Six Moon Designs Flight 30 Pack

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Basic summary: A frameless, large capacity pack designed for fast packing or light overnight excursions. The Flight 30 has a great deal of adjustability and customization of fit, and excellent cargo available within arm’s reach during activity. It will accommodate a large fluid reservoir but is only compatible with a proprietary reservoir sleeve which is sold separately.

MSRP: $190-$225, depending on size and inclusion of fluid reservoir

Features:

  • Weight (with shoulder straps and hip belt): 1lb, 10oz
  • Cargo capacity: 31L
  • Pack dimensions: 11″w x 7″d x 17″t
  • Adjustable to fit torso lengths 16-22”
  • Maximum recommended load: 20lb
  • Two vest yoke styles
  • Large dual flank pouches
  • Each shoulder strap has 3 pockets: 1 shock cord closure, 1 zipper compartment, 1 mesh pouch
  • Removable hip belt available in multiple sizes
  • Minimal contact back panel
  • Top loading main compartment with roll top closure
  • Shock cord compression for main cargo compartment
  • Interior zippered stash pocket
  • Daisy chain attachments
  • Elastic lashing cord
  • Ice axe loop
  • Dual hydration ports

Deep dive:

Six Moon Designs is a Portland, Oregon-based company founded in 2002 by Ron Moak, an avid thru-hiker who decided to create his own tent because affordable, ultralight gear wasn’t available at the time. The company has grown steadily through innovation in the ultralight category, and they have expanded their product line to include a variety of affordable and durable packs and other accessories.

The new Flight 30 Pack is an updated model designed with fast packing in mind, combining low weight, slim design and all sorts of adjustability. It’s unique in a number of ways, primarily for the degree of adjustability and customization that it allows, some of which takes place at time of purchase. The Flight 30 can be purchased with small or large shoulder harness lengths, as well as with optional shoulder padded shoulder straps in small or large, and an optional hip belt in small, medium or large. We tested the pack with large shoulder harnesses, no shoulder straps and a medium waist belt. The options you select determine the price variation between $190-225 (not including reservoir).

Another point of distinction is the adjustable torso length with the shoulder harnesses, which can be anchored in one of three vertical attachment points on each side. Using the lowest anchor point and lengthening the straps accommodates a taller user, while the top attachments and tighter straps fit a smaller torso. Once the harnesses are set up, there is further customization of fit via top anchor straps as well as the hip belt straps.

Using the hip belt is definitely recommended for transitioning from hiking to running, as it makes a huge difference in keeping the main cargo compartment stable during activity. The hip belts have very large zipper compartments on both sides that can easily accommodate smart phones or plenty of snacks. Combined with three separate pockets on each harness, you have eight pockets within reach at all times, making accessibility of key items very easy. On the back side of the pack, there are two enormous diagonal storage pouches that are each large enough to accommodate layers of clothes, compressed sleeping pads or a Jetboil device.

The main cargo compartment has a slim profile which is excellent for keeping the load stable in the center of your back. The downside is that it only opens from the top, and it can be difficult to reach items on the bottom when fully loaded. This compartment closes with a roll top and is secured with a strap that clips on top. The entire contents can be compressed with shock cords on both sides to further minimize shifting during activity. The main cargo compartment is large enough to accommodate fluid reservoirs up to 3L, and there are exit ports on both shoulder straps for a drink tube, but the Flight 30 is unorthodox in that it is only compatible with the reservoir sleeve that is sold separately through the company for $10. As of this posting, the reservoir sleeves are not available online, but need to be special ordered via e-mail at store@sixmoondesigns.com.

Reservoir sleeve with dual attachment loops.

The fluid sleeve has dual attachment points which keep the reservoir stable in place at the top of the cargo compartment, but if you have a conventional Hydrapak-style reservoir, there’s no way to attach it on the Flight 30. Another questionable design element regarding fluid transport is that when the fluid reservoir occupies the same compartment as a full cargo load, accessing it to refill when empty can be very cumbersome, requiring unloading and re-loading of the other gear. While the Flight 30 is awkward for the transport of fluids, it shines for carrying all manner of other cargo in a secure, convenient and comfortable fashion.

The Six Moon Designs Flight 30 Pack is available at www.sixmoondesigns.com.

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About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, California native, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 25 years of experience in endurance sports. He was a collegiate rower at UCLA, then dabbled in marathons and Ironman-distance triathlons before falling in love with ultras in the early 2000s. His favorite locations to run include Marin County, CA, and the Sierra Nevada mountains, and he loves exploring America's National Parks. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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