Hyperlite Mountain Gear Pack Guide
Hyperlite Mountain Gear is best known for their ultralight Dyneema hiking packs, with a range of pack models suited for different activities or hiking styles. With such a large collection of packs comes the question of which pack to buy. Dom makes choosing a Hyperlite pack easy with a rundown on the main 4 hiking models; the Junction, the Southwest, the Windrider and the Porter.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Hyperlite Mountain Gear is more than an outdoor brand, they are a community of like-minded explorers sharing a passion for the quiet sports and the transcendence of remote wilderness. They follow a philosophy they call essentialism. Not to be confused with minimalism, it isn't about going without, it's about eliminating the overbuilt and the redundant.
About Hyperlite Mountain Gear Packs
The entire Hyperlite range utilises Dyneema Fiber and Dyneema Composite Fabrics, the most revolutionary material technology available for outdoor gear. The result is a range of radically lightweight and insanely durable outdoor gear. Each Hyperlite hiking pack features a similar design of a top-loading roll-top closure system, Dyneema hip pockets, removable aluminium stays and the ability to be customised with a range of accessories. Hyperlite offers a range of inserts, gear pods and attachments to ensure your backpacking system fulfils your every need.
The primary difference between each pack is the external pocket design. These external pockets add an extra 9.8L of volume, in addition to the internal storage. Hence, a 55L pack carries close to 65L with the use of external pockets. Additionally, pack volume can be reduced by utilising the roll-top design.
The most popular pack features solid-panel Hardline Dyneema pockets on the sides and back. The complete Hardline Dyneema pocket design of the Southwest makes this pack ideal for harsh environments, the kind of adventures where you find yourself squeezing between two rocks or dense scrub. The pockets also keep your gear out of the elements, whether that's rain, snow, dust or sun. The external pockets cannot be relied on for being waterproof as they are not sealed. However, these pockets do offer some protection against light showers and snowfall.
The Windrider features full mesh pockets. A great option for walking through wet, wooded, or tropical environments where you need the ventilation of mesh to dry out gear during the day. The downside of the full mesh design, especially the mesh side pockets, is the risk of getting snagged on sticks and shrubs. The mesh also lacks protection against the elements, any gear you place in the external pockets is exposed.
A combination of the Southwest and the Windrider is the Junction - the allrounder, the jack-of-all-trades. The Junction features two Hardline Dyneema side pockets and one mesh pocket at the back. Hence, it has the benefits of mesh and the benefits of Dyneema. The placement of the Hardline Dyneema pockets on the side of the pack offers durability where it's needed most, and the mesh provides ventilation. For these reasons, the Junction is Hyperlite's "preferred pack for backpacking in any environment".
Designed for specific activities like packrafting, mountaineering and multisport backcountry expeditions. The Porter features daisy chains to replace the external pockets featured on other Hyperlite Packs. The daisy chains are useful for attaching gear, such as climbing ropes, an ice axe or even a packraft.