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Topic: Talk me out of/into a GoLite Jam 50l< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 11 2013, 1:01 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm looking for a light weight pack for shorter summer trips (maybe 3 or 4 days max) and its driving me nuts not having a GoLite store nearby to try it out. I keep telling myself that fit is key, but my options for trying it out are limited and the force is strong with this one. What if its so perfect my wife lets me escape more?

GoLite rates it at 30 lbs and I think that I am there. My quilt is just under 21 oz, my hammock is at 20 oz, and my tarp w/ stakes is about 12 oz.

Has anybody used this pack?
Suggest other packs?
Does a mesh backpanel (Exos/AC Lite) really help with back sweat?
What about Granite Gear?
Is ULA worth a hundred bucks more?
I use a zrest, is putting it inside the jam dumb and is putting outside impossible?
Would the 70L be better or would I just end up over loading it?
Anything I'm missing?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 11 2013, 2:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You mentioned your pack weight being around 30lbs.  Does that include consumables?  I think 30lbs will be pushing it comfort wise with a frameless pack.  I'm sure it can handle the load but might not be comfortable for you.  I only use my frameless pack for loads under 25lbs.  The Jam's are very affordable and go on sale pretty often.  My personal opinion is that they are heavy for being frameless, there are lighter options out there(but they are going to cost a lot more).  But for the price, a lot of people use them and seem to like them, plus they have a good return policy so you could get one, try it out around the house and return it if it isn't for you. I think the Jam is a good pack for someone wanting to experiment with frameless.  

And . . . your back is going to sweat no matter what type of backpanel.
70L need all depends on what gear you already have.  I can't imagine needing that much volume.  If your weight is down enough to use a frameless, then your gear most likely isn't going to require that much space.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 11 2013, 8:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My pack weight would be well below 30lbs not including consumables. Summer weight (Light clothes, no rain pants, etc) would be closer to 12 lbs base weight.

I agree with the 70L being too big, if I filled it it would probably be too heavy for the frame.

I think that I might be able to swing by the Woodburn OR store on my way down to the coast in a couple weeks to try one on.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 8:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have no idea if they changed anything for 2013, but here are my thoughts on the 70 and 50 I got a year ago (as compared to the older Pinnacle).

The short of it is if your normal pants are <33 waist you may want to look elsewhere if getting a large (at least with 70L version).
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 4:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AndyPandy @ Mar. 11 2013, 8:24 pm)
QUOTE
I think that I might be able to swing by the Woodburn OR store on my way down to the coast in a couple weeks to try one on.

Cool, let us know what you think of it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 5:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Believe it or not, I have two GoLite Jams: an older model w/o the hip pockets, and the one from a couple of years ago with. I like them for dayhikes and short trips with very light tents, but anything more than ~20 lbs is not recommended, but this would apply to any frameless pack I've tried. If I'm taking more than that, I use something with a light frame.

Nevertheless, it's a good enough pack that a number of folk I've loaned it to have tried to buy it from me. That's how I lost my Kelty Redwing, though I didn't actually sell it - it's just on "permanent loan". That's a great pack with a great suspension, but I prefer something a bit lighter. About all I've carried for backpacking trips in the last couple of years is my Osprey Exos. It's still a very light pack, and it won't stand for much more weight (around 25 - 30 is the limit, IME, because of the light suspension and fabrics), but it has a really nice frame and a lot of pockets for organization, so I don't take much in the way of organizational packing when I carry it.

I've looked at the ULA packs, and I've thought about getting one, but the sizing always stopped me - even though I understand that it's easy to get an exchange from them in case of fit problems. From a review I read some time ago on BPL, I understand that ULA packs are slightly "undersized" (or the estimates of capacity are optimistic). Can't say I've heard anything negative concerning that from folks who use them, however.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 7:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Gabby @ Mar. 12 2013, 5:04 pm)
QUOTE
Believe it or not, I have two GoLite Jams: an older model w/o the hip pockets, and the one from a couple of years ago with.

These older Jams were better from what I've read, and didn't have the drawbacks I listed for the newer ones AFAIK since they were essentially smaller versions of the Pinnacle I have.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 9:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(topshot @ Mar. 12 2013, 8:18 am)
QUOTE
I have no idea if they changed anything for 2013, but here are my thoughts on the 70 and 50 I got a year ago (as compared to the older Pinnacle).

The short of it is if your normal pants are <33 waist you may want to look elsewhere if getting a large (at least with 70L version).

The hip belt sizing is was a concern for me but GoLite emailed me saying...

