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Gear Review: Sierra Designs Summit Sack

Snag this pint-sized, ultralight, frameless pack for dayhikes, quick, after-work cross country ski laps, or pack it as a stuff sack/summit pack on your big trip.
Photos and text by Allison Woods.
  • There's no toplid, but the wide opening and roll-top closure make it easy to load and fast to crank shut. The nylon fabric is coated to repel light rain and snow, but after a couple of hours it starts to wet out, so use waterproof stuffsacks.
  • Inside the 21-liter pack is a small, zippered key/ID pocket, which doubles as a stuffsack. Packed, it measures a scant eight by five inches. Throw it in your truck, ready for the next unexpected adventure.
  • The wide, curved (unpadded) shoulder straps keep the load steady, but the pack's lack of a frame means that it's best for under 12 pounds or so.
  • The narrow shape of the packbag allows for unfettered arm movement when you're booking it to your next rest break, striding with poles, or reaching for handholds. Its low profile keeps it from getting snagged on stray branches.
  • The thin, foam backpanel is lined with mesh, but the pack rides close to your back, so expect to get sweaty when you're working hard and wearing layers.
  • Slide a 2-liter water bladder into the big internal pocket made for this purpose. The single hydration tube port is on the right side. Sorry lefties!
  • This little pack has all of the features you'd want in an ultralight daypack, including an adjustable sternum strap, emergency whistle, and slim waist belt. The pack sat still even I was skiing twisty trails at warp speed in Washington's Cascades.
  • The Summit Sack swallows tons of gear, no small feat for such a tiny pack. Here it's loaded with warm clothes, butt pads, and lunch for two. With just one external pocket (right side), and two daisy chains, the packbag is clean and uncluttered.
  • The Specs: Sierra Designs Summit Sack<br> $50<br> 14 oz. (on BACKPACKER scales)<br> 21 liters/1300 cubic inches<br> One size fits all<br> sierradesigns.com
There's no toplid, but the wide opening and roll-top closure make it easy to load and fast to crank shut. The nylon fabric is coated to repel light rain and snow, but after a couple of hours it starts to wet out, so use waterproof stuffsacks.
Image 1 of 9

There's no toplid, but the wide opening and roll-top closure make it easy to load and fast to crank shut. The nylon fabric is coated to repel light rain and snow, but after a couple of hours it starts to wet out, so use waterproof stuffsacks.

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1

You say it works best with a load weight limit of 12 lbs, but then talk about how it has enough room for 2 people's lunch, clothes, pads, gear, etc. If 2 liters of water weighs 4 lbs, that only leaves 8 lbs. for everything else. No thanks; I'll take the Mountainsmith Scream 25L pack, which weighs 1 oz. more, holds a THREE LITER bladder, has gear loops, outside pockets, packs down in it's own pocket to the same size and has a recommended load weight limit of 20lbs. I carried my crampons with it last week and was very comfortable. I even got it on sale for less than this SD pack.
— debmonster

REI Flash 18, excellent price $34.50 REI members 20% off through 04/15/2012, approximately 10-11 oz, lots of room, good for day hikes, summits/peak scrambles, cross country or alpine skiing, hydration sleeve w/ center exit port, sternum strap with whistle, two daisy chains & tool loop, packs down small (doesn't zip into a case) - I really like this pack for the durability, carries well when loaded with up to 15 lbs. I use this pack when ski instructing to carry my gear and students extra gear/lunch too. SD's pack likely isn't the best of class for this type of pack!!!
— Joe J


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