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Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use

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Offline elhombre

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Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« on: January 03, 2018, 11:10:58 AM »
https://seekoutside.com/divide-4500-ultralight-backpack-gray/

I bought this pack at the suggestion of Mule ears, and with so many of you OLDER guys out there :great: that want to shed weight, I wanted to let y'all know about my experience with it.  I really wanted to get a pack down to around the #3 range that could carry a decent amount of weight.  Basically an oxymoron when it comes to packs.  I tried the Elemental Horizon pack first.  https://elementalhorizons.com/kalais-pack/  Real nice workmanship and I really wanted it to work.  Loaded her up at the house with #40+ and walked around the place.  I immediately noticed the pack had a narrow frame and the load would rock back and forth on my back.  Re-pack, but had the same results.  The pack advertises a #45 max.  It can carry this much, but because the back support is narrow, the sides are unsecured and pooch out.  I think if you kept it around #30, this pack would rock!

I need a heavier carrying capacity pack for various reasons.  Sometimes I need to carry a full complement of rope repelling gear.  Other times, as in Colorado, I carry waders, water boots, and fly fishing stuff.  And lately, our trips have been 5 or 6 nights worth of food.  Definitely not a 'through Hiker", but cutting weight is still a premium. 

The differences you must accept if you want to go light weight.  First, there is no extra pockets for your crap.  No topper compartment and no internal water bladder sleeve.  More material means more weight.  For me, this meant a fundamental change in my water system.  You must accept the change from a water hose/bladder, to drinking out of bottles stored in the side pockets.   In the mountains, this is no problem as water is always a stones throw from the trail.  In the desert, not so much.  I tied a loop inside the pack and hung my water bladder off it.  This has it's own problems too.  First, I have to add a sleeve around the water bladder to protect it from punctures.  More weight.  Second, the fancy packs without the topper compartment don't have a water port, and the hose must come out the roll top.  I roll one side tighter than the hose side, and though it is not "ideal" for waterproofing, it works fine.  Just not exactly how it is designed. 

You must be comfortable with carrying your daily food in the same water bottle pockets on the outside.  Not a big deal, but now I have a small zipper bag where I use to just throw everything in my topper.

Finally, none of this comes cheap.  We bought a #4 Ospry Volt 60 for $110  this December.  Which makes the $350 price of the Divide make you sit up and say "WTF".  BUT, as I was convinced by my sweet, sweet wife, I do backpack 4 or more times a year.  AND, there is no prize for being the richest man in the cemetery.  Expensive waterproof material is the norm.  No extra rain cover needs to be carried. 

The pack has a aluminum U shaped frame that holds it together.  As stated earlier, it is wide and the pack does not pooch out beyond the sides.  I noticed this immediately when loading it the first time.  It is a big pack too, and God help me if I ever pack it full.  Side pockets are huge, but like most, you have to have good loose shoulders to get the water bottle back in.  Outside storage mesh is big enough for 2 jackets and TP.  The suspension is up to task.  No complaints at all with #45.

Negatives:  waist belt has 2 independent straps.  They send you a single combo buckle which I tried this first trip.  Not real happy with it's performance when tightening up the belt.  I think I will try the two independent buckles next trip.  Secondly, there isn't much cooling fibers on the back.  Meaning, the pack made me sweat where it contacted my shirt.  This may be a bigger deal once I hike in warmer weather, but it was well into the 80's one day, and this is when it became apparent.   Time will tell.

Overall, I think this dog will hunt.   It's light.  It can carry weight very comfortably.  It's completely water proof after I seam sealed it with plumbers silicon caulk.  AND it can carry weight.  Time will be the true judge, but so far,  :great:
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 12:48:00 PM by elhombre »
If other countries on the planet want to see America suffer and ultimately destroyed, who are they cheering for right now?  Trump, or the leftist democrats and their media supported hate machine?

Seek out the facts for yourself.  Begin by using Startpage.com,  not google.

May God Bless America!

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 11:21:56 PM »
This is an excellent gear review, elhombre. Thanks.

I came within one button-click of buying the same pack you have, but I pulled up at the last second. Reading your review makes me think I probably did the right thing, Not because the pack isn't fantastic; it definitely sounds like it is. But just because it probably wouldn't have suited me perfectly. And, at that price, you damn well want it to be perfect.

