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Hyperlite Mountain Gear Contour 35 Backpack Evaluation

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Contour 35 Backpack Review

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Contour 35 is a water-resistant frameless backpack designed for thru-hiking by extra skilled backpackers carrying minimal gear. With 43.5L of complete quantity (35L inside and 6.5L exterior), it’s been stripped right down to a minimal characteristic set to scale back its weight to 16.2 oz, or only a hair over one pound. It has six exterior pockets, so you may retailer the objects or snacks you want through the day with out opening up the primary compartment. The Contour 35 additionally makes a pleasant day pack for longer hikes and peakbagging when you must carry further insulation or protecting gear.

RELATED: 10 Greatest Ultralight Frameless Backpacks

Specs at a Look

  • Weight: 16.2 oz (459g) – dimension medium
  • Gender: Males’s
  • Inner Quantity: 35 Liters
  • Exterior Quantity: 6.5 Liters
  • Pockets: Predominant + 6
  • Load lifters: No
  • Hip belt Pockets: No
  • Hydration system appropriate: No
  • Ice Axe Loop: Sure
  • Colours: White or Black
  • Supplies: Dyneema DCF, 100D Dyneema Gridstop, Dyeema Stretch Mesh
  • Most really useful load: 25 lbs
  • Bear Canister Compatibility: BV425 and BV450 (horizontal), BV475 and BV500 (vertical)

The Contour 35 is a backpack finest fitted to ultralight backpacking with as much as 25 kilos of substances, meals, and water. It’s fabricated from Dyneema DCF and totally seam-taped, however it’s a easy roll-top backpack with few frills. It’s frameless, has a easy detachable webbing strap for a hip belt, is just not hydration appropriate, doesn’t have a prime Y strap, and there’s no again padding behind the shoulder straps, so it’s important to rigorously pack objects like bear canisters that may poke you within the again.

The Contour 35 is a classic rolltop with external pockets
The Contour 35 is a basic rolltop with exterior pockets

Backpack Storage and Group

The Contour 35 has a basic roll-top that may be strapped to the perimeters like a dry bag or clipped collectively on the highest. The highest of the primary pack bag has a stiffener to facilitate rolling as a substitute of the Velcro closure Hyperlite used beforehand on their bigger packs. Velcro doesn’t get together with out of doors clothes, significantly a fuzzy fleece like Polartec Alpha, so it is a welcome enhancement.

The side pockets have an elastic cord running through the top to secure contents.
The facet pockets have an elastic twine operating via the highest to safe content material, just like the Smartwater bottle and Platypus QuickDraw filter proven right here.

What the Contour 35 lacks in options, it makes up for in six exterior pockets able to holding 6.5 liters of substances and meals. There are two stretch pockets on the shoulder straps, two facet pockets, a entrance stretch pocket, and a backside pocket on the underside of the pack bag for holding snacks and trash. The pockets allow you to retailer every little thing you want through the day shut at hand, so that you don’t must cease to open the primary compartment and dig round to seek out stuff. Which means you may hold strolling continuous all day, which is how critical thru-hikers crush large miles.

The facet bottle pockets are deep sufficient to retailer tall bottles, like Smartwater bottles, in them, they usually have a easy compression strap above them should you prefer to hike along with your water filter connected. The facet pockets are closely bolstered at their base to face up to abrasion and have elastic shock cords on the prime you could tighten to stop the contents from falling out. Whereas I can attain again and pull a bottle out of the facet pockets, placing it again in is usually a problem due to these elastic shock cords.

The shoulder strap pockets can be used to store electronics or water bottles
The shoulder strap pockets can be utilized to retailer electronics or water bottles

The shoulder straps have sewn-on pockets sized for holding electronics and small water bottles, as much as about 20 oz. If you happen to’d somewhat use totally different pockets, the shoulder straps have daisy chains, which may function anchor factors. Personally, I like utilizing the shoulder strap pockets to retailer my Garmin inReach Mini2 and my iPhone since they supply straightforward and safe entry to each.

The entrance stretch pocket isn’t large, however it’s sufficiently big to retailer a light-weight shell or wind shirt, a moist water filter and reservoir, or a day’s price of meals. It’s made with a sturdy Dyneema Stretch mesh and has a buckle on prime that connects to the pack’s prime strap to maintain contents safe.

The pocket at the base of the pack is a good place to store clothing, but I’m not convinced that its the best spot for food wrapper trash.
The pocket on the base of the pack is an efficient place to retailer clothes, however I’m not satisfied that it’s one of the best spot for meals wrapper trash.

