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HomeHikingHen Tramper 50 Liter Backpack: The Final Ultralight Gear

Hen Tramper 50 Liter Backpack: The Final Ultralight Gear

The Hen Tramper Ultralight Gear 50 Liter Backpack (CTUG-50) is a custom-made ultralight roll-top backpack made with XPAC VX21, a extremely sturdy and light-weight waterproof material generally used earlier than Dyneema DCF and Extremely appeared on the ultralight backpacking scene. The pack is exclusive in that it has an inner body created from carbon fiber arrow shafts, an exterior sit pad pocket, and a sewn-on hip belt that offers it a really useful most comfy load of 30-35 kilos. The pack additionally has daisy chains sewn to the hipbelt letting you cling a fanny pack from it as an alternative of looping it round your waist. That is rather more comfy and handy when climbing, on the town, or touring.

Specs at a Look

  • Precise Weight: 34 oz
  • Quantity: a big 50L
  • Inner body: Sure
  • Prime closure: Roll-top
  • Pockets: 3
  • Gender: Unisex with female-friendly shoulder straps and hipbelt
  • Coloration: A variety of colour choices.
  • Hip belt pockets: No
  • Load lifters: Sure
  • Hydration Suitable: No
  • Sleeping Pad Straps: Sure
  • Canister compatibility: BV475 matches horizontally, BV500 Vertically
  • Prime Y Strap: Sure. Lengthy sufficient to carry a BV500 on high of the pack
  • Waist: Customized to your dimensions.
  • Torso and Hipbelt Size: Customized to your dimensions
  • Materials: XPAC VX21
  • Professionals: Big capability, sturdy, nice exterior pockets, many attachment factors
  • Cons: Hip belt slips (request an even bigger lumber pad)

The CTUG-50 reviewed right here is similar to the CTUG-45 I reviewed 4 years in the past, with a couple of minor variations. For the time being, Hen Tramper determined to extend the amount by 5 liters and supply a second smaller 40L backpack, however in addition to that, the backpack has undergone few adjustments. Notably, Hen Tramper has not used Extremely material to make this backpack and continues making it with Xpack VX21 when so many ultralight backpack producers have switched to that material.

Female Friendly S-shaped Shoulder Straps are now Standard
Feminine Pleasant S-shaped Shoulder Straps are actually Normal

Backpack Storage and Group

The CTUG-50 is a roll-top with a big primary compartment, aspect mesh pockets, and a entrance mesh pocket. Whereas it’s labeled as a 50-liter backpack, it feels a lot bigger in quantity, presumably as a result of the pack bag has a boxy form with proper angles on the corners as an alternative of curves. When computing pack quantity, Hen Tramper consists of the pack’s open pockets, the principle compartment as much as the load lifters, and the extension collar minus 3 material turns. Whereas this can be a conservative option to measure pack quantity amongst ultralight pack producers, it means you’ve got much more quantity above the load lifters to pack gear or meals.

The roll-top has strips of velcro sewn alongside the hem however doesn’t have a stiffener. Whereas the pack’s XPac VX21 is waterproof, the pack’s seams usually are not seam taped so that you’ll wish to use a water-resistant liner and/or drybags for gear and clothes in moist climates. The roll-top buckles on the highest of the pack solely clip to themselves however don’t clip down alongside the perimeters. A protracted Y-strap on the highest can maintain the roll-top closed or safe a pad or bear canister to the highest of the pack. The Y strap is lengthy sufficient to carry a BV500 canister on high.

The pack has a very long top Y-strap that is long enough to secure a BV500 bear canister
The pack has a really lengthy high Y-strap that’s lengthy sufficient to safe a BV500 bear canister.

The mesh pockets on the entrance and sides of the pack are made with the dive mesh used to make scuba gear baggage, which has a big weave however may be very powerful stuff and onerous to tear. Even in case you do, you may simply run twine by means of the big holes within the weave to seal the pocket up once more and stop objects from falling out, an old style trick.

All the mesh pockets could be cinched tight on the highest with line locks and elastic twine to stop objects from coming out. The aspect mesh pockets can maintain two Smartwater bottles and are reachable & replaceable when the pack is worn, whereas the entrance pocket is massive sufficient to carry many smaller objects or a moist tent fly simply.

The pack doesn’t have an inner hydration sleeve or hydration ports to run a hydration hose. There isn’t even an inside cling loop or hook to hold a reservoir.

The side and front pockets are made with highly durable dive mesh
The aspect and entrance pockets are made with extremely sturdy dive mesh

The bottom pack doesn’t include sewn-on hipbelts pockets however they are often simply added to daisy chains sewn to the hipbelt’s exterior. Hen Tramper’s major enterprise is promoting accent backpack pockets they usually supply a big choice that you would be able to add to simply about any backpack, not simply those they make.

Backpack Body and Suspension


The CTUG-50 has a body created from carbon-fiber arrow shafts. Whereas this sounds very “cottage,” it’s value noting that my first Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus, circa 2007, (now known as the Mariposa 60), additionally had body stays created from carbon-fiber arrow shafts. Gossamer Gear has since switched to an aluminum keep.

The pack has a U-shaped carbon fiber frame
The pack has a U-shaped carbon fiber body

Hen Tramper provides a crosspiece alongside the highest, making a U-shaped keep that creates good stiffness within the body and holds the principle compartment open, making it simpler to pack.  The underside of the vertical stays terminate on the perimeters of the hipbelt, which is sewn onto the pack and never hooked up with Velcro, like so many different ultralight backpacks. I’ve at all times discovered that you simply get a greater load-to-hip switch if a pack has a sewn-on hipbelt like this as a result of there’s much less buckling of the hip belt wings and lumbar space when loaded.