I like just a little bit more organizational options than that pack would give me. My current pack, an Osprey Aether 70, has all the organizational options I could hope for, and more. It's the "more" that bugs me. My Aether will carry 60lbs comfortably (unless most of it is water), but then I'm also carrying another pound or more in bells-and-whistles on the pack that I don't need.

If I could find a pack that carried up to 65lbs comfortably, and had ONLY the organizational options I wanted (mostly a good top pocket, two large side pockets that don't have to be cinched tight during pack compression, two medium-sized hipblet pockets (big enough for a P&S camera or a GPS, a nice mostly-mesh stuff pocket on the back for my tarptent or wet stuff, and some well-thought-out arrangement for carrying a 4-liter Dromedary bag inside or outside) then I'd be in heaven. Waterproof would be nice, but it's not a deal-breaker.

Anyway, thanks for the review. I can see why that pack is a good choice for you. It's also good to know that, as wonderful as it is, the Seek Outside is not the "perfect pack" for me. I can check it off the list and keep looking.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 11:53:05 PM »

If I could find a pack that carried up to 65lbs comfortably, and had ONLY the organizational options I wanted (mostly a good top pocket, two large side pockets that don't have to be cinched tight during pack compression, two medium-sized hipblet pockets (big enough for a P&S camera or a GPS, a nice mostly-mesh stuff pocket on the back for my tarptent or wet stuff, and some well-thought-out arrangement for carrying a 4-liter Dromedary bag inside or outside) then I'd be in heaven. Waterproof would be nice, but it's not a deal-breaker.


HMoD, have you looked at the Kelty Coyote 65?  I'm still using my old external frame pack, a Kelty Trekker that I bought ages ago, but, after my last hike, I thought I might splurge on a new internal frame pack.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 12:07:35 AM by Jalco »

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 12:44:08 AM »

If I could find a pack that carried up to 65lbs comfortably, and had ONLY the organizational options I wanted (mostly a good top pocket, two large side pockets that don't have to be cinched tight during pack compression, two medium-sized hipblet pockets (big enough for a P&S camera or a GPS, a nice mostly-mesh stuff pocket on the back for my tarptent or wet stuff, and some well-thought-out arrangement for carrying a 4-liter Dromedary bag inside or outside) then I'd be in heaven. Waterproof would be nice, but it's not a deal-breaker.


HMoD, have you looked at the Kelty Coyote 65?  I'm still using my old external frame pack, a Kelty Trekker that I bought ages ago, but, after my last hike, I thought I might splurge on a new internal frame pack.

I have not, but I have a deep, deep affection for Kelty. The first pack I ever bought, back in 1976, was a Kelty external. I kept for 20 years until a friend borrowed it and never returned it. I'm still looking for him.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 01:53:37 PM »
Elhombre -

I looked at the Seek Outside Divide 4500 and I did see that they offered a top lid. I use the top lid of my current Osprey Aether 70 as my daypack and a container for all my emergency/survival supplies. Anytime I hike or climb any real distance from my main pack, I just grab my Osprey's top lid and take it with me. No fuss, no futz, no re-packing, no worry. The Osprey top lid includes an integrated (but unpadded) hip belt, so I can strap it on and go. It can also be mated to my mainpacks detachable hip-belt if the load is substantial. I can toss a liter Smartwater bottle into it and go, or if I need more water, I can use custom shoulder straps to carry one of my water bladders on my back. The Seek Outside top lid doesn't have an integrated hipbelt, so it probably won't work for me, but I'm thinking I could retrofit my Osprey lid to the same attachment points used by Seek Outside's top lid. Does that seem right? How exactly is the the Seek Outside top lid attached and does it use any proprietary hardware that would be different than buckles that could easily be used on my Osprey lid?

Second issue: I stow my Integral Designs Silshelter tarp tent and its stakes on the rear of my Osprey Aether in its mostly-mesh stuff-it pocket. It's easy to access, easy to stuff willy-nilly, and it dries quickly there. Do you use a Talon pocket on your Seek Outside Divide? If so, what kind and what do you think about it? I understand I have a couple of options: a regular Talon and a full-mesh Talon.

Lastly, one of the things I really like about my Osprey Aether is the external sleeve for a water bladder. It's situated between the shoulder straps, against my back. It comfortably accommodates a 4-liter Dromlite bladder. I don't sip on the fly, so I don't need a drinking tube. I keep my daily water in bottles in my pack's side pockets. I only hydrate during breaks. But the external sleeve makes it easy to remove the bladder and top it off or re-fill it from any water source I encounter without opening up the rest of my pack. And the placement against my back is superb for weight-carrying efficiency. The Talon apparently has a hydration pocket, but I don't want to carry a full gallon of water on the extreme rear of my pack, that far away from my back...seems like bad physics to me. So.....I understand you retrofitted your Divide to carry a bladder internally. How did you do it? I think this is something I would need to do if I were to buy the Divide.

