2012 Golite Jam (50L)

Perhaps the most important lightweight backpacking pack of the past decade (a perhaps not especially glorious accolade) and one of the best quiver-of-one multisport packs anywhere got a serious facelift for the new year.  It will be going up in comparison with the Thruway over the next 6 months for the BPL write up.  I’ve posted some photos and thoughts over there.


  1. Missed a trick with the fabric this time round methinks and I still can’t get my head around the rear pocket (had one on my Pinnacle and Peak and didn’t like it on either) but as you say, still currently the pack I suggest to anyone asking for advice on their first lightweight backpacking pack. Price, weight, availability, durability. Ticked.

  2. Dave, read your write up on this thing over at BPL. Of note is your discussion of the myog framesheet w/ aluminum flat bar. I need a large pack for hauling my newly acquired Denali Llama and colder weather gear, etc. Any thoughts on using your idea on a Jam 70L or old Pinnacle? I would ante up for a HMG Expedition, but the coinage saved on a Golite modification seems too good to be true. My tentative plan is to just remove the factory back pad and replace w. the myog framesheet. Thanks. lucas

    1. There are two things to take into account when planning to do that.

      First is fit; it’d really be ideal if the effective torso length of the pack was close to your actual torso length; e.g. the size large fits someone in the 18-19″ range perfectly. The load lifters sort of help if you’re taller, but with heavier loads this becomes less and less the case. With a 20.5″ torso, I wouldn’t get it for heavy loads.

      The second is the load bearing structure of the back. With the new hipbelt it would be easy to cosntruct a MYOG framesheet that would take the comfy load bearing ability well into the 30s. I did so. The weak link at that point becomes the lack of a lumbar pad. I.e. for me the belt kept slipping and I had to tighten it too much to keep it put. It is possible to make an internal lumbar pad, but I never got that to work as directly and well as an external. Nonetheless, with some mods and for the price the Jams remain an excellent value.

      1. I am right at the max. I measure 19.5 to 20 depending where I hold the tape. That lumbar issue is a good point. I noticed your problem w/ the hipbelt size and I too have the same problem w/ my Ohm hipbelt being right at the buckles when cinched down and I’m sure the Jam would have the same problem. That might compound the lock I get on that lumbar area. A $15 hardware store mod is no big deal, but when we get into constructing a lumbar pad, etc. then anteing up for the HMG starts to look better. I don’t like throwing money at problems, but nickel and dime’ing a less than ideal design is why I go to the professionals. Thanks for your feedback.

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