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7/12/2013 5:54 PM
 

 Here are some photos I took while I was testing a fall / early winter load-out for my Ute.  This is enough for me for about 3 to 4 days.  I still had enough room to add a bit more chow.  I was able to fit my wood stove and Seek Outside 6 Man Tipi inside the pack bag, along with a Wild Things Primaloft hooded EP jacket and pants, booties, Klymit sleeping pad, Wild Things tarp/ground cloth, food bag, fire/cook kit, and a few other items.  I put my Wild Things Primaloft EP half bag and HPG Mountain Serape in the 915 stuff sack, which rides on top.  Arcteryx Leaf jacket and pants, Otte Gear gaiters, spare hat and gloves, and Eberlestock pack cover rides in the Palspocket.  This load is somewhere between 45 and 55 lbs.  I didn't weigh it.  It feels pretty good on my back and well balanced.  I am hugely impressed that I got all of this into and on my Ute, and even more impressed with how the Ute carries with all of this gear.  Evan and Scot have the magic when it comes to pack design!

 


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7/13/2013 2:58 AM
 
hpg 

 great pictures


Wicked-Fish Knives & Tools
 
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7/13/2013 7:46 AM
 

 Thanks for sharing the pics! How does a load that size "treat" your shoulders?

 
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7/13/2013 9:17 AM
 

trapperjay wrote

 Thanks for sharing the pics! How does a load that size "treat" your shoulders?

Because of the really great suspension system that HPG has designed, this load feels fairly comfortable.  I've carried a lot of heavy packs in my life....some comfortable, some not so much.  The design of the Ute, with the Prairie Belt, delta straps, yoke style shoulder harness, and aluminum stay system, all work in concert to create a great backpack.  I can without a doubt say that it is the most comfortable big internal frame pack I've ever carried.  


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7/13/2013 12:19 PM
 

trapperjay wrote

 Thanks for sharing the pics! How does a load that size "treat" your shoulders?

The Ute suspension system really does keep the weight off the shoulders and the Praire Belt takes the weight incredibly well - such that in 100 degree heat  you can run it with a very welcome gap between the Ute and your back by loosening up the shoulder harness.

Great pics.

 

 
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7/18/2013 11:22 AM
 

To all who own a Ute - I have held off buying one for two reasons, really want an external frame and do not like packs that sit high above my shoulders.  I am only 5'9" and all the pictures make the Ute appear far too tall for my torso.  I will always take a wider and deeper pack over a tall one.

I am rocking a Lindi and a C20M on a Kifaru Omni Frame which is all working well for me but, cannot pack out pounds of meat, caped hides and skulls on these packs.  I have picked up a Down East 1603 MOLLE frame to try and bridge the gap just now.  I have been unable to rig my Army issued external frame (1964 technology, aluminum frame) with my C20 bag so am going to try and rig the K Omni to the MOLLE frame and see if it can work as an interim measure.

There is a great deal of info on this thread about the outstanding qualities (of course) of the Ute - just looking for some more ideas on how to reduce the overall height.

Craig

 
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7/18/2013 5:44 PM
 

 Not sure..but maybe some of the pictures of the Ute suspension are misleading you.  When the pack isn't on, the shoulder harness hangs low, due to the central strap attaching point and the load lifters being loosened.  When I have the pack on, it really doesn't sit all that high.  It's kind of hard to explain without seeing it in person, but the central attaching strap on the Ute suspension is one of the things I love best about it.  Once I don the pack, it rides at a "normal" height, if you will.  A really tall and high riding pack to me are ones like the Wild Things Andinista or the old US Army SF Lowe Vector mountain packs.  Again, tough to describe about how the Ute rides without seeing it in person.

I also have a C20M on a DEI 1606 AC frame.  That actually turned out to be a really nice pack, too.  As I'm sure you're aware being one of our military brothers in arms to the north, that pack sits on your back more like the classic ALICE, only way better if paired with an HPG suspension.  The DEI frames are pretty nice, and the cost for them is definitely reasonable.


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7/18/2013 6:35 PM
 

I am actually jealous of you guys that get "shoulder lift" out of the Ute. The top of the Ute frame is right at or slighty below my shoulders(depending on the load). That has limited me on what I can do with it and that means I have not used it much. It did make a good spring skiing pack though because of the compression straps and it being below my shoulders. The best "bigger" pack I have skied with, probably because of the harness and how it moves with you. My opinion because of my build is its too big of a pack for the frame hieght. Wish you guys would make a 4500 ci 26 inch stay frame Ute...

 
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7/18/2013 8:37 PM
 

I'm 5'6" or 5'7".  The top of the Ute stays are about 5" above the top of my shoulders.

 
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7/18/2013 11:34 PM
 

WEG wrote

I am actually jealous of you guys that get "shoulder lift" out of the Ute. The top of the Ute frame is right at or slighty below my shoulders(depending on the load). That has limited me on what I can do with it and that means I have not used it much. It did make a good spring skiing pack though because of the compression straps and it being below my shoulders. The best "bigger" pack I have skied with, probably because of the harness and how it moves with you. My opinion because of my build is its too big of a pack for the frame hieght. Wish you guys would make a 4500 ci 26 inch stay frame Ute...