I like the fact that the Divide weighs less than 3lbs (about 2lbs less than my Aether) and can still carry up to 100lbs without falling apart. Definitely good for packrafting or climbing. I like the fact that the Divide is one, big, stupid, bombproof, waterproof bag with almost no bells-and-whistles. I am THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII IIIIIIIS "><" close to pulling the trigger on a Divide and am waiting for your feedback before I make a final decision.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 10:31:12 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2018, 02:53:22 PM »
You shouldn't need a Talon unless you need the added capacity, the Divide 4500 already has a mesh back pocket.  As to the top pocket you can either figure out how to attach your current one or get the SeekOutside one and have it modified with a waist belt.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2018, 02:57:40 PM »
You shouldn't need a Talon unless you need the added capacity, the Divide 4500 already has a mesh back pocket.  As to the top pocket you can either figure out how to attach your current one or get the SeekOutside one and have it modified with a waist belt.

I totally missed the mesh pocket. Are you sure? Is it standard equipment and fully integrated? If so, then, yes, I am golden. All I have to do is solve the top pocket issue.
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Offline mule ears

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2018, 03:01:54 PM »
You shouldn't need a Talon unless you need the added capacity, the Divide 4500 already has a mesh back pocket.  As to the top pocket you can either figure out how to attach your current one or get the SeekOutside one and have it modified with a waist belt.

I totally missed the mesh pocket. Are you sure? Is it standard equipment and fully integrated? If so, then, yes, I am golden. All I have to do is solve the top pocket issue.

As far as I know it is standard.

temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline mule ears

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2018, 03:02:57 PM »
Hey, el hombre, did you have any trouble dialing in the shoulder harness fit?  That is the number one thing I read about being difficult for some folks.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2018, 03:14:26 PM »
You shouldn't need a Talon unless you need the added capacity, the Divide 4500 already has a mesh back pocket.  As to the top pocket you can either figure out how to attach your current one or get the SeekOutside one and have it modified with a waist belt.

I totally missed the mesh pocket. Are you sure? Is it standard equipment and fully integrated? If so, then, yes, I am golden. All I have to do is solve the top pocket issue.

As far as I know it is standard.



Oh, I do hope you're right. That would save me weight AND money.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Cookie

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2018, 06:54:28 PM »
House-I am totally with you on the pockets to squirrel stuff away. Elhombre is the opposite. So when YoungHiker (our daughter-formally nicknamed Hiker) had outgrown her Osprey 50 L pack we knew either I was getting a new pack or he was. I LOVE my Osprey Ariel 65 L pack and all the pockets- except the weight! The give and take of ounces. So I graciously let elhombre pick out a new pack and YoungHiker inherited his fairly new Osprey Volt 60 L. She loves it! She is a lover of pockets also    :dance:
I did try out our "spare" Osprey Volt 60 L on our recent Christmas trip to BiBe and liked the lighter weight and it had hip pockets that were lacking in my Ariel 65. :great:

So elhombre rigged his pack to hold water. It comes with two 3/4" wide straps that are sewn in at the top edge of the frame. The straps are set so there is 3" in between  them. He tied 550 cord in a loop and hung his water from that. We have also used "s" hooks to hang platypus water bags in his day pack that didn't have a pocket inside (Hyperlite mountain gear day pack.) You would still have to get into the pack to refill/access the water.

McGyver strap by Cookie, on Flickr

S clip by Cookie, on Flickr

I measured the outside mesh pocket at just a smidge over 12". It opens pretty wide so you might be able to fit your tent in there.  I would think with the side compression straps and the daisy chain on the back you could retrofit the Osprey topper on it.   

ME, you'll have to wait for a first hand account from elhombre about the shoulder harness. I know overall he was very pleased with the packs performance.

Hope that helps some!