The minimum hip belt sizes for the jams are as follows:
Small = 26"
Medium = 29"
large = 33"

I have a 19.5 torso, the top for the medium, and like to wear me belt high on the hips, so I think the medium should fit me well. It could fit like an oil drum though.

Your review was helpful. I don't think they have changed the basic design in some time, the most radical change being adding the 3d mesh foam to the back and connecting the hip belt nearer the center line.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 9:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Gabby @ Mar. 12 2013, 5:04 pm)
QUOTE
About all I've carried for backpacking trips in the last couple of years is my Osprey Exos.

This is what keeps me up a night. I need to pop down to REI and cram my stuff in that pack. People seem to love it.


Can carry a bit more, more organization (I'm a bit meh on this), and not much of a weight penalty.

Plus I could 20% sale and dividend that sucker.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 11:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AndyPandy @ Mar. 12 2013, 9:23 pm)
QUOTE
The hip belt sizing is was a concern for me but GoLite emailed me saying...

The minimum hip belt sizes for the jams are as follows:
Small = 26"
Medium = 29"
large = 33"

I have a 19.5 torso, the top for the medium, and like to wear me belt high on the hips, so I think the medium should fit me well.

Hipbelt sizing was a major design error on their part IMNSHO! I def have a large torso but many of us are not fat (I'm only 5'9" 160).

The way I measure torso length (from top seam where straps attach to just below midpoint of where belt attaches), it is just over 18" on a large and just under 17" on a medium. The large Pinnacle is 19".
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 14 2013, 11:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I usually take 5-10 lbs off manufacturers claims (not just Golite).  This is a nice frameless pack but realize it's a rucksack requiring all ultralight gear.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 14 2013, 1:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My .02

I've had 2 Go-lite packs, That I've used on the AT & LT and honestly I've hated both & couldn't wait to sell them, last year I made up my mind to buy a ULA pack and couldn't be happier the pack handles and preforms better than I could have hope for / even on resupply days when you go from 12 to 25lbs, There new design with the carbon flats & round rod really does the trick in transfering weight / it's well worth the cost  http://www.ula-equipment.com/index.asp - There's a reason this pack is # 1 on the AT, LT, PCT & anywhere else
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 14 2013, 2:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AndyPandy @ Mar. 12 2013, 8:28 pm)
QUOTE

(Gabby @ Mar. 12 2013, 5:04 pm)
QUOTE
About all I've carried for backpacking trips in the last couple of years is my Osprey Exos.

This is what keeps me up a night. I need to pop down to REI and cram my stuff in that pack. People seem to love it.

Can carry a bit more, more organization (I'm a bit meh on this), and not much of a weight penalty.

Plus I could 20% sale and dividend that sucker.

Exos is great if it fits you. I have a 19.5" torso, too, and the Exos size M might as well have been custom made for me. Worth a look. The 58 is even nicer than the 46, with dual vertical zippered pockets behind the outside stretch pocket instead of a single flat one(totally changes the way I load the pack), and twice the hipbelt padding with only ~3oz increase in weight. I love the ventilated back on them, and feel no attraction to any pack that doesn't have one for warm weather use.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 14 2013, 4:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
Exos is great if it fits you. I have a 19.5" torso, too, and the Exos size M might as well have been custom made for me. Worth a look. The 58 is even nicer than the 46, with dual vertical zippered pockets behind the outside stretch pocket instead of a single flat one(totally changes the way I load the pack), and twice the hipbelt padding with only ~3oz increase in weight. I love the ventilated back on them, and feel no attraction to any pack that doesn't have one for warm weather use.
Yeah, a BIG +1 on that.

The Exos is one of those packs where you either hate it or you love it. It (the Exos 58, though I have a 46 as well) fits me great, and I have no complaints. I wear a "large", but it fits me like a glove. You can't adjust anything (unless they've changed the latest models, everything is "sewn on"), so you have to try it on in the store.

However, this whole subject is not one that you can actually get someone else to make a decision for you. Like shoes/boots - or any other item that requires good fit - you gotta make the decision yourself, and the only way to do that, that I know of, is to take the gear you will be carrying, lug it down to the store and try it on. REI doesn't care if you walk around in the store and try stuff out. They'll even let you bring back stuff that doesn't work out for you, so they're a really good bet, except for "cottage" packs like the ULA or GG or any other. Those guys just have really liberal return policies, but I suppose that you'll have to pay for the shipping.

