2017 Appalachian Ultralight Thru-Hiker’s Pack

As many of you may know, we were recently sponsored by Appalachian Ultralight, a maker of a few different kinds of ultralight gear.  We got to chatting, and Cody ended up sending me a prototype for his 2017         Thru-Hiker’s pack. There are going to be a few differences between mine and the finished version, but only in fabric. and I think it’s the right way to go. The Robic is stronger, although a little heavier. As a result the finished model will be around 0.5 OZ heavier than the one I have which comes in at 14.33 oz for a large 45 liter, but will be more durable.Thru-Hiker's pack

The total weight for the Final Robic should be 14.8 oz or so for a size large 45L.
The Thru-Hiker’s pack is available in 30 and 45 Liters, and the 2017 Thru-Hiker’s pack will be offered in the same sizes. I asked for a 45 Liter size Large pack, and it fits really well.

Thru-Hiker's pack
The 2017 Thru-Hiker’s pack will have a bucket bottom.

The new 2017 Thru-Hiker’s pack has a bucket bottom, designed to help to protect the mesh of the water bottle pockets. The 2016 model’s pockets were flush with the bottom, which could result in the mesh tearing when the pack is set down and either scrapes or gets caught on something.

Thru-Hiker's packOne 1.5L Bottle

Also the new pockets are taller. Now they can fit a 1.5 L Smart Water bottle, or 2 of the 700mL per pocket.

The new roll top system is a now a compression system. The line-loks are compressed by Lash-It pull downs sewn into the bottom of the pockets.

Thru-Hiker's packTwo 700Ml bottles

The back pad of the 2017 Thru-Hiker’s pack is actually supplied by you. The Gossamer Gear SitLite pad is just a bit too small, but a Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Mattress will fit perfectly. Everything is held rather securely by a series of straps on the back of the 2017 Thru-Hiker’s pack.

Thru-Hiker's packThe 2017 Thru-Hiker’s pack uses straps to hold the hiker’s sleeping pad as a frame.

Another thing that has changed is the zig-zag webbing under the back pocket. It now uses three shock cords attached to three clipping line-loks on the top, and lark’s headed to the bottom three attach points. The three shock cord attachment points are for your wet gear or a quick stow point for what ever you need.

Thru-Hiker's pack
Grid attachment points for your wet gear, and the back pocket for daily use items.

The back pocket is pretty ample, in there are my cook kit (the red bag) my funnel, first aid, gravity filter system and a stake bag.

Thru-Hiker's pack
The shoulder straps have two daisy chains, and the sternum strap is a knotted string and mitten hook.

The shoulder straps are nice and wide, with two daisy chains down either side. I really like the shoulder straps even though the padding is a little thin. I wore this thing without the waist straps for about a mile today and it never got uncomfortable. Surprisingly the sternum strap is rather robust, and holds the straps tight across my chest.

Thru-Hiker's packThe waist strap .

As 45L packs go, The 2017 Thru-Hiker’s pack is big and light. The pack is close to the 54L CDT that I had custom made with a roll top. The main reason is that The 2017 Thru-Hiker’s pack adds up to a 40L main body, the pockets added to that makes the pack I got closer to 50L than 45L. To be totally honest, I am pretty happy about it. The CDT can handle my winter gear with room to spare,  and The 2017 Thru-Hiker’s pack weighs close to 10 OZ less!!

Thru-Hiker's pack

Thru-Hiker's pack

  • It’s very light for it’s size.
  • Cody makes great use of minimalist design throughout the pack.
  • The pockets are deep and big.
  • The shoulder straps are very comfortable.
  • There is no hole for a water bladder.


  • Due to the nature of the compression roll top Line-Loks, you can’t use this like a traditional roll top.
  • The Lash-it used in the compression roll top is in the pocket, and it can get in the way.
  • The mitten hook sternum strap is awkward to use, even though it works well.

Mile Hike Guys is sponsored by Appalachian Ultralight, but we are under no obligation to give their items glowing reviews. All the opinions contained in this review are those of Ricky and no one else.