Golite Pinnacle – First Impressions

Further to my post on Thoughts on Winter Gear Part 3 in which I discussed my ideas in relation to backpacks I was looking to purchase for winter use.

Well after a good amount of thought and reading of fellow bloggers reviews and comments, I plumped for the Golite Pinnacle. There was a particularly good review from Hendrik and a good review from Chris Townsend in the TGO (I think) which finally convinced me. However thanks to everyone who commented and offered good advice.  I ordered the Pinnacle from Backpacking Light and it came today, super fast service – thank you Rose.


Golite Pinnacle Medium 2010 Front View



Golite Pinnacle Side View



Golite Pinnacle - Back View


Picking up the pack, it seemed so light for the size,( 935g) and is lighter than my OMM Jirishanca, but has twice the volume at 72 litres. The use of Dyneema fabric (withTier 1 recycled nylon), thinner straps and buckles, a roll top closure and general simple design account for the weight saving on such as large pack.

I set about putting my winter gear in, the pack swallowing up the kit with loads to spare.  I could get my tent, pole and pegs, Montane Atomic Jacket and Rain pants, Montane  LiteSpeed wind shirt and Extremities Gloves just in the front pocket, with some room to spare!

Through careful selection, most of my gear is pretty lightweight, but some is a bit bulky, generally this would mean  a big and heavy rucksack, but its  not a problem with the Pinnacle, there is so much room.

Total weight including the Pinnacle without food and the extra foam mat to supplement my Prolite mat is around 8 kg in weight. I have taken into account the extra 1 kg that I will probably need for a winter tent in that figure.   Putting on the Pinnacle is easy, and the pack felt surprisingly light and comfortable.  All the straps are (particularly the hip belt) long, but once I have got the right set up, I can cut the excess off.  The Red colour combined with the grey (grease- Golite call it) is pleasing and makes a change for me after a series of greys, blacks and dark greens.  I had a good walk around up and down our field and on this very short test, it seemed comfortable and stable.

Trekking poles are easy to stow in the very large side pockets and the roll top closure, I think it going to be a much simpler method than the more traditionally pack lid.

Are there any issues so far? – As with any frameless pack, packing is important, to insure that items don’t bulge or stick in your back, I need to make sure I get the packing sequence in right order and it should be fine.

I will post up a closer look at the Pinnacle shortly

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21 Responses to Golite Pinnacle – First Impressions

  1. Maz says:

    Looks nice. Let’s see how it carries – very exciting Mark!

  2. I bought and used the pinnacle on this years TGOC, it took awhile to get the packing right but when I did it was fine.

    The side pockets are great as you can put a water bottle in them and reach it without removing the pack, great for drinking on the move 🙂

  3. -maria- says:

    Looks nice. I like the raspberry colour as well!

    I’ve still got this leap to frameless packs to do. Of course I have frameless day packs, but I’m still undecided whether the frameless packs a my thing or not. Looking forward to hearing/reading your experiences with this one!

    • Maria – I have used my OMM Jirishanca a number of times and loaded up with about 8 kg in it, just using my Prolite sleeping mat as the back support and it seems fine. On this basis I think it will be OK with the Pinnacle. Packing is important to ensure that the back area is correct. I also think it is important to keep it within the bounds ( or lighter) of suggested carry weight . However the fact the pack weighs so little and therefore you are almost carrying just the weight of your gear is too good not to try ! Contrast that with the Finnish Military Pack the girl was carrying in Hendrik’s recent post 🙂

  4. Martin Rye says:

    My favourite pack. It is too large for me most times but still I want to get the newer version for when I need it I cant fault it and have used one for a while. Top kit and keep it tall and slim when packing and it will be perfect. Enjoy.

  5. Peter Hughes says:

    I am agonising about whether to buy a Pinnacle. I am currently using a Macpac Ascent which weighs 2.1kg but like all Macpacs is bombproof. I have been lightening up all my other kit this year and the rucksac is the last ‘frontier’. I do long backpacks – 2 weeks plus, so tend to carry a bit of extra comfort kit e.g. usually 2 man tent and a spare change of clothes. My baseweight is in the 9-10 kg range. The Pinnacle seems a good idea but I worry about the lack of a frame and is there enough support especially on the shoulders – I’m very slim like Hendrik (though much older and uglier!).

    • Peter – I have just got my Pinnacle and it was largely based on the reviews on other blogging sites – a number who have used them for the TGO and the fact that Chris Townsend has used his for extended trips running into hundreds of miles. I have carried 13kg on one trip. I would say that you need to pack a bit more carefully – but it is not that difficult to achieve. Being made of Dyneema – it is strong but light – it is great for bulky winter gear. I think the problem with any gear is that it often comes down to personal experience once the product is bought. I got mine on line but I pretty certain that Winwoods stock them – so if you are in the Lakes you could try one on – bring along your gear and pack it and see how it feels.
      Best of luck

  6. Peter Hughes says:

    Mark thanks for this. I tend to buy all my gear online too, having read all reviews etc. But I am a bit more wary about something like a rucksac, especially when the size is likely to be critical. So I shall try and find a ‘real’ shop that has one – though it appears that Golite is mainly sold online in the UK.

