Borah Gear Stealth:
Specs as taken from http://www.borahgear.com
• Weight: 13.9oz in 140D Dyneema, 15.5oz in Dyneema X
• Volumes: 2,500 cu (41L) main pack, 200 cu (3L) extension collar/roll top, 250 cu (4L) front mesh pocket, 125 (2L) cu side pockets (each). This brings the total volume of the pack to 3,200cu (52L). Size Large is 54L total.
• Three torso sizes, Small (16-18in) Medium (18-20.5in) and Large (20.5 -22in)
• Full body Dyneema construction. 70d extension collar
• Roll top closure for maximum water resistance
• Dyneema side pockets with elastic tops, sized to fit nalgene bottles. Grommet in bottom of pocket to drain water
• Mesh pocket on front of pack for quick access to gear
• Padded shoulder straps and hipbelts with 3D mesh lining for maximum comfort. Load lifters on shoulder straps.
• Sternum strap
• Dual compression straps on each side of pack
• Double stitched seams
• Internal elastic bands to hold a sleeping pad or foam sheet for support
• Optional removable hipbelt pockets that secure by elastic onto the hipbelt
• Load rating – like any frameless pack, 20-25lbs is best with just a foam pad for all day comfort. Strong enough for 30+ lbs.
*See website for additional options, such as drawcord top closure, tool loops
I ordered a size medium (I’m 5’7”, 170lbs) in Dyneema X. Pack weight out of box was 15.8oz with two hip belt pockets. Initial impression was that the pack appeared very well made. Nice looking seams and stitching. After close inspection, could not find any aesthetic flaws in craftsmanship. Right off the bat I trimmed the load lifter straps, added zipper pulls to both hip belt pockets and trimmed up a piece of CCF to use as a supporting back pad/sit pad. After these mods, the pack weighed in at 17.1oz. I had a three day Grand Canyon trip coming up in a few days so I loaded up the pack with all the gear I was planning on taking, including consumables. Weight fully loaded came out to 17.77 lbs. I was unsure of the necessity of the load lifters but to my surprise, they pulled the pack nicely to the curvature of my back. I definitely give this feature a plus.
The hip belt pockets have nice volume, only thing to take note of was I had to really twist my torso around to open and close them (addition of zipper pulls helped this). The elastic bands kept them in place nicely and the pockets did not slip off while taking the pack on or off.
The large outside mesh pocket is a staple on many packs these days. I find them quite functional, offering quick access to items you may need throughout the day and providing a handy place to store any wet items.
The water bottle pockets have ample room with a metal (brass?) grommet at the base of each pocket(for water drainage). I feel the grommet is kind of large, a smaller darker color grommet would certainly look better in my opinion, but that is just personal preference, it has no effect on functionality. In one pocket I was able to fit a 900ml Evernew bottle plus a 700ml Smartwater bottle. In the other pocket I easily fit a 900ml Evernew bottle and an 8oz fuel bottle.
I packed my gear using my inflatable pad as a burrito roll. There was ample volume for all my gear and did not utilize the space of the extension collar. The top of the extension collar has a stiff piece sewn in on one side and Velcro to make closing and rolling a bit easier. I really like the dry bag style top closure, coupled with the vertical Y strap, it gave the pack a nice neat, tight closure. After filling the front mesh pocket, next comes the dual side compression straps. The dual side straps are one of the features that really drew me to this pack in the first place. I personally like side compression straps, and feel that two per side is much better than one for my packing style. I like a tight package (no jokes please, I really couldn’t think of a better way to word that). Those straps really compressed and pulled things in, making the pack a very sturdy, nice fit.
During my three days in Grand Canyon, I had no issues with the pack. The fit was great, very comfortable. While going from the Colorado River to the rim is not a great distance, it is a pretty good test on the comfort of a pack. I’ve done it with a pack that didn’t fit quite so well and I guarantee, you will feel it. I encountered quite a bit of snow with some light rain mixed in and the pack did not wet out (I did not use a pack cover). I closely inspected the pack after returning and could find no seam pulling, fraying, etc. Keep in mind that I was always on trail, no bushwacking, so this trip can not really be used to comment much on durability, with the exception in regard to load bearing.
Besides making what in my opinion is an outstanding pack, I have to comment on the excellent customer service at Borah Gear. John was quick to answer any of my questions and maintained great communication from start to finish during our transaction. As a company, I highly recommend them.