The Exodus is by far the lightest pack reviewed. The main reason for this is the lack of any padding or frame in the back. The use of lightweight materials and a minimalist design also keeps the weight down. The lack of any back support means this has to be provided by your gear. I’ve found a short foam pad works well.

Care is still needed with packing to ensure no hard objects push against your back. Mountain Laurel Designs say the pack is suitable for loads up to 13.5kg and I’d agree. The hipbelt is padded but rather short. It could be a little thicker and a bit longer for heavier loads. The shoulder straps are wide and well-padded. Packed well, the Exodus is comfortable and stable, hugging the back closely. As the material against your back is Dyneema it does trap moisture.

The basic Exodus has no lid and just three mesh pockets. These are all roomy, especially the rear one, and can hold plenty of gear. There are several options for customising the pack, including a lid with pocket, an internal pouch and hipbelt pockets. I’ve tried the lid and the hipbelt pockets and recommend these. They add 113g to the weight.

The Exodus is well-made and functional and I like it very much. As it’s made of Dyneema it should prove very durable. There is one big drawback though. It can only be bought direct from MLD in the USA and you might have to wait quite a few weeks for delivery.

First published: March 2014