 

x2

Go even a little longer so us tall guys get good lift, not just some lift and I'll be warming up the credit card.  28" please.  Oh, and since this is a wish list, I'll take 5k ci.

 

 
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7/19/2013 9:29 AM
 

alpendrms and pigmonkey - thank you for the feedback. 

I am rigging the DEI frame today and try it out next week, as for a Ute, I am going to hold off.  I understand your descriptions of how it fits and sits.  My issue is just what I am used to - nothing worse than trying to move your head and it banging off the top of your pack.  Of course I am also used to lying in the prone position, and the helmet / pack combo has altered my ideas on high packs.  Also, getting hung up when pushing bush with a branch between your pack and neck is a pain in the neck, no pun intended.

Hopefully I can see or try one out someday soon.

 
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8/21/2013 4:08 PM
 

I figured out another pretty good way to make the Ute be "airplane carry-on capable".  Mine is a slightly different approach than what Evan has previously described, so maybe some other Ute owners out there might want to give this a try if they want to use their Ute as a carry-on.  

I first removed the frame sheet and stays from my Ute.  I then cut a GI closed cell foam sleeping pad to the same width and twice the length of the HPG frame sheet.  I then folded the foam pad in two and slid it down into the slot pocket inside the main packbag of the Ute.  The foam pad provides plenty of padding and adequate rigidity so that the pack can carry a decent amount of gear comfortably, but is still able to scrunch into an overhead bin on an aircraft, especially if you don't have a whole bunch of kit in the pack.  I left my Prairie Belt in place on the pack.

Of course, it won't handle as much weight as when the stays and standard frame sheet are in place, but can handle a reasonable amount.  What's reasonable?  That's left up to the user.  This can also be done by cutting the foam pad to the exact dimensions as the frame sheet, but I made mine double length so that it can be removed, unfolded, and used as a shorty sleeping pad, or as additional insulation under a standard size pad. 

I've carried a Wild Things Andinista pack for years that works off of this very same concept.  It's built and sold as a frameless rucksack with a doubled foam pad inside that is meant to be used during alpine bivys just like I described above.  It's all about how the rucksack is packed, in order to have it carry decently.

If there isn't too much in the Ute, you can also use the long top flap straps and run them all the way to the bottom tabs on the pack.  Then, they can be cinched down to compress things even more, reducing the height of the pack.  Using this technique gets the Ute damned near to Umlindi size without making the Ute look like a mis-shapened lump.  I plan to put my stays, framesheet, and my Palspocket (Serape, Klymit Recon XL pad, and tarp inside) in my checked bag, along with a few other camping items in case the opportunity rises to do a night or two out in the high desert while out in AZ.  That way, I can easily return the Ute to full-on capability in a few minutes time.

I will be flying to Tucson next week and plan to try this out, but I've already measured it in this configuration and it is well within carry-on standards.

Hope that helps somebody else out there!

Ken


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9/30/2013 5:28 PM
 

Question for those Ute owners who pack their sleeping bag in the bag itself,, can you fit a stuffed sleeping bag, WM Badger sized, into the bottom of the pack?   I appreciate on top of the pack carry but at times I like it in the pack.

Thanks

 
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9/30/2013 5:52 PM
 

Dan, since I got an Umlindi set up for day hiking, the Ute has been dedicated to multi-day trips. Instead of throwing a sleeping bag on top as needed I've now got it stuffed in the bottom. I can do my full load with the sleeping bag inside as well up to a TNF cats meow 20 degree bag. TNF snowshoe 0 degree bag is a little too much. Here's a picture where the sleeping bag I have inside is a 30 degree synthetic bag -- plus there's a Serape in there and enough food for 4 days.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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9/30/2013 6:37 PM
 

 Evan,  when you say stuffed in the bottom,  are you saying its stuffed while in a stuff sack or stuffed loose?

 
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9/30/2013 6:43 PM
 

ozarkrambler wrote

 Evan,  when you say stuffed in the bottom,  are you saying its stuffed while in a stuff sack or stuffed loose?

I always loose stuff because it fills out the bottom of a pack better. Line the bottom with a 13 gallon kitchen garbage bag, shove your sleeping bag in, and fold the garbage bag down over the top.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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9/30/2013 7:35 PM
 

So would it fit in a stuff sack or is it a loose stuff proposition only?  Sorry for all the questions just trying to get my mind around its dimensions.  Trying to get a mental comparison to other packs I'm familiar with.

 

Thanks again.

 
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9/30/2013 8:15 PM
 

No worries -- yes it will fit in a stuff sack crosswise in the bottom. Not a 10 year old synthetic, but I imagine most down bags and modern synthetic bags in the 20+ degree range. Don't know if you know the Kifaru ZXR. That seems to be the pack that people are dropping in favor of the Ute as a direct replacement.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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9/30/2013 8:31 PM
 

 Thanks for the info. Sounds perfect.  I used to have a ZXR but sold it cause it was heavy and more bomb proof than I needed.  Have been using the KU 3700 for this size of pack but hate to fly and travel with it due to ape like baggage handlers.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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10/20/2013 12:57 AM
 
Re: 

Question  -  I just got my Ute.  Got it all set up  -  are the aluminum stays supposed to come up out of the stay channels?  The stays come up about half an inch or so out of the channels.  Just wondering if this is normal or not.  Picture below....

 
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