~Cookie

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2018, 08:31:42 PM »
House-I am totally with you on the pockets to squirrel stuff away. Elhombre is the opposite. So when YoungHiker (our daughter-formally nicknamed Hiker) had outgrown her Osprey 50 L pack we knew either I was getting a new pack or he was. I LOVE my Osprey Ariel 65 L pack and all the pockets- except the weight! The give and take of ounces. So I graciously let elhombre pick out a new pack and YoungHiker inherited his fairly new Osprey Volt 60 L. She loves it! She is a lover of pockets also    :dance:
I did try out our "spare" Osprey Volt 60 L on our recent Christmas trip to BiBe and liked the lighter weight and it had hip pockets that were lacking in my Ariel 65. :great:

So elhombre rigged his pack to hold water. It comes with two 3/4" wide straps that are sewn in at the top edge of the frame. The straps are set so there is 3" in between  them. He tied 550 cord in a loop and hung his water from that. We have also used "s" hooks to hang platypus water bags in his day pack that didn't have a pocket inside (Hyperlite mountain gear day pack.) You would still have to get into the pack to refill/access the water.

McGyver strap by Cookie, on Flickr

S clip by Cookie, on Flickr

I measured the outside mesh pocket at just a smidge over 12". It opens pretty wide so you might be able to fit your tent in there.  I would think with the side compression straps and the daisy chain on the back you could retrofit the Osprey topper on it.   

ME, you'll have to wait for a first hand account from elhombre about the shoulder harness. I know overall he was very pleased with the packs performance.

Hope that helps some!

~Cookie

Fantastic, Cookie. And with pictures! Thanks.


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Offline elhombre

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2018, 10:59:14 AM »
The water bag I used this first trip was a camel back 100oz.  I've had  this thing for a while.  This the newer version, but what I have is very close. https://www.camelbak.com/en/packs/ski-and-snow/R01066--Stoaway?color=d3d9ceb5d9964eae9bd790590affbe17    It is a sleeve that protects the camel back water bag that I hang inside the pack.  I place it inside after I stuff my tent in the bottom, then load everything else in in a manner that all the other stuff holds the water bag in place against my back.  As House eluded to, this put the weight of the water right next to my spine and helps with weight distribution.  We have transitioned to Platapus water systems because they are easier to open and close.

Problem with Platapus 100oz bags is that they are too wide to fit in the camelback sleeve, and I feel I need to protect it somehow.  Gonna try to super glue Tyvek into a sleeve, or have the old lady sew up an old stuff sack to the right size.

I don't have the topper so I don't know all the details.  But I think if you use their fancy buckles, it would be easy to strap your Ospry topper on it.  https://seekoutside.com/gatekeeper-set-12-pack/

My pack showed up just like the picture showing the mesh.  I put my jacket and TP in there.  Should hold a tenttarp just fine.  It looks like they sell the Talon to be attached to the outside of the mesh.  They say you can use it for your hydration bag.  That's just stupid!  No one should walk around with #6 pounds of water hanging that far out and away from your body.

I believe the solution for water is a combination of what we all are talking about.  My plan is to carry my plastic water bottles in the side pockets and drink from those during the day.  I will also carry a 4 or 6 liter MSR Domiter bag for extra water inside the pack.  When I stop for lunch or a real break, I will take the MSR bag out and refill the plastic side bottles.  Packing the half full MSR bag back into the backpack is the only hang up.  But I can pull a few things out of the pack, and repack the half filled MSR bag next to my spine, and repack the few things in less than a minute or so.  I loose the weight of the 100oz water bag and sleeve.  I only gain the weight of a second plastic bottle on the side.  And I was already carrying the MSR bag for extra water and base camp water anyway.

If we are planning on climbing or day hiking a bunch on a backpacking trip, I will go back to using the 100oz sleeve system because my day pack works much better with it.  The bottle system should work fine for point to point trips.

I did not experience any problems with the shoulder straps yet.  Only have 4 days on the pack so far.  More to come next month.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 01:12:37 PM by elhombre »
If other countries on the planet want to see America suffer and ultimately destroyed, who are they cheering for right now?  Trump, or the leftist democrats and their media supported hate machine?

Seek out the facts for yourself.  Begin by using Startpage.com,  not google.

May God Bless America!

