Green Gear: GoLite Jam Pack

a comfortable weekend/summit pack with 70% less environmental impact
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a comfortable weekend/summit pack with 70% less environmental impact

For the past three years, GoLite has been fully focused on reducing its impact on the planet. Company principles have analyzed every detail of every item that it makes as well as the minutiae of its operations to figure out how to reduce the energy GoLite use, the carbon it pumps into the environment, and any and all of its eco impacts. After GoLite participated in Backpacker's 2009 Zero Impact Challenge for sleeping bags, GoLite designers told us that they were taking what they learned and applying it across their line to every product they make. Voila the Rolltop.

Made from Tier 1 Recycled Nylon, it's uses 70% less energy and CO2 production to make than a traditional nylon pack, but has all the performance benefits of a pack made from virgin nylon (lighter, tougher and stronger than polyester). Plus, Tier 1 Nylon is infinitely recyclable.



Being green is all well and good, but only if the pack holds up in the field, which it did with flying colors. Testers loved the rolltop closure that made it super easy to get into pack. The outside front pocket and two stretchy side pockets (that stay out of the way of arm swing) provides organization options without overkill. A sturdy hipbelt (removable) with large, stretchy side pockets supports the load in conjunction with the a removable closed cell foam backpanel. It's designed to carry 25 or so pounds and it does it well, though testers also loved this pack as a day pack for light loads. Hook and loop load compressors cinch in the bottom of the pack, drawing the load in towards your body for more stability when the pack isn't full. Mesh on comfortably padded shoulder straps and back panel wick sweat. Side compression straps are designed to cross over the pack to carry a snowboard or a climbing rope (though there is no ski carry system). Ice axe loops at the bottom make this a viable summit pack for winter ascents. 

The Roll Top is good news. Want to hear the even better news? All of GoLite's S10 packs and travel luggage and bags are made with Tier 1 recycled nylon.

In medium (17.5-19.5 torso, 3050 cu in) and large (19.5 - 21.5 in. torso, 3233 cu. in.). 1 lb, 12 oz (M on Backpacker scales); $150; golite.com.

-Berne Broudy