The Minimalist was designed to tackle problems that we felt were out there: Ultralight and Durable, Enough Suspension without overdoing it, Features but not overly complex, Configurable but Simple, Large Enough for Gear but Not Overwhelming to your Suspension. While attempting to find the essence of each option and looking for the simplest and cleanest way to resolve them we created The Minimalist. We feel it offers some exciting options for long-distance backpackers.Size Guide
The Minimalist is designed to be highly configurable. So the pack weight will vary with configuration. Configured as a Frame-less pack with Pack Bag and Shoulder Straps, The Minimalist comes in at 26 oz. / 740 g.
In the Standard Configuration with added Stay and Hip Belt, The Minimalist weighs 34 oz. / 960 g.
With the Vest Harness, you get additional stability in your load carrying and it brings the weight up to 36 oz. / 1020 g.
The Minimalist has a 40 L main bag with another 9 L in the extension collar. In addition to the interior space, The Minimalist incorporates two side pockets and one larger rear pocket. The two side pockets are asymmetric in size. With a shorter water bottle pocket on the right and a much longer pocket on the left. The long side pocket is perfect for carrying an ultralight tarp, tent, or tall hydration bladder.
The large center pocket is perfect for storing the quick access gear you don't want to have to open your pack to retrieve.
The Minimalist also incorporates a Top Lid that has two thin pockets. A waterproof pocket is great for storing maps and other documents. The stretchy pocket can hold a hat, gloves or other items.
The primary benefit of the Top Lid comes into play when you're needing to carry a Bear Canister. While some canisters can fit in the interior, larger ones will utilize too much interior space to be usable. The Top Lid has two long straps that easily contain and stabilize the canister.
Both the Hip Belt and Shoulder Straps also incorporate two pockets each.
Compression straps along both sides of The Minimalist allow you to quickly size the pack to your needs.
By default, The Minimalist comes with a Delron Hoop Stay frame. Unlike many packs utilizing a similar stay, we bend our stay so that the bottom terminates at the base of your hip belt. This transfers the weight directly to your hip belt.
Other packs terminate the stay at the outer edges of the pack. Unfortunately, this significantly reduces the load transfer from the pack to the hipbelt and leads to the pack sagging as its load is not properly supported.
Using the Hoop Stay and Hip Beltincreases your load carrying capacity by approximately 10 lbs / 4.5 kto 35+ lbs. / 16 k.While you can carry additional weight, we still recommend a base weight of 12 lbs. / 5.5 kor less.
While there are many Frame-less packs on the market these days. There are none with an Adjustable Torso Length. The Minimalist allows you to adjust the torso length to adjust to both your body and conditions you're encountering. There are times, depending on your load and trail conditions, when you may raise or lower your pack for optimal comfort.
When configured as Frame-less, you'll want to keep your base pack weight around 8 lbs. / 3.5 k and maximum weight below 25 lbs / 11 k. Comfortable weight depends significantly on the type of load carried and your conditioning.
The Minimalist is the largest pack on the market that can be configured with a Vest Harness. Six Moon Designs unique Vest Harness supports a 6-point connection between the pack and your body. This connection system offers several distinct advantages.
1. It eliminates any sway or bouncing in the pack as you walk or run. The pack is fully locked to your body.
2. It spreads the pack load across a much wider area. Instead of having all of the weight sitting on your shoulders or hips, much of it is spread across your core. This reduces or eliminates sores that can develop when too much weight is concentrated in a single area.
3. The extra pockets in the vest provide additional storage for items you want to quickly access.
VEST HARNESS HEALTH BENEFITS
Years ago when Ron Moak founded Six Moon Designs, his first pack incorporated a Vest Harness, he didn't design it so he could run or hike faster. It was designed to allow him to hike comfortably without a lot of pain. A bout of Cancer had made it difficult to hike more than a couple of hours at a time before stopping due to back pain.
Incorporating the Vest Harness in the pack provides significant additional support for the back and spine. By spreading the weight, he was able to walk more upright and longer distances without pain.
If you've found yourself unable to backpack as easily and as long as you once did, you may want to seriously consider the Vest Harness. We make no claims that the Vest Harness is a miracle cure, just that it helped Ron get back to really enjoying backpacking again.
16" - 22" | 38 - 56 cm
11"W X 7"D X 22"T
35 lb - 15.88 kg
15 lb - 5.5 kg
110D Nylon Robictm
|2441 ci - 40 L
550 ci - 9 L
400 ci - 7 L
3417 ci - 56 L
|20 oz - 560 g
3 oz - 85 g
6 oz - 170 g
6 oz - 170 g
35 oz - 992 g
First of all, the Minimalist is a GREAT pack. It's my first ultralight pack with a suspension system, and I must say, I'm never going back. It has plenty of space for a solo trip and I'm eager to test its ability to carry a bear canister when backpacking out West next Summer. The way the pack hugs to my body and moves with me when I hike enhances both my balance and speed. In addition, I've had less back, hip, or shoulder soreness compared to other packs. The vest harness is a game changer. My one word of caution is that the small vest is truly small. I'm 5'8" 130 lbs. and an A cup, so I thought the smallest size would be best for me given that it's neutral/men's sizing. The small vest does fit me, however, when I'm wearing more layers (puffy jacket, fleece, etc.), it gets a little snug. Next time I would stick with the small hip belt, but order a medium vest. Aside from that, I've loved every trip with the Minimalist and am looking forward to many more happy miles together!
I knew I had to replace my pack after 1200 miles on the AT. I had lost 50 lbs, and my hip belt no longer fit, placing too much of the load on my shoulders. The Minimalist felt good from the start, mostly because it is the most adjustable pack I have ever seen. The hip belt is grippy, but comfortable, and replaceable to boot. BTW, the Skyscape Trekker tent fits in the long side pocket. Combine their prices to see how much it costs to join the lightweight club! Wish I had started with this pack.
This bag is as good for a weekly hike in the Norwegian Fjord or Trolltunga as it is in a fishing session at Tenkara or Toc in the local rivers. Well, that's what I've been looking for for a long time. A truly versatile, comfortable and above all functional bag. I was also looking for a bag with not very big belt pockets; it is very useful for some activities without being embarrassed. We see you spend time outside Six Moon Design to make that! well done.
Having just received this pack with large vest and belt, it is SUPER comfortable and adaptable from the lowest 12-15lbs to my usual 5 night AT weight 32-35lbs with no issue of uncomfortableness at all. I have a bad back and tje way the weight is distributed to not just the hips, but around on the vest without any discomfort on the chest is amazing! There are so many ways to adapt this pack to whatever weight you carry by straps and ties it's a work of art. Also, there isn't any shifting of weight when hiking ups or downs. I have a new go to pack and plan on using it for years to come! Thank you so much Ron for your quality craftsmanship! *HangMan*
First reviewer! I’m 6’6. My base weight is always heavier than everyone else’s. I can fit verything I need in here plus more. The graceful dynamic between the frame and vest harness makes this thing unbeatable. Sure...you can go frameless. But why not add a few extra ounces and have this amazing suspension system instead? It easily makes a 30lb load feel like 20lb. I also like the fact that it doesn’t look “fashionable.” Doing a quick test run on the first 3 segments of the Colorado Trail on 7/4. I’ll have more to say soon.