So, even though you are getting at least some good comments and recommendations on this thread, you yourself will have to put all that gear in a sack or two and take it to the store. That is really the only way.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 14 2013, 4:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i think the backpacks whose suspensions allow a little space for air circulation do cut down on that sweaty back feeling.  on the other hand, i don't like the trampoline-like feel you sometimes get as a result.

i tend to agree that thirty pounds is high for a frameless backpack, unless you are really careful about how you pack, meaning everything is laid out well and compressed in such a way that the contents effectively transmit weight to your hips.  it's not at all easy to do.  

i tested a pack this fall/winter that does an interesting job combining air flow with a firmer/stronger suspension.  it is the lowe alpine airzone pro 45-55.  it weighs about a pound more than the golite jam 50, but it has a real suspension that does not trampoline and can handle weight more easily and with more stability as a result.  the review is posted at trailspace.com.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 14 2013, 11:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a Jam 70 I purchased six months ago and, after taking it on a long weekend, I went back to my kelty Trekker and Tioga. I like the way you can lean the frame packs against a tree and live out of them like a chest of drawers. With the Jam, it's like a flimsy bag that you reach way down into to get stuff. I lift weights and don't really feel the extra three pounds or so, especially since I have lightened the contents greatly in the past few months. I hit the AT for a week in October with about 30 lbs (food, water, clothes, everything). I will go back in May with around 25 thanks to what I have learned lurking this site and the money I've spent.
Most people who have it are happy with it. It's just not my thing.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 24 2013, 12:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

After trying on several different packs I decided to go with the 50l jam medium. The 70 was way too big, a little bit wider and most of the volume being in the collar of the bag.

Things I like

- it easily fits all of my gear (including my z-lite which really helps by adding rigidity)

-comfortable suspension

-nothing extra I don't need (except for some reason there is a thin divider in the hipbelt pocket, probably for smuggling diamonds)

-I like being able to shrink the pack way down, it makes a very effective carry-on

Things I'm surprised work

-I have an osprey pack with about 5 million adjustments on the hipbelt alone and NASA inspired foam. The Go-Lite's simple belt is just as comfortable; it feels a bit loosey goosey at first.

- the 'load lifters' are lies, in the traditional sense. I thought about just cutting them off. I find them to be very effective at adding to the comfort if I adjust the side compression straps then get the pack on, get my hipbelt in place, adjust shoulder straps AND THEN crank the 'load lifters'.

Things I'm meh about

-I wish the back pocket was stretch but its big enough

-I wish the hole for the hydro tube was slightly bigger

-Hipbelt pockets suck for a camera, ok for chapstick

-fabric seems to hold dirt a bit more than others

I can definitely see why the Jams aren't for everyone. For myself, its a great bag for backpacking, peak bagging, day hikes in winter, and a nice carry on. No pack is perfect, and time will tell how often I grab for this one, but for around $100 its not a bad one to have in the quiver.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 24 2013, 10:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AndyPandy @ May 23 2013, 9:34 pm)
QUOTE
No pack is perfect, and time will tell how often I grab for this one, but for around $100 its not a bad one to have in the quiver.

If you're willing to pay, you can get a perfect pack - a custom, only the features you and exactly the way you want them on a pack that will fit you flawlessly, with exactly the materials you want...

At one point, I owned nine packs. Now I own three and the only one that actually goes on my back is the McHale pack.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 24 2013, 9:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ May 24 2013, 10:32 am)
QUOTE

(AndyPandy @ May 23 2013, 9:34 pm)
QUOTE
No pack is perfect, and time will tell how often I grab for this one, but for around $100 its not a bad one to have in the quiver.

If you're willing to pay, you can get a perfect pack - a custom, only the features you and exactly the way you want them on a pack that will fit you flawlessly, with exactly the materials you want...

At one point, I owned nine packs. Now I own three and the only one that actually goes on my back is the McHale pack.

I guess I'm still figuring out what I want
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PostIcon Posted on: May 26 2013, 6:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well despite my last post, I took my Jam 70 on a section hike from Unicoi to Winding Stair and I gotta say it was comfy and didn't fall apart. I had about 26 lbs sans water. But then 56 miles is not exactly a test of durability.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 26 2013, 10:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Altarboy @ May 26 2013, 6:48 pm)
QUOTE
Well despite my last post, I took my Jam 70 on a section hike from Unicoi to Winding Stair and I gotta say it was comfy and didn't fall apart. I had about 26 lbs sans water. But then 56 miles is not exactly a test of durability.

I haven't had a chance to do anything quite that long yet. Anything stand out?

As far as durability goes the only complaints I have found online are about the side stretch pocket material. Durability probably comes 3rd or 4th on the priority list for Go Lite designers.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 27 2013, 9:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The mesh material in the pockets is silly and they should have used better stuff. Another ounce or two for sturdier mesh would make no difference to me and would make me feel better about the longevity of the pack. BTW, I lined it with a trash compactor bag as some have advised on this board and it served me well during three rains.
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