    Would I be right in saying that the Pinnacle has a fixed backlength (a M or L can be purchased). Is there much other adjustability to ensure that the weight is transferred to the hips. This is very important to me – I hate taking the weight on my shoulders!

    • Peter – The back length is fixed either M or L. Other than adjustment of the straps – no . I have not found frame less packs a problem for me. I have a OMM Jirishanca for loads up to 8kg and it is fine for me. I use to have a Osprey Aether 60 which is 2.2 kg and I have gone lighter with my gear like you. The fact that I have reduced my carry weight by quite a lot has help and made my newer packs feel more comfortable. I think it would be best to try as it sounds a vital aspect for you prior to purchase.

      • charles says:

        Mark- I realise this is an old post but am wondering how you are getting on with your Pinnacle ? I am looking to replace my old Lowe Alpine contour crossbow 50 L. ( quite a mouthfull of a description ! ) Has very good frame/support but heavy at 1.8+
        Have been trying to obtain a Gossamer Gear mariposa 59L but Ian at Winwood is having
        big problems in obtaining any supplies from GG. (apparently they have been away for long periods and are also going to re design all their packs ) He has been very good and sent me a Golite 50 l Jam to try but could not get on with it. Possibly because of size nearly 6’2″. Shoulder straps not comfortable and despite very carefull packing back nowhere near the Lowe in comfort. I like the look of the Golite Quest which has a good frame and lots of positive write ups,but comes in at around 1250/1300 without the detachable lid. but maybe worth the extra weight.
        I went for the Mariposa as it has so many good reviews on the blogs etc and is very light
        and with a frame and I dont really need 70 litres ( even for winter ) Still trying to make up my mind on this. Any thourghts ?

      • Charles, my feeling now after a number backpacking trips and day walks, is whilst the Pinnacle is a great load carrier , you do need to pack the it carefully to be comfortable. I think that thisis the case with all frameless packs, although I have less of a problem with my OMM Jirishanca. What about the Lightwave Fast pack (50L) around 1kg in weight and has a frame?

  7. charles says:

    Mark – Thanks for this. – sorry for delay in my reply due illness in the family.
    I like the look of the Lightwave , and it has had some good reviews > the latest being in the Sept issue of trail magazine, and the weight is good. Problem is finding availabilty for my back length ( I am 6′ 1″. ULOG have only a unisex 48 cm and just two in stock . I am down south so a problem to try on. I am waiting for Ian at Winwood to get back to me re the Mariposa. He is bombarding Gossamer Gear with emails to find out what they are up to. ( they don’t reply , and I think he is getting a bit fed up with them – he had another 5 people waiting on his delivery of Gorilla/Mariposas
    etc but they have probably fallen by the wayside now )
    I may have to leave it till next spring as their seem to be a lot of new lightweight sacks coming onto the market then – (as per your very usefull report on new tents etc ) As a stop gap may go for the Golite quest – bit heavier but like the outside large pocket for wet tent/waterproofs and frame.
    Chris Townsend used it on one of his long US treks recently and liked it. On this Golite topic , I was talking to Bob at BPL the other day , and he said Golite have ” messed up ” their UK distributor
    and next year we may have to order directly from the US.They are also redesigning their range and
    dropping the current Quest. I think the new ones will be heavier.

    • Charles, thank you for the info on GG and Golite. I wonder if you ordered over the internet yourself direct , whether you would get any better service. Not that I like cutting out UK distributors who are trying hard on your behalf, but it may help. Have you contacted Lightwave to see if they have a retailer who has a large size ? Rather frustrating for you. !!

  8. charles says:

    Mark , Yes , I think I may contact Lightwave and take that route. also I am finding that some of the online retailers now have limited stock of several items I was interested in ,due they claim to end
    of “season “. So no one walks in the Autumn/Winter then ? One exception to this is the wonderful
    BPL. Rose rang me last night to say the monocular I wanted was now back in an should receiv
    e it today. Excellent service as usual.
    Still tempted by the GL Quest, large but can cinch down . But will check Lightwave again first before

  9. Yulilie says:

    Is your golite pink colour?
    I like yours!

  10. robessley says:

    Just picked up this same pack, second-hand. I’ve found it to be light and well-built, just like you’ve elucidated here. I agree also that the method of packing is very critical. If you have lots of big, hard items in your kit, plan carefully what will be digging into your back along the way.

    I use a hammock and down underquilt/topquilt, so lots of soft stuff in there. I’m a big guy, so I put a lot of stress on the load lifter straps. This pack has a ton of cool features, and for the day hikes you can close down the 70L+ capacity to act more like a 30-40. It’s a very solid, extremely flexible pack. If you’re going for mileage, though, consider either an internal frame or using a sleeping pad to give your back a break from the thorny hassle of pots and pans digging.


    • Yulilie says:

      Hello Robessley, I am Yulilie.
      Please forgive me for being my sudden rude.

      Where did you find same pack?
      I am still serching it but it’s quite difficult.

      I am so glad if you could reply to me.
      Thank you.


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