I own two HMG Windrider backpacks including both 2400 (40L) and 3400 (55L) sizes. See my full backpack gear review here. I use the HMG packing POD system together with my Windrider backpacks. They will also fit other backpacks; you don’t need to own a HMG backpack. However they are designed to fit perfectly in HMG packs.
Using two different sizes in my 2400 (40L) / 3400 (55L) backpacks I can fine tune my packing system. Both sizes can be used in both packs to create the perfect weatherproof packing system for each hike.
Small: 1.20 oz | 34g
Large: 1.31 oz | 37g
This is what it says on the HMG site:
- Precisely sized for Hyperlite Mountain Gear packs
- Clamshell design built with water-resistant zipper
- Fully taped seams
- 100% waterproof Dyneema® Composite Fabrics (formerly Cuben Fiber)
- Zipper tabs for easy opening/closing
- Screen printed area for labeling the contents
- Sure, they’ll fit in your pack from XXXXXXXXXX
- Hand-Built in Biddeford, Maine, USA
This year 2018 in August I hiked The King’s Trail (Kungsleden) which is a hiking trail in northern Sweden, approximately 440 kilometres (270 mi) long, between Abisko in the north and Hemavan in the south. I hiked approximately 114km from Abisko in the north to Nikkaluokta in the south. The HMG packing POD’s helped me to utilize all the space available in my pack and I was able to keep my pack weight down to just over 10kg. The pods fit perfectly into both packs, leaving no space unused. See full packing list here.
With the pods I can efficiently organize my pack system and the clamshell design makes it easy to quickly find all my gear. The Dyneema Composite Fabric (DCF) is 100% waterproof and together with the water-resistant zippers, I have no issues weatherproofing my pack system. I have been successfully using this system for nearly 1½ years.
In the photo above you can see that my sleeping bag fits in a (L) size POD. I use a (S) size POD for my sleeping pad and some extra clothes and ditty bag for essentials and lastly a (L) size POD for my food and cooking pot. My puffy jacket is stored in the HMG pillow-stuff sack. There is also a HMG XL DCF11 Cuben Stuff Sack that I stored in the outer net. The backpack is the 2400 Windrider.
In my winter packing system above the Cumulus Panyam 600 sleeping bag fits in a (L) size POD with no problem. I use another (L) size POD for some insulated pants and booties, a (S) size POD for my sleeping pad and some extra socks and ditty bag for essentials and lastly a (L) size POD for my food and cooking pot. My total base weight for this winter trip was 5.9 kg (13 lb).
I have successfully used this packing system in all types of weather and all year through. Never has any of my gear become wet, moist or otherwise. Here is a short video where I loadout my gear using the POD system:
What I don’t like about the HMG packing pods:
- they are very expensive!
What I like about the HMG packing pods:
- the weatherproof system
- easy to find all my gear
- I can label the pods in the screen printed area
- I can utilize all the space in my HMG packs
- easy to pack and unpack
Sure, the HMG packing pods are pretty damn expensive and you could use a trash compactor bag instead for a fraction of the cost of this system. But I have been successfully using HMG products for some years now and I know how their products perform and holdup to my beating. Do I need this packing system? No. But this system does exactly what HMG set out to do and it is weatherproof! If you can afford these pods I would defiantly recommend buying them.
Photos on Fickr here
Thanks for reading