The goal: packraft, mountain bike and fastback 850 miles....in 15 days. The crux: one pack to do it all.
I had my pick of packs for that trip, but I anted up to buy the Windrider and wasn't disappointed. It hits the sweet spot of ultralight, supportive, waterproof, bombproof and has the right amount of volume for 6-day junkets without resupply.
Hesitant about strapping our vital supplies to the bow of our boats, we seam sealed and double bagged the pack. The dry bags ripped on the first day, exposing the packs to several spills, but the contents remained dry. The roll top closure and bullet-proof cuben fiber fabric (seemingly impervious to our desert volcanic rock) really shined here.
We had frame bags on the bikes to carry heavier supplies and stuffed the lighter, bulkier gear in the packs (bags, tarp tent, PFDs, clothes...). While riding with a pack is never perfect, it carried well and had more than enough helmet clearance.
I loved the mesh outer pockets. We found ourselves drying wet gear while on the move. The side pockets stashed our paddles and size 10 trail shoes.
Cons? The hydration port is an overlapped sleeve, which can expose the inside contents during a spill. I duck taped the port while rafting and had no issues. The cuben fiber is a thicker wt 'laminate', which can be loud and crinkly. I originally wanted a removable back pad, but in the end it didn't matter much--I used the pack as a pad every night. I even managed to buy an extra 5 degrees warmth by using it as a 1/2 bivi sack on cold nights.
You can go lighter, but if you need to carry any amount of weight and are looking for a pack that lasts, this could be it.
Hyperlite Mountain GearWindrider Pack rated 4.0 out of 5 stars from 1 reviews.