The Dyneema Stretch Mesh pocket on the underside of the pack has two openings: a big one on the facet that’s giant sufficient to stay your hand into and a small finger-sized one which can be utilized as a trash port to stay used snack wrappers into. Whereas these pockets have grow to be trendy on frameless backpacks, I’m not satisfied you need to retailer used snack wrappers in a pocket on the base of your pack, significantly since their odor will appeal to bears and rodents, even after the wrappers are gone. I’m additionally skeptical whether or not Dyneema Stretch Mesh, made with nylon 66 and bolstered with Dyneema threads, is sufficiently abrasion-resistant for use on the backside of a backpack. However I assume time will inform.

Backpack Suspension

Being frameless and missing a load-bearing hipbelt, the burden of the Contour 35 and its contents relaxation fully in your shoulders. Because the pack has no padding behind the shoulder straps, it have to be rigorously packed to stop sharp-cornered objects from poking you within the again when the pack is worn.

You can insert a ZLite Sol to pad the back and prevent sharp objects from poking through.
You possibly can insert a ZLite Sol to pad the again and forestall sharp objects from poking via.

I take care of this by inserting a cut-down foam pad (Thermarest Z-lite Sol) inside the primary pack bag behind the shoulder straps to cushion my again. Sadly, this takes up beneficial inside house. A extra environment friendly design method is to incorporate an exterior pad pocket like that on the Gossamer Gear Kumo 36 or exterior pad bungees as on the Zpacks Nero 38 since they don’t use any inside quantity and will also be used as handy sit pads.

The Contour 35 hipbelt is a straightforward webbing strap that retains the backpack near your torso, significantly in case you are fastpacking or scrambling. It’s simply detachable by unclipping it from its two anchor factors on the perimeters of the pack; nevertheless, you can use it to carry a fanny pack at your waist for further storage.

The hip belt is a simple webbing strap that is easy to remove.
The hip belt is a straightforward webbing strap that’s straightforward to take away.

Attachment Factors and Compression

The Contour 35 doesn’t include a Y-strap, making it tougher to hold cumbersome gear, even a full foam pad, on prime of the pack. I can’t fathom the explanation for this omission when Hyperlight’s Waypoint 35, which is similar to the Contour 35, contains one.

The Contour 35 lacks a top Y-strap, a curious omission, which makes it more difficult to carry bulky gear.
The Contour 35 lacks a prime Y-strap, a curious omission, which makes it tougher to hold cumbersome gear.

That single prime strap additionally closes with a hook as a substitute of a daily plastic buckle…and takes a stunning quantity of dexterity to shut. That is “good” as a result of it discourages opening the primary compartment through the day and forces extra dependence on the exterior pockets. However that little hook is surprisingly troublesome to see should you’re of an age the place you want studying glasses to see issues up shut…an accessibility characteristic that the 20-somethings who designed the Contour 35 in all probability failed to think about. A plastic buckle would have been higher, along with a Y-strap.

The top strap closes with a hook and not a buckle.
The highest strap closes with a hook and never a buckle.

That stated, there are just a few different methods to lash gear to the skin of the Contour. Along with an ice axe loop and a easy shaft holder, the facet compression cords have line locs and buckles, making it simpler to lash objects to the facet of the pack even when carrying gloves. As well as, the facet straps used to lash the roll prime down could be related over the entrance pocket, which could be useful if you wish to lash a cumbersome foam pad there. Lastly, there are six small webbing loops within the perimeter seams of the entrance mesh pocket that you can run cordage via and are helpful for drying moist laundry.

You can add additional cord to the webbng loops around the perimeter of the front pocket to hold more gear,
You possibly can add twine to the webbng loops across the perimeter of the entrance pocket to carry further gear.

Comparable Ultralight Frameless Backpacks


The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Contour 35 is a streamlined, frameless backpack made with Dyneema DCF that weighs 16.2 oz. Designed for thru-hikers with minimal package, it’s loaded with exterior pockets so you may hike all day with out having to cease and get objects out of the primary pack bag. Whereas the Contour 35 is completely ample for that process, it has just a few quirks that make it considerably much less optimum when in comparison with different frameless ultralight backpacks. I feel the pack can be a a lot stronger contender if it had vest-style shoulder straps to steadiness the load throughout the chest along with the shoulders, a prime Y-strap, and an exterior pad sleeve or elastic twine to hold a pad on the pack’s exterior somewhat than utilizing inside storage for that objective. Try our 10 Greatest Frameless Ultralight Backpack Record for really useful options. If space for storing is much less of a precedence, the Contour 35 makes a pleasant day pack so long as you may get through the use of the exterior pockets and don’t have to entry the primary compartment fairly often.

I’d additionally suggest wanting on the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Waypoint 35 (23.5 oz), which is sort of much like the Contour 35 however extra versatile and a greater worth. It has a single (detachable) body keep, so it could comfortably carry 5-10 extra kilos, a prime Y-strap, and an non-compulsory hip belt with hip belt pockets.

Store at Hyperlite


Disclosure: Hyperlite Mtn Gear donated a backpack for evaluate.

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