The U-shaped body nonetheless has lots of torsional flex because it doesn’t have a crosspiece on the underside, though it’s dampened significantly once you pack the principle compartment full of substances. The general impact is a reasonably full of life pack that maintains its form nicely with totally different masses, doesn’t collapse, and tracks the hips nicely. There’s nonetheless a modest quantity of barrelling when the pack is packed full, however you may make it much less noticeable with a bit gear shifting.

Sit Pad

The CTUG-50 additionally has a sit-pad pocket behind the shoulder straps on the pack’s entrance. Hen Tramper ships the pack with an egg carton pad, really two cut-down panels of a Therm-a-rest ZLite foam pad (1.4 oz). The included sit pad is considerably shorter than an everyday Zlite pad, and an everyday ZLite won’t match vertically within the pack’s pad pocket.

The sit pad is simply used as padding and doesn’t present any structural profit, but it surely’s very straightforward to take away and change, so you should utilize it as a sit pad to maintain your bum dry or the chiggers off you once you wish to sit down and take a break. In the event you’ve by no means used a backpack with a detachable sit-pad earlier than you’ll shortly uncover 1,000,000 makes use of for it, resembling a hammock porch or tent vestibule flooring.

The Shoulder Straps are attached to the pack with webbing and adapt better to different shoulder shapes.
The Shoulder Straps are hooked up to the pack with webbing and adapt higher to totally different shoulder shapes.

Shoulder Straps

The CTUG-50 has 3″ large shoulder straps with daisy chains sewn on the skin, making it straightforward to hold accent pockets. They’re evenly padded inside with wicking mesh and made in a female-friendly S-shape. The tops of the shoulder straps usually are not sewn to the pack bag however hooked up with webbing in order that they rotate extra freely, offering extra consolation for individuals with “curvier” chests. Zpacks makes use of an analogous development approach of their backpacks, and it adapts nicely to totally different shoulder geometries.

The CTUG-50 additionally comes with load lifter straps anchored to the pack bag simply in entrance of the body. A metallic buckle situated on the high of the strap permits for adjustment of the strap’s angle, a premium function often discovered solely on higher-end packs.

The CTUG-50 Chicken Tramper Ultralight Backpack has a sewn-on hip belt
The CTUG-50 Hen Tramper Ultralight Backpack has a sewn-on hip belt


The hipbelt doesn’t include pockets and is roofed with two strains of daisy chain webbing so you may connect accent pockets or a fanny pack to them. The hipbelt closes with a central buckle and pull ahead straps, with a separate strap adjustment on the highest webbing strap so you may tighten the highest of the hip belt tighter than the underside. Ladies are prone to discover this extra helpful than males, who are likely to have squarish hips.

Sadly, the hipbelt persistently slipped down my hips when worn. The final model of this pack that I reviewed 4 years in the past did the very same factor: it slips as a result of there’s too little lumbar padding behind the hipbelt to stop it. I can’t be the one individual experiencing this, so I hope CTUG considers including an choice when ordering the pack to make the rear of the hipbelt thicker.

Daisy chains on the hipbelt make it easy to attach a fanny pack
Daisy chains on the hipbelt make it straightforward to connect a fanny pack

Fanny Pack Entrance Pocket

Hen Tramper has a nifty function not discovered on comparable multi-day backpacks: the flexibility to connect a Hen Tramper fanny pack to daisy chains on the hipbelt. The fanny pack clips to the hipbelt webbing with small clips and hangs excessive sufficient that it doesn’t hit your unmentionables or intervene with tightening the hipbelt. That is a lot better than carrying a separate fanny pack as a result of there’s one much less webbing strap round your waist. The fanny pack additionally stays hooked up to the pack once you unbuckle one aspect and may be very straightforward to reattach once you’re able to roll.

Exterior Attachment System and Compression

The CTUG-50 has aspect compression straps made with linelocks and elastic twine routed in a determine 8 sample. You’re not compelled to make use of them on this configuration, nonetheless, and you may reroute the cords in no matter sample you need or take away them completely.

Cords at the base of the pack allow you to carry a sleeping pad.
Cords on the base of the pack mean you can carry a sleeping pad.

Along with the highest Y-strap talked about above, the pack comes with a pair of cord-based sleep bag attachment straps situated under the entrance pocket and a rudimentary ice ax loop. These are detachable in case you don’t wish to use them.

Comparable Ultralight Framed Backpacks


The Hen Tramper Ultralight Backpack 50-Liter is a {custom} backpack that’s enjoyable to hold, sturdy, and well-made. It’s arrange like a typical ultralight backpack (a rolltop and three open pockets), which is simple to get used to in case you’ve by no means had a pack with such massive open pockets earlier than. Whereas I did encounter a problem with hipbelt slippage, including an choice to extend the thickness of the rear of the hipbelt looks as if it’d be a straightforward modification to request once you order a {custom} backpack.

The CT-50, priced at $400, is analogous in worth to the ULA’s XPac backpacks and on par with equally sized ultralight backpacks made with Dyneema DCF and Extremely from different producers. Whereas XPAC is considerably much less sturdy than these different supplies (however rather more sturdy than Robic Nylon), a part of what you’re paying for with Hen Tramper is the flexibility to have a backpack in {custom} colours. That issues to many individuals.

Store at Hen Tramper

Disclosure: CTUG donated a pack for evaluation.

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