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Waist pack packing list for 2021 hike

February 19, 2021 — BarryK

I posted a photo of what went into the Mountainsmith Daylight waist-pack (lumbar-pack) for an overnight hike in 2016:

Now it is 2021 and having another go, this time attempting to put more into the waist pack. The big new item is a tent. Also, the sleeping bag is heavier, and have added the Sawyer Mini water filter kit.

Here is a snapshot of what I hope to pack into the waist bag:


...water and food not included. Food will go into a belt pouch, and phone, wallet and keys into pant pockets.

So what you see in the above photo will be hanging off the backside. I think will leave out the silicone bottle, just carry the one TPU bottle. Then, all of the above adds up to 3662 grams.

The bottle filled with water brings it up to 4.43 kilograms. Yikes!

I could go through another round of gram-cutting, but reckon will give the above a go, just one overnighter, to see how the waist pack and I handle that weight. Back in 2016, I thought that about 3.5kg would be the limit. Looking forward to this hike!

Before finishing this post, a note about carrying capacity of the Mountainsmith Daylight waist pack. Those accustomed to using a backpack will be very doubtful about carrying 4.5kg on a waist pack, due to the lack of vertical support. That is, you would expect the pack to flex or bounce as you walk, as there is no frame holding the pack against the back.

However, the Mountainsmith Daylight pack does a remarkable job in this regard, due to the tensioning straps. This video shows them:

The correct procedure is to fully loosen those tension straps, tighten the main belt so that the waist pack is pulled firmly against the backside, then pull the tensioning straps, particularly the top two -- these will pull the upper part of the pack against the back, so that it won't bounce while walking.

If you want to see another review, Drew uses the Daylight pack on 3-day+ hikes:

...though, Drew is a "hot sleeper", able to sleep in the snow with only a survival bivy, no down bag, I don't think he even packs a tent, so lots of room in his pack for food and water.

Unfortunately, Mountainsmith no longer make the Daylight. I say unfortunate, because the Daylight, with 11.5 litre capacity, weighs just 408g (14.4 ounces), whereas the Day, with 13 litre capacity, weighs 793g (1.75 pounds or 28 ounces). Even their small 9 litre model is much heavier than the Daylight.

What's up Mountainsmith? As Drew has reported, the Daylight is plenty strong enough, so the change to heavier models seems odd.

Daylight specs can be found here:


For anyone reading this, and thinking you would like the Daylight, perhaps discuss it with Mountainsmith, see if they can be persuaded to bring it back. Here is a table of the models, that I found at

Day Tour Daylight Drift Vibe The Fanny Pack
Volume 13L 9L 11.5L 6.5L 1.6L 3.75L
Removable Shoulder Strap

Weight 1lb 12oz 1lb 9oz 14oz 12.75oz 5.6oz 4.8oz
Waistbelt 28"-48" 28"-48" 28"-48" 28"-48" 28"-48" 28"-48"
Multiple Colors

Got the table from here:

EDIT 2021-02-22:
Made another discovery. Mountainsmith released the Daylight pack in 2011, which is the one you see in above videos and photo, and the one I own.

However, they redesigned it in 2016, still called the Daylight, see video:

Hmmm, my first reaction is, don't like it. The bungy strap on the outside is missing. The hip belt is different, seem to be lacking the ventilation of the original model.

Also, the upper and lower tension straps are not individually adjustable -- from my experience, that is a really bad change! Must emphasize that this is my opinion, and others may find the redesigned tension straps to be adequate. But to me, the redesign seems to have partly nullified the principles by which it works.

I am wondering if sales fell away, causing Mountainsmith to drop that model. If so, the redesign might have been a factor. Just speculating.  

EDIT 2021-02-23:
Tested the above gear on an overnight hike, on weekend of 20 - 21 February. The only items in the above photo that got left out were the chaps and the solar panel. Didn't need the chaps, and the bag was too tightly packed to also hold the panel, it would have got damaged. The panel would have had to be hung outside.

There was too much to fit inside the pack, so mounted a small stuff sack on top. Blog report here:   

Tags: light