A challenge to pack designers & Teton Sports UltraLight Summit 1500 review

I am stacked up on some posts about some pretty awesome things that I have done in the past two weeks; however, I realized I wanted/needed to get this review done first.  Why you ask?  Because after testing the Teton Sports UltraLight Summit 1500 daypack with hydration system, I realized I have a challenge to daypack (heck even multi-day pack) designers.

Ok, first things first. The pack was given to a bunch of super cool people (not sure how I got connected with them ;)) during a morning snowshoe the Saturday of the winter Outdoor Retailer Show, which is entirely different post in and of itself!

Check out all of those cool orange packs!

Check out all of those cool orange packs!

After using the pack several times that weekend to carry sweet swag from the winter Outdoor Retailer Show and extra layers during the snowshoe, I also used it during a snowmobile adventure on the Targhee National Forest.  Again, I used it as a pack to carry extra gear and water in my new Hydro Flask.

The pack taking a rest on my sled

The pack taking a rest on my sled

The truest test of this pack to date came this past Saturday when Sydney and I hiked into the Lower Clarks Fork Canyon on the Shoshone National Forest.  For the first time, I filled the 2-liter bladder up with some cold water, threw in extra layers and a few protein bars, and Sydney and I hit the road.

All packed up and ready to go

All packed up and ready to go

Beautiful drive into the mouth of the Lower Clarks Fork Canyon

Beautiful drive into the mouth of the Lower Clarks Fork Canyon

The Awesome: I was very glad to have the mesh side pockets of this pack to carry Sydney’s water bottle and store my camera for quick retrieval.  The size of the pack allowed for extra layers, which I ended up needing to wear all of because of the intense wind in the canyon.  The harder internal frame gave me nice support throughout the hike.  Unlike their TrailRunner 2.0 Hydration Pack, this pack had a few extra pockets and more storage room, but both packs did have the nice clips to keep the extra long straps secured to the pack (thus no flapping against your legs).

Happy with the performance so far

Happy with the performance so far

The Not so Awesome: During this hike I got a little frustrated.  You see, I live in bear country (both black & grizzly), so I carry bear spray year-round.  During this hike I had an ah ha! moment. I had to readjust the placement of the spray on the waist belt several times when I realized that I had to do this with EVERY single pack I ever carry the spray on.  The spray always seems to strain the waist belt causing the straps to loosen and the spray inevitably ends up sagging on the belt in the middle of my lower abdomen.  This is not only frustrating but a safety issue.  As I constantly fuss with the belt (on any pack), my situational awareness is lessened, which, as a lone hiker out with my dog only, can lead to danger.

My ferocious hiking partner

My ferocious hiking partner

Why do I go on with this complaint?  I am issuing a challenge to pack designers!  Please, please, please create a pack that is bear spray compatible!  I have ideas which would be hard to explain here but am challenging companies to contact me and discuss this to keep us bear country hikers extra safe!

Stunning views

Stunning views like these are worth the hike in bear country!

This Teton Sports UltraLight Summit 1500 gets the seal of approval

This Teton Sports UltraLight Summit 1500 gets the seal of approval

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11 responses to this post.

  1. love reading your pack reviews. Thanks for the insight!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Shawn Parry on February 6, 2013 at 8:18 am

    So to be clear, this is an issue you have with all packs (not being able to properly hold bear spray)? Consider this fixed.

    Reply

  3. ^ I love Teton’s Sports ability to listen to their consumers and adapt their packs for the next generation to suit our MANY demands! Kudos, Shawn! This has been true throughout the time I have been acquainted & using Teton products. Love that in a company!

    Reply

    • Posted by Shawn Parry on February 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Thanks Gina! I’m blushing. I think you may like some of our top secret items I am working on in my lab. Thanks for the support!

      Reply

  4. Thanks for the review. It looks like a very useful pack.

    Reply

  5. […] morning came early as we all loaded up on free goodies like the Teton Sports Summit 1500, Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel and Switch 8 Recharger, Good2Go protein bars.  Most of us donned […]

    Reply

  6. […] Sometimes people say even if they could find or make the time for a hike, they just don’t have the right gear….STOP RIGHT THERE!  I am here to be your fairy godmother if that is the case  I want to see everyone have the chance to get out and be in nature, so if you need a little help, here is your chance to win one of two Teton Sports Summit 1500 daypacks. […]

    Reply

  7. Posted by robynormsby@hotmail.com on November 10, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I bought this pack for my 7 year old when he announced he wanted to go backpacking – it was the smallest “pack-like-pack” I could find. We went for 2 nights, 3 days and it was awesome! I carried most of the stuff in my pack but he was able to carry the clothes, some water and food (12 lbs to start). We hiked about 18.75 miles in those 3 days – not bad for a 7 year old – he wants to go for a week next time (can you tell I’m so happy to have an awesome hiking partner – not a single complaint and we got lost…a lot…)! I can’t find children’s packs – I think they’d be smart to market this for a child’s pack. He thinks it’s so cool he uses it for his school backpack too. Best, Robyn

    Reply

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