few bits and pieces to suit my needs, 2 x dogclips added to the top tension straps same as I did on the Gregory and a shockcord and lock through the webbing loops on lid to hold my Aquaguard Eliminator filter and Source feed tube.
It's different and possibly wouldn't suit everyone but well worth a look if you want a 45L pack at around 1kg.
This little lot all packed in, Left to right, ME Xero 250 in S2S Ultrasil Roll Top, Wee Airic, Tesco Pillow, Phreeranger (Blue Stuff Sack), Spare base Layer/socks (orange Stuff Sack), Windshirt & Micro Fleece Gloves (Black Stuff Sack), Above those, Spares/Repair (Small Red Stuff Sack), 1st aid, Trowel (Red Stuff Sack), Above that Food and Cooking Gear (Orange and Camo Stuff Sacks), Camera Batteries, Gorillapod, MPS, Glasses, Wash Kit and Midgie repellant, ME Xero Duvet Jkt (S2S Blue Ultrasil), Above that Rain Gear and Hydration kit, Top Right ME Ultrafleece. Thats everything I need, the only thing that would change depending on duration is the amount of food, I carried 1 x day ratpack above. I used the lid pocket, one side pocket and the Hydration Pocket but still had the front pouch/pocket, one side pocket and both hip belt pockets spare.
What about the trail shoes? I've never used trail shoes before only moving to fabric boots last year but I thought it would be worth trying a pair. I looked at Innov8 but happened to see the Karrimor trail shoes on the Field & Trek website at £18. They're unlined which is what I wanted and weigh 770g/pair size 9. In Black with Lime Green trim they almost match the LIM 45, not that it matters of course, but one doesn't want to be too clashy ;-) I've no idea how well they'll take the abuse but at the price I figured it was worth a shot in case I find out that I prefer boots.