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Divide 4500 Ultralight Backpack - first use
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2018, 02:01:11 PM »
This has been extremely helpful to me. I had looked very closely at the Divide 4500 last year, in anticipation of my Nov-Dec trip. But at the very last second, I balked, and stuck with my trusty Osprey Aether 70, even though I know it's saddled with a pound or more of features that I don't need or use. The three key sticking points against the Divide 4500 were:

1) the top lid was not part of the base design, but rather an afterthought. My Aether's top lid was roomy, rode well on top of the pack, and included an integrated hip belt which allowed me to use it as my daypack whenever I walked away from my main pack.
2) the base design included no hydration sleeve, and simple MSR Dromlite bags are a staple of my water management system. So where was I going to carry my bladder(s)?
3) I needed a pocket on the rear of the pack to carry my tarptent and stakes, and it needed to allow for drainage and air-drying of the wet tent material. Apparently, I misread the Seek Outside website: I thought the mesh pocket shown on the base pack was the optional Talon compartment that can be buckled to the rear of the Divide. The Talon features a mesh hydration sleeve and a large accessory pocket, but I didn't like it because that puts the bladder far away from my back which is a lousy place to carry that much weight. Plus, the accessory pocket wasn't mesh and wouldn't allow for drying my tarptent. And lastly, the Talon - even it's all mesh version, was heavy and expensive.

Of course, I'm an idiot, and it turns out the Divide already includes a wonderful, simple mesh pocket attached directly to the back of the pack - a great place to stow and dry my tarptent. And Elhombre and Cookie have devised a very workable solution to carry an MSR Dromlite bag inside the Divide's main compartment.  Normally, I like to carry my bladder on the outside of my pack for easy access (which my current Aether allows, brilliantly), but that's mostly because accessing the interior of my Aether requires cumbersome fiddling with its top lid in order to move it out of the way. And about that top lid.......I use it as a daypack, which means its pre-loaded with almost everything I need to survive if I'm unable to return easily to my main pack: that includes equipment for emergency bivies and signalling, my "Ooops" kit which is basically all my medical and repair supplies, my toilet kit which is my trowel and TP and hand sanitizer, and my maps in a gallon ziploc.  Two other things I carry in/on my top lid are supplies for filtering and disinfecting my water and, strapped to the outside top, my trash in a ziploc inside an Opsak.

Reading and re-reading the posts here, and looking at the Seek Outside website, it finally occurs to me (because, you know, I'm an idiot) that I don't need hourly or even daily access to most of the stuff I carry in my top lid.  Most of it is for emergencies. And the rest - the maps, the water kit, the toilet kit, and the trash - will only be accessed when I'm at a full stop anyway. Which means.....I DON'T NEED A TOP LID. What I need is a modest bag, loaded with emergency equipment and supplies and a few other things, that can be easily and securely carried as a daypack when necessary. It can ride INSIDE my main packbag, probably right at or near the top of the interior. The only things I might (or might not?) need to stow on the outside of the main packbag are my maps, my water kit, my toilet kit, and my trash sack. And all of those things would only be accessed when I'm at a full stop and with my pack off.

Seems to me that my toilet kit and trash sack can be stowed together on top of the pack, under the Divide's top compression strap. The gallon ziploc full of my maps can probably be slipped inside the pack's rear mesh pocket, behind my tarptent. That only leaves my water kit, which is really nothing more than some chlorine dioxide pills and a strainer (usually a bandanna and rubber band)... though sometimes I bring a Sawyer Mini, too. And, you know, if my MSR Dromlite bladder is now going inside the main packbag, then why not carry those things in there as well? If I'm using my water kit, I'm using my Dromlite.

So....Poof!....no need for a top lid. If I want to keep using my Osprey's top lid as my daypack, I can just stow it inside the main packbag, on top of everything else. Or I can find another, lighter alternative from another manufacturer. And that solution makes for a very, very stripped-down and streamlined pack, which I like very, very much.  I'll still want to add at least one hipbelt pocket and probably one shoulder harness pocket to the Divide to replace my Aether's two integrated hipbelt pockets. That's totally do-able on the Divide with all its attachment points. I might use Seek Outside's recommended accessories, or maybe another manufacturer's, or maybe build my own.

So it's definitely looking like the Seek Outside Divide will be my next pack. With all its compressibility, it should be excellent for lightweight trips (it weighs 2lbs less than my Osprey Aether) and more than sturdy enough to handle a daunting 65lbs during those long trips when I'm carrying a lot of water or a packrafting kit, or both. I  don't think I'd have reached this decision if it weren't for elhombre's review of his Divide, and mule ears' review of his new Kalais, and the chance to actually see and handle the Kalais right before mule ears began his most recent trip in BiBe. Or without all the great advice and feedback from everyone here.

Thanks, guys!   :great:
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

 


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